「寄り添うかたち」 (Yorisou Katachi)
“The Form of Closeness”

He’s not exactly Craster, but that doesn’t mean Naze Turbine is a swell guy.

Once again Tekketsu no Orphans turned on a dime, ditching last week’s action-driven style for a dialogue-heavy episode full of emotion.  Once you get past the whiplash I rather like that this series has the ability to do that, and given the pedigree of the staff it’s no surprise that it’s rather good at this sort of interior work.  There were a few times where the writing laid on the treacle a little thick (especially towards the end of the episode) but for the most part it felt like a pretty honest ep that added meaningfully to the character side of the story.

Mind you, there were some very unusual and some might even say daring turns here.  The theme of the episode was most certainly family (in Tekkadan’s case that’s been the theme from the beginning) but Naze Turbine’s Hammerhead casts the concept in very different terms.  I thought he might be trolling Orga at first when he told him that the entirety of the crew were “his women”, but it seems to have been the truth – at least judging by the scene in the nursery we see late in the episode.

Are we to take a ship’s captain with a self-described harem (who do all his fighting for him) as an admirable man – and that ship for a model environment?  It’s not exactly what you’d call enlightened, but there’s no denying that it’s over the topic of family that Naze and Orga find some common ground.  It’s also worth remembering that Turbine is effectively a mafioso, though in this context that doesn’t mean exactly the same thing that it does in our world.  Naze has a scoundrel’s honor, in his way, and he’s more than smart enough to see that Orga and his boys are far more worthwhile (and useful) allies than Arkay.  But he’s still not someone to be trusted (or admired).

There is a partnership formed here – partly one of convenience, and partly I think because of Turbine’s respect for Orga’s resourcefulness and commitment to his own non-traditional family.  He offers to allow Orga and Bisky to make the case to McMurdo Barriston that Tekkadan be admitted to Teiwaz, and even  to connect them (for a commission) with a a suitable trader to whom they can sell some of the spoils they claimed from Gjallarhorn (Mars needs money).  But if Naze is a man of dubious trustworthiness, I suspect Barriston is even more so.

This is where Kudelia – and Gjallrhorn – become crucial.  It seems my initial read on Gjallarhorn as a sort of more-militarized U.N. wasn’t too far off the mark – it seems they were the ones that instilled order and put an end to the Calamity War and established the current four-way political axis.  But the economic alliances have grown to view Gjallarhorn as a nuisance, a yoke around their necks – and Kuedlia’s involvement as a potential way to circumvent Gjallrhorn’s authority.  And while we still haven’t firmly established what all this talk of Kuedlia being “property” means, her potential value to someone like McMurdo Barriston is certainly obvious.

As things stand, Barriston’s ship Saisei (the Teiwaz home base) has hove into view, and Orga and Biscuit’s skills as negotiators are about to be put to a serious test.  There’s an intriguing greyness about this entire scenario that I rather like – it’s not at all clear to me that Gjallarhorn are a force for ill in the larger scheme of hings, or that making an alliance with a group of well-dressed space pirates is the right thing for Tekkadan to do either in the moral or practical sense.  But these are lessons he’s going to have to learn, part of becoming an adult – especially since, as Naze says, he has the fate of his entirely family in his hands.




    1. So, Enzo has a problem that these women “do all his fighting for him”, while at least some of them admit to getting all hot an bothered in the heat of the battle, and none of them give any appearance of being forced to fight against their will? Polygamyphobia FTW.

      1. Yeah, other than the whole space pirate thing, I think Turbine’s harem (one where everyone is aware of their place and feelings) is the most realistic harem in anime and (unless a Sheikh is involved) the only kind of harem you’ll find in real life that has the possibility of actually working out – polygamy.

  1. I think Naze is not that bad and doubtful man. I think he has a reason to be like that. I think he is like Orga, he make alliance with teiwaz to protect his harem family. Considering how rotten the world in tekketsu and amida has huge scar in his body, i’m sure he has his own hard time before become harem like that.

      1. I believe he has, based on the High School DxD EX light novels.

        Show Spoiler ▼

  2. I’ve said this over on another website, but I wasn’t a huge fan of this episode. It wasn’t a bad episode, and this show is still easily my favorite this season (which isn’t saying a ton, but I do really like the show).

    Basically, I just felt the harem was really random and didn’t add anything to the show. We pretty much got a whole episode of reaction faces. Admittedly, some of the reaction faces were pretty funny, but this show is not a comedy and even with all the reaction faces the episode wasn’t THAT funny.

    So what we had was a weirdly somber episode where we all were left reacting to a space harem. And that’s weird. And unrealistic (yes, I’m aware I’m discussing realism in a show with giant robots and space pirates, that’s my point). The one thing that I did like about the harem episode (other than some nice character work with Orga and Mika) was that it wasn’t played as sexy. If anything, all of the character’s aside from the one random jealous guy were actually rather uncomfortable about the whole thing which I felt was a more honest reaction to the situation than anime normally goes for.

    1. Pretty much yeah. And this was indeed interesting take on harem. I mean besides the fact that there is a real(supposedly functional) harem portrayed, the people involved, the women, were rather calm about their situation. No cat fights, no nothing. Just having conversations and getting along.

      I’m itching to say that I’m missing their individual take on the harem, like why each of the women agrees to this, what they like or dislike about it, some sort of input you know. And while I think that is definitely a wasted potential, this “uninvolved” calm atmosphere of everyone finding this normal worked too. Im of the opinion that this is more of a side effect of the show completely ignoring the harem workings (after throwing it in for more views), but whatever.


      1) If the show isnt going to explore this any further then what was the point? Juxtaposing Orga’s crew with Naze’s – I dont see it. I think there is a bit coming soon with the introduction of the boss, but I think the focus will have left Nate’s crew forever by the half of the next episode, shifting to probably some organization hierarchy/philosophy. So again, what was the point?

      2) The only thing I expected and was desperately waiting for was the meeting of Laffter Frankland (Hikasa Yoko) and Mika. And it didnt happen! They were shown going to fight in a simulation and that was it. A what? Where is their post-duel eye-to-eye ego contest? Where is their bonding and exchanging perspectives on why each of them fights battles?

      So yeah, still not feeling this show. Im tired of the same Orga face, give me Mika put way outside of his comfort zone. Forget all this orphan nonsense about having to survive on your own (wtf, and why does Orga have a collective say on this without even consulting anyone, way to push your personal issues on everyone*). Crush this Tekkadan sausage fest dream), unload the cargo (I mean property, i mean Kudelia) put aside cute little sisters and love triangles for a moment and get the real party going. Beamsabers, hadron cannons, phase-shift armor and the usual newtype stuff about transcending humanity.

      * even 2nd in command Cookie-san is constantly getting surprised about Orga’s ascetic suicidal tendencies. There goes the competency of Tekkan leadership… Am I the only one constantly irritated when shows support hypocrisy and stupidity with the excuse of character development?

      1. I agree with the first half of your point, disagree utterly with the second half.

        1. I don’t think Naze’s crew is going anywhere. They’re in the opening. They’re here to stay. That said, I don’t think we’re going to get a deep examination of the harem because I don’t think they’re interested in ‘how it would work.’ Because the more you draw attention to it, the more the idea of a 30 woman harem working happily would break down, to say nothing of the insanity of keeping your infant children on a combat vessel.

        2. Oh my god no. All of your points here are basically ‘take away everything that makes this show different and shove back in everything that the last 30 gundam shows have had.’ WHY would I want them to remove the unique qualities and replace them with the massively overdone qualities? That’s insane. And not only were there two shows with all that stuff just recently, but there’s a concurrent one going on RIGHT NOW. Normal Gundam is covered. Let this be abnormal gundam.

    2. 1 Yeah. But I guess Im a bit more skeptical (than you) to how much all these guys will matter in the end. We can already look back and say that none of the crazy villains or noble idiots or morally corrupt idiots (current ep) mattered at all. They are plot food. Plot for the sake of plot doesnt sit well with me.

      2 Hah true enough. But you know, this IS Gundam. If they are gonna make something else, make it and call it SomethingElse. But then the franchise would stay closed to new fans so Ill respectfully shut up and continue bitching in private about how making non-Gundam fans Gundam fans will not help Gundam fans. I do admit this show has created a nice opening for new blood. So in regards to franchise needing variety, I agree, but I simply dislike shows that ride on hype waves(1), emotional baits (2) and controversy (3). Such shows live on viewer feedback (good or bad) and quickly die afterwards. I think this is my inherent problem with the show – its design/purpose.

      1 calling itself Gundam. If we look back at the titles: Seed, Wing, Victory, 00, etc., its always some kind of symbolism. Orphans says screw it all and rolls its own thing.
      2 orphans thing, its in the freakking title
      3 all the stuff that reeks of Aldnoah. The type of show, point of which is to deliver ‘twists’ or ‘reveals’ that people will discuss entire week on facebook. Ugh. Look how Okada thing blew up. For the franchise its just good points.

      1. I don’t see any resemblance to Aldnoah. The only thing the two series have in common is the peace princess travelling from Mars to Earth. The mood, the characters, the setting, the direction are all different. And what kind of ‘twists’ and ‘reveals’ does IBO have? I don’t remember any. Everything has been pretty straightforward so far.

      2. 1 but none of the villains were in the opening minus the two Gjallarhorn guys who are obviously coming back.

        2 If you are a classic Gundam fan, I guess I can understand not liking this, but I think Gundam as a franchise has gone on MORE than long enough to be allowed an experimental series now and again. It’s not like there aren’t plenty of other Gundam series going at any given time. I highly doubt this is now the face of Gundam forever. If beam weapons don’t appear by the end of this show, I’m sure they’ll be back in force in the next one. I also don’t get why the war orphans thing bugs you so much. I’m not even going to try defending it because it honestly confuses me. It’s just character backstory. What does it matter what the backstory is specifically? Would high school students be better?

        And I also have no idea how this compares to Aldnoah. For one, even Aldnoah didn’t really run on twists. Aldnoah ran on having two protagonists that were arguably even leading to an angry, loud, divided fanbase. This doesn’t have that. And while it does have the ‘peace princess’ as SherrisLok puts it, that’s not Aldnoah. If anything that’s one of the older mecha tropes. I think the early comparisons here came from some superficial similarities between Mika and Inaho, but they’re really not the same. Mika is taciturn but he’s in no way emotionless. Inaho on the other hand simply has no personality and we were never told why.

      3. @ SherrisLok & KyleRylan

        I cant imagine any Gundam receiving 85 comments on a blog like Orphans does. In fact just see how many comments Origins have – 20. And we are talking about the very beginning of the very original Gundam. Gunplas didnt even get coverage. The upcoming Thunderbolt will hardly receive this amount of feedback.

        The similarity to Aldnoah isnt in plot or character’s. Both shows thrive on generating endless and most pointless discussions. They are ‘popular’, because they have become a social phenomenon. Just like Sword Arts or NGNL or partly even Attack on Titans *. Of course there is always some merit to the shows themselves, but the amount of attention they receive is not justified from their content alone and the discussions are just echo noise. The ‘problem’ isn’t even where people gather around, but in the ignorance that comes with it. What we are all talking about here is akin to a testament that the show offers incredible subtlety and deep insight into various personal struggles of the characters on a level most shows can only dream about. Which is not true. Then why are we here? Because everyone else is here. Why? Okada thing did it I think. These shows are so amazing they can generate buzz without even trying!

        What bugs me is the fake nature of the fandom of such shows. People who discuss them will discuss anything, but people who care can’t, because the good stuff is getting axed for economical reasons. Its the sacrifice of mainstream consumers. Of course even I am part of the problem, since didnt take part in Origins discussion yet keep talking here uselessly about show i find useless.

        *It is like cinemas nowadays, people go there, but dont care about the movie. Its simply a way to share experience with someone. Which is both good and sad.

        Watching is becoming increasingly more social phenomenon. It creates new meanings and adds a meta layer on top of the movie/show that creators now purposefully make use of. At the same time it is severely affecting the content being produced and almost exclusively in a negative way. This is the force behind the change in long-term focus of media and the reason Holywood is in such a piss poor state right now (well, not financially…). Same goes for gaming. The entire illusion of ‘graphics’ being important is a consequence of this. It isnt important, but it is – it will make eveyone go see the game. And now indie games are about the only creativity left with the rest being franchise milked dry (Need for Speed, C&C, CoD, …). Anime is already half way there – ‘important’, ‘beautiful’ big budget productions (like this one) that everyone ‘must’ see** are emerging and with each cycle its less about the animation and art and meaning and more about how do we make everyone to watch this. Look what they are doing with GitS. Or even Evangelion. The fans can defend 3.0 however they want (and I would), but frankly…

        ** Just to see what the buzz is about. Its about nothing. When people flock together of course there will be a buzz. But its only buzz of everyone confused and wondering why they came to that place. Then everyone leaves, because over the corner something seems to be going on…

  3. This episode had me pretty afraid at first. It could have potentially been the first big misstep this show has taken. However, I am very pleased with the result and this continues to be my favorite show of the season.

    Despite the new addition of Naze and his harem, I really liked that they never really diverged from the Orphans and their point of view. They are the center of the story and I’m glad that they have kept it that way, even with the addition of all these girls. I like that the focus continues to stay on Orga and Mika, and we see new sides to both characters once again.

    Orga is once again faced with the pressures of leadership and he’s trying his very best to do his best by his men. And now it looks like he’s finally going to get a mentor of his own, who has gone through the same things that he has. Orga has always done whatever was necessary for his men, but we’ve seen that sometimes he doesn’t realize his own importance and that he has to continue to live for them. For without him, they are nothing. I like how Naze wasn’t exactly teaching Orga this, but was actually simply pulling out things that Orga already knew but hadn’t put a name to. Such as the fact that Tekkadan is a family. I’m sure every member actually knows this, but Naze actually pulled it out into the open. Orga is maturing to becoming a better leader, and I love how he put the fact that those of Tekkadan “can’t” leave, they are bonded by blood stronger than iron. And that they have to be led by someone who is one of them and bonded by that same blood.

    Mika on the other hand, also seems like he might just have some abandonment issues? He stresses that he must keep training and doing better, and it was like he felt that he had betrayed Orga’s expectations by not winning the battle. He can’t have that and thus isn’t even himself after the battle, and later trains day and night to get better. And in the end, he states that he must get better so that Orga doesn’t ditch him?! This really caught my attention, and makes me think that perhaps Mika still has issues with abandonment and is afraid of Orga leaving him, and that contributes to the codependent relationship that the two have?

    Both Mika, Orga, and their men are growing and maturing, and I’m really glad that they may be gaining a helping hand from the Turbines and Teiwez. As for the new girls, I honestly don’t really care much about them. They are okay, but I’m not as excited in regards to them as many of the male members of the fandom that I have seen about, but whatevs.
    I am interested in how this new deal will go and in what’s going on with Kudelia. I hope everything goes well, even though for some reason, I have this sickening feeling in my stomach that something is going to go wrong.

    1. Rather than (just) abandonment issues, I think Mika simply thinks that his worth is only in his ruthlessness and fighting skills. So if he’s not the best at it, he thinks he’ll return to being nothing but useless “trash” with no purpose in life. He probably sees Orga as the only one who can continue to give him the opportunities to use his skills and give him purpose until…he can retire as a farmer(?)

      As for Kudelia, it’s possible she was sold by her father or something. I wouldn’t put it past him since he didn’t seem too worried when her life was at risk.

      1. Reminds me of Tsukki’s line in the latest Haikyuu episode. The one about no point when you are not #1.

        As for Orga and Mika, if there is one interesting thing about their relationship, it is that each of them idealizes the other and tries to both surpass and meet the expectations of that idealization. But ultimately both are being unrealistic and they are beginning to see that, they just cant accept that yet because it is their raison d’etre. Ironically, they live for each other, yet fear facing the other directly. So it has become a mandatory race about surpassing the other first, though each is driving completely different car.

      2. I agree, I think that both he and Orga has low senses of self worth, and they find their worth through each other and how they are “useful” to each other. Both of them need each other to survive mentally, and they have an underlying fear that if they are no longer useful, the other person won’t need them anymore, which leads to those abandonment issues.

  4. I like this character driven episode. Yes, I didn’t mind the harem thing but it was like Turbine was looking at his younger self when he is spoke with Orga.

    On a less serious note, just deliver Kudelia to Earth already. I miss those guys in blue suits.

    1. I didn’t MIND the harem, I just felt it wasted a lot of minutes of air-time. The character work was all spot on. Naze/Orga, Mika/Orga, Kudelia, etc. But here’s my problem with the harem: it added nothing to those good character moments. It was just a weird mildly fanservice-y thing that wasn’t played for fanservice thankfully that still took up like 15 minutes of the episode.

      I also feel that it weakens the various girls as characters. There was some implication that Lafter might evolve into a rival, possibly even a catwoman sort of foil to Mika, but instead she’s one of Naze’s trophy wives and the episode didn’t even seem concerned with really showing her interactions with Mika.

      I just think the harem was a wasted plot device that took away from much more interesting elements and was basically a universal negative. Not for any PC/sexism reasons, but from a plot standpoint.

      1. That’s exactly it for me though. I think it DID spoil the episode. That’s actually all I think it did. I don’t think it was done offensively or anything, this isn’t an issue of women’s rights or whatever. I think it was a waste of my time. It’s like if they had decided to spend an episode showing us what cookie and cracker were up to. Like maybe they were having trouble with a bully or something.

        You could write it fine and I’d still go ‘why in the hell did I just watch an episode about two girls dealing with a bully on a Gundam show?’ That’s how I feel about this. Not offended, not even poorly written, just like my time was wasted and I learned nothing vital that couldn’t have been handled in a much better way in a much better episode.

      2. I don’t think this was stretching, given their prominence in the opening I’d imagine the Turbines will be important recurring characters. I just think it was an unfortunate choice of plot device and I have way less interest in seeing the ongoing adventures of their friends the space harem than I did when I thought they were simply a competent mafia group.

        Because make no mistake, something like this does not go away. You don’t put a freaking harem in your show and then never mention it again. This will come up, in small ways and in large, every time we see these people. And I have zero interest in that. It’s similar to the little incest lolicon sister in Rakudai Kishi. She’s not really written that badly and she doesn’t stop the show from being good, she’s just a distraction that wastes my time as a viewer.

      3. It is possible the Turbine’s crew will somehow merge with Orga’s. In the end, both crews are lacking in military force. Orga only has 2 mech pilots and Turbine wouldnt get far against Gjallarhorn either.

  5. I think this show would have died if not for Biscuit. He seems to be the only real smart guy on the show. He knows everyone, he does all the deals while the leader just sits there like an idiot and nods his head at everything Biscuit says. The new company would of gone downhill worse if not for him. Maybe the end gundam twist is Biscuit becomes leader of a 3rd party. Isn’t that how every other gundam works?

    1. Umm… Orga very specifically ignores Biscuit’s plans regularly. As in, just last episode. The fun thing about the command staff of Tekkadan is they don’t all agree. Orga, Biscuit, and Eugene all have VERY different opinions regarding most of what they run into and they tend to have to compromise or at least apologize after the fact.

      Biscuit has been shown to be a very good non-combat XO (as opposed to Eugene who is more of a combat XO). He’s good with logistics and planning and keeping the company running but he doesn’t seem to have any combat skills either personally or in command. Basically, in corporate terms he’s a good executive assistant. he’s no leader.

      1. I can’t say that Orga ignores Biscuit’s plans. He does considers them with the same amount of consideration that he gives to all his officers. In fact, it’s with Biscuit that he talks about all matters dealing with budget, negotiations, and that sort of thing, and he lets Biscuit do all the talking when it comes to that, since that’s the guy’s forte. However, as Naze said, as the leader, the buck stops with him. He does listen to what all of his officers have to say, but it’s ultimately up to him as to what Tekkadan will do. Like in last episode, he knew Biscuit’s plan and let him talk to see what would come of it, but he decided that what Naze offered, wouldn’t be in the best interest of Tekkadan, so he decided against it. And the thing is, his officers, including Biscuit, understand that. That’s why the argument they had last episode was solved so quickly and why Biscuit said that they would follow him anywhere this episode. All of the absolutely trust Orga, and he has not once broken that trust, because his decisions are always about what’s most important for Tekkadan.

      2. I’m not sure why this is in response to me other than I chose the word ignore. Read the comment above. They imply that biscuit is the real brains of the organization and Orga does nothing. I was just pointing out that’s blatantly untrue because Orga regularly does not do what Biscuit suggests and instead uses his own plans.

        I didn’t say he’s rude or doesn’t care about his men, just that he is the one that makes most of the final decisions about their strategy.

      3. Well, you said that Orga “specifically ignores Biscuit’s plans regularly”, which was untrue. He’s only gone directly against one of Biscuit’s suggestions once on screen, and he didn’t ignore his plan at all. He clearly considered it before making his decision. That was all I was saying.

  6. Atra is shaping up to be a very good den mother, even going out of her way to try to cheer up Kudelia.

    I’m reminded of the first Gundam series, where most of the senior crew of the White Base were killed or seriously injured, and it was up to the young ones to step up.

    Fortunately for Orphans, there aren’t any whiny, angsty teenagers in the main cast so far. 😀

    Magnus Tancred
      1. Atra’s a little older than that. I don’t think they’ve officially released the ages yet, but supposedly she is about 15, while Mika is 16, Kudelia is 16, and Orga is 17. Still pretty young yes, but she’s obviously much more mature than the usual 15 year old because of her own background as an orphan, and she’s obviously going through puberty. She’s got a serious crush on Mika, and she’s considering a future family.

      2. @Irenesharda
        So the age of loli did not spare Gundam? Because no way in hell does Atra look older than 12. If it turns out that she really is 15 then I’ll be rather disgusted.

      3. Most of the orphans are older than they look. Mika and Atra are just really short and small for their age. LOL

        Think about it like this, Mika and Orga are definitely not that far apart in age as we see from their flashbacks. However, now Orga looks like he’s at least 5 years older than Mika. Mika and Atra are about the same age and so is Orga, even though Orga looks way older. It’s the problem with being a malnourished waif on Mars.

      4. Not literally a mother, mind you. Atra’s a good at chores (basically a housekeeper), we all know that. The fact that she tried to cheer up Kudelia means she is providing emotional support as well, which is more than what a housekeeper does.

        You seem dismissive of an 11-year-old’s motherly instinct, but it’s a sad reality that in many parts of the world, girls of her age are forced to take care of younger siblings due to dead, gravely ill, or otherwise unavailable (at work) parents. Perhaps it’s not instinct at all; they’re simply forced to mature early because of their difficult situation.

        Magnus Tancred
      5. I thought it was pretty clear that Mika for example was just short. He’s implied to be at least as old as the other characters despite being half their size. I assumed Atra was the same deal and I think everyone else did as well.

        While that certainly makes her kind of a loli, she hasn’t really been played up as a loli like in other shows, so I didn’t really think too hard about it. No one treats her any differently than any of the others.

    1. Yeah, I’d say the closest comparison Atra has in Mobile Suit Gundam would be Fraw Bow; spent most of the time watching the Katz, Kikka, and Letz (whom she would adopt alongside Hayato after the One Year War), making sure Amuro stayed healthy and such, even having a crush on him until she eventually moved on to Hayato.

  7. This may be the only episode we have actually see Orga being seen more of an older teenager rather than the mid-20s-style mature look he has been projecting all this time…

    …It might be a good thing that only Biscuit (and maybe Naze Turbine?) bear witness to that side of Orga.

    And the nursery scene, no words can describe all that 180-degree personality turnaround…

    1. I really liked Orga finally acting his age. It’s nice to be reminded on occasion that his uber-competent posturing is in many ways a face he puts on.

      And yeah, the nursery scene… Oh Japan, have to remind us that women are women.

    2. It was good to see that, like any leader, he’s human, and he’s also still young himself. However, that facade he puts up is necessary as all the young ones look up to him, and all the older ones are looking to him for what they are supposed to do. It’s not just Mika who is watching him, though that’s whose eyes he’s most familiar with, but it’s all of them that are looking to him and watching him. They gain their cues from him. If he’s shaky on something, they will be too, but if he’s constantly going at it with confidence and stalwartness, it allows then to believe that they can do whatever they need to against insurmountable odds.

      So, while it was good to see his human, vulnerable side, I don’t think we’re going to see it very often. As the man says, he’s always being watched.

  8. I wonder what schedule Naze has with his wives. Like, Mondays with Lafter, Tuesdays with Amida, etc. and on Saturdays/Sundays everyone gets together in the 1 big bed for space harem time.
    Big bed night is sleepless night, of course. 😉

    1. For extra edgy, they could have done with the Battle Royal scenario: each haremette has to enter a merciless game with the others to ‘win’ Naze for the night. No rules against killing other competitors. Would make the show x100 better.

  9. Wow… why bring babies on a ship that can potentially be sunk in some skirmish? Especially now that Naze seems to have decided to side on Tekkadan and estrange themselves from Gjallarhorn. That’s some painful mood whiplash when at the climax of this series, Hammerhead was sunk. Your not killing some ordinary redshirts here, you’ll be killing women and infants. That said, Tekkadan protecting the Hammerhead ship at all cost might come into play later in the series.

    While the confirmation of a functional harem shook me a little bit. After some pandering, I came to realize that its more common in real life than in animes, functional harems are just polygamy IRL.

    So it seems that Gjallarhon is what Celestial Being might end up to be after 300 years of pacifying earth and Mars. Become shady AF.

    The dynamics between Orga and Mika is really tight knit. That invisible pressure to always be the best for each other’s sake is there. Wonder who will break first from the other’s pressure.

    Orga just simply couldn’t say to Naze that he cannot agree for his crew getting separated because that is not what Mika wants. He just concocted a reason on the fly and Naze just interpreted it as Orga might be talking about ‘family’ and Orga just grabbed it and ran with it.

    1. “While the confirmation of a functional harem shook me a little bit. After some pandering, I came to realize that its more common in real life than in animes, functional harems are just polygamy IRL.”

      Polygamy being all but dead and non-functional in real life since it pretty much relies on treating one gender (generally women but not always) as property. And when it is practiced it’s famous for NOT being particularly functional and being full of emotional distress and backstabbing.

      The ‘functional’ part was actually the most unrealistic part of the harem. That said, I have no interest in them digging into the workings of Naze’s harem long-term so for the purposes of the show I’m glad we’re just going ‘they’re happy, move along!’

      That said, THANK YOU for bringing up the babies. Did no one else notice this? Star Trek the next generation got endless crap for having civilians on the ship, but at least that was mostly an explorer vessel. This is infants, specifically the infant children of the crew, on a combat vessel. That was just mind-shatteringly daft. Maybe this universe is semi-peaceful, but that seems unlikely given private military companies aren’t that unusual and Jupiter is run in part by the mob.

      The Turbines as a whole simply were not handled as well as I hoped given last episode. They have fine personalities, but aside from that the more I learned about them in this episode the more ridiculous and anime-y they became to me. I’d like the show to move away from them in short order.

      1. Combat role or not, the Hammerhead is not a military vessel, but a gangster’s spaceship. For all we know (next episode will probably confirm or debunk it), that ship may be his actual home. I wouldn’t take the babies if I were him, but I don’t know his circumstances. Gansgters’ lives aren’t always known for being peaceful, so taking them with him in a heavily armed spaceship might actually be a safer option.

      2. Yeah no, that’s insane. There is no logic whereby taking babies on a spaceship that engages in combat is not crazy. You could sit and try and INVENT logic (the nursery is the center-most room and it has its own life support and can be ejected in the event of a catastrophic system failure and so on and so forth) but you’re still just wasting a lot of mental effort on figuring out why babies are three rooms down from the rockets.

        If anything the baby scene should have taken place when they get to the Teiwaz base of operations. I mean, the exact same episode showed us babies on the ship also established that boarding operations are standard tactics.

      3. You are right, compared to any explanation I can come up with, having them just visit the children after docking (fast-forward the journey to Teiwaz’s base, it’s not as if the viewers will care how much they take to get there).

        As others have pointed out, I think they may want to turn the tragedy up to eleven when the Hammerhead is eventually destroyed (“Noooo, think of the children!”). Ok, it might not happen, but I’ve already said that I’m smelling death flags from Turbine, and probably from most of the female crew (those who are not named are likely to die; for the rest, a 50% chance, I’d say).

      4. The biggest issue with polygamy, and this is what I’ve talked about with friends who are from a country and culture that allows it, is the entire issue of economy, time, and effort that it involves. One thing my friends always bring up, is that it takes a lot of money and a lot of work. And the more wives you have, thus the more children you have, the more money and time and effort that it takes to mantain it all and that it is not something that is taken lightly. You have issues of inheritance, of position, of who gets more time compared to another. For Naze to have this many wives, would be weird even by their standards. He would have to be Uber rich and he would not be as nonchalant as he is. You are expected to be a full husband and father for each wife and child, for that many, it would almost impossible.

      5. @Sherrislok

        Another idea is that perhaps things are not all that they appear. The only one that Naze seems to romantically interested in is Amida. I’m wondering if perhaps that this “harem” is really just an elaborate front to protect women and children that he’s saved from across the system and made into his own “family”, similar to how Tekkadan is made up of orphans from all over that Orga will do anything to protect.

      6. @IreneSharda

        While I’m not sure if he’s LYING (though I guess he could be), I honestly felt that was easily the weakest part of the writing as far as the harem goes. It really didn’t seem to add anything to the story because he didn’t ACT like he had a harem. He acted like Amida was his wife. Had they not specifically said anything I would have just assumed Amida was his wife and the crew was largely female because anime. And nothing in the episode disproves that except the specific dialogue.

    2. I figure that harem is some sort of legal fiction. Remember how Kudelia was called that guy’s property? There’s probably some sort of law that makes women in space property or some such. So for the women to be on the ship and have some legal protection they have to belong to a guy. That’s still ridiculous, but it’s still more believable than some sort of harem as it was implied.

      1. That’s actually possible. I had considered the fact, that while Naze does call it his “harem” no one actually confirms or denies anything. The women say they are his and that the children are “his” but honestly there could be other ways of thinking of that. Many have thought that he’s collected these women from across space, saving them from whatever horrible life they had before, which I can buy. It’s possible that he maintains that the women are part of his “harem” and that the children (which he might have also have rescued) are his, in order to protect them all, giving them the protection of being the wife and child of a high ranking Teiwez member. Also, honestly he’s only seems to be in an obvious relationship with Amida. Everyone else, seems to just be there. They are all family, but I’m honestly not sure it’s what everyone thinks it is, on the surface.

    3. “Orga just simply couldn’t say to Naze that he cannot agree for his crew getting separated because that is not what Mika wants. He just concocted a reason on the fly and Naze just interpreted it as Orga might be talking about ‘family’ and Orga just grabbed it and ran with it.”

      Really? I though Orga was genuine with the whole family bit. While I’m sure Mika doesn’t want to see the crew split up I think Orga shares the same opinion just as much.

      1. I think you might be mistranslating some scenes. Orga did make his decision on what Mika said, but it wasn’t that Mika put the idea into his head, it was that Orga was stuck between two hard decisions but Mika’s statement helped him make a final decision. Orga wanted exactly what Mika wanted, but he also had to take what Biscuit was saying as well. When Mika did say that he didn’t want them to be separated, it helped Orga to make his decision.

        Anyone with eyes could tell that Orga and all those of Tekkadan think of each other as family. However, you have to remember that all of them are orphans, and many, probably Orga included, are unfamiliar with the idea of family. We can see from the small about of flashbacks, that Orga has been an orphan for a long time. The idea of having a “family” is very vague to him. He understands work and comrades, but not having a family with brothers. He knew what Tekkadan means to him, but it was the first time that he had to vocalize and explain it to someone else. And he didn’t realize that what he was describing as a “mingling of blood that cannot be separated” WAS a “family”. It actually solidifies more the fact that these are maladjusted orphan teens that don’t have a clue about simple things that we take for granted.

      2. @Irenesharda
        “Orga did make his decision on what Mika said, but it wasn’t that Mika put the idea into his head, it was that Orga was stuck between two hard decisions but Mika’s statement helped him make a final decision.”

        That’s actually what I was getting at. I guess I just misinterpreted Raiu’s comment.

  10. Am I the only one thinking that Turbine is going to die in the future? His appaearance as a gangster with some noble qualities, the talk about family, the hints that he sees himself in Orga, all that helping he’s doing… He looks like a Big Brother (no, not that one) archetype, you know, the kind that helps little brothers but also teaches (sometimes harshly) the realities of life.

    1. I could see him dying. Specifically because he possesses most of the same character traits that people point too in ORGA and suggest that he’ll die. But I don’t think Orga will die. He’s too central to the plot itself. He’s not a mentor figure to Mika so much as a partner. Their relationship is the story, not Mika with Orga as a teacher.

      Naze on the other hand does fit the traditional role of the mentor/big brother, which opens him up to the traditional death of that character. With 50 widows I guess.

  11. Well this was an interesting episode to say the least. I feel however that people are coming down a bit too hard on the whole harem thing, although it is admittedly controversial to our minds and ideology (and clearly to those of our mains as well) isn’t the idea of child soldiers/mercenaries also controversial to it? It may be more “normal” as far as anime is concerned, especially a Gundam series, but principally it’s no more outrageous. I’m sure at least some of us (myself included) have seen or watched “harem” animes and wondered “what if”. I just think it’s too early to say whether they were thrown in just because, we’ve pretty much just met them, or that it serves no purpose. I think we need to give the show a chance first to see if they do anything with it. If they don’t, then yeah it’s hard to think of why it was necessary for just one episode.

    Here is my thought on what the “harem” thing might mean in the show:

    The theme or thesis of this series seems to be “Family” or at least something along those lines. It’s probably going to show itself in more ways from here it out. If they showed an actual working harem of all things, maybe we can expect seeing pretty boy and his 9-year old fiancée.

    The harem I think is a way of showing another way a family can exist. There’s nothing traditional about these families, in fact of all the characters Biscuit is the only one that seems to have any semblance of a normal family with sisters and a grandmother. I’m not sure about Atra, but she certainly seems to be offering the chance to Mika for such a thing (let’s be honest though, any family resulting from that wouldn’t be normal). I’m guessing that the crew of the Hammerhead will be used as a kind of parallel with the Tekkadan crew, showing two families being different

    As several people have already pointed out, it’s too early to judge the harem without knowing the circumstances of the people involved. They probably went through a lot of things before reaching the point they’re at now, and based on some of the dialogue, Naze spend some time doing much of the same thing as Orga, trying to keep his family (or at least the people he cared about) together. He’s undeniably a pimp and a scoundrel, but he hasn’t shown his true nature to us yet, regarding his family or his “job”. He hasn’t made any real promises to Tekkadan aside from finding them some merchants to buy their junk, but we’ll have to see.

    Another thing this whole argument brings up is something I’ve been wondering almost since episode 1. If the boys tend to end up as workers getting that pretty nasty nano-machine surgery, and ending up as child soldiers or labourers, what happens to all the orphaned girls?

    We saw earlier in the show that at least some end up as prostitutes but where do the other’s end up? I wonder if this is linked to at least some of the girls in Naze’s harem and maybe even Kudelia being referred to as “property”. We might find out next episode.

    The scene with the babies, while certainly filled with much daww, served a small but not insignificant purpose. Obviously is fleshed out a bit more about the harem, but it also showed more of Atra. It showed that she is observant and receptive to people other than just Mika, this reveals a lot of maturity on her part, bringing Kudelia to see the babies to lift her spirits. It’s thoughtful and it shows that she might start taking a kind of maternal role as Tekkadan’s only (technically) female member (Kudelia and her maid are the clients). Atra also seemed interested in the whole harem aspect, no doubt as a girl wondering how a woman could be happy in such an environment no doubt. Her curiosity is understandable and it no doubt mirrors some of the audiences concerns as well. I wonder if some of the haremettes will bond with her and become as a kind of big sister or otherwise mentor to little Atra (and then we watch her bomb attempts to use their methods to wrangle Mika XD)

    Orga seems to be struggling on how to handle Mika, and how to meet his expectations. I think he is more aware now that Mika also feels pressured by his own expectations and he doesn’t know how to deal with that. Best he can do is go with what has been working so far.

    Next episode will probably be more of a test for Tekkadan’s leadership than any physical battle. Orga’s shown that he’s not the best at negotiating and this will be a very small tightrope he’ll being walking with the negotiations to get them into Teiwaz and Kudelia might be fighting her own battles as well.

    On the whole, it was a good episode with some controversial decisions that I hope will justify themselves as the series continues.

    1. Man…did this episode make me laugh and shake my head at the same time… A harem consisting of a whole ship of women and they are all buddy-buddy with one another? Ridiculous. It’s the most sci-fi element in the show so far, I’m telling you.

      Tat was the worst episode to date. Family yada yada a harem of castrated robots yada yada look at those cute DAMN STOP! This leads to nowhere.

    2. No offense, but I actually think everyone is being really NICE about the harem. Modern PC culture teaches us to say things like ‘it is admittedly controversial to our minds and ideology’ as though if it WEREN’T for modern mores, we’d all just happily be taking part in polyamorous relationships. We would not.

      Polygamy IS WEIRD. That’s not to say it’s impossible, but it is highly unusual. It was not kicked out of culture by laws for the most part. It was generally practiced fairly minimally even in most cultures that practiced it and just slowly died off naturally (with exceptions, don’t waste my time listing them, everything in history has exceptions) because it’s usually not emotionally satisfying.

      The fact that no one is going on rants about the harem and how it’s terrible or demeaning to women or something like that I think is actually fairly remarkable.

      I’m with SherrisLok, though I like the show. This episode was weak and the harem was the source of the weakness. It’s simply not realistic outside of REALLY specific situations and even then it’s not usually this large and sure as hell isn’t this friendly. I agree with the idea that, more than space colonies and mechs, the idea of a massive happily functioning harem was the most ‘anime’ moment for me.

      And your defense (other than the idea that the writers were simply trying to show another kind of family; I think that’s exactly what they were doing) really just highlights the weakness. A harem is an insane idea that NEEDS TO BE EXPLAINED. If it is not explained, we can’t judge, because it’s so random and nonsensical that without explanation it’s impossible to understand. But it is a waste of our time as viewers to have to learn how Naze’s freaking space harem works. That is the weakness of the element. As a minor element, it makes no sense. As a major element, it’s a waste of time. If you try to balance it, it just has both problems. It simply would be a better show and episode without the space harem element.

      1. I certainly agree with you. While it’s nice that they seemed take an anime trope as tired as a harem and actually do it in a, for lack of a better term, “classy” way, unless they can actually make it count for something in the show, and actually use it to make some kind of point, then yes, it is pointless or just done for lols, which I can’t deny that it has achieved.

        The new Pimp King Naze Turbine has certainly been making waves on the net and people are having a good laugh about it. I just hope that they actually do something with this “harem” or perhaps it’s not a harem as we think of it, and that will be flushed out and explained and maybe we’ll say “Oh so it wasn’t what we thought at all” and maybe that will happen. As you said, it needs to be explained, but I’m saying we have to remember it’s a 25 episode show, so we should give the show time to explain before casting too much judgement one way or the other.

        I just hope they aren’t tossing in an unneeded element for the sake of having a space pimp. If it’s later shown in later episodes that it actually makes some kind of sense or if they actually manage to provide justification for it from a narrative perspective, then I’ll have no issue. I’m just saying we should wait before we side one way or the other if we’re okay with it, because this show is 2 cours long and we’re only 3/4 done the first cour.

      2. I’m rather pessimistic about the future direction of the show. Call me jaded or whatever, but time and time again I’ve been irritated with gimmicky ideas and situations being introduced in anime for the lulz, cause hey, why not? It’s alright if it’s a series like Code Geass, where the idiocy is what defines the show, but in Gundam it really is jarring.

      3. I’m not going to overreact to a minor development regarding a side character and suggest it is somehow going to define the show, but I agree that it was stupid. There are a lot of reasons polygamy is basically dead in real life, and the few cultures that do still practice don’t even practice it that widely and even then, it’s not because it’s ‘natural,’ (whatever that means) it’s generally because of near-millennia old cultural stipulations.

        It’s not something you just throw in ‘for the lulz’ as you say. It’s jarring.

      1. Honestly, I think Amida has personality as well. She is the only one among them who actually seems like a wife and mother. She supports Naze and the younger girls, but she also will criticize them when they are wrong. Honestly, I think we got to know her, even more than Lafter. I won’t cry for any of them if they die, but I would notice Amida’s death.

  12. Funny how you find yourself in the same position as me the other day. Exactly, its not the problem of being done wrong, the problem is that what the show wants to do is not what you want it to be doing.

    Apparently it DOESNT spoil the episode for some people and they love it. It spoils the episode for you. Who is right? Fan A or fan B or marketing sector or franchise creator or show’s creators or?

    Some people want to see that fanservice. You want something else and I want those metaphorical hadron cannons. We can just take all we can from the show and bitterly ignore the rest. Maybe even learn to like it. Its not like moe is a crime.

  13. To be completely honest I don´t think is fair to judge Naze just because of his status as hareem king and mafioso, because in the other hand or protagonist are child soldiers/ mercenaries taht are doing their best to survive, in that kinf of crap sack world they live Naze is the closest thing you could get to a genuine good guy. Besides, Naze turnes on Orga´s previous boss out of disgust of what he did to those children, as a father he felt repulsed and sent that fat bastard to a mining asteroid, a person who racts that way is at the very a good father and that´s nice start, at the very least he´s a million times better father than that scum Kudelia calls father.

    1. Several people have made comments of this sort and I simply have to ask “do you actually read the above comments?” I don’t believe anyone has said Naze is a ‘bad guy.’ The only complaint is that the use of the harem as a plot element is somewhere between stupid and pointless. It varies in intensity but I haven’t see anyone on here say ‘the Turbines are bad people’ aside from a few who dislike Lafter, but she’s a divisive anime stereotype. That’s not surprising.

      If anything, Naze seems like quite a good guy and a possibly well-done mentor figure. All of which has NOTHING to do with whether or not giving him a space harem was a positive or necessary development.

      1. I don´t think it was all that pointless, the series is very dark and serious all the time (they child soldiers for God´s sake!) and this development gave us viewers and Tekkadan a good laugh. Also it was well used to hammer home the family dynamic Tekkadan has taken without realizing it.

  14. Gundam isn’t about romance, so if the author wants to introduce girls they’re usually taken, or like someone already. Gundam 00 was the last one with any strong romantic relationships and even then it’s super weak.

    The reason the harem exists is because they wanted to have a bunch of girls, while having it not affect the orphans. I personally don’t like the decision because I don’t like Naze all that much. He reminds me of the rich guy from TurnA I didn’t like him much either.

    1. To be honest I really like Naze, and not only because he has created a functional battle harem, the guy might be mafia but has a good heart with a good judge of character two qualities that horrible world is painfully lacking.

  15. ep 09:

    Show Spoiler ▼

    i just love this Anime. But do not forget the action, too


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