Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch of Mercury is the last Gundam animated series, and it has already received quite a bit of praise and eyeballs. Expected to be a popular watch due to it being the franchise’s first new anime show in years, its success so far was likely still unseen. In fact, many who have listened to the series have noted its similarities to a completely different anime.
Revolutionary Girl Utena was a ’90s classic in every sense of the word, based on both its own quality and its deservedly groundbreaking deconstruction of a well-known genre. He has since developed considerable influence, with the latest Gundam series being just one example. This Is How The World Of Magical Girls And Mecha Anime Collided The Witch of Mercury.
Utena and the Witch of Mercury are surprisingly similar
The premise of Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch of Mercury has the female protagonist Suletta Mercury attending the Asticassia School of Technology. An academic setting for an anime series is not unusual, although it is somewhat rare in Gundam. After arriving at the school, Suletta ends up becoming the fiancée of Miorine Rembran, another student from a particularly distinguished background. With this premise, the show already presents itself as a mecha anime remix of a series of magical girls.
Revolutionary Girl Utena was a magical girl series in the loosest sense, though much more defined by its surrealism and same-sex romance. Its premise has the titular Utena attending Ohtori Academy, where she becomes the bride of Anthy, the powerful “Rose Bride”. Obviously, this configuration is quite close to what The Witch of Mercury would come with years later, and the characters even match. Anthy’s almost regal presence makes her analogous to Miorine, Suletta and Utena both being orphans. Both of these shows are also incredibly colorful and artistic, with The Witch of Mercury being much more “florid” than the predecessors of its franchise. Ichiro Okouchi wrote the series, and Okouchi’s previous work includes writing novels in the Utena franchise. Leaning as much into the magical girl series as it does from inspiration, the latest Gundam series achieves a bit of creative irony.
The latest Gundam series evokes the Magical Girl version of Evangelion
Due to its release window and surreal deconstructive themes, Revolutionary Girl Utena has often been compared to the series Neon Genesis Evangelion. This series revolutionized both mecha anime and the anime industry in general, with many seeing its dark nature as indicative of what anime as a medium could do. Then a myriad of evangelization wannabes would appear, similar to the influx of “real robot” anime in the 80s. In a sense, evangelization became as influential to mecha as the original Mobile Suit Gundam The series was back in the late 1970s. It makes the path of the current Gundam series all the more ironic.
To recap, The Witch of Mercury is similar to the shojo anime which itself was constantly compared to the 90s equivalent of the original Mobile Suit Gundam. Luckily, it’s not completely either of those shows, telling a story of its own with more exclusive themes as well. In time, it may prove to capitalize on what made all of these creative ancestors such successes, with the eponymous witch of Mercury becoming a revolutionary girl in her own right.