Kidou Senshi Gundan – Tekketsu no Orphans – 11

There are no coincidences in space…

The feels were running pretty hot and heavy in this week’s episode of Tekketsu no Orphans, which still has all the earmarks of a story setting up for some major tragedy but has yet to really bring the hammer down.  The first requirement for any tragedy to work dramatically is a sense of consequence, and the series has done a pretty darn good job of establishing that. Now it’s really just a question, I think, of seeing what form the tragedy will take.

Remarkably, Takaki seems to have dodged the veritable forest of death flags he set waving with last week’s episode (up to and including the fact that he didn’t appear in the preview) but it was a near thing.  The attackers who put he and Akahiro in peril were another band of pirates called the Brewers, but the first point here is that their shock troops are yet another band of little boy soldiers with Ālaya-Vijñāna implants forced to work for the benefit of greedy adults.  There’s another salient point about these pirates, but we won’t learn it until late in the episode.

It’s certainly convenient for plot’s sake that one of the attacking pilots is none other than Akihiro’s little brother, Masahiro (Yamashita Seiichirou) – and not only that, he’s the one who grabs the wounded Takaki as a hostage.  It’s at this point all hell pretty much breaks loose, with the arrival of the boys’ leader Kudal Cadel (a pleasantly unhinged Fujita Yoshinori) and the fighting femmes from the Hammerhead.  It’s hard to see things between the brothers ending well, for now everyone limps back to their corner intact – though Masahiro has to endure a brutal beating from Kudal for his perceived failures on the battlefield.

Back on the Hammerhead there are lots of self-recriminations going around.  Stapleton manages to save Takaki, which only makes Kudelia feel more useless.  Kudelia is becoming a bit of a problem in that while her existence is a huge story driver, she herself isn’t doing much to drive anything.  I think it’s high time for her to stop saying she can’t do anything and do- well, anything.  Orga takes Stapleton’s critique that sailing without a ship’s doctor is a failure as a leader to heart, but he frankly should because he’s 100% right – even back to the days when naval warfare was conducted on sailing ships a doctor on board was a must.

It’s as this point that McGillis and Gaelio reenter the story, as usual Fareed makes this more interesting with his presence.  The interactions with Gaelio’s sister (his fiancee) are throwaway, but Fareed reveals that he was behind the pirate attack on the Hammerhead – and to some extent, why.  I still don’t see him as a force for evil in this series, or at least not simply that – he seems to have a genuine interest in returning Gjallarhorn to its days as a respected peacekeeper (his father is played by the great Hayami Shou, and seems to be part of the problem of corruption plaguing it) , and a delicate touch with how he handles his political and military affairs.  Kudelia is, of course, crucial to Fareed’s plans – in this sense like the human debris she’s joined her fate to in being a tool used by others to pursue their own ends, and one that longs to be more than that.

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8 comments

  1. B

    Thing is, I don't think there's much Kudelia can do until the gang reaches Earth. Her expertise lies in the intellectual matters of politics and socio-economics, not in the grim and gritty affairs of Tekkadan. Methinks part of her character arc will involve her literally dirtying her hands; as she is right now, she's still too polished to truly fit in with Atra and the boys, and she feels that isolation very keenly.

  2. F

    So far the biggest weakness of this series is the 'annoying high pitched kid' quota for every chapter. First with the smart guy's sisters and now the fiancee. But overall it's a good show.

    Somehow it feels like not even thinking about a doctor is consistent with Orga's character. I doubt their former owners gave a damn about slave health…

    That happy ending caught me off guard, oh the feels.

  3. I

    You don't like the kids? Gundam has had a history of realllly annoying child characters, but I find Cookie, Cracker, and Almiria all cute and enchanting. I find them so precious every time they come on screen, but maybe kids just aren't your thing? And I can understand that.

    I can also understand how a doctor would be difficult for Orga to find. I mean, they didn't have one on base at CGS it seems or they would have made him stay like they did with Dexter. However, they didn't have much money to hire one, and they needed to do the job to survive, so I can see how it was just not something Orga was able to do at the time. Plus, they were probably told to take care of their own wounds most of the time, so he was probably used to that.

  4. D

    That convienient reveal about Masahiro was certainly the biggest mistake this show has done so far. There's no point in engaging a "renowned" writer if all we get is this sort of forced drama which seems like it was pulled off nowhere last week.

    The rest of the episode was competent save the irritating amount of off-model faces and animation mistakes. McGillis' part was nice, but his talk about political reform fels baseless since we know so little about how operates Gjallahorn and the Earth blocks (the fact that the organisation is run by seven families and that both Fareed and Bauduin are part of it wasn't even brought up until know, pretty strange given how much time those two got on screen).

  5. C

    "Yeah so I've never told anyone this, but I have actually have a little otouto… WELL WHADDDAYAKNOW, HERE HE IS, JUST WHILE I WAS TALKING ABOUT HIM!"

    That was terrible.

    Kudelia is really trying my patience. We're in the 11th episode and she's still going "waaahh i'm so useless." She's become the worst character.

  6. R

    Oddly enough, Im fine with the subplot with Masahiro. Probably because I was already expecting it. The only thing I missed was him not being the Gusion's pilot.

    It wasn't an elegant turn, but it still led to interesting developments.

    But what I actually like here is that they actually made use of that detail of the mobile suits seemingly being on open communication channels (something present since ep 1) to move this forward.

  7. E

    The show definitely has an air of tragedy to it, I've been prepared for some despair ever since Crank Zent was offed, but it's been quite curious how easy life has been for our main cast so far. I'd say that Akahiro's friend has the biggest chance to die right now(next to Akahiro ofc), that's a really dangerous relationship to have with cold blooded killers on both sides…

  8. R

    Not that I totally dig Almiria's introduction, but considering the themes of the series, and its extensive use of slice of life moments, I see it as an interesting reminder that, yes, even Macky has a life outside of military duties (guy even has an unflattering childish nickname now). This could put an interesting light into whatever motivations and plans he has later on in the series.

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