Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans – 41

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A funeral service was a given in the aftermath of the battle between Kujan (via Jasley) and the Turbines, resulting in the sacrifice of Naze and Amida. Jasley showing up in his usual pimp outfit to essentially gloat about his rival’s death?

That’s entering a whole new level of scumbaggery, and Jasley doesn’t stop escalating, intent as he is on getting Tekkadan to strike first so he can put them down, along with their last Teiwaz patron, McMurdo.

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But first, Lafter has a choice: McMurdo follows through with putting Naze’s all-female crew under his protection, but it looks like whatever role Lafter will play, it won’t involve a mobile suit. Azee tells her what Amida said about finding someone all her own whom she loves (Akihiro) and how she wanted Lafter to be happy, even if it meant “leaving the nest”.

In one of the better scenes of the series, we finally get Akihiro and Lafter sharing a drink, and finding out just how much in common they both have, having begun life in the darkness but being given second chances at freedom and self-determination. Naze and Amida were Lafter’s saviors; Orga and Tekkadan were Akihiro’s.

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But ultimately the Turbines are Lafter’s family, and as much sense as it would make to go with Akihiro, her place is with that family, so she gives Akihiro a big hug and the two part ways, hopeful they’ll cross paths sometime in the future.

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Last week, Lafter and Azee were “spared” from being among the casualties of Kujan’s completely illegal operation (which Rustal seems to chastise him for this week, if not condemn). Turns out the show was merely saving them for more torture in the very next episode.

When neither the operation nor his attempts to provoke Orga work, Jasley has one of his thugs gun Lafter down while she’s looking at teddy bears. I’m not saying IBO is often the subtlest of shows, but the emotional manipulation here was jacked up to 11.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m heartbroken and furious Lafter’s dead, but she was murdered on the orders of a one-dimensional character in a telegraphed and mawkish manner that bordered on silly. She deserved far better, more significant death. Of course, that’s probably the whole point.

At least Kujan can be somewhat excused for being a rich spoiled brat with delusions of grandeur that are too often affirmed; Jasley is just So Very Evil it’s a bit boring. Of course we want our girls and boys to avenge her by any means necessary, but IBO succeeds best when its antagonists are complex, not foregone conclusions.

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Take McGillis, who throughout these forty-one episodes has always seemed like he’s hiding something from someone. We’ve come to trust him more and more as Orga has, and to see him reaffirm his dedication to backing Tekkadan up after devastated Orga tells him they’re probably going to have to go to war with Teiwaz, it was both reassuring and added to the overall tension. He’s relying on Tekkadan as much as they on him now. Their victories are his victories, and vice-versa.

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Mika was more silent than usual last week, limiting his interaction with Orga to a couple of his classic “looks”. This week, while watching some Turbine babies while their moms attend Naze’s funeral, Mika spends some time with little ones, and the topic comes up with Atra, resulting in Mika stating without equivocation (or embarrassment) that if she’ll have him, he wouldn’t mind making a little scamp with her.

That’s all well and good, apparently, because Mika doesn’t think like Orga or McGillis. He doesn’t allow himself to feel the doubt they feel. It’s not a matter of “will I be able to be useful to Orga” to Mika, but “how far should I go?” Orga answers in a way Mika seems to appreciate: “all the way.”

Now, hopefully, we can look forward to some righteous vengeance being carried out on behalf of Naze, Amida, Lafter, and all the others whose lives Jasley, Iok, and their ilk have devastated. But it won’t change the fact that the damage is done, and there will be a steep cost for revenge as well.

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Author: braverade

Hannah Brave is a staff writer for RABUJOI.

12 thoughts on “Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans – 41”

  1. Don’t get me wrong: I’m heartbroken and furious Lafter’s dead, but she was murdered on the orders of a one-dimensional character.

    You could always think of Jasley as an insecure man who soon found his hard-earned position now being threatened by a bunch of upstarts and that he was a victim of favoritism.

    Though I wasn’t really bothered by his one-dimensionality largely because he has been more like a plot device (like Coral or Galan) rather than major villain. Also, the twist was so well-executed that II really can’t fault that part. Props to Sachi Kokuryu (Azee’s VA) too. That blood-curdling scream really drove home the intention of that whole scene.

    1. Between already being on borrowed time after surviving last week’s fiasco, the encouraging meeting with McMurdo and her goodbye to Akihiro, it stood to reason Lafter’s days or even hours were numbered.

      When Azee “went back to get something” I knew right then and there Lafter was toast. But for it to go down in the freaking teddy bear store, complete with blood-soaked teddy with Akihiro eyebrows, was gratuitous in the extreme.

      It’s pretty much what happened to McBain’s partner:

      I get where you’re coming from with Jasley, but when this one plot device of a character can wreak so much havoc, it starts to make him look invincible and Tekkadan foolish. But knowing IBO, his string of victories is sure to end at some point, so I’ll be patient.

      1. Oh, retribution will be quick. Those ginormous hands on the Barbatos Lupus Rex (I like how Orga “fourth walled” and pointed out how ridiculously long these Gundam names are becoming) aren’t just for show, hehehe!

  2. This and last week felt like conventional Gundam to me. Heck, everything Iok feels like RETRO Gundam. Mustache twirling villains who are essentially useless (and not even competent) but plot device plot device until someone kills them. Without Mika and Orga, and the good will setup by the first season’s first half brutality, I would probably have lost interest by now.

    1. Somehow, Jasley resisted the urge to blow a cloud of cigar smoke in the tear-streaked faces of Naze’s grieving family, before putting the butt out on the casket.

  3. Are you guys really criticizing the show for Jasley’s evil-ness? Why? Teiwaz is mafia. It’s practically a nest of scum albeit some members aren’t all that bad and still believe in morals and blessed with principles. But it doesn’t change the fact that it’s a crime organization filled with…….well, criminals. And not all of them have hearts of gold like Barriston or Merribit or Naze. Heck, Tekkadan was lucky to have good people like Merri & the Turbines coming from a crime conglomerate helping them. The point is, Jasley being an insecure greedy scum is very natural for the setting. Even The Godfather movies have characters like him doing scummy things not unlike what they did to Lafter here. And those are two of Oscar’s best pictures of all time.

    1. Having a bad guy as over-the-top as Jasley around may not be out of place in the setting, but it cheapens the drama. He’s an irredeemably Bad Dude with no other “sides” we know of, so no legwork has to be done on the part of the audience to root for his swift demise, nor does any significant moral sacrifice have to be made on the part of the heroes. Getting rid of him is the right thing to do, and so off they go. I’m sure the resulting dispensing of revenge will be well-executed and reasonably satisfying (note this episode still got a 9), but IBO is at its best when it’s dealing in shades of grey; Jasley vs. Tekkadan is too black-and-white.

      1. Cheapens the drama? Hmm….

        Busting Jasley’s ass in and of itself is indeed an easy decision because he is the douche of this series, but I don’t think the main conflict is about that. In order to get to Jasley, Tekkadan risks of severing ties with Teiwaz that will rob them of all the facilities they have been getting so far and possibly even make enemies of them. That’s a really tough call. And also to say goodbye or even oppose those in Teiwaz who have been kind to Tekkadan like Barriston and and the old mechanic man from Saisei. Not to mention possible escalating trouble for the remaining Turbine women.

        In fact, if people want a good representation of drama in this episode, just watch Orga and all the mounting pressure on him and his reactions. I don’t think Jasley being a simple ass cheapens the drama at all, It arguably added to it because that’s just how mafia works.

      2. Sure, but I still think the drama would be enriched if Jasley was a more compelling opponent; if there was something, anything more to him than “Evil Greedy Mafioso.” Richer characters on both sides of the conflict = richer drama.

        File that wish under “Would’ve been nice, but not absolutely necessary, and certainly not show-ruining.”

      3. I see what you’re saying, But I also think that if you have too many nuanced, ambiguous antagonists it would get way too crowded and you would never be able to develop them all well. You sometimes need to have a character that just an all and out jerk, an irredeemable piece of crap that we can just enjoy to hate. It allows us to space things out, from the fun to the heavy stuff. It’s all about balance.
        Actually, IBO has a nice mix of all kinds of villains. You have the sadistic jerks like the Brewers. You have the plotting evil politicians like Iznario. You have the arrogant, prejudice, rich manchildren that selfishly destroys lives for their own sense of self importance in Iok. You have jealous egotists who have become drunk on power like Jasley. Also, you actually have three nuanced antagonists in this series that I really think they are more than enough, in McGillis, Rustal, and Vidar. McGillis is the one who always keeps you guessing. You’re not actually sure what he’s going to do, because he straddles the line and might actually be an anti-hero rather than a villain. But even in that, you’re not totally sure. Rustal, you know does horrible things, but he has his own set of morals and codes and he’s quite human the more you get to see him. Vidar is the fallen knight, who lost his innocence and fell into hate. And yet, you see a spark in him that might cause him to forgive.
        I think those three are enough. Not all villains have to be deep characters. Sometimes, you need your Snidely Whiplashs alongside your Darth Vaders.

      4. Well, it’s Gundam; it’s always going to be crowded no matter what. I agree with your points about a need for balance and with IBO’s diverse array of baddies, but Jasley is the least interesting of the bunch, and he’s occupying too much of the series’ limited remaining time.

        I can get villains like Jasley anywhere. IBO is better than this. The sooner he’s gone, the happier I’ll be, not because I hate him, but because he’s boring.

  4. This episode was very crushing, I was watching it on TV and I began seeing the flags coming and kept saying. “No, please don’t do this. Please, not her.” And even with all the flags, it still hit me like a ton of bricks when it actually happened. Jasley in one move made himself actually more hated than Idiok.

    I actually thought McMurdo had more power than this and was stronger than that. But it seems that Jasley has strongarmed him here and that the Turbine girls are actually in jeopardy of being given over to that piece of crap because of Jasley’s political, murderous movements.

    I feel horribly for Orga, he’s stuck in such a really hard place. He had a huge jolt with Naze and Amida’s loss and the fact that his older brother figure sacrificed himself so that Orga could accomplish his dream for Tekkadan. And it had to hurt like hell to not go after Jasley when he knew that he was responsible. It gets to the point that now he knows he’s going to lose Teiwaz as an ally to which basically takes them back to as they were way back in the beginning of season one. He’s become so depressed that he’s lost much of his self-confidence, which we saw when he talked to McGillis and was basically indirectly pleading for him not to walk away too. And yet, in a way, I think this is a good thing. I think that eventually, if Tekkadan was ever to become the rulers of Mars, they were going to have to step from out of Teiwaz and Naze’s shadow. They had to spread their wings and soar like eagle. It’s going to hurt a bit at first, but it will also allow them to grow like they never had before.

    Naze himself had his own faults. He had way too little ambition, and I think it eventually cost him. He should have long taken care of Jasley instead of just letting it go time and time again. He should have had a plan in place for his family if something happened to him or a situation like what just happened occurred. He, was in a way, too blase and too laid back to a fault, and I think the girls and Lafter paid for it.

    As for Orga, some are thinking that he’s making a big mistake here. But I think Orga is making the right decision here, in at least in a situation such as this.

    It’s unfortunate that Orga has to end up springing Jasley’s trap, but Jasley really left them with no choice. As Shino emphasized after Lafter’s death, this wasn’t just about revenge, this is also about saving the Turbine girls, who are being used as pawns by Jasley. Orga can no longer simply ignore this. That was Naze’s mistake. Jasley will keep coming and keep coming unless someone takes him to task, and next time he might strike at Tekkadan directly.

    When it was just about retribution, Orga was okay with letting it go and not bending to Jasley, but Naze (like Jasley says) has reinforced in Orga and Tekkadan the need to protect women and all those weaker then them. Now it’s a matter of justice and protection.
    It’s a hard decision for Orga to make, but I do believe it is the right decision and the best one he could have made considering all that is against him. He can’t let the Turbine girls down like that. He can’t let Lafter’s death be in vain. And he can’t be untrue to himself either. To continue to not do anything, would actually be a betrayal of all that Tekkadan stands for. You would be protecting the family, but destroying its spirit. Mika was glaring at him because of this, and then was waiting to see if Orga would reawaken that fire in him that has been almost drowned by everything that’s happened so far. However, we’ll see, but I think it’s about to, next week.

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