「声」 (Koe)

What a puddle of contradictions is Iron-Blooded Orphans.

If ever there was an episode that showed off both sides of Tekketsu no Orphans, it would be this one – and this is a show that makes a habit of drawing you in with one hand and pushing you away with the other.  It does some things very well, but comes off as almost shockingly clumsy at times.  And I think the question is now begging to be asked – has there ever been another show that’s fumbled pretty much every major emotional payoff for this long and still been engaging to watch?

At this point it’s really the politics of the situation that’s keeping me invested in Orphans, because the character stuff just isn’t working for me.  While it was the final scene of the episode I think the climax needs to be discussed first, because it really stands out as a weak moment in an otherwise fairly strong week.  There was such a push-button quality to the emotions there  – frankly I would expect more, given the talent level involved in this series.  Characters that cry on cue are not the way to try and get an audience to do the same.

I am glad Kudelia has finally become an active participant in the story, don’t get me wrong.  But it just took too long for it to really have a lot of weight behind its emotional punch now.  What does it say about her, frankly, that she was not just passive but blind to the reality of the situation for so long, and it was only when a situation which hurt her feelings personally occurred that she woke up and lumbered into action?  Kudos to Kudelia for getting with the program, but if the lesson is that everyone’s lives matter – and not just those of our loves ones – then she’s a poor exemplar of that lesson.

Fortunately we still have one of the more interesting political scenarios (with a couple of new players) in the recent Gundam catalog playing itself out.  Fareed remains a fascinating puzzle, even if Occam’s Razor did apply all along to his motivations – assuming he’s being truthful with Tekkadan (and I suspect he is – more or less – now that sharp-eyed Mika saw through his impenetrable disguise) his aim all along has been to take down Gjallarhorn and remake it in his own image.  I like the fact that Gjallarhorn is not an Empire-like monolith with one face and purpose, but a huge and unwieldy organization that contains many competing imperatives within its umbrella.

McGillis and Tekkadan have overlapping interests for now, and for once it’s Tekkadan who knows something Naze does not rather than the other way around.  The course of the first 18 episodes suggests that Tekketsu no Orphans is not going to follow a path of blind idealism as this intrigue unravels over the final 7 – I certainly hope that’s the case.  One could interpret this series as first and foremost a story of the education of the Tekkadan boys in the practical ways of the world (I think it’s most interesting when viewed in that light) and Fareed certainly represents a valuable potential teacher.




  1. I called it a while ago, to me this show lost its charm the moment it shifted its focus onto Kudelia. It uses abrupt events to put Kudelia into the centre of tekketsu no orphans with no emotional impact to the viewer. At this point, it may as well be called Gundam-Kudelia and others. Just for example, they go so much into sticking Kudelia and Mika together it’s very awkward. They’ve only known each other for… a couple of months, whereas Mika and the rest of tekkada have known each other their entire lives. Yet we don’t get much of a story of their upbringing and what lead to the friendship of Mika and Orga. I’d much rather watch 5 episodes of that than 5 episodes of how Kudelia goes from a gullible character to the next saviour of the world.

    1. I’m pretty sure we’ll eventually get into the Mika and Orga’s pasts. Seven episodes is still enough time to cover that along with Kudelia’s development and there is also the possibility of a second season.

      1. You’re absolutely right, I’m pretty sure they will too. However, my point was that I would’ve liked to see more development of tekketsu no orphans as a character/unit/crew itself, more than what I see with Kudelia.

    2. Kudelia is the weakest part of the show. They spend months of her flailing about and until the writers decide to turn on the competency switch on her. Just for added frustration, they have Mika continuously say she is amazing, because the audience has to TOLD this as opposed to just SHOWING it. I’m glad she’s actually doing something now, but the build up was just not worth it. With very few episodes left, I’m not confident this can come into a satisfying conclusion

      And yes I agree Orga and Mika. Their relationship was one of the few interesting things I found in the early parts of IBO. You have no idea how unhappy I am that this part stopped developing for more Kudelia scenes.

  2. “Characters that cry on cue are not the way to try and get an audience to do the same”.

    Sorry, but I disagree with Enzo’s negative “characters that cry on cue”-sentiment here. For me, that would be negative if Kudelia cried her heart out after watching Fumitan died without paying attention to the situation, but she didn’t. She’s smart and determined enough to hold it in until she and Tekkadan are able to pass through the crisis that is them almost being gunned down by Gjallarhorn fleet. Heck, she even keep holding it in because she needs to work on her business proposal to Arbrau’s leader and come up with something new for her upcoming negotiation coz the situation has changed and deviate from what was planned. It’s not until Atra & Mika comforted her that she’s able to let it all out. Considering that things like that frequently happen in real life, I don’t think it’s such a bad thing. And I don’t think that scene is really meant to make the audience cry anyway, just showing the three bonding and grow closer and closer. The “drama” might not work on you (which I understand) but the scene itself is not what I call bad or clumsy because, again, I’ve seen similar “dramatic moment” happen IRL like that (usually involve those who have been bottling up their sadness and then let it all out after being comforted by someone else)

    1. While scent is a popular theory after Mika’s boot-sniffing scene, I think it was his voice that gave McGillis away. His mouth is exposed, so he can’t have a voice changer/modulator.

      1. Yes, it’s not as if McGillis tried to change his voice. This is fiction, so everyone buying the Clark Kenting disguise is almost expected, but it was refreshing to see Mika braking the façade in such a nonchalant way.

  3. I really liked this episode. I like how Kudelia pretty much took a gamble against Gjallahorn by giving them the middle finger on television. I also found it quite surprising that Chocolate Man is siding with Tekkadan, as you would usually expect the masked man to go against them. However, I’m guessing that he teams up with them against his father in the first season and then becomes the main badguy in the next season.

    I also love that new white haired lady. I honestly thought she was just going to be a grunt, but she has a sort of flare that just comes off as awesome. I also found it adorable to see Mikazuki consoling Atra and Kudelia. When the series first started, I pictured him as a complete sociopath who only knew how to kill and hurt. Heck, he didn’t really show that much emotion when his comrades first died and when he killed Krank without hesitation.

    Perhaps it’s just me, but I’m still honestly enjoying this much more than any of the previous Gundam series that came before it. And people will probably disagree with me, but this is a major improvement from Gundam 00 (It wasn’t bad, but it felt so pompous with its message).

  4. Mika’s admiration of Kudelia feels so sudden and forced, especially considering how he usually expressed emotions. It seems the writers are desperate to push them together, but the chemistry is not (yet?) there.
    So far, Atra is the real MVP of the Tekkadan family.

    I like how the villains are developing. Gaelio especially, in the first episodes he seemed like just a yes-man to McGillis without any morals on his own, but it turns out he’s an upstanding guy. May even be a good influence on Ein.

    Speaking of McGillis… I can’t take him seriously with this wig. He looks like a Kingdom Hearts 2 villain.

    I’d love to see some focus on Orga, Eugene and the rest of Tekkadan now that Kudelia’s big moment passed. Oh, and the white-haired woman too. She looks promising.

    1. It’s not quite that much forced, to me at least. Mika interacts with people rather honestly. When he first met Kudelia, she was just another snob he had to babysit, ignorant of reality and only important because of her money. She had since volunteered to save Mika by giving herself up, actually taught him write/read, and practically saved Tekkadan on her own. She’s doing a bunch of things Mika never could – and that’s especially important if you remember that Mika doesn’t particularly care about Mobile Suits. He wants to be a farmer. MS combat is only the means to survive until that happens.

      1. It’s true that it makes sense, but I think the problem was in how the series handled it. Mika repeats several times how incredible Kudelia is, just in case the viewer didn’t get the message.

        Of course, Mika wording his thoughts can be explained because he’s always with his deadpan face, but just mentioning it once would have been better, I think. If he had been more expressive, you could have had him being honestly surprised when Gjallarhorn stops, then lost in thought while everyone is looking at Kudelia and, finally, word it in the final scene for greater effect.

      2. I see what you mean. I did think repeating it 3 times was a little reaching – but then again, Mika is prone to talking to himself during MS combat, so I could let it slide I guess. I sure hope he’s not making a habit out of it, though.

      3. Yeah, as Mistic above said – it’s the matter of execution. Mika just repeating “she’s amazing” to himself doesn’t seem natural (especially the first time, when he said that out loud when no one was around, with that deadpan voice of his). It’s out of character and slightly ruins the effect for me. And the timing is jarring, his opinion did a complete 180 in one or two episodes when it could’ve been shown more gradually.
        I’m happy Kudelia’s getting acknowledged, just… I’d like less telling and more showing.

    2. Hmm at first I thought it was forced as well but then I thought about it and realised that to Mika fighting was the only solution he knows and when it comes to thinking he relied on Orga’s decision making but Kudelia managed to stop a suicide mission with just her diplomatic stance, he’s never seen anything like it, so of course he gets all impressed.

    3. “Mika’s admiration of Kudelia feels so sudden and forced”

      I don’t think so. Looking back at episode 04 during the farm trip, Mika’s admiration to Kudelia is already there to a certain extent. Note that on that farm, he bowed to her with deep gratitude for her action to keep employ Tekkadan (instead of running home after the first Gjallarhorn attack) which granted all the Tekkadan kids with the support money they desperately need. After that, comes episode 06 where Kudelia explain to Mika & Atra what she’s trying to do, and Mika smiled after hearing all that (another point for Kudelia). And then she became the first person who is willing to teach Mika the importance of reading & writing and how to do it (more points for her). All those developing respects culminate (so far) after Mika witnessed it by himself how Kudelia stopped Gjallarhorn’s fleet with her (broadcasted) words which is something that, I quote: “even Orga couldn’t do”. And we all know how Mika “worship” Orga all this time. So, having Kudelia doing something that topped Orga is a really good trigger for Mika’s admiration of her this episode.

      “especially considering how he usually expressed emotions.”

      I don’t think there’s anything wrong with his expression this episode. Mika has always been vocal and outspoken about how he really feels from the get go. Two of the prominent examples of it are when he expressed how lonely he was (with his usual deadpan face) to Yukinojo when other Tekkadan members temporarily left him in the Teiwaz base, and when he said how cute Kudelia was after kissing her (still with his deadpan face).

  5. Shows which have a habit of drawing you in with one hand and pushing you away with the other, huh? I can name a worse show that does that exact same thing:

    Show Spoiler ▼

    Anyway, back to IBO. I thought that Mika would instantly recognize McGillis’s voice under that mask and wig (and I know he would). But I guess Mika can also know a person’s identity by their body build–or as pointed out earlier–by smell. He’s a child soldier with keen survival instincts, after all.

    I did like how Kudelia more or less embraced her role as the “voice of the revolution” to deliver one heck of a “reason you suck speech” towards the Gjallarhorn forces (and got them to stand down). But she learns that being the “voice of the revolution” is not something she can do alone, and while she has to make some compromises with factions that may have other (possibly opposing later on) motives, she’s blessed to have Atra and Mika at her side.

    And finally…damnit, “Hitlerstache guy” (Todo) is back. >:(

  6. I actually have the opposite opinion this week. The poignant moments are really pulling my heartstrings this time and Atra has become my most favorite character in this show. I mean, I was pleasantly surprise that they toned down the drama in episode 16 to show this heartwarming moment towards the end of this episode. I am also more or less happy that Kudelia is now a moving force in the plot and Mikazuki is beginning to show some cracks in his personality.

    Plot wise, I am happy that we are seeing the greater whole of Kudelia’s act and how small Tekkadan is in the current scenario. Just as what Orga mentioned, they are not big enough and Tekkadan is only used to do the dirty works of this revolution thing. This show is an oddball to be honest.

    My beef: the politics. I actually appreciate its aim to make IBO a grandiose show plot wise but these new characters keep on piling that I gave up memorizing their names! I know that a show must show and not only tell but… heck, they literally did it this time. Too many characters. Ugh.

    Well, I love this show so next!

  7. Guardian Enzo’s reviews are depressing as ever. Can we please switch reviewers or can RandomC just stop reviewing Gundam IBO?

    What I fear is that these reviews are going to deter future watchers to not give Gundam a chance. Enzo’s reviews are steeped in negativity and even his “good points” are ALWAYS back handed comments filled with shade. Even if Gundam had an amazing episode, Enzo will (and has) make it seem that it was just “okay” and then criticize the writer and director for “acting out of character.”

    I know my comment here will be/is a waste of my time to write this. Guardian Enzo is not going anywhere and his reviews of this series are just going to get even worse. If he was going to stop/ be changed, it would have happened during the break. Enzo must have some sort of personal agenda to continue with this pile of filth.

    However, I am writing this for the people that haven’t yet seen Gundam IBO. It is a good series. Yes, it has its weaknesses, but it is turning into one of the better Gundam series out there. Please give it a chance.

    1. This series is mediocre at best, and he’s been giving as honest of an analysis as could be hoped for.

      I’m not sure what “amazing” episode that we’ve had lately.

      Honestly, you’re the one coming off as having a bias.

      1. Wait. I know it is not great because it is bogged down by pacing but it is not mediocre in any means. Unless you are grading it against other Gundam series, I cannot see the basis of your claim. Can you please elaborate?

      2. Yes, I am grading it against other Gundam series. It’s not bad, it’s just not great.

        Sufficive to say, there is plenty of criticism to be had here.

        I’m not mad at this series, just disappointed.

      3. If you ever get the time, I’d highly recommend the first Seed series, as well as Zeta, or 8th MS team. OO and Wing are very good as well. As for the first series, I prefer the movies personally.

      4. @hjerry

        Even when compared to other gundam series I think IBO is pretty good, not great but still good and far from mediocre. I’m currently enjoying it more than most of the AUs and half of the UC entries and I’m a huge UC fan. It may not break my top 5 in the end, but I would definitely put it in the upper half of the Gundam franchise unless it takes a major dive in quality near the end like Destiny and AGE.

      5. @hjerry

        You lost me when you said Gundam Wing is a very good series among other Gundam series. Have you re-watch that show with nostalgia glasses off? I can barely bring myself to finish it.

        And no, I’m not a newbie who only recently watched Wing. I grew up with Wing in the 90s. At the time, and for the longest part of my highscool-period, I thought it was one of the coolest mecha shows ever. Wing made me fell in love with the Gundam franchise. I patiently saved my money to buy 1/100 Deathscythe Hell & MG Wing Zero Custom way back then. In short, I loved Wing (the show), but as I re-watch it objectively by taking off my thick nostalgia goggles, and trying my hardest to eradicate my bias toward the show, I notice and cannot deny just how badly written the whole thing really is. After rewatching both Wing & SEED/Destiny, I rank Wing on par with Destiny (after counting all aspects of them). Yes, it was *that* bad.

      6. yeah Wing was bad especially if you compare it to 00 which is what it’s closest to. Most of the colonies actions in Wing doesn’t make sense. (ie attacking Federation/OZ bases on earth when they want freedom/indepenence for the colonies in space whaa?).

        Still liking IBO as enjoy the change of pace where in Gundams are not too superior to rank and file mobile suits and at least one side having to fight smart as they don’t have access to near unlimited funding to throw wave after wave of Mobile suits at one another.

      7. Right on the money, hjerry.

        I don’t know what it is about Gundam that draws these blind fanboys out. It was the same story with Reconguista – a core who wouldn’t accept ANY criticism at all, let alone the amount it deserved. Obviously some people only come here to read opinions they agree with. Trying to dress up their whining as some kind of service to the public (“oh noes, someone might be put off watching muh gundums!”) is frankly both transparent and laughable.

        Keep telling it the way it is, Guardian Enzo. If people aren’t interested in nuanced and objective reviews then they can go elsewhere.

    2. Well, Enzo’s reviews are not that negative at all but I am also irk at times when our opinions do not meet. It also pays to read the comments since they will disagree a lot if they are not happy with the review.

    3. @purplebomber

      I agree with you that it’s better than the last 2. I failed to even finish either. Like I said, i don’t consider this series bad, per se, just bland and predictable.

      As far as many of the other comments, I think that we’re more arguing semantics here than anything else. Some may not use the same terms, but the ideas are the same.

      Also, as far as Wing is concerned, I’ll fully admit that there’s some nostalgia bias involved there. I’d be lying to say there wasn’t, but I also think that it’s true that you can’t judge it in the same vein as some of the newer series, seeing as how it was the second attempt at an alternate reality Gundam series. It existed before a lot of these plot elements began to be considered tropes. Do I think that it’s great? Probably not, but I still enjoy it anyway.

      1. “but I also think that it’s true that you can’t judge it in the same vein as some of the newer series, seeing as how it was the second attempt at an alternate reality Gundam series. It existed before a lot of these plot elements began to be considered tropes. Do I think that it’s great? Probably not, but I still enjoy it anyway.”

        AU or not, there’s really no excuse for Wing to be that badly written & executed when Sunrise/Bandai were able come up with better story in Gundam 0080 & 0083 years prior which are largely self-contained stories. Heck, even Wing’s AU predecessor (G Gundam) was reportedly more successful in Japan than Wing at the time. Being early AU is also no excuse since the core story in Wing itself is not that far off from UC (it’s colonists vs TITANS’like Earth organization named OZ). From that perspective, Wing’s writing & execution quality is even more disappointing since it was miles worse than MSG & Zeta which came waaay before it. Animation-wise, it looks even worse than Victory Gundam (in 1993) even after I excused its annoying stock footage & reused animation. It’s even more humiliating for Wing when, in the same year (1995) Gainax was able to produce the iconic & highly-regarded mecha piece of work that is Evangelion with lesser budget. Overall, Wing TV series is not even good, It’s a bad series, and I’ve accepted that fact even though I’m a fan of it (I still own and display my Wing kits thanks to my wife’s understanding of my penchant).

  8. Well, A/Z is still better anime although 2nd season is somewhat flawed than this Shit-Blooded Orphans (animation, music, action mecha sequence, anything).

    Remember A/Z has more appeal to wider audience and was Mecha Anime of The Year than this Okada crap???

    Anon Number #40283
      1. Well, I think the only other notable mecha shows for 2015 were Gundam Build Fighters TRY and G-Reco so its not like it had any competition in the first place. That’s pretty much winning by default.

    1. “Remember A/Z has more appeal to wider audience and was Mecha Anime of The Year than this Okada crap???”

      In the first place, the reason Aldnoah got that much exposure is because the studio slapped the famous name of “Gen Urobochi” on it (he’s the main guy behind the super-popular Fate/Zero & Madoka Magica) even though he only worked on the first three episodes of it. Without that marketing ploy, those who don’t like mecha won’t even give Aldnoah a chance and it won’t be as well-known as it is today (for better or worse).

  9. I agree with ya here Enzo; Kudelia has been poorly developed since the start of Orphans, and it’s a crying shame. Having a strong female protagonist is always a pleasure, but it’s something anime doesn’t consistently do well. And trying to shoe horn her into the guts of the story at this stage came off clunky and ill conceived.

    The saving grace, as you have noted, is the political brinkmanship that is taking place behind the scenes. Multiple interests spanning the galaxy pulling at multiple strings for their own benefit is very intriguing. Add to that a Gjallarhorn Seven Stars protagonist (antagonist?) “helping” our young bucks does save some grace. I’ve only seen the more modern Gundams series (SEED, 00, Age, G) but I quite enjoy this level of nuance. Not sure how much they can evolve this aspect in 7 eps, I suspect ther focus will be on Kudelia, but it’s a good change for me.

  10. “What does it say about her, frankly, that she was not just passive but blind to the reality of the situation for so long, and it was only when a situation which hurt her feelings personally occurred that she woke up and lumbered into action?”

    Are you forgetting the fact that she personally witnessed several people slaughtered right in front of her and had one of them die in her arms? I think its a bit short sighted to say that only Fumitan’s death brought about her recent development.

    As for the final scene, I will (partially) agree that it was handled a bit clumsily. I disagree that Kudelia is “crying on cue” because she has been holding in her tears since Fumitan’s death and had been putting on a brave face up until now. I think at that point it was natural for her to let it out and I actually found it touching when Mika went to comfort her. The problem is that then Atra starts crying, which I did feel was forced, and then the crying just went on for too long. Its one of the rare moments where IBO mishandles its emotional scenes, IMO.

    Anyway, the rest of the episode is very good. Kudela’s speech was pretty good as far as gundam speeches go, and I loved the “fuck you” to Gjallahorn when she dared them to attack. The other highlight is definitely McGillis’ making contact with Tekkadan and the Turbines, and with his arrival we see a wedge starting to form between Tekkadan and Teiwaz. The reveal that Nobliss and Teiwaz are working together (to some degree) causes Orga to become suspicious of Teiwaz and may drive him to accept McGillis’ offer behind Teiwaz’s back. I understand that Orga doesn’t want to remain a pawn of Nobliss or Teiwaz, but I hope he realizes that he’s playing a dangerous game. McGillis may seem like he’s the level for now, but anyone familiar with the “char clone” trope will know these alliances (usually) don’t last forever.

    Also, sharp senses or not, Mika must have X-ray vision or psychic powers to recognize McGillis that quickly, and McGillis one of the better disguised char clones. I thought Mika would recognize McGillis by his voice like he did in episode 5, but he didn’t even need that.

    On the charcter side of things , besides Kudelia, finally get some backstory for Ein and why he respected Crank so much. Its nothing special but it does give him a little bit of much need depth. Back on the Hammerhead we get an interesting conversation between Akihiro and Shino. Akihiro’s sees Shino’s desire to train as a new found sense of responsibility where as Shino sees piloting a mobile suit as being able to get away from it, no doubt still haunted by his mistake while raiding the Brewer’s ship back in episode 13.

    Well, next week IBO touches upon one of my favorite gundam tropes, the atmospheric reentry battle, and the Grimderge finally makes its debut.

    1. “The problem is that then Atra starts crying, which I did feel was forced,…”

      Well, don’t forget that Atra was also holding it in after she got beaten up. She’s also sad after witnessing Biscuit’s tragic turns of event with his brother after her persistently encouraging Biscuit to meet him early on. And we can also say that Fumitan’s death and Kudelia’s sadness is another (minor?) blow to her. There’s just so much tragic moments and heartache involving Tekkadan in the last couple of episodes which makes it normal for her to cry on it. Heck, even the little kids are sad about Fumitan’s death.

      “…and then the crying just went on for too long.”

      I’m afraid I have to disagree on this. I think they cut the crying scene right before it overstays its welcome, and then showed Kudelia’ stronger resolve after that.

      1. I don’t know it just felt too convenient. I feel like Atra had plenty of time to cry before that final scene, and I don’t feel like she had a reason to hold back as long as Kudelia did. And while she probably does feel sad over Fumitan’s death I’m just not sure it warrant’s having a scene where she is sobbing over her death like Kudelia, especially since we never had a bonding scene between the two. As for the younger kids, at least we got a brief scene of Fumitan comforting one of them back in episode 13, and just seeing Fumitan’s name on one of their writing pads was more effective than having one of those kids crying over her.

        As for the “crying too long” comment….well not much I can say to elaborate on that its just simply how I felt. I’m not saying the scene fell completely flat just that it wasn’t as good as it could have been.

  11. Just happy we got a little more insight on the personalities if Gali Gali & Not!Jerid. The Kabuki Lady looks like she’ll be interesting too. Hoping there will be a sick mecha fight again next week.Also, Chocolote Man might sortie next week on his new MS based on the preview.

  12. I’m really bad with the political things.
    Is there a big picture? Yet?

    Somehow I suppose everyone is eyeing the Half-Metal resource of Mars.
    When was it established that Kudelia has authority over that?

    Arbrau elections, Henri and Iznario.
    Gjallarhorn has a hand in Arbrau too?
    Kill the opponent and put up a puppet leader?

    I think it was said Kudelia was going to meet some African Union leader?
    How is Makanai expecting Kudelia?
    Bring her by force?

    So Gjallarhorn is at a ‘Titans’ stage?
    Wonder how and if McGillis will eventually go against Tekkadan.
    Or would a reformed Gjallarhorn be a good thing?

    Will the revolution be the end or the turning point?

    I feel like I’m in a fog 😛

    1. Many of your questions still have no answers yet cause the show itself still only introduce and hint at the issue. But some are already addressed by the show:

      “I think it was said Kudelia was going to meet some African Union leader?

      The original plan was for her to meet Arbrau leader coz the Mars city that she wanted to liberate (Chryse) belongs to Arbrau economic-block. African-Union block stepped up and asked Gjallarhorn to stop attacking Tekkadan in this episode after they watched Kudelia’s broadcast which reveals the chaotic situation in DORT colonies which belongs to African-Union block.

      “How is Makanai expecting Kudelia?”
      Bring her by force?”

      He’s the one that Kudelia wanted to meet with. So, no force is needed. Kudelia will come to him. That’s pretty much the goal of her journey to Earth.

    1. Yeah, but isn’t IBO’s airing slot is in the kids slot? So, it’s understandable that the show’s rating is not that high coz I doubt kids will like this “heavy & less colorful show”. Correct me if I’m wrong though. Also, with the popularity of watching the episode on the internet nowadays (especially for teenage to adult audience), I think Bandai will be more concerned with the kit sales. If that went bad, we can say goodbye to 2nd season of IBO.

    2. Both the TV ratings and the BD/DVD sales of IBO are sinking like a rock. Japan’s reaction to IBO has been generally been negative especially for the Gundam veterans. Surprisingly, their criticisms have been the same as mine, its lack of action, the horribly slow pace and the shallow character development.

      Which is a shame because the Gunpla kits look pretty nice. I wanted that 2-in-1 Gusion Gundam package.

      1. “BD/DVD sales of IBO are sinking like a rock”

        While the bad reception is sad to hear (Gundam X-syndrome again, looks like), Gundam TV series are never really made to sell BDs & DVDs (though good sales would be a nice bonus for Sunrise/Bandai). Gundam OVAs is the one that put more focus on that. The key now for IBO is the kit sales and other merchandises.

      2. Last I heard the kit sales were actually doing really well.

        I think the big problem is that AGE and Reconquista really let Gundam fans down and they’re just hesitant to try this series in case the whole anime ends up disappointing them.

        The kinda slow pace and lack of action is probably a cause as well. Amping up the action a bit would probably be a good idea.

      3. You know what. I agree with most of what you said by this point. The first half of this series is actually great and it should have been the case in the second half if only the show focused on the Tekkadan relationship than to expand this show until it’s only mildly entertaining by this point. Sigh.

    3. Just to add what Anon said, IBO is airing in nichigo (5pm) timeslot which is one of the most popular primetime time slot in japan (it’s not in some unknown late night time slot like G-Reco), and if you look at all of its predecessor on the time slot like Seed, Destiny, FMA, 00, Magi, Haikyuu S1, NNT, Arslan S1, etc…all of them doing fine even great above IBO a whole lot, what even dissapointed for a series that considered the best by a lot people in some western site, each eps rating since ep11 and especially 14+ above is dropping like a rock. I mean what the hell is that kind of number for nichigo time slot, what an embarassment, so definetely is a FACT that not only Enzo and fragb85 that feel a bit dissapointed in the kind of story direction, execution or whatever in last few eps of IBO, but looks like the majority of the japanese didn’t too fond with the story lately (I mean the last ep, what the hell is that 1.6 rating for an ep that supposed to be important for Kudelia, guess the majority of Japanese didn’t like Kudelia, gee why I’m not surprised). Nichigo is not just a kid’s time slot btw, it’s prime time slot and lot of adults and teenagers also tune in and it’s not like IBO story is sooo deep&complex, it’s quite easy&predictable to follow, don’t compare the japanese kids that already used watching more complex story since they were very young with your averages kids in the west.
      Bottom line with that kind of performance no wonder the executives of nichigo dissapounted with the result and that’s why they go with BokuAca next season, and I highly doubt IF there’s going to be even the 2nd season than IBO probably will not air on nichigo again, but move to late night (and probably will get even lesser attention considering the now audiences in Japan aren’t that kind of Hot with the series.
      What even an irony, for what is supposed to be one of the best AU Gundam by the western fans in some forums, it’s bd/dvd sales also practically averages or doing more or less the same as the hated G-Reco…LOL…that’s funny actually (I’m one of the few that actually enjoy G-Reco for what it is) and I found the first batch eps of IBO quite OK and enjoyable or at least have a potential, but more going on that charm kinda vanished bit by bit and it’s getting kinda boring, not to mention the action-coreography is very lacking (in my opinion), it doesn’t have to be Unicorn level, at least OO action coreography, GBF, etc is still a whole better (I guess I just didn’t feel the tension). Even the whole dialog/talking scenes in Origin is a whole more engaging compare and I love SOL (my fave is YKK and Aria), but these second half of IBO’s drama just…mmmm…I don’t know how to say it, feel underwhelming for me and it looks like the majority of the Japanese also feel the same.
      Plus the stupid and force way the writer keep trying to push Kudelia to Mika and making her look like a clingy (innocently unconscious) princess-type, what she’s doing in the hangar with Atra, why she’s always looking for Mika, she’s not Atra for god sake, rather than just showing chasing after Mika like in the beginning..the writer didn’t make/showing her interact more with Orga and co to learn how to negotiate more, improve her negotiqtion/speech skills or whatever, that aspect of writing just remind me of the worst aspect of Relena in Wing…even as useless as Marina or Ass is, they never shown stalking/clingy to the main protagonist like that. But yeah…lots of other stuff that became a factor not just the Kudelia part I guess that make this series can hugely take off despite it’s powerfull/popular Gundam brand in Japan, unlike Seed, 00, or even GBF and let’s not talking about the super popular and bestselling Gundam Ova in the name of Unicorn and Origin, way…way….uncomparable.
      Well…Bandai is rich anyway, so if they want to do more season of IBO that can just do it if they want to and they think it’s still worth it, but not count for more than just 1 season (another 25/26 ep again), it’s not that popular or profitable for more longer running series…they better of invest in another UC series or Origin TV or making another more interesting looking AU Gundam.

      1. I’m totally agree with you, here’s my though (or rant if you disagree):
        – That’s why Mari Okada the Drama Queen hack should be kicked out from anime industry. Next time should they make another AU Gundam, Sunrise should hire better writers (and popular) like Gen Urobutcher, etc. If they hire popular staff with good reputation, it will be hit on mainstream anime world.
        – Western Gundam fans taste for IBO are totally suck. (Remember good shows like SEED (despite some flaws) are trashed by them?)
        – Kudelia and Atra is worst Gundam character.
        – I think Sunrise will cancel their plans for 2nd season in the future, so they can invest more to make more good AU anime. (I don’t care about Gunpla or merchandise sales since they’re profitable by default)
        -TBH I’m find the first half IBO is interesting, but the 2nd one turned out into cringeworthy trash.

        Feel disagree or agree of my thoughs anyway.

        Anon Number #40283
      2. Yeah….I find it kind of funny/ironic that the super flaw series like Seed that being trashed a lot in many western forums turns out still the bestselling Gundam TV Series in the 2000’s till now (in term of BD/DVD sales and popularity) and still being loved by many Japanese fans, including all of the new re-releases BD/DVD box also very successfull despite all the flaws (link http://www.someanithing.com).

        @Anon….regarding my opinion of IBO, it’s just like what I already stated above, I just hope the next few episodes will turn out better or at least the qualities are like the better parts of the first half and the conflict will start to fold up and reaching to climax smoothly (no more Kudelia BS or whatever). My opinion about the 2nd season greenlit is actually a bit more positive than yours cuz let’s face it….it’s still Bandai^^, I say why not since Bandai is rich and if they wanted to plus if they think it’s still worth it, then they can easily greenlit another season (25/26 ep), but it probably won’t air in nichigo anymore, so the last decision is still on Bandai’s hand. What I just don’t see is for this series to air more than one season again (25/26 ep) or going on longer like for 3rd season/4th season (or around 100 eps like the Seed franchise), etc….I just can’t see it happen from the business/profits standing, even the more succesfull 00 only run for 2 seasons of 25 eps plus a movie, and from overall profits (BD/DVD sales, ratings, merchandises/gunpla sales, etc), OO is definitely/factually a whole lot more profitable/successfull compare to IBO performances right now.

      3. “Well…Bandai is rich anyway, so if they want to do more season of IBO that can just do it if they want to and they think it’s still worth it, but not count for more than just 1 season”

        Bandai may be rich, but they’re not that rich or stupid that they’ll continue making another season of a show that they think doesn’t have any potential, qulity or appeal whatsoever. Look how they axed Gundam X, Gundam AGE & G-Reco which forced those shows to get lesser episode than planned and ended earlier than scheduled. So yeah, let’s see together whether IBO will get another season or not.

        As for Japanese audience’s receptions, well….remember that this are people who think SEED Destiny (not SEED) was great. I think that already says a lot about them and their hit-&-miss “taste” or “judgement” for a Gundam show.

      4. Except not. Destiny was heavily trashed in Japan. That’s why Kira took over the show as a way to draw on his popularity. Not that it helped.

        As for IBO’S Gunplas, only the Barbatos is getting any decent sales last I checked.

      5. @fragb85

        Except not. Destiny won the Anime Grand Prix twice based on people’s choice in the respective year of it’s airing iirc. And Destiny original characters like Shin, Meyrin & Lunamaria were in Newtype top 10 even long after its finished airing. The Japanese audience love Destiny in general. That canot be denied.

      6. That’s a sad news then. I can see their reactions as I am totally meh with episodes 13, 14 and 16 of IBO.

        Yet I really don’t think Urobutcher can make a spinoff better. Remember Gargantia? Aldnoah Zero? Yes. Absorb the moments when these shows used to be good until a 540 degrees plot twist marred their reputation. Sure, he made Fate/Zero and Madoka great but… I don’t think his charms will also work in Gundam. I will be watching it anyway for the sake of curiosity.

      7. @Samui
        “Gargantia? Aldnoah Zero?”

        To be fair, unlike in Fate/Zero & Madoka, Urobuchi only majorly involved in the first and last episodes of Gargantia and he only made the first three episodes of Aldnoah. Also, both properties are not mainly his ideas, he only helped. If you want to critize Urobuchi’s writing, you can direct it toward Psycho-Pass (first season & movie) which is mainly Urobuchi’s baby. The first season has many plot holes and the movie is generic at best, but at least the core idea is still interesting.

        Also, unlike Aldnoah, Gargantia is not all that bad. I think it’s the case where People expect too much coz they see Urobuchi’s name on it when in actuality it’s just a tale of how a militaristic-drone boy trying to fit in to a more humane environment with a sprinkle of action and a little twist regarding the origin of their world. It never aimed to be something grand or anything.

      8. I used these two since these involved mechas. Kinda forgot to put Psycho Pass but it’s great too.

        Well, given the themes of what he usually writes, I am not amused with some dark plot twist lurking in the background that was presented all too sudden for me to digest these two. That ruined Gargantia for me. Cool Fights? Sure. From Conflict to Conclusion? Not a fan of what he did with that anime.

        To his credit, Urobutcher is really good with world building so if he’s gonna make a spinoff, he better needs a partner.

  13. So Japan Fans, want an Gundam like Thunderbolt. Blood, Gore fights and stuff… So no wonder they burn so much Budget

    Gundam Animes are cursed to be an Show of Mecha fights with Blood, revenge and the old Stuff, just packed with shiny new graphics. and i bet their holy grail will be tainted if Sunrise use to much (or a bit) CG….

    Are there new fresh Blood fans or adults that have “to much” time on their hands? But this Adults holds the most Money.. So you need to produce stuff for their needs?

    1. Do Kids watch Thunderbolt? or more IBO?

      What is the target audience for IBO? and for Thunderbolt? Who has an OAV Budget and TV Budget?

      Oh, well looks like this will end like Ronja. They begin to see the new fresh animes of trying to do new things as to “western standard” and ignore it

    1. And why do I have this feeling that Enzo will still trash episode 19 regardless? If he does, that will prove that he’s not a fan of mecha-action. Let us all see his review of episode 19.


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