Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans, Episode 4 Recap: “The Price Of Life”

Original Airdate: October 25th, 2015

Toonami Airdate: June 25th, 2016

I think we need to put in a call to Chris Hanson.

The Price Of Life - Mission PlanningThings are proceeding normally at the now-claimed Tekkadan base, with Orga’s team trying to plan an effective route to Earth that won’t cross through any Gjallarhorn territory. Todo has a connection that would hook the team up with a guide to bypass any dangerous pathways, and the team gets to work making the necessary preparations. Meanwhile, Gaelio and McGillis are conduction their inspection on Gjallarhorn’s base when they’re suddenly approached by Major Conrad checking their progress. McGillis hits him with an unusual finding of theirs: one of Conrad’s teams had been sent to Earth but had never returned, and he tries to save face by claiming they were dealing with the Mars protests. Conrad tries to bribe McGillis to not look into the matter any further, but he’s threatened with immediate arrest.

Back at the Tekkadan base, Mikazuki and Nady are conducting maintenance work on the mobile workers and mobile suits damaged during the last couple of battles, as there’s a brief flashback of Orga promising to protect fellow soldier Akihiro if he joins up with Tekkadan, and Orga’s team continues planning their mission and figuring out their short-and-long term financial situations. Meanwhile in the mess hall, Kudelia’s eating and mulling over her own powerlessness when Mikazuki walks by and invites her to accompany him somewhere. This somewhere turns out to be corn field owned by Biscuit’s grandmother Sakura, where they meet up with Biscuit, Atra, Cookie, Cracker, and Sakura herself to begin picking corn.

It's my civic duty to include this gif.
It’s my civic duty to include this gif.

While this is happening, McGillis and Gaelio are observing the barren mountains of Mars as McGillis confirms his suspicions that Major Conrad sent soldiers to hunt Kudelia after being convinced to by her father. The two then drive off to their next location as they discuss various life things, including the fact that McGillis is apparently engaged to Gaelio’s 9-year-old sister.

9. Year. Old. Sister.

As our heroes get to work on the corn field, Mikazuki fills Kudelia in on the desperation of Tekkadan’s members, who often struggle to make ends meet and find themselves unable to break from their current lives, especially Biscuit who uses his finances to help Sakura maintain the corn field. During this conversation, Cookie and Cracker scream out in terror as they’re nearly run over by Gaelio and McGillis’ car. When Gaelio goes to check on them, Mikazuki nearly chokes him to death before the sisters and Sakura calm him down. This encounter still remains pretty tense as Biscuit notices the two inspectors might be from Gjallarhorn (later confirmed by McGillis), and McGillis asks about the battle that happened recently, but Biscuit responds with a half-truth about a nearby military training facility (alluding to CGS but not directly mentioning it or their involvement). The two then eventually drive off as they discuss recent events, even revealing that they know of both CGS and their recent name change to Tekkadan. Our heroes make their way back to the base where they come across the new group’s logo painted over the old CGS one, and the episode ends with Todo making a suspicious-sounding phone call to an unknown recipient.The Price Of Life - Tekkadan Logo

Huh. Space Hitler being sneaky and underhanded? What are the odds?

 

This episode was a mountain of talking, mostly a shuffling of the deck to get various pieces set up for Tekkadan’s inevitable mission to Earth. I understand this is a necessary stop gap in the plot’s momentum to get everything settled, but there had to be a better way of making most of these details engaging. The boredom of this episode really solidifies itself upon the realization that the most exciting part of the episode is watching our heroes pick corn in a field. That sounds like a bad joke, but I’m being completely serious, chiefly because of the brief-but-tense encounter between them and the two Gjallarhorn inspectors. In addition, the corn field scenes provide some oddly humanizing moments for Mikazuki with his relationship to Atra and his newfound friendly attitude towards Kudelia, although I will admit this character development felt like it came out of nowhere without getting eased into it. Still, I suppose I should give the series some credit for attempting to add some humanity to a “hero” who understandably came across as a little psychopathic before this episode. I’m praying things pick up in the next episode with this extremely slow part out of the way now. I give this episode 5-6 badly-animated Atras/10.

Note: there will be no new episode of Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans week since there will be a Hunter x Hunter marathon airing over 4th of July weekend.

What did you think of the episode? Let us know down in the comments below.

 

Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans airs every Saturday at 12:00 AM, only on Toonami.

 

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