Continuing on from my previous post comparing scenes from episodes 23 and 24 of Mobile Suit Gundam Iron-Blooded Orphans with real-life Edmonton, here is a look at the places shown in episode 25. While many of the backgrounds stay true to what Edmonton actually looks like, there are a few minor differences which I will point out below.
At the start of the episode, Mika and Ein are still battling it out at the intersection of 109 Street and Jasper Avenue.
Meanwhile, Orga races down 100 Avenue on his way to the Arbrau Parliament. This particular spot is where the High Level Bridge Streetcar crosses 100 Avenue. If you’re ever in Edmonton during the summer, you can take a round-trip ride on a streetcar for $6, which takes you between Old Strathcona and Jasper Plaza and crosses Edmonton’s iconic High Level Bridge. One of the streetcars (Edmonton 33) was originally built back in 1912!
As Ein has the upper hand against Mika, he pushes him back towards 108 Street where you can see that a Money Mart on the corner has now been turned into a Monkey Mart. If you look South down 108 Street you have a beautiful shot of the Alberta Legislature.
This is again at the intersection of 108 Street and Jasper Avenue. Like with the signs I mentioned in my previous post, the construction fence along the sidewalk has again been turned into a permanent structure, this time it looks like a small 2-storey store.
The hideout that Orga uses really confused me for a while. The house they show in the anime is typical of what you’d find in an older Edmonton neighbourhood, but for the life of me I couldn’t think of one with a green roof by itself downtown. It wasn’t until I noticed the pattern of the building on the left as being part of the Telus Toll Building that I realized what the animators had done. Instead of taking a real place in Edmonton, they took several buildings from around the city and put them on one fictional street.
Anyone who spends a lot of time driving around downtown will recognize this area as being 104 Street just South of Jasper Avenue. That distinctive red lining on that parkade to the left is unmistakable.
This blockade is at the intersection of 105 Street and 100 Avenue, facing North. You can see the distinctive red Atco Tower. Interestingly, they got rid of the First Presbyterian Church and Holiday Inn Express and turned that area into a park. Personally, I think they should’ve changed the angle a bit so that you can see the Giant Transition mural on the side of the John Howard Society building.
Going back to the battle between Mika and Ein, it looks like Edmonton suffers its first building casualty with the Barbados slamming into the side of the Standard Life Building.
Here’s the view from where Barbados fell. Considering the lengths that anime take to alter corporate logos, I’m surprised that they didn’t change the swirl on top of the Coast Plaza.
Now that Ein has the upper hand, he kicks Mika further down Jasper Avenue.
This was an interesting scene. At first you could swear from the anime that it’s Edmonton, but if you actually take a close look, very few things actually match the real skyline (though to be fair, I would hope Edmonton gets a few more buildings after 300+ years). The only things that really give it away are the Icon Towers and the Century towards the foreground. From their position, you can see that Takaki is standing on top of Manulife Place.
Here, Orga is back on Jasper Avenue at the intersection with 103 Street.
You can see Enterprise Square on the left as Orga watches the battle between Ein and Mika.
By this point, the battle has moved down 7 blocks to 102 Street, just outside Commerce Place.
Although the building on the left is still recognizable as Enbridge Tower, it looks like in the anime they’ve replaced some of the glass with concrete and chopped off the pointy part at the top. I wonder if the animators just didn’t see the top, because they do show it in previous scenes.
Mika finally wins the battle here at 102 Street and Jasper Avenue. If you’re still around 300 years into the future and want to watch the battle play out while enjoying a hot coffee and doughnut, there is a Tim Hortons at the corner :)
I’m sure many of you might be wondering why the producers decided to have the final battle in Edmonton, a little-known Canadian city with a slight inferiority complex that is sometimes referred to as “Deadmonton”. I honestly don’t know, but I do have a guess. Towards the end of the episode, there is a scene on one of the space colonies, that you can see below:
I believe they showed this area before in a previous episode and while I thought it looked familiar, I didn’t link it to Edmonton until now. When you enter the Shaw Conference Centre from Jasper Avenue, you are greeted with a completely glass roof and look down on several layers of trees, plants, and fountains, much like what you see in the anime.
Considering the heavy focus on Jasper Avenue and the similarities of this scene to the Shaw Conference Centre, I’m guessing that one of the producers probably came to Edmonton for business of some type at the conference centre, which would’ve just given him time to walk down Jasper. Whatever the reason behind it, I’m glad that the Gundam producers decided to showcase Edmonton and I welcome any Gundam fans now planning a trip to my city.