Episode 7 – Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch From Mercury

“Do we Gundam?” Such a ridiculous name for a title, but you know what? It 100% fits the content of the episode. What starts as a posh dinner party escalates into a wild witch trial over the air. By the end of the episode, however, everyone at the party is investing wads of money into Myorine’s new business idea for the blatantly illegal Gundam. If there’s one thing this episode makes clear, it’s that the business guns frankly won’t give a toss about legality if there’s money to be made.

More than anything, this episode stands out for its theater. The highlight was absolutely Suletta’s impromptu spotlight on stage, as her podium shot up to the ceiling and the beady gazes of the Pale Technologies Women flickered on a massive screen behind her. These are the main visual flourishes for a larger-than-life anime, though one also has to wonder how adaptable the stagehands are when Miorine steers the interrogation completely off-script. This episode reminded me of what I like about Ichiro Okouchis polarizing writing: he has the guts to present the patently ridiculous with a completely straight face. Call it silly, but it’s the balancing act that made a generation fall in love with Code Geass.

Under all the glasses, this was an episode that included a lot of touching chess. Prospera shows her hand as a master manipulator, immediately prompting Myorine to ask for her father’s help. Shaddiq also shows a hint of his calculating side, as a scene with him and Nika implies that she may be leaking him information on the Earth House. Also, the real Alan Ceres shows up, predictably pretending to be the Alan whom Suletta befriended. Although it may be obvious to the audience that he is not the same guy from the way he talks and smiles, Suletta can be forgiven for not catching the clues amidst all the commotion.

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At the end of the episode, Miorine successfully establishes a new company absorbing the Gundam development team at Peil Technologies – seemingly an advantageous position. However, as both she and Suletta play oblivious to Prospera’s tune, it is evident that Miorine is stacking a house of cards. Despite her cleverness, she only thinks of protecting Suletta, not the broader implications of her actions. As for Suletta, she only learns in the last seconds of the episode that her mother initially lied to her about Aerial not being a Gundam. Will the girls have the strength to break away from their parents when they finally know the whole truth? The stage for a tragedy is slowly but surely set, but what happens beyond that is anyone’s guess.

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Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch of Mercury is now streaming on Crunchyroll.

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