「目一杯の祝福を君に」 (Meippai no Shukufuku wo Kimi ni)
“May All Blessings Find Their Way To You, I’m Wishing It”

Well if there’s one way to sum up this finale it’s fully expected. Oh sure, there were a few surprises buried in the mix, notably Eri surviving (in a sense), Prospera getting whacked by the atonement bat, and of course Benerit effectively doing what Shaddiq was after from the start (just a little more abruptly), but in the end can you say you didn’t see this ending coming? Everyone lived, happy ever afters were had, and we found the time to put some enemies of the moment in their place (both physical and virtual). This episode basically speaks for itself, so you know what means – it’s impressions time!

Final Impressions

Out of all recent Gundams, Witch from Mercury is likely to be the most divisive for the fanbase. Outside of a premise which leans towards Utena in space, it’s also a series which, whether true or not, seemingly listened to criticisms of Gundam being too bleak or melancholic and structured its story around breaking from that belief. Couple on this being one of the shorter Gundam series and it’s not hard seeing why audience opinion (particularly Japanese vs. Western opinion) is split. This is one Gundam that aims to please all and doesn’t quite live up to expectations.

The issue which for me hurts Witch from Mercury the most is its pacing, or more specifically, the pacing of specific arcs. Early introductions and establishment arcs are case in point: these did the job of setting up key characters, revealing early (and future) enemies, and overall establishing the setting this series was aiming for. The problem is that this was very much frontloaded, where the time spent here took away from the later, more consequential material, resulting in some very momentous events being condensed into mere minutes. None more showcase this than Guel, the early antagonist later made tragic hero who got a lot of time to shine as antagonist and comparatively little as the hero, resulting in such scenes as his battle with Lauda seeming abrupt and ill foreshadowed. It’s perfectly fine having these plots, more than good to see such characters face off (it’s Gundam’s bread and butter), but there’s a reason they’re arguably remembered and appreciated far more in earlier series: they had the buildup necessary to justify and explain them, especially in the context of the larger story.

Witch from Mercury’s timing troubles bleed into the other key problem of apparent lack of stakes. Although true this Gundam didn’t fully shy away from death or high risk situations, for me they never really felt all that consequential. Guel’s patricide or Suletta’s smash in hindsight come across as checkboxes, only there to straddle the opinion fence to attempt appealing to both audiences and retain interest. Likewise Miorine’s visit to Earth or the Space League’s superweapon finale: events there to give the illusion of tragedy without really crossing over into it. As mentioned such veritable teasing itself isn’t really the problem more so than the time spent in giving reason for both sides of the coin in a two cour limited series. If Guel and his family had longer in the buildup and denouement, if Suletta and Miroine had more time to handle the fallout, if Elan got just an episode more to flesh out his interest in Norea and choice to jump ship, a lot of the complaints here wouldn’t even be mentioned. As many an anime have shown you can have the serious with the school-life, you simply need to ensure it’s written to that effect.

All of that said, however, shouldn’t give the impression that this was an absolute trainwreck of a Gundam. Yes, Witch from Mercury is flawed; yes, it could be better – but outside of pacing troubles or questions on overall plot-related consequences, it was your typical mecha with the budget to boot. We got the fun action, we got the drama, and we got the sci-fi setting giving reason for it – not every new Gundam can rival the titans of the UC series after all, not every Sunrise mecha can turn into a definitive work of big giant robot art. Hell to even get a new Gundam in this day and age which isn’t UC-related (or SEED for that matter *laughs in new movie release*) is a pretty big deal, so some leeway is rightfully deserved.

In the end, for all I may not rank Witch from Mercury at the top of my mecha (or for that matter Gundam) list, it’s certainly nowhere near the bottom, and if it can encourage Sunrise among others to keep on trying at the original mecha series slot machine, I’ll consider that an overall win. After all, one of these series will eventually hit it out the park, it’s simply a matter of enough time before that true diamond in the rough makes its appearance.

End Card


  1. If there is one bad thing i can lament from this final episode it is this; being robbed of a suspense in handling a sense of crisis.
    A superweapon headed by Bask Om wannabe (demoted from Jamitov wannabe) stopped by gundam headed by 90’s esque mahou shojo scene , worst of all not by power of friendship or humanity struggle and sacrifice for better tomorrow like in every gundam (even the dreadful end of AGE where Flit should have nuked all the Vegan and become the villainous hero…..) it is instead Mobile Doll solve all problem, Treize Kushrenada would not like this.

    Anyway, the epilog felt satisfying although it left quite a questions. i.e.:
    – Nika : lost her feminime haircut and get a dyke prison hairdo, with a bright ‘ex convict’ in her curriculum vitae record., also the earth groupies are barely important. Who cares.
    – Chuchu : spending her remaining lives paying her debt for Demi Barding’s loan with the Haro geek. … i thought she will be a duo with Felsi Rollo like the Kapool team from Turn A.
    – Elan number 5 : Yurucamping his life using some notebook scribble instead of Google map. I thought he will end it with a bang, taking down the peil’s hags while Heero Yui’d himself. I dunno how to feel.
    -Shaddiq : Sunrise, i don’t think giving him Slaine’d treatment will sell more Mihaelis and his merchs. No one like how dumb Aldnoah Zero end, anyway.
    -Shaddiq’s harem : well, need c103 to be more than yuri couple and sitting gyaru
    – Petra and Lauda : i feel sad for her condition, the c103 will be awkward, but regardless i’m happy she is alive and well and have the patrick collasaur treatment. Hope Schwarzette don’t rot in the shelves. It had nice gimmicks, and SRW fix would be a bit tooo late.
    – Bob : well, i expected him to be tomatoers farmers, but he is the best character and the whole story should be about Jeturk CEO story. The real protagonist of this series. As new headmister i hope he changed the ugly almost genderless school uniform. It looks demoralizing and ugly wearing them.
    – Original Elan : no character development and remain smug SOB to the end, but the way he f*ck off from the peil’s hag was too funny to be angry about. I wish he had more relevance to the plot instead of his silly clone. He seems interesting chadacter.
    -Felsi and the Jeturk guy: they have more esprit de corps than the earth groupies, making everyone want to root for them. Too bad we only get a dialogueless frame retelling their situation.
    -Sitting Gyaru now standing : now a sexy secretary. I don’t think she will say ‘It’s already morning, sir.’ I thought she was some kind of heiress to some business moghul?
    – Prospera Possee : i dunno her role in Prologue (episode 00) , neither her role now…. perhaps doing schindler list end?
    – Zarius and Deling : they should have their story along with Vim expanded. Vim from flashback looks like some cool dude dandy with two wife and lots of daddy is cool story, and Delling and Zarius take a back seat when they should have been as important as Agrippa Maintainer, Fonsie Kagatie, Crux Dogatie, Deghwin Zabi, and even Jamitov Hymen. That Oldman Meitzer Ronah was pretty much put on bus and forgotten in Crossbone. Anyway, as expected whatever Mio-Mio’s idea are all suck. Things would be sucked up by bigger capital venture who had more capital and vested interest. The weaker will either sell them off casually because they get them for free and unable to manage them as profitable entity like any other socialist idea like UBI too in the real world. No need to be Milton Friedman or Thomas Sowell to see it coming.
    -Four hags of Peil : funniest end like how the real world woke feminazi ended up; alone in retirement home. Okay, there are four, so not alone.
    -Dawn of Fold and the other earth : dumbest end as they are casually forgotten and handwaived.
    -Tanuki : Rolan Cehack treatment, but at least noone ended up as Sochie Heim. I like sochie V.A though.
    -mio-Mio : i dunno what she is doing… so, eh… but gay marriage i guess? Gundam X had better love story though. And G-Gundam had better love confession.
    – Prospera and eri : aside from handwaived ten clones, they had frost brother end. But, surprisingly eri was the one become mascot robot… i thought it would be prospera while eri become a baby….. This should become a lesson to always have a hard copy of any digital file you own…including pron. Don’t just rely on stream.

    Well, if you don’t like witch of mercury, SRW might fix it, or there will be Sunrise Macross, new Kyoukai Senkou AMAIM or new SEED movie next year. So…. yay?

  2. I’m glad I was wrong about Suletta not surviving. And she and Miorine really got married too.

    So yeah, the ending. Too neat, too many ends of various looseness all tied up. Could have been a lot better, but then, did we really want Suletta following in Utena’s footsteps and turning into a Gundam (like Eri) with Miorine piloting her? Well, maybe.

    1. Actually, the more I think about it, the more I’m sure that would have made a better ending – Suletta and Eri somehow swapping places. New Eri goes off to look after her mother but Suletta exists only in a Gundam’s data storm now and Miorine can only “see” her by piloting it.

  3. Stakes, as the author said were the issue. I am sorry but someone needed to die, I had hoped Eri, a seen with prospera piloting ariel to end the not a solarsystem, would have been a better end to the conflict in my opinion. And the severe lack of even a still scene or two from the wedding is a crime

  4. This ending seemed awfully clean and sudden. Big army of battlesuits on the move, huge superweapon pointed right at all the main characters. What do we do to resolve the situation? Well we sell all our stocks and use space magic to disarm the superweapon and now everyone is happy.

    Back in my day, this would not have been resolved without at least one atrocity involving the deaths of thousands if not millions of people, and a huge battle where dozens on mobile suits and ships getting blown up in gratuitous ways.

    Coming away from this serious, I kinda feel like I got cheated out of everything that I know and love Gundam for. This could have been a considered a kinda good series, if only they hadn’t tagged on the Gundam franchise name on it.

    1. The Gundam label is probably what hurts it the most. I’m also in the camp of thinking this was a half-decent mecha – but only once you strip away the Gundam trappings. There’s a lot of expectations within the franchise for characters, story, and overall development, something that Witch from Mercury couldn’t live up to considering its conscious decisions. Plus it only being two cours didn’t help.

  5. I would explain that this was not really a Gundam story per se.
    It was Shakespeare’s Tempest (Data Storm!) IN SPACE, WITH MECHA.
    From genderbent Prospero looking for revenge on the one who wronged him, while lording over letter-swapped Ariel to romance of kids of Prospero and King of Naples to the final happy ending.( it was transcription of the Shakespeares work into anime media.
    If previous Gundams were much Hamlet-esque with killing off almost everybody, this story has more upbeat ending.
    Make what you want of it, but I was pretty satisfied with the series.
    4,5 stars out of 5 by me.

    1. Haha yeah, it’s pretty much a mecha trying to pretend being a Gundam vs. actually being one. As mentioned above I think it’s an alright series, but it really needs to be viewed in isolation from other Gundams to get a proper appreciation for what it does well. Otherwise the faults are going to dominate all discussion.

  6. I dropped this pretty early on, as I saw no appeal for what I liked in Gundam or even Mecha for that matter. Following on RC and reading the posts, I really think that I made the right call.

    It’s sad to think that Gundam 00 may go down as the last great Gundam TV series


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