OP2 Sequence

OP2: 「Survivor」 (STEEL -Tekketsu no Kizuna) by (BLUE ENCOUNT)

「希望を運ぶ船」 (Kibou o Hakobu Fune)
“Vessel of Hope”

Never let it be said that Tekketsu no Orphans lets the grass grow under its feet.

I don’t want to say the plot thickened in this week’s episode of Iron-Blooded Orphans, but it was like Okada and Nagai tossed the world’s biggest roux in the gumbo pot.  Things started off looking a bit slice-of-lifey, but that was a mirage – from the moment it was revealed officially that Fumitan was a traitor to Kudelia’s cause (or at least her life) it was clear this cour was going to hit the ground running.

Yes, Fumi is double-agent, working for Nobliss Gordon presumably.  It’s not absolutely established what the motivation for either of them is, but it seems very likely that they’re genuine revolutionaries who see being a martyr as the best possible use Kudelia can be for the movement.  The subject of tension between Mother Earth and the colonies it oppresses is never far from the surface in any Gundam series, and with the approach of the protagonists to the Earth Sphere it takes center stage as much as it has at any time in Tekketsu no Orphans.

Having arrived at the Dort Colonies (the near-Earth territory of the African block) the idea is for Fumi to escort Kudelia onto the Dort 2 satellite where a Gjallarhorn assassin will finish her off.  Whether Fumi would have followed through on her orders if Kudelia hadn’t insisted on instead going on a shopping trip to affluent Dort 3 (they seem to have a Costco) is debatable – at the very least she was having second thoughts.  Indeed, Kudelia turning to Fumi for motherly advice about what Mika’s kiss meant (“Is it time to consider marriage?”) was an unintended emotional low-blow (one could almost hear Mr. Ral saying his butt itched).  Whatever the reason, Fumi acquiesces and accompanies Kudelia on the shopping trip, one on which Atra also tags along and Orga sends Mika for security (“It shouldn’t be all women”).

My initial hope when Bisky insisted on going to was that he was finally ready to try and get closer to Atra, but no, rather that that we have another brother drama building.  Biscuit is from Dort 2 as it turns out, separated as a child from his achiever older brother, now some sort of suit on Dort 3.  While that drama is playing out, an even bigger one is brewing on Dort 2, where the Tekkadan are welcomed like pubescent Robin Hoods by the oppressed workers on the station.  The cargo they’ve been carrying, it turns out, is weapons – weapons the workers have been promised by their “sponsor” that they’ll need for the coming revolution against Gjallarhorn and Earth.  And the boys of Tekkadan end up being caught in middle when Gjallarhorn troops show up to play their part in this well-planned drama.

This is all quite a mess, really, and plot-wise things are rounding into shape rather nicely on the whole.  It’s a classic Gundam scenario – brewing cvil war between a wealthy Earth and a put-upon string of colonies – and it’s increasingly clear that both Tekkadan and Kudelia are pawns in the hands of those who see the entire board.  Orga is in a tough spot – he and his nation of children really can’t survive without the help of older and better-connected allies, but they’re in a position where they can’t really afford to trust anyone.

Here’s where the real potential of putting this story in the hands of folks entirely new to the Gundam mythology reveals itself, if indeed this pairing is going to work.  The individual character actions retain the flavor of those we expect to see from Nagai and Okada, but the context is pure Gundam – and the possibility that this familiar scenario could play out in an entirely unfamiliar way is rather exhilarating.  Tekketsu no Orphans was always a gamble, an idea that could either be a triumph or a train wreck – but in this episode are helpful signs that the series may be starting to come together into a cohesive and compelling whole.


ED2 Sequence

ED2: 「STEEL ‐鉄血の絆」 (STEEL -Bonds of Blood and Iron) by (TRUE)



    1. Pretty sure Fumitan was in turmoil for a few episodes already. The fact that She didn’t stop Kudelia from heading to Dort 3 instead of making some sort of excuse to keep her onboard Isabiri (and subsequently Dort 2)says quite a bit about her (lack of) loyalty (to G.N.) already.

  1. This is a real mess that only became interesting in the second half. I don’t know if it is poor foreshadowing but even the beginning of this episode screams FUMITAN is the TRAITOR. BUWAHAHAHAHA. Ugh.

    Well, the second half is enough I guess. I went “Oh crap” when Tekkadan was deceived.

    PS: I really thought you are going to drop this one after episode 13. Lol.

    1. The show had implied in the past that she was spying for someone and the end of episode 13 strongly implied she was working for Nobilee. No point in being subtle about it at this point.

      1. Concurring with Zeta here, not only was it hinted in episode 13 but a lot of body language from Fumitan has indicated from the get go an extremely subtle hint of uncertainty over the situations she’s had for a while now. At least for me, I’ve been anticipating since early on she was a double agent.

        It’ll be interesting to see what they do with her. While it wouldn’t be a bad trope to use, the ‘double agent who saves the person they were supposed to have killed’ would be predictable here… But I’m hopeful Okada will go beyond our expectations and do something different. Something like say, Fumitan BEING killed for not fulfilling her objective and this sort of ‘shell-shocking’ Kudelia in wanting out and maybe Tekkadan taking her ‘hostage’.

        Just don’t let me down okada.

      2. I saw it too. IBO has never been subtle about that.

        That’s why I question its foreshadowing because it seems to be a poor one. I was wondering why did they drag it for good 15 minutes instead when the viewers were already given an idea as to what Fumitan will do and it’s fascinating when it went “OH, TROUBLE.”. It’s not like it laid out good sequence of events that lead to her betrayal to Tekkadan.

      1. Probably it’s my personal nitpick but I have seen some scenes which portrayed events that are better handled than this (e.g. That computer chick’s homosexual relationship in Psycho Pass or pick a moment in the first eight episodes of Gangsta.). Well, the effect was wow. I just cannot appreciate the way the writers did to come up with that result. Let’s just leave this one in the dark and agree that we miss the energetic first OP. Hahaha.

  2. Clearly the boys have been screwed. The question is just who knew about it.

    My suspicion is that we have a very elaborate “Star Trek VI” kind of plot here where people on both sides of a conflict are trying to engineer an incident, presumably Kudelia’s assassination, to spark a war for their own reasons. Elements in Gjallarhorn want to move up and remind the world why they need them while outer colonies, i guess, want to use the chaos to advance their position.

  3. NOOO!! No more “Raise Your Flag”! (I’m gonna miss that hot-blooded opening song.)

    That being said, nobody actually did bother to look inside that cargo when they started with this job. (Though for the Turbines, and by extension Teiwaz, transporting such cargo is probably routine.) Using Kudelia’s ideals (and name) as an excuse to start a violent armed revolution… I’m just gonna quote Brad Pitt’s character Wardaddy (from the movie Fury) here:

    “Ideals are peaceful. History is violent.”

    I wonder if this is McGillis at work here (only a magnificent bastard could pull off something like that–and he’s one of the prime candidates for that position, besides Nobliss Gordon), or if he’s just as much of a pawn as Tekkadan and Kudelia are.

    For the mecha fans, finally nice to see the inner frame of the Gusion (proving that it is a Gundam like the Barbatos). And based on the mention that the Gusion was heavily modified by the Brewers to the point that it no longer looked like a Gundam, I can’t wait to see it restored to its original state (or at least, close to its original state before the Brewers’ modifications).

    1. Teiwaz didn’t know what was in that cargo anymore than Tekkadan would. Merribit was just as shocked, and Teiwaz doesn’t have any power in the Earth Sphere like they do in the Outer area. It would be incredibly dumb for them to deliver a shipment of weapons like that without letting Orga and co know and be prepared. It would make absolutely no sense for them to look in the crates, since that’s not their job. Does your mailman look into every package he delivers? There job is to bring things from one place to the other, that’s it.

      And it was all but blatantly stated that this is all Nobliss Gordon behind all this. McGillis may be plotting something, but he values order. This situation is an inferno waiting to happen. It would damage Gjallerhorn more than help it. He wants to reform Gjallerhorn, not destroy it. This would actually be a bad thing for him and cause the entire space spheres to go to war with each other which wouldn’t result in anything that he wants.

  4. My gosh, it has been so long!

    But Gundam IBO comes back with another stellar episode as Tekkadan once again gets wrapped up in another fight for freedom.
    Fumitan finally reveals herself as a spy, and we see how in depth Nobliss’ plan was. And he’s using the colonies as pawns, with Kudelia to be assassinated.

    Biscuit has an older brother that is suddenly introduced, named Savarin (another food name), and while next episode pv might show him to be a slimy dude, I have a feeling that he’ll do right by the end. Though he’ll probably die in the process.

    How will Orga find a way out of this? And Nobliss’s moves will discredit Kudelia and what she stands for, as well as Tekkadan unless they can turn this around.

    As far as mechs go, Shino is going to be getting is own mech, Akihiro is away getting his new Gundam remodeled. Gaelio and Ein are going to go attack Tekkadan at the colony. And Fumitan is in a crisis right now, and I don’t know if she’s going to come out of this alive.

    We got a new OP and ED, both of which are only really okay. However, we get to see new things like a new female pilot on McGillis’ side, and new mechs for everybody. Also, it looks like McGillis has finally decided to completely embrace his Char clone status, with an actual mask and new red mech.

    I’m pretty excited for what happens next and what Tekkadan is going to do now that they are wrapped up in this colony rebellion.

  5. Something is unusual about this episode and I just can’t seem to tell why… oh right the plot is ACTUALLY MOVING! And I’m actually invested and it! WHAT MADNESS IS THIS IBO!? It only took 14 episodes, but as they say better late than never.

    Although I still cringe when the show feels the need to take unnecessary detours like bland romantic shenanigans, Space Cosco and jokes about Tekkadan’s hygiene. Please writers, less of that boring crap and more of the actual plot.

    Now Blue Collar Workers with machine guns and a conspiracy in the middle? Hell yes, more of that please.

    1. “Space Cosco and jokes about Tekkadan’s hygiene.”

      The hygiene issue is not a joke. It’s a real issue. It’s serious enough that Kudelia felt the need to go to different colony (Dort 3) just to but some cleaning products and clean clothes for the orphans to wear. It’s not a joke. It’s called “details” and it makes the characters feel more human than the “always pretty, always dashing” characters you see in shows like Gundam SEED/Destiny & 00. That level of realism actually feels closer to UC Gundams than AU Gundams and we should be glad for it. The “detour” to space Costco also help advance the plot actually. If Kudelia didn’t decide to go to Dort 3 for shopping, she’d most likely be dead by now in Dort 2 and there would be no reason for Biscuit to tag along coz Dort 3 is the place where his bro works.

      1. It isn’t actually that weird when you’re past midway of a series that still moves too slow but decided to throw SoL elements on its first part that might not have a connection with the central plot. Sure, I appreciate the realism being shown but is it the right time for that?

        Fleshing out the characters? More like it is just giving background information for my taste. We know Biscuit has an older brother, then what? Well, I am waiting for its consequence in the next episode since it will answer some of my concerns.

        I won’t address the second half because it’s great. I am just irked by how the first part was handled. I still love this series and all but there are pacing issues everywhere Gundam: IBO.

      2. @Osy
        Except it WAS a joke. They did not play it as yet another tragedy of the orphans it was basically “Ewwwww the men are dirty!” that took even more valuable screentime. If you want to argue “details” maybe that should spend that time on relevant details like how the Ahab Reactor functions and not when Tekkadan takes a shower. And please don’t say UC is realistic while AU’s aren’t, or I’ll go on a rant on how false those generalizations are. Furthermore IBO’s “realism” already shot itself on the foot when Destiny’s cartoon villains are more believable than Hitler-stache and the Liefeld-snake-clown man.

        And yes the scene was pretext to put Kudelia out of crossefire of the consipircay and thoe meet Biscuits. None of that however needed to waste time on boring, irrelevant “details”.

        You’ve missed my point. Those scenes are symptomatic of the real problem that so many people have ignored about IBO: Its pacing. IBO only has 2 cours but the writers seem to have forgotten that because its story so far has been “Left Mars, picked a space pimp, fought some pirates”. That took 13 episodes. IBO does have good scenes for character development, but it meanders too long at the cost of the actual plot. I’ve seen many shows do this before and it ends becoming a mess at its final arc. IBO needs to fix this.

        And that can be done, Fafner Exodus for example has done plot, character development, and action and its story has done more in 10 episodes that IBO has in 14. And that has even more named characters than IBO. IBO still has time to salvage this but only stops all the boring senes.

    2. @fragb85 ”

      So, in your mind, a hygiene issue must be used for yet another source of tragedy for it not be a joke? Wow *facepalm*. How about parents and doctors who advise people to wash their hands before eating and brush their teeth and such? The advice is not related to any grim tragedy but it’s still a relevant issue and clearly not a joke. That’s the only thing that I wanted to address.

      And no, I’m not trying to say UC is realistic while AU aren’t realistic. I was saying UC is relatively “more” realistic (for Gundam standard) compared to AU. Please notice the difference. Just to inform you, I’m not a UC elistist nor AU-haters. I like and embrace both universes equally.

      As for how important the hygiene issue is for the story, that’s up for each viewer’s opinion. So I’ll leave yours alone.

      “Destiny’s cartoon villains are more believable than Hitler-stache and the Liefeld-snake-clown man.”

      Have you visited a poor country or third-world countries and spend some days on its street? Or at least do or read actual research on poor countries and the condition of the people living in them? I have, and let me tell you something: people like Todo & Kudal are not only exist out there but they are flourishing. Maybe their appearance is not as extreme as Kudal, but personality-wise, they are real.

      1. Seriously, what’s with your pointless tangents?

        You can argue how serious hygiene matters to a ship, but that doesn’t change the fact that played that whole scene for laughs. That was the intent of that scene and not some serious issue. And as I’ve pointed is irrelevant and a waste of time. Which is was always my point so your rant about hygiene was just unnecessary.

        And yes, I do live in third-world country and have in fact done community service and served in destitute areas. Not that any of that is relevant anyway, because Kudal is not believable and by your admission is extreme. And that’s a problem for me, because instead of getting a reflection of the tragedy of child slavery and the people who perpetuate it, IBO would rather go the Lowest Common Denominator and make these people look and act like one-dimensional hate sinks. I find that insulating because its treating its audience like morons especially when IBO is trying to play these tragedies seriously. And quite frankly I would have thought Okada was a smarter writer than this.

    3. @fragb85
      If the hygiene issue is only played for joke, the show wouldn’t build a subplot around it with Kudelia’s shopping to Dort 3 and such. If it’s only a joke, they’ll just reveal that Tekkadan’s boys haven’t showered for days and then be done with it. After that, the story can just dismiss the joke instantly by having the boys clean themselves up off-screen, but they didn’t do that coz it’s part of the plot progression no matter how ridiculous and irrelevant you think it is.

      “people look and act like one-dimensional hate sinks”

      Again, people who act and have personality like Todo & Kudal exist in our world. So what’s left from your argument is the extreme looks. And for anime, extreme looks often comes with territory (especially for bad guys), so it’s a non-issue from me. Let me remind you that previous Gundam series also have many one-dimensional evil-to-the-bone villains that’s meant to be expendable and become spoil for the MCs just like Kudal in IBO. Need I mention a few of them?: M’Quve (MSG), Yazan, Jamaican (Zeta), Rakan Dahkaran (ZZ), I can keep going but you should be smart enough to get the point already.

    1. Well, if what I’ve heard is correct:

      Show Spoiler ▼

      I don’t really think Earth is that screwed up considering what we’ve seen of it with McGillis and Gaelio, as well as how those soldiers treat those of the outer sphere, simply because they are from Earth.

  6. The body odour scene was priceless, especially the insightful observation made by Astra in regards to the stench from group gatherings being so toxic she almost gags most times, and that of Mechanic Yukinojo’s stench enough to sting her eyes.

    1. I know other people found that scene a boring detour, but I must admit that, as a sci-fi fan, I love details like those. Like the toilets in the Normandy in Mass Effect 2. When a ship is treated as a house they live in instead of a theatre set, it makes the setting more believable.

    1. have patience, they need to think of their own Budget, too

      what need is that a flame burn very bright, but the wood is faster dead.. it is better to have an moderate flame with here and there some sparks, so that the wood can hold out much longer

      Flame = Action and Animation
      Wood = airing from ep 1 to end
      sparks = adding Action

  7. ep 15:

    Show Spoiler ▼


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