Gundam: The Witch From Mercury is the first major Gundam series after Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphan ended back in 2017. Yes, it’s been around five years since we got to watch a major Gundam series. That is why it’s safe to say that the fans are extremely excited about this new series. However, considering how much the fans loved the last Iron-Blooded Orphan, the expectation for The Witch From Mercury to be better (or at least on par) than its predecessor is certainly high.
So can this latest addition to the Gundam franchise live up to those high expectations? Well, rather than pondering about such a question, we can simply see how good it actually is. Because The Witch From Mercury finally released its first episode on October 3rd. And these are our thoughts and first impressions based on a couple of episodes that we’ve seen from this series thus far.
A New Yet Familiar Gundam Series
The Witch From Mercury is different from the previous entries in the Gundam franchise because it decided to add some new stuff while also trying to retain some of the familiar story elements that we all know and love from the Gundam series.
The most obvious change is the fact that for the first time ever, the main character is now a girl. Not only that, the role of a masked person that was started by Char Aznable back in the original Mobile Suit Gundam and has always been an integral character in every major Gundam series ever since, is now also given to a female character as well.
Other than the characters, another notable change is the setting. The story is still set in space, but rather than taking place during a major war or times of great turmoil, the world of The Witch From Mercury is relatively at peace, at least from what we’ve seen thus far. This is why the main character, also for the first time in the series, gets to enroll and enjoy living the life of a regular student.
As for the familiar story elements, other than the aforementioned masked character, the story of this new series still tackles some serious topics, just like the other series that come before it. For example, Gundam 00 is about the civil war and military intervention, Gundam G Reco is about the monopoly on limited energy resources, and Iron-Blooded Orphan is about inequality and child labor, just to name a few.
In the case of The Witch From Mercury, it decided to tackle some of the topics that are somewhat familiar with what we’ve seen in the real world today, such as the emergence of disruptive technology, unchecked economic powers of mega-corporations, and a billionaire’s abuse of power, among other things.
Combining The Previous Gundam Mobile Suits
Now that we’ve talked about the story, it’s time to dive deeper into the most important part of the Gundam series, the Mobile Suits, particularly the main Gundam itself. The main Gundam in The Witch From Mercury is called Gundam Aerial, and it’s not an exaggeration to say that this is the culmination of the other Gundams that came before it.
The stern-looking head with the sharp double v-fins and its overall slim figure is the reminiscence of Gundam Qan[T] from Gundam 00. The red and translucent parts in its chest and head are just like the psycho frame in Gundam Unicorn. The air vents at the back are similar to the ones that can be seen in the Turn A Gundam. The slim waist and high heels are quite similar to Gundam Barbatos from Iron-Blooded Orphan. And finally, the muted and pastel-like colors are nearly identical to Gundam G-Self from Gundam Reconguista in G.
Other than the overall appearance, another striking similarity is Aerial’s main weapon system. It’s a remote, swarm weapon system called GUND-BIT, which is pretty much another version of Nu Gundam’s Fin Funnels. However, the difference between them both is this overpowered weapon system comes pre-installed in Aerial and can be used in the very first episode of the series, rather than a massive upgrade to the Nu Gundam that we only get to see during the later part of the series. Not only that, unlike Nu Gundam, the GUND-BIT in Aerial can be combined to form a shield or an extension to its beam rifle.
So as you can probably notice by now The Witch From Mercury uses the concept of “New yet Familiar” not only in its story elements but also in the design philosophy of its main Gundam. That alone makes it unique and refreshing compared to the previous series in this massive franchise.
Gundam: The Witch From Mercury manages to bring something new and unique to this old franchise, but also retains some of the familiar story and design elements that we all know and love at the same time. And if the first few episodes are an indication of how the whole season will turn out, then we’ll get another great Gundam series on our hands.
Have you watched the new Gundam: The Witch From Mercury? If you have, what do you think about it? Will you follow this new Gundam series? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.