Mobile Suit Gundam Iron-Blooded Orphans: Episode 5


“Beyond the Red Sky”

Sundays on Daisuki

Tekkadan (FINALLY) launches into space, only to be betrayed by their ferrymen and attacked by Gjallarhorn.

Iro’s thoughts

Taken by itself, this was a pretty stellar episode, full of plenty of plot and action; the problem is that everything in it should have happened two weeks ago. 2, 3, and 4 could have been a single jammed episode, for all the faffing about that happens in them. I suppose this is a problem with anime in general: that it likes to spell everything out as overwhelmingly clearly as possible (except when it wants to stay ~mysterious~). So much time was devoted to Todo being a lying scumbag trying to get everyone else killed, but we didn’t need to see any of the build-up to that. His disposition is already hilariously over-the-top evil, and his reaction to being betrayed by Orcus tells us everything it needs to. The same could be said of Mikazuki’s relationship with Kudelia; she’s the only other person in the show besides Orga whom he’s offered his drugs candies Mars Palms (???) to, and their interactions the past two episodes have basically amounted to tediously blatant romance antics.


But hey, the space battle was pretty cool! As tired as I am of the show billing Mikazuki as some unstoppable ace, it’s Gundam tradition to have the Write Devil tear up mooks with relative impunity, and he does get his ass saved by Akihiro multiple times. Using physical weapons like the mace draws easy visceral reactions from the audience, especially combined with Mikazuki’s strategy of attacking the cockpits of enemy Mobile Suits directly. Orga also deserves some credit for pulling a textbook Okita Gambit with the ship’s anchors and a Mobile Worker. Ramming speed combined with a broadside barrage is always fun.

Alas, as great as this episode was, it feels like a trick just to get us to keep watching. The next episode preview looks like it’s going to go back to Iron-Blooded Orphans‘ usual MO of being slow and meandering for a while, with plenty of dumb love triangle stuff going on with Atra and Kudelia. Oh boy.



  • Crank Zent’s (former) Graze still has shoulder armor, so where did they get the extra ones for Barbatos?
  • Fareed “Chocolate Man” McGillis.
  • There is some implication this show takes place somewhere in the main Gundam timeline. To wit:
    • The map last week had a big hole where Sydney is. Infamously, that’s where Zeon dropped a space colony in the UC.
    • McGillis notes that Gundams have appeared at turning points throughout human history.
    • Minovsky Particles seem to still be present, since Mobile Suits apparently can’t speak to each other in space unless they’re in direct contact. On the other hand,  the show is wildly inconsistent about this, and there’s no way to tell when they are or aren’t just using speakers (although speakers shouldn’t work in space). Bleh.
      • IBO gunpla manuals mention “Ahab Particles”, and the suits all have “Ahab Reactors”. Pfffffffft.

3 thoughts on “Mobile Suit Gundam Iron-Blooded Orphans: Episode 5

    • Well, if you haven’t seen the cinematic masterpiece that is G Gundam, I can understand that mindset.

      In all seriousness, Iron Blooded Orphans has been fine so far, it’s just suffering from being compared to how normal shows pace their series with blinding speed.

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