MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM: WITCH FROM MERCURY EPISODE 10 REVIEW – Suletta’s First Heartbreak
For a series that uses marriage as the catalyst for most of the plot, Witch From Mercury doesn’t really delve deep into the relationship of its two main characters, Suletta and Miorine. Ever since the first episode, their interactions have mostly been platonic, even though Suletta is shown to have affections for her bride. In fact, we can argue that they act as best friends instead of lovers.
But episode 10 finally lays down the groundwork for a development in their relationship, and one that solidifies just what Miorine thinks of Suletta, at least for now.
Warning: it is not a positive development. But then again, this is Gundam. Positivity is rarely part of its themes and storylines.
The Changes In Them
Gundam is a mecha genre first and foremost. But like all stories out there, it tackles an important component that makes most of its installments a must-watch. And that is character development.
Witch from Mercury does this really well, and this episode shows us the changes in several characters ever since they were introduced in the pilot episode.
First, we have Suletta. Gone was the shy and timid girl from the beginning, and she’s actually more sociable now. Of course, there is still that naïvety that is one of her most defining traits, and unfortunately, that is also her weakness. This becomes evident towards the end of this episode, where we see that naivety and innocence affecting her relationship with Miorine.
Speaking of whom, Miorine continues to develop as well. Her relationship with her father is still rocky and she doesn’t hesitate to insult him behind his back, but they are no longer acting like they are strangers. If anything, Delling treats Miorine as a business partner, which is a huge improvement. Unfortunately, this comes at a cost, for we see that Miorine’s treatment of Suletta has devolved into mere acquaintances, even an assistant to an extent.
But perhaps the most interesting development goes to Guel. Ever since his defeat from Suletta, Guel has experienced a drastic shift in personality and outlook in life. He was no longer the cocky and arrogant duel lover we initially hated; instead, it seems that his constant defeats and failures and misfortunes, partially caused by his own father, have transformed Guel into a better person. He’s even got a job at a spaceship as a maintenance crew, and if this was a different character, we would have seen them whining and wallowing in self-pity. But Guel doesn’t; he is doing his job with humility, something that is really heartwarming to see.
The Calm Before The Storm
It’s expected, isn’t it? After a period of trouble comes a relative time of peace, before tragedy strikes again.
It’s been a few weeks since Earth House’s decisive battle against Grassley House, and Gund-Arm Inc. is flourishing well enough for Miorine to afford a spaceship. Her relationship with her father has improved drastically, so to speak, and everything seems to be really going well.
Even on Suletta’s side, who has been left behind to tend to Miorine’s garden, life is peaceful. She’s finally able to check off a few boxes from her bucket list and help her friends test their newly developed prosthetic legs, courtesy of Belmeria’s assistance. And even Shaddiq has seemingly dropped all his grievances, actually treating Suletta as he did before.
But true to Gundam’s essence, this is only a false peace. For it seems that Shaddiq has really never forgotten his ambitions. If anything, his loss seems to have urged him to pursue even more drastic measures, to the point that he’d agree in the plan to assassinate Delling.
This stems from his own father’s distrust of Delling and Gundams in general, which is quite ironic considering that Delling was the greatest critic of the Gund Format technology, fueled by Guel’s father in his vengeance against perceived betrayal. And the worse thing is, it is certain that Suletta will be caught in the crossfire.
The most shocking twist here is the fact that Nika is working with Shaddiq, at least to a limited extent by acting as the go-between to what is presumably Nika’s colleagues on Earth, a group of terrorists. Whether this means that Nika has the capability to actually pilot a mobile suit remains to be seen, though it won’t be much of a surprise now if she does.
Her Heart Breaks
Romance is never really a focus in the franchise, though it is there, and some of the previous installment’s romance is more prevalent than in the others. Witch from Mercury sits just between it, evident during its first episode. Indeed, Guel seems to have some affections for Suletta, which is one of the funnier side of the series.
But this is still about Suletta and Miorine, and their relationship, as one-sided as it is for the moment, drives most of the plot. And because of Suletta’s naivety, it is easy to create conflict between them.
Such is the case when the new Elan finally shows up, and his introduction immediately tips us off of how the plot will go down. The new Elan is interesting, to say the least, simply because his personality is vastly different from the previous one yet so similar to the real Elan. He’s cunning, scheming, and his seductive charm is strong enough to capture Suletta for a moment.
But more than that, he is a manipulator, and it is really easy for him to plant seeds of doubt in Suletta’s mind. His advances might have been rebuffed, but the fact that his words left a lasting effect is undeniable.
And this effect might have been negated; Suletta is loyal towards Miorine, after all. But the problem lies with Miorine’s own attitude. Sure, she treats Suletta fairly well and they lasted this long, but their relationship has no improvement at all. She is terribly ignorant of Suletta’s affections, though we can probably attribute to the fact that Miorine really never felt anything other than platonic friendship towards Suletta. And that’s the problem in itself because their arranged marriage was simply dictated by a duel, even if Suletta saved Miorine from death in their first encounter.
So when Suletta reunited with Miorine after two weeks and all she got was a cold acknowledgement and the permission to essentially cheat on her, despite the fact that Suletta even bought a gift for her return, that’s the final nail in the coffin, potentially destroying their relationship. And the very scene itself reflects that with Miorine turning off the light in the garden while Suletta is still inside, which is a haunting symbolism of Suletta’s hope vanishing.
Dramatic and heartbreaking, episode 10 sets up an unpredictable cour finale. The character development here is excellent, but it is the way it lays out the groundwork for the real story, and Gundam’s true essence, that makes this a must-watch episode.
Episode score: 9/10