Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans – 45


The calm is over; the storm is here, and it’s going to be a bad one. IBO wastes no time plunging us into this, what everyone is calling The Final Battle. As there are still five episodes left, I didn’t think the battle would only last an episode, and so it didn’t. But a great deal of damage was done to the good guys, and though key pieces still on the board mean they can still turn things around, they have lost and will lost a lot to do so.

Rustal Elion shows what a ruthless sonofabitch he can be, quickly splitting McGillis’ fleet and focusing on the rebels and Tekkadan, confident if he takes them out the Regulatory fleet will go over to him. He even has a mole among the rebels, who fires a Dainsleif at Rustal’s fleet, making it legal to return fire with the same weapon, only a hundred fold.


The results are devastating as round after round pierces allied ships. Even Shino takes a big hit, but manages to get back to base, where Yamagi fixes his broken arm, and Yamagi reveals (to us, not Shino) his feelings for him. This…seemed a bit rushed, frankly.

Shino’s great, but from the way he fights I kinda always knew what end he was headed for. Adding this extra wrinkle out of nowhere as incentive to want him to avoid a violent fate doesn’t harm my like of the character, but doesn’t elevate it; it’s just there.


McGillis tries to dazzle the stage after over half his forces are destroyed (along with Tekkadan’s Hotarubi) but I couldn’t help but think how similar Macky’s posturing felt to Carta’s empty pageantry, which is worth less than nothing if the enemy doesn’t fight with honor, as Rustal certainly doesn’t. He’s playing to win, as well as for survival.


Even the look in McGillis’ face—a truly “Oh Shit” moment when Rustal looses another massive volley of Dainsleifs—seemed Carta-like in a sort of entitled Things aren’t supposed to go this way! outrage. Bael looks like a shining knight on this stage, but there’s increasingly little he can do to stop the crumbling equipment and spirits that surround him.

Meanwhile, Tekkadan’s only hope is to use one of their crippled ships as a shield in a last-ditch effort to get Shino close enough to Rustal’s bridge to take him out with his “Super Galaxy Cannon.”


…It doesn’t work. Once more, a potentially huge pressure-releasing moment is denied the audience, just as Naze and Amida were denied their final revenge. In a way, repeating this pattern is a strategy of diminishing returns.

With Julieta somehow holding her own against Mika (which seems dubious) and Gaelio lurking around Macky and Isurugi, Orga down to one beat-up ship, and nowhere left to run, our iron-blooded orphans are in the direst of straits yet.

With Barbaros and Bael still on the board, it’s not quite time to throw in the towel. But will these two namesakes of the franchise possibly be enough to grab victory from the jaws of defeat, and how many more familiar faces won’t live to see it?


Author: braverade

Hannah Brave is a staff writer for RABUJOI.

7 thoughts on “Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans – 45”

  1. I thought the shot of Bael and McGillis leading his troops was really cool. It had a bit more meaning than Carta’s posturing since right now, with his men decimated, his troops needed a morale boost. So basically he does what Orga does, use his words to raise their spirits and he uses Bael as a symbol. Carta just does it really because it looked pretty. For her group they literally did it all the time, not to raise morale but simply to seem important.
    It also shows that he was out there fighting with them, not safe on some ship hiding behind his chair like some Gjallarhorn lords we know.

    1. That’s all well and good, but IMO getting his men to form up only makes it easier on the Dainsleif teams to pick them off. His stunned reaction seems to indicate he wasn’t expecting them to fire again.

      So far, at least, the battle has been an unmitigated fiasco, and the blame lies solely with McGillis, who faced setback after setback, insisted on pressing forward despite hopeless odds, and has now been completely over-matched by Rustal’s giant fleet…so far.

      Perhaps Macky wanted it this way: an easy win wouldn’t look good in the history books; victory must be snatched from the very deepest jaws of defeat to give him the mandate he needs to remake Gjallarhorn.

      But those jaws are closing fast. Next week I’d like to see some indication he knows what the hell he’s doing.

  2. Great review, though how was Yamagi’s feelings for Shino out of nowhere? It’s been pretty blantly obivous since early in season 1 that Yamagi had feelings for him even though its never been stated outright. I would say around the time when they went to the bar at Teiwaz’s HQ it’s been clear. Also Juiletta isn’t really holding her own against Mika. She’s putting up a good fight, but she’s acting more as distracting than anything and is getting pretty destroyed out there. She’s already lost an arm which she threw at Shino which knocked his shoot at Rustal off course.

  3. I like IBO’s preference for starting battles in media res. It really adds to the rush of the battle by dropping the audience into the middle of the action instead of having to go through all the preparatory scenes.

    Yamagi’s feelings for Shino were already evident since season 1. This one was most prominent during the end of that season where he specifically called out Shino’s name after the latter’s near death encounter with the Graze Ein. But b eing the awkward boy that he was, he never really voiced it out until now. So, yeah, it didn’t come out of nowhere.

    As for McGillis’ rallying posture, it does make a lot of sense.. Considering how it is revered by the soldiers, McGillis personally bringing it to the frontlines is definitely a big morale booster. Too bad that Rustal himself do not care for such symbols. This was evident in episode 43, where he was merely amused that Macky’s goal in that mutiny was to secure Bael, rather than being horrified by it. This actually makes Rustal’s comment about Macky being “a child that can’t grow up” a lot more meaningful.

  4. I’ll take your collective word for it re: Shino and Yamagi.

    Just so we’re on the same page here: it seems evident to me Yamagi has romantic feelings for Shino from their interactions this week, which is what I never picked up on before. I saw previous instances of Yamagi expressing affection for Shino as more of a brotherly, familial bond, rather than a romantic one.

    1. There are a few moments I can remember where it’s clear his feelings are romantic. One is when Shino and Eugine are coming back from a brothel and boasting about the girls they slept with, Yamagi looks clearly upset by it and walks away. Another is when Yamagi is working on Shino’s mobile worker and Shino grabs his hand in thanks. Afterwards Yamagi just stares at his hand astonished. Another is when he’s riding in Flurous and sitting on Shino’s lap and is clearly nervous about it. You could just write this off as just being an awkward situation for it but considering all the past moments and the way he rubs his foot against Shino I don’t think so. There are others, like the fireworks and Shino almost dying in season 1 but that’s about all I can remember.

  5. Yamagi and Shino wasn’t exactly out of no where. There’s been hints of something from Yamagi since S1 for Shino that goes beyond just brotherly/sibling love (since well Tekkaden is really more like a family), but it was pretty clear that Shino while he might have not felt the same way, may have recognized it. To a certain extent this reminds me of an exchange between Lenir and Delen in Babylon 5 where Lenir asks Delen if she was told about how “at the end Marcus said, all love is unrequited” and her not oblivious to Lenir’s affection but obviously not feeling the same responds with “He’s wrong, of course.”

    In a show like IBO where no one is left untouched by war, conflict, and the extremely hard lives they’ve all seemingly endured, IMO that no one is going to get the happy ending they all dream of at the end of all this. Which is a pretty strong contrast to Gundam series of years past, well at least those that I’ve watched over the years, especially in recent series. Gundam Seed and its sequel Destiny (leaving out the ridiculous plot armor on the characters like Kira and Mu) had probably the picture perfect happy ending that anyone could have asked for, even in their love interests. Wing when it was all said and done ended in a pretty happy place. Gundam 00’s series ended in a similar spot to where I felt Wing ended as far as happiness is concerned, but I’m still a little cold on the film adding to that ending. Then there’s Unicorn, and the implication with Banager returns back to Mineva. Contrast that to IBO and you see that happiness is something longed for but is essentially unattainable.

    IBO is memorable to me at this point if for no other reason, that everyone is paying a heavy price. From Kudelia to Atra, no one has been left untouched by the events of the series.

    With a handful of episodes left, I can’t help but feel that some of the plot they’re going to have to resolve is going to happen basically at break neck speeds.

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