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Episode 5: Beyond the Red Sky

 

Review by Chris Guanche

November 4, 2015

 

Summary

 

Orga and Biscuit meet with Orcus to make a deal for transport to the low orbital station. Coral panics and assumes that he's ruined until he gets a call from Orcus about Kudelia. Ein continues to mourn Crank and is informed that Coral has taken him off standby. Kudelia walks around the base at night and finds Mikazuki standing guard in an abandoned control tower. He reassures her that they'll get her to Earth and offers her one of the Mars palms he likes to eat. Mikazuki asks if he'll get to see the Moon because his name is based from it, but Kudelia explains that it was severely damaged during the Calamity War and is now only faintly visible. The next morning, Atra shows up and asks to be hired on as Tekkadan's cook, which Orga teases Mikazuki about. Todo snickers that everyone should enjoy what will be their last meal. Gaelio and McGillis meet with Coral, who asks them to accompany him on a mission to capture Kudelia. McGillis figures that Coral wants to let them take credit for this to cover up all his past blunders. Despite that, he thinks it's worth attempting because they could pacify the Martians by controlling Kudelia. Coral's ship meets with Orcus', and the devious businessman asks Coral to take care of his transport routes. Coral thinks to himself that anything is possible once he gets money from Nobliss. The Tekkadan crew load themselves into a shuttle that takes off from the surface and heads for space. Biscuit tells Kudelia that they'll get picked up by Orcus' low-orbit transport ship and taken to their own. Orga sees that Orcus' ship is here earlier than scheduled, and Biscuit spots three Gjallarhorn mobile suits launching from it. They then see a Gjallarhorn ship, which causes Todo to panic and call Orcus, who ignores him. Norba punches Todo in the face for selling them out, but Orga reminds him they don't have time for this. The three Grazes approach and demand that they hand over Kudelia, which she agrees to. Orga doesn't want to look dishonorable and gives the order to Mikazuki, who was already standing by in the Gundam Barbatos. The shuttle's docking bay doors open and release a smoke cloud, which gives Mikazuki cover to blast a Graze with his smoothbore gun. Coral rushes in with his Graze Commander Type and ignores Ein's protest that McGillis told them not to kill Kudelia. Ein thinks to himself that this is his chance to avenge Crank, while Coral thinks to himself that any excuse will work if there's an accident involving the inspectors. Coral opens fire on the shuttle, but Orga has it stay to its course. Mikazuki shoots at Coral and draws the Gjallarhorn suits away from the shuttle. Orcus opens fire on the shuttle to gain favor from Coral, but he then comes under fire himself from the Isaribi.

 

After transferring over to the ship, Orga takes command and has it return fire. Biscuit asks Kudelia and Atra to go where it's safe, but Kudelia wants to see the progress of the battle herself. Orga wants Yamagi to prepare the merchandise and entrusts it to Akihiro. With long-range fire unsuccessful on both sides, Coral pulls out his axe and moves in for melee combat. He manages to knock away Mikazuki's axe and moves in for the kill, but he's then shot at from behind by Akihiro's Graze Custom. Akihiro tosses the mace to Mikazuki, who then smashes Coral's cockpit. Ein becomes enraged when the reactor reaction indicates that the Graze Custom is Crank's former suit. Mikazuki leaves his gun with Akihiro and dodges an attack from Ein and another Graze. Mikazuki takes on two Grazes simultaneously until the arrival of Gaelio's Schwalbe Graze. On the Biscoe, McGillis has the Gundam Barbatos scanned and reads its database entry from the Calamity War. He recalls that machines named Gundam have appeared at historical turning points and had a great influence on events. He decides to launch in his Schwalbe Graze, and Mikazuki is attacked by Gaelio after taking down a Graze. McGillis considers how well the Gundam is moving and concludes it must be the expanded spatial awareness from the Alaya-Vijnana System. He tests the theory by firing at the thrusters, which have more worn out armor because they aren't part of a living body. Mikazuki notices what McGillis is trying to do and dodges his attacks. The Isaribi comes under fire from Orcus, so Orga suggests making use of a nearby mining asteroid. Biscuit outlines the plan and thinks they should have someone launch in a space modified Mobile Worker to help the ship swing around the asteroid. Norba thinks that's a suicidal plan, so Eugene volunteers to go. The Isaribi fires an anchor into the asteroid, and Eugene zooms along the anchor until he reaches the asteroid and drops a missile container on it. He then blows up the missile container, but the anchor is still connected. He then ejects an oxygen tank and blows it up, which frees the ship and allows it to complete its turn. The ship then faces Orcus' head on and opens fire. Mikazuki loses some armor to McGillis and is temporarily restrained with wires by Gaelio, who orders him to surrender. Mikazuki refuses, and Gaelio recognizes his voice as the kid from the field. Gaelio tugs on the wire to try to pull Mikazuki down to Mars, but Mikazuki breaks free and tosses his mace, which damages Gaelio's suit. Mikazuki grabs onto the Isaribi as it flies by and realizes that the other Schwalbe Graze is piloted by the chocolate man. Kudelia and Atra greet Mikazuki upon his return. On the Biscoe, McGillis is informed that they picked up a capsule dropped by the Isaribi. Inside the capsule is an unconscious Todo with the message "This looks like one of yours, so you deal with him" written on his flabby stomach. The other soldiers don't understand the message, so McGillis laughs.

 

Commentary

 

The Tekkadan crew leave Mars behind, which is a shame since it's a setting that the franchise has only briefly explored recently. However, Kudelia's mention of the Moon being heavily damaged during the Calamity War indicates that this Earth Sphere could look very different from what we're used to. Once again, Orga proves again that he's not to be underestimated because he expected an attack and already had Mikazuki ready to launch. He also shows his inventiveness with the plan to swing around a mining asteroid to fire at Orcus. Mikazuki fares better in his first space battle than most Gundam pilots, and that's due to the Alaya-Vijnana System giving him expanded spatial awareness. McGillis notices this and tests Mikazuki's skills. He clearly is the type who can respect ability when he sees it, even if it's in an enemy. Mikazuki is definitely an outlier among franchise protagonists because he's trained and keeps his cool. It's refreshing whenever that happens because the accidental teenage pilot gets boring after being used so many times throughout the decades. Coral meets a completely deserved an unceremonious end, but his comments also reveal that Nobliss is a double dealer and can't be trusted. Similarly, it's good to see that Todo's betrayal fails in spectacular fashion and isn't something dragged out over multiple episodes. The same is true about Mikazuki meeting McGillis and Gaelio and then fighting them not long after. I'm glad this series is so far moving through some elements quickly and not dragging them out the way other shows would. Hopefully this keeps up for the rest of its run.

 

Overall Rating

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