In March, the Bandai Namco Group published in their corporate newsletter giving various updates on the company. Featuring an interview with President and Representative Director Masaru Kawaguchi, he discussed sales of products for their mature fan base, such as Gundam plastic models, collectible figures, and character lottery products remained strong despite macroeconomic issues affecting the company such as the rising prices of raw materials and fuel due to the depreciation of the yen.
When asked about the trends in the company’s Toys and Hobby business, Kawaguchi explained “With Mobile Suit Gundam, the plastic model of the Gundam[Aerial] that played the lead role in Mobile Suit Gundam the Witch from Mercury recorded strong results. Among the HG TV series lead role Gundam versions, it had the highest initial sales in history, and it currently continues to be popular.” The Bandai Namco head continued to note how the Witch from Mercury has attracted new fans such as young people and women, generating substantial buzz.
Designed by mechanical designer JNTHED, the XVX-016 Gundam Aerial is the primary mobile suit, piloted by protagonist Suletta Mercury in the Mobile Suit Gundam the Witch from Mercury series. The Aerial was developed by Suletta’s mother, Prospera Mercury, and her Shin Sei Development Corporation. It is equipped with a shield made up of GUND-BITs, a next-generation remote-controlled swarm weapon system.
The HG 1/144 Gundam Aerial was released by Bandai Spirits in October 2022, coinciding with the premiere of the Witch from Mercury. The model kit is still available for purchase at hobby retailers. HobbyLink Japan carries the gunpla for 11.68 USD or 1,300 yen.
Mobile Suit Gundam the Witch from Mercury is directed by Kiznaiver‘s Hiroshi Kobayashi, and penned by Code Geass scribe, Ichiro Ohkouchi. The tagline of the series is “This witch…rides a Gundam”. The series began broadcast October 2, 2022 on twenty-eight of MBS and TBS TV networks on their 5pm “Nichigo” anime block, as well as simulcasted internationally. The Witch from Mercury completed its twelve episode first season in January and began Season 2 on April 9, 2023.