Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans – 17

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As news of the failed uprising on Dort 3 spreads, other Dort colonies’ workers mobilize for war, just as the “Regulatory Bureau” intended. Those workers soon discover their weapons have been rendered useless and the main Arianrhod fleet lies in wait just beyond the colonies to mop up. All Tekkadan can do is watch it all on TV in the space port.

That is, until Kudelia makes a bold decision that changes the course of every iron-blooded orphan under her employ, as well as her own. She can’t retreat and continue on to Earth after witnessing all this. She’s done running; she’s going to become the hope these downtrodden people need. And she’s issuing new orders for Tekkadan to assist her.

It’s been a long time coming, but now that Kudelia fully understands what’s going on, she is compelled to act.

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In a stroke of luck, the crack Dort news team that has been covering the uprising and subsequent bombings is ordered to cease their reporting by the Reg Bureau, determining the reports are not conducive to maintaining public peace and calm.

The news team isn’t particularly okay with that, so when they spot some “workers” sneaking around, suddenly Kudelia and Tekkadan have exactly what they need: a means off the colony, and a means to get her voice out there, to both the workers and masters everywhere.

Orga informs Naze of the change of orders, and while the Turbines can get involved, they give Tekkadan their blessing, and Akihito sorties in his recently-finished Gundam. The Isaribi sends Barbatos out for Mika, who EVAs out alone to meet it.

Naze seems frustrated that he’s so “soft” on Tekkadan, but also that he can’t join such an interesting and noble battle. Mika remarks how amazing Kudelia is, and he’s frustrated too – perhaps he feels he hasn’t done enough yet (even though, let’s face it, he’s done plenty to be called amazing himself).

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Mika stops some of the helpless workers from getting massacred, but is soon challenged by Gaelio and Ein, the former piloting his shiny family heirloom, Gundam Kimaris, which McGillis recognizes, observing the battle from the bridge of his own ship.

Like Barbatos and Gusion, Kimaris has no beam weapons, and is armed with a good old-fashioned spear with which to crunch into his foes. Kimaris is very fast, sometimes overwhelmingly so, but it’s not a game-changer; the combat here remains wonderfully primitive and visceral.

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When Gaelio and Ein notice Mika’s true intent – to shield the news launch – I felt a quick pang of Flay-end-itis, but the Isaribi meets the launch and the crew make it back safe and sound. Akihito and Shino join Mika in battling Gaelio, Ein, and the other Gjallarhorn forces, with Shino re-naming Crank’s Graze “Ryusei-go”, which raises the eyebrows of the mechanics in a funny little aside.

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Mika comes close to taking out Gaelio, but Ein shields him with his own suit, getting damaged in the process. With the main fleet closing in, Gaelio and Ein retreat as their “further intervention will become a problem.” As all this is going on outside, Kudelia Aina Bernstein, Maiden of the Revolution, dons her own armor – her stately red dress.

After contacting Nobliss Gordon (a move that intrigues him greatly), she begins to broadcast using the news team’s camera and feed signal, to tell everyone out there what’s really going on in the Dort Colonies. If she’s to have any credibility on Earth or Mars, she must own the fact that she was here when everything started to boil over, and shed a light on what’s going on.

With her decision to take up the mantle of authority bestowed to her by the powers that be and actually run with it, Kudelia may have just proven to Nobliss she has the potential to becomes something more than a pawn in a plot, and thus is worth more to his goals alive, even if it’s just to continue to be surprised and entertained by what he observes.

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Author: braverade

Hannah Brave is a staff writer for RABUJOI.

7 thoughts on “Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans – 17”

  1. Heh, looks like McMurdo didn’t betray them after all, and did my second option like Kudelia did to offer to bury the hatchet with Nobliss and work together. I still hope Nobliss does get what’s coming to him in the end but for now the greater good demands some compromise.

  2. So, the whole Dort rebellion was a giant false flag operation set up by Gjallarhorn to quell dissidents. Interesting, I know one real world country that’s fond of that tactic ;)

    Going through other review sites, what I find perplexing and somewhat amusing is that some viewers actually deride Kudelia as being a useless plot device and empty character just because she isn’t that charismatic or an active player for much of the previous episodes, when that was in fact the whole point of her narrative. While she does have lofty goals, she was merely viewed by the larger political players as a mere puppet/figurehead for what is essentially a small-scale movement in a backwater colony that is, in turn, just a cog in these players’ bigger schemes.

    What more, unlike other Gundam “princesses” that had large political power right from the beginning, she actually has to gradually earn that a mere figurehead to truly become the larger than life persona that the big players crafted around her as part of their propaganda. And as I have said last week, her being the series’ central point of view character (as opposed to central character), presents an interesting insight on that transition.

    1. I’m afraid to even ask, but what random conspiracy theory/nation are you referring to?

      That aside, I agree entirely on Kudelia. People don’t seem to get that this show is very clearly going down a kind of ‘game of thrones’ route where there are a relatively large number of important characters and sometimes seemingly important protagonists are simply not important for a while, or in the case of Kudelia the very fact that she doesn’t live up to her role is the story. If she HAD been living up to her role from episode 1, that would have been a very different show.

      That aside, I believe it’s confirmed there’s going to be a season 2, so yay!

      1. I don’t want to get in trouble with the CIA *wink* *wink*. (though there is actually a lot of documentation regarding the US’ false flag operations similar to this one).

        Yeah, I agree with Kudelia. I think that, rather than being an example of the standard Gundam princess archetype, she is actually a deconstruction of the concept., what with all her flaws and weaknesses.

        As for the supposed second season, there is no official confirmation yet, just rumors. But with the amount of intrigue they are pouring in (what are Nobliss’ plans? what are McGillis’ true plans?) , I am crossing myt fingers for one. The amount of episodes left doesn’t feel like it would be enough to cover all that. And of course, they still have to show more of the 26 existing Gundam frames (and cash in on them).

      2. Okay, so conspiracy theories. Gotcha.

        Guess you’re right on the second season. I randomly saw it mentioned in multiple places and just assumed people were saying something they’d seen or read (I don’t really follow anime ‘news’). That’s sad. Hopefully they do make a second season. It really feels like the pacing requires it but it’s POSSIBLE they could basically just use the next 10 episodes to have a couple of skirmishes leading to a big final fight rather than a larger, longer war. However, that would be sad. It’s a good show. I want more.

      3. I’ll second/third the desire for a second season. Seed got one, 00 got one, and I’ve liked IBO better than either. Few shows have a cast or world big enough to sustain a 50 episode run, but IBO is one of them, so I hope it gets it.

  3. It’s fairly predictable that Kudelia would decide to embrace “hope” after last episode, but I am surprised at how quickly she made this decision and how resourceful she is.

    I really hope she will keep being nimble and smart moving forward. I also hope Mika and co. can keep protecting her in the next bit.

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