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Episode 32: My Friend

 

Review by Chris Guanche

November 19, 2016

 

Summary

 

McGillis' Graze Ritter destroys a Hloekk Graze and uses it as a shield against fire from another one. He then destroys the other unit with his swords and tells his men to keep fighting because Arbrau will soon run out of mobile suits. Takaki spots McGillis in the distance and obsesses with the idea of taking him down until Aston tells him they need to do things together like always. McGillis' force heads for the Arbrau base and comes under attack from Galan's Geirail and the Geirail Scharfrichters. McGillis comes under fire from a Landman Rodi and concludes from the Alaya-Vijnana movements that he's fighting Tekkadan. McGillis radios the Tekkadan pilots and asks them if they're fighting under Orga's orders. Aston answers that they are, and McGillis asks if Orga ordered them to shoot him down. Aston tells Takaki to ignore McGillis because the war will end if they take him down. Takaki rushes out of the tree line to attack McGillis, followed by Aston. Takaki loses his rifle and comes in at close range, knocking away one of McGillis' swords. McGillis loses his other sword, but he punches off Takaki's right arm and grabs his hammer chopper. McGillis swings the hammer chopper, but Aston pushes Takaki out of the way at the last second and takes the deadly blow. He then wraps his arms around the Graze Ritter to prevent McGillis from escaping. Galan aims his rifle at McGillis, but he's knocked away by the incoming Barbatos Lupus. The Shidens also arrive, forcing Galan and his men to retreat. Takaki desperately tries to get into Aston's cockpit and finds him mortally wounded. Aston says that he wishes he'd never met Takaki and Fuka because he doesn't want to lose the life he has now that he has to die. He says "thank you" as he dies, causing Takaki to cry out in grief. Radice receives a panicked communication that is cut off by Eugene. Radice asks how he came to Earth, and Eugene explains they took a detour through the SAU. Akihiro blocks Radice's path, and Eugene accuses Radice of betraying Tekkadan. Radice tries to blame it all on Galan and offers to give him up. Lafter calls Eugene and tells him that the situation is under control, but Aston died protecting Takaki. Enraged at the news, Akihiro grabs Radice and demands to know where Galan is. Radice answers that Galan has several hiding places nearby, and Akihiro vows to get him.

 

At his hideout, Galan regrets not killing McGillis, but he's sure Rustal will take care of it. An alarm sounds, so Galan and his men launch in their suits and try to escape. Mikazuki spots the enemy forces and tells Hush not to overdo things. Galan reaches the rendezvous point first and wonders how he was found. The Gusion Rebake arrives from above, and Galan realizes that Radice sold him out. Akihiro attacks Galan with rockets and his halberd. Hush struggles in combat and freezes when he's knocked down by an enemy, but Mikazuki rescues him and tells Hush to stay out of his way. Akihiro and Galan fight inside an abandoned town, and Akihiro destroys Galan's rifle. Galan thinks that Akihiro is fighting on personal feelings and must've lost someone. Akihiro repeatedly punches Galan, who tells him he's a decent human being, and those are the types to die first in war. Akihiro pins Galan to the ground and uses his scissors to crush the Geirail. Galan sets off the Geirail's self-destruct system, but the explosion causes no damage to the Gusion Rebake. Later, Eugene and the others confront Radice about his betrayal, but he tries to squirm out of it. Mikazuki pulls out a gun and asks why they're even talking to him since he betrayed Tekkadan. Takaki says that he wants to talk to Radice because this is an Earth Branch problem and he wants to settle it. Mikazuki gives Takaki the gun and leaves him alone with Radice. Lafter wonders if they should do something, but Eugene states that the Earth Branch will deal with things. Takaki asks Radice why he lied, and he tries to spin it that he was protecting them. He says Orga was too far to help, so they had to decide for themselves what to do. Takaki aims the gun at Radice and shoots him three times. Hush mopes about his poor performance and the feeling of being powerless. He realizes that he and Mikazuki are completely different, even without Alaya-Vijnana. Dane comments that being able to accurately judge the situation is a talent of a natural pilot. Mikazuki heads to the abandoned town, where McGillis' men are attempting to study the Geirail. McGillis explains that they were working for Rustal, but he has no proof because Galan kept all the operational data on his Geirail. McGillis thanks Mikazuki for saving him and says it was like watching a scene from the legend of Agnika Kaieru, the founder of Gjallarhorn. Julieta is shocked by the news that Galan is dead, and Rustal tells her not to mourn because Galan abandoned his family and his name to carry out his duties. Takaki goes home and finds Fuka asleep at the table. She wakes up and hugs Takaki and asks where Aston is. Takaki says nothing, and she quickly realizes why.

 

Commentary

 

The battle between the SAU and Arbrau is over, but not without a lot of casualties on Tekkadan's side. Aston sacrifices himself to save Takaki, who has now dodged death twice so far. It's supposed to be a sad moment when he dies, but the impact of his death is blunted by the fact that pushing someone aside at the last second and taking the hit is such a tired cliche in Gundam. In essence, this is on Takaki because he foolishly rushed in to attack McGillis, forcing Aston to come to his aid and save him. If he kept his cool for a few minutes longer, it would've all ended without incident once Mikazuki arrived. Also, the whole bit about a human debris sacrificing themselves for someone else was already done with Masahiro, further diluting the impact of this incident. However, Akihiro's anger is palpable, and it's satisfying to see him take down Galan for everything that he's done. It's also satisfying to see Radice get what he deserves for his betrayal, and that his end came at Takaki's hands. Rustal's plans against McGillis have been disrupted this time, but I'm sure he'll come back harder in the future.

 

Overall Rating

Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Gundam Iron-Blooded Orphans Episode 32 Gundam Iron-Blooded Orphans Episode 32
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