REVIEW: Mobile Suit Gundam – The Witch from Mercury Short Story: The Cradle World (2022)

A short story in The Gundam – The Witch from Mercury timeline

With a lot of anime, there are all manner of apocryphal materials that get released that most Western audience simply do not get. With Gundam alone, most shows have comics in hobby magazines, radio plays, and even light novels that only exist here if a fan takes the time to translate it. That is exactly what has happened here with Mobile Suit Gundam – The Witch from Mercury Short Story: The Cradle World, a short story that appears to be a way to explain the lyrics of the first season’s theme song, The Blessing by YOASOBI. This story takes place after the prologue, and before the first episode of the Mobile Suit Gundam – The Witch from Mercury TV series. The show (so far) is somewhat anemic on your typical Gundam espositionary info-dumps that provide all of the context for what’s going on, and in a way this short story fills that exact void.

“Cradle Star”, the short story penned by Ichiro Okouchi, the screenplay maker for Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch From Mercury, in conjunction with the song 「祝福」 (The Blessing) by famous Japanese music superduo YOASOBI!

The majority of this short story is VERY interesting in that it is from the point of view of Gundam Aerial, which in the case of this story seems to have some sort of self-awareness. We see Aerial discuss Suletta’s upbringing, and relationship with herself, which is characterized as a sisterhood. Unless the screenwriter is just getting real flowery with his imagery, this seems to have fairly large ramifications on the overall plot of the show – in that this would be the first Gundam show with a Mobile suit that is some sort of autonomous sentient life form rather than just a robot. Sure, a lot of shows have a point where an automated battle computer system is employed (i.e. Mobile Dolls in Gundam Wing) but Aerial seems different. Considering that we’ve seen A.I. factor into the show a bit already, this could very well be where everything is heading.

One of the most important plot points is the fact that Lady Prospera and Suletta fled to Mercury after the events seen in the prologue, and struck a tenuous relationship with the people living in that harsh climate. They agreed to grant them some sort of asylum, albeit under a bit of duress due to fear of the pair causing trouble. With Sarius Zenelli being the person that basically called the “witch hunt” on lady Prospera, and the one that Aerial confirms may lie at the center of her overall plot, we get a stark realization that Prospera is likely using her daughter to get revenge against those that wronged her. In fact, a major theme in the show seems to be how parents view and use their own children as tools for their own personal gain. Most of the characters in the show itself, including Suletta, Miorine and even Guel are viewed as assets for the sole purpose of holding onto or gaining political power. If anything this adds even more layers of mystique to lady Prospera, once gain making her endlessly the most interesting character in the TV series.

It’s not really a huge plot point, but we learn one of the reasons as to why Suletta’s personality is the way it is here, because she basically had no friends from the age of four to fifteen, that is aside from Aerial. Aerial basically trained her with “games” and was her only real companion. Suletta grows up reading manga and fantasizing about going to school and having friends, which explains her awkwardness and emotional fragility at times. Her need for living what she perceives as a “normal life” seems to play right into Prospera’s plan.

This was an interesting story, although I can’t vouch for the version I looked at as it was fan-translated from japanese, and a lot of times that sort of thing is somewhat untrustworthy. I actually came across a dude that did an unofficial “audiobook” of it, and listed to it at work, which seems like an ideal way to consume it. I have posted the relevant links below. I’m not sure I can “review” it as it sort of is what it is, just another puzzle piece to help the viewer potentially understand the show that much more. I love stuff like this because it can really help with world building without resorting to unrealistically stilted dialogue which usually ends up in shows like this. If you are watching Mobile Suit Gundam – The Witch from Mercury it would probably be a good idea to read or listen to this, as I fully assume it all comes into play in the future.

For the original text, click HERE

For the translation, click HERE

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