「盃」 (Sakzuki)
“Sake Cup”

Meat and cookies don’t always stand for meat and cookies.

It’s always interesting to see the response to episodes of a Gundam series in the usual places where people vote on such things (you’re familiar with these popular sites, I’m sure) especially a Gundam show like this one with its somewhat unusual pedigree.  Episodes like this one and the one before almost invariably (I would say just “invariably” based on every instance I remember) score lower than ones like Episode 7 – action-driven episodes that are heavy on franchise canon.

Stuff like that I wonder where Tekketsu no Orphans is going to fit into the larger Gundam pantheon when it’s all said and done.  In terms of disc sales it looks poised to be a middling Gundam performer if Stalker is to be believed – better than the obviously atypical “Build Fighters” series but nowhere near the nosebleed numbers of some more traditional editions.  Is “Orphans” kind of a tweener, I wonder?  It hasn’t had all that much action so far, really.  And given that’s it’s written by what’s-her-name, it’s been pretty light on the outrageous and melodramatic too.  It doesn’t seem to be hewing tightly to the tastes of fans of either the franchise or the writer – will it end up kind of working for almost everybody, or leaving almost everybody unsatisfied?

One thing I know is that there’s a definite sense of waiting for the other shoe to drop, either in the Gundam sense or the Ok*da sense.  There was a burst of violence early on, but the current tone of the series is decidedly low-key and even philosophical.  The dominant themes are politics and social convention – rather than a war itself, the aftermath of a long-ago one and the machinations involved in trying to prevent another.  And the notion of what a family is – with an embrace of decidedly not-traditional definitions.  Biology and the nuclear model take a decided back seat to emotional bonds in the world of Iron-Blooded Orphans.

The newest spin on this is Teiwaz, represented in the very large person of McMurdo Barriston.  It certainly doesn’t hurt to have him voiced by one of the very best in Ishizuka Unshou, who immediately brings that peculiar type of heft that only he (well – and Ootsuka Akio) can.  Barriston is the head of another type of family, right down to the cannoli – it’s no coincidence that Naze calls him “the old man”.  He’s very much the godfather here, and what he’s effectively doing is inviting Orga and Tekkadan into his family.  But that comes with a very real price.

No question, a very significant theme of this episode is the notion of what it means to become an adult.  We get the very unusual spectacle of anime actually showing minors getting drunk (though it’s generally fine with showing them getting killed), but that’s just playing house – the real lesson here is in the agreement with Barriston.  Some of the kids are more aware of it than others (Biscuit I think most of all, and Mikazuki more than he lets on), but they’re giving up a tremendous amount in exchange for this connection – much of their freedom, in fact, and not just in what they choose to do but in what they choose to stand for.  And that certainly applies to Kudelia, too.

This is what sticks with me – the idea that adulthood means accepting that in order to get something you have to give something up.  One must compromise in terms of goals, resources and ideals – choose what your priority is and act based on that.  Orga getting drunk and playing the fool, I think is his way of trying not to think about everything he’s giving up in service of his top priority, his family.  We see scenes of the younger boys excitement over the sweets Orga buys them with the spoils of Naze’s sale of Gjallarhorn’s stolen property, but this too is a rather childlike attempt at playing parent on Orga’s part – and even one of the little ones like Ride can see this as an opportunity to think about the even younger boys.

It’s hard not to walk away at this point without being struck by how unprepared all these kids are for what lies ahead of them.  Atra has no idea about the complexities of relationships (in any sense).  Kudelia’s understanding of the political dynamic she’s trying to reshape is naive and sketchy.  All of them are being forced to do grown-up things in order to survive, but they’re not grown up (“guilty children”, indeed) – and they’re valuable tools in the hands of those who are, and want something from them.  All they have, in the end, is each other – and it’s hard to imagine that’s going to be enough to guide them through the minefield of treachery and deceit that lies before them unscathed.




  1. My reactions upon hearing McMurdo Barriston speak were, “Good to hear you again, Sergei Smirnov,” and “OH MY GOD!”

    Seiyuu jokes aside, I liked seeing Orga show a bit of his childish side (after a hard night’s drinking) despite trying so hard to be a father figure to his adopted family. Orga might not have had a normal life with parents and such, but here he is, still soldiering on for his companions.

    Show Spoiler ▼

    1. Show Spoiler ▼

    1. Yeah, but having to mention every review that “there’s someone on the staff who does atypical Gundam things” is still annoying. Every post has it. Every single one. Enzo might think it’s cute, or cheeky at this point, but it’s more the sign of someone who cannot write.

      1. I, however, find it hilarious that there’s been so much outrage in the comment sections weekly over the mere mention of she-who-must-not-be-named. This fixation rivals (or perhaps overpowers) Enzo’s own with a certain writer. Unlike Tarage above, I don’t see this repetition as a flaw in writing. It’s just a different focus. Just because it’s drastically different from what the majority of readers want to focus on doesn’t mean Enzo’s terrible. Granted repetition is boring, but I personally find it even more ridiculous that people are still commenting about this.

        Perhaps because I’m not as emotionally invested in this series as other readers are, I don’t feel annoyed.

    1. I SORT OF get where you’re coming from. In my opinion the key mistake was last episode. Because before that episode it was almost straight action, and very good action at that. Last episode was a waste of time. It focused on weird stuff (space harem) but more than that it focused on pointless stuff. What we needed out of the character development and plot movement all happened in THIS episode, which was actually quite good but required us to wade through an essentially wasted half-hour in order to get here.

      They should have re-jiggered last episode into basically a 5-10 minute opening (maybe even save the reveal on the space harem until the bonding ceremony as a joke or something) and then gotten this stuff mostly set up last episode and then by this episode we could have ended on the reveal of the upgraded barbatos or something. Last episode was simply a hard pacing misfire.

      1. I’m gonna have to disagree, partially. While I agree that some stuff like the harem aspect could have been tossed out I feel like the majority of episode 8 served a purpose. I feel that combining episodes 8 and 9 would have been trying to condense too much into one episode and would have been a pacing misfire in the other direction.

      2. I don’t think and I didn’t say you could fit it into one episode, I said you could have condensed what we got as two episodes into less space and then had more happen in this episode.

        I think you’ve got about one and a quarter’s episodes of good material here and then A LOT of reaction faces to the harem in the last episode. That stuff could have been shifted around, ignored, removed, downplayed and given us some more room to maybe see some gundam upgrade scenes or something rather than two VERY ‘talky’ episodes in a row with little action or mecha. Maybe you could have just actually SHOWN some of the simulator battles as opposed to the harem reaction crap.

        As I said even last episode, this isn’t an issue that what has happened in the last two episodes didn’t move the plot or wasn’t probably a big part of what the series will be about (these could actually be pivotal to both the themes of adulthood and the plot through Teiwaz), it’s that the episodes are very talky and kind of boring, as the above comment says. There’s no real action (despite the fact they could have used the simulator battles as many Gundam shows have before) and there’s no real titillation (despite the fact they introduced like 6 potential love interests but locked them off in a ‘space harem’). It’s a qualified case of the old ‘show, don’t tell’ mistake.

      3. “I don’t think and I didn’t say you could fit it into one episode”
        You’re right you didn’t my fault

        I still feel like most of episode 8 had a point to it. The boarding of the Hammerhead and the two talks with Naze take up half of the episodes run time (excluding the OP, ED, and preview) and I enjoyed most of the talky stuff in between, pointless or not. I will admit the the harem talk is weird and potentially pointless (depending on what the show does with it in the future), but it barely takes up 2 minutes of episode 8. However, I will admit showing some of simulator battles would have a better use of a few minutes of that episode.

  2. I’m actually enjoying this series. It’s very atypical for Gundam, but it’s hitting all the right notes for me. In a way, it’s the anti-Gundam. Many of the more obnoxious tropes Gundam has are being subverted in pleasant ways. A protagonist who doesn’t mind killing people, and isn’t emo about doing so. Antagonists who use their brains instead of being generic evil. Further more, antagonists you have a hard time hating to even disagreeing with. Suits that actually take damage, and don’t have it magically fixed by the next episode. A princess who knows her place, knows what she can and cannot do, and doesn’t wallow in pity and uses her abilities to the fullest. Not a single beam weapon around. And probably the biggest anti-Gundam subversion, more non-combat episodes than combat episodes.

    I want this series to do well, because it’s doing something different. After the trainwreck that was Reco, I welcome a new direction for Gundam. One of fresh ideas. One that tries to evolve the series. It’s been sorely needed. Build Fighters scratched that itch, but IBO is digging deep.

    1. I’m really not seeing why IBO gets this much praise. A lot of the tropes you pointed have already been subverted or played straight by many Gundam series before IBO. IBO itself has already subscribed the plenty of Gundam cliches on its own. Saying Gundam has been doing all that before is a huge generalization.

      I’ll give IBO credit, it hasn’t done anything truly pretentiously annoying yet. The fact that its narrative has focused on a much smaller scope has been a big plus because it allows more character development. But it still hasn’t done anything truly amazing to set itself apart from the rest of the franchise. Nine episodes have passed and I’m still waiting to be truly impressed.

      1. Uhm.. I am not a Gundam fan and this is my first Gundam series outside Seed. I don’t know how much you have seen in this franchise but from a casual watcher, I am happy with what I see so far. I only hope that Okada will not push the drama button too hard as this is not Nagi no Asukara. LOL

      2. IBO gets a lot of praise because of the pacing and the characters.

        IBO is character focused instead of world focused. The political controversies are still there, but the show doesn’t dwell on them, and the two main protagonists have an awesome relationship.

        All these character dynamics are just way too good, and the show has a clear “Goal.”

        It’s by far the best Gundam to be made in a long time.

      3. As a long time Gundam fan, I agree. While I’m overall enjoying the series, as you said, IBO hasn’t exactly done anything that at least one previous Gundam series hasn’t already done in one form or another while not really doing anything unique itself.

        I’m guessing Tarage is, no offense, someone who hasn’t really seen much Gundam beyond SEED/SEED Destiny or else they would also know about how such things have been done quite a lot already.

        “A protagonist who doesn’t mind killing people, and isn’t emo about doing so.”

        Amuro Ray (Mobile Suit Gundam)
        Kamille Bidan (Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam)
        Judau Ashta (Mobile Suit ZZ Gundam)
        Seabook Arno (Mobile Suit Gundam F91)
        Uso Ewin (Mobile Suit Victory Gundam)
        Heero Yuy (Gundam Wing)
        Duo Maxwell (Gundam Wing)
        Trowa Barton (Gundam Wing)
        Quatre Raberba Winner (Gundam Wing)
        Wu Fei Chang (Gundam Wing)
        Garrod Ran (After War Gundam X)
        Setsuna F. Seiei (Mobile Suit Gundam 00)
        Lockon Stratos (Mobile Suit Gundam 00)
        Tieria Erde (Mobile Suit Gundam 00)
        Allelujah Haptism (Mobile Suit Gundam 00)

        …all of these main characters were ones who were either not adverse to killing or at least didn’t become emo after doing so. It was only characters like Kira (“Jesus”) Yamato in SEED/SEED Destiny or Kio Asuno in the third arc of Mobile Suit Gundam AGE who REALLY took the whole aversion to killing and being emo about it over the top.

        “Antagonists who use their brains instead of being generic evil. Further more, antagonists you have a hard time hating to even disagreeing with.”

        Char Aznable (Mobile Suit Gundam/Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam/Mobile Suit Gundam: Char’s Counterattack)

        Paptimus Scirocco (Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam)
        Haman Karn (Mobile Suit Zeta/ZZ Gundam)
        Zechs Marquis/Milliardo Peacecraft (Gundam Wing)
        Trieze Khushrenada (Gundam Wing)
        Gilbert Durandal (Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny, at least the first half)

        …also antagonists who fit the mold in one way or another.

        “Suits that actually take damage, and don’t have it magically fixed by the next episode.”

        Don’t forget that battles don’t take place day by day like a series would make you believe. There’s usually SOME sort of passage of time, usually days or even weeks, between battles, allowing repair crews to repair damaged mobile suits, depending on the extent of the damage (which is rarely THAT bad). Here, the battle not only wasn’t THAT long ago, but there’s also the fact that the Gundam Barbatos is a 300 year old (Gundam) frame, so I highly doubt any specialized parts it may need are just lying around to fix it up like they could with something like a modern mass produced Graze.

        However, as we saw, the Barbatos will most likely be not only fully repaired and properly tuned, but upgraded by the time the next battle comes around. (The Barbatos is also meant to essentially be able to use almost any Mobile Suit part, which is why it seems to have different weaponry and slightly different looks each battle so far, because it was using parts from defeated enemy Mobile Suits.)

        “A princess who knows her place, knows what she can and cannot do, and doesn’t wallow in pity and uses her abilities to the fullest.”

        In general, this is the only thing that wasn’t really done much in previous Gundam series’ (but princesses in general, literal ones and not metaphorically, are rare in of themselves in Gundam series’ too).

        “Not a single beam weapon around.”

        Not yet anyway. Once the Gundam frames start appearing more, beam weapons will most likely be increasingly used.

        Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team rarely used beam weapons either (primarily machine guns, and large cannons). They were also quite rare in Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket.

        “And probably the biggest anti-Gundam subversion, more non-combat episodes than combat episodes.”

        So far anyway. It’s only been nine episodes out of twenty five, IIRC, so we still got quite a ways to go before definitively saying such a thing.

      4. @TitanAnteus

        It’s by far the best Gundam to be made in a long time.

        How long is the long run? ꒪vᓫ

        In “Antagonists who use their brains instead of being generic evil. Further more, antagonists you have a hard time hating to even disagreeing with.” you should also add Gundam 00 and Ribbons. That chap is my hero.

        As for Kudelia… I wouldn’t say she uses her ability to the fullest. If that was the case… But let’s hope it’s not.

      5. @samui
        If you enjoy it that’s fine, more power to you. I’m merely pointing out that the claim that IBO is good because its the “anti-Gundam” just absurd as HalfDemonInuyasha pointed out.

        IBO does not have a clear “Goal” because its not even halfway through. I’d say to wait for it to actually finish declaring it the “Best” Gundam series. It can still end up being betteror crash and burn like so many other Gundam before it.

        Heck I thought AGE Generation 1 was good. Then AGE continued and….yeah.

      6. @HalfDemonInuyasha:

        -I’m sorry, but a lot of this is being nitpicky. While the actual obsession with full-on pacifism is a recent development in Gundam, questioning the costs and consequences of war is definitely one of the hallmarks of the franchise, and the heroes being fairly angsty about it is also a hallmark. If you want to REALLY CLOSELY look at the words ’emo’ and ‘doesn’t like killing’ then yeah, sure, you’re right, but don’t be a prick, you know what they’re getting at. This show has not had the hero, or the show as a whole, really examine the idea of war at all so far. Partially because as of yet there is no war.

        -while there have been specifically intelligent gundam antagonists in the past, once again you’re ignoring a difference to make a point. Which Char may have been multi-dimensional, Zeon was pretty much evil to the core, and so on with each of the other villain groups. Gjallarhorn so far doesn’t seem all that evil, simply status quo and ‘old’ (playing into the new generation vs old generation philosophy of the show). It’s definitely different, though hard to say since we’re not even half way.

        -this reads more like you just didn’t want to admit they were right about something than having an actual response. The fights are more brutal so far. We’re not far so that might change, but as of yet the fights are more brutal. done.

        -Umm… I’d have to go double-check but I’m fairly sure Kudelia’s not a princess either. She’s simply the daughter of the representative of their little region on Mars I believe.

        -the last two are, as you rightly point out, not certain yet. But that goes both ways. It makes your responses no more correct than their assertions, but simply refusing to give a point.

      7. @KaleRylan
        “This show has not had the hero, or the show as a whole, really examine the idea of war at all so far. Partially because as of yet there is no war.”

        Perhaps this is the clue that makes this show feel different, instead of several details that can be shared among different variations of the Gundam themes (there are so many Gundam series that, objectively, tropes can and will be repeated). There is no global war and the conflicts shown are small proxy operations that only affect isolated armed groups. Even the first season of Gundam 00 showed more war than IBO.

        We are seeing what Gundam feels like when there isn’t war and few expect anything like that, even if we are told that some shady characters are conspiring to cause one.

    2. In reply to HalfDemonInuyasha, you couldn’t be more incorrect. I’ve seen plenty of Gundam, from 08th to X. Hell, I’ve even read Crossbone. Please don’t assume things about me that you have no idea about.

      1. Then you’re certainly not showing it with making so many assumptions about the previous series’. The things you mention that IBO is supposedly doing “differently” has been done a bunch of times throughout the franchise to this point while the things you complained about seemingly being done a lot have actually only really been done in a few of them.

      2. Well, sorry that putting in details to back up what I was saying in response to different things you claimed makes me a “jackass” to you.

        In order to make sure I didn’t do the same thing in making a generalized, but opposite statement, I felt I had to add in such details to back up my statements.

        Like, again, you were saying IBO was doing something other Gundam series’ hadn’t done before, but it really hasn’t while also saying it’s avoiding cliches that other Gundam series’ had done, some of which they really weren’t done all that much to begin with. Like your example of protagonists being adverse to killing and being emo about it is hardly a long time Gundam trend as only maybe three or so protagonists from previous Gundam series’ fit that mold while a majority of the others don’t.

  3. While this series is clearly going for things and issues not done before, the fact is that it feels even less Gundam than the previous attempt to make a mech series with the iconic name that had nothing to do with it, and that’s the issue. Take out the “Gundam” in the title and IBO would be another mecha series overhyped just because the staff (just like happened with every Gundam TV series after abandoning Cosmic Era)

      1. War in the Pocket is a masterpiece. It’s a must be for any Gundam fan each year in Christmas. Not only it mantain several of the Gundam ideas, but it goes beyond with the characters, which made the whole story. The Alex is only there for the epic final duel, and remember, Bernie is the only Zeon pilot that shot down a Gundam in a standard Zaku, not Char, not Anavel Gato or other Zeon ace (and in the novel, he did live to tell the story)
        G Gundam is more the WWE of the franchise. It’s not bad, but it took the original idea (mechs for military use) and turned into a Super Robot show. Some giggles, but some of the Mobile Suits were clearly a mockery.
        00 sucked, as simply as that. Trying to make the current era into a Gundam-like conflict was going to be hard, and 00 just simply missed the mark by trying to make the same idea that Seed did with the original, but in this case, using Wing as a model.

        BTW, what’s the reason the Barbatos is a “Gundam”? It doesn’t seem to have Gundanium Gamma alloy or an OS that recognize it as a Gundam-type Mobile Suit. That’s the little things that the franchise has forgotten to explain in the show, and just made it into the complimentary material.

    1. To me a gundam show has gundams. Done.

      This idea that in order for a gundam show to be a gundam show it has to be a re-tread of the same conflict from the original gundam series repeated ad nauseam forever I think is the absolute worst part of the franchise and it’s the reason I only watch every 4th or 5th gundam series. Let the series expand. Do a full-scale, multiple star system gundam show where they still fight with gundams. Do a fantasy one. Do a post-apocalyptic one.

      Why must it always be colonies vs earth with some sort of enhanced human who’s whining about the costs of war?

      1. Here’s an idea, how bout a Gundam where the developer of the concept of Gundam was female and pilots her own Gundams ostensibly to “make mechanized mobile suits a reality” when in truth, she possesses strong beliefs on war and is secretly forming her own paramilitary organization to disrupt terrorism and oppressive states/nation-states. It’d be interesting, but incredibly difficult to pull off because every single state would be having their sights on her and will start coming down on her and her organization until they’re basically annihilated. Heck, it’d also be even more interesting if governments and corporations are hunting her down due to copyright violations if we choose to set the plot in our current world.

        All kinds of ideas are out there, it just depends on whether people bother enough to execute them I guess…

        Nishizawa Mihashi
  4. For a character driven episode there was disappointingly little character development actually happening. Most of this is just a repeat of the previous episode. This episode and the last weeks should have been done together for better pacing.

    Orga is pretty much the one who gets the most development and how he is taking responsibility for Tekkadan. And him getting plastered is nice to see him in a moment of vulnerability. Pretty much everyone has been static mostly just them reacting to Orga’s new developments.

    Kudelia continues to make roll my eyes. So apparently she doesn’t even know that reforms can result in violence. And of course she isn’t strong enough to make her own decisions she has to have a man like Mika tell her the fucking obvious. For someone who has supposedly headed a revolutionary movement, the writers have gone out of the way to establish how inept she is.

    1. They were going for character development and failed. Because there was no development, just rehashing of what we already know. One would think that since Kudelia is such a major character she should be getting some… And it should be probably longer than the meager time allocated to her doubts. Do I miss character episodes in anime these days.

      1. I’m glad you two are around. Unrelenting cynicism is great fun.

        1. Actually it’s really common for people to think they can effect ‘peaceful change’ Ghandi is a prime example. Tried REALLY HARD to avoid a war between Muslims and Hindus and the resultant break up of India. Failed so hard that he was killed by one of his ‘own’ side.

        Also, the changes Khudelia is asking for are basically just a bit of economic freedom, not independence or anything of that sort, so the violent response is actually A LITTLE strange. (there have been examples of both sides, violent and non-violent, of this sort of thing in history)

        2. Arguing about whether character development is there or not is a weird conversation. Clearly EVERYONE ELSE thinks it’s doing a pretty good job on that front. You two do not agree, so obviously everyone else is wrong. People are always entitled to their opinion but it would be nice if more could admit that while they disagree, the majority isn’t nuts with their small minority as the only people that really ‘get it.’

      2. You two do not agree, so obviously everyone else is wrong. People are always entitled to their opinion but it would be nice if more could admit that while they disagree, the majority isn’t nuts with their small minority as the only people that really ‘get it.’

        I have never said that. I have only stated my opinion and that’s it. I do not attack other people for their opinions because an opinion by nature depends on ones own interpretation.

        But obviously that MUST mean we are all the same hive mind right? Maybe if you want to preach about being open-minded you actually start by not generalizing those who disagree with you.

    2. @KaleRylan

      Are we not entitled to our own opinions? Or maybe we should be writing ‘but this is only my opinion’ after each comment? Does it hurt you when you read things you disagree with or something?

      You two do not agree, so obviously everyone else is wrong. (…) it would be nice if more could admit that while they disagree, the majority isn’t nuts.

      I wonder how you came up with this one… As nowhere have I called names anyone whose views I did not share.

      1. Hmm…

        1. It’s repetitive.

        2. Why waste your time? We’re not 3 episodes in anymore. We’re nearly halfway. If you don’t like it to the point that you feel the need to write 15 comments point out how little you like it each episode, why don’t you simply go watch other things and comment on those?

  5. Growing up is difficult. The perks of being an adult are regurlarly showcased in fiction. The responsibilities? Not so much. Thankfully, Iron Blooded Orphans is different in that regard, and not just for a Gundam series.

    Orga tries to be cool in the bar and is rewarded with a hangover. They get to ally with Teiwaz, but they are effectively selling their freedom, and the sakazuki pledge has to be 40-60 because otherwise it could cause problems. And Kudelia is told in very clear terms that even in the best case scenario, her independence movement will be the source of more conflicts.

  6. I am more interested in the chemistry between Shino (happy go lucky dude) and the blonde hair kid who helps out with the the maintenance. His reaction early on with the “handshake”, and this episode, with Shino implementation he has “fun” seems odd.

  7. Well, I was afraid we’re gonna get another dud for this episode but thankfully we’re not. Instead of shoving to our throats the harem of Turbine, we are given moments where Orga and Kudelia are forced to grow up (the brotherhood ceremony and giving up escorting Kudelia alone for Orga and for Kudelia, she has to go in a path where many will die). The last ten minutes of this episode is perfect for a character driven episode although still scatterbrained.

    Yes. I still stand by the fact that IBO is one of the best series this season, Gundam or not. I hope it continues to get its stride as it falters a bit in its quieter moments. For every episodes 1,3,5 and 7, there are episodes 6 and 8. Haha. Wow.

    1. I actually thought episode 6 was one of the stronger episodes and episode 3 one of the weaker ones. Problem I had with episode 3 was that I thought it tried to cover too much ground by resolving the CGS take over and Crank plot threads in one episode. While the CGS take over was alright I feel that Crank’s character arc was underdeveloped and could end up affecting the quality of Ein’s character in the future. Not that I though episode 3 was bad in fact I can’t really say I found any of IBO’s episodes to be bad or boring.

      1. Samui I mean, zetatrain I think worries a bit too much about ‘fast’ pacing given you had the same complaint above, as though an episode is only ever allowed to have a single major development.

      2. Not saying you can’t develop two plot threads at the same, just that you should give them enough time to develop and not condense too much into too little time. While the CGS take over plot turned out alright I felt that Cranks’ plot thread was underdeveloped and was one of the weaker parts of the series so far.

        If it seems I’m too concerned with the pacing being too fast its probably because I feel that it was a big issue in AGE, G-Reco, and even TRY (though certainly not the only issue).

  8. Everything’s too peaceful for Tekkadan right now. Something big will probably happen in the next episodes. So many deathflags raised…

    I’m not satisfied with the treatment Kudelia got this episode. She’s supposed to be a diplomat and yet she loses her confidence after being asked to explain her mission? And requires reassurance from Mika of all people? How the hell did she manage to get this far in politics… The whole scene looked like a misguided attempt to make Mika more important, but ended up undermining Kudelia’s credibility as a character.
    I hope we see a more collected, confident side of her in the Earth negotations though.

    What’s the deal with Yamagi’s behaviour towards Shino? If he were a girl, it would be a telltale sign of a crush, but since it’s Gundam, where yaoi undertones never leave the subtext zone, I’m not sure what the writers want to show with it.

    1. Kudelia is an idealist.

      Despite how cynical the internet trains us all to be, they DO exist, even to this day, and even in politics. And now she’s being told she’s very likely going to start a war. That’s a big decision for a teenager to make, doesn’t matter who you are.

      And you have to pay attention to the random political jibber-jabber she spouts in order to really get her character. It’s technobabble, but it’s technobabble with a point. Despite what they have called her at several points, Kudelia is NOT fighting for martian independence. She is asking for some economic restrictions to be eased. This has happened several times in history and it has gone both ways, war and peace. So it is entirely believable that she felt she could get some economic progress without war as opposed to full independence which obviously pretty much requires war. She’s not naive so much as taken aback by the idea that minor economic easing would start a war (which is a LITTLE strange, again it’s gone both ways in real life).

      So she’s torn by the question of whether what she’s doing is worth the price. Mika, more than being a MAN, (people really need to stop assuming EVERY little thing is gendered) is someone who knows the cost of hard decisions. To an almost detrimental point. Mika doesn’t get how to effect peaceful change. Hopefully they’ll learn from each other as the series goes on. We’ve already seen elements of that so far.

      1. I think you misunderstood my point.

        I get that Kudelia is an idealist. I get what she’s trying to achieve. That’s not the issue here.
        I just found her behaviour a bit at odds with her established background. She’s a skilled diplomat, college-educated (at fifteen, wow) and she’s supposedly used to giving speeches. And yet, when they were talking about her mission (not about the war yet – just her mission), she behaved like a shy child, parroting Barriston’s comments and being surprised that the Arbrau leader wants to negotiate with her (a big mistake – she should appear to be sure of it). Someone who’s familiar with even the basics of negotiations would know that’s a losing attitude, not to be taken seriously by anyone important. I refuse to believe she doesn’t know it.
        For now, Orga, Biscuit and even Mika appear to be better in talking than her. And since her role is defined as “diplomat”… You can see how it may strain my suspense of disbelief.
        I think Kudelia has a great potential as a character and don’t want to see her end up as a mere pawn. She’s not a leader by accident, is she?

        And I think we can safely assume most people here pay attention to the plot. There’s no need to be patronising, really.

      2. “Despite what they have called her at several points, Kudelia is NOT fighting for martian independence. She is asking for some economic restrictions to be eased”

        Economy has been at the core of most independence movements in our world, failed or not, and as in any movement there are shades, from extremists to moderates. And it’s not just about the goals or the means, but about the pacing too.

        As far as we know (the show repeating time and time against that she’s a figurehead of the Martian independence movement has more weight), Kudelia is an independentist, but a moderate who thinks that the best she can do is ease economic restrictions. Maybe she doesn’t think she can do more given the current situation or her ability, but that doesn’t mean the desired goal in the long run isn’t independence.

      3. @Mistic:

        Right, to a point. Maybe she thinks that economic restrictions are the best she can do without triggering a war. And now, being told that no, really anything she tries to do is likely going to trigger a war is upsetting to her. And I’m aware that economics are a first step, and I’d imagine that she does see it as a first step. But again, a big part of the reason it’s a first step is people generally imagine it as a way of affecting ‘peaceful’ change (which is a bit of a crap-shoot) so she may be upset at being told that no, people are going to die.


        Kudelia is not a diplomat. She’s a student who gave a speech and got made into sort of the face of a movement. Look up her backstory. This negotiation with Earth would in fact be her first real negotiation of any major sort (unless she did something that hasn’t been revealed yet). Also, she didn’t study politics. She studied history and economics I believe (again, backstory) which, while it would certainly give you some basics on politics, doesn’t make her an expert.

        She’s a kid. Like everyone else on this show. And she is actually a significantly more naive kid than Mika or Orga, both of whom have had to grapple with the realities of the world from a young age. However, she possesses knowledge which they both lack. Which is the fun of their interactions. Seeing them learn from each other. She teaches them wisdom, they teach her strength.

  9. @Enzo

    Sorry, i do not mean any Harm, but…

    1/3 Wrote about something not happening in this Episode. Talking about meeting the expatiation and such. Talking about Backgrounds of other Shows. Blow up the Screenplay with “nonsense”. Biology? Nuclear?

    Are you blogging this Episode or are you just want an platform to rant about this Merchandise?

    Please, think what you want to do. Blogging this Show and it’s Episodes. Or talking about this Merchandise? What happen in this Episode? i do not read it

    Do you want to continue this until the end of this Anime?

    As i wrote, no wanting to harm you, just a advice from me

      1. This Episode is still a lot of Talking and bond creating. An Calm one. But it is necessary to show us the Base of our Tekkadan. But they paint the Teiwaz a bit to much of the “Shiny Knight”. They surly has also their dark sides, but so far they did not show it to us. They just show is respect, honor and Harem. Even this mature Boys has gone seeking the “red light district” (come one, you must be blind not noticed it)
        Come on, do not show us only the Light Side. Teiwaz is surly not only sparkling sun. They are Code geass. They would kill to achieve their destinations
        But then, this Show is about our Orphans. Do not go to much into the Teiwaz. Perhaps next time show us a bit background of this “Blue guys” superiors, and why this CEO of the Earth faction want to meet our Princess
        Also, i am happy, that our Maid is walking this path. Yes, i see her way clearly in front of me, this Necklaces from the Princess, create an conflict inside her heart. Who to follow? Her heart or her Brain? i hope the heart will win over her, and Kurdelia forgive and accept her as she is. Because she choose in the end, where she want to stand (no more speculation. because i already said it twice)
        i just love this Anime. But do not forget the action, too

        This would i write

  10. Oh boy… I hoped that the last episode was a misstep and the series would get back on track. I was wrong. This episode was filled with redundancy. Most of the stuff shown we already know. Mika cares for Orga, Orga wants to protect his ‘family’ etc…. This has been established right at the start. How many times are they going to repeat it? So the harem is for real? Here goes the psychological realism. The yakuza stuff made me uncomfortable. It’s close to glorification.

    1. I found this episode rather adorable. Previous episodes mostly showed Orga as the calm and collective guy, who’s constantly trying to put weight on his shoulders. He has been trying to keep them together, simply because they were comrades without a home, but here, he pretty much decides that they’re not just comrades, but an actual family now.

      It also shows him trying to become more of an adult, by trying to go to bars and drinking, when he’s still pretty much unable to properly hold his own.

      Also, the episode shows that Mikazuki is a bit more open to Kudelia now. Unlike previous episodes, where the dialogue was simple exchange or details about other things, Mikazuki gives genuine advice and tries to actually assist in her making a decision.

      There was also a bit of extra development between Kudelia and her maid. Oh, and Yamagi’s interest in Norba is showing more evident.

    2. The other stuff I’ve commented on before, so I won’t again, but I did want to respond to your Yakuza thing.

      Have you never watched Japanese media? They glorify the yakuza ALL THE TIME. Movies, games, cartoons, so on and so forth. This is not uncommon in the slightest. It’s actually more unusual to see the Yakuza presented as unrepentant villains than it is to see them as at the very least anti-heroes.

      And I am with you on the harem, and on the weird attempts to emotionally/psychologically ‘explain’ the harem (amida’s weird spiel). I don’t mind crazy in fantasy/sci-fi. It’s fantasy/sci-fi, crazy is part of the deal. But don’t try to sell me on crazy. That’s just weird.

      1. I ran a memory search and I could not find any anime I watched which put yakuza in a positive light. MAYBE the way they were portrayed in Durarara!! did not make them into 100% bad guys as at least one character (Akabayashi) was the chivalrous type. Seems like it’s just not the type of anime I’d watch. Films on the other hand… I clearly remember how unsettled I was watching ‘Pigs and Battleships’, particularly the torture scene by the yakuza gangsters…so yeah, definitely not a positive portrayal in that one.

        It’s actually more unusual to see the Yakuza presented as unrepentant villains than it is to see them as at the very least anti-heroes.

        This goes against my own experience. Whenever I see yakuza in anime they are either vilified or shown as goofs for comic relief. Some shows from my memory: Higurashi, Key the Metal Idol, JoJo. Saraiya Goyou is an exception by having a rather realistic portrayal of the underworld in the feudal times.
        Since you claim that the sentiment towards yakuza is so prevalent in Japanese works of fiction, can you provide any examples?

        amida’s weird spiel

        That didn’t make sense at all. A woman who almost APPLAUDS her ‘husband’ for sleeping and spending time with other women – it’s incomprehensible. Because she is clearly in love with that man. I found her preaching to Atra pretty tasteless. She sounded a bit like a mama-san being patronising towards one of her brothel girls. Oh wait… Did I just find out Amida’s former profession? 8/

      2. I’m not gonna do a google-search of it, it’s so regular I can barely think of any.

        Start with the yakuza series in video games and go from there. It’s no different than any other ‘noble thief’ trope in any culture. Pirates, thieves, assassins, mafia; all of them are the protagonists/heroes of all kinds of fictional works.

        And yeah, the Amida thing was so weird. Because again, what are we supposed to take from that. I do think that shows should always remember that they are mouthpieces. If protagonists spout a philosophy, viewers are pressured to agree with the philosophy because the protagonist is ‘good.’ This is particularly true of Naze and Amida since they fit the ‘mentor’ role. You don’t disagree with Gandalf or Obi-wan. So to have one of the mentors preaching the wonders of polygamy on a show for teens was very strange.

      3. You clearly haven’t seen many polygamous relationships. Even if you’re not used to it, there are other cultures that generally accept, acknowledge and even praise it. It’s really just a perspective of culture and you can’t really say that it’s wrong. Not saying that all cultural customs are right, but you can’t just suddenly point out it as being wrong, simply because your upbringing was different.

  11. Piss poor article from Enzo. The point this episode that i found most interesting was Naze treating Orga and the Tekkadan as equals (wishing for 50/50 – even Orga was surprised at this) and also Barriston seeing further than that and suggesting 60/40 instead to save Tekkadan from being picked on by the other groups within Teiwaz. (Newcomer group being on same rank as Turbines would be preposterous to them).

    Yet there was zero mention of this and several other interesting points about this episode. I particulary liked the similarities to HongKong Triad movies of old.

    1. Where did you see those similarities? I’m baffled. I didn’t see any. Maybe apart from the yakuza shenanigans since those guys appear in triad films every now and then.

  12. I have a sneaking suspicion that when the boys had a “night out on the town” might bite them in the ass later. Maybe I’m reading into this too much but I distinctly remember one of them talking about wanting to pick up a girl and then the next morning he “suggested” that he got some the night before. If this fact is ever revisited it is entirely possible that it will be nothing and the girl will probably say something to embarrass him. However, when a guy that is barely an adult goes out, gets drunk and hooks up it can also mean that the female wasn’t entirely willing.

    I realize I’m stretching but this relationship with Teiwaz is feeling more and more like one that is going to come with some unsavory choices. That could represent one.

      1. Someone said, they are on Steam. because they are not allowed to touch the Girls on the other Ship. And perhaps they are in the “problems” Years (Puberty). Yeah, they surly got to the Red Light District

    1. I’m with SherrisLok on this, I think it was just prostitutes. I highly doubt that 5 episodes down the line we’re suddenly going to get date-rape accusations in a gundam show. That would be a very strange development.

      1. Well that’s the thing. I doubt this would be something we would hear about right now. If it did come to a rape accusation it would probably happen after another 5 or 10 episodes.

      2. Umm… That’s EXACTLY what I said. Having a gundam series suddenly have a date-rape accusation of all things 5 episodes down the road would be absolutely baffling and incredibly off-putting. This is a sci-fi action show at the end of the day, having a rape trial isn’t exactly riveting television for a cartoon.

  13. *lazy reddit mode*

    I found it intriguing that Orga’s weak spot for the brotherly family (and the resulting teenage flops) from last week was kept open for a few more people to see.

    BTW, now I’m more interested in that unnamed woman who teased Orga somewhat this week than I’m interested in Barbato’s new form [in action] after seeing it being stripped down to the base frame and reworked.

  14. Ah yes, the episode where everyone is happy before the battle starts. Calm before the storm. Mika gets it, he knows not everyone of his friends is going to live.

    Can’t wait to see Barbato’s now. Haven’t had that, epic Gundam feeling since I think it was episode 13 of Gundam 00 S2 when it went Trans Am. Oh man, please give me them feeels.

    1. See, I’m actually really disappointed that Barbatos has moved on to a katana. I really liked the mace and how different it was from standard gundam weaponry and all the interesting ways he’d used it so far. A katana just seems more boring by comparison. Hopefully it doesn’t last any longer than any of the other weapons and equipment he’s had.

      1. I like the piledriver mace too. I think Mika needs to exert more swinging the sword just to dent or damage the metal frame of his target unless the sword is like a sawblade then that’s going to be a damn gritty melee combat, slicing metal and cutting limbs. Hopefully, the piledriver mace is just on reserve in the hangar.

  15. ep 10:

    again a bit of talk and Bond creating, but…
    Show Spoiler ▼

    1. Show Spoiler ▼


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