Review: Mobile Suit Gundam Iron Blooded Orphans, Episode 4: The Price of Life

Review:

Tekkadan continues to work on their plan to get Kudelia to Earth by sending a group to a nearby spaceport to take possession of an old CGS ship. Meanwhile, Todo offers to help the operation by hooking Tekkadan’s members up with a connection that he has to a certain CEO. Unfortunately, Todo’s intentions don’t appear to be as innocent and helpful as he would have Orga and the others believe, although we don’t know what the former First Corp member could have in mind. Elsewhere, Mikazuki drags Kudelia along with himself and Biscuit to harvest corn with Biscuit’s family, which gives Kudelia a bit more insight into how the economy of Mars works and why young men must hire themselves out as labor. While there, they encounter the two agents from Gjallarhorn who were previously shown conducting their investigation in space and then later on Mars when the agents almost run over Biscuits sisters. After an initially tense encounter with Mikazuki, the situation becomes rather calm and the agents leave without incident. As Mikazuki and company return to the base later, they see that Orga has commissioned a new design for their base’s logo, and the whole company prepares for the upcoming mission, unaware of Todo’s deception at work in the background.

Generally speaking, this was a pretty slow episode, although it did serve to set up the next phase of the plot and to further establish some already present points. For example, there was enough reason to conclude that the inspectors from Gjallarhorn were not on good terms with the ship that they were investigating, and this episode seems to further drive that point home, especially as the two inspectors descend to Mars and observe the telltale signs of recent battle. We are as of yet unaware as to why there is bad blood between the two groups, so it is possible that these slow moments are building up to something more substantial later on in the series. That’s the problem with watching a show episode-by-episode: we can only see the momentary events and not the overall picture. It’s true that this is the case with pretty much anything you watch, but at least when all of the episodes are available you can watch one after another and more readily see where a particular set of circumstances were leading. For now, we can only hope that these small moments will lead to something worthwhile.

With the previous points in mind, it has to be said that Iron-Blooded Orphans deserves praise for its ability to hold viewers’ attention despite the slow pace. Whether it’s the characters themselves or the writers’ ability to tease out just enough to make you wonder what will happen next is probably a matter of debate, but the episode doesn’t feel like a waste despite its lack of action. The most intense moments are limited to Todo’s occasional hints of betrayal and Mikazuki’s group encountering the Gjallarhorn inspectors. Granted, the bit of world building in the episode helps to maintain interest, as do the minor plot progressions (such as the team Orga sent out securing the space ship). Whatever the case may be, the writers are doing something right, and they have what appears to be a more action-oriented episode prepared for next time, so those who were disappointed with this episode should stick around.

A Christian Perspective:

Read Ephesians 4.

As Christians, we are instructed to be unified as the body of Christ, not dividing ourselves over arguments and disagreements. True, we will often disagree on some point of doctrine (continuation versus cessation, free will versus predestination, etc.), but we should be able to disagree without dividing ourselves, as long as the essentials of the faith are agreed upon (you know, the things that make us Christians in the first place). The need for unity is pretty clear—it’s hard to function effectively if the parts are all working against each other and tripping each other up, not to mention the fact that if the world only sees in-fighting amongst the members of the Church, then what incentive do they have to want to join us? How are we emulating the love of Christ? So, how does this work in conjunction with this episode? I’m glad you asked!

As the review touched upon, there appears to be a lack of cooperation amongst the Gjallarhorn forces, and even among Tekkadan in the form of Todo. While the mission of the Gjallarhorn inspectors is not known presently, we can surmise that things would be much easier on them if they didn’t have to sift through data and investigate the Mars landscape in an attempt to piece information together. Todo working against Tekkadan is, of course, to their detriment because he basically plans to betray them. In this case, it was unwise of Orga to allow him to stay, and Todo is serving as more of a virus within the body than an actual part of the body itself. In any event, both of these cases present a lack of unity and how it is making the tasks of those involved more difficult than they would otherwise be.

Content Guide:

Language: None

Alcohol/Drug Use: None

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: Shirtless men

Violence: A flashback shows Mikazuki destroying Crank’s mobile suit; a man slams his head against a wall; Mikazuki grabs a man by the throat

Blood/Gore: None

Other: Arta and Mikazuki wear good luck charms

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