Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans, Episode 22 Recap: “A Letter from Tomorrow”

Original Airdate: March 6th, 2016

Toonami Airdate: November 19th, 2016

Hello darkness, my old friend…

a-letter-from-tomorrow-alaya-vijnana-systemThe remains of Carta’s fleet flee the battleground, leaving the members of Tekkadan in utter shock as they mourn their fallen comrade, Biscuit. Orga seems to be taking it the hardest out of everyone as he’s nowhere to be found once everyone gathers around Biscuit’s body bag. Meanwhile, McGillis gets word of the Gjallarhorn assault on Tekkadan and is given a heads-up about Gaelio’s arrival. Elsewhere, Iznario is lamenting what has transpired across the past two days, worrying that Tekkadan has a legitimate chance of helping Makanai regain parliamentary power, undoing all the work he’s done to maintain his power and status in the Seven Stars (including marrying McGillis to Gaelio’s sister and the adoption of Carta into his family).

McGillis meets with Gaelio outside of the room where Ein’s being kept just barely alive on life support. Gaelio’s still hesitant about using the Alaya-Vijnana system to revive Ein, but then McGillis goes into a lengthy history lesson about the often-referenced Calamity War, saying the Alaya-Vijnana was invented as a method of correcting power imbalances alongside the creation of the 72 Gundam frames. After the battle, a handful of the Gundam pilots went on to form the organization of Gjallarhorn which, as McGillis helpfully reminds us, is a hotbed of corruption in the name of the pursuit of power. The two proceed to an underground research facility, coming across what is presumably one of the Gundam frames as McGillis reassures Gaelio that an Alaya-Vijnana transplant is the best course of action.

a-letter-from-tomorrow-mikazuki-confronts-orga
“I know you found an NES mini somewhere. Quit holding out on me, dude!”

The crew is still reeling from Biscuit’s death, with everyone frazzled as they try to go about their normal routines. Kudelia, remaining surprisingly calm about the whole ordeal, speaks to Makanai about how to proceed, deciding that they should make their way to Anchorage, Alaska and take a train to the Arbrau Parliament instead of a more direct route that Gjallarhorn might be anticipating. She asks Makanai to call in a favor from an ally of his to provide safe discreet transport to the train, to which he promptly agrees. Meanwhile, Mikazuki tracks down Orga and tries to talk some sense into him the only way he knows how: grabbing him by the collar and asking him who he should kill next. Filled with a renewed resolve, Orga gathers everyone in Tekkadan and makes a rousing speech about their next mission: mounting a revenge attack on Gjallarhorn. The episode ends with Kudelia pulling aside Orga to tell him about the train plan, as it quickly transitions to showing the Tekkadan crew aboard the train taking them to their ultimate destination: Edmonton.

This episode does a fairly good job of showing the impact of Biscuit’s death on the entire crew, with Orga clearly the most frazzled and shocked by the entire ordeal, which is interesting considering how stoic he usually is even during the most adverse conflicts. Surprisingly, Kudelia seems the most stoic in the face of Biscuit, which shows a distinct dynamic shift amongst Tekkadan: Kudelia is the tough strategist in this moment while Orga is now the vulnerable one. That being said, I can’t say I enjoyed the scene between Orga and Mikazuki, namely because Mika *still* adopts the veneer of psychopathy in attempting to console his comrade. Dude, the most innocent and likeable person amongst your ranks just died. What will it take for you to drop the act and show and semblance of humanity or emotion? This scene reveals just how tiresome and uncompelling Mika’s entire character has been through this whole narrative, even when you factor the childhood flashbacks in. The overall momentum of the episode also takes a bit of a dive due to the pointless intrusion of the McGillis/Gaelio bits, giving us a history lesson that isn’t really immediately relevant to the important overall beats of the episode, on top of just being sleep-inducing as it mostly tells us information we already knew from before. Anyway, there’s 3 more episodes left as our heroes are finally getting close to the Arbrau Parliament, and who knows what final obstacles stand in their way. I give this episode 6-7 Alaya-Vijnana systems/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 1:00 AM, only on Toonami.

 

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One thought on “Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans, Episode 22 Recap: “A Letter from Tomorrow”

  1. I think what I didn’t like about this episode was that Biscuit is not the only character who has died and yet everyone treats his death as so much more significant than all the other characters who have died throughout the series. While I get that he was a more major character and a central figure to the group it just seems like the deaths of the other characters are being overlooked. OVerall though, it does a good job of brining the drama of the situation home. Thanks for shairng your thoughts.

    Like

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