Taking another week off of politics, I’m back to talking about the things I love. In this instance, the newly released “Mobile Suit Gundam” series – “Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch from Mercury”.
For the uninitiated, “Mobile Suit Gundam” is a long running franchise of anime based around giant robots called Mobile Suits (and some called Gundams!) With the first Mobile Suit Gundam series released in 1979 to middling appeal, it may be kind of shocking to hear that since then, it has garnered mass appeal for its intricate storytelling and critics on the nature of war itself, and has released over 50 TV series and many other games, movies, and novels.
The most recent of those releases (And the primary subject of my current affections) is “Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch from Mercury (G-Witch)”.
And trust me when I tell you that despite only having two-episodes released, it is seriously one of the best series I’ve seen.
Taking place in an alternate universe to the original universe, G-Witch is allowed to take new steps in its world building and storytelling. It seems G-Witches story may focus less on the horrors of war and more the inherent issues under capitalism (So far its main villain appears to be the president of a conglomerate of corporations full of nepotism and corruption). On top of that, G-Witch takes on a new setting, trading the fronts, both space-based and Earth-based, of war, for the dueling grounds of an academy based on training pilots, mechanics, and other careers focused on the titular giant fighting robots. Of all the changes, the series’ change of character may be its “boldest” (Though if you ask me it’s taken far too long to get here), with G-Witch’s new setting and universe, we also see the first female main protagonist of the franchise, Suletta Mercury.
These changes have already been used to great effect, aiding in drawing in new audiences and grabbing the attention of older fans in one of the strongest first episodes to any series I’ve seen.
Opening with Suletta’s arrival at the Asticassia School of Technology, G-Witch wastes no time getting straight into the action, with a life form detected floating adrift away from the station the school is builton. Suletta jumps into action in her Gundam, Gundam Aerial (Which features a lovely blue white and yellow color scheme), and quickly saves the girl we soon learn is Miorine Rembran, the daughter of one of the most important men alive. After the two part ways, with Miorine scolding Suletta for interrupting her escape attempt, Suletta discovers the main form of dispute management at this school. Mobile. Suit. Dueling. And she learns this in the most dangerous way possible.
Nearly being crushed by two massive dueling mechs in the midst of their battle. Emerging victorious from this duel is another primary character (likely a major protagonist) Guel Jeturk, a cocky jerk who also happens to be Miorine’s Fiance, a title earned through dueling, and entirely against Miorne’s will.
After being saved by Miorine, later in the day Suletta seeks her out to apologize in the cutest, most awkward way possible, and finds the white haired student in a small private room where she appears to be gardening. Miorine offers the naive Suletta a tomato, just before Guel walks in talking a big game and being a huge pompous jerk, treating Miorine like some sort of trophy wife and ranting about how her only purpose is to get married, specifically to him.
Suletta, appalled by this rude behavior … spanks him? (Alternatively, she may just smack his butt) as a gut reaction. Guel, humiliated by this, challenges Suletta to a duel, and for the sake of brevity, after a bit of nonsense, Suletta and her Gundam Aerial tear Guel’s mobile suit to shreds under a hail of gorgeously animated beam fire, and as it turns out, winning this duel gives Suletta a few benefits. A cool new uniform for becoming the Holder/ Best duelist at the school, probably a new enemy in the form of an embarrassed Guel, oh, and of course, Miorine’s hand in marriage.
Yup, the first episode ends in a fun little exchange about how Mercury (Suletta’s home planet) is a bit of a conservative/traditionalist planet, but “this type of thing” (See, Two girls getting married) is a totally normal thing in space.
Now, as with most small things, this riled up some folks. Homophobic Gundam fans took to social media in a tizzy over how Gundam was being “ruined by the woke liberals” because two girls were engaged. Typically stupid justifications for obvious homophobia followed, but even more so it seems there was an outpouring of excitement of the idea that we could see the first canon gay relationship in Gundam, (which, if you ask me, is a pretty exciting prospect).
Now, about 800 words into this “review”, I’ll finally give you an actual review of the first episode.
A+, 5 stars, 10/10, 100%, gold star, absolutely gorgeous.
With fun and exciting writing set in a new universe and a whole new world to learn about, G-Witch certainly catches your interest, and it will absolutely hold that interest with absolutely GORGEOUS animation. Even if you have absolutely no intention of watching the series, you should find a clip of the first episode’s duel and watch that because it is amazing, especially the ending shot, which is currently memorialized as my desktop wallpaper, where it will remain for the next long while.
G-Witch also serves as a great jumping-off point for people looking to get into the Gundam franchise and find its original universe a bit daunting to jump into, if you have any sort of interest in watching giant robots fighting each other with laser swords and laser guns and floating laser bits, check out the first episode (Or the absolutely lovely, if not traumatic, prologue) and if you don’t have that sort of interest- Why did you just read over 1,000 words about it? Come on, value your time better.
Braedon Martin is a Hutchinson sophomore studying journalism. He is the Collegian’s Opinion Page editor and Managing Editor-Design