The first season of the latest Gundam series, The Witch from Mercury, broke new ground for the franchise in a lot of ways. Shying away from the traditional formats of warring factions or “Earth vs. Space Colonies,” the story largely took place in a school setting and focused more on themes of maturity, identity, friendship and belonging, and adolescents seeking a sense of purpose as they transition to adulthood. It also introduced a genuine romantic angle between its two main protagonists, Suletta Mercury and Miorine Rembran. Even most of the season’s mobile suit battles were re-imagined, with bloodless mecha duels between students taking the place of military combat.
Despite these fresh new spins on Gundam, the final few episodes reminded viewers that The Witch from Mercury still holds fast to some of the franchise’s roots. There are some angry people on Earth with a grudge against Spacian industries—particularly the Benerit Group, a business conglomerate led by Miorine’s father, Delling—and tensions have begun to boil over into violent conflict. All of this points to a potentially grim second season that will feature the kinds of battles, trauma, and political conflicts the Gundam saga is historically famous for.
With twelve new episodes incoming for the Spring 2023 season, here are some things to look out for as The Witch from Mercury starts up again.
For the students at Asticassia, life just got a lot more difficult
For most of Season 1, Suletta, Miorine, and the other students at the Asticassia School of Technology had a relatively insulated existence. Their main concerns involved student politics and rivalries, and the usual “young people” issues of making friends, taking exams, and figuring out what to do with their lives after their school days are done. Mobile suit battles were treated as a school sport, and even Miorine’s new company, Gund-Arm Inc., had the feel of a university student’s business startup project.
But after the Earth-based mercenary group “Dawn of Fold” attacks the Quetta manufacturing plant in an assassination attempt on Miorine’s father, all of that changed, and not for the better.
Caught in the crossfire of Dawn of Fold’s attack, Suletta, Miorine, and their student friends found themselves in a truly life-or-death situation, likely for the first time in their lives. And, if not for Nika’s last-minute intervention, which had serious consequences of its own, all of them would almost certainly have been killed. Suletta herself is visibly shaken after her mother barely saves her from armed mercenaries, and Miorine can only look on in stunned horror as the Aerial Gundam brutally murders someone right in front of her. Whatever happens to Suletta and company in Season 2, there’s no going back to the safe confines of the Asticassia school.
Guel is broken and may never recover
At the start of The Witch from Mercury, Guel Jeturk had virtually everything. The oldest son of Vim Jeturk, a powerful CEO and member of the Benerit Group, he was one of the most popular students at Asticassia, an undefeated mobile suit duelist, and on the fast track to inherit his father’s company. Since Suletta’s arrival at Asticassia, though, his life has fallen apart. He loses to Suletta in two consecutive duels, and his defiance of his father leads to him being cut out of the family business and eventually disowned. In desperation, he joins the crew of a space transport and attempts to rebuild, only to be caught in the middle of Dawn of Fold’s attack on Quetta. It all culminates in tragedy as he is forced onto the battlefield, and in his frenzied attempt to simply survive the ordeal, he accidentally kills his own father.
Where Guel goes from here is anyone’s guess, and it’s possible all his trauma will turn him into major antagonist out for vengeance in Season 2. But if there’s a road to recovery, it’s likely to be a long and difficult one.
The future of Delling’s conglomerate—and Delling himself—is uncertain
Since the very beginning, Delling Rembran has had a huge target on his back as the leader of the Benerit Group. His two biggest business rivals, Vim Jeturk and Sarius Zenelli, both made attempts on his life in the first season. On the other hand, Shaddiq Zenelli—Sarius’s adopted son and one of Asticassia’s most prominent students—has made it clear that he wants to break up the group entirely, and to accomplish that, he’s enlisted Dawn of Fold, the Earth-based mercenary group with its own apparent grudge against Delling’s conglomerate.
By the time the dust settles at the end of Season 1, Vim Jeturk is dead, Delling is gravely injured and on life support, and Shaddiq’s ambition doesn’t appear to have receded one bit. Even if Delling recovers, though, one can easily foresee a bitter power struggle on the horizon as various Benerit Group members make their moves. Certainly, the Group will look a lot different as Season 2 unfolds—assuming it survives at all.
Mobile suits, old and new
The Season 2 trailer for The Witch from Mercury has confirmed the return of a number of mechs from Seasion 1. Obviously, the most notable of those is the refit Aerial Gundam, now rebuilt and upgraded after sustaining heavy damage during Suletta’s duel with Shaddiq. We also get glimpses of the two Lfrith Gundams (piloted by Dawn of Fold members Sophie and Norea), Lauda Jeturk’s Dilanza, and Elan Ceres’s Pharact Gundam. But the trailer also teases a number of new mobile suits with some interesting new weapons, including a grey mech with clawed hands and spinning beam cutters on its wrists, and some advanced-looking combat suits that look a bit like the Demi models the Asticassia students used for simulations and exercises.
So far, it’s anybody’s guess which factions or companies these mobile suits belong to, and the identities of their pilots are still a mystery. Still, several of these new mechs are seen battling the Aerial Gundam in the trailer, so at the very least, we can be sure that Suletta has multiple challenges ahead. And, unless these battles are duels at Asticassia—which seems unlikely, given the events of Season 1’s final three episodes—those challenges will be far greater than anything Suletta has faced so far.
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