Although I got to say don’t expect a Gundam battle like this too soon the budget must have be drained by that.
Called it! Well continuing its tradition Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orhpans following on last weeks epic space battle had a more subdued episode in “The Form of Closeness” which surprisingly didn’t have much in the way of anything amazing going on. Of course that being said the episode wasn’t weak in any ways further reinforcing the view in my mind we may have a rare magical Gundam on our hands although only eight episodes in we have a long way to go. If you’re just tuning in you can check out past write ups with Episode Seven, Six , and Five here or check out the whole thing with its own tag. Anyways enough with the house keeping lets move on to the main event.
The year Post Disaster 323, Tekkadon has overcome their latest challenge and finally have a moment of peace. A time to find “family”.
Starting inside the Turbines ship Tekkadon’s boarding party finds themselves facing little if any resistance. Meanwhile on the bridge Maruba is chewing out Naze for not doing enough to stop the Orphans incursions, needless to say Naze is not pleased. Following the fool’s outburst Tekkadon storms the Hammerhead’s bridge and is greeted warmly by the very hospitable Turbine captain.
Following this we’re treated to one of the most hilarious scenes in the show so far. What was initially set up as a kind of peace talks between the two forces instead ends up as a little primer for the viewer on the daily life of the Hammerhead and Turbines. When we jokingly refer to his seemingly all female crew as a “Harem” well... we weren’t off as that’s exactly what it is. In a oddly refreshing sense (in the sense an anime actually ADMITS IT!) The Hammerhead is in fact Naze’s own personal harem and every member of his crew his “wife” - although to be fair he never directly calls anyone that, everyone else does.
From this it seems that Amida (Akihiro’s opponent in his duel last week) is Naze’s main wife due to her prominence in the episode. We also learn Maruba is quickly dispatched to a Teiwaz mine for years of hard labour to pay off his debts. I can’t help but think due to his corpulent nature this is the equivalent of a death sentence, of course he totally deserves it he was a slave owner.
During the meeting we also probably get the most vital piece of information this episode. That regarding Kudelia’s status as “property” which although we’re not totally treated to you we’re led to believe she isn’t fully in control. The way I took Naze’s declarations about the history of Gjallahorn and their relationship with the four great economic powers of the Earth Sphere is that it’s likely Kudelia is someone’s pawn. Who’s is currently up in the air however as Gjallahorn likely wants her dead I’m going to go and say she is the key to removing Gjallahorns control over the Earth Sphere. Making Gjallahorn the likely “Space Villain” such as ZEON, ZAFT, or OZ from other timelines. If this is the case it wouldn’t be a huge surprise.
Moving on from the brains to the brawn Akihiro and Mika are training non-stop with Lafter. It appears Mika remains down after his fight with Lafter as he’s not really pulling his weight and is a hindrance to Orga. As such he is working hard to become stronger, training without relying on the Ālaya-Vijñāna to increase his own power. Of course Lafter is loving the whole thing easily making quick work of Akihiro and likely doing to same to Mika while having a similar look to Mikazuki in the heat of battle.
Following this we move to Atra and Kudelia when they take a field trip to the nursery on board The Hammerhead. Where Lafter and Maruba are explaining that the entire ship is one big family (implying their is no spousal jealousy I suppose) and they all love Naze’s children. This also builds into the whole feeling that Teiwaz is a kind of space Yakuza clan and Naze is a princely “Young Master” type player.
Simultaneously while the girls are having their time with the children Akihiro is being schooled in what it means to be a leader. He explain that Tekkadon can never be separated because the blood of the lost and the blood they will spill binds them like iron which makes them comrades. Naze speaking for every fan calls him out and say no what Orga just described is a family and leaves the young man to think over this revelation (which totally shouldn’t have been one...).
Orga is disappointed in himself as Naze completely dominated their engagement and treated him like a child. Biscuit who was also there just chuckles and say they did fine. Orga eventually meets Mika and has one of their heart to hearts. Mika explains he’s terrified if he doesn’t become more useful Orga will abandon him. Orga just laughs and explain that because Tekkadon is a family that will never happen, leaving unsaid the implication that Orga and Mika are brothers.
As the episode closes Tekkadon and the crew of the Hammerhead approach the space base of the Teiwaz and their next challenge. Now as I said above despite the fact this episode was quieter than last weeks it was by no means bad. In fact after the ramp up and tension filled episode last week it was nice to have a rather calm episode. Where we as viewers can just spend time with these characters we’ve come to know. It’s also nice to know these dense children finally have figured out they’re not alone and are in fact a family. It’s just kind of hilarious it took a bigamous space Yakuza captain to tell them.
“The sustenance of life, is on the battlefield”