Episode 1 Impressions: Mobile Suit Gundam Iron-Blooded Orphans


Being directed by Tatsuyuki Nagai and written by Mari Okada, a team that previously collaborated on Toradora and Anohana, questions may arise in how they can handle a Gundam series show. But with such high pedigree and dabbled work in Gundam 00, there’s still promise to be had here.

Following the Calamity War 300 years prior, mankind seems to be at the threat of an independence movement as Mars seeks to break off from Earth. The daughter of a representative named Kudelia Aina Bernstein seems to be the face of such a movement as she’s been very outspoken towards it. Despite her father’s wishes.

Even still, it seems he’s agreed to allow her to become a mediator and travel to Earth. But behind the scenes, he has sold her off to the wishes of Sir Coral looking to snuff her out, or exploit her against the independence.

Elsewhere in the slums of Arbrau Territory of the Chryse Autonomous Region, a rag-tag group of the Third Chryse Guard Security (CGS) members have been hand-picked by Kudelia herself to escort to Earth. She believes they are irregular child soldiers born of Earth’s long rule and will embody the problems currently facing Mars. The e1gundamironbloodedorphans08CGS is led by Orga and under him is his childhood friend Mikazuki.

As Kudeliia arrives to meet her escort, the Ghallarhorn ordered by Sir Coral begin their assault. As the Third CGS are ordered to take on the assault, it’s quickly discovered that they are facing the highly powdered Ghallarhorn and the First Corp and leadership use them as decoys to escape. Though, at the command of Orga, they don’t wish to die so easily.

While Orga commands his men to keep the Ghallarhorn at bay, they manage to free a large mecha that has been kept within the base in secret. An old mecha used as a power source, turned into a trump card piloted by Mikazuki.

Well, that was certainly a difficult show to unwrap in a synopsis. Mainly due to a bit e1gundamironbloodedorphans13of a confusing onslaught of names and parties. It really did take a double take to really get the gist of everything, but even still, the Ghallarhorn were never really explained as being specifically the army or what.

Even still, I’m sure things like that will be explained over time, I still very much enjoyed this episode. Aside from the mind melt of names and information drops, buried underneath was a pretty interesting underdog story. Which is always a pleasing and rewarding thing to watch.

The battle sequence was solid, fast paced, and not riddled with bad CG. There was also quite a bit of brutality to the battle that served to show loss, but yet not carelessly sacrificing certain characters for cheap shock value.

Of course, how powerful the final mecha is  will most likely determine my enjoyment of the show, the point up until that highlighted the crew and the world e1gundamironbloodedorphans18that speaks to me. There was also small tidbits of character interactions here and there that I really appreciate. For example the hand shake and the aspect of one being dirty shows the lack of equality between the two.

I’ve never been into Gundam shows, mainly because that train passed me by long ago. Though I’ve always wanted to pick one up. So far, this one looks promising and I’m glad I gave it a shot. Of course there’s already talk of this show being similar to Aldnoah Zero, but truly the extent of that is just the representative’s daughter being a mediator to Earth. Absolutely nothing else character, plot lines, developments, or anything else matches it. So I believe that’s a bit lazy to draw conclusions on at this point.

This show is currently streaming on Funimation.com, Hulu.com, and Daisuki.net!

Episode 1: Iron and Blood




  • Great underdog moments
  • Decent drama
  • Good dialog exchanges
  • Intense action


  • Confusing information dump

Impressions are based on a single episode and don’t necessarily reflect the series as a whole. Unless dropped, we will continue to give updates on thoughts and impressions of the series as time goes by.

Co-Founder of OtakuSpirit.com and Co-Host of the OtakuSpirit Animecast. A huge fan of anime since the early 1990s, consuming over 1300 shows. Outside of Otaku Spirit, he has been a judge for the Anime Awards and aided in reviewing titles for some publishers. While he's late to the collecting scene, he's found a lot of joy in filling his DVD/Blu-ray collection as well as collecting figures. Sharing this joy, he posts unboxing and feature videos on anime goods to YouTube.