Okay so I’m going to be referring to Gundam Iron Blooded Orphans as Gundam IBO from now on. Its short and makes the title not seem so breathy. With that out-of-the-way I can start talking about how much I loved this episode. I think it was some kind of destiny that I was to be covering this show and Comet Lucifer at the same time. It seems everything that Comet Lucifer is seeming to lack Gundam IBO manages to execute almost perfectly. If you don’t know what I’m talking about with Comet Lucifer check out my disappointed episode three review here. So safe to say after a disappointing article on how much Comet Lucifer was “so-so” I’m really excited to write on how great Gundam IBO is going. So let’s get into it.
Orga makes quick work of 1st squad by drugging them and forcing them to either leave or be subordinate. It takes a few murders from Mikazuki to realize how serious they are and almost everyone leaves. Orga learns that they are nearly broke and need to pick up funds quickly if they want to keep their newly managed business afloat.
Meanwhile the old guy from Gallanhorn comes back to request a duel. Mikazuki agrees with Kudelia’s life sort of on the line. Mikazuki wins and kills the man still showing no emotion what-so-ever. Kudelia finally realizes that there is something she can do to help. So she re-hires the newly formed “Iron Flower” to escort her on her diplomatic mission.
Everything is moving very smoothly. While it may seem like nothing is really happening, it’s not that the characters aren’t trying. They just need time to get back on their feet. With the nice character developments helping to pick up the slow parts of the story though it doesn’t seem slow.
Gundam IBO, for the most part, does a really good job developing the character through the story instead of just exposition dumps. This is most noticeable in these slow episodes where even though things seem to be slow the characters are helping us get through these times. In turn this will help us care for the characters more later, plus we are growing to understand the characters better. It’s so simple but so many shows fail at this, so its noticeable when a show not only does it well but exceeds expectations. Which it is doing for me.
Honestly I still think Mikazuki is a messed up character. Although now as I see him more for how the show frames him, I’m starting to at least understand what the show is trying to say with a character like him. Basically I think what it boils down to is that Mikazuki is indeed a bad person. I don’t think the show is really justifying his actions or championing how he is so cold towards killing someone. More so, I think its showing how perception changes with whatever environment you are in. To all of Mikazuki’s friends he’s a hero and a good person looking out for his friends. Put that aside and he’s still a ruthless killer with barely a purpose. Given his circumstances he’s a good person but that’s not really the way it should be, and I think the show is acknowledging this. The only other evidence I have to back this up is the correlation I draw with Kudelia. Her whole thing is that she doesn’t perceive things the way Mikazuki and Orga do. She has a perception of the way people should act, but sees these kids and has to come to the realization that not everyone gets what they deserve. She doesn’t blame them for it though, she’s trying to understand them and trying to help them in the new environment she finds herself in. Her goal is to make a better life for the people of Mars so children don’t end up like Orga and Mikazuki. Its making a clear statement that life shouldn’t be like this.
Speaking of Kudelia, her character is still a little on the fence. While she was bumbling around figuring out what to do, she decides to just cook, as if it’s just something she would instinctively do as a woman. Maybe she just wanted to help out but knowing Gundam, I don’t know. Still I do enjoy that she came to a conclusion at the end of the episode and has her resolve back. But unless she jumps into a mobile suit I don’t think she’ll be doing much. Maybe at the end she’ll be able to have a big speech to sort of encapsulate everything the show is trying to say.
Orga on the other hand has sort of been settled already. His character is simple and easy to understand. That’s good though, because it gives us a good foundation to build off of. Given his position now he’ll have to make some important decisions that will most certainly reveal things about his character. Knowing him fairly well early on will help drive those future character developments home. Right now all we know is that he has extreme faith in Mikazuki (who wouldn’t though) and will do anything to ensure a better life for his friends.
I know I didn’t really talk about the mobile suit fight at the end of the episode, but at this point I think the mech battles are just the icing on the cake as far as this show is concerned. Besides what would I say about they other than “they were cool”. So unless there is some drop in quality or something that just amazes me I won’t be talking about them much.
Safe to say that Gundam IBO is progressing better than any Gundam that I’ve ever seen. Its managing everything nicely and not missing any beats in story or character. I know this phrase has jinxed me before but this could be the best anime of the season (besides One Punch Man). Surely a Gundam for everyone.