Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron Blooded Orphans, A group of child soldiers—Mikazuki Augus, Orga Itsuka, and several others—are sent to protect a young aristocrat seeking to liberate a Martian city from Earth’s rule. When an outside force threatens those involved, Mikazuki must head into battle using a war-era relic—the Gundam Barbatos.
3 centuries after the Calamity War on Earth, the citizens of Mars are looking for independence from Earth. However, they find opposition from a corrupt military organization who is in charge of keeping the peace throughout Earth and Mars, Gjallerhorn. A group of child soldiers accepts a mission to take the revolution leader Kudelia to Earth to open up negotiations. However, their journey to Earth ends up being a battle of life and death.
Orga runs the security company of child soldiers, named Tekkadan. He, along with his childhood friend Mikazuki, protect the children who were once just human debris. On Mars, some children are sold for money or to pay debts and are considered debris with no rights. Orga and Mikazuki freed a large group of them after Gjallerhorn attacked their base on Mars.
Orga and Mikazuki have a complex past. Mikazuki follows Orga’s orders blindly which means he puts himself in danger often. Mikazuki had the Alaya-Vijnana System surgically implanted 3 times, giving him the ability to pilot a Gundam named Barbatos. Biscuit helps run the financials and is the moral/non-combat brains of the operation. When Orga only thinks about war, Biscuit thinks about the bigger picture.
While I have not seen any of the other Gundam series, Iron Blooded Orphans was still a very enjoyable show to watch. Unlike other large franchises ,I didn’t feel lost having not been familiar with the Gundam series going in. The heart of the story are the kids, but it doesn’t shy away from very adult themes. On more than one occasion there are episodes dedicated to fallen comrades and funerals for them.
While the majority of the focus is on Tekkadan, there are additional interesting story plots going on within Gjallerhorn. McGillis Fareed goes from being an enemy of Tekkadan to an ally under the alias of Montag. All of this comes to a head when Kudelia finally makes it to Earth. The series animation is very well done, including the battle scenes with the mobile suits.
The english dub by Bang Zoom! Entertainment had a great cast. Kyle McCarley voices Mika. Johnny Yong Bosch voices Orga. Bryce Papenbrook voices Eugene. Funimation picked up the home video release rights to the series from Sunrise. And don’t fear, there is a second season that is currently airing on Toonami.
Space opera drama, political intrigue, and mecha action make Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron Blooded Orphans a must watch series. We give it an A+.
Season 1 is available as 2 parts on Blu-ray and DVD.
Technical & Bonus Features
The standard blu-ray/dvd combo packs for part 1 and 2 come with all 25 episodes, and trailers for each part of season 1. The collectors edition came with a very limited edition HG 1/144 Gundam Barbatos + Smoothbore Gun [Metallic Gloss Injection], a Chipboard box and an art book.