Gundam Iron-Blooded Orphans Ep 3: Tekkadan, the Iron Flower
If you didn’t take last week’s episode breather for granted, you probably will from now because this episode was ridiculously brutal to watch. Although I have described Mika to be quite humane, he also can be incredibly cold-blooded and ruthless. If Orda wishes for it, whether or not he agrees with it, he will do so without an ounce of hesitation- regardless if they are not threatening his friends. It is definitely the scariest quality about his character, the fact he doesn’t appear question anything Orda asks him to do. Just as Orda has uttermost faith in him, he has the absolute faith in Orda and his decisions. But at the same time, Mika continued to show us his humane side. He enjoyed Kudelia’s failed cut up vegetables because they were big and chunky (unlike any, if they would ever get), he showed us another sentimental side of him when we saw how much he cherished Ara’s gift- a scene I found he looked the most peaceful we have seen yet. Although Ara didn’t give it to him in person, Mika will be visiting her next week. I am very curious about what kind of relationship they have like how long their have known each other, do they have a sibling-like bond, childhood friends, etc…
Last week I was wondering how Crank was going to follow both his order and his ethics, but today we quickly learned he made the decision to disobey his superior’s order and do things his own way. He carried a red cloth with him, and made the proposal to have an one on one challenge, with Kudelia and the Graze at stake. I was proud of him choosing to disobey the orders, because we know he was the only one who was not looking out to create the bloodbath that Coral created while he led them in for the earlier mission.
But here is where it gets tragic. Because Mika is already set to eliminate Crank, we know based on what we saw earlier in the episode that Mika was not going to be merciful. Crank ultimately loses the fight, and just when we thought Mika had actually already killed him, he was still alive but dying. Crank was able to say what he wanted to say, and ask Mika to put him to rest because he already knew there was no turning back regardless had Mika decided to let him live now that he had lost.
Remember when I said: “On that note, I pray to god that Kudelia doesn’t pull the stupid move of handing herself over into her enemy’s hands.” Well guess what happened? Kudelia tried to do exactly what I feared. Fortunately though, she wasn’t going to do it without telling anyone, but it least made it an option for Orda to choose to do. And it was an option that was suggested by one of the former First Group guys who decided to join their alliance. His suggestion to help them with the money problem is to exchange Kudelia with the enemy and get money in return. We never heard Orda’s initial response since Crank showed up, but it was clear he had no intention of doing so. He even said so himself, in response to Kudelia’s self-sacrifice offer that the enemy can’t be trusted, so he wouldn’t let her do that. With that being said: Orda and Kudelia has some interesting dynamic going on. I won’t go as far as saying I ship them yet (though I am very much tempted to), but it feels like they are able communicate better as oppose to Mika and Kudelia holding a discussion. When Kudelia asks if it was possible for her to become a pilot by undergoing the surgery, Orda advised her not to because of the risks involved. He also caught on how she felt guilty for their comrades death, and unlike Mika, he didn’t shut her down for it.
After learning about the high risks involved with the surgery to pilot the mobile suits, Kudelia now understands her place to fight is not on the battlefield, but to continue doing what she has been doing. She strives to become strong like Mika, to help them make a difference, and says she will provide them the much needed fiance by paying them directly to continue to be her escorts. It is then we learn about her independent sponsor, Nobliss Gordon.
Orda decided to name their group Tekkadan, the iron flower that never wilts. It is such a poetic name, I love it. What is beautiful about the name is how it represents their innocence, their resilience, and who they are at heart. Once Orda had successfully gained authority, the first thing he did was to initiate change. While he and the others works as the Third Group, they were the sacrificial lambs who were sent into the the most gruesome and deadliest missions or used as the decoys. He is allowing those who want to quit to leave, and hell, he even provided severance pay to the First Corp guys who were spared from being killed and had quit altogether! His mission is to make sure they find honest jobs, so they can be paid well and ensure safer conditions for his comrades.
Next week, it looks like we are in for another breather episode, which is fine by me because we know in the future there will be brutal episodes back to back! Brace yourselves, we’re going to be swallowed up by the sea of emotions.