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Mobile Suit Gundam

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A place to discuss particular episodes, arcs and moments from the show's run. Please remember this isn't a complete catch-all topic -- check out the forum for character topics and other places for show-related talk.

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Annnnnnndd...we're off with a rousing Gundam-style first episode: Child soldiers, private military units targeting civilians, cowards attempting to sacrifice others to save their own sorry butts, and other assorted nastiness. And, of course, an old Gundam that's much better than all those new-fangled  fighting machines that use modern technology. Oh, and can't forget the ever present Colonies vs. Earth theme.

I was struck by the fact that it was only the first episode, and there's already a dead character who looked like he was going to be part of the main cast of protagonists - the enthusiast who couldn't wait to become a pilot. Because that's the kind of thing that happens here.

Poor little rich girl is going to be getting some lessons in the harsh realities of life methinks.

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Oy. Lots of characters to introduce, and so little time to do it. Is the needle interface new to the franchise? That seems hardcore. Also unfamiliar: the topless fighting. I guess the doohckeys attached to the backs don't work well with shirts.

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Since Iron-Blooded Orphans is not the first Gundam series to appear on Cartoon Network, I figured we could reminisce about past incarnations of the franchise. With the complex narratives and buttload of characters, some of the versions like Gundam Wing didn't make much of an impression on me. There are two that have stuck with me:

Mobile Fighter G Gundam: We get a universe where Earth is more of less a wasteland, and the nations orbit the planet in stereotypical satellites. Domon Kashu comes to Earth to win the big tournament for Neo-Japan. Domon makes friends and enemies while piloting his Shining Gundam. Also, Mexico's rep is Tequila Gundam, and it incorporates cacti. Domon's finishing move was pretty boss: "SHINING FINGER!!!!" And the opening credits rocked as well.

Superior Defender Gundam Force: Bite-sized, super-deformed Gundams. What's not to like? Also: the show-ending shorts featuring the hapless Zakos.

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I figured that backless shirts, uniforms with holes in them, or with built-in interfaces are available...to outfits that give enough of a damn about the pilots to buy them more than the bare minimum. The kids obviously don't belong to one of those outfits. Note that the enemy pilots didn't have to go topless.

Forgot to include one of the other hallmarks of the franchise in my list: Teen primary protagonists.

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Heh. Superior Defender...super deformed...both are "SD" for short. Clever.

I have a fondness for Gundam ZZ. It was kind of refreshing to have a large dose of humor mixed in to make it a bit lighter than the previous two series, especially Zeta Gundam which was pretty damn dark. Favorite moment:

Spoiler

The Argama being attacked with oranges.

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Everyone deals with the aftermath of last weeks battle. The Gjallarhorn leadership is somewhat disgruntled over losing the battle and failing to kill Kudelia. The CGS leadership is somewhat disgruntled that the kids survived and prevented them from running away from the battle. The kids are disgruntled at being the designated victims and doormats. It's a disgruntlefest!

The animators need to decide of a cup size for Kudelia and stick with it. Depending on the shot she's anything from an A to a D.

Biscuit, Cookie, and Cracker? Their parents must spend an awful lot of time thinking about food.

Mikazuki is messed up. His whole life appears to revolve around waiting for Orga to tell him what to do. Somewhat reminiscent of Shinji from Evangelion, but without all the whining and freaking out. And that nosebleed he got from the Gundam interface can't be a good sign.

When the commander of the Gjallarhorn forces was doing his headdesk and bitching about losing the battle and said "And it would have worked perfectly...!", I couldn't help adding "...if it weren't for you meddling kids!" out loud. Clearly I watched too much Scooby Doo as a child.

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Oh good, there is a forum!

I'm liking where this is going so far, the kids are mostly believable protagonists and I love that we're on Mars (for the moment).  I'm looking forward to the drama that ensues when there's finally daylight between the two main kids (hint: probably involves the Princess).

Agree that they need to animate her more consistently, although to be fair she's alternating between quite different clothing, some of which probably doesn't fit right.  (Actually, since these dudes are shirtless so much, I'm surprised they had one to loan her?) 

I had forgotten the two main rules of Gundam until now:

1.  It gets really political really fast. 

2.  You can tell who's going to lose the fight because its always the boring colored stock military mobile suits.  

Edited by lathspel

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The kids are running things.  I'm sure that will go well.  At least they have a princess to bankroll them.  

Somehow I was expecting typical anime pacing, and didn't think they'd get to the Gjallerhorn lieutenant's fight in this ep.  It was a pleasant surprise.

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The Kids decide they've had enough to CGS's crap, and stage a coup. A few guys get killed, and everyone else is chased away...with back pay! Except for a couple of adults, such as the mechanic guy and Balding Paunchy Hitler. And an accountant. Can't forget the accountant. Mikazuki has not one, but two girls crushing on him. Good luck with that romance ladies, with the guy who apparently has only slightly more humanity than the pistol that he uses to execute people in cold blood. The one decent guy in Gjallerhorn decides to challenge Mikazuki to a one-on-one mobile suit duel, giving Kudelia an excuse to wear her frilly Rozen Maiden Shinku cosplay outfit while he's getting killed to death. Orga changes the group's name to Tekkadan, and Kudelia hires them to get her to Earth.

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The only ones I know are Biscuit (fat guy) and Mikazuki (hero). The rest are a jumble to me. And Jacked Hitler.

In case you missed it, here are the opening credits. Now with random English lyrics!

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For anyone more familiar with the Gundamverse, what the hell happened to Austrailia? The world map showed a huge circle taken out of NSW.

Also, just to clarify, the guys with the red stripe are "Human Debris" slave soldiers and the others are just garden variety child soldiers?

Edited by ZoqFotPik

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Yeah, I was a little puzzled over the distinction myself. I guess "child soldier" is a step up from "human debris." Still trying to decide whether it's  permanent (as in"slave") or until paid off (as in "indentured servant".)

Oh Paunchy Balding Hitler! You've fully embraced your inner slime-ball.

Looks like the Mars branch of Gjallarhorn has things to hide from the home office, as evidenced by Major Conrad's obstructionism and interactions with the two Specialist-Majors. And speaking of the two SMs, who appear to be auditors of some sort: The blond one (Fareed) sounds like Neji from Naruto.

That's the first time I've ever seen anyone on a show say "Let's do this!" for paperwork. The accountant guy knows what I mean.

Every time I hear Orga's name, it makes me think of Orguss, a truly wretched robot series that I watched waaay back in the day at a gaming convention.

Cookie and Cracker seem to have a penchant for almost getting run over. I expect that their luck is going to run out at the most tragic possible point in the series.

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Wait, they have two mobile suits?

Interesting that the traditional Gundam style one is centuries old.  We're getting into Warhammer 40k time scales here, although I guess if Mars is terraformed, maybe that's a hint too.  

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Or maybe BattleTech time scales. Also, the kid pilots going shirtless reminds me of the game's barely clothed pilots because of heat buildup.

Quote

Wait, they have two mobile suits?

Looks like they salvaged one of the Gjallarhorn suits.

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I didn't expect anything to happen to Gundam, but ship to ship combat is surprisingly more survivable than I would have thought.  

The fact that no one knows for sure what's the deal with Luna makes it clear that Mars is really the hinterland of the solar system.  Wow. 

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Now that's what I've been waiting for; mobile suits fighting in space! Now I know for sure that it's a Gundam show.

Major Coral is dead, and it's surprisingly not from banging his head against his desk. The desk breathes a sigh of relief.

Nice of Orga to give Paunchy Balding Hitler to the Gjallarhorn folks as a consolation prize. And good that he didn't trust the guy for even a moment. How much you want to bet that he'll show up again?

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All I really took away from this episode is that jackets are required to pilot Gundams in space. You can't go topless. Even Martians aren't that uncivilized.

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A breather episode. Kudelia is giving reading and writing classes to everyone who wants them, which turns out to be pretty much all the younger kids, plus Mikazuki because he wants to help out with Barbatos's maintenance in ways that require reading. We learn that motivates Orga: He wants to fulfill Mikazuki's expectations no matter what, and that includes not backing down from the deal with Kudelia. Toward that end, he's looking into contacting some shady types at Jupiter who can probably help with reaching Earth.

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The Gjallerhorn guys are starting to remind me of Ace and Gary, the Ambiguously Gay Duo.   

Apparently in the ship's hold there's only zero gravity in some areas?

I hadn't realized we brought all the kids along.  For some reason I thought we left the small fry on Chryse.

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1 hour ago, lathspel said:

Apparently in the ship's hold there's only zero gravity in some areas?

Worth discussing. I've never really been able to get a handle on how that works for ships in space in the franchise, other than that some large ships are shown having rotating sections. I always figured that they had some sort of gravity generation that was too expensive to use except in key locations.

Space colonies, on the other hand, are almost always cylindrical, and often shown rotating noticeably for their gravity.

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I remember the cylindrical space colonies from the one other Gundam show I've seen on Toonami.  In my head it was back during the Calamity Wars or so.  

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So it's an ex boss, a Yakuza, and a ship full of awesome female fighters?  I'm intrigued, but please don't continue further down the path of this becoming about Milazuki's harem, since he clearly only has eyes for Orga and food.  

Also - Wendee Lee, why have you stayed away so long?

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Sorry lathspel, but I get the impression that the girl that Mikazuki was fighting at the end will probably end up being the tsundere harem member (every harem has at least one). She has blond hair, just like the other two (Kudelia and Atra.).

Edited by Sandman87

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No fear, I'm sure he will fight 'em all.  

(I swear I corrected it to Mikazuki at least twice.  P.TV's forum software doesn't like my device.)

If anything, Wendee's character makes me think of Michiko Melandro, who would actually be interesting in a mecha show.  

Is anyone else getting concerned about all the sweat droplets floating around inside these highly complex and ancient machines?  (Not to mention the nail polish.). It must smell like gym socks in there.  

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Heh. I didn't even realize that I had misspelled it too.

13 hours ago, lathspel said:

Is anyone else getting concerned about all the sweat droplets floating around inside these highly complex and ancient machines?  (Not to mention the nail polish.). It must smell like gym socks in there.  

Air conditioning? Glade Scented Mobile Suit Deodorizers?

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On 7/27/2016 at 4:37 AM, lathspel said:

Is anyone else getting concerned about all the sweat droplets floating around inside these highly complex and ancient machines?  (Not to mention the nail polish.). It must smell like gym socks in there.  

Here's an article that explains how the air is purified on the ISS. If we have the technology to deal with this now, there is no reason they can't in the future.

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Mikazuki feels inadequate because he wasn't winning when hostilities were called off at the end of the previous episode. Orga negotiates with Teiwaz, and manages to get an introduction to "The Old Man." He also realizes that Tekkadan is a family, but only after a light pummeling by Naze. Turns out that Naze's harem ship really is a harem, staffed entirely by his wives and children.

Judging by the subtle clues in the last few episodes, it looks like the blond technician kid has a boy-crush on Akihiro.

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Orga meets the Old Man, who's a sort of businessman/mafia/yakuza fatherly type. They decide to make Tekkadan a Teiwaz franchise so that Orga's "family" can stay together as a group, and set a date for a blood-oath ceremony.

Speaking of family, Naze's number-one wife reveals what keeps the harem happy: They enjoy sharing Naze's "delicious meat." Ew. Given the relatively isolated conditions on a ship, one wonders how severely Naze is impacted by the McClintock Effect. "Not this week, dear. We have a headache."

Meanwhile, one of Naze's wives is very impressed by how insatiable Akihiro is. In the combat simulator, I mean. Looks like he takes his training seriously.

Orga and friends decide to cut loose a little to celebrate their new arrangement. The kids get a kids' party with all sorts of great food. The teens all go out drinking, and Orga gets plastered, wasted, blitzed, schnockered. While he's busy throwing up, he makes the acquaintance of a blond woman who gives him a handkerchief. She'll probably show up again in at least one future episode when he returns the hankie. Future girlfriend, maybe?

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It's all about family this week. Biscuit gets a video letter from his sisters, who offer him strenuous rah-rah encouragement. Nice to see that even poor Martians can afford HD cameras for their messaging.

Kudelia gets a message from Mother with a very different tone: "Why don't you give up this frightfully embarrassing stuff you're doing and...", but we don't hear the end because Kudelia shuts it off. Not to worry, because her maid Fumitan is all the family she needs. She even bought them matching anvils...I mean necklaces...to symbolize their family-ness! I catch the faint whiff of impending tragedy from that particular relationship.

Akihiro doesn't get a message, because his parents are dead and he was separated from his brother when pirates sold them both into slavery. On a more positive note, he takes his crushing technician friend out on patrol so he can reminisce about his brother and talk about his vague plans to look for him eventually. Again, the faint whiff of future tragedy wafts out of my TV screen. Oh, and they're attacked by some unknown baddies in mobile suits.

Meanwhile, Orga's introduction to the new minder/bookkeeper that Teiwaz sent over looks a lot like the awkward first stages of a future romance, especially since she's the woman who lent him a handkerchief in the previous episode.

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The unknown baddies turn out to be a pirate outfit called the Brewers. By an amazingly unlikely coincidence, Akihiro's brother Masahiro is one of them. Akihiro's admirer Takaki gets kind of injured, but some quick first aid by the Handkerchief Bookkeeper keeps him from dying.

Orga, Kudelia, and Akihiro all throw a self-pity party. "I'm Useless!", "This is all my fault!", and other similar stuff. They get better.

Meanwhile, on or near Earth, McGillis and Gaelio visit their respective families, and we meet Gaelio's pre-teen sister who also happens to be McGillis's fiance. Discussions of corruption in Gjallarhorn take place, and there are some very nice reflected images in various surfaces. Also, Ein is willing to put up with a lot of crap if it means getting eventual revenge against Tekkadan.

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Anybody else watching? It usually takes me a week to get around to watching the episodes.

Damn, bleeding out in zero gravity is no joke.

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The "human debris" kids engage in some doom and gloom about their lot in life. Naze and Orga arrange a little surprise for the Brewers in which they reveal exactly why Naze's ship is called Hammerhead. There's fighting and more fighting! The Tekkadan crew invade the pirate ship! The drama with Akihiro's kid brother comes to an abrupt end when Akihiro says the wrong thing, causing the kid brother to commit suicide by hammer-wielding-boss. I'm sure that will result in no self-recriminations whatsoever.

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We should make a drinking game for the show:

Take a drink every time Orga makes an exasperated "Tsk" sound.

Take a drink every time Mikazuki expresses confidence in Orga.

Take a drink whenever Mikazuki is shown eating.

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Somehow I had the idea from earlier that the "human debris" were clones, but now it's that they were slaves?

I'm glad it's become a little less of a harem show in the last couple episodes.  Do you think Naze had to send Meribeth over precisely because she was the only woman on the ship he wasn't married to?  I could see that being contentious with everyone else.

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Yep, they're slaves.

Merribit was sent along from the space station specifically to keep an eye on Tekkadan. Wouldn't make much sense for her to stay on Naze's ship. I doubt that being not married to Naze would be a problem in any case. Apparently there's plenty of Naze to go around, so I figure the others would probably just have him marry her too if there was any kind of issue.

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I like that Akihiro gets one of the suits - the Barbatos based one, correct?

Also, is this the point where Mikazuki starts to realize the suit has a mind of its own?

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Akihiro's brother milks the situation for maximum drama, then dies. The Tekkadan boarding party fights, then captures/rescues a bunch of Human Debris kids. Mikazuki feels odd while fighting, almost as if he's enjoying it.

Major Fareed and his jail-bait bride to be attend a ball in their honor, and apparently the guest list included the entire membership of the local Gossiping Snob Club. Fareed ends up being so gallant that it makes me wonder if he's cut out for his job in the designated bad guy organization.

Orga wins over the prisoner kids by being nice and offering them positions in his military unit/orphanage. The Tekkadan management descides to hold a funeral, but first have to have the concept explained to them. Merribit and Orga trade minor jibes, which makes them sound even more like a couple.

The funeral is a subdued success, with the universe's shortest sermon followed by fireworks. Naze and Wife #1 totally start getting their freak on in front of the Orga & friends. Mikazuki kisses Kudelia a little later on too, although she's not entirely OK with how it was handled.

Roll credits. Various people on the ships do things. An older guy plots Kudelia's death at "the colony" in a dark room.

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This week, Kudelia and Atra informs the guys that they are basically a bunch of stinky boys who should take a shower once in awhile and launder their clothes while they are at it.

Biscuit has an older brother who is living the good life, as a cubicle drone.

Fumitan is feeling awfully conflicted about her real mission.

Oh, and someone has been using Kudelia's reputation, and a shipload of guns, to foment an armed insurrection (Workers of the world, UNITE!). No way that could go wrong.

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New opening and closing credits! Naturally Mikazuki is shown eating something. If we're doing that drinking game, we get to take a drink during the opening credits! There's a really brief shot of a guy with blond hair and a mask; must be this show's version of Char. Also, the opening song sounds familiar, like the band has done another set of credits that I've seen.

Tekkadan delivers the shipment that The Old Man sent, which turns out to be arms and supplies for a worker revolt against The Man (because The Man has been keeping them down), but the colony authorities were tipped off and stage a raid. Orga and friends are caught up in the confrontation. How did the authorities get tipped off? Was it Fumitan? Someone else? Did the Old Man set them up? Was the shipment a provocation arranged by The Man so that the authorities would have an excuse to clamp down on the workers? And since Kudelia was originally going to go along with the shipment, was she supposed to get killed in the raid? And it doesn't help the situation that whoever sent the shipment said they were Kudelia's proxy ("GN Trading", whoever that is.)

Apparently the Swedish Chef named the colonies: "Dort, Dort, Dort!"

Kudelia is still all flustered about kissing Mikazuki. He doesn't seem all that worked up about it, but it's hard to tell with him. Also, Orga acted bashful for just a second when Merribit talked to him on the bridge of the ship. Totally gonna be a couple.

Biscuit's brother looks like he represents The Man that the workers are revolting against. Yay! Maybe we'll get some more angst due to a dead brother soon! Or maybe he's involved in the shipment set-up. He definitely didn't seem overly pleased to hear from Biscuit.

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I liked the "Raise Your Flag" opening better, but it was nice to have a full length intro.

I really want to live in an orbital colony like that, although I remember that a few of them ran into serious problems during the Calamity War. 

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Yeah, they've been known to show the full length opening credits once, then use the shortened version. Most TV anime in Japan has a default OP length of 1:30, which is apparently a little too much for U.S. networks.

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The naked old guy in a sauna with GIGANTIC ear lobes who wants Kudelia dead gets an update on the revolting situation. The Lobe is nonplussed that Kudelia was not caught in the middle of it, and that the weapon delivery didn't turn into a massive incident. He wonders what Fumitan is thinking. Cut to Mikazuki wondering what Fumitan is thinking. Nice segue there. Fumitan hints that Mikazuki needs to take responsibility for something, presumably for kissing Kudelia.

All hell breaks out. Orga & the unloading squad are forced to hide out in the apartment of a rebel leader for a while until the rebels can arrange to get them back to the ship, and we find out that Biscuit's older Bro was adopted by a rich family (BTW, it's reasonably common for important Japanese families to adopt adult "children" when they don't have any heirs to carry on the family name. The only legal restriction is that the adoptee be younger than the adopters).

The PTB want Kudelia dead or alive, and she finds out that Fumitan is really working for her father thanks to the intervention of the Char-alike dude, who talks as if he wants Kudelia to spark a larger revolution. Biscuit and Atra's meeting with Big Bro doesn't go as planned; they're captured by The Man, which turns out to include his older brother. Big Bro wants to keep workers from being killed by undermining their revolt, and the end justifies the means. I hereby dub him "Quisling." Atra gets beaten severely for information because she pretends to be Kudelia, and it looks like Biscuit might have been shot during the getaway. Quisling looks unhappy.

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Good news: Biscuit didn't get shot last week. Bad news: Fumitan got shot this week.

Also; the shipment of arms was intended to be a provocation, but it didn't quite pan out. TPTB improvise by having Gjallarhorn come up with a new pretext to slaughter the protesting workers. Unfortunately, the protesters who got killed were the peaceful faction, so look for violent fallout down the road. Also unfortunately (for TPTB), a TV crew covering the protest got a shot of Kudelia heroically cradling a dying protester in her arms. I expect we'll be seeing a lot of that image in the future.

In further news: The Lobe gets a call from McMurdo, who basically says "I saw what you did there, but I'm still willing to do business with you." Quisling is appalled by the bloodshed. Mikazuki slings Kudelia over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes, just like he did to Atra next week. Someone ought to tell him that that isn't the best way to pick up girls.

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I'm caught up after binging on four episodes in two days. I'm kinda/sorta caring about these people, especially Kudelia, who is still learning about stuff. Pity the handmaiden had to bite it. What was her name, again? Fuminmation?

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Two things:

1. There's going to be an IBO marathon next Saturday.

2. This is the video for "Raise Your Flag" by Man With A Mission:

This being Japan, the wolf masks are a gimmick for the band. And now I want all IBO characters to wear them. All of them. That what OVAs are for, right?

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