Amuro has Char. Kira has Rau. Heero has Zechs/Milliardo. What’s a Gundam without the traditional rivalry between ace pilots? Naturally, Witch from Mercury will have that, and Suletta has… Elan?
Perhaps for the first time in a main series of the franchise, a female main character will go mobile suit to mobile suit against a male rival, and episode 5 sets up that showdown in a cruel and heartbreaking way. Of course, this isn’t the first time that Suletta will face the opposite sex in a duel. But unlike her previous battles with Guel, this is looking to be the kind of rivalry that will last for the whole season.
A Date With A Prince
Ah, school life! Studies, friendship, and naturally, love life—three things that a student will experience throughout their school years. And for Suletta, these are just some of the things she wants to experience during her time in Asticassia. She is already experiencing schoolwork and friendship, and now, she has the chance to go on a date with one of the most popular guys in school: Elan Ceres!
Cold, emotionless, and stoic, Elan is the type of character we’ve seen quite a lot in so many shows out there, especially in the mecha genre. He’s the mysterious and calculative kind, evident by his duel in the first three minutes of this episode. And it’s only to be expected that girls will have a crush on him.
But he already has a target in mind: Suletta. Unfortunately, their date is not made with pure intentions, no matter how much some of her classmates like to think so. Indeed, Miorine finds it suspicious—though maybe there’s a bit of jealousy in there. Besides, why does Elan need Aerial too?
The series has been pretty vague about the term. But there are various hints that “Witch” refers to superhumans capable of piloting a Gundam without the adverse effects of the GUND Format. Of course, this is yet another variation of the original super pilots, the Newtypes of the Universal Century era.
But while the word itself does have a gender-specific connotation, it does refer to an Enhanced Person. And in a shocking twist, this episode reveals that there is indeed another Witch.
His name is Elan.
At this point, it makes sense why Elan has taken an interest to Suletta. He seems to be under the notion that they are the same, at least initially. But it is not just him; Peil Technologies seems to be doing something fishy in the background regarding Gundams. Thus, it is only natural that they would send Elan to investigate Suletta.
The thing about Elan is that he has a lot of issues, most probably stemming from whatever experiments done to him. This affected his attitude, which came to its full, ugly self during his “date” with Suletta. He is insensitive, callous, and blunt, all hidden in a façade of curiosity and cool demeanor.
Then again, we can’t really blame him. Elan suffers from piloting Gundams, or so he keeps saying. And discovering Suletta’s bond with Aerial seems to make him actually hate her enough to hurt her feelings, something that our dear Witch From Mercury has probably not experienced before. In essence, this is an equivalent of a rejection.
Thankfully, there’s a knight in shining mobile suit willing to avenge Suletta.
A Deal and A Duel
Guel’s character development so far has been one of this series’s intriguing aspect. When we were first introduced to him, the former Holder is an arrogant bully who always got everything he wanted and will gladly push everyone standing in his way.
But now, though he still has that arrogant streak, it is clear that he does hold some affection for Suletta when he challenges Elan to a duel after seeing Suletta cry, even though he is supposed to refrain from any duels due to his embarrassing losses.
And we’ve seen how Guel fought. He’s an aggressive, strength-reliant pilot with his heavily armored, axe-wielding Dilanza. He’s definitely skilled to have held the title of Holder for so long until Suletta took the spot.
But as this episode has shown, Guel’s winning streak only came from the fact that no other people really wished to challenge him, and the fact that Elan has been holding back. For as expected, Peil Technologies is indeed using the GUND Format and developed their own Gundam.
To say the battle is one-side and unfair will be kind of an understatement. Because even though Guel and his Dilanza fought bravely, Elan’s fighting style and the Pharact’s specs greatly outclassed any mobile suits we’ve seen in this series, with the exception of Aerial. After all, the Pharact is specialized for long-range combat with drones capable of disabling mobile suits, making it a deadly weapon in the hands of a cunning and merciless pilot like Elan.
But as luck would have it, this is the same pilot and mobile suit that Suletta and Aerial will have to face after Guel’s brutal defeat.
A great fight scene, an insight into who could really be Suletta’s rival, and lots of unanswered questions. These are just some of the things that episode 5 has delivered spectacularly. Witch from Mercury just keeps getting better and better. And in the next episode, we will finally see how two Gundams fight against each other. Who will emerge victorious?
Episode score: 9/0