Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans – 43

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When the stage is set at the end of this stage-setting episode, Rustal calls McGillis “just a child who can’t grow up,” referring to his obsession with shining monolithic superheroes who can bring righteous light to the world.

Rustal is probably right. McGillis can’t grow up. He’s been portrayed as the upstart kid at the adult’s table; an iron-blooded orphan who suffered just as much trauma as the kids of Tekkadan. Learning that Iznario Fareed was a pedophile who collected blonde boys paints Macky’s past even blacker.

To say he grew up far too fast ignores the fact that the ordeals he had to endure didn’t embue him with all the subtle qualities required for proper development. They only taught him the absolutes of weakness and strength; the only subtleties being in the various forms of power.

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With Mika assisting in capturing Gjallarhorn headquarters, McGillis believes he has finally achieved his goal of resurrecting the hero that propelled him, Agnika Kaieru, the tool that will cleanse a dirty system. He renames his rebuilt Bael Agnika Kaieru to commemorate his imminent victory.

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Vidar turns back into Gaelio Bauduin this week, after spending much time correctly ascertaining McGillis’ true goal. For the time they grew up as friends and brothers, Gaelio thought he already knew the McGillis behind “the mask” (not his physical one), until Gaelio betrayed him and Carta.

Now that he knows what McGillis wants, he’s going to stand in the way, not just for his Gjallarhorn, but his family. And he’s come in a Gundamn frame imbued with an faux-A-V system and Ein Dalton’s brain.

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The results are pretty impressive, as Gaelio is able to keep up with Mika and keep him guessing, even getting him to quietly admit “this dude is big trouble.” It certainly looks like McGillis has been outmaneuvered here, with Rustal’s dog able to fight on the same level as his dog, possibly necessitating his own personal involvement in the fight earlier than he’d like.

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But as it turns out, everything seems to be going the way McGillis had hoped, and he’s more than ready to join the fray immediately. Gaelio/Ein is merely giving him the opportunity to test his research. They are an obstacle he will swat away, and with Tekkadan’s help, complete his conquest of Gjallarhorn.

Mika, Orga, and Tekkadan are all counting on this shirtless, suddenly slightly unhinged-looking McGillis for all their fortunes. They cast their lot with him long ago and it’s far too late to back out, even if they wanted to. Now we’ll see if he’s actually on to something, or if Rustal is right and he’s just a kid who can’t grow up.

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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.

13 thoughts on “Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans – 43”

  1. One thing that really intrigues me here is the terrified reaction that elder Seven Stars member showed upon learning that McGillis activated Bael. Seems like the Gundam isn’t just a symbolic monument to Agnika Kaieru, and McGillis knows whatever secret the Bael has. has One interesting theory is that it somehow relates to Mika’s own situation.

    Also, considering that McGillis learned about Agnika from a book and that we never actually learned anything about him until now aside from what Macky says, it would be interesting if the series reveals more about the guy at this point.

    1. I’m also keeping my eyes peeled for some kind of blind spot in McGillis’ grand plan that Rustal is aware of. For instance, is everything Macky knows from that book? How much of that book is fact and how much is fiction/legend? Is Rustal calling him a kid just throwing shade to hide his own fear, or does Macky have a legit weakness ready to be exploited?

    2. Well, the staff have also revealed tidbits about Agnika as well in event talks, such as the fact that his father was the one who created the Gundams and that Agnika was a hot-headed leader. We also know that Barbatos and Bael were brother machines, made side by side, which is why they look so similar to each other.
      So, we are getting more into who Agnika was.

  2. The mix of Duh/left field sucks a bit of the life out of it for me. The episode itself worked well, but less so as a series pay off. McGillis’ past deserved more build up to set the tone of his relationship with Mars’ Orphans — even if it just sets the stage for his betrayal. Combine that with the heavy handed hints that Gaelio was Vidar and the lack of hints about Bael, and this feels rushed/forced.

    1. I would say that the hints about Bael was actually more subtle than lacking. Considering the theme naming of the Gundams (72 demons of the Ars Goetia), there was already a hint of a Gundam Bael right from season 1. Also, McGillis himself already expressed his desire to acquire the Bael several times earlier this season, particularly one in a flashback to his childhood. The mech itself appeared in silhouette at one point So, yeah, they were there, but the viewer does need to pay extra attention to them.

      For McGillis’ backstory though, I would kinda agree. There were the hints, but it would have been better if there were more.

      1. This is going to sound absurd but setting up the pedophilia earlier would have absolutely nailed the moral bankruptcy of Gjallarhorn. It would anchor McGrillis’ stunted nature and given hooks to tie into the IBO in interesting ways. It absolutely would rock what I can only imagine will be his ultimate betrayal of IBO. Feels like a missed opportunity.

        I’ll give you the Bael stuff. (I obviously didn’t pick up on it)

      2. The revelation is late. All this time McGillis was talking about the “rot” of G-horn, and all this time we didn’t know the extent of what he meant, or the extent to which he suffered under that rot.

        It may have been a missed opportunity, but it also it lends IBO and Macky’s arc in particular genuine rewatch value. Next time around, we won’t be surprised by any twists, but we will see McGillis, Iznario, and G-horn armed with more information and context.

        I will say it seemed odd and almost jarring that it exposed the truth of Iznario when it did, because it opened a can of worms.

        IBO hadn’t really gotten into the ‘potential for sexual abuse’ angle, focusing on exploitation as labor and soldiers.

        But there’s no doubt that sexual abuse would be present, if not rampant, in oppressive and exploitative organizations like CGS, the Brewers, etc.

        Yet it’s essentially only portrayed as an upper class thing in IBO, when it most certainly isn’t.

  3. McGillis is like every child that went without, they crave never to be without that thing, whatever it is, again.
    Children who were starved tend to hoard food even if their lifestyle changes, children who have been made to feel completely powerless over and over, will do whatever it takes to be in control and get that power back by any means necessary. He’s wants power because he’s tired of being powerless. He was a street rat that was kidnapped off the street and turned into a child prostitute. He was bought by man who was an all powerful Seven Star lord and added to his harem of shota sex slaves. He did all that he could to survive and his owner noticed and decided to adopt him since he needed an heir to save face among his peers. McGillis was the strongest and probably his favorite in bed, so two birds with one stone. And so Macky was adopted as his son, but was still the same slave he was before. In fact, all those times that he sat with Carta and Gaelio who talked only about superfluous stuff, complaining about clothes and servants, they went home to their cushy lives at night, while he went home to be beaten and raped. How could he be true friends with them under those circumstances? How well did Gaelio really know McGillis?

    But anyway, even after all that, he was still powerless. As he grew up and became less attractive to Iznario, the man began to use him as a tool to get more power. Betrothing him to Amilia, and despite how qualified he as, he put McGillis as a lowly inspector, with him being the only one able to move him out of that position. Macky has continuously been controlled by others and had to watch others do the same to others like him. He’s tired of it.

    However, interestingly, this is quite a complicated situation. Macky has done some underhanded things, but that doesn’t mean he’s wrong. Gaelio might have been betrayed, but that doesn’t mean he’s right.

    1. Since you mentioned Carta, its’s interesting how her “harem” of blond guys and Iznario’s fetish for blond shota runs in opposite directions with regards to McGillis. To Iznario, Macky is just one of the, er, boy toys he can use and dispose of whenever he likes. But to Carta, he was something that she can’t reach no matter how hard she tried. Her protective nature towards her subordinates seems to have been her way to express that love for McGillis that she can’t do in front of her.

      1. Someone did bring up Carta’s collection and we wondered if that was one of the things that repelled him from her? She really only saw the mask that he had to put up, she never reallly saw the true damaged boy lying underneath, any you have to think that she was only in love with a dream and that Macky probably knew that. He had spent a large chunk of his life as part of some aristocrat’s collection. Carta’s collection would have totally put him off, he would never be part of such a “collection” again, even if he was the prize of said collection.

      2. I think Carta actually started that “collection” after realizing that Macky was distant from her even with her attempts to connect with him. She was the one who first attempted to talk with him on an equal level in their childhood after all. So, it might not be that McGillis was put off by it, but more like him not caring for that or Carta in general.

      3. Interestingly, about your “as equals” line, when Macky first appeared as a child last season, I thought he looked like a blond version of Mikazuki. And actually that’s because the two are a lot alike, with both losing their innocence very early and both slightly on the edge of sociopathic. Mika has Orga as his “leash” persay, while McGillis doesn’t really have anyone. Though I think Agnika as his hero kept him grounded, as he would have committed suicide long ago without it.

        But anyway, Mika also did the similar “we’re not equals” thing with Kudelia, and it took her a bit to really understand both him and Tekkadan. I think Carta was similar, she states they are equals, but was that really true? He and Tekkadan were pretty much cut from the same cloth and yet, she thought they were “space rats” and beneath her. If McGillis didn’t have the supposed prestige he had, would she have looked twice? Would she have cared for him when he was in the gutter? Would she have still seen them as “equals”? We’ll never know, but it’s something to think about.

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