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Episode 13: Funeral Rites

 

Review by Chris Guanche

January 16, 2016

 

Summary

 

The cockpit of Masahiro's Man Rodi is smashed by the Gundam Gusion's hammer attack. Kudal flies off as Mikazuki's Gundam Barbatos gives chase. On the Brewers ship, Shino enters a room to clear it and finds a bunch of frightened boys. He lets his guard down and moves on, but one of the boys kills two of his crew, and Dante starts shooting at the kids. Akihiro tries to pry open the Man Rodi's cockpit to reach the mortally wounded Masahiro. Akihiro asks why he saved him, but Masahiro doesn't know. He says he feels relief rather than pain, which Akihiro thinks might be due to the Alaya-Vijnana System. Masahiro recounts the story he heard about human souls being reborn after death. Two Man Rodis attempt to attack and are engaged instead by Azee's Hyakuren and Lafter's Hyakuri. Masahiro says that this is how human debris die, but Akihiro insists that he'll be reborn. As he dies, Masahiro reaches out and touches his brother's hand. Mikazuki uses his sword to attack the gaps between the Gundam Gusion's armor. Mikazuki wonders why he feels this way, and Kudal tells him he's enjoying killing. Mikazuki uses debris as a shield and gets close enough to stab the cockpit, killing Kudal. On Earth, McGillis and Gaelio attend a Gjallarhorn party and are approached by multiple women. Almiria arrives and feels self-conscious about her young body compared to those women. McGillis finds her crying outside and asks her to dance. He picks her up in his arms so they can dance, but she's worried that people will laugh at her. He vows that he won't forgive anyone who laughs at her and says they should dance and forget their own fates. On the Brewers ship, Orga addresses the remaining human debris and tells them that Tekkadan will take care of them. One of the boys asks why they'd care for former enemies, and Orga answers that they were just being forced to do a job. The boys never thought about having a choice, and Orga tells them they're all welcome in Tekkadan now. Mikazuki finds Shino crying alone over the death of his comrades, and he blames himself for not being good enough. Mikazuki tells him that feeling that way disrespects the dead. Brooke is hauled in to dole out reparations, and Orga demands a ship and all its mobile suits. At a meeting later, Merribit lists the assets as 10 mobile suits that can be repaired, and Nadi comments that the Gundam Gusion is especially valuable. Orga decides to sell them all because they couldn't use suits that killed Masahiro. Biscuit wonders where Akihiro is, and Eugene thinks he's probably in his room. Merribit suggests that they have a funeral to send off the dead so their souls can be reborn. Orga is skeptical, but Naze adds that funerals used to be important in the past. Shino wants to have a funeral, and Akihiro walks in and requests it too. After the meeting, Orga tells Merribit that he doesn't understand anything about souls being reborn. He thinks they should focus on how to live, but Merribit explains that funerals allow the living to accept the deaths of people important to them and move on. On the Isaribi, Mikazuki tells Atra and Kudelia about the funeral and asks them to pass the word along. Nadi thinks flowers would make a funeral look better, but Yamagi has an idea about that.

 

Some of the Isaribi's crew and the human debris wear normal suits and stand on the ship's outer hull to prepare for the funeral. Takaki joins the others on the bridge, and Orga asks everyone to pray for the souls of the dead so they can be reborn. A casket containing items of the dead is released, and the ship's guns fire rounds that explode with a glittering flash like ice flowers. Nadi fiddled with the hydrogen in the propellant at Yamagi's suggestion. As the lights fade away, Eugene tells Akihiro that it's like life, where they laugh and fight over small things, but are gone in an instant. Naze tells Shino that it's ok to cry, but Shino answers that they can't look lame while sending off their coolest comrades. After the funeral, one of the younger boys cries outside the mess hall because he can't sleep. Atra offers to give him a hug, but he says she doesn't have breasts and runs over to Fumitan. Shino thanks Yamagi for the lights and wants the same when he dies, but Yamagi tells him it's a lot of work and money, so he can't keep doing these funerals. At a meeting on the Hammerhead, Orga thanks Naze for helping with with the funeral. Naze starts kissing Amida in front of them, and when asked why, he says years with high death rates also have high birth rates because people want to leave offspring behind. Later, Akihiro asks Orga to give him the Gundam Gusion. His memories of Masahiro were from childhood, but now his strongest memory is his brother's death. He wants to keep the memory of his brother close to him by using the Gundam Gusion. Kudelia wonders why everyone is down now when they were excited earlier, and Fumitan explains it's because they're children and can't always hide the strain they feel. After she leaves, Mikazuki offers Kudelia one of his nuts. She notices that his hand is shaking, and he says something has been strange today. Kudelia gives him a hug and nervously tries to explain why, but he suddenly kisses her. Kudelia pulls back and blushes, and Mikazuki says she looked cute. On Mars, Nobliss decides to have Kudelia killed at the space colony that Tekkadan is heading to.

 

Commentary

 

The battle against the Brewers ends with the deaths of Kudal and Masahiro. Despite the latter's death, he did manage to have a moment with Akihiro free of anger and the hopelessness that comes with being human debris. Shino also experiences some grief over losing comrades after he lets his guard down. It all comes together in a funeral scene on the ship's hull where people express their grief. It's interesting that in the future a funeral isn't a universally practiced custom. Although I imagine that if you're a space rat or human debris, you don't have time to think about even the living, let alone the dead. Orga isn't comfortable with all this business about funerals and souls, but he plays along as Tekkadan's commander because he has to. After the funeral, and inspired by Naze, Mikazuki gives Kudelia a kiss, which is probably something she both desires and dreads. Expect future angst from this, plus mortal peril now that Nobliss has decided to kill her. He was never trustworthy anyway, so I'm not surprised. Although the episode ends on a good note, it feels rather awkwardly constructed that the battle carries over from the previous episode and is resolved before the opening sequence. And after four episodes of dealing with the Brewers, I feel like the show's momentum has dramatically slowed down, even further than it had during all the episodes about Teiwaz. Now that the series is at the halfway point, I hope some of that momentum can be regained in the next arc.

 

Overall Rating

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3 out of 5 stars
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Gundam Iron-Blooded Orphans Episode 13 Gundam Iron-Blooded Orphans Episode 13
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