In typical Gundam fashion for a production slated to premiere in October, they usually reveal story and character details by June. And here we are as the staff, story, and characters for Mobile Suit Gundam THE WITCH FROM MERCURY were finally unveiled, giving us more information on the setting and what we could expect.
Headlining the series as chief director is Hiroshi Kobayashi who provided storyboards for Gundam IRON-BLOODED ORPHANS and Gundam Build Divers Re:RISE, and was the director for Kiznaiver and more recently, Spriggan. Serving as co-director is Ryo Ando who directed several episodes of 86 -Eighty Six- and was the chief director for another Sunrise show, Double Decker! Doug & Kirill (which I’ve yet to finish but is a really fun show, having watched seven episodes).
Primary story composition is going to be handled by Ichiro Okouchi who did the original stories for several entries in the Code Geass franchise, most notably Akito the Exiled and the compilation movies. He has also provided story composition work for Planetes and Overman King Gainer.
And on that note, here’s the synopsis taken from the official English website:
A.S. (Ad Stella) 122―
An era when a multitude of corporations have entered space and built a huge economic system.
A lone girl from the remote planet Mercury transfers to the Asticassia School of Technology,
run by the Beneritt Group which dominates the mobile suit industry.
Her name is Suletta Mercury.
With a scarlet light burning in her pure heart,
This girl walks step by step through a new world.
So yes, new Ad Stella timeline and a school setting. Now I’m not alone in this observation but many have paralleled this setting to Mobile Suit Gundam: Ecole du Ciel, a Universal Century manga with a similar female leads and school setting.
As for the characters, the original design credit goes to Mogumo who does have an affinity drawing witch-like characters based on the illustrations on the @m_o_g_m_o_g_555 Twitter account. Speaking of characters, five have been introduced, starting with our new female lead Suletta Mercury whose bio reads as:
A second-year student in the piloting department, who transferred to the school from Mercury. Suletta is timid and somewhat lacks communication skills.
She is the pilot of the Gundam Aerial developed on Mercury.
Now you can check out the official site for other character details but each outside of Suletta, all other characters have and affiliation to one of the many mega corporations in this universe so it’s interesting to see how all these elements intersect with the dynamics of these characters.
Mechanical designs then are spearheaded by JNTHED who also worked with Kobayashi on Spriggan. With him are the usual suspects, including Kanetake Ebikawa (Gundam 00, Full Metal Panic! Invisible Victory), Wataru Inata, Ippei Gyobu (GUNDAM Reconguista in G), Kenji Teraoka (Code Geass, Valvrave the Liberator), and Tanayuki Yanase (Mazinger Z: Infinity).
We also got three more mobile suit designs, including the second Gundam in the series, not counting those from the prologue story. First is Michaelis which looks similar to the Beguir-Beu from Prologue. Then there’s a custom Dilanza which I assume would be one of the grunt suits in the series. Then for our second Gundam, we have the Gundam Pharact and I really like its design.
Speaking of the Prologue, it finally has a premiere date. It will be screened on July 14 at the Gundam Next Future -Link The Universe- event, which is basically “linking” all four life-sized Gundam statues to show a story, prior to the main events of the series.
Overall, I’m quite interested, especially in a setting that appears to be much more futurisitc and technologically advanced, compared to the more gritty and contemporary-looking setting of IRON-BLOODED ORPHANS. I’ve also read the first few volumes of Ecole du Ciel so I’m also curious how familiar the new story would be.
Now this is a series reveal and we didn’t get any new Gunpla announcements. But I bet they’ll display everything in the pipeline as Hobby Next Phase 2022 Summer starts on June 21. Until then, we just have around four months of waiting left.