Poverty runs rampant on the surface of Mars and jobs are scarce due to the stranglehold Gjallarhorn, a military faction established by Earth, has on the economy. In an effort to grant her Martian city its independence, Princess Kudelia Aina Bernstein requests that she be escorted to Earth by Chryse Guard Security (CGS)’s Third Group. However, CGS comes under attack by Gjallarhorn in an attempt to prevent Mars’s movement towards independence, and Kudelia and her group are abandoned. The Third Group, comprised of child soldiers led by Orga Itsuka, starts a rebellion against the adults who had left them behind.
Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans (IBO) is an anime that explores the themes of child soldiers, poverty, and betrayal. As main characters, the skilled pilot Mikazuki and charismatic leader Orga struggle to see Kudelia to safety, they learn to deal with the burdens of leadership, the complications of growing up, the pain of loss on the battlefield, and what it means to be a family.