It amazes me how Sunrise is able to pull off such an amazing episode while fucking up entire series (Code Geass, Gundam 00, Valvrave). I mean, they didn’t just serve us with a breath-taking fight but an entire episode summed up Fellini’s Gunpla life just under our noses. And it blended so damn well!
It’s not often that I would encounter some cheesy back-story that won’t incite (my) skepticism but for Fellini, for this episode, it makes sense. Ricardo Fellini’s story moved me simply because it was a realization of his childhood dream. And we have to applaud the man for sticking through it. Not everyone who played with their toys would grow up to continue playing with them and as someone who have lived on a generation where toys should have no association with maturity and growth as an individual, this episode struck home.
This episode also did a good job in portraying the fighter’s difference in skill determined by their huge age gap. While Ral is right that Iori has his imagination to back up Reiji against Fellini’s experience, Fellini’s back-story also proved that he too fought all those battles and evolved because he had imagination.
And I guess that’s why he sympathizes with them (Iroi and Reiji). It’s because they are reflections of who he once was and sees and admires their potential for growth. And it’s quite an honorable, adult-like trait of his. He may goof around most of the time but Fellini stays true to the “Ace Pilot” template of the Gundam Series. His wisdom is backed by his unorthodox methods gained from imagination and experience.
All good things aside, I have to admit that I was disappointed with Reiji “forgetting” who the chairman is but I do think it’s a sly move to slip in that bit of detail. They pulled that “forgetfulness” act quite nicely, imo.