Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans – 44

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While it certainly seemed like the start of the “final battle” between McGillis/Tekkadan and Rustal was eminent, that start is pushed back to next week, leaving us with the CBTS to end all CBTS episodes. Turns out piloting Bael isn’t enough for the other families to side with McGillis; the best he gets is their neutrality.

I guess they figure not actively helping someone Rustal has publicly labeled a traitor and murderer may help them down the line, if Rustal is able to defeat him. I’m not sure why one of the family heads is an alien, but between him and the fat one I’m not sure Macky would have gained much by having them on his side anyway.

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Another “loose end” is Almiria, who hears Rustal’s speech and assumes, not wrongly, that she’s been a pawn in this all along. When she can’t force herself to do what she believes is her duty—kill Macky for killing her brother—she turns the blade on herself, only for Macky to stop the thrust with his hand.

Telling her he will fulfill his promise to make her happy, one day, is all well and good, but her head is swimming with so many complex emotions (and she’s just a kid besides), she concludes that Macky is simply going crazy here, and so is she.

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As for Orga, he is not pleased McGillis could not secure a larger fleet to fight Arianrhod. When they meet face to face he makes sure to slug Macky for so blithely bringing up the casualties that will surely result from being outnumbered 2-to-1.

Orga wasn’t expecting to have to sacrifice so many members of his family to gain the Martian crown, and it’s because he fell into a pattern of accepting McGillis’ constant reassurances without question.

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From there, everyone starts taking stock. Merribit and Dexter feel helpless for not being able to fight beside the fighters, but will stand beside them anyway. Zack wonders out loud whether fighting the battle really is the only option.  Gaelio tells Julieta she’s becoming stronger “the right way”, perhaps insinuating he didn’t by relying on taboo measures.

Kudelia tells Atra over the space phone that she finally realizes the contradiction of working to eliminate strife from Tekkadan’s future, even though they wouldn’t be the tight-knit family they are without past strife.

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But because Kudelia is back on Mars, it falls to Atra to be there for Mika, so that’s what she does, and in one of the most tender scenes Mika has ever been involved in, when Atra bursts into tears from his tough talk, he hugs her and won’t let go. He’s only known battle in his life, whether it was his choice to fight or someone else’s. Now he’ll fight so Atra, who he admits is precious to him, won’t have to cry anymore.

The show can’t wriggle out of giving us a battle next week, so however many episodes it lasts, what form will it take? Will it be the beginning of Tekkadan’s future, or will Rustal see to it that future is snuffed out in the flames McGillis’ childish delusions of super-heroism?  There are sure to be casualties, big ones, but who? We’ll have to wait a little longer to find out.

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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.

2 thoughts on “Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans – 44”

  1. Interesting how, much like the demon it was named after, “being chosen” by Bael means that McGillis has to both literally and figuratively lose his humanity. That scene with Almiria is actually rather disturbing, since we don;t even know whether what McGillis says to her is indeed genuine or is still part of his psychological manipulation of her. Orga smacking him is

    On the other hand, some people have been asking what Julieta’s role in the plot is, and this episode pretty much spells that out. Rather than being an Ein 2.0 or Mika foil as some has theorized, she seems to play more as an audience surrogate, seeing Gjallarhorn’s growing loss of humanity from within, most notably that of Gaelio.

    And while he was just a background character, I like the fact that Dexter was given a even a short moment to reflect. He definitely is an unsung parent figure for Tekkadan alongside Merribit and Yukinojou., and a good reminder to these kids that not all adults have been unkind to them.

    Also, I don’t get some fans’ complaint that Kudelia is becoming irrelevant to the story. Sure, she isn’t as much of a plot mover now as she was in S1. But her relevance now is in her relationship with Mika, revealing more of his humanity. And she pretty much is the catalyst that urged Atra to confess to Mika, revealing that he reciprocates those feelings.

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