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Episode 8: The Form of Closeness

 

Review by Chris Guanche

November 25, 2015

 

Summary

 

The Isaribi fires smoke missiles at the Hammerhead, which explode and create a dense smoke cloud. The Isaribi charges in head on and maneuvers at the last second to avoid a collision. The Hammerhead turns to pursue and is rocked by explosions on its outer hull caused by Orga’s Mobile Worker squad. After infiltrating the ship, Dante pulls up a map for Orga and vows to take care of the electronic warfare. Norba fires gas rounds at the crew to blind and confuse them. Naze wants his crewwomen to seal the bulkheads, but Dante has already hacked their system and taken control. Naze asks Maruba how they’re being infiltrated, but Maruba says he can’t remember what he taught the kids. He insists that Nate hurry up and kill them, but his ranting stops when Orga’s team storms the bridge. Orga walks in and asks Naze if he can recognize that they’re not ordinary kids. Maruba tries to plead for his life, but Orga shoves his machine gun in the man’s face. Naze tells Orga not to do it and decides to reconsider their deal. He then gives orders for Amida’s group to fall back. Naze asks Amida for an opinion upon her return, and she answers that while it’s not fun fighting children, the boys show much promise. In the Isaribi’s hangar, Nadi apologizes for sending Mikazuki out in a suit that wasn’t fully tuned. Mikazuki asks what happened and is told that Orga took Kudelia and Biscuit with him to negotiate with Naze. At the meeting, Naze informs Orga that Maruba will be sent to their resource mining satellite to work off the costs of the battle. Orga comments on the all-female crew, and Naze explains that the ship is his harem, which surprises everyone. He also mentions having five children on the ship, all his from different mothers. He comments on their strength and asks what they want, and Biscuit explains that they need a guide and a safe route to Earth. Orga adds that he wants Tekkadan to become a subsidiary of Teiwaz, which Naze figures they want for the backing to fight Gjallarhorn. Naze agrees to make the introductions with McMurdo, which doesn’t guarantee that they’ll be accepted into Teiwaz. Biscuit brings up the issue about Kudelia being property, and Naze asks what they think of Gjallarhorn. Kudelia explains that Gjallarhorn ended the Calamity War and keeps watch over Earth’s four economic blocs, which Naze says they find is a burden. He says that Gjallarhorn is pursuing its own interests, and now Kudelia has appeared to fight for Mars’ independence and go around Gjallarhorn to negotiate with Earth, which could upset the balance of power. Biscuit asks how that relates to Kudelia being property, and Naze answers that they’ll have to ask McMurdo. Mikazuki eats a quick lunch and returns to the hangar to help with the Gundam Barbatos’ maintenance. Orga’s party returns with the news that they’re going to negotiate with McMurdo on the Teiwaz base ship Saisei. Fumitan tells Orga that a message has come in from Mars, which turns out to be about how Tekkadan is nearly out of money. Biscuit figures that they can’t get decent work with Gjallarhorn watching over them, so they have to do something. Lafter and Azee ask Amida about the talks, and Lafter asks if the pilot of the white suit was there because it’s rare for someone to fire her up. Orga comes down to the hangar to speak with Mikazuki, who feels he didn’t do a good enough job during the battle and must try harder.

 

The journey to rendezvous with Saisei takes 10 days, during which time Mikazuki and Akihiro use the mobile suit simulator on the Hammerhead. Kudelia cleans dishes in the mess hall and wonders what it could mean that she's the property of Maruba. Atra suggests that they go visit the Hammerhead later. Orga and Biscuit meet with Naze and ask for help finding a trader who will buy all the stuff they seized from Gjallarhorn, with Naze getting a commission. Naze asks if they need money that badly, and Orga admits that they're in trouble. Naze then asks why they didn't accept his original offer, and Orga answers that he said they'd be separated, and that can't happen. Orga explains that everyone in Tekkadan is connected by the blood that has been and will be spilled, which has mixed and hardened like iron. Naze recalls what Orga said to Maruba at gunpoint and asks if he was referring to his dead comrades. Naze has no problem with them staying together, but he cautions Orga that he's the leader now and has to make difficult decisions that could get people killed. Kudelia and Atra visit the Turbines nursery, where Lafter and Amida are playing with some of the babies. Atra asks if Naze has more children, and Lafter explains that the older ones are away at school. Kudelia smiles while playing with one of the babies, and Atra notes that it's a nice change from the serious looks she's had on her face lately. Orga tells Naze that he's prepared to make those tough decisions because he doesn't want idiots allowing his friends to die in vain. Orga vows that the place his men die is where he will die, so Naze flicks him in the head and tells him he's an idiot because Tekkadan really will split up if it has no leader. Naze refers back to Orga's statement about mixing and connecting blood and says that Orga isn't talking about comrades, but rather, family. As they leave, Orga curses himself for messing up and being treated as a kid during negotiation, which makes Biscuit laugh at him. Akihiro practices in the Hyakuren's cockpit on simulator mode and loses to Lafter. Azee tells him he shouldn't fight while excited, so Mikazuki decides to try next. Azee comments that they're both working very hard each day, and Mikazuki answers that it's all he can do. As the ships approach Saisei, Orga comments about the rough time Mikazuki is having on the simulator. Mikazuki says that he has to work hard to not get ditched, and Orga tells him it's not about getting ditched or not when it comes to family.

 

Commentary

 

This episode opens with the same trick from episode 2, showing an event in a prior episode from a previously unseen perspective. This works as an opening because it allows us to see how Orga's gambit plays out. He wants to make a deal, not kill people, so his team uses non-lethal weapons and electronic warfare to help them raid the Hammerhead's bridge as fast as possible. This leads to a long-awaited confrontation with Maruba, who barely manages to escape with his life. This allows Orga to make his bold proposition: let Tekkadan be a subsidiary of Teiwaz to give it protection from Gjallarhorn. Of course, he still has to make that case to McMurdo, so nothing is set in stone yet. I think Naze probably sees some of himself in Orga, but then he's got this weird harem business going on that seems out of place. It's common for anime fans to joke about characters having harems, but it's less common to hear a character outright declare that he has one. It's kinda creepy that he has all these young women in his harem, but maybe that sort of relationship is common on Jupiter. Naze dishes out some exposition that helps flesh out the politics of the world and gives us some insight into Gjallarhorn's motives. The four economic blocs on Earth view Gjallarhorn as a burden, and Kudelia coming along and upsetting the status quo by agitating for Martian independence could cause the first domino to fall. Naze says that Gjallarhorn is pursuing its own interests, but what are those, and how do they differ from the economic blocs? We don't see much of Mikazuki this time, but it's interesting how he's so hard on himself and insists on working so hard out of fear of abandonment. I'm sure that comes from the hard life of being an orphan used for war, but it'd be neat if a future episode offered some flashbacks explaining how he ended up as an orphan or how me met Orga.

 

Overall Rating

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3.5 out of 5 stars
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Gundam Iron-Blooded Orphans Episode 8 Gundam Iron-Blooded Orphans Episode 8
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