Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans

Alt title: Kidou Senshi Gundam: Tekketsu no Orphans

TV (25 eps)
2015 - 2016
Fall 2015
4.086 out of 5 from 5,901 votes
Rank #662
Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans

The Earth Sphere had lost its previous governing structure, and a new world was created under new systems of government. While a temporary peace had arrived, the seeds of a new conflict were being sown in the Mars Sphere, far away from Earth.

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Give me a Mecha with a giant ass spear, and make it a battered Gundam in the hands of slightly older children soldiers.  Oh, and give the title some sort of kick ass name with metal and some body fluid as the subtex. I must admit, I have been jonsing for a mecha title in the vein of more realistic mecha titles of yore, like Gundam 08th, Votoms, or maybe even Fang of the Sun Dougram. In fact, in the case of the last title mentioned, a desert wasteland is a perfect backdrop. Let's face it; Gundam has been stumbling about a bit lately.  Gundam Age was too glossy and cumbersome, Gundam G Recongusta caused more people to scratch their heads at, what the literal fuck is going on, and Gundam Build Fighters was fun and kind of cute, but felt like it was aimed at 10-13 year olds or 30-55+ modelers more than anything.  Even a welcome return to the link of the original Gundam with Unicorn left me sour with it's overly lengthy wait times between episodes.  Now this will be loaded with what makes a mecha title a mecha title. Big lumbering mecha, a hinging war based on colony vs the mother planet's rule. Most likely there will be a showcase fight every few episodes, and the heroes will be in possession of the ONE mecha that will be able to stand up to the bad forces, whatever they throw at it. In fact, this even borrows on the Original Mobile Suit Gundam, with a Frow Brow character who is enamored with the main star, and a trio of bad guys in mobile suits sent to cause trouble.  But, so far they are taking these well-worn stereotypes and handling them well enough that I want to see what happens next.  There is a nice piece added to this version of Gundam. The main characters of Mikazuki and Orga, play much like the older/younger brother style of friendship. It reminds me of the first Macross and the dynamic between Hikaru and Roy. For those of you who do not delve back to 80’s anime, a more recent comparison is Kamina and Simon in Gurren Laggen. The fact that these are child-soldiers also adds a bit of real-world feel to the mix. The princess character seems a bit like they shoe-horned a female character into the fray without giving her much to do but in the second half of the season she is given more to do more to do.  I still feel she was underdeveloped and that the title adds women just to further the plot.  Other secondarys such as the obligatory large guy and a set of children are all Ok but have a one dimentional feel to them. The kids have not become as annoying as the trio in the original Gundam, or the assholes that were in Eureka 7. Action…( yes this is not in the points scale, but it should be. Because damnit! This is a giant robot title) I am going to flutter this to a 8/10, possibly a 7.5 just because of the stall when they get to the ship full of drama, er, I mean women who have a pimp like captain. As for the animation of the action.  The CG mix of mecha, has really made such leaps from the days of Gundam Seed, where the CG looked jarring next to the hand painted Cel art.  It is fast furious and the Gundam itself looks intimidating. It is fun to lasso a rope onto and go for the ride.  Speaking of artwork, the animation itself looks solid. It obviously benefits from the deep pockets at Sunrise and the fact they milk Gundam for all the money it can give. The character designs are OK, but Orga has some annoying gravity defying hair. It might go down as one of the silliest hair-dos of all time. Sound? The voice acting is spot on, as the boy soldiers hae had enough with being abused and they act almost roboticly with aplomb. And, as for the rest? It has your standard wiz-bang sounds, but I especially enjoyed the bass in some of the fights. So, can it live through the season. Yes, is season 2 make it even better? Maybe, I have yet to finish it. Does it need a second season... kinda. I feel rushed at the end and left wanting.  7.5 for a good military romp. 

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