Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans season 2
Enjoyed the first season of “Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans”, although it has its share of flaws like most mecha anime, do like how this recent entry in the Gundam franchise handled its core themes, developed its characters and offered a darker and more gritty approach to its Gundam style story.
Was looking forward to this second season after the first season stopped right at a pivotal point. Whereas too many such shows tend to be rather black and white, “Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans” more successfully balances between such simplistic extremes, instead showing that the reality of war, politics, or people and their desires are rather grey.
Also appreciated that next to having characters with sufficient depth to make them interesting, “Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans” showed that the protagonists’ victory at the end of the first season came at a cost.
Whether it is the interesting evolution of pacifist Kudelia who was forced make shady deals to achieve enough power to stay alive and pursue her ideals, to her having to come to terms with the bloodshed that ensued because of the ideals she so vehemently pursued. Or ace pilot Mikazuki, a hard working child-soldier who remains a detached, cold-blooded killer that pays a hefty price for the power he unlocks while piloting his Gundam. It is rare for a Gundam series to cripple or permanently injure its main protagonist such, something that is usually reserved for the villains.
Am very curious where the show intends to take his character as there is tremendous potential to make him a fallible hero with a more muddled, reprehensible persona. Whereas Mikazuki and Setsuna from “Gundam 00” have a similar starting point, somehow have the feeling that “Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans” will take Mikazuki’s character in the opposite direction as Setsuna.
Next to the usual pitfalls of a Gundam anime, for me personally the biggest let down of “Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans” is the rather mediocre animation. While some scenes and key frames showcase good animation, it regrettably remains mediocre overall, never approaching the level of “Mobile Suit Gundam: Thunderbolt” or “Gundam Unicorn”.
Still, do recommend this show to any mecha fan as it promises to be one of the better Gundam series out there. Although some Gundam enthusiasts may be surprised by the design style of the show’s mobile suits, the lack of energy beam weapons and focus on melee combat.