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Renato Ramonda
999 followers -
Sysadmin, geek, loudmouth, chatty bastard, lover of many things, occasional translator, tinkerer and maker of gaming things.
Sysadmin, geek, loudmouth, chatty bastard, lover of many things, occasional translator, tinkerer and maker of gaming things.

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Iron Blooded Orphans Ep. 44

Well, the "Grand Plan" didn't quite work.
But also, feels.


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Ah, there you go, my impression was right: the Bael really was the Excalibur of Gjallarhorn. Turns out many have tried to awaken the MS that is literally the tomb of Agnika Kaieru (of his sould, at least...) and nobody managed before McGillis.

Obviously we don't know if that's because one has to be particularly strong-willed, or anything, or if it's just that only someone with an Arashiki interface could, and in the meantime Gjallarhorn had outlawed the interface.

Still, sometimes you extract the Sword from the Stone... and surprise, not everybody is willing to just bend their knee and pledge allegiance to you. As predicted, many young officers did feel the "mythical" pull of dashing McGillis being "accepted" by Bael, but the old House chiefs are more politicians than soldiers. And Rustal was never supposed to capitulate.

...Orga was damn right punching McGillis in the face. Squaring off with the Arianrhod fleet was always in the plan, but McGillis played his cards close to the chest. Because "a few casualties would be acceptable". Because after all, he's the idealistic chieftain, but he's not friends, let alone family with his soldiers. Orga is.

The episode was scattered with nice little scenes: Merribit and the other civilian, Kassapa telling the two kids to "keep thinking", Eugene and Shino mulling over how they always egged Orga, pushing him towards certain decisions...

Thinking back about the episode... there's an interesting parallel: McGillis and Almiria vs Mikatsuki and Atra.

McGillis... I can't possibly understand at this point if he means what he says to Almiria. Giving it a very "adult" read, we could well think that McGillis never really detached himself from his feelings of powerlessness as a kid (after all, those were the same drives that put him on this "heroic gesture" of the Bael), that he's really trying, in some way, to spare Almiria from another ruined childhood. That he wants her to be safe, even if she hates him in the end. Hard to tell... his big gesture saving her from suicide could well still be "cold calculating bastard McGillis".

And Mikatsuki. Finally, through the tears Atra confesses her love... and Mika actually feels it, and feels something in return. As he says, he has always known only the battlefields, so he's not sure how to handle what he feels, and what that is exactly, but for sure he wants Atra to be able to not cry anymore. I admit, I was a bit wet-eyed.

I'm sure there was more, but it's late :)

Looking forward to the next few episodes.


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Well, technically... a 1:1 scale model/replica.

OK, I just wanted to share these pics of the Odaiba giant Gundam because they look really cool.


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Iron Blooded Orphans Ep. 43

I'm a genius

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Turns out, all my theories were right after all.

Gaelio is Vidar (but we pretty much knew about that from the start), and the Vidar MS does contain Ein's brain! (the Alaya-Vijnana Mode E).

McGillis does have an Alaya-Vijnana implant... though it's a new development, he didn't have it as a kid on Mars...

...because he was not Human Debris, a child soldier. No, he was a child kept captive into sex slavery.
And when he was rescued... it was to be groomed (*shudder*) by his step-father as both a personal sex slave and heir. WTF Iznario? And you had the nerve to be fucking surprised when adult McGillis overthrew you?

A neat detail here in the conversations... McGillis was a bit the "Char" of the first season, but all his "Montag" persona and the mask was thoroughly lampshaded: we knew right away who was behind the mask, and so did most of the characters. BUT it turns out McGillis WAS wearing a mask most of his life, since childhood, to be able to get his revenge, as Gaelio notes, bitterly; a mask of "the suave heir of noble house Fareed". More like Casval than we expected.

The role of the Bael is a bit unclear... but as I was dicussing with +Flavio Mortarino elsewhere, it looks like a "I drew Excalibur from the stone" moment. It does not technically give McGillis absolute rulership, but it might be a symbolic gesture that could win him the simpathy and allegiance of the younger (and often super eager and impressionable, as we've seen) Gjallerhorn officers.

For sure it did not elicit instant submission of the Arianrhod fleet and Rustal... who noted this was the actions of a child that has never grown. Which would make sense: young McGillis idolized in his mind the figure of Gjallrhorn legendary founder as the epitome of all that's powerful. He wanted that. He wanted to be that. To be powerful enough that nobody would ever be able to mess with him anymore. He's still that kid, still searching for enough power.

And btw, regarding Bael, I wonder what they meant about Agnika Kaieru's spirit living in it... McGillis seemed to imply it was basically the technology they were studying with the experiments that lead to Cyber-Ein and to Vidar. Maybe there is not an organic part, but it seems Kaieru in the end fused deeply with Bael and "became one"; his brain patterns probably became part of Bael's software (aside: nice to see the Demonic Circles back on the cockpit's computer).

Oh and I wonder if the reaction of the Seven Star House Head that looks like a Chinese sage is just because of the bold move that would mean taking control of Gjallarhorn, or if the Bael has never been activated because of some danger or flaw...

Other stray impressions:

* Gaelio actually looks badass with the scar and the helmet (and that scowl).

* Julieta discovers the true nature of Vidar... I still wonder if she would consider the AV system for herself.

* Gaelio remarks "since you're here it means you can pilot it"... let's just assume Bael can't be piloted without an AV (McGillis' back is in the frame when he says this; nice direction touch)

* Pacific-Rim style Synchronization! (which was already an homage to earlier super-robot tropes, so neat)

* The Sancta-Sanctorum of Gjallarhorn where Vidar is kept has the huge heraldic insignia of all the Seven Stars. A nice touch.

* The soundtrack that underscores Baal's activation is very cool... but I'm a sucker for orchestra+choir.

All in all, another solid episode... though it turns out to be one of the "interstitial" ones, despite having mobile suit action in it.



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I'm in awe, put simply.

Master Grade Zaku II Char Use done with the style, colors and details (and weaponry) first seen in the "The Origin" version of the High Grade.

Beautiful.

Be sure to check the rest of the pictures, it's worth it, following this link: https://imgur.com/gallery/DemeK

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Iron Blooded Orphans Ep. 42

Retribution. And momentous change.

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The episode opens on the omen of death for Jasley. I appreciated how it was pronounced by Azee.

Then we jump to Kudelia's office, and when the tv broadcast is starting... we jump back in time.

The Opening continues to be poignant.
"A transitory flash of brilliant light.
Like a flower blooming on a battlefield.
Be beautiful, warrior."

The space battle was well written. Jasley is fighting for his interests, but Tekkadan is fighting for revenge, and pain, and honor. McGillis is right, Jasley has no hope to win.

Barbatos Lupus Rex is a terrifying beast. As expected.

Dante and Chad on the LandMan-Rodi are a well oiled team, guarding each other's back. Team Human-Debris FTW.

I was a bit surprised to see the Hekija in the hands of Hush the noob... but it was touching to see how Shino and the others said it was also a precious machine and a memento from the Turbines.

Iok's betrayal looked simply as if him (and Rustal) were throwing Jasley under the bus... but it was actually a quite successful case of dune-like scheming aikido by McMurdo Barristan. Well played Old Man, especially since you cleared Teiwaz and Tekkadan through Arianrhod... which might not be there for long holding its credits over your head.

This is another big battle where we see refueling and short breaks for pilots, a detail I really like.

And Akihiro has another painful moment.

Oooh, ominous moment between Julieta and Chief Mechanic Yamazin from Gjallarhorn... "to fight the devil equally you might need to throw away someging" (implied: your "pure" humanity). Will we see an Ara-Shiki upgrade for Julieta and Julia?

Orga's video call with Jasley... He managed to keep the "badass chief" composure for long enough. "Crush them".
(aside: Mika has started closing the opposite eye from Orga when doing something important)

And then, we're back at the start of the episode. Civil War.

Merribit will stay with Tekkadan. Kudelia... she's been cut off for her safety, and that hurts.

It's all in now. No turning back.

And finally we have that nice little talk between Mika and Orga. "I just want to laugh my head off when I finally get there".

8 episodes left for a revolution.

Oh and... looks like McGillis doesn't have whiskers after all (we see his back from the side in the preview).

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What a stunning rendition of the Marasai.


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Daaang, P-Bandai limited release... but Conroy's badass Jegan-ECOAS is one of my favorites from Unicorn. Want!


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Iron Blooded Orphans Ep. 41

Well, fuck.

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Jasley FUCKING Donomiklos. Ok, you managed to make me look up your name, you tasteless son of a bitch.

They kept the funeral short, but full of details... Jasley's showoff flowers, him and his goons trying to pick up a fight with disrespectful remarks. The Tekkadan guys (and Turbines gals!) were grief stricken but managed to act with restraint.

It's clear now what Jasley's play is: provoke a fight over his actions agains Naze, claim to be the victim, expel Tekkadan from Teiwaz (or destroy them). The fucker.

Old Man Barriston seems to be acting as honorably as he can (and always keeping an eye on his bottom line... it's a smart way to write a boss like that).

The three new heads of Turbines look very professional in the funeral black suit... and Azee seems to have naturally inherited the role of chief... and of Big Sister. Her gentle pushing Lafter towards Akihito and Tekkadan was sweet. And the flashback with Amida sheds some more light on the actual relationship of the Turbines women and Naze. Sure, they were an open poly family... but just like Naze and Amida shared a different kind of link, they all recognized the possibility of one of the girls finding Love with a capital letter, and leaving. This might be the sanest "harem" I've ever encountered :)

Iok appears for less than 10 seconds, and manages to make himself eminently slappable. Rustal truly has Job's patience... clearly Iok is useful as a proxy to do the shit he doesn't want.

The whole date between Lafter and Akihiro was so, so sweet... and laced with a sadness of people that know they might never be together, both because of the circumstances and because of their personal history (hell, Lafter has clearly seen how this is as much as Akihiro will allow for himself, and decided not to push). Again, I was moved.
Oh and btw... we want a "Young Amida Adventures" show! She looks so effortlessly badass and beautiful in all her shots!

Orga's reflection on Naze's words... we get back to IBO's Family theme, strong. Orga should care for his family, and care for the Endgame... but never forget WHY he wants to get there. Keep true to his and his family's values... we'll get back to this.

Mika and Atra... super awkward, but again this scene underlines one of the underlying themes of this episode: passing down the legacy. Of blood, of values, of tradition. Mika as usual has very little filters... he observed, he saw how a legacy passes on, he saw the kids up close... from his POV he's just acting accordingly. Nice to see Atra reacting super awkwardly and needing to think about it A LOT... facing the actual thing is different from fantasising about it :)

And then. Then. Right as we get this bittersweet scene of Lafter choosing the Akihiro Bear... Bang. Motherfucker.
This kind of abrupt scene reminded me of some of the best movies... The Departed possibly (open the door: bang. No warning).

And we thought this could be one of those reflection episoded... but no.

Poor Lafter. Poor Azee.
I doubt she'll stay away from the cockpit now.

Nice how the reaction of the Tekkadan kids is of immediate, unrelenting loyalty. They want vengeance, but they also want to protect their friends. "Orga. Give us the order". Orga felt that hit. Akihiro rarely speaks up like that.

McGillis and Orga swearing loyalty. I really hope McGillis is not being treacherous, that he really sees himself as the inheritor of the legacy (heh) of the ancient Calamity hero.

Where did McGillis go at the end of that white corridor? The Baal vault I'd say.
The Shiden team is ready to fight... and Akihiro destroyed the gym. I want to see what he does with his Gusion when given the chance...

And that little final scene between Mika and Orga in the hangar of the Barbatos Lupus Rex.

M: "How far should I go?"
O: "That's a rare question coming from you"
M: "How far?"
O: "All the way"

Orga has thought long and hard about Naze's words. He wants the Endgame, he wants to be King of Mars for all of Tekkadan... but if getting there fast means throwing away all the principles and loyalties and forget friendships... "FUCK THAT. Smash the motherfuckers, Mika."

Somehow I don't think we've finished crying with this show, though.


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Naoki delivers.
GM-II Sniper MG


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Iron Blooded Orphans Ep. 40

Shit hits the fan.


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Fuuuuuck. Fuck fuck fuck fuck Iok with a spiky hot poker.
We already knew he was an idiot and a spoiled rich brat, but no, he's a murderous, bastard, vainglorious war criminal.

But shit was this episode GOOD, from beginning to end.

I stayed with tears welling in my eyes for most of the time... probably from Akihiro and Shino's initiative (and Orga's reaction)... and at the end I was just ugly sobbing and I'm not even ashamed.

Ok, ok, I've mostly composed myself, I'll try and do the usual bullet point list...

* Mika... Mikatsuki still won't show his feelings externally (now he's even hardly capable of it physically), but he sure learned how to relate to emotions. We see it both with the old boss, and later at the end with Atra. Those were the eyes of someone who lost a newfound friend, and who's closest friends hurt because of that. Someone is gonna get SMASHED by the Barbatos Lupus Rex.

* Akihiro, Shino and Ride's plan. Can I have a FUCK YEAH? These were just kids, Human Debris in the case of Akihiro, and used to follow orders... now they've grown, they took the initiative, they had loyalties to repay, they decided to find a way not even their Brave Leader Orga could see. Yamagi, too (he had almost finished preparing the boosters by the time they finished telling the plan to Orga). Orga's stance when thanking them is not lost on me: he's taller, but bent his knees to deepen his bow, to underline just HOW MUCH he's grateful to them.

* I just noticed for the first time: the Ship-City of Gjallarhorn has a super long ramp... probably a mass driver capable of putting small ships and MS into space (like the Mass Drivers in Victory). Neat detail (it will probably never ever become relevant, I just appreciate this bits of worldbuilding put in the background by the designers).

* McGillis has contacted "his comrades"... I assume that's the people preparing the Baal, since it's now practically official.

* Julieta has been witnessing Iok's "style of noble command" and boy is she unimpressed. Even someone like her, driven by an unhealthy devotion born from a life of indoctrination is disgusted (maybe subconsciously, at least at first, when she asks to sortie with the Julia I believe also to distance herself from that bridge and Iok).

* Lafter: "I'll protect my family", wiping her tears away. And later on, all her combat. She is FIERCE and she being a pretty blonde with heart-shaped earrings NEVER puts her status as an ace pilot in question.

* The little exchange between Naze and Amida about how men's obvious lies... and how a woman that really loves them sees through. He only says "She sees through everything, uh?". Sigh.

* Barbatos stripped down to the frame, again! We already saw the previews of the Rex and it looks cool... hope to see it ready in the next episode (probably after another narrative time jump).

* Iok. Fucking Iok. Ignoring surrender signals, shooting on civilians and employing forbidden WMDs. Fucking Iok. That was some fierce Julieta side-eye and shade on the bridge.

* The Dainsleif Graze and their spike-holding companions: will we see some P-bandai of these? Or possibly the components will come out in a future HGIBA addon package.

* By the way... the purple IO Shiden looks very nice. I'm considering a repaint in my future...

* The Checkov's Combat Mode Bridge...

* The Reginlaze Julia. It indeed looks pretty badass and I like its spikyness and its whipswords.

* The combat between Amida and Julieta... YES. Amida is piloting an old model, vs the top-notch new monster... and Julieta still can't beat her. Hell, she even perceives how Amida considers her little more than a nuisance, a disturbance to the mission.

* The shot right through one of the barges. Thanks for the kick in the feels, it's not like at this point I was sobbing.

* ALL of Akihiro and Lafter's exchange. They are cute af. And Akihiro is still a clueless dumb oaf (and still the comic relief).

* Badass Ride Mode: ON! His "little moment" was nice too: I love how he looks up to Azee, his teacher and instructor, and she IS proud :)

* Did I mention how fucking Iok must die? I did, uh...

* SHINE ON AMIDA! Dammit for a second I almost hoped, even if I knew I shouldn't have.

* ...and Naze's last hurra. Thwarted. Damn.

* I wonder if those are purely supposed to be metaphorical ghosts of the two lovers together forever, or are they similar to the afterlife newtype ghosts. Probably the former, though Julieta seemed to have a newtype perception of Amida's death herself, earlier.

* The tears. All the tears. Lafter's desperate wailing, but also Azee, too reserved to show herself cring even if she's alone in her MS. All the rest...

* Orga's offscreen "Bro...". Fuck I'll start crying again.

* And next episode, the funeral. Despite Naze giving back his fraternity cup it looks like Teiwaz will give them an official ceremony.

* And bad-fashion-Teiwaz-guy is on the list with Iok. I hope he gets his ass beat.


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