Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans – 48

McGillis, sporting a slightly less ostentatious look goes to the hangar to ask Mika what he wants to do, and whether he wants to join him in fighting the Gjallarhorn forces surrounding them. But no matter how he phrases it, Mika’s answer is the same: He’ll do what Orga wants, no more, no less.

Ever since the two met as boys, their relationship has been defined by utter dependence on each other, a bond no one, even Atra, could break. He is the hand; Orga is the will. But what happens if one dies before the other?

Yukinojo decided that now is the time to bring up the only remaining potential means of Tekkadan’s escape: underground tunnels and comms equipment left over from the Calamity War. Orga’s new order is not to fight, but survive, even if they have to dig themselves out by hand.

In order to ensure a future for everyone, even if it’s a future where they’re able to keep on living and nothing else, Orga has to contact Makanai. So he, Chad, Ride, Kudelia and Atra leave HQ in an unassuming armored car.

Notably, Orga does not take Mika along, saying he has another task for him. Mika is weary of what Orga “might mess up” if he’s not with him, but still gives him his pistol when he asks for it; the same pistol Orga watched Mika kill at his command with years ago.

At first Mika scared him; but he soon realized that there was nothing to fear, because if Mika was your friend, you couldn’t lose against anyone. Who would have thought Mika would be right about Orga messing up, and that this would be the last time they saw each other?

I greatly appreciated the little scene in which Kudelia and Atra kiss Mika goodbye, much to the discomfort of Ride and Hush. I personally have never had any problem with their weird lovey-dovey triangle (indeed, it’s been a nice change of pace from the usual kind), but this is an acknowledgement of that weirdness in the eyes of other Tekkadan members, who either don’t quite understand, or are jealous, or both. It’s really the only funny moment in the episode, but I’m glad it’s there.

And how will Orga’s little road trip get to Chryse without being attacked by Gjallarhorn? McGillis has that covered, though he doesn’t deploy, defeat Iok in three strokes, and fight the entire force on his own merely as a diversion for Orga. He still speaks of destroying Rustal, but Rustal isn’t even on the planet.

Whatever scheme is still in motion for McGillis, he seems resigned to the fact that he isn’t a wolf in a pack like the members of Tekkadan; he’s always been alone, and if that’s how he has to achieve his goals, so be it.

Orga & Co. get to Chryse, where they learn that those they’ve helped survive in the past are ready and willing to return the favor, like Makanai, who despite being one of the older adults on the show, continues to favor the youngins of Tekkadan who are the only reason he’s still around.

And what a nice reveal of Takaki, who is doing fine, working as Makanai’s aid, and implying Fuka’s doing fine too. One could argue as long as one member survives Rustal’s purge, Tekkadan wins.

Makanai and Takaki aren’t their only allies, for they are providing haven, but not the means to get there. Enter an email from an awesomely-suited Azee and Eco, stating that they have the okay from McMurdo to assist Tekkadan in any way they need, at any time. All of the fighting and dying wasn’t for nothing; Tekkadan made important friends whose loyalty isn’t wavering when it counts the most.

With that, Orga says goodbye to Kudelia and Atra in a hallway gorgeously lit by the setting golden sun. They’ll hole up in the Bernstein residence and await good news from Earth. I’m sure Atra would have liked to stay with Mika until the end, but he wouldn’t have wanted that for her or their baby, and Kudelia promised Mika she’d protect them.

After a long walk down that almost eerily lit hall, with Ride all but shouting death flags about everything working out, the seething tension was almost unbearable. It didn’t get any better when they step outside to the waiting car and there’s no Gjallarhorn soldiers, or anyone around at all. It’s too quiet, too calm. Something was going to happen.

Something did: in an incident just as quick and merciless as Lafter’s muder, Orga is gunned down by a bunch of suits in a passing car. Chad and Ride escape mortal injury, and Orga kills one of the assassins with Mika’s pistol, but he’s riddled with bullets and leaking his life’s blood on the pavement.

Still, he wears a wry smile, gets up, doesn’t slip on the blood puddle, and moves forward. Not towards the car, just forward. His last order to Tekkadan before collapsing: don’t stop. “As long as you don’t stop, I’ll be at the end waiting for you.”

Before heading off on his own, McGillis told Mika the power he saw in him, and once thought would bring about a bright future, turned out to have “no ideals, no objective, no destination,” any more than a pistol has such things. A defiant Mika derided Macky’s use of too many words and insisted “We’ll get there.”

But at least for Orga, Mika’s will, the definition of “there” has shifted, from a happy, ideal, peaceful life they always fought for, to whatever comes after that life ends. Barring a medical miracle, Orga has already reached “there.” Mika must now decide what to do all on his own; whether to join Orga now, or stay alive and chart a new course with Atra, Kudelia, his kid, and the others.

Until then, R.I.P. Orga Itsuka. You died well.

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Author: braverade

Hannah Brave is a staff writer for RABUJOI.

9 thoughts on “Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans – 48”

  1. I read somewhere that the assassins are said to be Macky’s men. The purpose of the attack: to spur Mika into a killing frenzy to go all out against Rustal and his cronies. But I think those men were sent by that despicable former sponsor of Kudelia, the one taking care of the media on Mars upon orders of Rustal.

    1. I assumed it was Nobliss Gordon’s men, though McGillis knew exactly where Orga was going, and that theory seems somewhat plausible, so I can’t rule him out.

    2. I highly doubt that it was Macky. For one, he has no means of relying orders to the outside world about Orga’s plans. He only learned about it when he was back in Tekkadan HQ, where there were no means of communications. Plus, I don’t see what he would gain from Mika going into a killing frenzy. Sure, the guy could take down a lot of mooks, but he can also as easily get mowed down by Rustal’s more numerous forces.

  2. I have always felt it was only a matter of time before Orga dies, to be honest I am only surprised he lasted until now. I have thought he would have died much earlier to give Mika more time to grow, not 2 episodes before the series ends…

  3. You’re right when you said that the tension was unbearable when they were walking down that hallway, I almost turned it off lol. This was very sad for me though. As the fallible, caring leader, Orga was my favorite. :( This series is not going to feel the same anymore…I hate good guy deaths so hopefully no more Tekkadan deaths. :P I’m also torn about McGillis.

    My guess about what’s going to happen: They’re going to wake up another Mobile Armor in the tunnels. The Mobile Armor will wipe out Gallahorn’s people, but McGillis and Mika will take it down and McGillis will get his wish of taking over Gallahorn while Kudelia announces what really happened on Mars to the media. Orga will be memorialized and honored as a hero.

    1. I actually predicted a mobile armor would show up this episode so I’m a little gun-shy to predict it again. It would have been a decent way to resolve the story last week and this week. I’m not sure it’ll be as clean a resolution as that though.

  4. It’s interesting that McMurrdo decides to throw his support to Tekkadan’s side at this very moment. Considering that Tekkadan is now publicly labeled as a criminal organization, the Old Man is definitely risking Teiwaz’s rep even more that during the plot against the Turbines. I guess McMurrdso is now willing to risk more just to be able to show his gratitude for Tekkadan avenging Naze, something that he obviously regrets not being able to do himself when he was caught in the infighting within his organization.

    But damn! that final scene is just heartbreaking., seeing Orga die just like that. On a meta-level, I am amused seeing one side of fans complaining that it was too obvious that he would die, while another side complains that it came out of nowhere without any foreshadowing.> This is one problem when the audience gets too fixated with the notion of death flags, there just seems to be no “right” time for the story to actually act on these without looking both asspullish and too telegraphed at the same time in the eyes of viewers.

    1. “this is one problem when the audience gets too fixated with the notion of death flags”

      Not just death flags, but theories on where the show is going in general.

      Watching it the first time through, my enjoyment of HBO’s Westworld was greatly influenced by the theories flying around the internet, many of which seemed far-fetched at first but turned out to be exactly right, others which didn’t.

      I wouldn’t say it ruined my experience, but it did affect it in a non-inconsequential way, to the extent that I’ll be trying my best to avoid theories next season (whenever it comes around).

      Back to IBO: I’d long since made my peace with the fact that Orga was probably going to die at some point in the last few episodes. I wasn’t too concerned when and how it happened. IBO has largely trained me not to automatically “bite” at the multitude of flags it throws out.

      One person I’m reasonably certain WON’T die is Mika, because it’s more narratively satisfying to watch him grow into someone who doesn’t need Orga telling him what to do.

      …That’ll be Atra’s job. RIMSHOT!

  5. Orga’s death seemed inevitable. He lost his touch as leader of the ruthless child soldiers. His overly ambitious visions for his followers caught up into him.He could take the death toil required to pave the way for his conquest.But it’s a fitting for a guy who took to talk these riff rafs to bloom into the iron flower

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