REVIEW: ‘Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch From Mercury,’ Episode 1 – “The Witch And The Bride”

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Mobile Suit Gundam The Witch From Mercury Episode 1 - But Why Tho

In the pantheon of mecha anime, the Mobile Suit Gundam franchise reigns supreme. With dozens of series under its belt, it’s made a major impact on pop culture over the years. That impact includes video games, giant statues in its homeland of Japan, and even a reference in a Steven Spielberg film. The newest series, The Witch From Mercury, is a surprising departure from the norm—but that’s what makes it such a great watch.

The first episode, “The Witch And The Bride,” takes place in the year of Ad Stella 122. Suletta Mercury (Kana Ichinose) has just arrived at the Asticassia School of Technology, which prides itself on training a new generation of mobile pilots. En route, she saves the life of Miorine Rembran (Lynn), but it turns out that Miorine was attempting to escape from Asticassia. More specifically, she’s attempting to escape her arranged marriage to Asticassia’s ace pilot, Guel Jeturk (Yohei Azakami). As matters at Asticassia are settled through mobile suit duels, Suletta battles Guel for Miorine’s honor.

The thing that struck me about watching Witch From Mercury is how different it is from other Gundam series. While it still touches upon the dangers of weaponizing technology via mobile suits, it feels more in line with a shonen series. The specialized school, the new students, the otherworldly fights—you’ve seen it before. But this time, famous mecha are involved. Honestly, I like this approach, especially as it makes for a great intro to the world of Gundam. Newcomers don’t have to worry about watching the previous series and long-time fans will more than likely appreciate the change of pace.

The Witch From Mercury also marks the first time that a Gundam series has a female protagonist. Suletta isn’t like the Gundam protagonists of old: she’s extremely shy and often leaps into action without considering the fallout. But when push comes to shove, she shows immense skill in piloting her Gundam Aerial. She shares a lot in common with Izuku Midoriya. Her relationship with Miorine is also a highlight of the episode and has some majorly romantic overtones. The ending once again is a first for Gundam, as it feels more in place in a shoujo/yuri story than a Gundamstory. It’s just another example of how writer Ichiro Okouchi knowingly swerves away from fan expectations, and I hope it continues in future episodes because it works really well

This being a Gundam series, there is of course a battle between giant robots, and it looks immensely beautiful. Director Ryo Ando crafts the duel with immense precision, as Guel’s Dilanza and Suletta’s Aerial trade blows in an arena designed to look like the surface of a moon. Aerial even has a few special attacks that put a new spin on the Gundam’s trademark weaponry, and even looks like a sleeker version of the classic RX-78-2. The humans themselves are a study in contrasts, particularly Suletta and Miorine. Suletta’s fiery red hair and tanned skin compliment Miorine’s snow-white hair and icy violet eyes. Sunrise, the animation studio behind previous Gundam series and last year’s Scarlet Nexus, returns to deliver some stellar work. The last shot of the episode, in particular, is so majestic it demands to be seen.

Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch From Mercury is both a fresh breath of air for the Gundam franchise and an amazing intro to mecha anime. Definitely check it out if you like giant robots or you’re curious about Gundam—or both! More popular anime franchises could take a page from Mercury‘s book when it comes to crafting new entries.

The first episode of Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch From Mercury is available to stream on Crunchyroll. New episodes premiere on Sundays.


Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch From Mercury Episode 1 - "The Witch And The Bride"
  • 9/10
    Rating - 9/10
9/10

TL;DR

Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch From Mercury is both a fresh breath of air for the Gundam franchise and an amazing intro to mecha anime. Definitely check it out if you like giant robots or you’re curious about Gundam—or both! More popular anime franchises could take a page from Mercury‘s book when it comes to crafting new entries.

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