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Episode 6: As for Them

 

Review by Chris Guanche

November 17, 2015

 

Summary

 

Maruba watches in shock from a nearby ship as the Isaribi leaves Mars. Gaelio comes up to the Biscoe's bridge and is shocked to hear from McGillis that they won't be pursuing Tekkadan. McGillis explains that they have too much work to do because of Coral's death, but Kudelia's presence on the Isaribi means they'll cross paths again on the way to Earth. On the Isaribi, Orga asks for a status report and is told that no ships are chasing them. In the mobile suit hangar, Nadi is frustrated that there aren't any helpful records about the Gundam Barbatos' maintenance history. McGillis tells Gaelio that the Gundam Barbatos has two Ahab reactors and is one of the 72 Gundam Frames produced during the Calamity War. Gaelio is impressed that such an old suit was able to put up a good fight against them, but McGillis thinks it might be more the pilot due to the Alaya-Vijnana System. Atra brings more food to Mikazuki and asks if they'll be attacked again, to which he responds that they will due to people being after Kudelia. She asks if he isn't scared of dying, but he says he isn't worried because he has her bracelet. During a meeting about navigation, Kudelia asks if they really need a guide to take them to Earth. Orga states that due to the conflict with Gjallarhorn they can't get a normal guide, so he suggests Teiwaz, a conglomerate based in the Jupiter Sphere. Kudelia has heard rumors about them being a mafia, but that's exactly what Orga wants to get protection from Gjallarhorn. Because they can't head to Earth or return to Mars, Orga decides that their only option is to head to Jupiter and negotiate with Teiwaz. Fumitan displays her knowledge of sending encrypted messages to Mars that Gjallarhorn can't detect and volunteers to help as their communications operator. Mikazuki and Atra run into Kudelia while distributing meals to the crew. Kudelia asks Mikazuki why he wasn't at the meeting, and he answers that he doesn't like dealing with difficult things and wouldn't understand anyway. Kudelia volunteers to help them distribute the lunch boxes to the crew while they work. Mikazuki delivers a lunch box to Akihiro, who says he wants to train in the simulator later. Kudelia is surprised by Mikazuki's lack of interest in the Teiwaz issue, but he says he trusts Orga to take care of things and says he doesn't even know why Kudelia is going to Earth. Kudelia explains that she's going to Earth to win freedom for Mars. After the Calamity War, Earth's four economic blocs divided up control of territories on Mars and Jupiter. Chryse fell under Arbrau, and she's been negotiating with the bloc to stop the exploitation of the Outer Spheres. Mikazuki asks if she's going to be the one who makes them happy, and she answers that's her intention. Mikazuki offers to help Nadi with maintenance, and Nadi recalls that Mikazuki can't read, which surprises Kudelia. He tells her that most of the children on the ship didn't go to school, so Kudelia offers to teach him how to read and write. He decides to try and is joined by Takaki and three younger boys.

 

Orga thinks about the Teiwaz issue and leaves the bridge in Fumitan's hands. Nobliss hears about Coral's death and wonders how well the young children will do in defending Kudelia. At the Mars orbital station, Ein is summoned by McGillis and questioned about the battle outside Chryse. McGillis asks for Ein's honest impressions, and Ein explains that he was surprised by the appearance of an enemy suit, but also its reaction and speed. Ein blames himself for the loss of his superiors and asks to join the pursuit force, so McGillis agrees to consider it. Kudelia tells her students that they first need to learn how to write their own names, which they attempt to do on tablets. Two of the younger boys laugh at Mikazuki because he wrote the 'z' and 'k' in his name backwards. Takaki chastises them and tells them to work hard, with Orga watching from outside the room. Biscuit confronts Orga and thinks they need to be careful about how they proceed. He thinks this job is too big for them because of their lack of experience, so he thinks they could subcontract to another company. Orga dismisses the notion and declares that they have to move forward no matter what. Biscuit thinks that Orga is rushing into things and deliberately taking the most dangerous path. Orga concedes that might be true because he's always being watched by Mikazuki's eyes, which seem to always asks what exciting thing they'll do that. Because of that, Orga feels that he always has to be the boldest and coolest person to Mikazuki. Later, Mikazuki finds Orga, who is impressed by Mikazuki learning to read and write. In addition to helping with mobile suit maintenance, Mikazuki wants to learn about vegetables so that he can someday run a farm like Sakura. Orga comments that Earth is far away, but the die has been cast, so they'll stick with it to the bitter end. Kudelia notices that even the younger children have Whiskers, and one of them talks about wanting to get more implants like Mikazuki. Orga jokes that Mikazuki doesn't change and that he is who he is. Orga rushes to the bridge when an alarm sounds, and he's informed that they've been sent a stop signal from another ship. Eugene wonders if it's Gjallarhorn, but suddenly Maruba appears on screen and demands that they return his ship.

 

Commentary

 

Although the Isaribi has successfully escaped from Mars, the journey to Earth isn't going to be as simple as heading toward the big blue ball in space. Gjallarhorn controls the routes to Earth, which pushes Orga into making the roundabout journey of travelling to Jupiter to seek the help of the Teiwaz conglomerate. We get some great insight into his character when Biscuit questions him about always taking the dangerous path, and Orga admits it's because he feels he has to be the best in front of Mikazuki. While it's admirable for a brotherly bond, it's probably not the best mindset for running a company and picking fights with Earth's military. This attitude, combined with Mikazuki's blind loyalty, will probably create problems in the future. Separately, it's interesting to see Mikazuki pursue literacy not just for the goal of helping with mobile suit maintenance, but also because he wants to be a farmer. With his general attitude about things, you'd think he's the kind of person focused entirely on the present, but this shows that even in the middle of everything, he sees a future for himself that doesn't involve war. Kudelia dishes out some exposition about the division of power following the Calamity War, but it's interesting stuff that outlines how Earth is exploiting Mars and Jupiter. This series already is moving away from established Gundam norms by starting on Mars, but it's also covering new ground by having Jupiter be a player. If both Mars and Jupiter are being exploited by Earth, it's always possible they might join forces to fight for their joint freedom. Only time will tell.

 

Overall Rating

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3.5 out of 5 stars
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Gundam Iron-Blooded Orphans Episode 6 Gundam Iron-Blooded Orphans Episode 6

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Buy the collection (eps 1-13) on Blu-ray/DVD from Amazon
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