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Gundam: The Witch From Mercury Ep. 20: The End of Hope

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Summary

From the confined room at Grassley House, Norea is enraged by the news reports about the violence in Quinharbor. Miorine watches the city burn and realizes that it’s all her fault. Guel and Kenanji return to space and Kenanji reminds Guel that they can’t impulsively arrest Shaddiq and need to find Sarius first. Elsewhere, Shaddiq calls Henao and tells her to contact the Space Assembly League because it’s time to move Sarius. Shaddiq launches from a ship in the upgraded Michaelis and wonders where Guel is. Secelia and Rouji question Martin about what the Aerial Rebuild is doing on Earth and who’s piloting it, but he doesn’t know anything. Secelia calls Martin useless and asks why he came, and he responds that he wanted her to know he told everyone in Earth House the truth. Nuno, Ojelo and Aliya scroll through the litany of negative emails that GUND-ARM has received following the incident at Quinharbor. Suletta is distracted in class and receives an anonymous message on her phone asking if Miorine killed Earthians. After class ends, Petra chides Suletta for not paying attention to the lecture and sends her notes to Suletta’s tablet. She then mentions that Lauda might’ve died at the Rumble Ring if Suletta hadn’t been there, and she adds that she doesn’t know what she would’ve done if he had died. Suletta asks Petra if she’s in love with Lauda, and she gets irritated and comments that Suletta always gets on people’s nerves. Guel rendezvous with Lauda’s shuttle that is carrying the Darilbalde. Lauda starts asking about the Gundam Schwarzette but is interrupted by news of five incoming Grassley suits on sensors. Shaddiq asks what business Cathedra suits have at Asticassia, and Kenanji replies that they want to enter the school and investigate some information. Guel launches in the Darilbalde and demands to know where Shaddiq is hiding Sarius, and Shaddiq responds that Guel’s rashness has tainted Miorine. Guel fires warning shots, but when Shaddiq returns fire and causes damage, Guel realizes he’s removed the regulation program. Kenanji is annoyed that Guel played into Shaddiq’s hands, and his Beguir-Pente team launches and heads for the school. However, they immediately come under fire from Heindrees piloted by Sabina, Renee, Ireesha and Maisie. Henao reports to Shaddiq that she’s ready to move Sarius, and he tells her she can release the other captives. Kenanji enters the school and tells the students to stay where they are. Norea runs out of the room when the door unlocks, and Elan gives chase because she dropped her sketchbook. He tries to stop her from piloting the Lfrith Thorn and tells her to run away if she’s scared of dying. Norea counters that everyone she knows is dead because of the brutality of Spacians, and no one can understand their anger about their lives being cheaper than Spacians’. Norea vows to demolish the school and blasts her way out the hangar, with the Gundvolvas following. Elan then gets into the Lfrith Ur to give chase. Norea blasts into the open campus area and has the Gundvolvas fire indiscriminately at everything in sight. Norea then blasts the Earth House and destroys it. Petra grabs Suletta and pulls her away so they can evacuate from their damaged building. They spot two unconscious students on the floor and carry them on their backs to safety. Petra comments that this is all because Lauda stood her up on their date, and she vows that he owes her lunch and dinner if she’s to be at peace. Petra asks Suletta what she’s going to do if they survive, but the building is suddenly hit by another blast. Kenanji calls for backup and comes under attack from Norea, who calls him a has-been witch hunter. Guel asks Shaddiq if he used the Dawn of Fold and set up Vim and blamed the Jeturk company, and Shaddiq admits to it all. He then mentions that Vim approached them with a plan to assassinate Delling, so he turned it to his advantage. Shaddiq dismisses Vim as a shallow man obsessed with factional in-fighting, and Guel deploys his bits. He tells Shaddiq to not insult Vim, and Shaddiq mentions that it was Guel who killed Vim, which Lauda hears over the radio. 

As the school burns, a Demi Garrison lands on Miorine’s greenhouse and destroys it. The Gundvolvas press their attack and destroy several Demi Garrison units. Felsi prepares to launch in her Dilanza to help in the fight, even though it’s configured for campus combat regulations. Martin reunites with the other Earth House members, and Secelia decides to loan them Burion’s new prototype, the Demi Barding. She thinks they might have a chance if Chuchu pilots it. Nika shows up and Martin tells her he wants to talk after she calibrates the suit for Chuchu. As Chuchu prepares to launch, Nika apologizes and says it’s all her fault. Chuchu responds that she needs to know everything before she can decide if she’s going to forgive Nika. Chuchu launches and tells Felsi to help her destroy the Gundvolvas. Shaddiq tells Guel that if he’d acted more carefully his father would still be alive, and if he had never returned, the Benerit Group could’ve been dissolved without bloodshed. Shaddiq blames Guel for getting Miorine’s hands dirty, and Guel calls him a traitor and terrorist collaborator. Shaddiq retorts that he ended up this way because he had everything taken away by the war profiteers. He says there’s no way to break this unjust peace without power, so he plans to take that power from the Spacians. He then attacks furiously and destroys one of Guel’s shields. Henao launches in a shuttle with Sarius and tells Shaddiq that she needs him to buy her five minutes so she can rendezvous with the League. Guel states that he and Shaddiq both have sins to answer for, but he vows that Shaddiq will pay for them right now. Guel charges in to attack, but Shaddiq swats aside his drone bits and severs his right arm. Sabina then moves in and opens fire on Guel, saying he’ll never understand because he grew up with a silver spoon in his mouth. She charges in to attack with her lance, but one of Guel’s drone bits disables her Heindree. Shaddiq blasts the Darilbalde in half, but Guel quickly deploys his drone bits to slice off the Michaelis’ arms and legs. He escapes from the Darilbalde just before it explodes and is recovered by a Demi Garrison. The battle ends when the Demi Garrisons arrive and force Shaddiq’s girls to surrender. Guel says that even though he despises Shaddiq, he’s not going to let him die. Shaddiq responds that the Benerit Group sacrificed Spacians at school to maintain order. He also says that the League wouldn’t act just because of Earthian losses, but now they’ll do something. Norea continues to attack Kenanji and vows that she’ll destroy everything. Elan approaches in the Lfrith Ur and tells Norea not to be in such a rush to die. She shoots at him and asks what running away has gotten him, saying that the way he lives is like being dead, and that unlike him, Sophie was alive. Elan grapples onto her suit and says that the real her is found within the sketchbook, and he tells her to come with him and search for a new way to live. He says that if she doesn’t want to run, she can take him to the places she drew in her sketchbook. He wants to prove that they’re allowed to live, and Norea deactivates the Gundvolvas. Feeling the pain from the Permet, Norea pushes him away and is sniped by a Beguir-Pente. Elan feels enraged and takes control of the Gundolvas to attack Dominicus. Suletta wakes up after being knocked out and is shocked to see a bloodied Petra buried under rubble. In the aftermath of the devastation, workers recover the bodies of dead students and place them in body bags. Earth House members find Suletta clearing away rubble outside a damaged building. Nika starts to say something, but Suletta cuts her off and asks everyone to help clear away rubble because there are people trapped inside. Suletta wipes away her tears and says there are still people who can be saved, and everyone springs into action. 

Commentary

Up to this point, The Witch From Mercury has charted its own path within the Gundam franchise, but this episode brings in some classic tragedy and dueling teenagers yelling at each other in space. Despite being warned by Kenanji, Guel acts impulsively out of his anger at Shaddiq and rushes into battle. It’s a tough battle and he’s at a disadvantage thanks to the school regulation program, but he manages to pull off a victory at the end. I was wondering if Nika, Elan and Norea would ever leave the room they’ve been locked in for the entire season, but I didn’t expect it to have such massive consequences. Norea goes on a rage-fueled rampage and indiscriminately kills many students. Elan tries to reach out to her and seemingly succeeds, only to have her be killed by a Dominicus sniper. Petra being injured while trying to help other students puts a face to these mass casualties. The sight of dead students at a school hits differently for me as a viewer in America, which is a sad reflection on the state of this country. Although Suletta isn’t in this episode very much, I expect that to change in the remaining episodes. She’s been brought to a very low point with all the things that have happened to her recently, but she carries on and tries to help rescue students at the attack. The impression I get is that she’s found her own sense of purpose independent of Prospera’s mantra that she blindly relied on for so long.

Overall Rating
4.5/5

The Witch from Mercury Info

Director:
Hiroshi Kobayashi

Writer:
Ichiro Okouchi

Mechanical Designer(s):
JNTHED
Kanetake Ebikawa
Wataru Inata
Ippei Gyoubu
Kenji Teraoka
Ko Inaba
Takayuki Yanase

Character Designer(s):
Marie Tagashira
Juri Toida
Hirotoshi Takaya

Musical Composer:
Takashi Ohmama

Format:
25 episodes

Airdates:
Japan 10.02.2022 – 01.08.2023 (S1); 04.09.2023 – 07.02.2023 (S2)
Streaming 10.02.2022 – 01.08.2023 (S1); 04.09.2023 – 07.02.2023 (S2)

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