Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans – 25 (Fin*)

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This episode marks the end of my Winter 2016, and it was a good one. In fact, it was a great one. The order of the final battles were all set, with no more surprises in store; all that was left was for everyone to have at it and see who comes out of the fray getting what they want.

Kudelia wants peace and equality for Mars; Orga wants to find, through the crucible of war, the place where Mika and Tekkadan belong. Henri and Iznario want to maintain their grip on power; McGillis wants to purge Gjallarhorn of the corruption and hypocrisy that brought about the crazed FrankenstEin monster.

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The actual battle between Mika and Ein is brutal and smashy, as has come to be the typical mobile suit battle style (even Ein doesn’t have any beam weapons or missiles, which is for the best). As for the personalities, Ein remains, well, crazy, while Mika keeps a casual calm, muttering fuel levels and tactics and generally ignoring Ein’s ranting.

Slightly more civilized in execution is the duel between McGillis and Gaelio, with the former landing swift and deadly strikes on the latter once Gaelio states he won’t let even a lifelong friend in McGillis get away with exploiting Ein the way he did.

While these final two mobile suit duels are going on, Makanai finally arrives at parliament. Was there any doubt once he got there that he wasn’t going to have any difficulty getting his way?

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When Orga receives the good news, he starts to be able to see the end he’ll make…but they’re not there quite yet, so he orders everyone to not die, warning them he’ll kill them again if they do.

As Henri and Iznario sweat, McGillis really gets into Ice Cold Mode, telling Gaelio such “soft-hearted emotions” as friendship, love, and trust Carta (who it’s confirmed has died) and Gaelio gave him won’t reach him, as he has “lived in anger.”

It’s an anger his two childhood friends were too busy trusting, loving, and even partially pitying him for not having been born to power as they were. McGillis took full advantage of their blind spots in using them to expose Gjallarhorn.

When he marries Almiria, he’ll become head of the Bauduin family, the Seven Stars, and the new, unblemished order. He admits to Gaelio that he was the only true friend he ever had, but sacrificing him was necessary for the good of the world.

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Ein’s constant ranting about making Mika repent for his sins really starts to grate, and it doesn’t help that Ein isn’t going down while Mika is running out of gas and ammo.

Back in Parliament, Makanai cedes his speaking time to Kudelia, knowing she’s more likely to deliver a speech that will rouse more members to their cause. She states her purpose for coming and the constant disruptions by Gjallarhorn, and asks the body to choose a future filled with hope.

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Mika, finally on his last nerve, hears Orga’s voice of support and finds his second (third?) wind, finally understanding how to use Barbatos, and proceeding to cut away at Ein’s mobile suit.

Ein calls him a monster, to which Mika dryly responds “Look who’s talking,” finally simply telling Ein to shut up by running his suit through the core. Mika’s never needed many words to get his point across, and achieves yet another badass victory by sticking to that M.O.

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Makanai wins re-election, cease-fire flares are fired, and the battle ends with Tekkadan the victor. Half-metal negotiations are opened, while Mika asks Orga at sunset if they’ve arrived at that place he’s always talking about. Orga affirms that they have, at least one of them, and Mika simply says “It’s pretty.”

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McGillis proceeds to send his father away to exile, then comforts his betrothed; he got everything he wanted out of this, but he still has much to do, and while he’s sitting pretty near the top of the food chain, he’s still not invulnerable.

To Merribit’s relief, after the battle the seeming death-and-revenge-obsessed kids…turn back into more-or-less regular kids/brats. They’re not doomed after all, but a lot tougher than she thought.

Laffter, Azee, and Shino are all fine. Orga meets with Naze and laments the men he lost, but Naze tells him that’s part of being a leader, and he can’t let it get to him. For his men to believe in him and his cause, he must believe in it too, no matter the cost.

Kudelia will be staying behind in Arbrau, but Atra still has the two of them console Mika, who’s lost the use of a hand and a partially ruined eye. And finally, after Orga congratulates Tekkadan for completing their first mission—escorting Kudelia to Earth—he turns around and asks Mika what they should do now, a nice mirror of the usual dynamic. Mika’s response: Let’s go home.

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*If it seems like this “final” episode left a lot of things on the table—no return to Mars, McGillis’ plan just getting off the ground; more observing and maneuvering by the parent companies—well, that’s because a new season has been announced, airing Fall 2016. We haven’t seen the last of the Iron-Blooded Orphans, and I’m not complaining.

Author: braverade

Hannah Brave is a staff writer for RABUJOI.

2 thoughts on “Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans – 25 (Fin*)”

  1. Oh my gosh, this series, this series. It has shot up to being probably one of my favorite Gundam series of all time.

    This ending was great. At first I was scared that Orga was going to do something stupid when he said he “was going to end this”. But when he went out there after having finally, finally completing the mission and told everyone to live and not die now that they had won, and for them to be survive. I just cheered.

    Gaelio and McGillis have the bittersweet story of the episode as McGillis explains his plan to push Tekkadan and Kudelia to the forefront as heroes against the monster that is Ein that Gjallerhorn created, which would disgrace his father and leave him in charge. But that’s only after he got rid of Carta and Gaelio. And unfortunately Gaelio is just realizing the betrayal and it hits him to the core how cold-blooded McGillis can be. I’m not sure if he’s dead since we didn’t see a body, but I wouldn’t doubt it since his family seem to acknowledge his death.

    McGillis is a case of a person who want to do the right thing but will do it by any means necessary, even if involves betrayal and murder. He’s a “the ends justify the means” sort of guy. But at least he acknowledges that Gaelio was his only friend.

    Mika was having a hard time with Ein, but when he mentioned that he was going to take out Kudelia and all his comrades, Mika put everything into overdrive. He gave it all he got and finally took out the insanity of Ein all together. I’m not sure if he’s dead, but we’ll see.

    Thankfully it seems everyone of importance made it out okay. Shino, Lafter, and even Azee are all okay. Ride is back together. Everyone is ready to return home.
    Kudelia makes an awesome speech, and she has decided to stay on Earth as her job has just begun. We get a cute Mika/Atra moment when he tell her how her bracelet saved his other arm. It’s sad that he lost the use of his right arm and eye, but he doesn’t seem to care much, as long as he’s still useful using the AV system.

    Orga gets encouragement from Naze and he gives his men a rousing speech telling them how well they did. It actually never occured to me that the whole “this is wrong” issue from the last two episodes, was actually more about the Orga himself and if he was willing to give the order that might cost people their lives, if the situation called for it. It wasn’t until Naze brought all the way back around again from the beginning that I realized that Orga had to order them to be decoys just like the 1st group of CGS once did, However, unlike their old bosses, he wasn’t going to run away and fought right beside them. Even when he was relitively safe, he went back to where his men were. All of Merribit’s words just served as obstacles, as the vocal manifestations of self doubts that Orga had in himself and that he had to overcome in order to be the leader that Tekkadan needed.

    As for Merribit herself, she is beginning to understand that the kids are in this weird balance between soldier and child and that once the fighting is over, they go back to being children like before. It’s almost like a switch they throw. Almost like real soldier who are able to go back and forth from military mode to civilian mode, the only difference being that these are kids.

    The Orga/Mika bromance is alive and well, and for once, he decides to ask Mika “what do we do now?” and Mika doesn’t hesitate to give an answer. It’s time to go home.

    And thus season 1 ends. Yes! WE ARE GETTING A SEASON 2 CONFIRMED! And it’s arriving much sooner than I thought! I’m so excited to be seeing our boys so soon. This series has been amazing to me, and I love all these characters. I can’t wait to see what is up for us coming this Fall!

    This series for me gets a score of 9.5/10. The characters were great, the relationships were wonderful to see, and the series had some really good themes about war and child soldiers. It had some hiccup moments here and there and a few pacing issues, but that can be easily ironed out now that it has a new season. I enjoyed IBO from start to finish and I can’t wait for the next chapter in their story.

  2. One thing that I really like about this series, or this season at least, is that, while it gradually builds up its larger scale setting in the background, it never forgot that it is first and foremost the small scale of Tekkadan and their journey. It really gave the series that personal touch that a lot of the entries in the franchise honestly lacked. And it is a good foundation for the larger conflicts that are set to unfold in season 2.

    I also like the fact that the series didn’t throw in a cliffhanger, instead closing this season and its conflicts properly. Kudelia handing Mika his homework is a nice reminder that, despite his ace pilot status, he is still very much a simple guy. This has the added “bonus” of making the injuries he sustained in that battle (a nearly blinded left eye and a paralyzed left arm) all the more heartbreaking. (waaaay more heartbreaking than Inaho Stu getting shot in the eye. Hopefully Mika doesn’t get a magic cyborg eye in the next season), hehehehe!). And Orga being the one to ask this time around what they should do next is a wonderful touch.

    As for what to expect for S2, I am interested to see how Tekkadan fares now that they have something much larger at hand. It was revealed that the Arbrau government hired them as military consultants. Orga certainly is going to have more responsibilities now. There is also Chocolate McLolicon Fareed and his plans (which, despite that lighthearted nickname, I am still wholly interested in).

    And, since they have slowly unraveled the true horror of the Alaya Vijnana syste,m, I hope they give us at least a glimpse of the story of the Gundam frames’ original pilots and how they sacrified their humanity through the system. Of course, that would hopefully connect with the near loss of humanity the Tekkadan boys are experiencing. I won’t be surprised if we get to see more Graze FrankenstEins next season.

    Also, hopefully we get to really see more of Mika’s and Orga’s backstories. I am really intrigued as to who named Mikazuki as such. It is likely a stretch, but I won’t be surprised if it would also be revealed that Mika is himself a lost descendant of one of the 72 original pilots, though I would actually prefer if he isn’t.

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