Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans Episode 11 – UGUPs strike again.

On this week’s episode, we’re introduced to the Gundam Gusion. While still not recognized as a Gundam by our motley crew, it shows that despite the bulky build it’s a force to be reckoned with, easily outmaneuvering and withstanding any form of punishment dealt by the Barbatos. Impressive as those action sequences are, they pale (not really, but work with me here) in comparison to the continuation of what I just recently dubbed: UGUP. What is UGUP? It’s an acronym: Ugly Gundams for Ugly People. Take a look at the pilot of the Gusion: Kudel Cadel.

Isn’t that a face only a mother would love? And by mother, I would mean a mother that was already dead, locked in a coffin, and buried six feet under. Of course since he’s ugly, he gets an ugly Gundam. I know there’s some dichotomy between good and evil going on here, so that the good guys get the handsome Gundams and the bad guys get the ugly Gundams, but still how dare they? Gundams like the Gusion deserve handsome, emotionally-adjusted, pilots. Just cuz your suit is ugly doesn’t mean you have be an ugly person inside. Break out the shell! Embrace the differences and promote cross-aesthetic unity between the aesthetically pleasing and not when it comes to mobile suits and their pilots!

But anyway…

Here’s another example of Tekkadan snapping victory from the jaws of defeat. Only this time, the jaws manage to take a bite out of them by severely injuring Takaki, who was with Akihiro on patrol. This shedding of blood and fear of demise shakes Tekkadan, but especially Orga and Akihiro. Merribit, their new on-ship Turbine liaison, brings to light (something I didn’t notice before) that the Isaribi is without any doctor. Her ‘scolding’ of Orga not being a good boss in providing Tekkadan with that very obvious necessity, unnerves him a bit, and Naze backs her up. Akihiro is, in rather quick fashion, confronted with his lost-lost younger brother Masahiro, who works for antagonists du jour: The Brewers. Their first encounter after being sold off is quite brief, and it is unknown if Masahiro will die horribly, but it fits well in following the theme of the episode title “Human Debris”. Juxtaposed with the kindness of Tekkadan, who will rally with one another regardless of whether one is Debris or not, is the brutal kill-or-be-killed world of the Brewers. It is also quite uncertain how much darker that world of Human Debris the Brewers perpetuate will get, but we’ll see once they get back into action next episode. I can’t wait.

Surprisingly, the show finally gets around to letting us see Earth as well as develop more of Gjallarhorn’s hierarchy. Apparently Macky (McGillis as referred to by his fiancée) and Bauduin are two of what are known to be the ‘Seven Stars’, an elite group of families that control Gjallarhorn. It reminds me a bit of the Orbital Knights in Aldnoah.Zero, except probably more well-written. The only part of Earth seen is the Gjallarhorn HQ, which is a very high-end future metropolis, and the opulent abode of Bauduin. Again the series does a good job at not painting Gjallarhorn as truly malevolent, given the way their business and pleasure is shown, never mind the innocence of Macky’s fiancée (and Bauduin’s sister), Almiria. This is especially noticeable on the former, given Macky’s lament on Gjallarhorn’s sphere of influence being weak enough to let people like Coral slip through. Bauduin opines how despite this, the current regime of the Earth is also what allows Gjallarhorn to retain its power. How on Earth (no pun intended) do they maintain its influence while reforming it from the inside? And what does Kudelia have to do with it?

The plot thickens, and Macky seems to be quite the frontrunner for Company Man of the Year.

Iron-Blooded Notes:

  • Given the design of the Brewers’s leader, I’m now getting Gargantia vibes from this show. If you haven’t seen that show by the way, I suggest you do.
  • I learned recently that Miss Sakura’s last name is “Pretzel”. Was her maiden name “Bagel” then?
  • Apparently Mika and Orga will be voiced by Kyle McCarley and Johnny Yong Bosch, respectively. The former I’m curious about, since he must be new around the animu voice acting parts. It’ll be interesting to watch an English dub of Gundam and Brad Swaile isn’t taking the reins again (yes yes even if he only did like… five roles as a Gundam pilot: Amuro (MSG, CCA), Setsuna (00), Quatre (Wing), Dearka (SEED/SEED Destiny), and Auel (SEED Destiny).
  • I like Almiria’s nickname for McGillis. So Imma gonna call him “Macky” from now on.


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