Entering 2017 for Gundam IBO fans also means entering the second half of the second season, and it’s getting notably more exciting—and considerably promising more pain for the audience, too. After witnessing the conflict Tekkadan accidentally got trapped in on Earth and shedding a lot of tears over Takaki and Aston, the relationship between Mikazuki and Orga has always felt like audience is only given the tip of the iceberg. For two main characters who are on the same side of the war and bound by deep loyalty, there aren’t a lot of scenes where we get to see Mikazuki and Orga exchanging more than a few words that isn’t about the battlefield. And yet, more than any other relationship portrayed, it’s clear that these two have a bond between them that they don’t share with other characters. As Mikazuki’s seiyuu joked at the Gundam IBO event early last December when everyone teased him for being quiet: “Well, Orga isn’t here!”
There’s no denying that what they have with each other gives a lot of us feels. It’s proven, time and again, that Orga holds Mikazuki as one of the most important person in driving him forward, as much as Mikazuki does him. Even with the underlying implication of how dangerous their bond could be, there’s still no denying that Mikazuki and Orga have strong feelings for one another, and in return, makes us experience strong feels over them, too.
But why? Well, how could you not, when we have all these reasons:
1. Their unshakable loyalty and trust.
One of the appeals of Mikazuki’s character that makes him incredibly interesting is perhaps his apathy when it comes to facing the enemies. The title “Devil of Tekkadan” isn’t without reason—Mikazuki has killed, both when he’s in Barbatos and with his own two hands, without so much as blinking. And all those times, behind him, it’s Orga trusting Mikazuki to get things done, to answer his expectation, and in return, Mikazuki trusts all of Orga’s decisions. Their bond is the kind of unquestionable, unconditional loyalty and trust; if there’s someone in the world who would not betray Orga, that would be Mikazuki, and vice-versa.
An example of this trust is showcased as early as Episode 2 of the first season. After the first battle and letting CGS’ First Corps unleash their anger and beat him up, Orga begins the discussion of taking over CGS. Biscuit, Shino, and Eugene, despite their initial doubts, decide to follow Orga, and Orga is very eager to start a strategy meeting. Almost confused, Biscuit asks about Mikazuki, sounding kind of baffled at Orga’s rather sheepish admission that he’d forgotten about Mikazuki. However, with a smile, he adds, “If Mika is against this, then I’m sorry, but we’ll cancel.”
This is Orga’s loyalty to Mikazuki—despite understanding full well that this is their only chance to take over CGS and free themselves, Orga would have bailed on the rest of his friends and dropped all his plans if Mikazuki were to say no. He doesn’t hesitate to say that to the others, either. And yet, in a heavy moment of understanding both himself and Mikazuki so well, Orga continues not a second after: “That won’t happen, though. If I’m serious, then Mika would answer it.” Orga knows Mikazuki, puts his trust in Mikazuki’s loyalty and trust in him, knowing that it’s exactly because Mikazuki trust him that he would answer Orga’s needs and expectations.
This is Mikazuki’s loyalty: he always answers Orga, with everything that he is and everything that makes him Mikazuki, even if that hurts him. Take a look at the last episode of the first season, when Mikazuki and Barbatos fights against Ein Dalton. In a split-second in which Ein seems to be winning, Mikazuki closes his eyes, almost as if he was going to give up. It was at that crucial time that Orga arrived, standing tall on top of the mobile worker, and shouted at the top of his lungs: “What are you doing, Mika?!”
And with an eye dripping blood red, Mikazuki answers the call, finally understanding how he should use Barbatos, and slashes through Ein’s Graze. Mikazuki ended the battle, silencing Ein forever with a calm, “You’re loud. I can’t hear Orga’s voice.”
2. Their childhood.
Maybe it’s not quite exaggerating if we say that the entire series of Gundam IBO begins with Mikazuki and Orga’s childhood together—quite literally, since it is also the first scene of the entire series. While it’s not the start of their relationship, it’s certainly the start of their unbreakable bond, and the moment where their current relationship dynamics take root with Mikazuki’s question: “What should I do next, Orga?”
As orphans on Mars, Mikazuki and Orga’s had grown inseparable after an incident in the alleyway—the two of them run into a robber trying to take their money, injuring Orga rather badly, and in trying to defend themselves, Mikazuki gets ahold of the gun and pulls the trigger. It’s his first kill, out of necessity, and yet, instead of looking scared, all Mikazuki does is look back up at Orga, and asks the question the would be repeated all throughout the series.
What should I do next, Orga, or who should I kill next, Orga? These questions that Mikazuki throws Orga takes its first root in this scene. Little Orga, in the face of being Mikazuki offering his life and fate to him, tells him a naïve dream: they would go out of here, go somewhere that is not here, where they could belong and they would have food and their own beds. Things they both as orphans have never seen or heard, and little Orga offers a hand, invites Mikazuki along to go to a place where they could belong.
Little Mikazuki, seeing how bold and cool his friend is, takes the hand, believing that Orga would take him to that place, and that he’d be able to see so many things he hadn’t seen before. It’s the memory of this day that keeps driving both of them to fight, and at the end of the first season, when they finally reach a point where they could stop fighting for a while, Mikazuki asks, “Is this the place, Orga?”
Orga answers, “It’s one of them,” and they both turn to the where the sun sets, bathing Barbatos in orange, and Mikazuki, despite the fact that he’s bleeding and there’s destruction around him, tells Orga that this place is beautiful.
3. Their co-dependency.
Here’s the thing about Mikazuki and Orga’s relationship that everyone admits: their relationship is dangerous and unhealthy.
These two are former child slaves who have decided to take their destinies into their own hands. The revolution that ended CGS began a long time ago, and it is when Mikazuki looked at Orga with a gun in his hand and asked him, “Who should I kill next, Orga? Where would you take me to next?” And Orga takes it as his responsibility, accepts the trust and the heavy burden that is Mikazuki’s whole life, and pulls everything along—now they’re standing on par with world organizations and scrambling to face adults, and really, before Biscuit pointed it out, we had noticed it for a while: Orga is making more and more risky decisions for Tekkadan simply because, as he told Biscuit: “In his eyes, I must always be the boldest and the coolest Orga Itsuka.”
Mikazuki, on the other hand, would do anything to fulfill Orga’s orders. How many times have we heard Mikazuki say outright, “if it’s Orga’s order, I’ll destroy anything.” The last episode in before the turn of the year into 2017 showcased this in a very powerful moment: The right half of Mikazuki’s body is now essentially paralyzed unless he’s hooked up to Barbatos with the Alaya Vijnana system. Orga starts doubting his increasingly reckless decisions, remembers all the times Mikazuki has driven him into action and Mikazuki’s words on using his whole life for Orga, and agonizes over Mikazuki’s condition.
With these thoughts, Orga dropped by Mikazuki’s room, telling the sleeping Mikazuki that he would not apologize. Except Mikazuki isn’t asleep, and basically freaks Orga out a little bit as he tries to get off the bed by himself. He fails, falls on the ground, and when Orga exasperatedly reaches out to help him, Mikazuki catches his hand, questioning if Orga thinks it’s his fault that Mikazuki ends up like this.
Mikazuki tells Orga that he finally understands how he cannot live without fighting, now that he can’t move without Barbatos. It’s to Orga that he says these words: “Orga, take me. As long as you command me, I can go anywhere.” He doesn’t say that it’s not Orga’s fault, he simply says that he would not forgive Orga if Orga apologize, and Orga answers that he won’t.
This scene drives home powerfully how co-dependent Mikazuki and Orga are, and how it’s probably going to take them into a messed-up future where a lot of people around them—and perhaps themselves—would end up dead. Mikazuki places his life into Orga’s hands to use, a responsibility that Orga accepted, and in return, he runs endlessly in order to take Mikazuki to a place they could belong. It’s Mikazuki that drives Orga forward, and in order to move forward, Orga has to send Mikazuki, time and again, to the battlefield. This is basically a devil’s circle, isn’t it? Their raison d’etre depends on each other, and it’s exactly because of this that neither of them would be able to stop or would allow the other to stop.
4. The essentially “I cannot lose you” convo.
This is a new side of Orga and Mikazuki’s relationship that was explored in the second season. Throughout the first season, we got to see Mikazuki’s friends being scared for Mikazuki’s life—when they all entered Earth’s atmosphere, for example, brings to mind a panicked Orga when faced with the possibility of Mikazuki not making it in time to go through the atmosphere—Orga rarely shows his worry over Mikazuki’s well-being. A big part of this is because he puts all his trust in Mikazuki.
In episode 37, though, the Gundam Frames’ limiters are automatically released when it faces the Mobile Armor, causing strong feedback through Alaya-Vijnana and colliding with the system protecting the pilots. It turns out that when the limiters are completely released, the pilots might not be able to handle the feedback, just like what happened with Mikazuki in Edmonton. Orga makes up his mind not to let either Akihiro or Mikazuki go out in their Gundams to face the Mobile Armor, explicitly telling Mikazuki to stay in the back and just watch.
This display of worry over Mikazuki’s well-being is rarely seen from Orga, especially with the name and position of Tekkadan on the line. Even Nadi points it out—letting Gjallarhorn take credits for destroying the Mobile Armor would affect the power balance in Tekkadan and Gjallarhorn’s relationship. Orga, however, seems to be willing to let it go in exchange of keeping Mikazuki out of the battlefield, and even posits the possibility of going out in Shiden himself if it comes to worse. Mikazuki cuts him short: “I won’t let you.”
It’s unexpected that instead of replying Mikazuki mildly like he always does, this time Orga resorts to anger and actually yells at Mikazuki, clearly worried that Mikazuki would get hurt if he pilots Barbatos with the limiters off. Mikazuki challenges back, saying that he’d rather be the one going out with Barbatos before Orga has to sortie out, and that this is for the shortest route to the place Orga will take them. Angered, Orga argues that it’s a different thing completely, and finally says, “If it means losing you…”
He doesn’t finish, but Mikazuki does. To this, he tells Orga: “My life was given to me by you, Orga. I have to use my everything for you.”
This exchange, in a nutshell, is basically Mikazuki going against Orga going out in his shiden because he cannot lose Orga, to which Orga angrily responds that he cannot lose Mikazuki more. Really, what else would give you a lot of feels for these two and their relationship?
5. Their unexpectedly cute and heartfelt bonding moments
Okay, so Mikazuki and Orga’s relationship are made out of complicated, painful elements that tug on your heartstrings and give you feels. And is that everything? Of course not! How about we focus on Mikazuki and Orga’s unexpectedly cute moments in the series for a look at another side of their relationship?
There are not really a lot of these moments, considering they’re both—especially Orga— Tekkadan’s topmost members and there aren’t many times they could spend together outside of Tekkadan business. But they do have unexpectedly cute bonding moments! Mikazuki, especially, could be seen several times taking care of Orga: when Orga drinks too much and ended up drunk after a night of party with the other members, Mikazuki heads out to look after Orga, stroking his back comfortingly as he throws up. There’s also that one time where Mikazuki puts a jacket on a sleeping Orga, warning him that he’d catch a cold if he sleeps out on a table at the cafeteria. Or just the surprise cute Mikazuki seemingly excited at finding out that his name, if written in kanji characters, shares the same character with Orga!
There are also times where we could see Orga purposefully seeking out Mikazuki’s company. After the sakazuki ceremony that aligns Tekkadan with Teiwaz, it was Mikazuki that Orga found first, and they exchanged light-hearted words in which Mikazuki told him that he was cool out there. Or the first episode in the second season, where you could see Orga waiting for Mikazuki in Barbatos’ hangar. There’s also that one time when Merribit forbids Orga to work more and sends him to rest up for six hours, and what Orga does instead of actually get some rest is go to Isaribi and seek out Mikazuki—even Atra, who comes by to deliver food, decides to not go in there and thinks to herself that she can’t walk in-between Mikazuki and Orga.
These scenes where Orga and Mikazuki interact with one another without it being about Tekkadan or battles are few and in-between, but they’re heartfelt and comforting, because even if their relationship is rather unhealthy and messed-up, it’s a fact that they hold each other dear.
Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-blooded Orphans is about the children of Tekkadan and how they try their best to survive in the harsh world of adults and war because they have nothing else. But it is also about Mikazuki Augus, who never bats an eye when he kills because it’s necessary, because he believes that he’s making a path for Orga to take him to the place Orga once promised him. Mikazuki and Orga’s relationship is one of the main driving force of the series’ plot, so not only it is important, it is also pretty much designed to give audience feels. Their relationship unhealthy and dangerous but heartfelt and intriguing, and you’d probably end up not knowing how to feel for them anymore because it’s just giving you to many feelings.
Want to scream over Mikazuki and Orga and how this ship has ruined your life? Or simply pointing out more reasons why this ship is giving you too much feels? Let us know in the comments!