Series: Mobile Suit Gundam Iron-Blooded Orphans
Episode 6: As For Them
Release Date: November 8, 2015
Genre: Sci-fi, Mecha
Synopsis: The episode opens up with McGillis deciding not to pursue Tekkadan immediately; he knows that they have Kudelia and are heading towards Earth. Meanwhile, Tekkadan needs a new guide to Earth, and they decide to hear to Jupiter to join up with a well-known mafia known as Teiwaz, who should be able to help them get to Earth unhindered by Gjallarhorn.
To be honest, this episode helped me to understand why others feel that the series is boring: it’s going fairly slowly right now. It’s not a bad thing, but we’re getting a somewhat heavy amount of character interaction this time around, and a lot of setup for future episodes. That being said tho, I did enjoy the world-building this episode offered: we learned how the Earth blocs were set up, what caused the unrest on Mars, and even the origin of Barbatos. All of this with a good amount of character interaction to boot!
Even Fumitan’s got a job with Tekkadan.
The characters are definitely becoming more and more developed as this series progresses, but I do hope that we get to see them in different situations more, so that different facets of their personalities can be exposed. Princess Kudelia’s never-ending search to find some way to be of use to Tekkadan before she gets to Earth is okay, but it does seem to drag, especially as every time it seems like she’s satisfied with her life, the series shows us that yet again she’s trying to feel useful. You’re a princess with an important mission, you don’t need to try so hard to “fit in”.
But perhaps personal searches are what will define this series? We have Orga and Mika stepping into leadership roles where we’ll (eventually?) learn what made them who they are, we’ve got Ein on one side who’s lost his mentor and is trying to cope, and we’ve got Kudelia who wants to both help the people of Mars and get to understand their struggle so that she can find some purpose in her life. Self-discovery is an important part of every hero’s journey, and this series seems to be setting up explanations for a few of these journeys for us.
Bros together, bros forever.
I’m personally really enjoying watching the development of Orga as a character. He’s proving to be a lot more than the typical stoic leader type, and he really does want to improve the lives of Mika and the kids of Tekkadan. Despite the danger associated with their business, he wants them to keep going, to establish themselves as a reputable business, and for them all to live fulfilled lives. He knows what’s riding on his leadership and takes it seriously; he’s open to input from his crew but leads them through their options, and he always makes the right decision. While not a perfect leader, Orga is one that the orphans can rally behind because they know that he has their best interest in mind.
And in that regard, doesn’t Orga represent what a godly leader should be? Loving yet firm, forgiving yet just, strong, yet understanding. He knows his weaknesses and doesn’t try to cover them up, but relies on his friends and allies to help him be the best he can be. Rather than being blinded by greed and pride as Maruba (the last boss of CGS) was, Orga’s pride lies in the accomplishments that he’s made with his friends, and he wants them all to do even more together. Rather than focused on self, he’s focused on how he can shepherd the kids of Tekkadan as a whole towards new heights of success.
Also, Ein is seen once again, and he requests to be part of the task force Major McGillis is setting up to take down Tekkadan. Yet again, we’re seeing the series set Ein up to be yet another rival for Mika, but this does make me wonder how Ein got into the military to begin with. He’s seen by his superior officers as being fairly young; perhaps he’s the son of an Earth noble who’s been sent out to earn glory on the battlefield? Or maybe his own backstory isn’t too different from Mika and Orga’s, and he’s an orphan who got caught up in a military group. No matter the true story, it does seem like the series is preparing to bring Ein into the main story in a big way.
Gimme the Skinny!
This episode was fairly straightforward, and it’s definitely an episode that is setting up for more events to come in later episodes. We got a lot of character interaction this time around, with fairly little plot progression, so I’m hoping that the next episode picks up the pace a bit in terms of story. It was good to see everyone developing and fleshing out a bit as characters, although I will say that I’m getting a little bit tired of Kudelia’s seemingly short attention span that causes her to soul-search every single episode. But that’s a small gripe in comparison to the good that an episode like this did. It’s good for a series to step back every once in a while and just do some worldbuilding, and I appreciated that about this episode.
The main question of Mika and Orga’s relationship is still left unanswered, but the series is giving us little tidbits here and there about how much they’ve depended on each other in the past, so I’m expecting a big reveal in future episodes, probably towards the end of the season. I would like to see more of Earth culture and how it has progressed since humanity has taken to the stars. It’s implied that Earth is more financially and socially well-off than the colonies, but I’d like to know how each bloc differs in terms of scale, wealth, and overall position in the world. Are there any governments that would be more sympathetic to the desire for Mars independence than others? And if so, why? There’s a lot to be said for Gundam worldbuilding since it’s brining out this level of inner nerdery in me, so I’m definitely hoping to learn more and more about the world of this series as it progresses. Hopefully the next episode will bring some new insights as well as new additions to the overall story.