「願いの重力」 (Negai no Juuryoku)
“Gravity of Desire”
It may not be the best idea to watch Tekketsu no Orphans right after watching Gundam Thunderbolt, but it does present an interesting perspective on Gundam history. As I mentioned in my blog post on the second episode of Thunderbolt, I think these two series represent the stylistic extremes of the Gundam continuum – whereas Iron-Blooded Orphans it the franchise as its most mannered and updated, Thunderbolt is a pure relic – Gundam at its most stripped-down and elemental.
This is not a one-sided comparison by any means. If anything it seems to me that there are elements each incarnation could take from the other that would improve themselves substantially. Thunderbolt is rough, sometimes awkward narratively, and a little disjointed – it could use a little polish. But for me, there’s a simplicity and an honesty to it that Iron-Blooded Orphans rarely displays. I’m not going to make a blanket statement like “less is more” and say it applies to all Gundam series with a broad brush, but maybe the themes Gundam is built around – and those are pretty much the same in every version – pack more power when there’s not so much effort to leverage them for big emotional payoffs.
It seems a week doesn’t go by when we don’t get an emotional payoff in Orphans that splats because it was oversold and/or too predictable. This time it was Ein’s death (if indeed he is dead), which in addition to being predictable threw in being an nearly-exact replica of Fumitan’s for good measure. I don’t really care about Ein because I don’t think we’ve ever been given a good reason to (it’s ironic that Crank Zent’s harikiri was really the first domino to fall in this chain of missteps), but this moment should have been better because it was clearly intended to be the emotional centerpiece of the episode.
Not even the great Inoue Kikuo can do much with the material she’s given to work with as Carta Issue, yet another Orphans villain that’s far too much of a ludicrous popinjay to be taken seriously, though she does inject a good deal of silliness into the role. She ends up more or less in a face-off with Eugene, which is quite entertaining in spite of the latter’s unintentionally (I think) comic obsession with looking cool even as blood streams from his nose – the result of controlling two ships via the Alaya-Vijñāna system. Eugene and Carta can’t help but make one wonder if indeed Orphans is operating on a self-parodical level to a degree that isn’t immediately obvious – it would be nice to think so, actually.
A saving grace of Tekketsu no Orphans, of course, is that it usually gets the big action set pieces just as right as it gets the emotional ones wrong (which is ironic in itself), and this one is no exception – ending in a rather effective cliffhanger as the main Tekkadan players appear to be plunging into Earth’s atmosphere at an entirely untenable rate of speed. The whole encounter in space is a study in chaos (no small thanks to McGillis Fareed), and quite intentionally so – the depiction of everyone operating just on the edge of panic is artfully done.
The other saving grace of Iron-Blooded Orphans is that the larger political plot and McGillis’ role in it continue to be interesting. While there’s not a cast member I could honestly say I’m emotionally invested in at this point, McGillis is intellectually engaging for sure. The way he’s currently playing the fox among the chickens for his own murky aims is easily the most fun thing to watch in the series, and the fact that he’s doing it using the worst disguise ever with only Mika seeing through it plays like an intentional yet affectionate jest at the franchise’s expense. That’s another example where it feels as if the unique elements and fresh perspective these creators bring to Tekketsu no Orphans are really shining through, and really working – and I hope we see a lot more before the series is over.
We’re already 19 episodes in, and I’m still not sure wtf the actual plot is besides “we going somewhere, Mika, BELIEVE IT.”
What the…? The core plot is pretty straightforward: to follow the orphans of Tekkadan who want to earn money and achieve success (through PMC business, for now) and finally find a better place for themselves in the society, and their first job is to escort Kudelia to Earth to meet Makanai for a hearing/negotiation. By doing that, Tekkadan will have to fight Gjallarhorn (and who knows what other factions) who doesn’t want that mission to succeed.
Along the way, there are side-plots like:
1. Kudelia’s development after realizing and learning more about the truth of the outside world and being forced into becoming a revolutionary figure,
2. Chocoman’s plan to “fix Gjallarhorn”,
3. The reaction and political maneuvers of the four economic blocks, the Companies and the Seven Stars regarding “Kudelia’s Revolution”.
It’s actually kinda simple if I say so myself.
War has changed…
That’s probably because a plot is actually happening. I’d say IBO is finally getting good, because this is the plot that should have started ten episodes ago. The last two arcs have been a waste of time, with so much padding and shallow character development. Its especially evident now, since none of the events back then have any real impact on whats happening now.
What is worrying is how little episodes are left. IBO is finally hitting the ground running and looks like its going to trip and face plant hard.
There will be 50 eps
Still not officially confirmed. And even if it was meant for 4 cours, 16 episode for a plot to finally move is till inexcusable. It feels like the storyboard only had 1 cour so they just padded out everything.
Considering that Gaelio caught Eins’ escape pod, I’m pretty confident that he’s alive. Crippled is possible, which is basically the payoff for Eins asking about the A-V surgery and would make that almost a guarantee to happen. I’d also bet in favor of a season 2 at that point, although with less confidence, as I feel like we don’t have enough time left in this season for Eins’ character arc to come all the way around if it does indeed pan out like that.
Also, can we get some love for Mikazuki surfing through the atmosphere on a Graze? That was pretty sweet.
“Also, can we get some love for Mikazuki surfing through the atmosphere on a Graze?”
Just as expected from Enzo’s review. Not much interest in discussing the mecha battles. It feels like reading a biography of Pele or Maradona by someone who doesn’t like football/soccer. Doesn’t mean Enzo’s review is totally wrong, but it just lacks passion and enthusiasm.
For us Western Fans (and Asia), Animes are still something special. Not everyday used tools. there where Enzo is living now, Animes are all around him. for Merchandising in TV Spots, around the corner to praise the good, to educate peoples and so on. His dose of Anime is nothing special anymore, the only way out for him is to close his eyes.
This is the base idea of my “rant” here. https://randomc.net/2016/02/10/ajin-04-05/comment-page-1/#comment-2064547
I think you’re right on the money.
I feel that if the writers wanted to kill off Ein they would have just had his Graze explode instead of his cockpit ejecting. And given Ein’s comment in the previous episode about getting surgery for the AV system we might have a “Chekhov’s Gun” in play here.
He looks better when he was younger.
Another obnoxious villain but she was very entertaining on the whole.
There are so many things to love about this episode: Mika having the upper hand against Gali Gali, the Mika and McGillis partnership (it was awesome) and of course, the surfing through on a graze and the lovely touching song that was played in the background.
I feel like Enzo is really not the right blogger for this series, he lacks the passion and enthusiasm like what Osy say. Especially when compared between Samus’s post for Thunderbolt ep 2. Assuming that IBO season 2 will be covered when its released, I actually prefer it if someone else takes over, or its just better off for Enzo not to cover it anymore, since it feels like he’s disliking IBO a lot with each passing episode.
You realize a large portion of the Gundam Veterans don’t like IBO right? Especially in Japan which is the franchises most important demographic. Considering how boring IBO has been for so long its no surprising GE is reflecting a lack of enthusiasm. Despite all the praise it gets, IBO has made the same mistakes as previous AU’s. Lots of good ideas wasted on poor execution, in this case the horrible pacing.
Also there has been no official announcement for a Season 2. The only source came from a blogger who is known to be unreliable in the first place.
So, how should i trust more?
“Also there has been no official announcement for a Season 2. The only source came from a blogger who is known to be unreliable in the first place.”
You taking about the listing of IBO’s OST on amazon Japan? Was anyone actually able to confirm that? Whether or not the blogger is reliable or not his should have been easy to confirm unless amazon removed or alter the description shortly after. Granted even if it was true it’s hardly a confirmation for a 2nd season and just merely an indication Sunrise is open to the possibility of it.
A lot of Gundam Veterans hate any Gundam anime that isn’t part of the UC timeline, so that’s not the best argument.
found on ANN, that Sunrise seems to hear the shouting of the Gundam UC timeline fans, they plan to bring Gundam UC Tv series back, somehow… They are really trying hard to milk the Gundam universe
That’s because he’s not at all but it’s typical of the Gundam franchise. About the only one that consistently can’t get fair reviews on blog sites. At the very least it’s not an outright hate on though. When ANN is arguably doing better weekly takes on a Gundam show it might be best to take some stock lol
I’m getting pretty sick of you people who only want to read happy positive blog posts about your favourite show, and spit your dummies out when you don’t get it. If you don’t agree with the reviews, either make your counter points without the whining or go somewhere else.
Simply demanding that the show must be blogged by someone who loves it is the worst kind of fanboyism.
Ignorance & sweeping generalization much?
We’re not demanding reviews that are always positive (we’re not North Korea after all). We ask for someone who is (at least) interested in mechas & mecha battles which is 50-60% of what a Gundam series is. Reading Enzo’s reviews for episodes that has mecha-battles in it is like reading an essay about Jurassic Park that is written by someone who doesn’t like movies about dinosaurs :V. Something is just obviously lacking.
See some reviews in ANN & otakurevolution for example. They have a fair share of criticism to say about IBO but when the mecha action happens, they actually care to talk about it, which is missing in many Enzo’s reviews. For example, let me give you a piece about mecha-battles from episode 17 review of otakurevolution:
“It’s nice to finally get some good old kinetic energy after weeks of potential energy in this show, trading the predictable slaughter of innocents to the unpredictable nature of escape and mobile suit combat. There, the show doesn’t waste any time and within the 2nd half, Mika is piloting the Barbatos and facing off against Bauduin in the Gundam Kimaris. Like Mika’s initial fights with the Gusion, the Kimaris provides for another radical difference in fighting style. Despite it being equipped with bladed weapons and kinda bulky in its own way, the Kimaris is a speedy little shit that gives Mika a bit of a welcome challenge. Coupled with Mika’s attempt to safely get the formerly Dortside Tekkadan to the Isaribi, never mind the great debuts of Akihiro’s Gundam Gusion Rebake and Shino’s ‘Ryusei-go’ (their Graze Kai recoloured), make this battle a great cap off to this arc and an end to Tekkadan’s observer status.”
And what did Enzo gave us regarding the same topic in his own episode 17 review? Just this:
“This also allows Gaileo to whip out his family heirloom the Gundam Kimaris to do battle with Mikazuki.”
While he gave us two paragraphs about how IBO is not Nagai-Okada-ish enough for him. That’s my counterpoint. You can find more in the comment section in each episode review by other posters.
IBO’s reception has been mixed at best so I believe GE is free to point out his dissatisfaction. I don’t even like most of GE’s blog posts, but this hateon has only been making the IBO fans look bad. If you feel IBO is good and want to defend it then by all means discuss it. Don’t use the comments as a personal soapbox to attack a bloggers own views and credentials. The fact that these childish posts are getting upvoted is eye rolling. I don’t want to check every post and see walls of texts of pointless blogger bashing.
“Don’t use the comments as a personal soapbox to attack a bloggers own views and credentials. The fact that these childish posts are getting upvoted is eye rolling. I don’t want to check every post and see walls of texts of pointless blogger bashing.”
Heh…I already long passed the age or mindset where upvote and downvote concerns me or making me salty. A comment’s true worth is in its content. Votes are just like a book cover to a comment, it can be a good representative or not. Also, a critic (which is what Enzo is in this case) is not free from criticism. Readers can criticize a critic’s review if they thought it was unfair. That’s all fair game. Even the “great” movie reviewer like Roger Ebert also had a number of cases of it. One example is when he finally rewritten his negative review on Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining after realizing his mistakes after reading reactions to his review and reading many other glowing reviews of the movie. Oh, and he terminated his old review where he bashed the movie (it’s nowhere to be found now) and acted like he never had a problem with it, maybe due to shame. I can’t speak for all other posters (obviously), but I myself criticize Enzo’s review, not attacking or insulting his personality, which is a fair game just like the Roger Ebert case.
Actually, it’s people like Zip-It who insult other posters by judging all of us who criticize the review as immature fanboys who only want to see praises for the show we like.
I just want to see a review from someone who seems to give the slightest damn about what he’s reviewing. This is just not the kind of show for someone like Guardian Enzo period and never was, that’s why I was always puzzle about why he’s the one doing it. Frankly I’m not sure it’d be any better with any of the other writers on this blog though. I mean does anyone that writes here even kind of like mecha or Gundam at all?
I feel that we should just be grateful that someone even making reviews on Tekketsu no Orphans 🙂
I really love how Orphans is more of a hard science type of gundam compared to the other entries in the series.
For example, the fact that not even the famed gundam frames are capable of surviving the re-entry into the earth’s atmosphere.
Another thing is the lack of beam weapons in favor of good old fashion kinetic rounds and big ass spears.
Also, the fact that guns can be repelled by thick armor
Last but not the least is the fact that even gundams cant maintain a sustained hover when in a planet with gravity and all that crap.
This is what makes me, a-non-gundam-fan, follow this show with great anticipation.
I prefer Shwarzesmarken and Total Eclipes when it comes to robot action, but Orphans is doing a good job of tickling my need for mecha violence
More than hard sci-fi, I think all of it is so the Gundams here are not overpowered god-like machines, as they have been in many, many series of the franchise (especially egregious in Gundam 00).
It’s a welcome change.
Err….you do realize the Graze Mika surfed on to get back to earth was still in one piece right? If the grunt Graze frame could, I have no idea how a Gundam frame couldn’t. It kinda killed the mood produced by everybody’s worries, but oh well. I guess since technically the Grazes are newer than the Gundams, they’re already designed to be able to withstand atmospheric reentry? We will never know…
Maybe its not about the machinery but the safety of the pilot (cockpit overheating). Or not having enough fuel left after trying to decelerate from reentry which would result in Gundam bits in the ocean.
I think part of the appeal of IBO comes from the “no beam weapons” and since there are no beam weapons that cut thru armor like butter (and the armor does a good job of protecting the MS for a change) the melee combat becomes more satisfying as it becomes more visceral as it’s the only way to get a good kill. 😕
I really like how Ein has been handled in the last episodes. I’m sure he could have been better written but I’m content with what we got; he matches how Larry Brooks defines three-dimensional characters in his book Story Engineering. He was one-dimensional (hell-bent on revenge), and then through his discussion with Gali Gali, we came to understand why he has this fixation toward Crank (only guy who didn’t treat him like shit); that made him two-dimensional (surface behavior explained through backstory). Then comes the third dimension (choices made in regard to the two dimensions) with his choice of giving up on defeating Tekkadan (Shino) and go save his comrade.
What would be even better is if he survives, not only that would be a nice subversion to the predictable tragic death situation, but I’m also curious to see where his character will be taken.
Also, grounded warship battles are AWESOME.
Review after review, I wonder if I’m watchign the wrong show. Because this is so far one of my favourite Gundam shows, not because it’s perfect, but because its mistakes don’t try to stab me in the eyes, the characters are a bunch of likeable losers and the Gundam battles at least are exciting and, most strangely, fair.
For me, it happens what Extra Credits explained as ‘Destiny is Gaming’s Law & Order’, which in this case it would be ‘Gundam IBO is Anime’s Law & Order’. Because “while it may rarely achieve moments of greatness, it is always consistently good enough”.
The animation and design look like a mix between 00 and AGE (not complaining, just an observation). Can`t wait for the big announcement!
I miss Fumitan.
me, too. But you begin to miss something until it is gone
Also Fumitan’s Dead made an “click” inside Kudelia, and changed her
Every week, IBO looks more like an experiment. And let’s be honest, Sunrise has made experiments out of the last Gundam TV series, looking for ideas to “improve” the franchise. But then, we have productions like Unicorn and Thunderbolt and you have to wonder why fixing something that’s not broken.
Unicorn and Thunderbolt are both from the UC timeline (even though Thunderbolt is technically alternate UC), which seems to print Sunrise money. The winning formula seems to be that both the ‘good guys’ and ‘bad guys’ are both grey, which makes for interesting story telling.
In the majority of other Gundam timelines, good guys are always good, bad guys are always bad. I really feel they’ve been experimenting trying to find the next UC-ish timeline and to grab another generation’s worth of fans. To that end, they have yet to succeed producing anything as deep as UC timeline.
“In the majority of other Gundam timelines, good guys are always good, bad guys are always bad”
While it varies depending on the series, each side of the conflict will generally have both good and bad people on it. While you might sympathize with some of the characters on the wrong side of the conflict, in the end you will usually end up rooting for the protagonist and the side he/she is on and this applies to both the UC and AUs. Thunderbolt is actually a rare exception within the UC.
In the original MSG there were good people in Zeon, but as a whole Zeon was the greater evil compared to the Federation. And then you have Zeta Gundam which has one of the most one sided conflicts (Titans vs AEUG) in the Gundam franchise in terms of morality.
“The winning formula seems to be that both the ‘good guys’ and ‘bad guys’ are both grey, which makes for interesting story telling.”
This seems to be the case with IBO though. Why don’t people like it despite that (in Japan at least)?
@Zetatrain your opinion is fair, sir. I will give you Zeta, but in terms of the original MSG, the Federation as the protags were clearly good. However, if you look at the Federation as a whole, without delving into too much spoilers, the Federation were clearly as bad as Zeon. Which was the whole point of the story, that war sucks.
In terms of IBO, if you go by my anaology, I believe it is still too early to identify the bad guys are bad, because how much of Gallahorn do we actually know? Galileo, Ein and blondie? Besides the three, all we know is that Gallahorn are corrupt, but to what extent? Oppress three colonies into slave labour?
Tekkedan, on the other hand, have already been established as the White Knights in shining armor escorting the princess, in my opinion is pretty standard as stories go. However, this is just my personal opinion so take that with a grain of salt.
Don’t get me wrong, the battle scenes are fantastic (as sparce as they are), but as far as story, it is different compared to the whole ‘War Sucks’ theme that is common with other good Gundam stories.
@paulrenzo, see my point to Zetatrain about White Knighting.
Again gonna have to disagree. IMO, Zeon as a whole is much worse than the Federation. And you don’t need both sides to be equally bad or good to have “War sucks” as part of the show’s theme. Grey comes in all kinds of shades and some are darker than others.
As for the comment on Tekkadan. While i do agree that there isn’t anything bad about Tekkadan, the show’s conflict isn’t simply Tekkadan vs Gjallahorn, it’s Mars and the colonies vs Gjallahorn. Tekkadan is more like the middle man.
Tekkadan may be more on the side of Mars and the colonies, but there are people like Nobliss and Teiwaz who seem more concerned with lining their pockets than the well being of Mars or Tekkadan. Gjallahorn may be corrupt but there are people like McGillis who are trying to reform it though he too could end up becoming an enemy. We also have yet to see how the earth blocs will factor into the conflict; remember they too are getting fed up with Gjallahorn’s corruption.
There are multiple factions on each side of the conflict who have their own agendas and some of them could end up being either Tekkadan’s ally or enemy. In the end we may root for Tekkadan, but that doesn’t mean the conflict they’ve been dragged into doesn’t have shades of grey.
So basically, you have Kudelia who is supposed to represent Mars Independence.
Nobliss and Teiwaz represents players in the shadows.
Galileo as Gjallahorn as a whole (in our eyes), and McGillis as someone who wants to reform Gjallahorn.
And then you have Tekkadan whom just kinda steamrolls anyone they come across.
Did I get everyone?
Not sure about you, but it sounds like besides Tekkadan, the Earth Sphere is populated by singular people representing groups of invisible silent people.
But of course! Feel free to disagree.
Because catering solely to the UC fanbase is not a long term business solution. The fanbase is dedicated, but as time goes on its members will dwindle to the point where even selling an episode at $100 won’t turn a profit. And there are only so many times you can take the Univesal Century and put a new coat of paint over it.
Well, there’s always the option of remaking the original UC series to attract new viewers to the UC timeline.
“Because catering solely to the UC fanbase is not a long term business solution.”
Completely agree. However, as of yet I am unaware of an non-UC Gundam Series spanning more than 4 (52 ish episodes) seasons (I wouldn’t count single movie OVAs). Which sort of means Sunrise have yet to succeed.
Personally I just don’t think they’re brave enough to invest solidly into a non-UC timeline.
True but it’s not entirely Sunrise’s fault
The reason why we will most likely never see another gundam universe as big as the UC is because giant robots are not as popular to the mainstream audience as they once were. The majority of the UC animated entries came out in the 80s which was the golden age of giant robots particularly the “real robot genre”. No matter how good a new AU may be it just won’t be able to pull in the fanbase you need to sustain it over the course of 4 TV series and 5 movies.
I would very much like to see that though the question is whether or not it will have the mainstream appeal sunrise is looking for.
There is also the issue of gunpla sales. There have already been multiple re-releases and variants of mobile suits from the OYW, so a reboot of the original series is probably not going to do a lot to increase sales of kits that Bandai has already been pumping out for years
Do nearly all Gundam series have at least one very thrilling atmospheric reentry scene? Because the scene kinda reminds me of Valvrave the Liberator, when the Sakimori students went to Earth.
Around half or so. This was one of the better ones, though
I need to say something about the portrayal of villains in this show. The thing is that children do view adults who are against them as ugly, annoying and completely villanous humans. This applies in real life as much as in any anime, and the way I view it is that this anime is showing off how kids view villains by pushing it to the extreme and literally making them all those things.
The simplest example I can draw from in my experience would be my uncles. I clearly remember as a kid, I straight up hated them and found them ugly and disgusting to look at (much like most villains in this show) mainly because they had all these rules that I didn’t want to abide by: one hour of computer time a day, bed time at 7 pm, etc. Now, as an adult in my twenties, I have a normal relationship with my uncles with the slight subconcious thought that “I’m happy they’ve changed, they’re much more approachable these days” until I, just a few months ago, happened upon our family’s childhood photos which made me realize that they’ve been the same as they’ve always been. Nothing had changed, only my way of thinking and my way of looking at them.
The world does indeed look different through the eyes of a child, and this anime seems to portray its villains from a kid’s perspective without holding back. Although I do agree that it might be a bit too much. I don’t believe any human is pure evil, anyone has their reasons for doing what they do, and by portraying the villains in this way we are forced to hate them through and through without caring about their backstories.
No one will understand the torment I feel. The torment of an extremely attractive ninja who is lusted after by pretty much every girl he’s ever met. Mine is indeed a tormented existence. Filled with torment…and girls. Girls with their breasts.
They torment me so.
Wikia says McGillis is the son of his father’s mistress.
Don’t tell me his mother is of a lower bearing and they led a hard life before she died and his father brought him in?
So the mainline Fareed family has no children?
Was thinking he would become a Slaine Troyard 😛
Hope Gaelio rush him to A&E or something.
Or its funeral and revenge for Gaelio.
That Graze Ritter sure is tough acting as a reentry shield.
Don’t tell me the old man late used parts from that unit to make Form 6?
(lol, then those nameless soldiers would want revenge like Ein for Crank :P)
McGillis talking about unveiling the past…
The scene feels like McGillis has confirmed all the players,their characters, their motives and he has this plan or something crafted from those info. Or its just the typical scene showing the players as some sort of turnabout to the next arc 😛
What will Makanai bring in?
How will he play around with Tekkadan?
I guess it may be until season that Tekkadan become a player then the played?
6 more eps, wonder what will be the reason for the final battle.
Revenge, pride and some political stuff? lol 😛
Is NOBODY going to mention that handshake between Mika and Kudelia? I appreciated that subtle acknowledgement and respect between them so much.
One thing I noticed after watching this episode, is that every episode there’s a new piece of graffiti on the bridge.
Add Carta to the league of anime characters with the most fabulous eyebrows. Also can’t help, but think that she and Eugene would make an awesome tag team. Also, Ein’s death was predictable? Like hell it wasn’t. Like Fumitan, I was expecting him to die at some point, but not this early.
I didn’t expect Ein to die this soon either, although.. Did he really die? Didn’t his cockpit shoot out into Gali Gali’s hands right after? That kind of thing doesn’t really happen unless the person in it somehow survives.. right?
I hope Ein’s dead or crippled and unable to pilot a MS at least. He’s all “He must have offered you a helping hand” drivel while grappling with Shino made my eye roll.
(Did he forget that they were the ones who started attacking first tekkadan/CGS in the first ep in order to assassinate Kudelia).
The idea of being able to change the armor on the mobile suits (and change appearance completely) reminds of Mamoru Nagano’s Five Star Stories. The Gundams being hundreds of years old and being prized possessions of nobility/knights is another.
“yet another Orphans villain that’s far too much of a ludicrous popinjay to be taken seriously”
The biggest problem with most of the Orphans villains is that they really just aren’t villains. The only real “bad guys” we have are the nameless military commanders behind the Dort massacre and the businessmen trying to exploit the Mars situation. The new woman isn’t a villain, she’s just defending her post albeit she’s a bit obsessed with her duty, among other things. The same goes for Gaelio who is just a soldier obsessed with regaining his honor after continually losing to Mika and Ein is obsessed with his loyalty to Crank and Gaelio.
Way to go and miss the obvious emotional centerpiece of the episode, Ein’s death or injury never felt like it’s the centerpiece to anything, i could care less about Ein because he is a one note character who isn’t interesting at all (they tried to give him some depth using the fact he is getting discriminated aganist being a half-martian and his bonding with Gaelio, but it still far from enough to counter balance the fact he is a character without much depth who is also very annoying).
The real emotional centerpiece was obviously closing the longest running plot thread in the show, which is escorting Kudelia to earth, they finally managed to pull it off, the new song that plays during the scene, Mika struggling to enter through earth’s atmosphere without getting fried in his cockpit, McGillis asking Tekkadan and Mika to show him what they can really do, the handshake between Kudelia and Mika at the start of the episode (and recalling that scene again near the ending) are all parts of this emotional centerpiece.
a calmer episode again
Show Spoiler ▼
also, Fumitan’s scene in the OP. where we see her Back and she is trowing a shadow to the wall in a room, is still there. but the scene where we receive the launch confirmation inside of the mecha cockpit had changed
a last straw hope for the Fumitan’s fans?
but then, in Grimgar’s anime, Monato is still in the OP picture. Lets see