Hey guys after a little break for the show we’re back to Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans also as I predicted last week (it wasn’t hard...) complete with new Openings and Endings which of course I’ll give my thoughts on. While the new Opening and Ending was full of excitement the Episode itself was less so. It’s not a surprise the episode is mostly exposition though considering the electric last few episodes we’ve had recently. If you want to catch up you can check up last episodes write up as well, also if you haven’t I suggest checking out my write up for the AMAZING Gundam: Thunderbolt. Without further delay lets move onto Episode 14 “The Vessel of Hope”.
After last week with Mikudelia setting sale we have the adorable aftermath of Kudelia running into a topless Mika and completely freaking out, completely the opposite reaction from the almost too cool Mika. Before the new OP we’re also shown some lesser known Orphans trying to learn to pilot a mobile suit to protect their new found family. Kudelia trying to make sense of her feeling decides to ask Fumitan for her advise. Trying and failing to hide her true intentions Fumitan merely says “why don’t you ask him” what he thinks. A simple idea that Kudelia seemingly didn’t even consider.
For the first time in the entire series we also get confirmation of colonies existing within the timeline as Tekkadon comes across the Dort series of colonies. Although they don’t look as impressive as other Gundam timelines colonies such as in SEED or Wing they do show a missing piece of information the series has been lacking. Following this its decided while the main crew is completing their job from Teiwaz, Kudelia and Atra will go shopping on Dort 3 the luxury colony along for the ride is Makazuki who Orga assumes will ward off trouble by being... well Mikazuki. Biscuit tags along too... for reasons.
Moving on Akihiro and Lafter are watching the Gundam Gusion be repaired retrofitted where its confirmed to nobodies surprise Akihiro will be the newest Gundam pilot. Interestingly without the heavy armor the Gusions trademark the head looks very much like the Barbatos. This of course confirms the theory that the Barbatos is mostly just a frame with thrusters and an ever increasing assortment of weapons. Likely to keep the suits speed at its peak to better work with Mikazuki’s amazing reaction time and mental link through the Alaya-Vijnana system.
Following this Orga and Naze are having a discussion on the upcoming job and Naze warns Orga (and the Tekkadon) to not make a scene. As they’re now in the “Earth Sphere”, this is interesting terminology as in previous series the term “Earth Sphere” has been in reference to the planet Earth itself with the colonies being the enemies. However it appears the colonies are one and the same with the Earth itself. Mars however is located in the “Outer Sphere” which is presumably like the wild west of space. In short there is laws now and Tekkadon can’t just recklessly do what its being doing before. However little do they know the old for of Gjallahorn has found them and is preparing to strike.
On Dort 3 the girls are shopping at what looks like a Sams Club or another discount shopping center but of the less frivolous nature. In one of the funnier scenes of the episode its revealed the entire Tekkadon stinks to high heavens (go figure young men going through puberty and working hard all day REEK). This causes the girls to by clothes, detergent, and bathing supplies to literally clean up the stank.
Mika and Biscuit doing what two men dragged along for a shopping trip are wont to do hang back and let the women do everything. As the two men/boys talk its revealed that Biscuit is from the slums of the colony group revealing why he was so insistent to come with Mika and the ladies. Shifting focus to the senior members of Tekkadon we learn that even in the colonies there is unrest, as just like on Mars the humans are oppressed by the rich of the world once again invoking the theme of economic servitude and subjugation as the workers are little more then “disposable tools”.
However unlike the people of Mars who had no hope which they didn’t make for themselves Kudelia is in fact a heroic symbol for the people of the Earth Sphere, an interesting inversion of her more rarefied position among the less fortunate of her home world. Beyond that though Tekkadon’s legend has also grown making them them the equivalent to Knights protecting the princess. Something the Tekkadon never really considered before.
Returning the shopping party it’s revealed Biscuit has ANOTHER sibling raising yet another death flag for this poor poor man. Whats even more disturbing is his elder brother seems linked in some kind of plot regarding Tekkadon. What this means is up in the air but if Iron-Blooded Orphans has taught us anything new found siblings are good for NOBODY involved...
Finally its revealed the “job” that Teiwaz had Tekkadon perform was a little bit more complicated then was let on. As Tekkadon are in fact arms runners for what looks like a colony rebellion making sense of the workers praising for their “Knights” and symbols of hope. However there is dark clouds over everything as it seems the entire plan was to implicate Kudelia in the plot despite her clearly having no knowledge nor intention of fostering unrest let alone rebellion. However before much can happen Gjallahorn shock troopers show up on a tip.
However this sparks a violent fire fight which the workers manage (somehow...) to win. Orga responds by saying Gjallahorn will just return with more firepower to what the workers leader effectively retorts let them come. Leading the viewer to assume the long awaited overarching conflict has finally come. Finally Fumitans true allegiances seems to have been shown being an agent of the mysterious power behind the rebellion and potentially leading Kudelia to her death via assassination.
As I wrote above this was clearly another one of the series transitional episodes. Full of interesting world building information (Earth/Outer Spheres, Colonies, ect) while potentially changing the entire series from here on out from one of journey to one of conflict. As Kudelia is about to become Gjallahorns most wanted person likely dead or alive. Also as teased by the Opening it’s looking like finally we’ll have our official Char clone next episode. It’s interesting he appears just as McGillis is on “vacation” eh...
“The sustenance of life, is on the battlefield”
Gundam Music of the Week Opening and Ending Edition(!):
OP 2 “Survivor” - BLUE ENCOUNT
So ya this is just not as initially catchy as Raise Your Flag. However just like Raise Your Flag its clearly a battle another invoking the feelings of survivor. If the song means anything (and I think it does) it probably signals as the episode does the series is moving into a state of conflict which Tekkadon must overcome to become “survivors”. We also get our first glimpse of the Gundam Kimaris (the purple one) and potentially a custom Graze or even a previously unknown Gundam (the pinkish one). All around its a decent song that doesn’t seem to spoil anything major, always an issue with series like these.
ED 2 “Steel - IRON BLOODED BONDS” - True
Unlike the first Ending this one I just “got”. It just clicked and it seemed to really fit the whole show. It’s fortunate it really invoked some of my favorite anime songs from Fullmetal Alchemist with the brotherly imagery between Orga and Mika and just the entire song itself. All around I don’t know if it will grow on me as much as Orphans no Namida did, however I think its still a VERY strong song which I just like.
What about you guys did you like the episode? Songs? Also Gundam Music of the Week is back to its regular schedule next week so pick a series, song, whatever.