That was every bit as bleak as I expected it to be.
We seem to be headed towards a downbeat finish in Tekketsu no Orphans, with Biscuit’s death having sent the series down a dark path indeed. Truthfully this was probably going to happen all along, because it’s clear that Orga was in way over his head, and he basically had two types of so-called allies – those who cared about Tekkadan’s interests but were basically incompetent (Kudelia) and those who were competent but basically intent on using Tekkadan for their own gains (everybody else).
I’m not buying this miracle transformation of the preposterous Carta Issue into a sympathetic character, but she dd serve as a useful vehicle to show just how fucked up Mika is (I was going to say “has become”, but I honestly don’t think Biscuit’s death changed him that much) and how far astray the rest of Tekkadan has veered. The Iron-blooded orphans really are a band of lost boys now, in more ways than one.
One interesting takeaway from the flashback sequence – even if it failed to generate much sympathy for Carta – was that there is a measure of personal loyalty in McGillis Fareed. Yes he’s using his childhood friends to serve his larger goals, but he does feel some sense of connection to them, even gratitude. Clearly McGillis played the outsider role as a child, someone looked down upon by the other highborn children. And that drove him to become the insurgent he is now, and those two were his lone allies in those days. Still, this seems more along the lines of guilt feelings than any real hesitation – Freed’s eyes are still very much on the prize, whatever the cost.
With the Tekkadan it’s really become all about revenge (the same thing that’s driving Ein and Carta, of course), which effectively makes them no better than anyone else in this story. And in pushing forward into a situation where he’s going to use the younger children in combat, Orga is validating every argument Biscuit made against his plans – an irony that’s most certainly not unintentional. Again, all this was probably inevitable but it’s still rather sad to see things descend so deep so quickly.
Carta’s issue of a challenge to Tekkadan comes off as pretty silly, but it’s still a striking moment when Mika responds by ambushing her royal guard and massacring them in cold blood. The challenge might be silly and Carta has no right to expect a temporary truce, and this is war (and not one that Tekkadan started) but still, I do sort of agree with Meribitt that what Mika does here just feels wrong. And that just because boys too young to understand the decision they’re making say they want to fight and die that mans you should let them do it. Ultimately, the responsibility for their deaths – and all the tragedies about to befall Tekkadan – rests on Orga’s shoulders. He may be too young himself to have taken this role, but take it he dd – and he has to live with the fruits of his actions. It’s not going to be pretty, that’s pretty much a lock.