Gundam is set to return with its latest TV anime series – Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch from Mercury – after a seven-year hiatus since Iron-Blooded Orphans. The new anime will feature Suletta Mercury, the first female lead protagonist of the franchise in its forty-three year history. The prologue for the new series was shown in Japan on July 14, ahead of San Diego Comic Con. Before the series’ release in October, SDCC attendees had a chance to watch the US premiere.
During the panel, Gundam series executive producer Naohiro Ogata at Sunrise spoke to attendees in a pre-recorded video. He mentions that the Witch from Mercury will be in a new century, Ed Stella, and not in the Universal Century. He hopes this will bring new fans to the Gundam franchise, and thanks current fans for all their support.
The Witch from Mercury prologue begins with a training session involving Elonora Samaya in Elfrith Gundam who fails to clear Layer 33. Primary researcher Dr. Cardo Nabo orders her to stand down because Elonora will be in danger if she continues to move. , A four-year-old Eri Samaya (Erich), a younger Suletta, descends into the area to visit her mother. As Arie voices his jealousy of all the attention Lafrith has received from the crew, Dr. Nabo emphasizes that Gundam is supposed to be everyone’s child—and like a child—will require special attention while growing up. Is.
Suddenly, the focus shifts to a tense debate within the Mobile Suits committee. Several montages reveal space protests against the Vanadis Institute’s Gundam research because they appear to be life-threatening. Although the original intention was to further develop GUND technology that would aid in human adaptation to the rigors of space, Gundams are now used as military equipment and pose a threat to their pilots as well. Delling Rembran, an ex-military Specian, leads the voices of dissent within the committee and then secretly orders everyone in the Folkwanger laboratory to be neutralised.
Meanwhile at Folkwanger, Elonora and her husband Nadeem try to celebrate Ari’s birthday but their prosthetic arm suddenly fails. As she heals her hand, Elonora voices her admiration for Dr. Nabo because she wouldn’t have been alive if she hadn’t lived for Nabo’s research. When her father is pulled over by an important call, Arie goes into hiding to vent her frustrations at Lafrith. Dr. Nabo leaves the mobile suit to console Arie and assures her that Gundam is an important step in opening a door to the future. She sheds light on how Gundams are adaptable bodies, rather than weapons, that humans need to survive in space.
Back at the committee meeting, the other members strategically exclude Ochs Earth representatives from their decisions. They plan to immediately cut off further development and begin taking steps to seize Gundam. A group of heavily armed men break into the lab and start killing anyone they encounter. As the emergency sirens sound around Folkwanger, Erie’s father makes the difficult decision to come in an LF-01 mobile suit to fight the attacking ships. During this violent encounter, Elonora finds Erie and tries to escape the fight using Elfrith. They overhear the stern message of the committee that all the members of Lokavangar have been removed. But Elonora is distracted as she learns that Arie is now engaged to Lfrith and can now clean up Layer 33. The function of the mobile suit is adapted to the life of the linked pilot, meaning Aerie is exposed to any damage caused to the mobile suit. Still, Ari is taken aback as she shoots at the attacking enemy suit. When they explode, she watches the explosions with child-like wonder and compares them to birthday candles.
The high-spec suit, Beguir-Beau, removes another pre-production Gundam and begins targeting Lafrith. In a desperate attempt, Arie’s father pushes his Gundam to the limit as he tries to stop Beguir-Beau from reaching Eleonora and Arie. Although his eyes swell with blood and his breathing becomes more intense, he begins to sing “Happy Birthday” to Arie while battling the enemy’s mobile suit. She joins him, but he eventually ends up as Beguire destroys her Gundam.
Despite producer Ogata’s words, the prologue has the daunting task of introducing viewers to new characters who may or may not appear in the main series. It runs about 20 minutes, which means the audience has little time to emotionally connect with a group of characters and get to grips with the world building within this new universe. The music and animation are top notch, so expect powerful, intense mecha fighting sequences. Main themes—such as space warfare and dueling ideologies—are front and center. However, catching up on the jargon and exposition make it difficult for a casual fan to get comfortable in this prequel.