Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans – 35

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After a very obvious but enjoyable calm before the storm, the clouds roll in fast here, as tensions mount over the “mobile worker-like” discovery dug up in the mine. One look at it and you know it’s not something you necessarily want to switch on without taking certain precautions—if at all. But those handling it have no idea what it really is or what it was designed for – it’s just another potential asset to help Tekkadan become stronger.

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Not this time. This isn’t Barbatos. When McGillis hears (pretty damn late, if you ask me) about the relic Tekkadan dug up, along with the much larger machine still in the ground, he personally warns Orga to cease excavation immediately and not to activate what they already dug up. He also arranges for a secret in-person meeting with Orga on Mars.

McGillis has seen the old way of doing things – from afar, through delegation, etc. – and he wants to be a different kind of Gjallarhorn leader: one who looks his allies in the face, shakes their hands, and speaks with his own voice, out in the open.

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I never for a second thought Teiwaz’s #2 Jasley wouldn’t become another thorn in the side of Tekkadan. I just didn’t know he’d be such a big wrench in the works so quickly. Keeping a close eye on McGillis, he soon learns of the secret meeting, and leaks the intel to Rustal’s people. Why? Well, he doesn’t like the Tekkadan “punks”, and doing this disrupts their plans and throws Gjallarhorn into even more pitched infighting. It’s win-win, basically.

We don’t know Jasley well, and he’s a pretty broad character, but his motivations check out. He’s another one of the group of “cranky adults” in IBO who don’t like how these upstart kids are rising so fast. Even if Tekkadan wins the throne of Mars, Jasley is still Teiwaz’s #2, and Orga is still a punk in his eyes. He even thinks McMurdo, an “old man” a generation ahead of him, has gone soft for Tekkadan, and he doesn’t like it.

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Even with all the rising tensions, secret meetings and betrayals, there’s plenty of snapshots of ordinary life at Tekkadan, whether its at the maintenance bays, or mess hall, or in Kudelia’s office as she meets with Mika and Atra, with Hush tagging along so he can learn more about his new idol/master.

In this little scene, we see Mika’s reading has continued to improve, but he, Atra, and many other orphans still have no idea how to handle the money they earn, and have Kudelia manage it for them. Kudelia is an imminently trustworthy person with only their best interests at heart, but they’re still quite vulnerable to those who are less so. The key, Kudelia stresses, is education.

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I found myself a bit taken aback by the openness of McGillis’ meeting with Orga on Mars. It’s admirable for him to be mask-free and out in the open with Tekkadan, but considering Rustal is coming for him, perhaps a bit too careless. McGillis assumes no one knows he’s coming, unaware Jasley informed Rustal. But why not be more careful anyway?

Not only that, Orga’s best men accompany him and McGillis to the excavation site, but with no mobile suits backing them up. Now, we know the Mobile Armor that lies in the earth may be activated by mobile suits, but you’d think McGillis wouldn’t make himself a sitting duck for Iok so easily.

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When Iok and a brace of mobile suits land near the site, it’s because they believe McGillis is plotting to destroy what’s left of the mobile armor so he can receive the “Order of the Seven Stars” and rise to the first rank currently occupied by the headless Issue family. McGillis seems to scoff that off; but he can’t just be there as a sign of trust, solidarity, and transparency to Tekkadan, can he?

As such, Iok, like Jasley, has his information, and makes the conclusions he believes best fits: McGillis is starting a Gjallarhorn rebellion, and must be stopped. With mobile suits at his command and communication with Tekkadan HQ down, Iok is totally in charge…until his suits activate the mobile armor, which immediately shoots a giant energy beam into the sky – one of (if not the) first instance of such a beam in IBO.

This is, in effect, a game changer. We knew Tekkadan and McGillis had resentful adversaries to overcome. But this pteradactyl-like menace is a relic of the Calamity War that claimed hundreds of millions of lives, and it operates autonomously, a la the machines in The Matrix. Even the normally serene face of McGillis twists in oh-shittitude at its awakening. The storm is here. 

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Author: braverade

Hannah Brave is a staff writer for RABUJOI.

5 thoughts on “Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans – 35”

  1. Iok is such an idiot that it hurts. He doesn’t even know basic Gjallarhorn knowledge that an average soldier knows. What was he doing all his life?!
    His suit looks messed up next episode. Why did Rustal let him go alone knowing he was facing a mobile armor? Especially considering that its obvious he knows nothing about it?!

    All I can think of is that quote from Terminator when I see these MAs.:
    “It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop… ever, until you are dead!”

    These things are scary and it’s an interesting turn in that they are named after angels while the heroes named all the Gundams after demons.

    So these things destroyed humanity and civilization, but why? Who created them? Is there a Gundam Skynet in this universe?

    Seeing the guys so happy about being paid and yet many of them not knowing what to do with it was sad. Especially with Mika, who was wondering what he would do if all war were to cease.
    Of course the world will never be without conflict (sorry Kudelia!) and even if it were to lean that way it would take generations. So Mika shouldn’t worry. But I also think this is a good reason for why they should take over Gjallarhorn’s duties on Mars and be its protectors. It would give a place and job for those who basically grew up in fighting and know nothing else, while also giving opportunities for them to do other things as well. And while they would be risking their lives at times, it would be nothing like it is now.

    I’m sorry but Vidar has to be lying here. He knows McGillis better than this. He knows Macky cares squat about medals or titles. He wants power sure, but only as a means to an end. He’s never been interested in all the bells and whistles. Rustal should know this too. Iok’s too much of an idiot to realize this and Julietta doesn’t know McG that well. I wonder if Vidar said this to get Iok to go knowing the guy would bite it? Hmm, it is food for thought.

    It looks like Hush can’t pilot Hashmal (the huge pterodactyl like MA) either and Flauros is definitely out with that look, so I guess he’ll be having to stick to the Shiden for now.

    So what does this reactivation and reemergence of the MAs (Thanks Iok! ) mean for our story because I have the feeling that it’s going to change everything.

  2. Arguably, McGillis not bringing a full military party, complete with MS’s was more for plot convenience. But it does make sense, him bringing in large military assets like mobile suits would have actually aroused more suspicion than him acting like it was just a simple personal trip. Though, why he didn’t just use his Montag persona still does feel odd. This bit of carelessness does add a nice depth to Macky, though. It just showed that he can also be outmaneuvered at times.

    And I guess McGillis was more worried about accidentally activating that mobile armor than being unarmed in front of Iok’s mobile suit party. The MA seems to be designed as an MS killer, so McGillis, in a sense, has already unintentionally had his Iok problem taken care of for him.

    IBO suddenly introducing (or reintroducing?) beam weapons does feel a bit of a cop out from its supposed “no beam weapons” aesthetic. But man, that activation scene was downright horrifying . That beam even look more like a shot from the Wing Gundam Zero’s twin buster rifle at full charge than your typical short Star Wars-ish laser blasts. And considering how no-holds barred IBO has been so far in showing the horrible effects of conventional guns and swords MS combat, I don’t think they would be wearing kid gloves in showing the effects of beam weapons just to emphasize how much more terrifying these are.

    The MA’s intro also adds another layer to the story of the AV slaya Vijnana system. Now, Macky’s remarks about the pilots of the Gundam frames deciding to cast their own humanity and get the AV surgery makes even more sense, They needed to do that to fight on par with non-human killing machines. You just have to wonder just how crazed the faction that created the MA’s are to come up with such horrifying weapons.

    1. I actually like using beams in this way; as a sign of just how totally out of their depth they are and how horrifying their opponents are. Now, if by the end of the season freaking everyone has beam weapons then I will be annoyed.

  3. Tis a dragon for our young knights to slay methinks. The bean canon doesn’t feel to much like I copout since it is efectivly a nuclear doomsday wepon.

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