The final episode of Iron Blooded Orphans aired on Crunchyroll recently and, well, I’m heart broken for a couple reasons. Before I get into this review, here is the link to read my season 1 review if you’d like to read it.

I won’t be going into animation and technical things like that since this the second season, and I cover things like that in the first season reviews. Just FYI ;).

Story

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Season 2 did a fantastic job of creating a story plot that was different from the previous season without feeling too distant. We get that same air desperation and slight naivety from Tekkaden that would come from a group of kids trying to survive on their own. This final chapter brought some dark stuff, even darker than before, and handled it well. It is a believable story line that didn’t get lost when traipsing through the sometimes irritating world of politics.

Politics do in fact play a large part here. We get to watch Orga attempt to figure out his and his families place within a world ruled largely by Gjallarhorn and the mafia. It’s an interesting transition from the brash Orga we met earlier in the series.

NO ONE IS SAFE! I think I cried more during this entire anime than I did while watching Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood, and that’s saying something. I’m not going to spoil anything in this regard, but I wasn’t ready for all the character deaths I had to endure. Be ready!

Character Development

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This is what I was the most impressed with throughout the series, especially when it came to Orga, Kudelia and Mikazuki. We went from 3 teenagers who didn’t know what they were doing despite having good intentions to 3 adults (or almost adults) who are changing the world. They demanded respect from their peers and got it, even when it came to their enemies. They had their struggles of course, but it’s admirable that they hold their ground regardless.

Someone else I was impressed with was McGillis. We didn’t get to know him too well i the last season, but he plays a huge role in this story plot. Not only that, we get to see more into his past and discover why he’s made certain choices up to this point. I love receiving clarity about character plots and IBO did a great job at making them all clear to us as viewers.

Ending Feels

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This is one of those where the ending is bittersweet for me. As I said above, I cried A LOT but I feel like ending the show any other way would’ve been a disservice to it. It feels complete and real in  way that no other anime has ever really felt for me. It plays off of the ‘life isn’t just about the black and white, it’s about all the gray’ idea and does it well.

I don’t hold out hope for a third season because there doesn’t need to be one. They came full circle with the events that took place and I’m at peace with it.

Final Thoughts

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This is on my all time favorites list for sure. The funny thing is that when I first started watching I was convinced I wouldn’t like it due to the mechs. I’ve never been a Gundam fan and avoided that genre but Iron Blooded Orphans proved me wrong. It has a great story, a relate able cast of characters, good animation and a fantastic soundtrack. I recommend everyone at least trying it, especially now that it has the dub released as well.

Thank you so much for reading! If you’d like to join in on the discussion, please feel free to leave a comment!

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