“The death of a beloved is an amputation”. This quote from C.S. Lewis might as well be the theme of these later episodes of Iron-Blooded Orphans as following this episode we have moved so fast in a way I did not expect. In fact I’m still shell shocked writing this right now. I normally don’t do these much anymore as most of you know what you are getting; however if you have not watched Episode 41 yet turn this off now and WATCH IT.
As the episode opens the internal disagreements within Teiwaz are starting to show. As Jasley Donomikols has moved to fill the void left by Naze’s untimely passing - of which lets not forget Jasley had a not so insignificant part in orchestrating out of his profound jealousy and insecurities visa vie Tekkadan and the Turbines.
Continuing to show how fundamentally classless even in victory he is. The man crashes the funeral for Naze and Amida. Which was held at the home of the leader of Teiwaz, due to him and Naze being particularly close. While there Jasley proceeds to insult and act boorishly towards everyone involved as if drunk, though he’s not - just a heel. It’s only with great restraint that Orga does not deck the man.
Although Teiwaz has promised to take care of the Turbines women Azee has a different plan in mind. To join Tekkadan, as they are always in need of good fighters. Of course this would also involve Lafter and Akihiro being close to each other, a not so insignificant thought in Azee’s reasoning. Knowing it was Amida’s wish that Lafter be happy even following their deaths. As we see in a flashback.
Out in space an emboldened Idiok is meeting with Rustal for the first time since his solo mission. While it’s clear the dumb peacock is satisfied with himself, it is also clear Ellion is not. As McGillis is now investigating the Dainsleif weapons that Idiok used to subdue the Hammerhead. This is of course a headache for Ellion as those weapons have the issue of being highly illegal. Despite keeping clam the quiet intensity of Rustal Ellions words shows Idiok may need to think twice before freelancing again.
Following the “Deputy Bosses Orders” in a great show of brodom, Akihiro takes Lafter out for a night on the town. Although about as dense when it comes to women as Mikazuki Lafter quickly opens up about her past in a flashback. This is of course a horrible sign for my beloved ship LafterHiro as a second flashback in a single episode is as sure a death flag as any in Iron-Blooded Orphans. However following the scene Lafter gives Akihiro the promised squeeze from last episode in a surprisingly cute moment for the two of them.
However as they part the lingering shots on Lafter as she reflects on how the her love of Akihiro feels different from the love she felt for Naze and Amida. It’s becoming clear something must be happening in the near future. However if that wasn’t enough before the mid-episode title card her final word was “Goodbye”. Oh crap...
Despite the ending of the funeral its clear right now Naze’s spirit and words looms over Orga and the rest of Tekkadan. Reflecting on his greatest lesson he learned from his Aniki Orga understands the love and pain that comes from having your subordinates as your family. It was a touching moment with a charter we have not seen too much from recently, although with future events quickly coming its clear the head of Tekkadan is going to move into action soon.
Continuing with the odd tonal shifts of the episode we move to Mika and Atra who have been spending a lot of time with the Turbines babies. Continuing to talk about the subject Mika brings up Atra’s plan of making one of their own - though its pretty clear Mika likely does not understand the actual mechanic involved. This of course causes Atra to burn red in the face and rush out of the cargo hold.
Back to Lafter following her meeting with Akihiro it’s clear the young woman is happy and on cloud nine. As she looks at a stuffed bear, perhaps a gift for Akihiro or herself we don’t know. She is mercilessly gunned down by a man in a suit. Azee quickly rushes to the scene to find the dead body of her best friend.
This scene struck me in a such a profound way it sent shivers through my body. The first was Lafter was such a strong character, easily the strongest of the female pilots - to take her out outside of her Suit is just a shame. By killing her in cold blood, with no chance to respond they robbed a warrior of a warriors death.
While Naze and Amida as the opening narration stated “Died beautifully” Lafters death was completely and totally senseless. It was an ugly death. Furthermore based on how Iron-Blooded Orphans has operated in the past it was completely shocking, this wasn’t the episode where anyone was supposed to die. It wasn’t like last week when it wasn’t if somebody was going to die, but who was going to die. Here this was literally a shot from the dark, Lafter likely didn’t even know who did it.
Furthermore it reinforces the mafia nature of Teiwaz and the kind of people Tekkadan is now dealing with, without the protection Naze afforded them. Lafters death is tragic because it’s pointless, there was no point to it other then to send a message about the weakness of women led organization. Lafter wasn’t some big geopolitical threat like Orga, no Lafter was just a girl giddy in love.
As the reality of Lafters death sinks in Tekkadan is outraged. Demanding vengeance with a grim as death Akihiro demanding to Orga “Give the order”. Conversing with McGillis, Orga starts putting all the pieces together including the relationship between Idiok and Jasley. McGillis furthermore promises to aid Tekkadan, however Orga worries if McGillis will still aid them in their weakened state. McGillis promises to aid them until the end remaining in his Zeta Char appearance for now.
As the episode comes to a close we see why the Barbatos was kept from last episodes battle. The engineers weren’t just repairing it, they were upgrading it becoming the Barbatos Lupis Rex - meaning “King”. With the new machine Mikazuki asks for orders, Orga has a simple response “crush them all”.
I think I’ve dealt with the majority of the themes of the episode already and honestly I don’t really want to go with them. As Lafter was one of my favorite characters in the series along with Orga and Naze, so ya... worry about Orga next. Funny enough this is what I’ve always complained about Iron-Blooded Orphans being afraid to do, to pull the trigger as it were.
This is leading me to believe that Iron-Blooded Orphans may move into a Victory or Zeta footing for these last few episodes of the season (is this the series I still want to know...). Interesting the death reminded me strongly of Shirley’s death in Sunrises classic Code Geass R2 was both were so random and occurred when both characters were feeling emotional highs. All around this is going to be one of those episodes we get to on a rewatch and I’ll think “lets get this over with”.
“The sustenance of life, is on the battlefield”
I really don’t think I need to explain why this is up here today. I put in Death Gundam Songs and this one came up. Seems fitting after the last two weeks we have had isn’t it?