In September 2021, Sunrise and Bandai Namco announced their long-awaited new TV entry to the Mobile Suit Gundam franchise after seven years, Mobile Suit Gundam: the Witch from Mercury. The new series was set for an October 2022 release date, while a prequel project was announced to release during Summer 2022.
Mobile Suit Gundam: the Witch from Mercury PROLOGUE premiered July 14 and July 15 at the GUNDAM NEXT FUTURE -LINK THE UNIVERSE multi-venue event.
The PROLOGUE is set years before the TV series in the Ad Stella era, we’re introduced to Elnora Samaya, mother and test pilot of the XGF-02 Gundam Lfrith for the Vanadis Institute using experimental GUND-Format technology, led by Dr. Cardo Nabo. While originally intended for medical purposes to mitigate the bodily afflictions from prolonged outer space habitation through cybernetic enhancements, the technology was converted for military application with the acquisition of Vanadis by the Ochs Earth Corporation. Amid the on-going conflict between the “Earthians” and the “Spacians”, the powerful, yet highly controversial mobile suits, now dubbed “GUND-ARM” or “Gundam”, have come under heavy scrutiny in the media and protested due to the intense physical strain it inflicts on its pilots.
In a transhumanist approach, Cardo Nabo continues to deeply believe in GUND-format technology and its potential in elevating humanity’s existence in space, with the Lfrith in particular being the key. By the end of the Prologue, GUND-format and Ochs Earth are ultimately condemned by the Spacian-based Mobile Suit Development Council, suspending development on Gundam-type mobile suits. Directed by Delling Rembran, the watchdog organization Cathedra is established to bring order to unethical mobile suit development, enacting the elimination of Vanadis and boldly rebuking Gundam technology. The Prologue propels the TV series to tackle familiar themes touched on in previous Gundam installments such as Mobile Suit Gundam SEED C.E. 73: Stargazer, Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans and Gundam Reconguista in G, in more depth.
Gundam: the Witch from Mercury is directed by Kiznaiver‘s(TRIGGER) Hiroshi Koyabashi, and penned by Code Geass scribe, Ichiro Ohkouchi. The tagline of the series is “This witch…rides a Gundam”. The series will broadcast this fall in October 2022 on twenty-eight of MBS and TBS TV networks on their 5pm “Nichigo” anime block, as well as simulcasted internationally.