Life seems to go about normally at the base, with characters shown going about their duties and conversing normally. Kudelia is shown to be assisting Biscuit and his sisters with serving food, and it is also revealed that she tried to help with the cooking, as well. Despite her protests, Mikazuki is served a portion of the food prepared by Kudelia, which he ultimately compliments due to the large chunks of vegetables. During all of this, Biscuit is called away to feed the members of First Corp, who are rude as usual, but the tables quickly turn as they later wake up to find themselves bound in a room thanks to the food being laced. Orga and Third Corp enter and announce that they are taking over before Mikazuki executes a man. The survivors are given the option to stay or leave, with a guy from accounting being made to stay. In the aftermath, Third Corp is shown going over the numbers to determine how much money they have until Crank shows up to challenge the base to a duel. Despite a First Corp defectors protests, Orga will not agree to just hand Kudelia over, instead allowing Mikazuki to take Barbatos into battle. The two combatants engage in a violent duel leading up to a bloody finish.
While the coup was already expected thanks to last episode’s preview, what wasn’t expected was how little time the episode actually devoted to it. While one might expect a big, bloody confrontation, what we actually get is a quiet, stealth mission that is over in minutes. Granted, this is certainly a wiser method (less deaths and less noise so that more people don’t jump in), but it’s not the most exciting thing to watch. Mikazuki shows just how brutally violent he can be, though, as he shoots a bound man in the head without hesitation. Truth be told, there is a lot of talking in this episode, but it builds up the plot fairly well and manages to keep the viewer engaged because the characters themselves are actually likable and interesting.
Of course, the climax of this episode is the duel between Mikazuki and Crank at the end, and it doesn’t disappoint. While the general rule of thumb in Gundam anime is that the Gundam is leaps and bounds more powerful than any other mobile suit, it is nice to see Crank actually give Mika a run for his money. It was also nice to have an antagonist that we could actually feel sorry for. A lot of times the antagonists are just jerks, but in this case we have a guy who is actually morally against what he is being asked to do (fight children), hence the reason for only seeking a duel. Crank’s honor makes him likable, and makes this writer wish he would have defected instead of doing battle with Mika. There is also a stark contrast between the two fighters: Crank questioned his commander’s orders and sought a resolution that didn’t require bloodshed while Mikazuki followed Orga’s orders wholeheartedly and sought a fight to the death, even though Crank had no intention of pursuing that end initially. In retrospect, it actually makes Mika a little less likable, but perhaps this will ultimately move him towards some kind of change? At this point, only time will tell.
The story of Iron Blooded Orphans is just getting started—the next episode looks like it will put us in space, and what’s a Gundam series without space fights? The series is off to a strong start so far, and we can only hope that it continues in that direction.
A Christian Perspective:
My focus in this episode is Mikazuki’s supreme, unquestioning devotion to Orga against everything else. Case in point, Crank clearly states that the duel between him and Mikazuki does not have to be so serious as to be unto death, yet Mikazuki rejects that stipulation, stating that Orga ordered him to kill Crank. If you’ve seen this episode, then you know that Mikazuki ultimately kills Crank and emerges victorious. While Mikazuki’s handling of the situation isn’t to be admired in and of itself (Crank was, for all intents and purposes, a noble man who had no desire to kill children), his unwavering devotion to Orga’s commands is, if only for the fact that we, as Christians, are also called to have unwavering devotion to the commands of our Lord Jesus. As with most of my comparisons, this one is, of course, imperfect, and maybe even moreso than others, because Orga’s command in this situation (and Mikazuki’s adherence to it) is downright deplorable given the fact that their opponent was not seeking bloodshed, and I feel I must continue to stress that it is the idea of Mikzuki’s obedience and not necessarily his actions that I am making the focal point here.
At the end of the day, there will always be things that Jesus will ask of us that aren’t easy for us to do, and there will be other people who will try to get us to act in a way that is not in accordance with those commands. In those situations, we must make sue we adhere to Jesus’ command above all else. The good news is that Jesus won’t ask us to do something morally repugnant, but He very well may ask us to do things that we wouldn’t be comfortable with.
Language: 1 “d*rn”
Alcohol/Drug Use: None
Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: Mikazuki is shown shirtless; a flashback appears to show several shirtless men
Violence: A man kicks Biscuit; Orga kicks a man in the face; Mikazuki shoots two men in the head; Mikazuki and Crank battle in their mobile suits
Blood/Gore: Blood splatters on a man’s jacket and pools under his body; A LOT of blood at the end of the Mikazuki/Crank duel