Its time to do some decompressing again on Gundam IBO. A lot of things are changing and our characters need time to talk and sort out how they all feel about those things. While there is nothing wrong with this format I still have problems with how they execute it.
Gundam IBO episode 8 summary
So we get to see what Orga’s squad did during the mech battles outside. They hack their way in mostly non violent and confront Naze Turbine. They agree to negotiate and absorb Tekkaden to help them escort Kudelia to Earth. Meanwhile Mikazuki and Akihito are training with the female pilots of Turbine. Kudelia and Atra hang around some babies, while the crews are on their way to meet with the head of Teiwaz.
Now when I look at this episode of Gundam IBO I find nothing “technically” wrong with it but there are enough things that bother me from a story construction standpoint that get under my skin. For one I’m getting sick of the way they will shift into and out of gear with out really having any in-between mode. It feels like either things are tense or either super lax. I don’t like to just see events happen and then hear later how characters feel about the events that just happened. I need something more during the action scenes to reflect that, so were not wasting time and can use the down time to progress the story.
This episode of Gundam IBO was littered with these kind of conversations. Which for me the only one we needed was Mikazuki’s revelation that he needs to get stronger. But everyone else speculating on what happened and whats going to happen gets boring. Sure it was okay in the past when there wasn’t much going on, but I feel we don’t need to see those conversations anymore. They can still be going on in the background, but don’t have them be the majority of the episode.
As for Kudelia, I appreciate that the narrative is sincerely trying to give her some purpose, but every time she does something so insignificant I roll my eyes. I don’t think just being on a bridge for support, or playing with babies equates to being useful. She knows her role and its a noble one. Someone needs to tell her that her job is to speak on behalf of Mars, not to help out on the day-to-day. I really hope she just figures that out. Sometimes we are useless in certain situations, but that doesn’t mean were useless as a whole. But the show insists on having her try to find things to give her worth, as if her being a spokesperson for a planet isn’t enough.
Also on the subject of women’s roles on Gundam IBO I must address Naze’s harem. I’m kind of torn on this because it seems like it serves no purpose other than a gag, which isn’t funny. Is this really the only way the writers figured they could write in female pilots? Gundam IBO is all about brotherhood and stuff so I won’t let it get to me too much. But it bothers me when you have a cast of mostly realistically grounded people and then you have a harem of girls that somehow all get along together and accept their circumstances. Call me a prude all you want but I find it gross. Honestly I could write an entire article about this subject in itself, so I’ll try to make one more quick point and leave it at that. If none of these girl pilots die, I will be severely disappointed.
Sure this episode of Gundam IBO didn’t play out the way I would have liked, but it got its point across all the same. I’m sure these emotional beats are hitting for someone, just not me at the moment. I can only see Orga reiterate how childish he is so many times before I need to see some consequences. Same with Mikazuki. It would have been nice for him to have had a consequence for being too arrogant. But instead he slips by and comes to the realization to change. I need some stakes to keep me interested and so far it seems that Gundam IBO is moving away from the stakes that felt so high in its early episodes. I hope that it can retrieve that tension before the show concludes.
Episode Rating: B-