Iron-Blooded Orphans Ep. 9: Sakazuki


On Saisei, Naze cautions Orga and crew that they should be courteous to McMurdo, the most powerful man in the Outer Sphere. Naze and the others head into the mansion and are introduced to McMurdo, who is busy trimming his bonsai tree. McMurdo has heard of Tekkadan and offers them cannoli, which runs counter to the image that Biscuit and Eugene have formed of him. Naze surprises Orga by declaring that he wants to make a Sakazuki blood oath with him, which McMurdo agrees to. McMurdo asks what Orga’s worth will be, and Naze wants it to be completely equal with neither above the other. McMurdo thinks that’s too much for Orga to handle and decides to make it a 40/60 split instead. Lafter finishes up another simulated battle with Akihiro, but he wants to fight again. Atra helps Azee with the cooking because she wants to learn new recipes. Afterward, Amida comments that a man’s greatness is measured by the amount they love. She asks if Atra would rather have gritty bread to herself or share the most delicious meat with everyone, and Atra takes the question literally by choosing bread because she’s never tasted real meat before. On the Biscoe, McGillis and Gaelio discuss their pursuit of Tekkadan, and McGillis thinks they will take Kudelia to Earth. He wants to use the Ariadne to find them and comments that he has a man with underworld connections looking into them. Gaelio chides Ein for being a boring subordinate and lacking interesting stories. Ein thinks about Crank and how he tried to avoid killing children but was killed without mercy. He doesn’t want to kill innocent children and wonders if it’s ok to kill guilty ones. Eugene and the others enjoy the cannoli while Naze talks about the high price for their looted goods. He explains that the Graze’s reactor brought in a lot of money because only Gjallarhorn is capable of making new Ahab reactors. Orga wants to use the money to celebrate based on Naze’s suggestion, but Biscuit thinks they should be more frugal. Kudelia and her bodyguard Mikazuki speak privately with McMurdo, and he outlines the broad points of her plan to reinvigorate Mars’ economy through deregulation of half-metal resources and autonomous distribution. He mentions that Arbrau leader Makanai is trying to make that happen, but in the worst case it could lead to war. He comments that organizations will scheme for business rights and suggests that she make Teiwaz her representative. She asks for time to think and looks to Mikazuki, but he tells her she has to decide for herself. He thinks it’s probably like the first time he killed and tells her that her whole future will depend on this decision. McMurdo agrees, but says he can’t wait too long. He then turns to Mikazuki and says they’ll take good care of his mobile suit. Orga surprises the younger children of Tekkadan by bringing over plates full of sweets. He then takes Mikazuki, Norba, Akihiro and the other guys to a pub to drink. A woman named Merribit comments on the noise, and the bartender tells her they’re a rowdy bunch from Mars. Later, Orga feels sick from drinking, so Merribit gives him her handkerchief. Norba and Eugene leave to find women, and a drunk Orga rambles about finally being able to create a family for everyone.

Kudelia discusses the situation with Fumitan and wonders what she should do. Fumitan points out that because of Gjallarhorn they can’t return to Mars, which Kudelia says makes her decision clear. She then gives Fumitan the twin of a pair of necklaces she bought while shopping. Mikazuki and Biscuit find Orga sleeping at a table in the mess hall. Mikazuki tells Biscuit about what happened with McMurdo and wonders if he should’ve opposed it because Teiwaz stepping in means less profit for Tekkadan. Biscuit says that Orga knows they can’t handle a war between organizations and that they’ve just been lucky up to now. Biscuit wishes Orga would rely on them a bit more, unaware that Orga is awake. Later, Orga wakes up and finds Ride hiding the sweets in the locker so that he can give it to the younger kids to pacify them when they’re upset. Orga playfully rubs his hair and then stops to throw up. The next day, an old Teiwaz engineer strips the Gundam Barbatos down to its frame and expresses his excitement over working on a legendary mobile suit. With an unlimited budget, he intends to tune up the unit by replacing expendable parts and adjusting the reactor. Norba shows up to help Nadi because he overslept and will miss the Sakazuki ceremony. Amida and Lafter help Biscuit and Eugene put on Japanese robes ahead of the ceremony. Biscuit is surprised that Akihiro came, and he answers that it’s a great moment for the family. Naze writes out Orga’s name in Japanese and does the same for Mikazuki’s to show him what it looks like. Although he can’t read Japanese, Mikazuki says it looks prettier than what Kudelia taught him in English. When Orga walks in, Naze tells them that the “g” in their names can be read as “I” or “oneself.” He cautions Orga not to lose himself because his position will be constantly changing. Kudelia tells Mikazuki that she’s made her decision and asks to speak with Orga. After the ceremony, she tells McMurdo that her hands are already stained with the blood of Tekkadan, so stopping now would betray them. Orga asks if he can keep escorting Kudelia and tells McMurdo that he only cares about protecting his family, not his pride. Later, the Isaribi and Hammerhead take off and head for Earth.


Teiwaz’s base ship Saisei is the setting this episode, which opens with a rather surprising declaration from Naze that he wants to be an equal blood brother to Orga. That goes far beyond the mere introductions he’d promised to make in the last episode. I wonder if he had always intended to do that and simply hid it from Orga, or if he hadn’t but later changed his mind. Either way, it’s a big step up for Tekkadan and gives them the safety from Gjallarhorn that Orga has been striving for. We finally meet McMurdo in this episode, and he’s an odd duck. He wears Japanese robes and is seen trimming a bonsai, but is clearly not Japanese and offers his guests cannoli. Additionally, the sakazuki blood oath that this episode is named after is a yakuza ritual, which tells you a lot about Teiwaz. I’m glad to see a lighter side of Orga this episode after everything that Tekkadan has been through so far. I’m sure it’ll be short-lived since Gjallarhorn isn’t done with them yet. Ein keeps obsessing over Crank’s death and tries to justify the notion of killing “guilty children,” so he’s on the path of becoming this show’s Jerid Messa. He doesn’t seem like a bad guy, but I wonder how far down the rabbit hole he’ll fall of crazed obsession. Also, who is this character Merribit seen at the pub and after? She got too much screen time for just a random character, so I suspect she’s more than a passerby. On a final note, now that the Gundam Barbatos has been properly upgraded, I’m eager to see what it can do in battle.

Overall Rating

Iron-Blooded Orphans Info

Tatsuyuki Nagai

Mari Okada
Hajime Kamoshida
Michihiro Tsuchiya
Toshizo Nemoto
Shinsuke Onishi
Hiroyuki Yoshino
Mayori Sekijima
Tatsuto Higuchi
Yousuke Kuroda

Mechanical Designer(s):
Naohiro Washio
Kanetake Ebikawa
Ippei Gyoubu
Kenji Teraoka
Tamotsu Shinohara

Character Designer(s):
Yu Ito
Michinori Chiba

Musical Composer:
Masaru Yokoyama

50 episodes; 9 compilation episodes

Airdates (TV):
Japan 10.04.2015 – 03.27.2016 (S1);
10.02.2016 – 04.02.2017 (S2)
U.S. 06.04.2016 – 12.11.2016 (S1);
10.08.2017 – 04.28.2018 (S2)

Airdates (SE):
Japan 04.29.2022 –


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