Births, and birthdays in particular, seem to be one of the main themes of Witch From Mercury. Indeed, the Prologue features a birthday scene for Ericht, which ended in tragedy.
This episode involves yet another birthday, though in a different and shockingly tragic way. In fact, this is the saddest episode in the series since the Prologue. But then again, Gundam wouldn’t be Gundam without tragedy, right?
The Truth About Elan
It’s been hinted before that Elan may not be what he seems, especially after the revelation that he was “created” to be a Gundam pilot—an Enhanced Person. His cryptic dialogues only add credence to this, hinting that his identity is not really his.
The concept of cloning and enhanced individuals is nothing new in Mobile Suit Gundam. Gundam Seed and its sequel, Destiny, featured this heavily. And Witch From Mercury is no different. For as many may have already guessed, Elan is not the real one, but simply a clone of the original, and still very much alive, Elan Ceres.
The two Elans couldn’t be more different than each other. The real one is jovial, albeit with the evilness and cunning of an antagonist, while Clone Elan is what we’ve seen him to be. And judging by the hints, there are more clones just waiting to be activated.
But why go through these lengths? Perhaps the original Elan wants to stay in the shadows while his clone becomes famous for being a Gundam pilot, or some other evil schemes. Whatever the case is, this revelation does complicate things, especially for Suletta.
What’s a Gundam without the Gundam being upgraded?
In this episode, Aerial finally gets her own thruster unit courtesy of Nika, the genius engineer of Earth House. And there’s some interesting worldbuilding here. It seems that each House has limited funding given to them, and they need to earn their own money on their own.
Naturally, top Houses like Jeturk is backed by rich families, so this makes Suletta’s House the underdog in the school. But despite that, Nika has a knack for making things work despite their quality, and soon Aerial is cruising across space with a working thruster unit.
But now they have to win the duel to get back their money, and it is up to Suletta to defeat Elan.
A Birthday Present
We all know it; Suletta is a kind soul. Thus, it is no surprise that she would visit Elan to convince him to stop the duel.
Of course, she is a stubborn individual too, a fact that Miorine admits. And even though Elan brushes her off after Suletta sings him a heartwarming Happy Birthday, Suletta refuses to treat him as her enemy. It is worth noting that she almost gives up, but Miorine, ever the supportive bride, keeps her going.
And thus, the duel commences. And it is by far the best fight scene in the series so far. Elan is indeed a Gundam pilot, pushing Suletta to be defensive, always getting the upper hand. But more than his skills and the Pharact, Elan is fueled by rage over his tragic situation. And it is really a sad thing to see him willing to spend his life just to defeat Suletta over his jealousy.
But as always, Suletta is a special pilot with an equally special Gundam. And even though Aerial lost her thruster unit, it didn’t stop her from unleashing a powerful EMP-like attack, fully disabling the Gundam Pharact.
One interesting scene here is how Elan sees a silhouette of a child, possibly Ericht. What this means remains to be seen.
In the end, Suletta has won her duel, and gave Elan a real birthday present for the first time: the rekindling of a long-forgotten memory involving a woman who celebrated his birthday. Whether this is his real mother or simply a caretaker is unknown, but it’s really bittersweet because all throughout his life, Elan believed himself to be alone, and now he has Suletta by his side to celebrate his future birthdays…
…or so the series led us to believed. In true Gundam fashion, the ending tore down every expectation we had, leaving us with a tragic and bittersweet conclusion.
A drama-filled and action-packed episode, this series continues to keep viewers hooked and engaged. Elan has received his backstory and character development, only to be given the short end of a stick. And with this, the plot has taken a darker turn. How would Suletta handle what will come next?
Episode score: 9/10