Iron Blooded Orphans Episode 48

Review:

Please note: Major episode spoilers below – no attempt to conceal details.

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There was a lot of Orga focus in this episode, for good reason. What I particularly liked is that Orga’s screen time didn’t suddenly advance, and other than one flashback (which we’ve seen before from a different perspective) we didn’t dwell on the past. Instead, we looked at how the other characters were viewing Orga and their relationship with him after everything Tekkadan has been through.

And of course, from fairly early on it is inevitable where all this is leading. I did like the set up though for the final blow and I love that Orga went out protecting his family (and thank-you writer who decided not to kill Ride because I was really tense as I expected collateral damage on this one).

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So yes, Orga has been killed and now I just have to wonder, what will Mikazuki do?

Iron Blooded Orphans is available on AnimeLab.


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Iron Blooded Orphans Episode 47

Review:

This is like watching a collision in slow motion. You know the impact is coming and you know it is going to be bad but you’re just kind of inching toward it. This episode saw them finally arrive back on Mars but with no allies and no money, Tekkadan really has no chance. Zack is about the only one with a brain for bailing but even then I think he’s going to have trouble given they seem pretty determined to wipe out Tekkadan.

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And I love how they threw this line in from Kudelia but then backtracked and said they weren’t sure. Though it kind of seems like they are doing everything possible to raise a death flag for Atra.

Anyway, my emotional investment is still gone and this episode didn’t do much to bring it back. Tekkadan willingly threw themselves at this conflict naively believing things would work out because they did before. It kind of just seems like a logical consequence of that and while its tragic and all it isn’t as though they couldn’t have avoided this whole mess with some smarter decision making earlier on.

Iron Blooded Orphans is available on AnimeLab.


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Iron Blooded Orpahns Episode 46

Review:

Shino’s death hits hard (you know, unlike the other half the cast that already died, we actually cared about Shino) and after the dust of the battle settles (or, rather Tekkadan and co scurry away to potential safety) we get the regret, the lamentation and the half-hearted I’m glad you didn’t die speeches. Yamagi offers the only purely positive moment when he esssentially tells Orga to get over himself and find some way to salvage the situation (or at least pretend it can be salvaged).

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The thing is, its all kind of meaningless at this juncture. Emotional investment in the boys from Tekkadan faded after season 1 when random new recruits and kids who hadn’t been through the same experiences joined (essentially, the group got too big to see as individuals anymore). And so far in this battle, Shino is the only significant casualty and it was so heavily foreshadowed and locked into place so early in the battle it was hardly stunning or in anyway surprising. The only surprise is the lack of core characters being dead.

By the way, if the comment about Atra looking different means she’s pregnant I’m truly terrified by her chances of survival. She’s about the only character at this point that I do care significantly about in terms of whether they make it to the end of this battle and I’m more or less ready to assume this show is going for pure tragedy given the position we find the characters in.

Iron Blooded Orpahns is available on AnimeLab.


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Iron Blooded Orphans Episode 44

Review:

There was a line early in this episode that just made me laugh.

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“You all must obey me now.” Really? Because you dug up some ancient mecha. And if they don’t?

Well, clearly nobody thought that far ahead because it turns out they can choose to not obey and all he can do is clench his teeth. At least they don’t choose to oppose him (not that I care about McGillis in the slightest but if anyone from Tekkadan is going to survive that was kind of important). Still, this final fight is not looking good for anyone.

Please don’t kill Atra. It would be like swatting a really cute puppy.

Iron Blooded Orphans is available on AnimeLab.


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Iron Blooded Orphans Episode 43

Review:

After so many episodes of talking and set-up we finally know what this has been heading towards. The problem is, that it isn’t such an awesome reveal. In point of fact it’s pretty lame. One three hundred year old machine and Fareed thinks he can take on the world.

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I guess the only question left is with Tekkadan stick with this guy until the end or will they also fall out with him once they really his plan is bonkers? Or worse, will he actually succeed? That would be depressing.

That said, we do get a lovely and dramatic return including a line that makes no logical sense but is great for an over the top stage quote, complete with pose.

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There were a few of these moments in this episode. Mikazuki letting the wrapper fly out of his hands just as Orga says they had something in their grasp was another incredibly subtle Gundam irony. For all that the first season of Orphans did a few things we haven’t really seen in Gundam before, the latter half of that season and all of season 2 has pretty much fallen back into the traditional patterns and I’ve become increasingly less engaged with the story as we’ve gone because everything that made the characters interesting has gradually been removed.

It isn’t terrible its just increasingly not really my thing.

Iron Blooded Orphans is available on AnimeLab.


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Iron Blooded Orphans Episode 42

Review:

And so Tekkadan cuts ties with their allies and avenges the deaths of Naze and friends. Points for acting on emotions and drama but this is hardly a master plan and now things are unraveling fast. The fight was almost anti-climatic given the cowardice  and weakness of the enemy and really this whole situation was just a catalyst to push Tekkadan onto a path of no-return for the remainder of the series. However, even the show seemed to realise it had been awhile since we had some heavy handed reminders of where Tekkadan came from and why they were supposedly fighting, so cue some throw away dialogue about being human and a very brief reminder that human-debris are still a thing in the universe. This show is working but I’m definitely feeling like we’re going through the motions at this point rather than really experiencing the events.

Iron Blooded Orphans is available on AnimeLab.


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Iron Blooded Orphans Episode 39

Review:

After missing this show for a few weeks it took a little bit to get back into it but fortunately this episode helped by pretty much running past all the major players and having them more or less narrate their current objective. This has been an issue for this show the whole run-time. Character motives are never clear so the characters spend a great deal of time simply stating what they are doing and why, and yet conveniently they don’t do this for information that might help the audience gain some insight into them beyond the obvious. Not a lot actually happened but since we got a nice long flashback sequence of the Turbines growing their organisation I kind of feel like the threat against them is pretty serious and maybe we’re about to lose some of the few characters we’ve kind of gotten to know and like. Anyway, I’ll have to wait until the next episode to find out because this episode ends with them running away and reminding Orga that he really shouldn’t stick his nose in to anymore trouble given he’s already got more than enough.

Iron Blooded Orphans is available on AnimeLab.


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Iron Blooded Orphans Episode 35

Review:

Iron Blooded Orphans spent a lot of this episode in set-up mode however unlike last week, this week we get a payoff at the end with the potential for some real fun next week. Despite that, this week didn’t feel as dull as it kind of felt like we were seeing more of the changes Kudelia has been working toward since season 1 and given she’s been sidelined a lot of this season it was good  to see an acknowledgement that she is still progressing in her own way even if she didn’t just hook up with Tekkadan and go along for the ride. I do question why anyone would even bother someone would claim that something is being done in secret when it seems like everyone knows more or less in real time that it is happening and I also wonder about how they all got to Mars that fast given previously travel and the delay has been an issue, but these are minor nit-picks rather than major issues.

Iron Blooded Orphans is available on AnimeLab.

Iron Blooded Orphans Episode 33

Review:

Still dealing with the fallout the characters of Iron Blooded Orphans spend a lot of this episode sitting around and talking. We have to spell out everything while still not really revealing what the final play of this series might be though Tekkadan is definitely heading for something given the current proposal in front of them. This really leaves us with the question of  what Orga’s intentions have been? If he just wanted a place for the orphans they passed that point ages ago. Mikazuki actually says toward the end of this episode that it’s taken longer than he thought to get to where they are going and it makes you wonder if that is Mikazuki’s not so subtle way of trying to rein Orga in from a major mistake. So about the only definite thing from this episode is Takaki has left Tekkadan and unless something tragic happens on Earth (which is quite possible) he may end up being the smart one of the group who got out before it all fell to pieces.

Iron Blooded Orphans is available on AnimeLab.

Iron Blooded Orphans Episode 31

Reivew:

I know I’ve been predicting death for the cast of Iron Blooded Orphans for awhile now, but it is just as true this week. This is the slow motion fall toward an inevitable end (and not just because it’s part of the Gundam series). It doesn’t seem possible we could get through the next episode without someone biting it but maybe they’ll stretch this tension further. I think that’s what is really working for this series. It knows someone is going to die. The audience knows someone is going to die. But they are raising enough death flags over enough different characters that either we’re in for a massacre or they really just want to keep us guessing when and where.

That said, I’m being kind of callous given there were casualties already from Tekkadan but the show didn’t really seem to care about any of them and only one was even given a name. Plus, they’ve been mowing down the enemy left and right and nobody seems to care about any of them. This treatment of people as nothing is consistent with the show in general though with their fascination with the phrase human debris. Not to mention, we’re all just kind of waiting for Takaki to realise that their ‘leader’ is just playing with them.

It’s hard to say this episode was enjoyable because mostly you are just waiting for the other shoe to drop, but it definitely continues the story along and keeps you watching.

Iron Blooded Orphans is available on AnimeLab.