Series: Mobile Suit Gundam Iron-Blooded Orphans
Episode 8: The Form of Closeness
Release Date: November 22, 2015
Genre: Sci-fi, Mecha
Synopsis: After infiltrating Naze Turbine’s ship, he agrees to meet with the leaders of Tekkadan. After some negotiations, he agrees to introduce them to the leader of Teiwaz in order for them to become a subsidiary of Teiwaz, and thus they’ll have a safe passage to Earth. Meanwhile, Mikazuki is doing some self-searching after his tough battle in space. Orga also comes to grips with Tekkadan’s financial problems on Mars, and meets with Naze once again to procure trader with which to sell items gained from Gjallarhorn.
This episode was mostly inter-character dialogue, but it was handled a lot better than Episode 6. Where episode 6 made me want to have a Cliff’s Notes of everything that was going on so that the story could progress, this episode had me genuinely interested in everything that was going on with every character, and that’s a good thing. They needed to insert an episode with new characters and new objectives, because we as the viewers were just starting to get tired of the same formula: show starts with a pep talk between Orga, Mika, Biscuit, and crew, Eugene says something dissonant, Biscuit addresses his point, we cut to Kudelia not being sure what her place in Tekkadan is, and we wrap up with Mika and Orga sharing a moment. While it’s not bad to have a routine so that you know what you’re going to do in each episode, at least make it a little less obvious, or try to break the routine every once in a while. Thankfully, that’s what this episode supplied: a breath of fresh air.
Orga’s Squad’s gonna mess you up!
Even after his ship was boarded by Orga and his men, Naze was really chill about the entire thing, which makes me assume that we was hoping that Tekkadan would pull something resourceful like that in order to make themselves worth his while. He’s a shrewd guy who knows what kind of scum Maruba is, but he wants an employer that will provide him with the most advantages. Orga’s infiltration of the Turbine’s ship achieved just that, and ousted Maruba from any chance of receiving further help from Naze.
Looking forward to mafia negotiations in the next episode.
After negotiating with Naze and Amedia (and learning that each woman on the ship is one of Naze’s wives), the Tekkadan crew follows them to the ship Saisei, where the leader of Teiwaz resides. The crews on each ship become fairly chummy fairly fast, with Mika and Ahki training with them, Kudelia and Atla getting to know them, and even Orga and Biscuit have a few good scenes with Naze, and it’s all very good and helps to show the different sides of these characters. As I discussed during my review for Episode 5, the series is very much about the journey of a family through a war-torn landscape, and how the events that happen to that family shape and change them over time. This was reinforced a lot with Naze’s harem, and even explicitly stated when Naze and Orga spoke.
Speaking of this talk (did I seriously just write that? ‘Speaking of this talk’? Ha, wow.), Naze and Orga are revealed to be a lot more similar than either of them had previously thought. Orga originally goes to Naze because he needs to find a trader to sell off some Gjallarhorn stuff in order to make money for their fellow workers back on Mars. Seeing that they need money, Naze asks the obvious question: why didn’t Orga accept the offer to work for the Turbines under Teiwaz? Orga responds that he wants to keep his crew together, and Naze challenges him on this. What makes Orga so special? Whether under him or Maruba, everyone could still die. And Orga recognizes this, and is prepared to take full responsibility, and even die for them. And with a smile, Naze points out that such loyalty goes deeper than mere “camaraderie”, but is reserved for family.
Naze taking Orga to par with his ideals and actions reminds me a lot of the role of older believers in the lives of younger believers. Mentoring is a powerful and important part of our walk with Christ, and it is the duty of those more experienced in the faith to help teach and guide those who are newer in their faith. None of the apostles even shied away from encouraging and heling a new believer, and Paul was especially active in the lives of the people he mentored. Just as Christ mentors us each day through the prompting of the Holy Spirit, so we too should not be afraid to take fellow believers up to task on what they claim to believe.
Gimme the Skinny!
This was a really solid episode, and while it did lack action, it made up for it in meaningful plot progression and character development. It used the dialogue between the characters to advance the plot and at the same time peel back their layers so that we could understand them more as people, and I really appreciated that. Orga especially had some good moments in this episode where he was challenged to come to grips with the fact that his leadership came with great responsibility, and that even under his own orders everyone around him could still die. It was a great way of reinforcing the concept of family and the way that families interact and change due to various circumstances. As the leader and “father” of the kids of Tekkadan, Orga really does step up and show is willingness to be a great leader, and I really respect him as a character.
This episode shows that everyone has their own individual struggles, and we get a glimpse of how each of them overcomes their inner struggles, which was very encouraging to me. I enjoy seeing my characters understand themselves, and their journey towards doing so always helps me to understand and love them more as well. There’s definitely more to the new characters than meets the eye, and the episode does take some time to introduce them, but I do hope that we get a lot more backstory in later episodes. All in all, it does end strongly, and makes me ready for the next episode.