Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans – 40

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With the stage so ably set last week, all that was left for IBO was to put on a show. The final pieces to go into the mix? The excellent Akihiro and Shino, who are more concerned with how cool their callsigns should be than whether they’ll get Tekkadan labeled outlaws like the Turbines.

Just when Orga is at a loss about what to do, they enter his office and offer an alternative plan: they, along with Ride, will simply be testing out their booster systems when they come across the evacuating non-combatants at the Turbine’s relay base. They won’t fight Gjallarhorn, so everything should be fine.

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It’s a good-sounding plan, but everything does not turn out fine. Before everything turns to shit, we get a look at the feverish evacuation of the Turbine innocents as Naze empties the Hammerhead, ready to face the music himself. Watching the Arianhrod fleet bear down on them from the radar screen packs a lot more dread-punch than I thought.

Lafter and Azee are ordered to protect the civilians, leaving Amida to pilot her mobile suit alongside Naze in the ship. Becausde she knows and loves her man so much, Amida knows what’s going on here, and she’s not about to stay out of the coming action.

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If only Iok had stuck to procedure and not let his emotions drive his command. He ignores the Turbines’ white flag and orders the use of the illegal Dainsleif weapons against the transports, which should be some kind of war crime if anyone was (or could be trusted to) observe Iok’s actions (alas, Micky sits this one out, his hands tied).

It’s horrifying to watch the vulnerable transports get run through with the harpoons like whales full of innocent people; people who die in large numbers for no reason other than Iok’s realization of a grand and noble battle in which he makes no distinction between combatants and children. When he starts targeting the launches, he reaches a new nadir.

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Not everyone will be saved as Naze had hoped, but thanks to the timely arrival of the Akihiro cavalry, more lives are saved. I love how businesslike Akihiro is when he comes to Lafter’s side. The tide cannot be turned, but she still appreciates that he risked everything to come, and every little bit helps against a reckless, heartless, merciless foe like Iok.

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When Amida gets up close to Iok’s ship, she’s met by Julieta in Julia, and the two have an excellent fight in which Juli’s lack of experience is badly exposed. She may have the superior machine, but Amida essentially has her way with her. Not only can Juli not take Amida out, she doesn’t know why it’s so hard to fight her.

Amida gets free and sets a collision course for Iok’s flagship’s bridge, which he helpfully left out of combat mode. I really hoped the hubristic Iok and his reign of idiocy could have been wiped out; it might have been a step towards making all this slaughter not in vain. Alas, a Dainsleif spear stops Amida in her tracks, and her last shot only cracks the viewscreen.

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Now truly all alone, Naze tries desperately to finish what Amida started, and comes so tantalizingly close, only to bounce off the side of Iok’s ship, leaving the bridge unscathed, and crashing and destroying another ship along with his own. Seeing all the familiar places in the Hammerhead be consumed by flames awful to behold.

Is this the end of the battle? Not sure why Iok wouldn’t mop up what’s left of the Turbines, or why the forward mobile suits aren’t recognizing Tekkadan forces fighting them, which as Merribit said, could “crush” them. Perhaps Iok is satisfied and retreats before his screen cracks. In either case, plenty of damage is done.

Naze Turbine and Amida Arca are gone, and the Turbines are history. It’s a huge blow to everyone, and the tears flow accordingly. McMurdo promised he’d take care of Naze’s people (by placing them in groups under his direct control), but the lives of the survivors will never be the same. The episode doesn’t take any further steps to indicate what happens next, for first the dead must be mourned.

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Author: braverade

My name is Hannah Brave. Because I enjoy watching things explode (or at the very least moving very fast) I typically review anime in the action, adventure, space, and sci-fi genres, though not exclusively.

6 thoughts on “Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans – 40”

  1. This show is really good in building up one’s hate on some of the antagonists, particularly Jasley and Iok, Here’s hoping their eventual demise would be satisfying.

    I’m really surprised for Mika. Among all of the Tekkedan, he saw through the situation logically, not wanting to jeopardize the group’s future. He did not even suggested to Orga to save the Turbines even if that is what Orga wanted and go against Teiwaz’s wishes not to intervene. That job just happen fell to Akihiro and Shino (and to some extent, Ride) this time.

    1. Probably because Mika himself was aware that even he is powerless to stop the situation. He can’t even bring himself to comfort Atra when they learn of the news of the aftermath. All he can do was look away.

      It’s these moments of weakness that really humanizes Mika and bring above the typical “cold hearted ace pilot” archetype.

  2. One thing I have to laud IBO for is that it doesn’t kill off characters left and right like it was trying to reach some imaginary quota (amusingly, one odd complaint made by fans is that the series wasn’t killing off “enough” characters). Each character death is made meaningful than just being there for shock value.

    Now for this. Some fans likened Iok to Carta, but I beg to disagree.. Outside of the occasional stupidity, Carta at least had her code of honor (even her killing Biscuit is to be expected in the battlefield). Iok has none. The guy not only broke Gjallarhorn’s own treaty by using those Dainsleif weapons, but he pretty much committed massive human rights violations by using those weapons agains unarmed civilians. The guy has to pay at any cost.

    Also, based on the opening scene,, it seems that Naze also asked McMurrdo to give Tekkadan strict orders not to intervene. Looks like the Old Man will get the blame for supposedly not taking action.

    And man, Lafter’s line that “Turbines don’t cry” only for her to cry like a child at the end was just downright heartbreaking.

    Also, Mika’s face when he can’t comfort Atra crying for the Turbines. Never had the guy felt so powerless as this moment.

    1. Watching Iok flail around makes me long for Carta’s elaborate bridge pep rallies featuring rows of men who look suspiciously like McGillis…oh, and her code of honor.

  3. After getting a chance to calm down, all I can say is that that was one emotionally charged episode.
    I cried at the end, as the music, the visuals, the emotion was just so heavy.

    Iok is so low, he really doesn’t even deserve the Mika special. He needs something extra special. I’ve never seen a guy constantly wrack up war crimes like he has in such a short amount of time, and yet be a total moron. He uses banned weapons, ignores a plea for cease-fire, fires on unarmed non-coms, sends armed MSs against them despite the fact that they have nothing to defend themselves, ignores signals to surrender, destroys civilian ships AND then has his men even fire on the escape pods! Is there no bottom to your deprivation.
    In a way, this even makes him worse than pirate groups like the Brewers and Dawn Horizon, at least they would heed a surrender. They might take the people as slaves, but at least they would be alive.

    Naze and Amida went out like champs, they made their last stand and protected their family with all they had as the big mamma and papa of the group. Blazing in their glory, they will be supremely missed. I know that Naze told Orga to stay out of it, but I think he was seriously really happy that Orga tried to help anyway.

    But this brings us to Barriston. Again, I know why he made the decision he did, but I also really think he could have done more. All of the men he has at his desposal and he couldn’t get a small squad to go out there incognito and help Naze out. The guy was in no way guilty of anything, and yet, it feels a little bit that he was thrown under the bus.
    Orga is going to take this really hard, and while Mika didn’t really show much emotion, I think he was affected. But he was really more affected by what this was going to do to Orga.

    Also, in the PV Orga is sitting alone in a room again with a bit of a green tint. Is Mika going to have to have another “talk” with him about what they have to do now?

    And it looks like the AkiLafter ship is in full sail with poor Akihiro being a little befuddled when it comes to girls. I don’t blame him since he’s had literally no experience even communicating much with them, but hopefully this time after the funeral they can spend a little time together.

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