Mobile Suit Gundam Iron-Blooded Orphans: Episode 6

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“As For Them”

Sundays on Daisuki

Their original plans for going to Earth ruined, Tekkadan regroups and decides to try their luck with Teiwaz, an economic superpower located near Jupiter.

Iro’s thoughts

Aaaand we’re back to faffing about. I should have expected this after last week, but it’s still rather disappointing, especially since the back half of the episode has some actually good characterization. The first half, however, consists almost entirely of retreading exposition. We’ve heard almost all of this before, and in just as much detail, but the show still devotes time to explaining the Calamity War, Gundam Barbatos, the Alaya-Vijnana System, Earth-Mars political relations, and Ein’s crush on the late Crank Zent. It feels like Iron-Blooded Orphans is just padding for time, as though the staff knows they don’t have enough content to actually keep things interesting.

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Which is a pity, because as I said, there’s some legitimately good characterization going on. It even involves Mikazuki! Crazy, I know. The illiteracy of him and the other children is a solid way of drawing sympathy over their child soldier status, even though Mikazuki’s dream to become a simple farmer man is laughable. More effectively (albeit perhaps even more blatant) is the smaller children talking about how cool their Alaya-Vijnana prongs are and how they want to go through even more painful, life-threatening surgery so they can be like Mikazuki.

Orga steals the show this week, though. His candid conversation with Biscuit sheds a lot of light on his gung-ho behavior in general, and brings up even more comparisons between him and Mikazuki to Gurren Lagann‘s Kamina and Simon. Unlike GL‘s simpler, more honest relationship, Orga seems to be acting chiefly to soothe his own anxiety – at the cost of the safety of his men – while pawning the responsibility off on Mikazuki. It’s clear that Mikazuki himself is just unquestioningly going along with whatever Orga does out of loyalty, but Orga choosing to interpret that trust as a call to always follow the biggest and baddest path can only end in tragedy. I wasn’t sure until now, but I fully expect Orga to die around the show’s midpoint.

Next week looks like it’s going to introduce some new Mobile Suits and some of the mystery characters from the OP, so hopefully Iron-Blooded Orphans will pick up the pace a bit.

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Stuff

  • More circumstantial evidence that this show takes place in the post-UC:
    • Radar doesn’t function under “Ahab Wave” influence. Minovsky physics?
    • The Gundam originally planned to follow Victory Gundam – the show furthest along in the UC timeline – was to be about a conflict between Earth and Mars colonists. Also, it was called Polca Gundam (we got Mobile Fighter G Gundam instead, making the world a better place).
    • From what I know, a major power hanging around Jupiter is consistent with late-UC stories like Crossbone and Victory.
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3 thoughts on “Mobile Suit Gundam Iron-Blooded Orphans: Episode 6

  1. Man what a snooze fest. zzZZzzzZZZ
    I don’t mind characterization, it’s critical to good plot and story, but this show isn’t very apt at changing pace. And ya Orga is gonna bite it hard, and soon. During the whole Teiwaz part perhaps leaving Mikazuki and others to forge on to earth alone?

  2. I feel like I need to defend this show as I did find this episode enjoyable. The fighting scenes between the mechs is not really as enthralling for me as I would have expected, compared to watching the crew interact and bring up lore, which as a newbie to the Gundam universe is quite helpful.

    Again, perhaps this is my bias at play, because this feels like a Firefly with mecha to me rather than something from Gurren Lagann.

    • It’s unclear whether Iron-Blooded Orphans is part of the “main” UC Gundam timeline or if it’s an entirely alternate universe like Wing, G, or 00. It’s probably best to consider it the latter, if only because that means less baggage overall. Regardless, the amount of repeated exposition/lore in IBO is striking compared to the recent Reconguista in G, which is almost comical in how little concrete exposition it contains.

      At any rate, if you’re approaching any Gundam show besides G Gundam with Gurren Lagann as your benchmark, you ought to diversify your mecha references. They are more-or-less at opposite ends of the spectrum.

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