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 roughly 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.
"There's no pure evil and there's no pure good in this world. The good and evil just a matter of perspective."
Sorry if my english were bad ^_^
Iron Blooded Orphans Season 2 (IBO S2) has already surpass my 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 can extend the breath of this series.
Story: More darker, the conflict were more complicated, the "feels" are everywhere, and moral message make us questioned our understanding about good and evil in our perspective.
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), the love triangle harem things around him, and how they dethrone Kudelia as main heroine. The finale of this season, strengthen the statement that I make at first and strengthen the roots of the stories of all Gundam series, that war is to painful for both sides and it can't resolve anything. In the end, our "antagonist" Rustal Ellion, created the world that Tekkadan and McGillis want to made. Gjallarhorn evolving and become more democratic, the world with peace and equality, and Mars has achieved it's true independent. So, don't judge someone just because he has different perspective and ways to achieve the goal that we want to attain too.
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. The battle scene of the finale was very enjoyable and entertaining. Probably the best of this whole series.
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) are already passed my expectations. 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. Even the stories were darker and complicated, Gundam Wing 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 is the one who make Gundam series back to it's roots, and admit it. This Gundam series are more Gundam since the 1st Gundam.
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!