The next chapter in the Mobile Suit Gundam saga finally has a solid release date, and our latest look at it yet gives a look at its real premise — and perhaps not quite so many giant robot fights as you might first expect.
Sunrise has released a new trailer confirming that The Witch From Mercury, the next mainline series in the Gundam franchise, will begin airing on October 2. The new trailer for the series puts the spotlight on the now-teenaged Suletta Mercury — who we saw as an adorable war criminal/toddler in the excellent Prologue episode streamed last week — as she makes her way to the Asticassia School of Technology, a military academy for the next generation of Mobile Suit pilots run by the megacorporations that have shot humanity to the stars in Mercury’s “Ad Stella” timeline.
While we do get to see some flashes of the series’ new main suit in action, the Gundam Aerial, the focus here is on something Gundam hasn’t really explored before — what is, essentially, a high school setting, even if it is Giant Robot School. Gundam’s young protagonists are usually flung into rebel groups or the factions of war with little time for education while they learn how to survive wielding horrifying weapons of conflict. Flipping that and setting a series at a military academy is an intriguing twist on the sort of high school drama that anime loves, while also interrogating the sorts of conflicts Gundam usually asks of its young, traumatized heroes.
And if you thought the school setting might avoid that, there is indeed at least some robot-on-robot action to grab your attention here, as well as the intriguingly framing of Suletta’s piloting of the Gundam as an almost supernatural entity, with flashcards describing her as the show’s titular witch, piloting “the cursed Mobile Suit.” Gundam’s interrogation of its titular heroic mecha as both Wow Cool Robot and a horrifying extrapolation of humanity’s capability for violence has been a thing since the very first anime series, but it’ll be fascinating to see how The Witch From Mercury explores that in its surprising setting.
Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch From Mercury begins airing in Japan on October 2 — a worldwide simultaneous broadcast is still planned, but the international home for the series has yet to be confirmed.
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