Tekkadan has now become a direct affiliate of Teiwaz after procuring a new trade agreement with Arbrau. With its newfound funds and prestige, Tekkadan finds both its list of allies and enemies growing. Meanwhile, the flames of the Gjallarhorn power struggle continue to rage in full force. As a part of her efforts to make Mars financially independent from Earth, Kudelia Aina Bernstein founds the Admoss Company and enlists Tekkadan as her business partner.
The stakes are getting higher as the Tekkadan family continues to grow. Will Orga, Mikazuki, and the rest of the Tekkadan faction be able to keep up, or will Kudelia's dream of Martian independence die out?
Gundam Iron-Blooded Orphans is the story of a show that tries to achieve so much in a fairly long time, and somehow manages to fall face flat on earth in everyway imaginable.
Second Season starts give or take a few years from when the first season ended. And it carries on the same problems the first season had.
Story itself largely follows McGillis' machinations as he, and later on, Tekkadan, as they look to change the world and make a better one for themselves. In itself this plotline is not particularly bad. The show however, multiple times, takes too long to come to any point, and regularly
writes itself into a corner, and uses completely bullshit methods to take itself out of this corners, sometimes with hilarity might I add. It spends episodes wasting it's time on pointless plotlines that, in the end, add absolutely nothing to the story.
The main problem of IBO however is it's characters and their development, or lack thereof. For a show that tries so hard to develop it's characters, IBO fails to develop them to any meaningful point. Mika is the same person he was in Episode 1. Orga is only slightly altered from where he was in Episode 1. Rest of the cast is exactly the same people they were in Episode 1. McGillis, who was hyped up to be a cunning mastermind, constantly fails in hilarious fashion, making you wonder if he is actually retarded.
They also have the gall to add new characters like Hush, when they fail to develop the characters they had since Episode 1. Hush, and rest of the new cast, achieves nothing, and at the end of the story, you just sit there and wonder what the fuck was even the point of addind these characters. Some of these characters are there only to further the plot, like Rustal, who has no personality other than furthering the plot. That's it.
There was also the ending, but I'm not even gonna mention it too much. The writers did not have any guts to end on a dark note so they made it so that everything works out in the end without Tekkadan or McGillis' volition. I was honestly laughing and making fart noises with my mouth throughout the entire last 10 minutes of the last episodes. It was fucking nonsensical.
Art and animation is just okay. There is nothing special about it. It's neither particularly bad nor really good. Generally mediocre character designs lack any kind of flair or vision.
Music is a disappointment from stellar soundtracks of Unicorn and Thunderbolt. It's completely forgettable.
Overall, IBO is a show that, despite the hype it has on it's back now, will join the ranks of SEED Destiny and AGE as worst Gundam shows to date, with it's forgettable cast, meager plot, horrible pacing and overall mediocreness.
So we've finally reached the end of the ride, and what a ride it has been. IBO disappointed many fans early on due to the fact that (1) it isn't crossbone, (2) it is somewhat different from all the other gundam series and (3) it has no "waifu" as some of my mates have pointed out.
That being said, what IBO is full of is tear jerking moments, a few twists and turns which depending on your experience you may be able to predict, and lots and lots of deaths. As usual the ops, eds and osts are very good, and unlike clannad's ones
they actually fit in with the story, meaning you wan't get a happy/dango song after someone's death.
The characters are not bad, but as I've mentioned some people have pointed out that the female characters need a little bit more work put into them, which isn't necessarily wrong, but it doesn't in the grand scale of things affect your enjoyment.
All in all watching even if you aren't a huge fan of mecha, but if this really isn't your thing then you won't be missing out on too much.
A de-railed steam train which desperately burnt it's somewhat impressive coal stash just to move an inch.
I assume everyone reading this has prior knowledge on Gundam Iron Blooded Orphans season 1. So turn away if you don't want to be spoiled.
To start with the good. The soundtrack, amazing as always. Blends in flawlessly with the battle scenes, simply outstanding. Considering it's a work of Yokoyama Masaru, the man behind the soundtrack of Your Lie in April, Plastic Memories, this man knows how to capture your attention and evoke emotions. The sound design is also amazing with clashes of metal and projectiles impacting the mobile suits
which gives out a down-to-earth vibe to a universe where beam weaponry is rarely seen or used.
The visuals, though not as eye-catching as other gundam series such as thunderbolt and Unicorn, are great nonetheless. Some of the fights are the best that I've seen in a while, brutal and emotionally gripping. The series seldom uses recycled animations, (which already makes it leagues above Seed/Seed Destiny/GBF Try) and displays nice details such as the nano-laminate armor flaking off as the Mobile Suits get hit as well has the melee clashes.
Now for the bad. Although there is no denying that I like the characters, their deaths ultimately meant nothing from season 1 all the way to season 2, Biscuit, Naze, Shino just to name a few. Sure, they did burn fiercely when thrown into the combustion chamber, yet the train just won't move. It doesn't matter if you're burning expensive fuel, as long as there are no tracks under the train, it's all pointless.
From start to finish, you're supposed to believe that everything will change for these kids, that they won't be exploited anymore by the powerful and greedy: and season 1 did an okay job at moving it's plot, yet in second season it de-railed itself. All these deaths were supposed to warn Orga the consequences of leading Tekkadan without organisation or planning, yet Orga presses on like a fucking retard and pulls off mental gymnastics just to move on the next plot point . Not only that, but these deaths had no significance at all, nothing within the IBO universe would have changed because these deaths lack any believable consequence. Death only means no more screen-time for certain characters, nothing more, nothing less. There are no emotional bonds being broken, no meaningful ideals being destroyed and so there are no shits that anyone should give.
Some praise the series for ending with a sad note, yet there is nothing enjoyable about forced tragedies. If only the writing made more sense, the orphans could have been portrayed as actual victims of circumstance and not just dumb cannon fodder who deserved what was coming for them. And I say cannon fodder very loosely as the Tekkadan kids don't really get any sort of development as they once did in season 1 to a point where the show should be called "Gundam Iron Blooded Orga/ Mikazuki" instead. Orga keeps blindly pressing on-wards for the sake of Mikazuki and Mikazuki keeps throwing his life away for the sake of Orga. Tekkadan as the organisation of "Gundam Iron Blooded Orphans" has no significance to the plot whatsoever.
I'd say IBO knows how to introduce likable characters, but doesn't know how to deal with them, given the loose writing that has been plaguing the series. To a point where the only way for characters to get screen-time is kill them off. It knows how to press the right buttons with showing us their motivations and why we should feel sad for these deaths, but in the end, you can drown yourself in THEM FEELS all you want, you can burn all that coal to your hearts content, yet we all know where this train is really going: absolutely nowhere.
This is not going to be a popular opinion but I'm not the biggest Mecha fan here particularly Gundam, however this series truly hints as to why that is. I am a realist and give honest, non-biased review on the matter taking into account other similar shows to this one.
First let's start with the GOOD: From what I'm aware, This series is said to be a stand-alone in the Gundam universe, meaning no other previous Gundam series or manga ties into this at all. This gives the developers complete freedom to create something new and different. With that they created some fantastic mecha designs, particularly
the ASW-G-08 Gundam Barbatos.
The Barbatos is much different than previous Gundam designs and it really shows some out-of-the-box thinking in giant robot construction and movements. As someone who thinks that hand-to-hand combat in giant robots is a bit silly, they actually did a decent job with how Barbatos uses it's Mace. The Graze-type mobile suits are also well executed and certainly look the part of a mech designed for space combat as they are covered with vernier thrusters in parts of the body that actually make sense for practical movement in zero-gravity. The artwork is quite consistent in the theme towards it's outlook of the characters and their surroundings not to mention some of the soundtracks including the opening of the first season Raise your Flag is great, Unfortunately this is about it for the "good" parts of this series.
Onto the BAD: As previously stated, this is a stand-alone series, meaning the developers had every opportunity to branch out from the horribly over-used concept of a hilariously young protagonist that has no business piloting the most dangerous (and likely the most expensive) military asset in the galaxy.
And..Sigh....here we are once again with the same tired old story of some kid being handed a Gundam without question and what a surprise, he needed no training to beat anyone and everyone with no effort. This has never been believable in any mecha anime I've seen and heard about
(let alone any anime) and personally I think it ruins the story and shows just how awful/non-creative modern mecha anime gets.
Moving on to the paper-thin characters. You have the token permanent-angry-look-on-his-face-disgruntled-child protagonist. His purple-haired buddy that looks 30-years old despite somehow still being a "kid". A litter of siblings that help them named Biscuit, Cracker, and Cookie (you can't make this garbage up) that really serve no purpose in the story. Another pretty girl or royalty that hangs out with them. Your token feminine bad guy and his even more feminine right-hand man (why do they always make the bad guys out to seem gay?).
I'm not going to get into all the other laughably bad characters that show up later in the series but just be prepared for one horrible hair style after another. Not to mention the fact that this story follows a group of completely uneducated kids (they literally can't even read or write) that can somehow manage to pilot mobile suits they've never set foot in before, run and maintain giant space ships, and somehow they are able to (without any resources or experience whatsoever) develop advanced weaponry from scratch for the Barbatos. How do they even read the HUD and control screens in their mobile suits if they can't read??
I'm sorry but with the half-hearted animation wasn't a big enough giveaway that this series is cheaply shown, then any self-respecting human being would pick up on that fact after just a couple episodes.
Even if I'm not the biggest Mecha fan, I can at least hope the show throughout my viewing at least represented in it's anethestics and not of this half assed military attempt with the Gundam title slapped on the front of it. It almost look like any show of these many Genre can get away with doing this and just feels like those are the only required standards.
This series was recommended to me for getting into a modern day Mecha anime but this is just another money-grab designed to prey on "otaku" that just automatically loves any new anime because, well, simply because they identify as "otaku". Here's to hoping they branch out form this nonsense in future Gundam series. And please, PLEASE, for the sake of the mecha genre, please make the next protagonist a GROWN man or better yet a woman who is actually believable for the situation.
If you need an example of good character design in a mecha series check out Macross Plus. In fact Macross Plus was also condensed into a movie which is arguably better than the series. It contains a bit better telling of the story, the animation is superb, the characters are great, and best of all: no children. Yes I understand that this review is about a series called "Iron Blooded ORPHANS", but adults without parents are still called orphans Too as well duh.
This series didn't need to be about kids and it really ruined what little story there was to begin with. Personally I wouldn't even recommend this series to the most die-hard mecha fans. Perhaps it might suit well for casuals of the genre but who knows? I personally would Just get yourself a Barbatos model kit, marvel at its design, and imagine a much better series than the one they actually gave us here.
Sometimes when you look at a new season you find yourself despairing because all you see are a bunch of sequels to anime you've never seen. However I'm here to tell you that you should view this as a fantastic opportunity to catch up on all these anime you haven't seen before the new season begins!