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Gundam: Tekketsu no Orphans 2 – 01

OP Sequence

OP: 「RAGE OF DUST」 by SPYAIR

「新しい血」 (Atarashi Chi)
“New Blood”

Tekketsu no Orphans is back with a bang: an abundance of re-introductions, strong production values, and plenty of hints to future plots. There’s a lot to unpack, but I want to begin by saying how glad I am to have this series back. Before the second season was confirmed, it seemed clear to me that there was more to see of these characters. The story of the Tekkadan boys escorting Princess Kudelia to Earth is over, but that always felt like the beginning of the ‘real’ tale being told here. We’ve witnessed war and tragedy and even if Kudelia’s character was underused for far too long, I think the first season ended at the perfect moment, ensuring we stick around to see what fate awaits its cast.

This returning episode was jam-packed, yet it never felt rushed. We cut from so many different locations and learn plenty of details after the short timeskip that’s happened since the first season. Scenes blend in with one another, conversations of certain characters lends to the transitions, and the actions and decisions of those in power means we get to jump straight to the action or the consequences of their decisions. The first season of Tekketsu no Orphans covered a smaller space of time in grand detail, yet this episode is already racing to the big moments, while making sure we get familiar with these characters and their new situations as we head into the great unknown.

I think the easiest way to break down this episode would be to focus on the three different groups/locations. First is my personal favourite (to no one’s surprise), as we see a mature-looking Kudelia who appears hardened by the battles that got her here. Her character is paramount to the themes and success of this series, and while parts of the first 25 episodes did impress me – such as her early development and her determination for independence – it was irritating to see her written into a corner, stuck in scenarios where she had nothing to do because she can’t hop aboard a mobile suit when the action ensues. Finally, she’s at a place where she can turn her words into action, and I’m praying she gets more to do this time around, because there’s serious potential for her to be a brilliant character. She’s got the makings a leader, and I’m rooting for her to succeed in her ambitions.

As Orga points out, Tekkadan don’t have their own personal motives or goals – they just do what they’re tasked with, and they do their job to the utmost of their ability. It would be difficult to get invested in a group of characters that have no interest in reaching an end-game. But with Kudelia leading the charge, or giving them reason to take action, it brings the best out of both parties. Kudelia’s scenes in this episode were relatively short, but I did enjoy her taking a stand and refusing the aid of a potential ally, even if it already came back to bite her, as he is seemingly behind the funding of the pirates that arrive at the end. I expect her to make more of these controversial decisions, especially if she’s a more central character, but I’ll take that over her having nothing to do whatsoever.

Another political plot that I can’t wait to watch unravel is McGillis and the mishaps currently going on at Gjallarhorn. His actions have led to the exposure of the corruption going on beneath the surface, and as we’ve seen from him before, he’s an unpredictable fella who’s willing to turn against his supposed companions for his own cause. Perhaps the past six months have fogged my memory, but I can’t remember exactly what his goal was, and even if it was anything unsavoury. He’s being pegged as the personal rival – aka the Char – of Tekketsu no Orphans, but then again Char was a great character, so I’m eager to see what this reiteration of that archetype will offer. He’s abandoned the idea of friendship and appears to have some potential foes sharing his table, but given what we’ve seen of him thus far, I expect him to be a not-so-secret badass and turns things in his favour within a few episodes.

Back on Mars, things are rather peaceful. In fact, if you ignore the political ripples and behind-the-scenes decision-making from Kudelia and McGillis’s sides of the story, most of this episode felt like a slice-of-life more than anything else. We got introduced to a some new recruits, we played catch up with the familiar faces who don’t seem to have been in any grave danger since their mission with Kudelia, and if anything Kudelia has improved their way of life with her orphanage and the formation of the Admoss Company, which puts them on the map and brings them into this current attack in a way that feels personal and not completely out of the blue. I especially appreciated the scenes with the more seasoned fighters views on war and body mutation compared to that of the newcomers. They’re green behind the ears and don’t realise what war is really like or how their words strike a nerve with those suffering from their way of life. Whether it be them actually wanting that surgery that the Tekkadan boys were forced to undergo, or the kids of school talking highly of Biscuits death as if he was just a heroic name from the stories and not a real person who left a family behind. Tekketsu may have its fair share of blitz and action, but I appreciated the focus on how harsh words can sting most of all, especially considering everything these characters have suffered so far.

It was a little typical that Mikazuki would appear with the Barbatos right at the end of the episode, though I expected them to deliver more glorious battle scenes to finish us off; instead we’re going to have to wait until next week, which is perhaps the smartest move to keep us hyped. All in all, this was a well-paced episode that was constantly telling or showing us important information, the visuals were consistent, and it’s proving that there’s so much more still to explore with Tekketsu no Orphans. That being said, I don’t know for certain whether I (or anyone else) will be blogging this weekly. This is a packed season, and depending on how things turn out and get divided it may get weekly coverage. If you would like that, then make your voice heard in the comments and we’ll see what next week brings us.

 

Preview

October 2, 2016 at 6:09 pm
48 comments »
  • October 2, 2016 at 6:45 pminfo600

    though I expected them to deliver more glorious battle scenes to finish us off;

    *goes check S1E1′s ending* I thought Mika did more here than back then. :o
    (Though it’s a toss up on the two Barbatos entrances,I want to pick both)

    Still, a great start for IBO (and a weird deja vu as Kudelia the one giving out a tour – of her company’s AO – instead of being guided through a tour of the CGS base…), and one heck of a ride to experience once more.

  • October 2, 2016 at 6:58 pmwissenschaft

    Oh, please cover this weekly Samu. This was a great first look post.

    • October 3, 2016 at 2:13 pmSamu

      Thanks, I appreciate it!

  • October 2, 2016 at 7:09 pmSilivious

    Man, can’t wait for the next episode now. X_X

  • October 2, 2016 at 7:38 pmGixsnix

    please blog

  • October 2, 2016 at 7:39 pmLonghaul

    I am glad there wasn’t a “reset” of character development.

    • October 19, 2016 at 3:46 pmSherrisLok

      I see what you did there. Given Sunrise’s record…

  • October 2, 2016 at 7:47 pmZetatrain

    Time to raise your flag because IBO is back!

    Overall a solid start to S2 and just like the beginning of S1 it ends just as Mika makes his grand entrance. Can’t wait to see what the new Barbotos can do.

    As for Mcgillis’ long term goals, he plans on restoring Gjallahorn back to its glory days.

    • October 2, 2016 at 7:50 pmZetatrain

      Also this was very good write up, hope to see you blog this weekly.

  • October 2, 2016 at 8:01 pmGoukaRyuu

    I’ve asked this on other websites, but does anyone know how much of a timeskip this is? I’m thinking between 1 to 2 years but Kudelia is the only one that looks to have aged.

    • October 3, 2016 at 2:12 pmSamu

      I couldn’t get a concrete answer either, but I’ve seen ‘six months’ being thrown around in online discussion. That sounds about right anyhow.

  • October 2, 2016 at 8:07 pmHeinrich Lelouch

    Please blog this Samu. Would be great if RC can get a different writer instead of Guardian Enzo to cover this.

  • October 2, 2016 at 8:10 pmWhatTha

    One thing that I enjoyed was the inclusion of so many dark skinned characters in this episode. IBO is such a breathe of fresh air compared to all the other anime’s that deal with world scale politics but fails to have one dark skinned character included.

  • October 2, 2016 at 8:10 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

    I definitely like how they openly acknowledge (story-wise) how Tekkadan’s actions throughout season one, while they themselves may have achieved the initial short-term goals that they set for themselves (successfully escorting Kudelia, establishing themselves as their own business while making their name known, joining with Teiwaz, etc.), those actions still had far-reaching consequences and many of them not positive.

    Sure Kudelia established her own company and an orphanage and such, Tekkadan is getting more volunteers joining and more business opportunities and such, but they (and even with McGillis’ help) also inadvertently set the stage for future warfare with the resurrection of the mobile suit as a viable military weapon – with increasing numbers of Calamity War-era mobile suits getting taken out of mothballs and getting modernized – and now more children being forced into conflicts and small wars that have broken out after the status lost by Gjallarhorn and creating more Human Debris.

    I also did like how the new recruits were so eager to fight, only to have the harsh reality of what fighting and dying really meant shoved in their faces with their first real battle.

    I’m definitely interested in seeing where things go from here since it looks like we’ll be getting into the larger world.

  • October 2, 2016 at 8:16 pmTarage

    Oh thank god. The best thing I’ve seen all day was not seeing “Snapshots by Guardian Enzo”.

  • October 2, 2016 at 8:16 pmYojimbo

    Glad to see Kudelia no longer wearing those ugly baggy pants she had on most of season 1.

  • October 2, 2016 at 8:21 pmAnimeFan

    This episode feels somewhat repetitive like they just re-use the bone of season 1′s 1st episode and slaps some different animations over it. But hey, it’s awesome so whatever.

  • October 2, 2016 at 8:54 pmVyseLegendaire

    IBO S2 = Anti Destiny

    • October 4, 2016 at 1:42 amOsy

      Don’t jinx it, man! Next thing you know, Hush Middy will be the next Shinn Asuka. Please god no.

  • October 2, 2016 at 9:38 pmIncognito

    http://randomc.net/image/Gundam%20Tekketsu%20no%20Orphans/Gundam%20Tekketsu%20no%20Orphans%202%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2035.jpg
    http://randomc.net/image/Gundam%20Tekketsu%20no%20Orphans/Gundam%20Tekketsu%20no%20Orphans%202%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2036.jpg
    How do you one-up Mika’s “Big Damn Heroes” moment from Season 1, Episode 1? Jumping off a shuttle from orbit and doing an atmospheric re-entry with his Gundam, that’s how. Also, can’t wait to see Akihiro get back into the cockpit of the improved Gundam Gusion Rebake.

    http://randomc.net/image/Gundam%20Tekketsu%20no%20Orphans/Gundam%20Tekketsu%20no%20Orphans%202%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2003.jpg
    Gone, but not forgotten.

    Flag raised, and it is glorious.

  • October 2, 2016 at 10:47 pmPurpleBomber

    Nice to have a stable series like this back, and it’s extra nice to be able to call a Gundam anime stable after all these years. Build Fighters and Try were fun spinoffs, but I really need some proper Gundam again after AGE and Reconguista.

    • October 3, 2016 at 2:11 pmSamu

      I never watched AGE, but Reconguista sure was a big wet fart. I should really get round to 00 at some point, but some of my favourite Gundam shows I’ve watched have to be the earlier OVAs (especially War in the Pocket).

  • October 2, 2016 at 11:06 pmTarage

    To actually talk about the episode… the general theory I’ve seen pop up everywhere is that our new masked man is Gali Gali. Wouldn’t that be interesting.

    • October 3, 2016 at 1:36 amVermillion

      Right at the first second I saw him, I was like “GEEEE I WONDER WHO THIS MASKED GUY IS /sarcasm”

      If it’s not Gaelio, I would be surprised.

    • October 3, 2016 at 1:53 pmGundamvid

      It appears McGillis “Gouf”ed up and didn’t check that “Garma” *cough*Gaelio*cough* stayed dead.

  • October 3, 2016 at 2:10 amFreedomapoc

    Continue to blog this please!

    Mikazuki is back! Hell yeah!

  • October 3, 2016 at 3:33 amboingman

    Life ist a lot better for our protagonists, but their work is not done.
    Wonder what’s up with the new blonde guy. Betrayer in the making? Hope not.
    Really hope Samu can find the time to pick it up. Good read.

    • October 3, 2016 at 2:14 pmSamu

      I can’t make any promises yet. There’s still plenty more shows I might considering covering, after all.

  • October 3, 2016 at 4:31 amFlappy

    Barbatos looks so sick~

    Thanks for the coverage Samu.

    I like how they emphasised Makzuki’s body functions are complete only when attached to Barbatos.

  • October 3, 2016 at 6:32 amOkabe_Rintarou

    Finally no more “Okada Mari is bad and she should feel bad”-negativity from Enzo.

  • October 3, 2016 at 7:34 amHenrietta

    BF > IBO > TRY > RECO

    I still hope this season surpass the first though.

  • October 3, 2016 at 8:10 amstarss

    Anyone following the Toonami broadcast should probably stay away from this coverage if you don’t like spoilers!

  • October 3, 2016 at 12:19 pmseltzermx

    I’ve never seen a single Gundam show, or know anything about the series other than it has giant mechs. However, I have seen sufficient praise for this snow that I’m now curious. Is it worth watching as a nonGundam fan. Thanks.

    • October 3, 2016 at 12:45 pmAnonymous

      Please blog this. I want to read your insightful review to know this Gundam show from different perspective as its story and some characters are quite complex.

      • October 3, 2016 at 12:46 pmAnonymous

        wrong post, sorry. It is worth for non-gundam fan. You can give it a try but be patient for the first few eps before the main story kicks in.

    • October 3, 2016 at 2:16 pmSamu

      You can watch Tekketsu no Orphans without any prior knowledge of the Gundam franchise. It’s not part of the main timeline. All that’s really in common is the style of storytelling and the use of mobile suits. It’s worth checking out if you’re interested in a new sci-fi anime.

      • October 3, 2016 at 10:43 pmseltzermx

        AH, thanks, I probably will then. I do like me some good sci-fi anime, but was worried about the whole prior Gundam knowledge throwing me off.

    • October 7, 2016 at 4:33 pmSaburau

      I watched the very 1st series of Gundam long, loooong time ago but haven’t really watched any other series whatsoever. However, when I came across with the 1st season of this Iron Blood Orphans a year ago, I found it quite enjoyable and had a pretty good ride throughout the 1st season, and now happily hop back into the 2nd.
      So feel free to try. As long as you start it from the 1st season of Iron Blood Orphans, or Tekketsu no Orphans(this is the 26th episode overall) I can assure you are just fine.

  • October 3, 2016 at 12:47 pmAnonymous

    Please blog this. I want to read your insightful review to know this Gundam show from different perspective as its story and some characters are quite complex.

  • October 3, 2016 at 4:34 pmDr. Hochmeister

    Good start to season 2, I especially liked how the background politics seem to be getting more fleshed out and sensible. Still the highlight is and always will be the glorious mecha action scenes. OTOH hand there’s still some plausibility issues, why would an almost dead organization hire an entire army to kill one person? Wouldn’t a lone gunman be better? Anyway, I liked the new guy, visually he’s like a grown up Bakugo from Boku no Hero Academia!

  • October 4, 2016 at 1:58 amOsy

    Please cover this, Samu. I mean, how many other shows focusing on a PMC which consists of child-soldiers lead by a young entrepreneur like Orga? And it has the social commentary and the gritty details of the underground-world businesses like human-trafficking, war-profiteering, mob-dealings, slavery, corruption, child soldiers, piracy, etc presented in a compelling package of a Gundam show that has giant robots beating the crap outta each other in space. That alone should give this show a lot of edge ;)

  • October 4, 2016 at 3:19 amSeph

    Really do hope this gets covered weekly, throw us Gundam fans a bone. Especially after the bad taste Enzo left behind last season. No offence but he really wasn’t the right guy for it.

  • October 4, 2016 at 10:15 amCrixdec

    blog please and thank you

  • October 4, 2016 at 11:05 amRuu-kun

    Do you guys recommend watching S01 before following this? Looks good, but not sure if i’ll spoil too much by picking up here…

    • October 4, 2016 at 11:48 amOsy

      You definitely need to watch season 1 before starting this season 2. If you start here, that’s like watching “LOTR Two Towers” or “Return of the King” before watching “Fellowship”. All the context will be lost on you. Heck, even the Gundam.info that officially host IBO on Youtube list this episode as “episode 26″ instead of “episode 01″. That’s how important and essential the first season is. And this season 2 spoils the hell out of season 1 (especially characters who died and survived) that you won’t feel any tension anymore if you watch it backwards. So yeah, do what most people do, and watch season 1 first if you want to follow IBO.

    • October 4, 2016 at 3:28 pmSamu

      The first season is essential viewing before jumping on this one. You won’t be disappointed.

  • October 6, 2016 at 5:16 amGemsy-chan

    I hope that is Gaelio in the mask in the opening. He was ‘presumed dead’ at the end of S1 but seeing how we never saw his body it makes sense that its gotta be him.

  • October 9, 2016 at 2:20 amHaters-Gonna-Hate

    Watch Gundam 00, Geass, or Aldnoah instead this drowsy-fest.

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