Ask any anime fan to name a Mecha anime and chances are the Gundam series will be one of those answers. For a very long time, Gundam has been synonymous with the Mecha genre. The series has expanded its popularity through video games and body kits. In all honesty, this is actually the first Gundam title that I am watching; I’ve heard about the others but never watched them. From what I’ve watched so far, I am getting a sense that this one will be more darker in tone compared to the others, which is a good thing in my opinion.
Iron-Blooded Orphans takes place 300 years after the Calamity War (for those of you who have watched Gundam before, I’m probably sure you know what this is all about). The powers that once ruled the Earth Sphere are now gone and new powers have arisen in this new world. Far away on Mars, we meet our protagonists; Mikazuki Augus and Orga Itsuka. Mikazaki and Orga work for a private security firm known as Chryse (CGS). Mikazuki is ordered to act as a bodyguard for Kudelia Aina Berstein, the daughter of a powerful politician who is fighting for Chryse’s independence from Earth. Upon hearing the news that she is with CGS Gjallarhorn, an elite unit tasked with taking down rebellions, attacks CGS. The higher-ups at CGS use Mikazuki and Orga’s boy units as decoys to plan their own escape. While holding off Gjallarhorn Mikazuki activates an old Calamity War Mobile Suit that was previously used as a generator – Gundam Barbatos.
At the beginning I found the show a bit slow and confusing; probably because I wasn’t accustomed to Gundam before. However, the show definitely got better near the end; when Gjallarhorn attacks CGS. I also enjoyed the battle sequence in that scene. Even though the show is set in the future the way the battle was fought, along with the terrain of Mars, gave it a modern touch, if I’m making sense. As I mentioned earlier, this rendition of Gundam seems to be more darker in tone and less campy compared to the older titles. I actually like that they’re going for a darker tone because it adds new life to the series and makes it more enjoyable and (almost) realistic.
While it is still early days for me to know what is actually going on, I still feel that I’m going to enjoy Iron-Blooded Orphans. It’s definitely more gritty than previous titles but still keeps its original charm. I’m sure that for those who have watched Gundam before you will appreciate and enjoy this title more quickly than I did. Otherwise, if you’re like me that is new to Gundam and thinking of giving this a try, I’d say go for it. It’s worth it if you remain patient.