REVIEW: ‘Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch From Mercury,’ Episode 4 – “Unseen Trap”

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The Witch From Mercury Episode 4 - But Why Tho

In its fourth episode, Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch From Mercury starts to dig deeper into the themes of class & politics that fuel the Gundam franchise. “Unseen Trap” once again finds Suletta Mercury (Kana Ichinose) besting Guel Jeturk (Yohei Azakami) in a duel. But at the end of the duel, Guel proposes to Suletta – sending her into a panic. She also has to worry about an upcoming test that will showcase her skills as a mobile pilot, especially since she needs two students to act as a mechanic and spotters. And even with the help of Miorine Rembran (Lynn), it’s hard to find the crew she needs due to political tensions.

Once again, the focus shifts from giant robots slugging it out to expanding upon the world of The Witch From Mercury. The Gundam franchise has never been afraid to tackle heavy topics such as the devastating effects of war and capitalism, and that continues here. This time, the divide between Earth’s citizens -labeled “Earthians” – and those who reside on other planets, aka “Spacians”, takes center stage. The Spacians have a major advantage on the world stage due to their ability to mine materials in space, and that’s caused societal and economic pressure on Earth.

The divide is further built on at the Asticassia School of Technology, especially when it comes to Chuatury “Chuchu” Panlunch (Miyu Tomita). A citizen of Earth, Chuchu despises the Spacians and regularly gets into fights with Spacian students. But she also has her soft side – particularly in a scene that reveals more about her home life. It would have been easy just to paint her as the “angry girl”, but in the same way that previous episodes have expanded upon the relationships that other Aticassa students have with their families, she gets more depth. So do the rest of the students, as Suletta learns to navigate the class structures within the school.

Speaking of Suletta, The Witch From Mercury Episode 4 offers the deepest look at her to date.. During her prep for the mobile suit test, Suletta reveals to Miorine the reason she came to Aticassa – and it’s unexpected, yet plays into her character. She isn’t like other Gundam protagonists, fighting to avenge someone or stop a war. She has a genuinely altruistic goal, and despite her timidness, she’s willing to fight for it. Ichinose turns in a series-best performance here, as for the first time in the series Suletta’s voice doesn’t waver while she speaks.

Sunrise continues to make each of the new characters distinct, as their appearances often offer insight into their personalities – or are at total odds with it. Take Chuchu, for example. Her big, poofy pink hair and small stature are totally at odds with her combative spirit. And the same goes for Suletta; even though she is now the best mobile suit duelist at Aticassa, she doesn’t seem entirely comfortable with her new title which includes a spiffy white uniform. I also appreciate the attention to detail in simulating a habitat for space; characters are often shown wearing bulky spacesuits and floating in certain parts of the school. It adds a touch of realism, but not enough to overpower the “giant robot” element of the Gundam franchise.

Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch From Mercury Episode 4 explores the class conflicts between Earth and the rest of the universe while continuing to flesh out its various characters. The reason why Gundam’s been a favorite franchise of mine is that it manages to balance its heavier themes with all of the mech action, and The Witch From Mercury has that in spades.

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 4 — "Unseen Trap"
  • 8.5/10
    Rating - 8.5/10
8.5/10

TL;DR

Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch From Mercury Episode 4 explores the class conflicts between Earth and the rest of the universe while continuing to flesh out its various characters. The reason why Gundam’s been a favorite franchise of mine is that it manages to balance its heavier themes with all of the mech action, and The Witch From Mercury has that in spades.

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