Oh great another round of raise your death flags... after an extended break for the winter holidays Iron-Blooded Orphans returns this week. Now while the episode is relatively quiet compared to the last few episodes this calm proves to be short. As a lot of pieces are moving to make things hard for our heroes, however for once its not the Orphans that seem to be in trouble. It is Naze and the Turbines who are in the cross hairs.

Following the battle with the Mobile Armor Hashmal (which funny enough I believe still hasn’t been named yet in the series) Mars is returning to a state of normalcy. However some changes are occurring as the Turbine trainers including Lafter are returning to the Hammerhead. This of course is particularly hard on Lafter who has realized her feeling for Akihiro a few episodes back.

As the women return to the Hammerhead Lafter is not acting in her usual upbeat self. This is quickly picked up on by Amida who asks Azee (white haired Ace Pilot) what is up. While Azee tries to keep LafterHiro a secret she is a terrible liar and Amida quickly deduces what happened. Which to be fair wasn’t that hard considering where (and whom) she was spending all her time with.

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Surprisingly for the viewer Naze is totally fine with this. It’s here while all the women are his wives and he “Takes what is offered” to him as per his personal creed, he really only sees Amida as a true wife. As in a kind of creepy way he also sees his wives/crew as his daughters.

In an extended flashback we learned that the origin of the Turbines organization. Naze teamed up with mercenary and his future lover Amida and brought together many at risk women. Who by circumstance were forced to do work no man of standing would choose to do. By doing so Naze and Orga’s origins are very similar. Both having strong familiar bonds to their crews and subordinates; in Naze’s case even before having literal blood ties with them.

This makes it clear Naze and his crew are true sibling organizations with Tekkadan. Which is what is so unnerving about the whole episode as the traitors within Teiwaz have orchestrated a jilted and angry Iok to gun for Naze rather then Tekkadan. As the Teiwaz conspirators (correctly) told Iok that Naze and the Turbines is Tekkadan’s closest and most trusted partner. By attacking Naze and the Turbines it would be easy to lure Orga into a trap while he attempts to defend the man he sees as a brother.

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After the plan is implemented and Naze quickly finds himself in a bind, Orga tries to do exactly this. However Naze requests that Tekkadan not engage nor move to aid him and his crew knowing the end goal of all this. This leads to the question what happens to the Hammerhead.

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Right now Amida looks like the most likely to bite the bullet if somebody does. As we know Iron-Blooded Orphans has a problem with pulling the trigger on main characters, however characters adjacent to the main cast have been less lucky. Fumitan and Aston come to mind in this, when death comes in IBO it always comes with an emotional gut punch that shifts a character.

As such Amida getting more character development in a single episode then she has in 38 previously puts a gigantic bullseye on her ample chest. As her death would be profoundly traumatic on Naze and almost certainly push him out of his complacent attitude likely putting him and his substantial organization on a full war footing with Gjallahorn. This would also have the effect of likely moving Teiwaz off the sidelines, once the conspirators are off the table. Effectively setting up the long awaited war.

That said there are other scenarios. With LafterHiro now being a canon Ship and Lafter being a target for a fake death previously. Actually killing her off this time would be a much bigger move considering her prominence in the series as well as the effect it would have on Akihiro.

Finally there is the potential Naze himself dies which is clearly the biggest move they could make. It would clearly lead to a direct confrontation with Tekkadan/Teiwaz with Gjallahorn and push Orga into a very bad spot mentally which would also have a residual effect on Mikazuki.

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Of course nothing could happen as we have seen previously however there is too much set up coming too fast for them to waste it. There needs to be some kind of event or else this episode will have been wasted, it’s nice to know more about Naze, Amida, and the Turbine family dynamics but with about 13 episodes left in the series (season?) it would be weird for them to build this up so late.

Outside of the Turbine/Teiwaz drama we have our biggest confirmation yet that Vidar is indeed Gaeleo stating McGillis “kill him” once already. Of course while it was a nice line it’s not exactly a big surprise as exactly nobody thinks he’s anyone else. Furthermore McGillis is clearly unnerved by the possibility of Gaeleo’s return as Gaeleo would take the head of the Bauduin family back from McGillis. Leaving him with only the Farheed family title if they don’t strike him of everything for the massive amounts of treason the man has perpetrated. It’s clear McGillis is walking a fine line and seems to be a man apart, a man alone at this juncture in the series.

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Now a few idle thoughts I wasn’t able to get properly into the write up and keep its flow as they were kind of this their. Iok acting as the pawn for the Teiwaz traitors seems to be his natural state, however his obliviousness to his situation is hilarious. However he speak to his men “you don’t understand politics” I almost burst out laughing at that line. Pot meet kettle, you’re both black. Though Iok may yet get his own Gundam (the one seen in the OP), something that shouldn’t be terribly surprising.

Also Atra’s seduction techniques could use some work. Her attempt to bring up the topics of babies didn’t go to well for her thought the results were very fruitful to the audience. Especially as Mikazuki kind of thinks babies are like hams, okay they’re boy.

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All around I’m really looking forward to next week. However it’s a little annoying at this juncture we are getting total build up. Unless the series picks up serious steam in the last stretch I’m not sure how they are going to end this. Especially if a gigantic conflict comes up, I mean is it possible the Mobile Armors are not going to show up in a major way again? I don’t want to raise expectations but is there a possibility of a third series making Iron-Blooded Orphans the longest continuous Gundam? Lets see until next week.

“The sustenance of life, is on the battlefield”

What you thought I’d talk about the new OP and EDing songs? Nah we’re going to wait for a full release on them they deserve it. Also that ED... I need to read the lyrics in full I have a feeling there is something there. In the mean time we get our second OST Entry. If you know me I’m not really a fan of Kira Yamato from Gundam SEED. Why? The dude is too damn perfect, seriously if a meta-franchised filled with some of the most OP characters in their universes this guy is the MOST OP. Literally what can’t he do? He is the ultimate mid-2000's anime Gary Stu. That being said somebody might have understood this as final theme in the series translates to “Kira, Just as he Pleases”. It’s pretty fitting, good song too.