Been a while hasn’t it. With Episode 37 missing thanks to other commitments and with Episode 38 landing on Christmas Day that alone is treacherous writing times. However everything followed by New Years then all through that we still actually have not had another Gundam Iron-Blooded Orphans since Christmas until this Sunday, so to be honest it’s been tough to get this one out the door.
However finally here we are even if it is long overdue with the climactic ending to the fight with the Hashmal Mobile Armor. Due to the long gap between Impressions this will be less recap and more actual impressions on the episodes, focusing less on details and more on just general thoughts on the episodes, especially Episode 37 which was more action then anything. If you’ve been following my writing you know my view action is better watched then read about.
Episode 37 Opens with the Orphans and their sort-of allies in Gjallahorn forced into a very bad spot. Following the destruction of a heavily populated area the Hashmal has returned to its main mission of killing humans and has initiated the final part of the “Battle for Chryse”. Namely that of annihilating Chryse.
Despite the impressive abilities and power of Gjallahorn aiding them Tekkadan can’t seem to hold out against Hashmal and its legion of bug type mini-Armors. This is due to their fact their aces in the hole, the Gundams whenever they get near to the Mobile Armor get locked down in a form of safe mode. Whereby the suits shut down to protect the pilots from engaging these armors too recklessly. Akihiro is the first to experience this as the Gusion Rebake Full City as it’s unleashing a massive and ineffective Warf Barrage against the Armor locks up like an New Years Resolutionist after Leg Day at the gym.
With Akihiro out of the picture and Mikazuki equally powerless the heroes turn to an untested weapons. The Ryusei-CANNON or as it’s more accurately known the Gundam Flauros, a suit we’ve been teased about for a little bit. Considering each Gundam was made as a form of counter to a Mobile Armor the Flauros is obviously a long artillery weapon able to shoot a high velocity Railgun meaning the Gundams still exist without Energy Weapons leaving them to the Mobile Armors.
Despite the overwhelming power of the Twin Drive Cannon Hashmal continues on. Forcing Ride to desperately try to buy some time in the original Ryusei-Go, something Shino himself does not much like. However the young man can’t do much forcing Mikazuki to remove his limiter and fully engage with the Barbatos, similar to the phenomenon that happened in Edmonton.
As we move to the next Episode Mikazuki the titular “Hunter of Angels” remains as Tekkadan’s and by extension all human life on Mars last hope. The only question is does he have the power to do it? In one of the shortest but most satisfying fights I ever remember seeing in a Gundam perhaps even anime itself, Mikazuki takes down the Hashmal single handedly - literally. However what is so surprising is when coming in expecting a battle heavy episode we came in with an espresso of fighting and a whole lot of sweet sweet emotional build up and world building exposition.
One thing that must be pointed out is that by fully merging with the Barbatos Mikazuki went full into his lets kill mode. Making me think perhaps the Alaya-Vijnana system was made taboo for reasons other then it could disrupt the power of Gjallahorn, as it’s effect on Mika’s psyche cannot be overlooked now. While Mika outside of the Barbatos can seem cold he’s nearly sub-zero is Barbatos now. Furthermore the physical damage being done to his body - likely its nervous system is my expectation - seems to be pilling up.
Elsewhere following the battle Orga is explaining the situation to the Old Man of Teiwaz. While it’s clear has become a little annoyed with Orga in recent days the profits from Mars, and the future profits Martian resources fully controlled by Teiwaz/Tekkadan could bring is too enticing to let go. That being said this little bit of favoritism doesn’t go unnoticed by the conspirators within Teiwaz, the ones who effectively started the whole Hashmal mess by alerting Elion thereby having the pretty idiot Iok on the field.
Back at Gjallahorn the formerly secretive disputes between the factions have come to a head. Unsurprisingly the pretty idiot Iok is the one to lose his cool in the council chamber. Under fire from Iok, McGillis continues to keep his cool however Iok tries to enlist the help of Elion who true to character ignores his young accomplice and proceeds to praise McGillis over his victory. A statement that doesn’t sit well with Iok, who rages against Elion with Julieta watching from the side, looking slightly annoyed as she is known to be.
Moving back to Tekkadan Mikazuki like Akihiro before him is locked into the Barbatos via the Alaya-Vijnana. Once he wakes up it becomes clear half his body is paralyzed, instead of just his arm and legs. Further making Mikazuki the most broken Gundam protagonist ever and his relationship with his suit quite strange. Indeed it seems more like the relationship between Van and the Escaflowne in Sunrises amazing 1990's classic The Vision of Escaflowne.
Mika’s dedication to the cause despite his current condition continues to speak to the will of the young man. While trying to cheer him both Kudelia and Atra realize they don’t need too, indeed it’s Kudelia who starts understanding the weight of the situation. However the girls realize the weight that is on their shoulders too by loving a man who stubbornly wont change despite how clear the path he is walking down is dangerous. To lighten up the scene at the end somewhat Atra blurts out Kudelia should have a baby with Mikazuki, to which Kudelia replies with confused shock.
Back at Gjallahorn McGillis is now checking up on a lose end with Isurugi regarding Galileo. Asking what happened to him and the Kimaris Gundam he is notified the body was cremated and the suit was returned to the Baudin family. Following this the two reminisce about the combat ability of the Barbatos and Mikazuki. Causing McGillis to get a very dark villainous face with an shadowy Gundam revealed for the first time.
Near the end of the episode Iok is having a moral crisis, realizing that Elion is using him and likely has no respect for him. He must strike out on his own to honour those that sacrificed themselves to protect him (from his own stupid actions). He instructs his subordinates to make a call to a person we to my knowledge have yet to meet.
Overall it was an enjoyable few episodes even if a paralyzed Mikazuki is a little downer airing from Christmas. However Gundam is going to Gundam and this one will get darker before it’ll see the light that’s for sure. Overall I like where the series has left itself off before its return in a few days time. Furthermore if you like these write up’s I’ll also be covering Blue Exorcist - Kyoto Saga as well on Saturday’s, don’t worry it won’t effect Gundam it’ll still be the same erratic schedule you all put up with, which I thank you for.
“The sustenance of life, is on the battlefield”
Honestly I forget if I’ve actually already used this one but I don’t think it had. Honestly if I had to point out the best part of Gundam SEED and it’s successor series and OVA’s of which this is it, I’d say it’s music. This was a Gundam that knew a good soundtrack could make up a lot of short comings. Any thoughts on what next weeks should be, I’d love to hear from you/some help would be nice. I’m running low on my beloved Gundam songs and unless you want three more months of Gundam Wing music leave some suggestions.