The first time I realized how amazing the Barbatos Lupis looks compared to the Original machine.

Hey guys and welcome back for another week of Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans! Sorry for the slight delay it was Thanksgiving for us north of the boarder in Arabu... umm... I mean Canada, yup that’s it. Anyways lets speed thinks up and take our weekly trip back to Mars as we have lots to discuss don’t we? However before we get to the In the Midst of Jealousy proper we can’t let our new Opening and Ending wither on the vine, so we’ll be checking them out too!

However before we start the review proper we got our first clear look at the new Opening Rage of Dust by Spyair now I’ll say straight up I’m a fan of Spyair. As the artists behind what I would consider the best Gintama Opening “Samurai Heart (Some Like It Hot!!) needless to say I was hyped for this opening and it delivered. Coming off two memorable openings from the previous seasons including Raise Your Flag which became the unofficial tagline of the show, the song had a lot to live up too and boy did it ever.

Strong visuals, coupled with a rocking sound, and vocals that match the series Rage of Dust sits comfortably next to its companion Openings. What is nice too is that the three Openings all come together nicely with a strong rock influence. Making Iron-Blooded Orphans sound nice and distinct from it’s predecessor series, even if Spyair also did music for Gundam AGE... ya lets not talk about that series anymore.

That dude is dead... and in several pieces...

Moving on the the episode proper Mikazuki in his first big damn hero moment of the season drops down from orbit onto Maritian soil. With the newly upgraded Barbatos “...is Barbatos” Lupis Mikazuki with a slight assist from Shino and the Ryusei-Two (my nickname) makes quick work of several Dawn Horizon Corp. Mobile Suits. His intervention in the battle is swift and effective, as Tekkadan goes from a sure loss to forcing a quick retreat.

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The Shinden pilots wish to push their advantage and chase down their opponents. However Mikazuki’s recklessness has a price, the Barbatos is inoperable. At this point the suit is little more then a paper weight - an intimidating paper weight mind you - but a paper weight none the less. Tekkadan returns home with victory in hand regardless.

“Barbatos kinda stopped working”

The whole scene is an eye opener for one of the new recruits, especially Hash Midi who can’t believe the power of the Barbatos. One of the more experienced new bloods explains that Mikazuki and the Barbatos are in perfect sync through the Alaya-Vijnana System and he is named the “Devil of Tekkadan”. This revelation seems to interest Hash Midi more so then one would expect.

Which is not a surprise to the viewer as Hash Midi has clearly been hiding things. The only question is what and how does it involve our little emotionally stunted protagonist.

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Speaking of emotionally stunted wasn’t Mikazuki and Kudelia’s first meeting adorable. Seriously that kid does not get it despite... well this from last season:

Remember that? Because Kudelia sure does... I got to say what makes this series so fun and memorable is the character interaction. Even though we’re now through two episodes into a Gundam and we’ve seen around two minutes of actual Gundam’s in action I don’t mind. It allows more character building events. Including the weirdly innocent Mika, Kudelia, and Atra love triangle she’s constructed in her head - which by the way gave us the hilariously disturbed piece of information that Mika smells like blood and Atra knows that smell and doesn’t mind.

Moving on from one of the weirdest ships in a Gundam ever events are taking place between two character we wouldn’t really think should be talking. As Orga and McGillis discuss joint operations between their two organizations. Which one would consider strange, considering as Head of a Seven Star family of Gjallahorn him and Tekkadan are enemies.

When Orga smiles people should get scared.

However to paraphrase Henry Kissinger, McGillis has no permanent friends or enemies, only interests and right now his and Tekkadan’s seems to align. As he requests Tekkadan’s help in dealing with the Dawn Horizon Corps. threat. McGillis reveals as well that his involvement with Tekkadan in the previous troubles is pretty much an open secret among his peers.

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This is not a huge surprise as last episode in the meeting with the Seven Star Family, nobody really seemed to trust the Chocolate-Man. Rustal Elion head of the Outer Orbit Fleet most prominently a character we’ll see again near the episodes end.

Radice Riloto doesn’t know what Tekkadan “is”... which is apparently following Orga anywhere... at any time. See when I said Cult last year.

Jumping a few million kilometers back to Earth it’s revealed that Tekkadan has formed a permanent base just outside of Edmonton, Alberta showing the relationship between Makanai and his saviors remain strong. Especially as it’s shown Tekkadan has almost autonomous control within its territory on Earth. Despite this Radice Riloto a new character seems to be unhappy with Tekkadan almost cult like behavior, as an adult among children Radice seems to have different ideas on how to run things. New Hitler-Stash perhaps or just not a crazy person like Merribet? Which is a not so subtle way of transitioning to the “OMG is Hitler-Stash trying to be an ALLY?!? Is the guy insane”... sorry, couldn’t find a way to fit in his rather humorous reintroduction to the series, while simultaneously certainly not wanting to leave it out.

Staying in Canada, fans are given an opportunity to play one of our favorite games Raise Your Death Flag Season 2 Edition. The unfortunate contestant is Takaki Uno. Now lets check off all the death flags on the field - Friend of a Friend (Aston Altland, Former Brewers Pilot with a scar) who already lost a friend and is pretty much an avenging type character.
- Has Biscuit’s Hat.
- Has a cute younger sister (Hi Fuka-Chan!) who he wants to put through school.
- Doesn’t like to fight, except when he took Biscuit’s job in the finale.

Death Flag City!

Okay it’s not looking good for our friend Takaki is it. At this point with that many death flags on the field I can think of only one way he survives as seriously he’s an amalgam of like four different dead guys from previous Gundams Nicol (SEED) and Biscuit (IBO) are the two that come strongly to mind. That this is totally a fake out on the part of Mari Okada (Script and Story) to fans like... well me, who had a Biscuit death watch last season. Since I think this would be such a boss move, I’m on team Let Takai LIVE!

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As the episode begins to come to a close Hash Midi arrives in the cafeteria where some characters are shooting the breeze. He demands not only a Mobile Suit but the Alaya-Vijnana surgery, which he cannot have as the nano-machines wouldn’t accept him due to his advanced age (17 is old in Tekkadan). Instead of begging, he demands - Atra steps up to calm him down however Hash Midi gets angry and raises his hand to Atra.

Do not raise your hand against Mikazuki’s friends. That’s a good way to get broken bones... or you know dying.

This clearly does not go over to well with Mikazuki who standing in the doorway calmly walks over. Grabbing Hash Midi’s arm he squeezes with enough force to break the foolish mans arm with a face as blank as ever. If it wasn’t for Atra’s insistence that he wasn’t bullying her, Hash Midi might be as one armed as our one armed hero.

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Continuing one with Hash Midi’s subplot we learn he was an Orphan like Mika and Orga. A friend of his decided to become a soldier and fight, however he was returned to the Martian slums as the Alaya-Vijnana surgery was a failure. Deciding he was a burden on his friends he kills himself.

Surprisingly detailed... even added the pool of urine. That said wasn’t he a Quadriplegic? How did he move so much.

This causes Hash Midi to try to gain the power that Mikazuki a contemporary of his friend had. Stating he’ll be a Mobile Suit pilot and will surpass Mikazuki. Explaining his surprise over the awesome power Mikazuki has, because his climb to Mikazuki’s level just became that much more steep. While I can’t yet tell how Hash Midi’s character will progress it will likely be interesting.

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In the final scenes of the episode the Gjallahorn Seven Star elites we met last episode are discussing McGillis. In short they REALLY don’t like him, however they are willing to play around with his schemes for the time being. As they know where he’s coming from allowing them to keep and advantageous position- due to a mysterious masked man that has allied with McGillis’ greatest rival Rustal Elion.

Gaeleo... that you buddy?

With this revelation it just gives more life to the theory the new mask wearer is indeed Gaeleo (who I incorrectly called Ein last week... sorry, we all make mistakes). Somebody who knows McGillis’ true actions, showing why the Seven Stars all seem aware of his involvement with Tekkadan. As well as the fact as a former Gundam pilot he’s clearly a skilled ace. Now this could all be a red hearing however it’s not unprecedented for “dead” people to come back in future seasons in a Gundam. Plus this is Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans nobody but Biscuit stays dead!

Hope you all liked my write up for this week. I thought I’d try out a little bit less recap and more commentary - let me know what you think in the comments. Hope you all enjoyed IBO this week and let me know what you thought about all the goings on. Until next week!

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“The sustenance of life, is on the battlefield”

Note: You can witch the series for free on Gundam.Info

I’ve been listening to both the Opening and Endings as I’ve been writing this almost totally on repeat, except for a slight break I took to read Dune. At airing I thought both songs were pretty good, however I feel Lamplight of War by Suzuhana Yuko just doesn’t reach the highs that Rage of Dust does. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good song and the child versions of our protagonists are both tragic and adorable all in their own way. It performs it’s duty well, however without a full version I just can’t know how good it actually is.

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Note: No Gundam Music of the Week as well... we have two songs!