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Episode 18: Voice

 

Review by Chris Guanche

February 24, 2016

 

Summary

 

Mikazuki, Shino and Akihiro prepare to fight the Arianrhod fleet, but everything stops once Kudelia begins her broadcast. Kudelia addresses the Earth Sphere and says that she was ignorant in thinking that only Mars was being oppressed by Gjallarhorn. But then she met the Dort union workers who wanted to protest and improve their conditions. The Arianrhod fleet commander is informed that her broadcast is being carried by the African Union. Kudelia reveals that Gjallarhorn set off explosions on their own side and used that as a pretext to massacre the protesters. The commander wants the broadcast stopped and is informed that the Isaribi is the source. Multiple Grazes approach the ship, and Kudelia asks if Gjallarhorn surrounding her ship is what they call justice. She rejects that kind of justice and tells Gjallarhorn to shoot her down if they think she's wrong. The fleet commander is about to issue the command to destroy them, but new orders from the Regulatory Bureau arrive, and the advance halts. As the Isaribi passes through the fleet unharmed, Mikazuki says that Kudelia is amazing because they had to fight one-on-one, but she stopped a fleet with her voice. The news producer is happy with the footage, and Orga comments that while Kudelia took a big gamble, she won. Kudelia wonders if she really did win and what she's been fighting for. On the Montag Company ship, Todo thinks that Tekkadan should've been shot down, but McGillis presumes that new orders must've come from the Regulatory Bureau via the African Union. The Hammerhead catches up with the Isaribi, and Kudelia asks Naze if they can leave for Earth. Naze explains that they intended to head to one of the orbiting spaceports, but now she's being tracked by Gjallarhorn. Kudelia notes that she has a responsibility to others that she must fulfill. The Montag ship approaches and makes contact, and Kudelia recognizes the masked McGillis, who says he has a business proposal. On the Sleipnir, Ein apologizes to Gaelio for his performance, but Gaelio notes that Ein was injured while saving him. Gaelio thinks that he should be the one apologizing and owes Ein. Ein wonders if he should get the Alaya-Vijnana surgery, but Gaelio is disgusted by the notion and thinks that would make him no longer human. Ein mentions that he's heard that kind of talk before because he's half Martian and was rejected by both worlds, until Crank treated him like a person. He felt inspired by Crank to find himself again and doesn't care what anyone says of him. Gaelio thinks they have to be the ones to defeat Tekkadan, but Ein notes that that now falls under the purview of the Outer Earth Orbit Regulatory Joint Fleet. McGillis comes aboard the Hammerhead and offers to help Kudelia get to Earth. Naze asks about the business proposal part, and McGillis says that should the revolution succeed, Nobliss and McMurdo will gain rights on half-metals, which he also wants. After the meeting, Biscuit tells Orga he had no idea Nobliss and McMurdo were connected, but he noticed that Naze seemed to know. Orga notes that they're not yet in the position to know that kind of stuff, so they need to change how things are. The Montag ship transfers over multiple supply containers, including parts for the Gundam Barbatos. Mikazuki sees masked McGillis and instantly recognizes him as the chocolate guy, which puts Biscuit and Orga on edge. McGillis assures them that this isn't a trap because he wants to reform the corrupt Gjallarhorn with their help. He tells them not to mention his real identity or the deal is off.

 

In the mess hall, Merribit tells Kudelia she should rest, but Kudelia insists that she's ok even as she stumbles while getting up. Mikazuki eats and says that Kudelia is amazing and seems like a different person. Atra thinks that she's forcing herself because her legs were shaking during her speech. At a Gjallarhorn space station, joint fleet commander Carta Issue thinks taking down Kudelia is a chance to show her strength. At the Arbrau Central Parliament Building, MP Henri Fleurs dodges questions from reporters before getting into a limo. Iznario tells her that they're tracking former Arbrau leader Togonosuke Makanai, and Henri asks if he's been in touch with Kudelia. Iznario answers that people always seek idols and don't care about the truth. In the Oceanian Federation, Makanai drinks heavily to celebrate Kudelia's arrival in advance. Naze discusses the Montag situation with Amida and laments that Tekkadan has gotten involved with troublesome people again. Shino and Akihiro violently practice in the simulator, and Lafter tells Azee that she feels gloomy. Akihiro comments after the simulation that he didn't know Shino had such a sense of responsibility, but Shino explains that it's more like he's been freed from it and doesn't have to worry about things in a mobile suit. Nadi completes his work on the Gundam Barbatos while Yamagi works on the Ryusei-Go. Kudelia thinks to herself that Fumitan would be alive if it weren't for McGillis, but to accomplish her goals she has no choice but to work with him. Atra finds Kudelia and wants to give her food, but she realizes she forgot to bring it. Kudelia apologizes to Atra for the beating she endured, and Atra says she wants to talk to her more. Kudelia thinks that she's unreliable and powerless, but she can't stay this way forever. Mikazuki brings the food and tells Kudelia she's amazing because she stopped Gjallarhorn, which even Orga can't do. Mikazuki says that he's been thinking about responsibility and will help Kudelia as much as he can. Kudelia starts crying, so Atra tells Mikazuki to quickly do something. Mikazuki hugs her, and Atra starts crying as well, so he hugs her. Naze warns Orga that working with Montag is still dangerous, and Kudelia says she'll do what it takes to accomplish her goals.

 

Commentary

 

The battle from last episode is concluded with a surprising de-escalation, thanks to Kudelia. Due to Nobliss pulling strings, she's able to broadcast a message about the truth of the Dort massacre and force Gjallarhorn to back off, albeit temporarily. This has a strong effect on Mikazuki, who repeatedly states that he's amazed she could stop Gjallarhorn with only her voice. That leads to his declaration at the end that he'll do everything he can to help her, which is a change from his usual attitude of going with the flow and doing whatever Orga decides. Although Kudelia has made a strong public debut, she still has doubts about whether she can do what she intends. I don't want to see her fall back into this rut of feeling useless, so I hope this is one of the last instances of this. Tekkadan makes a deal with McGillis, and we see that he has indeed kept Todo around all this time, who know looks to be in better shape and more well dressed. Ein gives us some insight into his devotion to Crank by explaining the discrimination he experienced on Mars. His fellow soldiers made him feel less than human, but Crank treated him kindly, thus earning his loyalty. This is good information to know, but I feel it would've made Ein seem less unstable and obsessive if we'd known about this long before now. We're also introduced to the theatrical Carta Issue and Henri Fleurs, an MP connected somehow to Iznario. Even with Kudelia's success, there's still a lot of tension here regarding what both Tekkadan and Gjallarhorn will do next.

 

Overall Rating

Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

4 out of 5 stars
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Gundam Iron-Blooded Orphans Episode 18 Gundam Iron-Blooded Orphans Episode 18

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Buy the collection (eps 14-25) on Blu-ray/DVD from Amazon
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