Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans – 37

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While Vidar’s showdown with McGillis and Isurugi is merely a tease, the continuing battle against Hashmal is most certainly not, as it enters — and is not quite resolved in — its second episode.

Just when we thought Mika and Akihiro would be able to take care of it with their badassery, their A-J systems enter “Safe Mode” and their Gundams are paralyzed at the worst possible time – with the city of Chryse in Hashmal’s manic crosshairs.

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We haven’t known Master Iok long, but it’s clear despite his age, he’s just another know-nothing Gjallarhorn aristocrat completely divorced from all good sense and competence.

I gained a lot of love for Julieta for being so utterly disgusted by her so-called superior, that she doesn’t even allow him to get himself killed, as even death is “no cure for his stupidity.”

Iok may be obsessing over his fallen men, but he’s also responsible for the deaths of all the civilians at the agra plant. Julieta sees to it he’ll live to answer for those deaths.

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This is a thrilling, stomping, unrelenting episode, where all the chaos unfolding threatening to spin everything we know out of control. From his makeshift command post Orga is only just keeping his and Tekkadan’s head above the surging waters of Hashmality.

With his two strongest pilots out of the picture until further notice (Zak reveals hidden knowledge by figuring out what the issue was, if not an immediate solution), he must unleash Shino (and a reluctant Yanagi in close quarters) and the new Flauros, which transforms into a wicked gun emplacement.

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Orga must swallow his and his organization’s pride (so it can live another day, tarnished rep or no) by asking McGillis and Isurugi to assist. One of Iok’s quieter crimes of late was planting the Seven Stars seed in Macky’s head; now all of a sudden he wants to grab glory while saving his partners’ butts.

But he very nearly bites off more than he can chew as Hashmal gets the better of him. Even McGillis is not immune to the insidious arrogance a Gjallarhorn uniform infuses in its wearer; combine that with Macky’s belief that history is on his side, and he nearly gets himself killed by insisting on sharing the front lines with his underlings.

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Orga wants to keep Mika out of the fighiting, lest another “Edmonton” occur, but Mika manages to convince Orga to let him go, remove Barbatos’ limiter, save Macky (and a foolhardy Ride), and fight Hashmal head-on, no matter what (further) damage it might do to his body. His logic is simple, as things tend to be with Mika: he only has a life at all because of Orga. Mika has to give him his all. It’s not a question.

Kudelia and Atra sit in Kudelia’s office in Chryse, confident Mika will keep them safe and come back, like he always does. But his arm sling has been a constant reminder that Mika hasn’t been 100% since Edmonton, and his use of Barbatos against Hashmal means he’ll leave a lot more behind on the battlefield when – or even if – he returns, as they hope he will.

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Author: braverade

Hannah Brave is a staff writer for RABUJOI.

3 thoughts on “Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans – 37”

  1. That whole Flauros Galaxy Cannon scene was downright awesome . Man, Shino does seem to live in the wrong universe. And I really like how this played out as a large scale team effort, with the minor characters like Chad and Ride showing how capable they are.

    But that whole reveal about the AV limiters just makes the Gundam frames all the more horrifying machines. It does make sense that these machines would go all out against MA’s since that is what they are designed for., but it means that the pilots themselves has to be more than willing to go all out too for that mission. You just have to wonder how much the original 72 gundam pilots had to bet on their lives to end the Calamity war (I honestly hope that Sunrise actually makes a prequel story about that).

    Looks like Mika isn’t going to get out of this battled unscathed. And this is just the end of of the first half. I relly now fear what will happen to him by the end of the series.

  2. As they did with the first season, they once again fill the whole cast with so many death flags that it’s actively impossible to figure out who is most likely to die while at the same time giving every viewer the ability after the fact to say “I knew it all along that Orga was going to die, didn’t you notice the flags?”

    Mika, as usual, has the most. Though obviously he won’t die in the next episode, I do think it’s becoming apparent that it would be useful to know just what happened Agnika since Mika seems to be reliving his life.

    That said, I’m really enjoying the mobile armor as a villain and I wouldn’t mind it if more pop up and become the main crucible that tests the various factions. Because this series has always been more about how the factions and the setting interact than who the actual villains are, with Gjallarhorn coming off more as incompetent but well-funded than a true threat. The mobile armors (and through them potential restart of the calamity war) provide an interesting foil for ALL the various factions, from tekkadan to the two sides of Gjallarhorn to potentially Teiwaz as well. It becomes less about these factions fighting each other (which is never where this series has shined) and more about whose beliefs and capabilities will let them come out standing on top.

    Fareed continues to be a fascinating character, with both Vidar’s words about him riding his dead/betrayed friend’s machine and his own actions of trying to put Tekkadan back in their place reminding us that despite his benevolent actions so far this season, he’s still an absolute X-factor in terms of where his place in the narrative will fall, hero or villain or something else.

    1. That said, I’m really enjoying the mobile armor as a villain and I wouldn’t mind it if more pop up and become the main crucible that tests the various factions. Because this series has always been more about how the factions and the setting interact than who the actual villains are, with Gjallarhorn coming off more as incompetent but well-funded than a true threat. The mobile armors (and through them potential restart of the calamity war) provide an interesting foil for ALL the various factions, from tekkadan to the two sides of Gjallarhorn to potentially Teiwaz as well. It becomes less about these factions fighting each other (which is never where this series has shined) and more about whose beliefs and capabilities will let them come out standing on top.

      I agree with your assessment. IBO’s story is a breath of fresh air from the typical “Feddie vs. Zeon” Gundam template.

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