It’s fall in Japan. That means sweet potatoes, moon-viewing parties, and of course, fall anime. I mulled over what anime I’m most looking forward to this season. Never did I think the day would come that I would say that the anime I was looking forward to the most was a Gundam anime.
Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans was a series I initially watched with much reservation, my main hook for the series being voice actor Kengo Kawanishi (you can read more about that in my article about my first experience with Gundam here). However, as I watched the series, I found myself being more and more drawn into the story. Even for those not interested in mecha, there’s plenty to enjoy: political drama, deep and interesting characters, beautiful visuals and designs and, of course, fan service for the ladies with shirtless men piloting the robots.
By the end of the first season, the anime had me; I was a fan. Perhaps this is what led me to attending the Japanese premiere of the second season. Watching the first episode there only confirmed confidence in my choice ofMobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans’ second season as my choice for my most-anticipated anime of the fall.
Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans follows the exploits of child soldiers who live on Mars. They were forced to take on this occupation because of the poor economic state of the planet, as its resources are being exploited by the people of Earth. The protagonist is Mikazuki, a Gundam pilot. He follows his friend Orga, the leader of the child soldiers, and obeys Orga’s every command as they escort Kudelia, a Martian aristocrat and advocate for the independence of Mars, to Earth. After losing many comrades across the first season, the group finally delivers her to Earth. Things are expected to change for the better.
However, the second season shows us that things might not be as peaceful as they seem at the end of the 25th episode: It looks like there’s going to be a lot more drama and action to have to take in.
Now that the world has realized the value of child soldiers and mobile suits, the numbers of both have increased. Although Kudelia seems to have ushered in a new wave of change in the world, there are those who wish to stop her, and it’s up to Orga and his band of child soldiers in “Tekkadan” to protect the politician.
Orga’s position has also changed by the second season: while he’s a tactician who puts himself on the battlefield in the first season, he’ll be seeing more desk work at the start of the second season. I’m interested as to how this new job he’s undertaken will change him as a character and how it affects those around him as well.
I have a feeling that Orga’s business dealings with child soldiers will lead to something irredeemable.
Will the obedient Mikazuki finally have to break away from Orga in order to fight for what is right? Or will another important comrade die in the crossfire between the Tekkadan and the tyrranical “peace-keeping force” Gjallarhorn that seems to have something sinister in the works? There are endless possiblities waiting for us this season and I’m ecstatic (and somewhat nervous) to see what’s ahead.
©Sotsu, Sunrise, MBS