Gundam Aerial Initially Looked More ‘Witch-like’ says Mechanical Designer JNTHED

The official Mobile Suit Gundam the Witch from Mercury website recently published an interview with the lead mechanical designer for the series, JNTHED. The interview covers how the designer joined the series, as well as some interesting design revelations for the series main Gundam type mobile suit, XVX-016 Gundam Aerial.

Q2. Can you tell us how you became involved with the mechanical designs and how you felt when you found out you would be working on this project?
I’ve been the product designer on the Spriggan series, and because of my connection with Hiroshi Kobayashi, who is one of the directors of “Mobile Suit Gundam the Witch from Mercury”, I was invited to enter the MS design competition. Much of my work in the past has been on props and backgrounds, and even when I’ve been in charge of designing one of the feature mecha for a show, I’m usually asked to make it look closer to real weaponry. This time, the process of designing mobile suits that had such strong character elements was a fresh experience.
XVX-016 Gundam Aerial, Sunrise
Q3. Can you tell us about the process of completing the mecha designs for Gundam Aerial and the other mobile suits in the show?
I was ordered to remove as many of the “witch-like” elements from the designs as I could, but the designs I submitted to the competition had been ones with lots of those very elements, so my first job was to undo everything I had done to that point (laughs). Specifically, I had always drawn the funnels floating over the Aerial’s head so that its silhouette ended in a cone shape like a witch’s hat. The remnants of that can still be seen in the rear antennae on Aerial and Lfrith. In the end, all the external elements reminiscent of witches were removed, but the essential form of the MS remain the same as my first submissions. I then shrunk the designs down in a deforme style so that the armor could be hand drawn and those became the official versions. Because of the story, the concept for the Gundams in this series needed to be closer in nuance to powered-up humans than vehicles, so compared to my competition proposals, the final silhouettes have been refined to that of an upside-down triangle and resemble massive humans in shape.
XVX-016RN Gundam Aerial Rebuild, Sunrise

The interview continues to talk a bit about Gundam Aerial‘s successor form, XVX-016RN Gundam Aerial Rebuild.

Q5. In episode 12, the Aerial Rebuild made a shocking debut in battle. You were responsible for that design too. Can you tell us about the changes you made to the original Aerial design and what was behind them?
If the Aerial had a rather unorthodox design, the Aerial Rebuild is closer to a mainstream Gundam. Aerial was already massive, but since the story called for it to be upgraded, I made the shoulder parts bigger and I think the silhouette now resembles a “warrior” who is armed and ready for battle.

Last Wednesday, Bandai Namco Holdings released their financial highlights of the fiscal year, which ended on March 31, 2023. The conglomerate reported that the Mobile Suit Gundam franchise earned 131.3 billion yen across the group’s subsidiaries, a first for the iconic mecha franchise.

Bandai Namco Holdings

This marks a 29% increase from the previous year, when it earned 101.7 billion yen, and a 10.3% increase from the Bandai Namco‘s initial 119 billion full year projections. Bandai Namco now projects that the franchise will earn 135 billion yen in the next fiscal year.

In March, Bandai‘s President and Representative Director Masaru 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.

Season 2 Key Visual

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.


An era when a multitude of corporations have entered space and built a huge economic system.
After transferring to the Asticassia School of Technology from the planet Mercury, Suletta Mercury has experienced a school life filled with encounters and excitement, as both Miorine Rembran’s bridegroom and a member of GUND-ARM, Inc.
It has been two weeks since the incident at Plant Quetta.
Suletta passes her days at the school, anticipating her reunion with Miorine. Miorine, meanwhile, has stationed herself at the head office of the Benerit Group, monitoring her father’s condition.
The two are about to face new hardships and pressing decisions.
Each with her own feelings in her heart, the girls will confront the mighty curse the Gundam brings.
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1 Comment

  1. August 11, 2023

    I like gundam unicorn the toy RX-0

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