Keep in mind when the primary season of the excellent new Gundam show, The Witch From Mercury, ended and shocked everyone with a reminder that it’s, certainly, a Cellular Go well with Gundam present? Nicely, excellent news: its second season will not be slowing down on reminding you of that truth in probably the most gutwrenching method doable.
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“What They Want For” is just the second episode of Witch From Mercury’s second season, nevertheless it feels prefer it has the stakes to really change the tone of the present in a way season one’s finale may solely actually gesture at (albeit with a really pink, viscera-covered big robotic hand). In 20-odd minutes, the present fully lays waste to the secure haven of its main setting, the cell swimsuit megacorp academy Asticassia; peels again the layers of the determine that’s clearly going to develop into its main antagonist, Suletta’s mom Woman Prospera; after which if that wasn’t sufficient, horrifyingly solutions a query that has lingered from the very earliest days of the present: no matter occurred to little Eri Samaya from the prologue episode?
The reply to all of those threads is, frankly, nothing good. And but, for all their inevitability, every blow Witch From Mercury hammers at its viewers feels devastating, partially as a result of the collection allowed these beats to linger in its viewers’s heads throughout the primary season. Even when Witch From Mercury was your first Gundam collection, the thought of a college populated by youngsters who vary from the orphans of a maligned Earth populated by an abused employee class, to the scions of intergalactic megacorporations which have co-opted house colonization for themselves, is just about a powder keg ready for some tinder to spark. For those who have been already a Gundam fan coming in, from the get-go you have been probably pointing at that metaphorical tinder and craving for it to alight.
The identical may very well be mentioned for Woman Prospera’s machinations. From her visible design putting her within the franchise’s lengthy historical past of “Char Clones” to throw you off, to the best way everybody round Suletta slowly begins to query her relationship together with her mom, Witch From Mercury has each primed you to count on the foulest of turns and but agonized you in taking its time to take that flip. After which there’s the Eri query, one thing that fans have theorized time and again since her famous absence from the collection past its prologue episode. Are she and Suletta one and the identical, is she some type of alt-human experiment akin to the show’s exploration of Elan, is she a ghost within the machine to the collection’ major swimsuit, Aerial? Lastly getting “affirmation” of that idea would possibly, on the one hand, really feel anti-climactic, as a result of it’s one thing followers have been serious about for some time. And but, there’s nonetheless one thing painful within the discovery of all of it, as a result of deep down there was maybe a type of hope that perhaps, simply perhaps, issues aren’t as unhealthy as they may appear to be.
So what are the solutions? For Asticassia, it’s that its college students can’t be sheltered from the battle they’re inevitably being skilled to participate in some day. Because the Daybreak of Fold brokers Sophie and Norea disrupt the academy’s open-house “Battle Royale” exhibition duel—puncturing the bogus violence of the varsity’s system with literal, precise violence, killing and wounding taking part college students who can do little bit react in horror at confronting actual warfare of their fits designed for actual warfare—the varsity turns into the battleground it has lengthy since emulated. Suitably, within the chaos of a fake big robotic combat changing into a really actual and bloody one, we solely see the response in suits and begins, flashes of PTSD from Chuchu as she tries to fireplace, solely to be confronted with the reminiscence of the assault on Plant Quetta final season, or within the screams throughout comm chatter as college students scramble to flee or cry for assist with the wounded.
As Suletta and the Aerial race to battle in opposition to Sophie and Norea out and in of the varsity’s confines, the episode simply retains hammering residence this brutally by slicing away from the motion and over to Quetta itself, as Woman Prospera lifts slightly extra of her metaphorical masks. Now attempting to control the recovering Miorine as she has so masterfully manipulated her personal daughter, Prospera tries to carry the younger lady in on “Quiet Zero,” the true intention of her father: a challenge to make use of the GUND format that powers Gundam-type fits to eradicate the military-industrial financial society. Having placed on this face of allyship with Miorine—doesn’t she wish to see her father’s want fulfilled, is she not bored with the mechanized battle that has turned her right into a pawn to be duelled over?—privately Prospera reveals to her allies that she has larger causes for backing Quiet Zero that transcend eliminating cell swimsuit warfare. And people issues do certainly have one thing to do together with her daughter… however not the one we’ve been following all through the present.
As a result of sure, as folks had lengthy speculated, the third inevitable conclusion of all that is that Eri is certainly part of the Gundam Aerial herself. As Suletta unleashes the facility of the swimsuit in opposition to Sophie and Norea, Prospera calmly explains to her fellow “witch” Belmeria—who herself has already been concerned in experiments connecting Gundams to an manmade type of humanity with no matter Elan Ceres’ deal is—that her first daughter has developed past the constraints of the GUND format which have turned it right into a persecuted curse, and past human type itself. Eri’s soul is what makes Suletta so succesful with Aerial, her connection together with her sister nullifying the highly effective “knowledge storms” that in any other case afflict and ultimately kill customers of the GUND system, as we see with Sophie when she burns herself as much as try to defeat Suletta. This future, the place Prospera believes her youngster is joyful, even because the system of a instrument of horrifying violence, is what she desires for the universe at giant. An endpoint for humanity past flesh and blood—which is why Prospera is so prepared to spill a lot of it to get there.
And so, Witch From Mercury screams at us, that is certainly a Gundam present. Not simply in that there’s the inevitability of violence and battle, however that it’s certainly in the end a collection about connection, about humanity’s skill to transcend type and performance to attain some new understanding of itself—from the newtypes of the basic Common Century collection all the best way to Eri Samaya, that is what makes Gundam what it’s as a lot because the battle crimes and the enormous robots do. Nonetheless, having pushed this level residence as brutally because it may to reply these key questions on itself, now the central thesis of Witch From Mercury is that it’s beginning to maybe ask a distinct query: can itself and its heroes escape the inevitable curse of being a Gundam present, and attain for the franchise’s loftiest beliefs as a substitute?
Cellular Go well with Gundam: The Witch From Mercury season two is streaming now on Crunchyroll, with episodes releasing weekly on Sundays.
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