MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM: THE WITCH FROM MERCURY EPISODE 4 REVIEW – New Friends and School Drama
Witch From Mercury is set in a high-tech, high school-like setting, but for pilots of weapons of mass destruction (after all, what’s a mobile suit if not a WMD?). But for the first three episodes, we had never really felt that vibe nor did we see much of Asticassia’s setting except the training ground and Miorine’s garden, along with a couple of the characters’ personal hangout places. Indeed, Suletta was never shown attending classes at all.
Thankfully, episode 4 rectified that. And for the first time, the show starts to feel like My Gundam Academia. Suletta—finally!—attends a class. Though as expected, she is caught up in another drama.
He Likes Her, He Likes Her Not… Or Doesn’t He?
The start of this episode is confusing and frustrating at first. During the end of their duel, Guel has proposed to Suletta after seemingly taking a liking to her. But by this episode, he is back to his old, arrogant jerk attitude, even going as far as to insult Suletta.
Like, what? Actually, that was my initial reaction! And yet, Guel’s encounter with her does seem to have a slight effect, as he can be seen apologizing to Miorine sincerely. Of course, this may just be his own sense of honor, keeping his promise if he lost the duel—no matter how abrasive his personality is, Guel is still pretty much a man of his word.
Whatever the case is, it is clear that Suletta will not have a harem anytime soon, though Guel might actually just be a tsundere. It wouldn’t be too far-fetched, considering how much this shows is already breaking long-established themes in the franchise. Besides, who wouldn’t want a male tsundere for a change?
No Bullying Allowed, Except When They Are
Asticassia is not one for the weak of hearts. We’ve seen that from the first episode alone. Indeed, a school where duels decide everything is not for a weak-willed person. Bullies prevail here, especially rich bullies.
And the thing is, even the bravest person can fall victim to them, as evident when Chuatury, also known by her lovable nickname of Chuchu, became a target for a couple of bullies. Somehow, it represents real world issues regarding bullying at schools, though with Spacians and Earthians instead.
Chuchu’s hatred of Spacians is reasonable because of this, naturally, and also with how Earth is being treated as a planet-sized living area for workers. Still, it feels like there’s a more personal reason to Chuchu’s aggressive behavior, and I’m really curious what that is.
What makes Chuchu an interesting character is the fact that she doesn’t accept defeat easily and is more than willing to fight back. Somehow, she reminds me of a more aggressive Cagalli Yula Attha from Gundam Seed (at least before her character assassination in Destiny), except with a penchant for beating up her enemies to a pulp.
Class in Session
Despite all this drama, this is still a Gundam show; as such, an episode will not be complete without showing mobile suits, even if they are only for training.
And this is where Suletta finds herself, having to navigate a simulated minefield using a training MS. If this is any other mecha series, Suletta will pass the test without accident, leading to an increase in her popularity.
Unfortunately, this isn’t just any other mecha show; this is Gundam! And in Gundam, making the main character struggle is the norm. And as her luck would have it, that struggle came in the form of bullying from the same gang that tormented Chuchu.
Worldbuilding aside, which is engaging so far, especially at this stage, Suletta’s training gives her some much needed development. All throughout the first three episodes, we see her conquering her problems alone or with Miorine. But in her training, we can see that just the two of them aren’t going to be enough; Suletta needs her own House (sort of like Harry Potter?), a team who can back her up while she pilots.
Her tag team with Miorine also came with a disadvantage, making her fianceé do all things on her own. And thus, we see Suletta’s vulnerable side when she keeps failing the test due to the tampering of the bullies. It came to a point that she is willing to just give up and go home, something that breaks our impression of her as a confident, albeit shy girl. Then again, she’s only really different when piloting Aerial, so this shouldn’t be a surprise.
What’s surprising is that Chuchu is willing to defend Suletta—even though she was hostile towards her when she asked to join her House. Or rather, Chuchu is really just pissed off because she couldn’t continue the test due to Suletta’s various attempts, leading to an all-out brawl between her and the bullies. In a way, this served as Chuchu’s revenge as well.
As expected, both Suletta and Chuchu have to retake the test. But every dark cloud has a silver lining; Suletta has found a new friend (new harem member?), and more importantly, a House she could rely on.
Witch from Mercury continues to break most of the mold the franchise has set, while still presenting the ones we’re familiar with. While there’s no epic fight in this episode, it is satisfying to watch the characters get more depth and development, particularly our heroine.
Episode score: 8/10