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Goin’ Japanesque!

Newest Anime Series of Mobile Suit Gundam: “Iron-Blooded Orphans”

We have previously introduced “Mobile Suit Gundam”. The Origin

The previously introduced was a printed manga version, but the story was originally an anime, and creation of new anime has been continuing even today.

This time let me introduce “Iron-Blooded Orphans”, the newest anime series of Mobile Suit Gundam.

 

Synopsis

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In a distant future mankind has settled on Mars and established its own economies. However, in the world of Mars, poverty and conflicts have continued while calling for independence from Earth.

“Mikazuki Augus (Crescent Augus)” battles as a child soldier in such a world and there are also orphans who are called “human debris” and they are treated like slaves.

Their status is below common citizens. But they are gradually distinguishing themselves by forming a battle troupe called “Tekkadan” and using giant robot mobile suits including Gundam Barbados in the troubled warring era of Mars independence conflict.

 

Analysis

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This story has the name of Mobile Suit Gundam, but it is written with a different world setting, unlike other works that were written in a common framework of space age.

Therefore you can enjoy this piece without prior knowledge of Mobile Suit Gundam, as the world is set up fundamentally different from other Gundam stories.

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A significant departure from other Gundam stories can be found not just in the setting of the story, but also in the giant robot mobile suits.

In the previous system, pilots manipulated the suits with their limbs like driving a vehicle, but this time the suits are maneuvered by directly connecting pilots to the mobile suits.

In addition, new mobile suits are constructed by adding exterior armor to an internal structure called a frame. Thus a new characteristic of this series is that the appearance of mobile suits can change during the story when exterior armors are exchanged or reinforced.

Due to such difference in the detail of the story’s setting Gundam Barbados, which the main character Mikazuki Augus operates, changes partially from the beginning of the first season to the last as the exterior armor receives reinforcement.

Furthermore detail of faces and appearances are significantly renewed in the second season, even though the basic designs remain standardized.

The mobile suit, which is another main character of the story, changing in appearance is also one of the highlights of this series.

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In this story people who are oppressed by the war are the central characters.

Boys are rounded up for the war in order to survive without getting proper education. Children have to live without families while being discriminated by adults as orphans. Such environment and people are featured in the story. Such issues are currently viewed as problems on Earth, too.

The first season of this story depicts Tekkadan (Iron Flower Troupe), a combat group organized by war orphans, fighting its way through the conflict on Mars seeking their statuses and places in the society. In the second season, having grown to be a giant organization on Mars, Tekkadan gets caught up in a bigger conflict between Mars and Earth. (As of December 2016, the second season of the series is on air in Japan.)

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Looking back at history there is the Shinsengumi (1863-1869) exerting influence during upheaval in modern Japan and Children’s Crusade (1212) in the West in which boys participated in the battle of Pagans and Christians. Neither group was formed by warriors or knights.

Tekkadan of this story appears to have been modeled after these incidents.

In the above examples of Shinsengumi and Children’s Crusade, both groups grew in size and status and left marks on history, but eventually met tragic endings, being swallowed up in the violent torrent of history. Tekkadan is also organized by volunteer boys and focal point of the second season is what happens to the group in the conflict between Mars and Earth.

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In the first season, the main characters and the Tekkadan appear brilliantly on the front stage of history and the second season is currently being broadcasted on TV in Japan. The new Gundam series is not just this story featuring Tekkadan’s success, but another series of a side-story is ongoing in the same time period with its stage on the moon in “Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans Gekko (Moon Steal)”.

Related Articles:
Mobile Suit Gundam THE ORIGIN: “Cool Japan” All Started Here
Gundam Front Tokyo: Holy Land of Anime “Mobile Suit Gundam” Created in Odaiba!

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Berial the Demon

About the author

It has been over 40 years of reading manga in the deep world of manga. Japan’s manga has an endlessly wide variety of genres. I will be recommending special manga for you to read from such infinite amount of works.

View all articles by Berial the Demon
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