Original Airdate: March 20th, 2016
Toonami Airdate: December 3rd, 2016
…Because a vision softly creeping…
The episode opens 6 hours before the Arbrau Parliament election is due to take place. Gjallarhorn has been relentlessly assaulting Tekkadan for the past three days, with Tekkadan suffering heavy damages to their crew. Orga is in the middle of leading a battle on the bridge leading into the city while Mikazuki and the Turbines take care of other Gjallarhorn forces. Once they take out the enemy mobile suits, they use what little downtime they have to organize what will be their final assault/push to get Makanai into the city. Meanwhile, at the Arbrau Parliament, some of the officials seem legitimately concerned about the possibility of Makanai not making it, as that means the arrangement of this election will have been for naught. Iznario Fareed is also in the building, absolutely confident that Gjallarhorn will block Tekkadan’s efforts long enough for them to have failed.
Tekkadan heads off to the bridge to engage in their final battle, with all soldiers ready to fight and Atra driving Kudelia and Makanai to the parliament building (uhh… she’s got a license, right?). While Tekkadan manages to get the drop on Gjallarhorn’s stalled forces, the fight quickly goes south, with our heroes struggling to keep their forces alive against the assault. Just when it seems like the enemy truly has the upper hand, our heroes gain some unexpected assistance courtesy of none other than Eugene and his other comrades. They manage to successfully break through the barricade to get into the city, leaving Akihiro, Azee, Lafter, and Mikazuki to take care of the enemy mobile suits, led by Gaelio. Things seem to be going okay on their end until, unexpectedly, an unrecognized mobile suit drops into battle, revealed to be the one that Ein is fused into. Showing an unparalleled level of power and control, he quickly kills of Azee, Lafter, and another Tekkadan mobile suit pilot (killing him off by doing the piston punch thing from Big O). Mikazuki attempts to defend them, but unfortunately Gaelio’s got his sights set on him, locking arms with him and never letting up.
In the city, Atra, Kudelia, Orga, and Makanai are extremely close to their goal, but their progress is brought to a halt once Ein makes his way to their destination. Seeking to exact vengeance on Kudelia for the death of Crank, he raises his weapon to strike her down, but she’s saved at the last minute by the arrival of Mikazuki and Barbatos. Evidently, he managed to wrangle free of Gaelio’s grasp thanks to the help of an unexpected interruption: a mobile suit piloted by none other than McGillis, who enters donning the mask and wig before promptly removing them (apparently the wig and mask were attached as one cohesive unit… who knew?).
The end is near, at least for season 1, and seems like the series is trying to pull out all stops, most evident in showing the most devastating and wide-reaching battle yet. The episode literally opens showing a wide swath of wounded Tekkadan soldiers, being one of the few effective showcases of the casualties of this war. There’s even a really great shot during this scene where a wounded Tekkadan soldier with severe eye damage looks up at Atra, with the view being a thick, hazy, and distorted shade of red. The casualties extend into the final assault on the bridge, where many soldiers on Tekkadan’s side are killed off, and Ein manages to kill off Azee and Lafter, which comes as an attention-getting surprise, even to someone like me who never cared about either of them as characters. The fight is the most unrelenting of the series to date, and it’s clear that it will only ramp up further now that Ein’s mech, the most menacingly-designed of the series to date, is here on his bloodthirsty revenge binge. I’ll hold off on giving a rating this week, as it’s obvious that it should wait until the final episode to account for the totality of events in the endgame.
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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