Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans – 49

Orga is dead, but he succeeded in giving Tekkadan one last chance to survive. Eugene and Mika agree (without saying anything) that Orga’s orders to not stop and keep moving forward stand. The way Mika works, he doesn’t need Orga around to tell him what to do; his final words were broad enough to last Mika the rest of his days—which hopefully aren’t too few.

While some Tekkadan members are thirsty for blood and revenge (unaware it was Gordon’s men, not Gjallarhorn, who gunned him down), but in a rare instance of Mika gathering everyone ’round, he stands atop Barbatos and informs/warns everyone of the consequences of getting in the way of Orga’s orders. Eugene flashes a downward gaze, realizing he could never hold a candle to Mika’s charisma any more than Orga’s. But everyone’s roles are clear. All that’s left is to execute Orga’s orders.

When Rustal is informed of Orga’s death in a convo with Gordon, a healed Julieta is present to hear it. She laments that Tekkadan must fight in such a desperate fight after being used by so many “shady adults.” Rustal reminds her that he’s one of those adults; she understands, but perhaps she’s just as trapped as Tekkadan. Meanwhile we see two of the best adults in the series, Yukinojou and Merribit, saying a tearful goodbye.

Cut to the shadiest but also one of the toughest and wiliest adults of the series, Todo, who we learn arranged a shuttle for McGillis so he could rejoin his flagship, which he quickly evacuates. The final stage of his battle will be fought alone, for he believes it will give him the most freedom.

Contrast that with his wife Almiria, who towers over her towering father in proclaiming she will stand with her husband, and that they’ll bear their sins together…just so long as he returns home safe. She wears the mantle—or, if you will, shackles—that bind her with Macky with pride and nobility. All I can say is…Poor Almiria.

Meanwhile, true to McGillis’ style, he puts on a hell of a show, ramming his flagship into one of Rustal’s ship (unfortunately, not the ship Rustal is on), bursts out of the wreckage with Bael, and starts menacingly hacking away at the fleet, one ship and suit and pilot at a time. He’s slowed down by Gaelio, whom he warns he’ll truly kill this time if he impedes him. But Gaelio is intent on showing his former friend and comrade that being alone isn’t freedom, it’s a death trap.

Gaelio has what’s left of Ein by his side, and Carta in his heart. When he delivers a coup-de-grace to Bael, McGillis bails out and boards Rustal’s flagship, bleeding out from a shrapnel wound. He’s met in a corridor by the masked Gaelio, but he removes his mask and insists McGillis really look at him. McGillis demurs almost to the last, telling him that as wonderful as it was having him and Carta in his life, being with them clouded his resolve.

That might be Macky’s fatal flaw: his inability to trust even those closest to him (or as close as he ever let anyone get to him). Just think if he had confided in his friends, and instead of tattling, they joined him? McGillis’ plan to reform Gjallarhorn would have been bolstered by his friends’ family fleets. Instead, he treated them like parts of the system he had to destroy, but only led to him isolating himself into a checkmate.

What’s worst of all is that it’s plain he never entirely gave up his friendships. Gaelio can see this in Macky’s face and words, and killing him gives him no joy. Gaelio says Farewell, but as is the case with so many supposed death scenes (including…Gaelio’s), it’s not 100% certain Macky will succumb to his wounds.

One thing is for certain: McGillis Fareed has lost. His crusade to wrest control of and reform Gjallarhorn has failed spectacularly. In his wake he leaves hundreds of his loyal officers and men, as well as the orphans of Tekkadan, whose only slim hope now is to scurry under ancient tunnels and trade their identities for their lives.

Even that is not so easily done. Mika, Eugene, Akihiro, Dante, and Hush buy the tunnel-diggers time, but Hush seems to buy it, fighting hard until the end, and it seems like the best the rest can manage is be “ground to dust” as slowly as possible by the seemingly endless Gjallarhorn onslaught.

We can only hope Mika’s words of reaching the place Orga was headed is a place of the living; a place where they belong and won’t have to fight; and that his words won’t end up ringing as hollow as Macky’s.

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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.

3 thoughts on “Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans – 49”

  1. Man, seeing Hush being ever loyal to Mika even in his death just breaks my heart. I actually like how his character became more of the fanboy and loyal student to Mika, instead of the typical rival.

    That might be Macky’s fatal flaw: his inability to trust even those closest to him (or as close as he ever let anyone get to him). Just think if he had confided in his friends, and instead of tattling, they joined him? McGillis’ plan to reform Gjallarhorn would have been bolstered by his friends’ family fleets. Instead, he treated them like parts of the system he had to destroy, but only led to him isolating himself into a checkmate.

    I guess this goes back to McGillis’ childhood. He had no one to turn to during those dark days of his life. Compare that to Tekkadan, who found solace with each other during their trying days. Had Macky found at least one loyal fried during his childhood, or had he met Gaelio a lot earlier, things might have been different. Sadly, the two only met when McGillis was already a broken soul .

    One think that stood out in their final confrontation is when Gaelio acknowledges that he could possibly and actually does forgive McGillis. This is important because in doing so, Gaelio breaks the prevalent cycle of revenge in the series. I now want to see what he would do now that he realized that Macky’s ideals and friendship with him were genuine.

  2. Honestly, McGillis’ words to me never rang hollow. His ideals were true and what he wanted to do was noble. You say that he should have put more trust in what friends he had, but I think that not only did his past not allow him to do that. But that Carta, who was basically female Iok, and the Gaelio of back then, who was a selfish whiny brat, would have been very poor allies. Carta might have been on for the allure of it at first, but would have never stood to tear down the system that gave her family so much “prestige” and “honor”, and Gali would have probably gone with it for a while but then thought that he was going “too far” and would have told Iznario is a way to help Macky, which would have destroyed McGillis’ plans. At the time of him planning all this out, I think he HAD to go it alone. He had no one else who would honestly understand (even Gaelio admits that he never understood until he met Ein) and no one who would have gone as far as he was willing to do to change things.

    This brings me to Gaelio, If he decides to turn on Rustal, well at least we’ll have Rustal out of the way, And yet, it kind of feels rather hollow for Gaelio to now suddenly see the light after having been so selfish this entire time. I mean, yeah, “now that I’ve gotten what I wanted, NOW I’ll confront Rustal on all the corrupt crap he’s been pulling. Because Rustal’s monstrous corruption is only second to my own desires of ‘notice me!’ syndrome”.
    Because, truly, Gali is just as much a selfish, whiny brat as he was before, he just broods more and whines about different things.

    At this point, nothing will make me really like Gaelio. He probably will be the one to take out Rustal but at that point it will still feel hollow to me. McGillis might have done some shady things, but he stuck to his guns throughout the entire series. While McGillis may have ultimately failed, I also like how he went out here too. Him basically being a one man army against Rustal’s forces. Honestly, Gaelio may have won his fight, but he will never gain my respect. Something McGillis will always have.

    1. You’re right; it’s all well and good to say “what if”, say, Macky asked his two closest friends to jump off a cliff with him, but as you said, they were and are brats; brats with a lot more to lose — and more importantly, both had ingrained in them to care about losing what they have. I just thought that from a purely practical perspective McGillis would have had a lot more firepower to play with the Bauduin and Issue fleets on his side.

      But yeah, that would have never happened, because McGillis and the rich kids were just way too different in upbringing and experience. Kudelia rebelled against her family so that she could try to at least see, and if possible, share, the experience of the orphans of Mars. To bridge her world and theirs. McGillis, meanwhile, would never find anyone who understood him in a world of fancy bloodlines and privilege, so he went to Tekkadan, an org composed primarily of once-destitute, desperate orphans, like he used to be.

      For the record, I loved how McGillis went out, never deviating from his plan, no matter how many setbacks befell it. He took a lot of people out with him, and everyone who witnessed him in action won’t soon forget what they saw that day, no matter how much Rustal tries to cover it all up or diminish what went on. To Rustal, Macky was just another lord’s mistake that had gotten out of hand and had to be put down. But to us, and many others, he was a whole lot more.

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