In this second series of Iron-Blooded Orphans (which I'll refer to as IBO for the remainder of this review), Tekkadan serve as bodyguards to a new organization created by Kudelia to help restore the independence of Mars while also contending with the remnants of Gjallarhorn, when the military organization's credibility to the masses became damaged following the events of the first series. However as the series progresses, multiple parties are able to exploit Tekkadan's brutal reputation on the battlefield to decredit them and cause things to go on a downward spiral for the group as the series progresses.
IBO's second season will perhaps become remembered in time among Gundam fans as one of the more darker and bittersweet entries in the franchise to date, and for good reason. The first series established Tekkadan as a team of tragic anti-heroes consisting mostly of child mercenaries who knew only how to fight throughout nearly their entire lives and sought to break out for themselves as an independent entity by taking on the job of protecting Kudelia to get her to Earth and reveal the corruption of Gjallarhorn. As mercenaries, they are not hesitant to kill any enemies that get in their way and will strike up deals with any party or organization that will assure them success, hence their dealings with Teiwaz and Gjallarhorn's McGillis Fareed.
In the second series, Tekkadan have become instant celebrities to the people of Mars for their exploits in exposing Gjallarhorn's corruption. While Orga and the other members hope this would allow them to become an honest business due to their association with Kudelia, their brutal reputation among their enemies and the dealings they made with questionable entities eventually comes back to haunt them in later episodes. Through complicated manipulations and politics, Tekkadan's public reputation among the masses eventually becomes tarnished and the associations they established with questionable parties unravel. While I won't spoil too much else of what happens with Tekkadan, all I will say is that the series returns to the days of older Gundam titles where you would never know who would wind up a victim of the travesty of war and IBO cruelly delivers on showing how Tekkadan's reputation eventually comes back to bite it hard.
Outside of its focus on Tekkadan, IBO also takes a decent amount of time to explore more about the complicated power structure within Gjallarhorn and further develop the character relationships within the series. The series devotes time to exploring McGillis' motives and past, which turns out to be a rather tragic one due to being an illegitimate child of one of Gjallarhorn's influential families. In addition, more of the power structure within the organization is explored with the Seven Stars, those making up the seven most influential families within the organization.
A number of the show's character relationships also have time to get further fleshed out and focused on. Some of them are on the romantic side and serve to show more of the human side to the mecha pilots of the series, this most notable in Mikazuki's relationships with Atra and Kudelia as he starts to better understand human social skills. Others serve to explore how character relationships have deteriorated due to the complicated manipulations that occurred in the ensuing conflict between Tekkadan and Gjallarhorn, this notable with McGillis as his manipulations lead his former friends in Gjallarhorn to show hostility toward him as they learn more about his actions and motives.
In terms of presentation, IBO's second season retains the high-quality visuals and fluid animation of its first series that made mecha action scenes a treat to see. This combined with the title's great musical composition within action and dramatic situations offers it one of the best overall presentations within the past year for an anime.
Overall, the second season of IBO is yet another excellent recent addition to the Gundam franchise as it offers a tragic and bittersweet end to the struggles of Tekkadan that will remind fans of older entries in the franchise coming from Yoshiyuki Tomino. A definite watch for fans of the Gundam franchise, provided you have already seen IBO's first season.
Rating: 9 of 10
Someday I’ll be gone To somewhere that we belong And God has never played his role 'Cause I’m the one who saves my soul It’s a perfect world we’re longing for
This ending was a bit polarizing between fans. I only seen a few Gundam titles, G, Wing, and recently 00 (when Crunchyroll added more Gundam to their library this past few months) I never knew older Gundam titles had bittersweet to sad endings.
So I assume older Gundam fans will enjoy but newer and younger ones won't as much.
I still enjoy the series and the ending as well as the themes it present. At the same time, it was hard to watch the heroes die and be smudged in history books while the antagonist got away with it and abolish child soldiers which brought in peace and equal rights which McGillis was fighting for.
Flaws for me was the inclusion of Mobile Armor (which I thought was cool and we might have Gundam Terminator), characters who may be your favorites but wasn't featured heavily: Kudelia, and decisions/plans characters made in season 2 which seems stupid even though it was supposed to be portrayed realistically
If I had to compare Iron Blooded to other Gundam titles, I think 00 had a more grey side and that you can sympathize with the antagonists except one person.
Old Man Dream: ...later titles in the Macross franchise can finally come stateside with all involved parties finally coming to a truce over how to handle things with the Macross trademark and all later anime in the franchise associated with it.
Apr 9, 2021 10:26:05 GMT
Taka: I see. A global release will benefit it. Gundam did pretty good. The only few franchises that are only popular in Japan but not popular in the west - Yokai Watch comes to mind.
Apr 10, 2021 1:55:16 GMT
Master Menos: F for Respects. DMX did all his work while suffering from a drug addiction, and I almost never knew until a point. I hope his next life treats him far better.
Apr 10, 2021 15:30:45 GMT
HungryWorld: Sorry for taking so long for the things i have to do, have been suffering from some health issues (including mental health deterioration). Anyways hope i can be a bit more active here soon enough once i am properly patched up again.
Apr 27, 2021 17:45:38 GMT
Taka: No worries, health, family, school, and work take priorities first.
Apr 28, 2021 7:41:52 GMT