Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch From Mercury: Everything We Know So Far

There's a new "Gundam" television series on the horizon! Various iterations of the series have been running since 1979, when the first "Mobile Suit Gundam" aired on Japanese television. It established the "real robot" genre, treating giant robots as tools of semi-realistic military power, rather than shiny machines of retribution, like "Power Rangers" or "Voltron."

"Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch From Mercury" is the next series in the long-running franchise. Anime production studio Sunrise — which will become Bandai Namco Filmworks in April 2022 — has kept most of the series under wraps outside of its title. This means we're light on plot or character details at the moment. All the studio is willing to say is the title and the fact that it's "the newest Gundam series."

When could The Witch From Mercury arrive?

"Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch From Mercury" was first revealed at the 2nd Annual Gundam Conference online back on September 15, 2021. At the time, Sunrise revealed three projects: the mobile video game "Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans G," the film "Mobile Suit Gundam: Cucuruz Doan's Island," and the television series "Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch From Mercury." All three projects are planned for 2022.

We don't know the exact date when "The Witch From Mercury" will air yet. Instead, Sunrise announced a few release windows for the series. On the Japanese version of the official site, the show is planned for release in October 2022. It'll air Sundays on Japanese broadcaster MBS/TBS, in the slot once occupied by the last "Gundam" series, "Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans." There hasn't been a full "Gundam" show on television since that finished airing in 2017.

Switching over to the English iteration of the site changes the release window to a blanket 2022. There's no word on whether the show will air entirely on GundamInfo, the official "Mobile Suit Gundam" YouTube channel, or a streaming service like Crunchyroll.

What we know about The Witch From Mercury cast and crew

Unfortunately, we don't know much at all about the cast and crew of "Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch From Mercury." Sunrise has yet to even release a single piece of concept art. Instead, all we have are the official Japanese and English logos for the series.

Sunrise does tend to lean on recent directors and writers for its modern "Gundam" shows. The last series "Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans," was directed by Tatsuyuki Nagai (who directed both "A Certain Scientific Railgun" and "Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day") and written by "O Maidens in Your Savage Season" creator Mari Okada. Neither creator was in Sunrise's existing wheelhouse, so the sky is the limit in terms of the cast and crew for this show. Well, except for "Neon Genesis Evangelion" creator Hideaki Anno, who's busy shooting "Shin Kamen Rider" at the moment. We can dream.

What we think The Witch From Mercury will be about

One thing we do know about "The Witch From Mercury" is its stated vision. "We are aiming to create a work that even young generations will support," said Bandai Namco Entertainment's Chief Gundam Officer Koji Fujiwara, according to a translation by AnimeNewsNetwork. This means that the studio is looking to go a bit broader than some other "Gundam" projects.

The first "Mobile Suit Gundam" involved young student Amuro Ray, who found himself in a prototype machine called Gundam. The main conflict was between the Federation, a conglomerate of Earth's nations, and the Principality of Zeon, a group comprised of the citizens of space colonies. Amuro had to contend with not only Zeon soldiers and over-zealous Federation commanders, but also his status as a Newtype, an evolved form of humanity. 

Many "Gundam" series carry similar themes — a young pilot thrust into a larger conflict astride his unique Gundam mobile suit, seeking a way to resolve that war — but not all of them take place in the Universal Century timeline of the original series. "Mobile Suit Gundam Wing," one of the most popular "Gundam" series internationally, took place in the After Colony timeline, while "Iron-Blooded Orphans" took place in the Post Disaster timeline. These alternate timelines allow these new series to draw in new "Gundam" fans by avoiding the lengthy Universal Century continuity.

So, it's likely "The Witch From Mercury" will be an alternate timeline "Gundam" series, establishing its own universe and story. There will likely be a young pilot and a unique Gundam, but my guess is the eponymous "Witch From Mercury" is a young woman who will draw him into a larger war. I'd also guess that there will be a colorful supporting cast with their own Gundams or mobile suits for Bandai Namco to sell as plastic models.