「魔女と花嫁」 (Majo to Hanayome)
“The Witch and the Bride”
The fall season may have kicked off last week, but it arguably begins in full now as every manner of hyped to hell show fires off their big guns. Case in point being Sunrise’s lastest Gundam series Witch from Mercury. Do I really need to say more than that? It’s a Gundum, you know damn well what’s coming here.
Right out the gate the first thing to note about Witch from Mercury is that this opener is technically the show’s second episode. A prequel episode aired back in summer which, while not mandatory viewing, at least gives some tangible idea of just what to expect. And what to expect, well, is the usual Gundam shenanigans. In a break from precedent the MC this time is Suletta Mercury (Ichinose Kana), a girl heralding from – you guessed it – Mercury (read: orbiting Mercury habitat) who just so happens to also be a pilot of Gundam Aerial which does all the things you expect a Gundam to do. In another break as well Suletta isn’t what you’d call forthright. Rather than some combination of aloof, smug, or otherwise mentally hardened (the usual Gundam protag personality), she’s an incredibly timid and introverted girl who has a hell of a time interacting with others. Slightly corny and embarrassing at times admittedly, but certainly a nice change of pace. Or, you know, until we get the inevitably dark and dreary backstory that skillful Gundam piloting hints towards.
As for setting, this too shouldn’t be that out place for any Gundam afficionado. Courtesy of one forward thinking mama Suletta is attending the Asticassia School of Technology, which for lack of additional information can be considered a mecha school. Kids learn all about big giant robots for the usual array of dystopic megacorporation interests and get the fun of teenage drama to boot. Case in point here is the second lead of the show in Miorine Rembran (Lynn), the fiery and forthright daughter of Asticassia’s overarching control corp president. Personality alone should show her match for Suletta for fairly obvious reasons, though the thing reinforcing their eventual partnership is the dual combination of Miorine being originally won as a bride for Asticassia’s lead student pilot (and aggravating hotshot) Guel Jeturk (Azakami Youhei) in a duel and Suletta thoroughly crushing him in another duel – and then winning Miorine as her bride. Yes, that indeed happened, and yes, there’s plenty which could be said over this universe’s apparent social norms, but suffice to say it’s an arrangement ensuring both girls have plenty of time to learn about and grow closer to each other.
Getting to that learning (and the assured yuri baiting) likely won’t take long too since we also already have the first foreshadowing of major events. Besides Asticassia’s director (and Guel’s father) trying to off Miorine’s father for, among other things, the duelling system that let the like of Miorine be acquired as a veritable trophy (being the small fish is always difficult), the corporate trappings are enough to show that violence isn’t far off, especially once we start delving into what makes Gundams tick in this series and their use in political affairs. Hell the OP should be enough (prologue episode spoilers aside) to indicate how this Gundam variant came into existence and what makes Suletta particularly special.
There’s some serious and gritty developments coming down the pipeline in Witch from Mercury, it’s only a question of which happens first and who has the pleasure of being the first to die.
After all, it’s not a Gundam without pain and suffering – and this one has all the pieces for plenty of it.
OP: 「祝福」 (Shukufuku) by YOASOBI