Just when I think the episode will play as one big gigantic battle on Mars where Tekkadan and Macky get one big bloody nose, the series drops on the lore. Then, in lieu of an omnipresent narrator aware of past history (the one heard these days in the prologue only goes so far as last week), we have the characters in the show world building for us again. It has been a while since it dropped some major points in the past during the Calamity War, so what occurs in this episode must be welcomed with open arms.
Ugh, the scene I got this picture from invokes all sorts of dread for the upcoming future episodes. It bookends the episode, and we see a glimpse of what makes this Agnika Kaieru mean so much to Maccy. The political philosophy of this person is not only the foundation of the original Gjallarhorn, but one meant to create a way to maximize the happiness of the human condition. Unfortunately, this seems to also imply norms like child marriage and love with large enough age disparity can be made acceptable, given Almiria’s reaction after Maccy tells her this, as well as his response.
As per a usual intense episode with a lot of emotionally-crippling losses at hand, we get a wound licking episode the following week. And as per usual Iron-Blooded Orphans, it always has something interesting to be had with all its characters. We’ve ANOTHER timeskip (one month since the last episode), and the next moves are still being planned by both sides. It’s a nice enough dynamic in showing a lengthy passage of time, whereas in earlier Gundam shows it would either be a pretty linear day-by-day endeavour (the original, SEED, G, etc.) or as a big dramatic impact by way of a large time gap (00, Age).
This said, don’t do it TOO much, fam. Potential loss of ample character development and interaction.
Now this is the kind of balls to the wall action I wanted around the time of episode 3. The intensity and great choreography is there, but more importantly it has the emotional core and tension I thought was missing in the space battle. The initial fight, which had Maccy go up against Takaki and Aston, and be BESTED by both of them is a very good affair, and almost had me think at the time how he would taken down a peg and set back a few spaces by injury, capture, or maybe death.
Like the Edmonton battle before it, the battle in this episode starts in media res, taking place two weeks after the events that transpired in the previous show. Unfortunately for Takaki, Aston, and the rest of the Earth-based Tekkadan members, they’re smack dab in the kind of warfare they are not familiar with. It turns out I was wrong last week when I said the bearded man is another name for Kamen Galli-Galli, but the guy who’s now heading Tekkadan’s battle operations, Galan Mossa.
Ah, it is nice to finally have something to talk about now. By the skin of their teeth, Tekkadan captures the leader of the Dawn Horizon Corps, and routs the attempt by the WDoJ/Arianrhod from stealing their ‘kill’ so to speak. This is a sound victory on Tekkadan’s part, since the inclusion of a third party in the previous episode’s affairs heightens the tension. This is most manifest in Julieta, who not only gives Mika a workout in terms of combat skills, but also comes off (in my mind), as a female version of him: eccentric to a fault, and fiercely loyal to her superior like Mika is to Orga. Whether this will change any dynamic between him, Kudelia, and Atra in the case he ever meets her is still up in the air, but I cannot help but see some similarities to them based on their disposition in combat.