This Witch Goes Dramatically Plotting

I suppose it was inevitable that the initially-breakneck pace of Gundam: The Witch From Mercury would slow down, that the alleged production challenges rumored over social media would result in less-than-great visuals. Rarely has the experience for this franchise been defined by non-stop action. Gundam is about the violence of action, the mecha, and the horrors of war. But it is also about the moments of normality in between those shocks, the lead-up to the explosions and mayhem we expect. G-Witch spends episodes 7 and 8 deep within the “normality” of a corporate-owned school for mechanized warfare. Much like the characters in this story, The Witch From Mercury is keeping a lot of plates spinning. Let’s get into it.

Episode 7: Shall We Gundam?

There is a certain amount of absurdity inherent to the G-Witch setting. In the real world there are absolutely schools run by businesses. We have officer schools that offer a means to enter the military at a rank where everyone else is forced to respect you, even if they’ve been there longer than you. But these things rarely get into the theatrics present throughout Episode 7!

Despite the titular mobile suit not being front and center throughout this episode, it is very much a central concern. Suletta is invited to an absurdly fancy dinner party (an “incubation party”) with her wife-to-be. It is here where ambitious entrepreneurs are making presentations in hopes of raising the money necessary for their start-ups. Equally ambitious investors are present, seeking opportunities to take their already absurd amounts of money, and make even more.

Suletta is adorably a fish out of water throughout these proceedings, a perfect contrast to the confident, been-here-done-that Miorine. Also along for the ride are some members of the Earth House crew, who are even less accustomed to such settings than Suletta.

Things take a turn for the extra crazy when Peil Technologies’ CEOs, a gaggle of very oddly designed crones, start what could be considered a witch-hunt. They do so by outing their own Pharact, last seen getting completely ruined by the Aerial, as a Gundam.

It’s… weird to publicly state that your company is responsible for developing an illegal machine to out an illegal machine. It does, however, start the centerpiece of the entire episode. In an almost stage play-like atmosphere, the Peil CEOs argue that the only thing that can beat a Gundam is, of course, another Gundam, which Aerial is so obviously. Peil will eat the penalties for breaking the Rules, sell off all assets related to the Pharact project, and call it square. The Jeturk Group suggests that Aerial’s developer should of course do the same. This means that Suletta and the Aerial can no longer be at this school.

Miorine once against steps up in defense of her current betrothed by announcing the formation of a new company. One that will specialize in Gundam technology, ideally solving the “curse” of the GUND format. To do this, Miorine proposes to buy the part of Peil Technologies it is about to disband. She just needs a little money, which she gets… but at a cost that will likely grow as the season continues.

Adults, and the children they manipulate

A regular theme in Gundam is how adults effectively ruin things for the next generation. Old hatreds are forced onto the young, who carry on the fight even when reason demands otherwise. A simple, but effective plot beat that can garner sympathy from the audience even for the reprehensible. Hell, I’m a fan of Guel Jeturk for these very reasons alone! The kid is clearly the product of a specific environment. It’s easy to say that he could have “chosen” to be better than his upbringing, but that’s not how that always works out.

Episode 7’s surprisingly funny school melodrama, which propelled the likes of Code Geass to the top of many anime fan lists, and was driven into the ground by shows like Guilty Crown and Valvrave the Liberator, is actually a very unsubtle take on this theme.

Peil Technologies is clearly unrepentant in it’s abuse and discarding of children in pursuit of Gundam tech. They even send out the real Elan Ceres to meet a continuously flustered Suletta. A Suletta who, by the end of the episode, learns that her mother effectively lied to her for years about Aerial not being a Gundam. A mother who is definitely grinding a particularly sharp axe to swing at the neck of Miorine’s father, Delling Rembran. A father whom she goads Miorine into falling on her hands and knees to beg for financial assistance to go forward with her crazy plan. A plan he supports, because in his own words, it means she can’t run away anymore.

And all this, ultimately, is being driven by the people in the Benerit Group clearly plotting against Miorine’s father. It’s manipulation after manipulation after exploitation and deception. The point of it all isn’t totally clear yet, but it doesn’t really need to be. To the children on the receiving end, just like with the audience, the point isn’t to know why. It’s to do what is expected of them.

Even subtle things like Prospera sending Suletta off to get her a glass of refreshments is a manipulation. It gets her precious daughter out of the way so she can have some one-on-one time with the daughter of her nemesis.

Episode 7 doesn’t feature intense combat, but it’s another balancing act of exposition and the laying of foundations. Even our blond bombshell, Shaddiq, gets in on the manipulation fun (and even manages to wear a buttoned up shirt). He’s clearly got his eyes on the Aerial. To that end, his brief encounter with Nika Nanaura, the brains for the Earth House, shows that he’s also making moves.

This was a fun episode, arguably one of the better ones in the season so far. A proper Gundam series needs moments like this to give more meaning to the inevitable combat.

And of course, for those who are big fans of the Suletta-Miorine pairing, there’s a certain romance to starting a company out of concern for your fiance. Get you an S.O. who’s willing to spend 240 billion space bucks all in your defense!