Mobile Suit Gundam Iron-Blooded Orphans Review — B+

Orphans fight in Gundams, everybody dies.

This was easily the best non-Build Fighters Gundam since Turn A. It moves away from the angsty teenage brat drama that has dominated much of the series in favor of bringing the focus to a group of protagonists, to what is essentially a mercenary band of outcasts who have banded together to survive.  It’s still essentially a coming of age story, but the main focus is not on coming of age as individuals, but coming of age as a group. It hits much closer to home than previous Gundam shows, at least for me, since the characters are not self-righteous spoiled prats, they’re just doing what they have to in order to survive. And from the very start you know that this story is not going to have a happy ending. Many of the episodes hit brutally hard— I will confess that multiple episodes brought me to tears.

I loved the love triangle, the show had some serious balls there. And the whole sense of manliness that pervades the show— always walking forward no matter what, the short-temperedness of the characters, their awkwardness and fear towards women— the viewer knows this is all going to come to bite them in the ass, but it still portrays their efforts in a sympathetic, albeit realistic light, and partially vindicates their hard-headedness. Like Turn A, the focus is mainly on the politics and relationships, with the battles serving to punctuate these.

In short, it was a great Gundam. I’m undecided if this or Zeta is now my second-favorite after Turn A.

  • Storytelling – B – Very engaging, made me cry.
  • Voice – A – Love the aesthetic of Tekkadan and the universe itself.
  • Characters – A – Big cast, all have big impacts and strong identities.
  • Attention Grab – B – Did have some less engaging parts towards the middle.
  • Production – B – Looks good.
  • Overall -B+

Recommendations – Turn A Gundam, Diebuster

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