Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans, Episode 7 Recap: “Whaling”

Original Airdate: November 15th, 2015

Toonami Airdate: July 23th, 2016

Amida can punish me any time she wants.

Whaling - Amida, Naze, and Maruba
Squad goals.

The episode starts with a … skimpily-dressed girl inside of a giant mech (anyone else remember when Captain Earth was a thing?) who catches sight of Tekkadan’s ship. The crew is still on the receiving end of Maruba’s verbal tirade as Fumitan manages to track the position of his signal. The conversation gets interrupted by a man on the same ship as Maruba, introducing himself as Naze Turbine, the man in charge of the Turbines who manage transport work for Teiwaz. Naze attempts to negotiate with Orga to gain Maruba’s property back and offering to take Tekkadan underneath his wings, but they refuse. After Biscuit’s attempt at negotiating a deal with the Turbines goes South, the two groups are at an impasse and begin preparations for their inevitable fight. Tekkadan sends out Mikazuki and Barbatos to fight, with Akihiro and Shino as backup, while the Turbines send out Amida, Naze’s right-hand woman, and a pilot named Azee as her backup.

The Mobile Suits sent out by each team engage in combat as the ships themselves try to provide assistance. In the middle of the battle, the Turbines send out another Mobile Suit piloted by the girl glimpsed at the beginning of the episode, named Lafter. Mikazuki and Akihiro attempt to hold their own against her sudden arrival, and as the fight rages on, Mikazuki is neck-and-neck with Lafter in terms of fighting capabilities, as each manages to outwit and take advantage of their strengths and weaknesses at every turn. At one point, Mikazuki manages to latch onto Lafter’s mobile suit with a hookshot, but Lafter just uses it to drag him around. Eventually Tekkadan gains the upper hand by tricking the Turbines into triggering a smoke screen for them, which provides the cover they need to successfully sneak aboard the Turbines’ ship. Akihiro tries to get in some strikes against Amida despite the damages done to his mech, and Lafter eventually drags Mikazuki into an asteroid field to finish things. However, just as things look like they’re about to end, the fight is cut short due to orders from Naze who’s evidently chosen to hear out what Tekkadan has to say regarding their mission.

Whaling - Barbatos Ready For BattleI’m getting the sense that my guess about the pace of Iron-Blooded Orphans’ story progression may hold true i.e. the odd-numbered episodes are the ones that have any action within them, as we see with the fight against this new group of people within Teiwaz. The series is attempting to flesh out the various organizations and subdivisions within those organizations perhaps to lay down as much groundwork as possible for future events. There is an interesting character moment at play in the middle of the big fight when Naze questions Maruba implementing the Alaya-Vijnana System on children, an exchange which invites comparison to the final battle between Crank and Mikazuki from a few episodes ago. It seems that both Crank and Naze, while lacking any kind of substantial moral high ground, draw the line when children are involved. They must have some kind of a conscious, although it doesn’t help much when considering they’re dealing with child soldiers who prove themselves more than capable of handling themselves in battle. As usual, the fight scenes are well-directed with plenty of great choreography and visually memorable shots, especially the face-to-face moments between Mikazuki and Lafter, and the score remains fantastic in backing these battles. Unfortunately, my worries about the pacing are only growing with time, and I’m concerned that the next episode will just be another slow expository dump-fest that interferes with the momentum. For now, I’ll give this episode 7 potato-filled space suits/10.

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 12:30 AM, only on Toonami.

 

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