Episode 5 ended with a heartbreaking twist, and though it is a dark turn, it seems as if the worst has yet to pass for most of the characters. Suletta, particularly, is going deeper into the abyss of tragedy.
Then again, that’s the essence of Gundam.
An Uphill Battle
At first glance, Miorine’s plan seems solid enough. With the help of Guel’s company, one of the three branches, as well as Miorine’s influence as Delling’s heiress, she could secure the position of President quite easily.
But “quite easily” is a severe overstatement, and this episode has proven that Miorine may have bit off more than she can chew. Despite rocking the Jeturk CEO’s uniform, Guel’s track record is pretty much nonexistent, turning away financiers and potential supporters. Worst yet, Shaddiq has an 81-19 lead, and he has the backing of Peil Technologies.
What emphasizes Miorine’s predicament, however, is her interactions with Elnora. Their dynamic is simply too good, and it shows how much the older and more experienced Elnora is very much in control of the situation instead of the smart but still young Rembran heiress.
This is made even more obvious when Elnora reveals one of her trump cards that could secure Miorine’s bid for presidency: the Gundam Schwarzette, a secret project between Elnora and Vim. At this point, it is still incomplete. But it should help Gund Arm Inc. boost its reputation.
However, Miorine’s principle remains: Gund Arm Inc. can’t be used to produce mobile suits. Despite her recent actions, Miorine is still the kind individual we know, and this adamant decision of hers paints her as a woman of principle who never backs down from her beliefs just for personal gain.
Unfortunately, that still doesn’t solve her problem. Fortunately, an opportunity presents itself with the rising conflict and tension on Earth.
A diplomatic mission using Aerial, proving that a Gundam can end a war without bloodshed.
Life In Captivity
Ever since being captured and kept by Shaddiq’s group, Nika has been unfortunately reduced to a minor background character and passive observer to the going-ons around her—a real pity considering how her character arc has stagnated at this point.
Despite that, seeing things on her side, even if briefly, gives the audience an insight into events that is happening away from the main conflict of the story. For one, we are treated with an interesting scene of a potential couple.
Elan 5 and Norea.
The two couldn’t be more different. While Elan is quite laidback and easygoing, Norea is quiet yet violent and aggressive. But the thing is, they do share a common thread linking them: the curse of being a Gundam pilot. Moreover, they’ve had a tragic life so far.
But that’s where their similarities end. After all, despite Elan 5’s attitude, he has a purpose, and that is to live. It is the reason why he even pilots a Gundam in the first place. Norea, on the other hand, is on the opposite side of the spectrum; she has no purpose in life, so she lives to pilot a Gundam and be a weapon.
It is a sad life, and we finally see how her mental state is really unstable, especially after Sophie’s death, when she tries to kill Elan after he provokes her. Funny enough, this confrontation somehow shows that there’s a bit of sexual tension between them, and that they actually have chemistry in a perverse way.
One thing that stands out during the segment with Nika is how it reveals more about the enigmatic Peil CEO’s and the real Elan Ceres (hereby referred to as Master Elan in future reviews). Until this point, they are surrounded by mysteries, but we are given a subtle hint of potential plot threads.
First, the existence of an advanced AI computer called the Peil Grade, which makes all the important decisions for the company, particularly in choosing its leaders. Thus, even though Master Elan has expressed interest in becoming a President, the CEOs have chosen to refuse.
And this pose an interesting question: what is Peil planning? There is a subtle foreshadowing that they could be the next antagonists, especially if Ais are involved, which would be fun to see and give more flavor to the series.
Sinking Deeper Into Despair
Following the downer ending of the previous episode, audiences have expected a different Suletta in episode 18. But once again, Witch From Mercury has subverted expectations and we see a familiar Suletta; cheerful, eager to complete her bucket list, and enjoying school life.
However, this is merely a facade to hide her real feelings: that of a sense of inadequacy. We can see this with how Suletta blames herself for Miorine’s actions, and how she still holds on to the things that bind her to Miorine: the blue keychain and the greenhouse.
It is a sad state, and one that Earth House, especially Chuchu, has noticed.
Fortunately, Earth House is a very supportive family. What’s really interesting is that out of everyone, Chuchu is the one who pushes Suletta to talk to Miorine and settle, once again, their lover’s quarrel. This parallels their issue in the first season, where Miorine was the one to come to Suletta first.
Chuchu has changed dramatically ever since her introduction. While she is still the loud and aggressive girl we all love, she is actually choosing diplomacy over her fists, which shows how much her experiences has taught her. And Suletta is incredibly lucky to have her as a friend.
With her friends’ support, Suletta and her little group decide to confront Miorine. But in an unexpected twist, Suletta reunites with the person someone she least expected.
Their reunion is a heartwarming one, more so because it finally gives us a glimpse of Suletta’s feelings. Most of all, we finally see how much she values Aerial, to the point that she opens up about her emotions.
Of course, this is Gundam we are talking about; such a happy moment will be ruined by yet another depressing plot development. In this case, it is the meeting we’ve all been waiting for.
There is a lot to unpack in this particular scene, foremost of which is the confirmation that Suletta is indeed the clone of Eri, as well as all the 11 Gund Bits. We also get to see a brief moment in the past of Elnora really caring about Suletta, which just adds another layer to her character.
But what really stands out is the haunting atmosphere of Eri’s appearance. Surrounded by her clones, the Children of the Coven, we can say that Eri feels like a spirit trapped in a Gundam, further emphasizing the theme of Witches. Moreover, even though she appears as a child, there’s a sense of maturity in the way Eri speaks, especially as she addresses Suletta. In a way, this is a meeting between Eri and her dear little sister.
In any case, this scene doesn’t hold back in delivering an impactful moment. With Eri having attained Permet Score 8, she no longer needs Suletta as she is finally capable of moving without a pilot. One interesting detail here is that Suletta does have the markings of Permet, which we see for the first time in this episode when Eri forces her memories into her.
With Suletta outright being ejected into space by Eri, we finally come to the series’s most heartbreaking scene: Elnora and Eri leaving Suletta at last.
Most, if not all, would consider this as a cruel act by two people who treated Suletta as merely a disposable tool. But if Elnora’s conversation with Eri is any indication, the both of them do care for Suletta that they don’t want her involved anymore, even if Elnora has misgivings about what she did. And that alone speaks much about their complex characters and their moral compass.
In the end, though, Suletta is still abandoned, and the final scene perfectly emphasizes her situation; alone in the cold dark space.
Episode 18 marks the halfway point of the story, and things are going to be different from now on. With only 6 episodes left, it is only expected that there will be lots of twists and shocking developments as we draw closer to the ending.
Episode score: 9/10