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Episode 7: Whaling

 

Review by Chris Guanche

November 17, 2015

 

Summary

 

Mobile suit pilot Lafter Frankland paints her toenails inside the cockpit of her Hyakuri and can't wait for the chance to fight the Isaribi, which she thinks resembles a shrimp. The Isaribi's young mechanics discuss the current situation, and while Nadi assumes it's Gjallarhorn, Yamagi mentions hearing something about Maruba. Nadi tells the boys that they have to hurry up with maintenance on the Gundam Barbatos and Graze Custom because they don't know when a battle could start. Maruba yells at Orga, who has his video message minimized to Eugene's monitor. Fumitan traces the signal to a ship following them from the rear and matching their speed. Maruba's unhinged ranting is interrupted by the Hammerhead's captain, Naze Turbine. Naze explains that he ran into Maruba on Mars and found the old man in rough shape in a bar. Biscuit tells Orga that the Turbines group is part of Teiwaz and that Naze has sworn a blood oath to the conglomerate's leader, McMurdo Barriston. Biscuit thinks this is the worst outcome, but Orga sees it as an opportunity. Naze explains that he offered his help in exchange for CGS' assets. However, CGS went out of business on paper, so now Naze has come to collect from Tekkadan. He offers to give them decent work if they hand over the ship, despite Maruba's insistence on killing them. Orga declines the offer on the basis that they have a job to complete. Kudelia speaks up and says she needs Tekkadan's help, but Naze answers that this complicates things because she's considered Maruba's property. Biscuit asks if they can make their own deal and have Teiwaz escort them to Earth, but Naze refuses on principle. Naze asks if they understand what it means to make him an enemy, and Orga vows to show him that they're not just kids. Naze asks Amida Arca to take care of the battle, and she tells Azee Gurumin to sortie with her. Biscuit thinks there was room to negotiate, but Orga doesn't want to look spineless to Teiwaz. The bridge is lowered as the ship turns 180 degrees while maintaining speed. Orga leaves Eugene in charge of the ship, while Fumitan asks Kudelia to evacuate to the central block. Amida and Azee launch from the Hammerhead in two Hyakurens and head for the Isaribi. Mikazuki launches in the Gundam Barbatos and catches up with Akihiro's Graze Custom.

 

The Hammerhead fires missiles at the Isaribi, which returns fire while trying to stay out of their range. The ship is then rocked from above by an attack from Lafter's high mobility Hyakuri. Akihiro saves Mikazuki from Amida's attack, and Mikazuki leaves him in charge of fighting her and Azee. Atra finds Kudelia struggling to put on a normal suit and helps her get into it. Kudelia thinks to herself that there's no point in feeling down and takes Atra with her to the bridge. Lafter's attack run is interrupted when Mikazuki returns and opens fire. However, thanks to the Hyakuri's high speed, Lafter is able to dodge his shots. Norba prepares to launch in the Mobile Worker that Yamagi just finished maintenance work on. Mikazuki is unable to land a hit on Lafter and instead takes damage from her hit-and-run attacks. He decides to change things up by grappling onto her with his wire claw, which pulls him along for a high-speed ride. The Isaribi fires smoke missiles at the Hammerhead and approaches the ship head on. At the last moment, the Isaribi moves out of the way and barely avoids a crash. The Hammerhead turns to give chase and is rocked by an explosion on its outer hull. Internal cameras display a Mobile Worker invasion force led by Orga, and Naze realizes they must've jumped aboard the ship during the close pass in the smoke cloud. Maruba dismisses them as just space rats, and Naze asks him if he forced them to get operations to use the Alaya-Vijnana System. Amida and Azee decide to break away from Akihiro, but he gives chase and takes on damage while fighting Amida at close range. He then attacks Azee's leg by punching it repeatedly. Lafter tells Mikazuki that he'd better let go since his inertial controls aren't working. She flies into an asteroid field and crashes him into one, but he uses his mace as an anchor and starts reeling in the wire to pull her closer. Mikazuki pulls Lafter onto the asteroid and tells her she's a sore loser. He wants to settle things, but Orga calls him and tells him to stop fighting. Naze asks Amida to return because he's decided to hear Orga's story. Lafter is disappointed because things were getting exciting.

 

Commentary

 

New players enter the scene along with the return of an old one. Maruba was down on his luck after running off in episode 1, and Naze decided to make a deal with him for some fast money. While Orga clearly has a reckless streak, his refusal to surrender or negotiate here is probably the right choice. He's already made an enemy of Gjallarhorn and can't afford to do the same with Teiwaz, but he also can't make an ally out of them if he looks weak. And thus we end up with his daring raid on the Hammerhead. The timing works out pretty well, because while Mikazuki had turned things around in his favor, Akihiro was probably a minute from death. However, it looks like there's more going on that what Naze says. Amida is impressed by Tekkadan's actions and comments that they "passed the first test." Is Naze just stringing Maruba along because he wants to scout Tekkadan and see their abilities firsthand? I like how the Gundam Barbatos picks up and uses whatever it can grab from enemies, and in this case the wire claw from the last battle with Gjallarhorn proves invaluable. There's not much to say about these new characters at this early stage. Naze looks like he'd fit in better in Cowboy Bebop, while Amida seems like a skilled pilot and Lafter comes across as just silly. We've seen characters like her in the franchise before, so I hope there's some more depth to her than what's presented on the surface.

 

Overall Rating

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4 out of 5 stars
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Gundam Iron-Blooded Orphans Episode 7 Gundam Iron-Blooded Orphans Episode 7
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