Yes we are going to talk about this.
Mobile Suit Gundam: IRON BLOODED ORPHANS has been the last major addition to the long running Gundam series that has helped fill the void that is the absence of Gundam from many anime seasons (Build Fighters don’t count).
Pretty much like every other Gundam show, IBO has left fans both dazzled and baffled with the show’s plot, as, while it did give some sort of satisfying end, there are a lot of story points that hasn’t really been explained in full, or are left hanging.
In a gist, IRON BLOODED ORPHANS, or IBO, is a story about the group, Tekkadan, a company built by what was previously deemed as “Human Debris”, or human beings that had a terrifying experience done on them enabling them to effectively pilot mobile suits by creating an active (an actual) link between the suit and its pilot, and how they rose from a ragtag group of contractors to a highly respected, and feared paramilitary organisation, that is of course up until they run into nasty company and ended up being manipulated politically which ultimately resulted to their deaths.
So, the good guys make the sacrifice, things move forward, a lot of people are happy, there are still unresolved conflicts, but I guess that’s that.
Now, fast forward, to about a year later the last episode of IBO and now we have a new spinoff, to help promote a video game, and of course more IBO kits, titled Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans – Urðr Hunt. Now it can be remembered that during one of the fan events for IBO, Kengo Kawanishi, voice actor for lead character Mikaziku Augus, did mention something about a movie for IBO and perhaps Urðr Hunt could be it, however, we can’t help but point out a few pro…thingies about this new project that doesn’t seem to fit well.
Urðr Hunt’s Timeline
According to official news releases, Urðr Hunt is set in the events that transpired between IBO’s Season 1 & Season 2, or the lost timeskip that supposedly detailed Tekkadan’s rise to power, albeit set in another part of the Solar System, Venus. The plot synopsis reads:
“News of Tekkadan’s exploits has also reached the ears of Wistario Afam, a youth born and raised at the Radonitsa Colony near Venus. Venus, which lost to Mars in the contest for development, is a remote frontier planet in which the four great economic blocs show little interest. It is now used only as a penal colony for criminals, whose inhabitants don’t even have IDs.Then Wistario, who hopes to change the status quo of this homeland, encounters a girl who claims to be the guide to the Urdr-Hunt.”
Okay, so Wistario and Mikazuki exists in the same universe, Wistario also has his own Gundam frame and they start a rebellion on Venus, pretty cool except that these events are not really mentioned, even in passing during the events of IBO Season 2. Sure we still got our share of planetary travel but most of it was concentrated between Mars and Earth, with Mars being the homebase of Tekkadan, and parts of the Jupiter system, homebase of Teiwaz. Although the original IBO series did mention that there were a total of 72 Gundam Frames used during the Calamity War, only a handful were featured during the course of the series, with the major one, the Barbatos being the made as the lead and titular mobile suit which leads us to wonder…
Why not focus on the Calamity War?
After the end of the main IBO series, and with the promise of a movie, many were speculating that perhaps the next IBO project would focus on the Calamity War that has been mentioned extensively all throughout the series. In IBO, the Calamity War is a catastrophic dispute between man and machine where constructs such as Mobile Armors started turning against humans, which in turn, had the humans, with Agnika Kaieru at the helm, create Mobile Suits which are known as the Gundam or Gundam frames. The effects of the Calamity War, then lead to rise of a power hungry organisation, Gjallarhorn, who saw to it that they are the rightful rulers of the human race and then became a central antagonist against Tekkedan in the IBO series. Having a Calamity War focused storyline might help fans understand the world of IBO more and would greatly expand the series’ story foundation as well as the ideological basis of its key characters, pretty much like what Origins is doing to UC 79.
Astaroth, Vual and Dantalion
Even before the idea of Urðr Hunt is released or teased to the audience, 3 IBO kits that were released during the course of Season 2 were introduced as part of the 72 Gundam frames that existed during the Calamity War, namely the Astaroth, Vual and Dantalion.
Each with their own design variant, these kits should have a story behind them (even though they might just be released for marketing kits, which is pretty much to be expected from a franchise about big robots), and that story is something that the fans should know and talk about. Astaroth was the first to receive a story adaptation via light manga, titled Mobile Suit Gundam IRON-BLOODED ORPHANS Gekko and has a timeline that lies close to the main IBO series which is 300 years after the dreaded Calamity War.
He’s a mob boss, he wears a white suit, and classy as hell, Naze Turbine, leader of the Turbine factions of Teiwaz, and also a central figure in the series more than deserves his own side story content, whether through series or OVA, with a plot that goes something along the line of how he became part of Teiwaz and founded the Turbines family. The harem mafia boss acted as a “big brother” the younger, and inexperienced Tekkadan crew and became pivotal to their rise in power.
Where the hell did Mikazuki come from anyway?
So far we have been talking about origins, and perhaps no origin story can be more satisfying than an origin story for the MC himself, the Gundam piloting, murdering badass that is Mikazuki Augus. Despite being a central character in the story, less effort has been made to really expand his life story with some big, unanswered questions such as how he ended up in Tekkadan, how he met Orga, what happened to his parents, and how was he able to survive, not one, but 2 Alaya-Vijnana operations, a hit or miss surgery that can sometimes lead to extreme scenarios such as total motor failure, or even death, and also, how did he become a near-heartless, and souless killing machine? WHO HURT HIM!!
You should still probably watch Urðr Hunt
Now, don’t get us wrong, we don’t wanna crap all over a show that hasn’t been released yet, nor do we aim to discourage people from watching it. For better or for worse, Urðr Hunt will become an integral part to our understand of the world and story of IRON BLOODED ORPHANS and would hope to expand what we know about the conflict, not just of mobile suits, but also of the ideals of the likes of Gjallarhorn, Tekkadan, Teiwaz and the other paramilitary and political entities that surround the show. We have our questions about it yes, and perhaps we’re looking for other content regarding IRON BLOODED ORPHANS, but hell, we’re still going to watch Urðr Hunt once it’s out.