How is everyone doing? Better then myself I hope, I’ve been busy, sick, then busy again and as such we have another Gundam Iron-Blooded Orphans
Spectacular no... Extravaganza... no Blowout, yes a Blowout! I do have to say I’m running out of exciting words to show this is a special two parter. Which honestly is less special now since the majority of this season has been these two parters, which I do have to ask. Does anybody mind? Genuinely curious here.
Anyways though with two weeks we have a whole bunch of Gundam content to cover once more and after the emotionally powerful and poignent War with no Name I was curious what would come next. Gundam did not disappoint as surprisingly this emotionally charged arc had an emotionally charged epilogue. What was effectively the hangover to the emotional cocktail of loss and betrayal Episode 33 was a perfect capstone on a brilliantly done arc.
Last time I wrote of the four deaths including Takaki, I thought for sure the events on Earth would break the innocent young man. While they very nearly did a few key words from Kudelia and Fuka seemed to pick up the pieces. Once again Iron-Blooded Orphans moved away from the easy and expected in brought the feels in a way I was not expecting.
Takaki while seemingly falling to despair following the War with no Name manged to claw his way back. In a surprising turn of events the Orphans did indeed lose one of his own, but not to death but to his kindness. Takaki realized every action that Tekkadan takes leads to death, something that will make Fuka sad.
By effectively gambling with current happiness for a big score they take too many risks. A common theme explored all the way back in the first season notably by Meribett. Deciding the best course of action is to leave Tekkadan to protect the happiness he has he quits. While shocked Tekkadan accepts his resignation.
As he is leaving a newly healed Chad is walking with him explaining how he’ll always be “Family”. Mika overheading this conversation walks by saying no, by quitting he is no longer family and that he shouldn’t care about Tekkadan anymore only Fuka. Taken aback Chad seems to wish to argue, however Akihiro intervene explaining Mika was trying to be kind. In his own emotionally stunted way, effectively saying to Takaki enjoy life forget about the pain we shall see. Becoming potentially the last time we see Takaki who could potentially have a... happy ending in this likely bleak series.
Not content to be upstaged Gjallahorn is back and in a big way. Following the aftermath of the Arbrau conflict the Seven Stars are debating what on earth happened. Including reports of a “Certain man”, Rustal Elion is adamant no such man exists - obviously worried about his involvement becoming known. However although McGillis has his suspicions regarding Elion he doesn’t have enough evidence to move.
Following this Elion and McGillis have an interesting conversation where both effectively lay their cards on the table. Showing how truly cocksure Rustal Elion announces he is coming for McGillis and doesn’t even care how he took out his father.
Interesting during this scene we are treated to a flashback where it’s revealed the two senior Officers knew each other in the past. Flash forwarding to the present we meet Julietta talking to Vidar. Vidar exclaims he knew a great person once and that Julietta reminds him of them. Interesting the way the phrasing is worded it’s implied its a current and on going relationship, despite the logical inference is that he is discussing McGillis.
during this time something hit me like a sack of hammers and I can’t believe I hadn’t seen it before. Julietta looks a hell of a lot like McGillis and her back story is a dead ringer for him. Due to the fact these small details have become a hallmark of this series is it possible Julietta is potentially McGillis sister or something else entirely - clones do have precedent in Gundam. Regardless it’s a thought that’s going to be hard to get out of my head.
The last batch of our little hangover episode is McGillis finally revealing his end game. He plans with Tekkadan’s help to take over Gjallahorn, while this isn’t a surprise the prize he offers Tekkadan is too great for Orga to pass up. McGillis will hand defensive duties of Mars to Tekkadan, effectively giving them dominion over Mars and its production. Making them the Kings of Mars.
While this was the straw that broke the camels back with Takaki Mika quickly falls in line. Only Merribet and Kudelia as they often does seems unsure of the path Tekkadan is taking. However their disapproval is shown through their eyes rather then words, something the men of Tekkadan are not very good at picking up on.
One cute and sad moment all at once was also present. The long speculated but never confirmed LafterHero Ship is now Canon. As Lafter has shown far more concern for Akihiro then a mere friend would following the death of his surrogate younger brother Aston. Pleading with the fellow Turbines pilot to not tell Naze, its clear the beauty is smitten with the statuesque Gundam pilot.
The next episode jumps ahead as Tekkadan find its way to Mars again. Slightly shifting focus Tekkadan’s force of arms is slowly increasing and as such so does the work load on the technical staff. Which some members are not to happy about, one new member Hush Midi seems to have had a full 180 though.
Following his abysmal performance on Earth and witnessing the awesome power of Mikazuki and the Barbatos he has decided to become Mika’s apprentice. This of course does not sit that well with Mika who finds Hush rather annoying. This doesn’t stop Hush from training hard however as he shows an aptitude with a mobile suit. Quickly being able to master the machine even without the use of the Alaya-Vijnana showing the man may be more then just talk.
We also get out first full look at Tekkadan’s third Gundam Frame the Gundam Flauro’s. Interesting Merribet points out something in universe I thought would never be mentioned, how each Gundam frame is named after demons. While it known their naming convention outside of the story it is interesting that this naming convention is actually picked up in universe. With the history of Gjallahorn slowly coming into focus could the demonic nature of the Gundam Frames be important to the overall tone of the story? We also get a sneak peak at what seems to be the first true Mobile Armor in the series as well.
Out in space Teiwaz is engaged in a little bit of internal bickering. Naze and the Turbines continues to ardently defend Tekkadan among what seems like the head families of the Teiwaz crime syndicate. However another chief member of Teiwaz is very annoyed with Orga’s actions, saying he’s brought great peril to Teiwaz without consulting the chief he’s shown great disrespect.
Naze pledges his own life if Orga and Tekkadan bring any issues on Teiwaz. Lucky for him the “Old Man” head of Teiwaz decides that all isn’t that bad as while their is great risk in Orga’s actions there is also great reward. While off the hook for now Naze makes sure to explain to Orga this is the last time he’ll be so nice towards his “little brother” as he has given a lot of rope to Orga, he just hopes Orga doesn’t hang both of them.
Back with Gjallahorn the Arianrhod Fleet is preparing operations against the colonies. Since the Dort Conflict from season one the colonies have started to exert more independence from Gjallahorn and while Earth was allowed to do this thanks to their economic and military might, space cannot be allowed too. Enlisting Vidar and he’s newly finished Gundam Frame the Gundam Vidar the Fleet moves to crush the rebels.
As the battle is on going it is mostly going according to plan however Iok Kujan though seems to have some issues. Julietta seeing an opening once again shows her superior piloting skills. However a pin prick of light reveals the entrance of the Gundam Vidar and what an entrance it is.
While Iron-Blooded Orphans has shown an unwillingness to really expand the power of Gundam Frames, this second generation Gundam seems to break that. Almost single handedly the Vidar eliminates an entire colonies defense force. Even impressing Julietta she says while she still doesn’t trust the mysterious Avenger she no longer fears going into battle with him.
As the episode draws to a close McGillis is reading to Almira about what seems to be his new favorite topic the origins of Gjallahorn. He explains to his young fiance the goal was always to create a world of equals:
One question that lingers though is this just a fake out on McGillis (and the Mari Okaida’s) part to make it seem he’s actually fighting for freedom of equality. Something most wouldn’t really argue against, well once you remove the creepy factor of the scene. What is strange though is this goal of equality and freedom actually fits with his stated goals from the last series, to make a less class structured Gjallahorn and freer world. While McGillis is clearly in Zeta Char territory could he stop here? Is he really our end game Villain? We shall see, though this villain takes more heroic qualities by the episode.
Well we come to the end of another one of these, as always it seems sorry about the weight. What did you guys think about these Episodes? I thought they were another pair of amazingly well done episode, honestly coming off four stellar episodes Season Two is easily surpassing Season One for me. What do you think so far? As right now Iron-Blooded Orphans seems destined for my next version of The Best of Gundam.
PS: The Mechanic and Merribet are dating there were a FEW hints but wow. Way to confirm one ship and sink another... RIP OrgaStaple
“The sustenance of life, is on the battlefield”
The second opening to my favorite Gundam series Gundam Wing. Rhythm Emotion is an easy to listen to song and has a good well... rhythm to it making it an easy choice for inclusion here. Also marking my last chance to pick and easy Wing song. Furthermore this was the music that played as the Gundam Epyion one of the single most awesome (if impractical) Gundams was introduced. For some reason the Vidar are Epyion just remind me of each other.