Thursday, December 10, 2015

Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans 5-7

EPISODE 5: Beyond the Red Sky

At Todo's suggestion, Tekkadan enters into an agreement with Orcus Company to guide them en route to Earth. However, Orcus double-crosses Tekkadan and leaks the route to Coral, who then sends Gjallarhorn Grazes to ambush the group. The ambush informs Tekkadan about Todo's betrayal although Todo protests that a Gjallarhorn ambush was not part of the deal. In response to the threat, Orga puts in place his contingency plan, revealing that Mikazuki with his Gundam is on board. While Mikazuki engages the Gjallarhorn, killing Coral in the skirmish, Orcus tries to sink Tekkadan's shuttle. Akihiro arrives just then to lend fire power. Meanwhile, Gjallarhorn Specialist Majors Fareed and Bauduin are tipped off that Kudelia is aboard the Tekkadan ship. As they try to intercept it, their attention is drawn to Mikazuki's gundam. Fareed correctly identifies the unit as Barbatos and tries to attack its weak points. But Mikazuki notices and escapes through the Tekkadan ship before major damage is dealt. In the aftermath, Tekkadan celebrates their victory as they continue on their journey to earth while Gjallarhorn finds itself the recipient of a bound-up Todo on a shuttle.

EPISODE 6: As For Them

After their skirmish with Gjallarhorn, the Tekkadan crew occupy themselves during the downtime with repairs and other maintenance task. Kudelia explains her mission to Mikazuki and Atra while distributing lunches. In the course of their talk, Kudelia finds out that Mikazuki can't read or write so she volunteers to teach him. When other crew members hear her, they also volunteer to join her class. Meanwhile, with Orcus out of the picture, Orga and his group contemplate reaching out to Teiwaz, a conglomerate based in Jupiter sphere, to serve as their new guide to Earth. The task proves to be difficult when they realize that they need a middleman to negotiate the deal for them. Just then, Tekkadan receives a transmission from an angry Maruba Arkay, the president of CGS. On Fareed's ship, Ein asks Fareed to let him join the pursuit force.

EPISODE 7: Whaling

President of the now-defunct CGS Maruba demands the return of his ship, the Will-O-the-Wisp, accusing Orca and his crew of theft. Maruba's ranting is interrupted by Naze Turbine of the Turbine group under Teiwaz, who reveals that his business relationship with Maruba and that he is there to collect CGS property. Biscuit tries to get Naze to support their bid for Teiwaz to guide them to Earth but Naze refuses and Orga draws a hard line with the "return" of property. The disagreement spurs both groups to prepare for battle. Mikazuki and Akihiro are deployed to handle the enemy mobile suits. Eugene pilots the Will-O-the-Wisp while Orga works out a plan to board the enemy ship in a daring maneuver. In the heat of battle, Maruba accidentally spills that Tekkadan's crew have Alaya-Vijnana System, causing Naze to put a halt to the battle and resume talks.

COMMENTS:
It's now seven episodes and the characters still aren't shaping too well. Kudelia is still irrelevant and the other Tekkadan crew are still interchangeable. But the one thing that's changed for me is understanding the relationship between Orga and Mikazuki better. I always found the uneven dynamic between the two rather unsettling ever since that episode where Mikazuki killed a CGS crew member for Orga. I did not like the idea of Mikazuki being used by Orga, an obviously older kid, as a weapon to do all his dirty work: fight battles for him, kill for him. It sends out the wrong message. But Episode 6 explains it a little for me and I'm satisfied for now.

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