Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans, Episode 5 Recap: “Beyond The Red Sky”

Original Airdate: November 1st, 2015

Toonami Airdate: July 9th, 2016

I don’t have a witty way of opening this recap. …Sorry.

The episode opens with Orga and Biscuit meeting with a man named Orcus to secure a safe travel passage between Mars and Earth for their mission, and while he seems eager to help, he quickly passes this information on to Coral Conrad who proceeds to get his troops ready for an interception. He also calls in McGillis and Gaelio to recruit them as part of his mission since their goals are in sync with one another.

Beyond The Red Sky - Ship LaunchThe night before the mission, Kudelia decides to meet up with Mikazuki and tries to have a friendly conversation with him, which turns out better than expected. The next morning in the dining quarters, Tekkadan is unexpectedly visited by Atra who wants to work as their cook, and naturally she’s greeted with open arms by Orga. When everything is ready, their transport ship takes off into space with all the crew intact, including Todo as well. As the ship flies through space, they catch sight of what appears to be the guide ship they need to meet up with, but they’re met with an unexpected surprise: the ambush of Gjallarhorn Mobile Suits. They make contact with the Tekkadan ship and demand Kudelia, but Orga refuses to give in, sending MIkazuki and the Barbatos Mobile suit to take care of things. Mikazuki has no trouble holding his own against the Gjallarhorn ambush as Tekkadan transfers to a back-up ship that they had in place if anything were to go wrong, sending Akihiro to assist him. Mikazuki manages to pierce Conrad’s mobile suit in the chest, incapacitating him and immediately disposing of four other enemy mobile suits. The fight is interrupted by the sudden arrival of Gaelio with his own mobile suit, and McGillis follows soon after, intrigued by the presence of a Gundam suit, which is considered an important element in all historically important battles.

While the fight rages on, Tekkadan decides to attack Orcus’ nearby command ship by using a combination of a nearby asteroid and a mobile worker piloted by Eugene to slingshot them near the enemy ship. The plan works and gives them not only a chance to strike the ship, but also get themselves near Mikazuki’s position, where he’s still dealing with Gaelio and McGillis. MIkazuki manages to get some hits in while taking a few of his own from McGillis, but he manages to avoid anything truly fatal (the worst damage is Barbatos’ left arm plates blowing off). Following the fight, Tekkadan gets their bearings back together, and the episode ends with Gjallarhorn receiving an unexpected delivery: Tekkadan has sent a beaten and tied-up Todo for them to deal with.

Beyond The Red Sky - Todo Beaten Up
No take-backsies!

The group is finally off of Mars, meaning that the plot proper now appears to be underway. The main thrust of the episode is obviously the ambush/fight between Gjallarhorn and Tekkadan, and it’s quite an entertaining fight to watch thanks to strong animation direction and great mecha fight choreography. The opening shot of the fight where Mikazuki opens fire unexpectedly on a Gjallarhorn mobile suit is excellently framed and gives the start of the fight a tremendous impact. The animalistic movement of Barbatos in battle are swift and all over the place but still kept comprehensible and are never difficult to follow. Betrayals abound within the main story, but none of it is particularly surprising (you’re saying the guy who looks like Hitler somehow *isn’t* trustworthy?). The overall conflict is now escalating further, with Gaelio and McGillis now aware that the kids they met last week (or at least Mikazuki) is actually their enemy, standing in the way of preserving Earth’s power over mars. Now that the series’ plot is in full momentum, I’m greatly anticipating what further challenges lay ahead for the Tekkadan crew. I give this episode 8 scrawny Hitler black eyes/10.

Note: Iron-Blooded Orphans will be getting bumped down to 12:30 AM starting next week as One-Punch Man will be taking over the midnight slot.

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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