(At the time of writing, the second season is 11 episodes in.)
The more the series progresses the more it tries to victimize the Tekkadan as people who are being used by everyone around them, there are no decent adults who are genuinely their ally except Naze who has placed an unusual level of faith towards them just as McGillis does. The problem with no other adult being a decent human being is that it becomes hard to want to see the story from another perspective because the only thing you are going to get is a person fueled by greed. It's
pretty much impossible to differentiate what kind of person the boss of the Teiwaz is from any of the Gjallarhorn leaders because they're all the same: greedy old men who want more power.
On the opposite spectrum of goals we have the Tekkadan, who want more power so they can have farm and live peacefully...or something. The predictable and way too telegraphed deaths of multiple of its characters doesn't help how the series really wants to drive in how unfortunate their situation is and how they're always being played with. A simple solution would have been to introduce other factions who were treated similarly and actually focus on them or even just their interactions with the Tekkadan because at this point it just seems like they're the only ones who have it that bad.
From it's allusions to Jeanne D'Arc to its aforementioned predictable deaths, this anime lacks any kind of subtlety or even expects ay kind of intelligence from its viewers, one of the most recent episodes has a scene where a woman from Gjallarhorn spends a minute theorizing why a certain character wears a mask and is actually spot-on, this takes away any opportunity for the person watching to analyze or interpret the masked man themselves. It even goes very over-dramatic for the most banal of scenes, including one where the leader of the Tekkadan refuses to eat his food microwaved because "he just deals with whatever in front of him as it is" as if any viewer would actually consider this a good reason to not get off their ass and heat up their meal for 20 seconds, though with how highly rated this series is maybe that is the case.
The mobile suit designs are the worst they've ever been, from the most boring mass-produced unit "Graze" to even the main unit "Barbatos", who is a an anorexic sheep. even the gimmick of it constantly being refitted is pointless and unmemorable because the things that distinguish each different form aren't important and only used once or twice. It's sad to see G-Reco with it's great designs and most inventive main unit be a flop while this is even considered a success.
G-Tekketsu is a very boring war drama, the kind where there is visibly only one side to root for, that side being the oppressed children of mars who were treated as space trash, other than that there isn't any complexity or subtlety to them because the anime itself goes out of it's way to explain exactly how the characters feel and what drive their actions, even if those actions make absolutely no sense, leaving nothing to the viewer to chew on. It fails to create in interesting world that has different nuanced factions that aren't just there for the plot: I still can't tell what exactly Teiwaz do when their not gathered at the table doing nothing but drive the plot in a predictable way.
S2 is about Tekkadan creating a future they can never belong in.
Tekkadan are child soldiers. Killing is more natural to our protagonists than a full stomach. This season shows them feeling awkward and neutered as a legitimate organization. They struggle with reconciling their newfound joy for life with being the single-minded killing machines and human debris that made them so successful at warfare in the first place.
When the friction comes to a head, a theme emerges: to create the utopia they dream of, our heroes will have to become villains that can have no place there.
Peace, understanding, and other such ideals that Kudelia had
touted in S1 become more and more of a distant memory. All sides increasingly succumb to bloodlust, the desire for vengeance, and the allure of overwhelming force as the true bringer of change.
The fights are more brutal, making use of heavy melee weapons like clubs, maces, and a giant wrench. Suits do not explode when destroyed, instead they lie lifeless with crushed cockpits and disfigured faces. One fight has Mika acting with demonic fury, the overcharged Barbatos continuing to rip and tear even as its face is torn open and flames burst from its mangled arm.
S2 is about the lengths Orga is willing to go to achieve his goal. If Orga has doubt about the blood he must spill, then Mika is his certainty. To overturn the existing order and destroy everything so that something new can bloom. To become the sacrifice on the altar of Kudelia's dream.
"Forget about past ties, we are Tekkadan. If we're headed in one direction, we don't need any reason. Crush them to the very last bit."
Okay so basically Gundam:Iron blooded orphans was pretty good, but Iron blooded orphans season 2? Now thats just terrible AND I MEAN TERRIBLE, first off we gundam lovers watch gundam for the action and romance right? And the action being the main gundam guy slaughtering 1000000000 movile suits in a blink of a eye with eye appealing effects and slicing and dicing and gun firing explosions, well dont expect any of that in this anime because there are fights but like its 1 overpowered gundam with 1 mobile suit with the power equivilent to a gundam with 10 mobiles suits and a annoying ass enemy
character (just know that this anime also has annoying enemy characters which make you want to break their soul but when this anime does make it happen its not as satisfying as you would want it to be) with a pretty good leader vs. The main group because i guess the anime wants to focus more on the group than the main guy and i can see that since the main guy litterally has no emotions at all, also another terrible thing is that the whole anime is 1 guy beating 10 mobile suits with a hammer rod like thing when if he had a sword he couldve sliced the mobile suits making less un needed deaths because theres only like 3 good deaths so far out of the 10 deaths that couldve been more dramatic. Another factor why this anime makes me sick is that THE DAMN ANIME SHOULDNT BE CALLED GUNDAM ITS JUST ANOTHER MECHA ANIME and what i mean by that is gundam anime are where the gundam LOOKS LIKE A GUNDAM, The person using the gundam freaken kills everything in sight and wants to stop war but no this guy fights because he follows this leader who says one thing then out of nowhere he does the exact opposite and which results in the main guy killing 4 mobile suits which takes a whole episode by the way to end 1 little fight that probably couldve been reduced to 5 mins instead 18 mins. Also I mentioned "looks like a gundam" and what i mean by that is the main movile suit in the anime is legit the ugliest main mobile suit ive seen in any mecha anime, like its terrible the enemy and even a side guy has a better looking machine than the main guy and the other mobile suits look like gundams meanwhile barbatos looks like a machine from some knock off mecha anime trying to be gundam. So this is my review for the season 2 and yes season 1 was pretty good but season 2 is just terrible and destroyed my hype and expectations for this anime as a whole and in all honestly the anime play of characters is pretty bad and the satisfaction of dead annoying enemies and feels of dead favorable characters is rarely there while other gundam series give the satisfaction of death of enemies and feels favorable characters. I guess after releasing my anger on this anime I can see that the thing this anime lacks is good character development and disgraces gundam series in a whole because gundam at least to me have AMAZING character development which intrigues me to keep watching. So yeah I guess you can like this anime but honestly compared to the other gundam series this one has to be one of the badder ones.
The second season of Iron-Blooded Orphans is a disjointed sequel that is disappointing to say the least. None of the emotional weight that the first season carried managed to make its weight into the second season. Rather than being a meaningful continuation of a remarkable series, IBO S2 ends up becoming a predictable series that at times can almost seem like a chore to watch.
My biggest complaint would be the show’s attempts to generate an emotional response. In the first season, the audience was introduced to a group of battle-hardened child soldiers bent on forging their own path. And like
almost any other story in the same vein, there is tragedy and death along the way. While this aspect of IBO continues on in the first season, IBO S2 suffers from the problem of creating tragedy for the sake of tragedy.
And yes, this is Iron-Blooded Orphans, so expect protagonists to die as well.
Whereas the first season had Tekkadan members die in order to create meaningful plot development, the second season feels rather empty when it comes to its attempt at creating emotional and poignant events.
For instance, when characters die, their deaths cease to have an impact beyond the scope of maybe one or two episodes after.
Another problem would be the way Tekkadan’s growth as a mercenary outfit is handled. The boss, Orga, constantly doubts his own ability to lead. And although this is a very logical flaw to have in a character thrust in an unfriendly world, it becomes rather annoying when these flaws are mentioned in almost every single episode. Many of the great characters of Tekkadan have become relegated to being tools for the writers to directly tell the audience how Orga is developing as a character.
Character development should be implicit, rather than directly stated. We don’t need characters literally laying it out for the audience in order for us to see that characters have changed. We don’t need three minutes of dialogue about how the crew members think that so-and-so has changed as a person. That’s just lazy writing if anything.
So basically, if you thought Eugene was a great character in the first season, prepare to be disappointed. His main role is going to be simply reminding you of how Orga’s changing as a leader.
Finally, a huge problem I noticed was how plot twists or surprises seem either artificial and / or obvious. You’ll notice what I mean as soon as the character of Vidar is introduced. If you are seriously surprised to find out who he is later on in the season, then you are really not paying any attention.
Now let’s move on to some positives.
The music is fantastic. One of my favorite songs perhaps this anime season would be the second ED, being Freesia by Uru.
Animation is good, but nothing extraordinary.
Voice acting is as good as the previous season.
To conclude, IBO S2 is a heap of disappointment. The plot’s problems make it hard for me to give it any score higher than a 6.
I wrote this review just a few episodes shy of the finale. Perhaps my opinion will change if for whatever reason IBO manages to pull off an amazing finale.
Before writing this review, i'd need to clarify some information regarding my standpoint as an audience: A
1. This is my FIRST Gundam. So i can't really tell the different between the art and the story between this and the previous gundams. So don't expect something like "This is the best/worst gundam ever out of me". ALSO, if you learned enough Psychology you'd know that human has tendency to have emotional attachment to the FIRST VERSION of something that they LIKE/LOVE. For example, if you listened to Michael Buble's Home FIRST and loved it, you would not like West Life's version as much. The same logic
applies to the reverse case when you listened to West Life first. Thus, it is possible that i'd have higher opinion on IBO than your beloved Gundams, and pardon me for lacking of Gundam-culture. In return, i'd keep my review as neutral as possible.
2. I always appreciate the CONSISTENCY the animes when the season 2's on par with, or better than season 1. It is extremely difficult to keep surpassing. Remember, IBO ss2 served as a CONTINUATION of one storyline, which mean it is not meant to SURPASS the story of first season, but meant to CONNECT with the first season into a GRAND STORYLINE - ONE ANIME (This logic does not apply to all the animes, obviously. But in the case of IBO, it does). In short, DEMANDING for SS2 to have BETTER story than SS1, to me, sounds nothing more than a load of bull spouted by a bunch of ungrateful fcks.
Now, for the review.
The first strong point of IBO (Both SS1 and SS2, as i said) is itself being a symphony of battles/Wartime and short breathe of Peace. If you read a lot of wartime literature (I was born in Vietnam, so there's a lot of those in our literature), you'd see that this the War-Peace blend that this anime maintained is close to, if not to say, perfect at a masterpiece level. Comparing to Code Geass or Aldnoah: Zero, IBO is just of another level in this particular department. Basically, Adnoah: Zero and Code Geass both created a good proportion of war but the variety of characters available and the depth at which each characters are portrayed are just not enough to create a good War-Peace blend. On the other hand, IBO have multiple characters sharing the role of the first-person view and main character and that's what make the anime's so dam good.
The second strong point lies in the many faces these anime characters that this anime portrayed. The number of characters having a relatively far personality development is absolutely phenomena. We have multiple 1st-person seats: From the main hero Mikazuki, to the ones have their loves and siblings and comrades die in the war, ones who could have separated themselves from the war, and the ones who are obsessed with the war. Most of the characters are developed just perfectly deep enough. And the romance factors, little as they are, shine like flowers blooming from the iron armor of the Isarabi, along with family love, and comrades' bonds. At the same time, all of those flowers of different circumstances and lives are connected with the bloodline of fate they shared together: The thing most people would perceive as these kids' naivety and shallowness is exactly the kind mindset they need in wartime, especially as the underdogs with no chance of victory. Again, it comes back my background: As i mentioned earlier, I read a lot of Vietnamese wartime literature and this psychology - what's called "naivety", "stupidity" or "madness" by the enemy, and called "Patriotism" and "Sacrifice" by the Vietnamese, is simply ubiquitous, and overly familiar. This is what it looks like from the perspective of the underdogs. In order to win, they have to let themselves be brainwashed. They need to fight with a few hundred, or thousands, percent of what they have. IOB is a masterpiece at portraying wartime, that could easily shy Aldnoah: Zero and Code Geass.
In short, this is, in my opinion, absolutely a masterpiece among war/military animes. The character's development, the comrade bonds, the wartime romance and the psychological progress of each characters have never been this close to perfectly developed, given the story of the entire anime and the background of the characters (both season 1 and 2). The story, as most people would say, predictable. But it doesn't have to be overly complex. Sometimes, simple story is needed provide the perfect environment for many other perspectives of an anime to shine.
Iron Blooded Orphans Season 2 (IBO S2) has already surpass the expectation. I have watched Gundam since Wing until today (IBO S2). Sometimes, i'll go to the classic one (Gundam, Zeta, ZZ, G-Gundam). But, this series really exceed my expectation. Gundam series didn't just about someone piloting giant robots fight and kill each other. There's always a deep moral value in every series, the political aspect, drama, and conflict around the main protagonist as the main dish of Gundam series. Love stories around the characters on stories is just like it's garnish.
On several years, the quality of Gundam series
are under my expectation since AGE and *the worst one* G Reconguista. But, thanks to IBO the Gundam series are back on it's feet again. The 1st season of IBO is just like the appetizer for the main dish in this 2nd season.
Story: more darker, the conflict were more complicated, and the "feels" in season 2 are everywhere. The plot hole of the 1st season almost covered by this season.
The stories started when Tekkadan has been recognized as a legitimate organization. Not just ordinary organization, this season they deepen the main theme of this series, FAMILY. Orga, as their leader is trying to find a place and future where they can live happily ever after. But, the conflicts that revolve around them can't let it happen in subtle ways. Of course, the blood and the brutality of this series are increased. The weakest plot in this season stories are Mika character development (although he's kuudere) and the love triangle harem things around him. But the story really strengthen the roots of the stories of all Gundam series, that war is to painful for both sides and it can't resolve anything.
Art: the art far away better than the 1st season. The details of the mobile suits and it's character are more better than the 1st season. At 1st season I almost dropped this series because of the artwork and the slow paced stories. But, when the series going to be like roller coaster, the artwork already accustomed to me. The 1st season, just like an introduction to those artwork, and the 2nd season they went all out to perfecting it.
Sound: the soundtrack are very enjoyable. Especially the 1st opening and ending. The 2nd opening isn't my kind. But, the 2nd ending really flew the feels away especially at episode 23. The sound effect are more audible and epic especially when the mobile suit hammering and slicing each other. There's no more beam in IBO series. So, the noise when the fight happen didn't noisy like it's predecessor, and it's really help the audience to concentrate on the fighting scene.
Overall, I enjoyed the series. Gundam back on it's root when IBO series out. The battle scene, the artwork, and the stories (exclude the love triangle harem thing) really blew my expectation away. It really know how to feast the audience who grew up watching Gundam, and for me this Iron Blooded Orphans make Gundam 00 series is like to soft for me who grew up watching Gundam.
Gundam is for 15 and above when it first release. Thanks to AGE and *The Worst One* G Reconguista series, they are success to weaken the Gundam series grip as king of mecha genre anime with reason "to attract the younger audience". There's no need for Gundam to change it's way. Because, people like Gundam the way they are. I even watch Gundam Wing when I just a little kid, and it really hooked me up to Gundam series. So, to someone who says He/She is Gundam fans but only watch from Gundam 00 above. Man, you don't know the true colors and nature of Gundam. Gundam 00 is one of the best. But, still IBO make Gundam series back to it's roots, and admit it. This Gundam series are more Gundam since the 1st Gundam.