Series: Mobile Suit Gundam Iron-Blooded Orphans
Episode 9: Sakazuki
Release Date: November 29, 2015
Genre: Sci-fi, Mecha
Synopsis: Tekkadan finally arrives on the ship Saisei, and they meet with the Teiwaz representative McMurdo Barriston, and they make a deal to join Teiwaz, and become brothers with the Turbines. They plan the ceremony for the next day, and in the meantime Orga throws a party for the new family of Tekkadan. The Turbines also help to repair and rebuild Gundam Barbatos.
Yet another solid episode in the G-Tekketsu series, this episode leaned heavily on the exploration of the concepts of family and how family operates. From Orga becoming brothers with Naze, to Tekkadan themselves uniting as a family, the episode was really touching to watch. This is definitely going to lead to a lot more character development as each individual learns what it means to be in a family: Orga is stepping up as the leader and father figure, Kudelia is learning how to be a protective mother but yet knows she has to let her family make their own choices as well, Mikazuki is struggling with the fact that he can’t always be the brother than can protect everyone. And they’re not the only ones who are learning and growing closer together.
The Teiwaz representative McMurdo was a pretty chill guy; I honestly thought he’d be a tough, gangster type with some scars and a menacing demeanor, but he comes across like that really cool grandfather fgure who has that air of mystery that makes you think he’s secretly a spy. Except he’s a mafia boss. And he doesn’t hide it. Yeah…
But anyways, it was interesting getting to see the people of the Turbines getting to know the people of Tekkadan, and I do believe we’ll be seeing a lot more of them together in future episodes. I do want to address a segment I thought was interesting, though.
As Atla sets the table for a meal, Amika comments on her relationship with Naze, saying that he has enough love to spread to other women, and that their relationships is better for it. She claims that it would be wrong for just one woman to share his love, saying “would you rather have gritty corn bread all to yourself, or share delicious meat with everyone?” In essence, she excuses her polygamous lifestyle with Naze by saying that he has more than enough love for each of his wives to go around.
Obviously, this clashes with the Biblical ideas that God mad marriage to be one man and one woman. “But Sam!”, I hear you typing, “There are lots of examples in the Bible of polygamous marriages! Look at Elkanah or Jacob, or even King David and Solomon! They were all great leaders and pillars of Jewish culture, and they were all in the family lineage of the Messiah! Doesn’t that mean it’s okay?”
No, it doesn’t.
Elkanah’s wives constantly fought: Peninah drove Hannah to the point of tears multiple times by mocking her barrenness. Leah and Rachel, the wives of Jacob, also fought and competed for his love, and there was clear favoritism in their household, as they both knew that Jacob had worked for Rebekah, not Leah. David’s multiple wives led to the many children that caused him pain in his later years, including Amnon and Tamar, and the tradgedy of Absalom. And if anyone would know the consequences of polygamy, it would be Solomon: he had over 700 wives and 300 concubines. That’s over 1000 women that were all his own. And even he writes in Proverbs 5:17, that the husband’s love for a woman should be for “[his] alone, and not for strangers with [him]”. The textbook for Biblical marriage, Song of Solomon, is full of a husband praising the loveliness of his wife, and longing to be with her. Not with multiple wives.
Clearly, not only is God against polygamy, but it never really works out in real life. There are always feelings of inadequacy, of favoritism, of pain and hurt that never needed to happen.
G-Tekketsu isn’t pulling any punches when it drops in characters with different ideals to think through.
The Turbines aren’t the only group we see in this episode; Majors McGillis and Fareed appear briefly to discuss their plans for catching up with Tekkadan, and they also have Ein with them. Ein too is struggling with family issues, but in his case it is the loss of a father figure. Ein is still angry and hurt over the death of Lieutenant Crank, and he wants revenge. We don’t know that much about Ein’s backstory, but from what we can glean, we know that Crank meant more to Ein than just a superior officer, but he was a mentor and friend who was (in Ein’s mind) cruelly murdered by those he sought to protect. He knows what Crank was trying to do, but his emotions are in turmoil he hates his own powerlessness to protect the one person who really seemed to care about him. I’m starting to sympathize with Ein, and I’m looking forward to how he develops as a character as the plot progresses.
Orga is really trying to be a good leader and father in this episode: after his talks with Naze he decides that he wants to give everyone in Tekkadan a break from working and uses to money earned from selling their Gjallarhorn spoils to buy snacks for the kids and to take his main crew out to dinner. Things start off great…
But don’t end so well. Orga is a pretty legit lightweight. But it was cute to see him try to open up and be a bit less roguh around the edges, in order to try and bring everyone closer as a family. Kudelia struggles with something similar: her plan to bring independence to Mars will most certainly end in war, and McMudro offers her Teiwaz’s protection for when that happens. She balks at first, not wanting to bring more death and bloodshed. But she remembers the members of Tekkadan that already died because of her, and she resolves not to let them have died in vain. To be honest, she reminds me a lot of a mother. She wants to keep everyone safe while making life better for them, but she also doesn’t want anyone to be hurt. But like all mothers, she has to take the risk of letting them suffer some pain in order for their lives to be better in the long run.
The highlight of this episode was the ceremony that joined the Turbines and Tekkadan together as brothers, and it was very well done. You could feel the seriousness of the occasion, and the nervousness that Orga had about the decision he was making. Nevertheless, it was a pivotal scene in the episode, and this new partnership is definitely going to play a big role in the character’s lives moving forward.
Gimme the Skinny!
This episode was really heartwarming to watch. The entire thing started and ended with the exploration of the idea of family, and I loved seeing that in a show. So many shows talk about family or have a family element to them, but don’t really take the time to explore what it means to be a family. G-Tekketsu is definitely going down the route of showing Orga and the other members of Tekkadan learn what it is to be a family. They’re not just friends or co-workers, but they’re a group of individuals who truly do love each other. Sure, they might not have a “mother” and “father” in the traditional sense, but they have mother and father figures that help to fill those roles and keep everyone satisfied.
It’s also worth mentioning that Barbatos is getting repaired and rebuilt this episode (by an overly enthusiastic Teiwaz mechanic, I might add), so we’re definitely going to get some Mobile Suit action in the next episode! I’m looking forward to the next battle between Mika and McGillis, and I’m wondering what new weapons or tactics will be used thanks to the upgrades Barbatos is getting.
It’s definitely amazing seeing all of our characters growing together as a family. One of my earlier concerns for this show was that it might either have too much or too little interaction, and we wouln’t have any real depth to the characters, but this episode has realy assuaged my fears. Everyone is getting more and more fleshed out and real: even Mikazuki is showing some real emotions apart from stoic calmness, and it’s refreshing to have a cast of characters all act like real people, rather than ideals or unreachable superhumans. G-Tekketsu is definitely doing a lot of good with its characters, and I’m looking forward what it has in store for us next.