Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans Episode 16 - Revolutionary Girl Kudelia

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Sad, innit? All Kudelia wants to do is go to Earth and have her idea of a revolutionary time, but instead of that she’s feeling so honestly attacked right now. What could’ve been a Velvet Revolution for her turned out to be more a Tiananmen Square with armed unions. We’re also exposed to how entrenched Gjallarhorn is in controlling the flow of information. While not as all encompassing as Veda is in Gundam 00 Season 2, they do a well enough job (if this episode is any indication) of fabricating terrorist events of their own doing and pinning it on anybody that stands in their way. Obviously, this means by episode’s end we’ve got a bunch of dead union members out on the streets, and due to last week’s episode and the fact this episode is named after here, Fumitan croaks after defending Kudelia from a sniper’s bullet.

It would’ve been nice if the events shown here were not telegraphed to great detail the past two episodes. Alongside the week hiatus it has been essentially a month or so of build up for the show, and the eventual payoff is a predictable affair. Important question is: why spend that amount of time on people we do not really care for and who will eventually die? The Tekkadan members on Dort 3 spends their time trying to find Kudelia and steer clear of the situation, Kudelia is in a daze in her attempts to find Fumitan, and Fumitan is busy pondering her little crisis of conscience. One of the initial appeals of this show is the active stance that Tekkadan takes in carving their path to the world. Yet these past three episodes have left them, and by extension the audience, in a powerless position, incapable of working effectively as the world slowly goes to Hell. It’s not only frustrating but y’know… kinda boring. It’s my hope that as mobile suits FINALLY clash in the next episode, they’ll have the resolve to make a mad rush to the Earth Sphere. Gjallarhorn, Nobliss, and even Teiwaz now, are against them. They better get cracking or die.

Even so, this episode is saved by Fumitan’s crisis of conscience, and her eventual sacrifice, pegging her as the first major casualty for Tekkadan. Fumitan for the most part is a character I did not care about TOO much. Initially in the first part of the series, which showed her being a mole for Nobliss, I thought (and have stated such in the past) she would be the one to put Mika on the path of a Simon when she kills his Kamina, Orga. It turns out; she’s more along the lines of a hardened ward who softens because of a certain idealistic person they’re looking out for. So compound that with her duties as Nobliss’s mole, you know that shit is gonna get real and probably fatal for her when the time comes. She sells it though by the way the show allows her past with Kudelia to shine through. What began as resentment of a naïve Earth girl who Fumitan hoped would become desensitized and cynical to the sufferings of the Martians, turns into a deep love and respect for her. Her final moments with the girl she thought she would betray is handled perfectly, as she makes peace with Kudelia and whatever events in the past that helped define the two’s relationship.

That’s also sad, innit? The events you predict will happen in the episode come to be, but even so, you still feel a lump in your throat when that kind of death plays out.  I just hope they run with it next episode, and thank God this isn’t Gundam SEED Destiny where after a ‘major’ death at the end part of the series, the following episode was a recap.

Iron-Blooded Notes:

  • Guess that tan-coloured mobile suit in the OP isn’t a new Gundam, but the refurbished (or Rebaked anyway if translations are an indication), Gundam Gusion. Akihiro isn’t an Ugly Person so it must’ve been decided the UGUP principle (Ugly Gundams for Ugly People) was not to be applied to him.
  • Luckily for the series, it looks like we’ll be having a second season of these guys. Hopefully, the lull that was these past few weeks matter in the scheme of things now that we have more episodes.
  • Apparently there is another elite military force in the show, the Earth-based Arianrhod. So I take it their motto is: Fear the White Dick of Justice?
  • Lord help Kudelia when she finds out Atra got the shit beat out of her because she tried to defend her last episode.
  • It’s also perplexing that with their technology, the world of IBO doesn’t really know the true face of Kudelia. Is it because of Gjallarhorn’s control of media, or something else entirely?