Hey guys and sorry for the delay in Episode 4's write up and being a bit late for this two episode spectacular. I can assure you I won’t be making a habit of it, I hope my Worst of Gundam post tied you all over though for Gundam content. However that being said we’re back and we’ve got some things to discuss as it seems Iron Blooded Orphans are shifting into the next stage of the series.
With all that being said these were a better two episodes to take as a single whole. Following Episode 28's gigantic space battle its no surprise IBO reverts to its more subdued episodes and starts to build on its story. As such Episode 29 “The Trigger of Success” and Episode 30“Inauguration of the Arbrau Defense Forces” seem to tell two halves of the same story.
Note: We’re transitioning to using the cumulative episode total as the series itself is using it.
Taking place primarily in space The Trigger of Success sees Tekkadan achieving a level of prestige that at the beginning of the series would be laughable. With Mikazuki’s capture (alive no less) of the Dawn Horizon Corps. Boss both within Teiwaz and Gjallahorn the young organizations stock is on the rise. So much so that they are developing even more enemies then they have had previously.
However with prestige comes allies as well. Before that however Tekkadan and Kudelia must deal with loose ends in the aftermath of the assassination attempt on Kudelia and the battle with the Dawn Horizon Corps. Meeting with the “mastermind” of the whole scheme Gyojan, Orga along with Mikazuki as his muscle demand reparations for the loss of life and treasure.
However as we know from previous episodes Gyojan is both a sniveling coward and a bit player in the grand scheme of things. Coming to the realization that Gyojan and Terra Liberionis will be unable to sufficiently compensate Tekkadan Mikazuki shoots the poor fool dead. While simultaneously Tekkadan systemically dismantles his organization.
Interestingly this is the first time all season we’ve seen Mikazuki and Orga act together so closely. As such it shows that their bond in darkness remains as tight as always, Orga calling the shots and Mikazuki doing the deed. The whole scene seemed ripped out of the Godfather with Orga playing the role of Michael and Mikazuki Al Neri.
While all that remains true the next episode shows that Orga and Mika do have a strong bond. Following the trials and tribulations of the past few days Orga seems depleted. Mika showing genuine concern for Orga’s well being forces his friend to eat better. While we’ve of course seen Mika’s love for his friends this is the first time we’ve seen him try to build somebody up rather then tearing somebody else down. Out of what seems to be genuine affection rather then the false emotions he sometimes tries to put upon himself.
Elsewhere Kudelia seems saddened by the events taking place largely due to her. Like many Gundam princess before her she is torn between the dedication to her pacifistic ideals and the reality a dark world needs dark deeds. She however vows to remain strong so one day she, Atra, and Mikazuki can live together on the farm. As a symbol that Mika no longer needs to fight.
On a macro scale Teiwaz’s Boss has decided to give the largest half-metal mine on Mars to Tekkadan as a reward for Dawn Horizon. This serves two major likely plot purposes to divide factions within Teiwaz from Tekkadan - although Naze seems to remain on Orga’s side even though he understands Orga’s less then political mind could be a liability.
The second is within the half metal mine Tekkadan discovers a Mobile Suit Frame. One with technology many have no seen before including the Barbatos’ engeneer. Beyond that they also discovered a mysterious item larger then a Mobile Suit. While the suit is almost certainly a Gundam, it’s the larger device that most intrigues me.
We’ve seen in other timelines Mobile Armors massive units capable of overpowering several suits. However this seems unlikely, what seems more likely its the progenitor of the Gundams. As the Graze-Ein showed the size of a Mobile Suit seems limited by its inputs, however a stronger Alaya-Vijnana connection such as Ein’s and Mikazuki’s could potential use a larger suit. Without well killing the pilot...
As the episode comes to an end... well we’ll get to that later as we move away from the Outer Systems to Earth. Where things are also happening in a surprisingly quick clip.
The second episode, the Inauguration of the Arbrau Defense Forces quickly sets up example two of Raise Your Death Flag Season 2 Edition. Sadly with each episode Takaki Uno appears in his status as Biscuit 2.0 becomes more and more established.
This is because Edmonton seems far more dangerous (never thought I’d write these words) then Mars. As Tekkadan’s base seems to be little more then a pit of vipers full of traitors and fools. This is due to the (mortal?) wounding of Chad following an assassination attempt on Makanai of Arbrau as he’s about to officially bringing the Arbrau Defense Forces into being.
While Takaki is officially in command he’s being completely cut out of the loop by Radice. By controlling communications Radice is dominating Tekkadan on Earth. Takaki and the fellow Orphans don’t much trust him, however Takaki seems to insecure to do much of anything about it.
This is an issue as we learn Radice is in league with the assassins from the anti Tekkadan faction of Arbrau. Allied with Galan Mossa the new head of the security forces it’s pretty clear Takaki has to watch himself around this intimidating man. The whole scene where the two shook hands just screamed “I’m going to kill you kid!”
Beyond the links to the assassination plot Galan Mossa also fits the description of the mysterious “bearded” manly man allied with Rustal Elion of Gjallahorn. If this is the case the net of enemies seems to be tightening around Tekkadan on Earth.
Orga though to his credit senses something is amiss and decides to speed up the reinforcements to Earth. Launching Tekkadan along with Kudelia once again into space and likely Iron Blooded Orphans Season 2 into its next stage of adventure . However he wont be going alone this time.
As previously Tekkadan had formalized its uneasy alliance with McGillis’ Gjallahorn faction. Interestingly we’re now seeing McGillis’ Char transition to its next stage as a potential Zeta Char - an ally and mentor. Of course this could all be a fake out, however the narrative possibilities are intriguing to say the least.
Well this beast of a write up is now done. Sorry about the length but there was significant ground to cover and I bet I’m missing some key points too and not so key ones as well. I mean the bickering between the Seven Star elites is priceless if less the pertinent for our purposes. Anyways let me know what you thought about our more quiet Iron Blooded Orphans episodes.
The “Final” song of Gundam SEED Find the Way has always been a favorite of mine. Despite the series flaws SEED Destiny found a way on my Worst of Gundam list it’s hard to deny that the SEEDs soundtracks were some of the best around. For a couple of subdued Iron Blooded Orphans episodes Find the Way seems appropriate.