Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans – 50 (Fin)

Once the tunnel digging is complete, everyone falls back except for Akihiro and Mika, who stand their ground and continue to buy time for their family. And while Tekkadan’s two toughest pilots put up a hell of a fight, even initially surviving a direct Dainsleif attack from orbit, they’re sufficiently softened up to allow Julieta and Iok to go in for the kill.

Akihiro gets Iok in his giant binders and crushes him, but he in turn is killed by Iok’s subordinates. Julieta, who has vowed to remain human while being as ruthless as Rustal needs her to be, beheads the bestial Barbatos Lupus Rex and raises it in triumph before her elated comrades. It is over. Mika, Akihiro are dead, and so is Tekkadan.

But life goes on, and those who survived thanks to their fallen brothers continue to follow Orga’s final order to keep moving forward. And what to you know, things end up working out both for Gjallarhorn (which reforms from within to a more democratic system under Rustal) and Mars (which gains nominal independence from Earth, as a new union under the chairmanship of Kudelia).

Kudelia and Rustal work together to end the practice of turning destitute orphans into human debris once and for all. Even without the main actors who set the stage alive to see it, and very few people remember who they even were, a measure of their ideals were realized anyway. Atra’s powerful monologue about how one doesn’t notice a flower blooming by the side of the road really drove that point home.

It helps that the “bad guys” who “won” are interesting and likable enough that years after they brutally took Orga, Mika, Macky and Tekkadan down, it’s still satisfying to see Gaelio returning to his old “frivolous” self, only now far more wiser, while Julieta has steady-competenced herself to being the likely successor to Rustal for leadership of Gjallarhorn.

Meanwhile, some survivors, among them Ride, can’t move forward without taking revenge, as he does when he assassinates Nobliss Gordon while he’s sitting on the toilet.

As for Kudelia? She’s overjoyed to learn Merribit and Yukinojou are expecting their second child soon, but can’t go out drinking with Chad and the guys. She heads home to the Sakura Farm, where an older, taller, and very badass Atra is waiting with their kid, with the unmistakable blue eyes and vacant expression of Mikazuki. The kid’s name is, naturally, Mikazuki, and unlike his father, he’ll have a childhood full of love and kindness, not desperation, and violence.

While chatting with Gaelio, Julieta admits the fighters of Tekkadan weren’t devils; she knew that the moment she saw an unconscious Mika when his cockpit cover sheared off. They were, in fact, the most human of us all, belonging on the battlefield for no other reason than to keep living and fighting. So it’s fortunate that there’s civilization to filter out some of our raw, instinctual humanity.

Thanks to the sacrifices of Tekkadan, McGillis and their allies, that civilization has been improved and made available to the next generation of youth, so maybe there won’t be a need for another Tekkadan ever again.

And that’ll do it. Whether you just checked in this week or have been following them since the very beginning, thanks as always for reading my reviews of what I believe to be one of, if not the best Gundam yet. It was a fantastic ride, and the franchise will be hard-pressed to surpass the greatness it achieved in these fifty episodes. But if they make a (non-SD) attempt down the road, I’ll be there to review it.

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Author: braverade

Hannah Brave is a staff writer for RABUJOI.

6 thoughts on “Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans – 50 (Fin)”

  1. This is a little too realistic to be totally satisfying, but I am very happy that they have the gut to end the series like this. It’s rather refreshing but somewhat depressing at the same time.

    There’s really just no place in the new world for someone like Mika, even if he had survived, I am not sure he would have been necessarily happy, so death seems like a natural spot for him.

    That said, I think we will end up getting an OVA based on the ending. I am guessing the movie will be set say 10 years in the future when the kid is around 16 or something like that… and Ride and his man will start a civil war, which will drag Mika II into battle. However, because Mika was brought up with love, he will be a defensive pilot that strive for peace instead of an offensive pilot like his father.

    PS. To be honest, until I saw the kid, I wasn’t sure Mika and Atra really know how to make a baby… But that kid is cute and it’s nice to see Kudelia and Atra co-parenting the kid.

  2. The darkness was fine but I would have preferred Julieta and Rustal both getting it in the end and, to be honest, Lok didn’t serve to hang around as long as he did. Between him and Julieta surviving multiple fights they shouldn’t have, I kinda felt let down by the drawing out of everything.

  3. Wow! Zombie Gundams!
    It was awesome after Dansleifs being used, Barbatos/Mika and Gushion/Akihiro refusing ti give up.
    I heard Akatsuki means “Rising Sun” (since Mikazuki is “Crescent Moon”),

  4. Yep, as expected,this one was going to be a divisive ending.The main point of contention seems to be that the “bad” guys supposedly did not get any sort of punishment. But if you look at it, they actually did. Iok and Nobliss get their punishment. Gaelio, even though, he isn’t evil, loost all his political power after the dissolution of the Seven Stars council and is pretty much bound to a wheelchair as “payment” for using Ein in the AV Type-E system.

    Julieta, of course, is an interesting case in that she isn’t evil and has never used any underhanded tactics (which she in fact despised). Her only fault was her loyalty to Rustal (which is something you can’t blame her for). That would make killing her off pretty poitnless. Plus, in the end, she was one of the only few people in Gjallarhorn who came to understand Tekkadan’s struggles. Those would certainly prove for the better as she takes to her new leader of GH, which from the dialogue is already imminent. Her rise to that position is also signifies the end of the aristocracy that was responsible for creating both McGillis and Tekkadan.

    And that brings us to Rustal. Seriously though, who would be able to punish him? Plus, the guy brought himself in as a necessary evil to protect society. If you look at it, his despicable actions are on the battlefield, against people who are more than willing to use those same tactics if given a chance. Lest anyone forget, he also never sided with Iok in the Hashmal incident and is likely the one who ordered his house arrest after the Turbines incident. Him grooming Julieta as the next leader of Gjallarhorn after he steps down also indicates that he at least has no over t desires to cling to power.

    As for the series as a whole, it has its flaws, but is definitely one heck of a ride. It is also worth nothing that “not your typical Gundam series” should be attached to this one, since it broke many of the franchise’s standing traditions. The most notable is this episode’s final battle. Most series would have a climactic one-on-one between the protag Gundam and the villian Gundam. Here we get Mika facing against nameless grunts. That itself ties nicely to Atra’s monologue about the flower on the sidewalk that blooms yet no one notices. That final battle signifies Mika as himself being a nameless grunt in the eyes of the world that will be forgotten (as Atra points out), but who will still remain in the hearts of those who took notice of him.

    1. Yeah, I for one am glad Julieta didn’t die, and satisfied with where she ended up.

      Since the beginning, she’s been set up as the protagonist/heroine if we were rooting for Gjallarhorn rather than Tekkadan. Indeed, she gets her Big Hero Moment by raising the severed head of the defeated Barbatos before the troops. And she never even piloted a particularly fancy mobile suit, nor did she ever compromise her humanity to win.

      I can’t fault her for following Rustal any more than I could fault Mika for following Orga, or Isurugi following McGillis. These are unbreakable bonds, for good and ill. Following her mentor worked out for Julieta, and didn’t work out for the others.

      Thanks to the experience she gained fighting Tekkadan and finally coming to learn why they fought, she will, as you say, make her that much better/more empathetic leader of Gjallarhorn. Better leaders = A Better Gjallarhorn = Pretty much what McGillis wanted.

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