Ochs Earth is a company that manufactures Mobile Suits (GUND formatted Mobile Suits). Their designs were originally tools used to help the physically disabled but like all things humans touch, they were eventually turned into tools of war when Ochs Earth acquired a research firm called Vanadis. The Mobile Suits themselves are hazardous to the pilots due to the physical and mental strain that one undergoes when synchronized to them. This has caused massive tensions between Earth and the Spacians.
While testing their gundam Lfrith at a remote satellite location, Ochs Earth is brutally attacked and majority of the station is killed. The offense is orchestrated by a man named Delling whose concern stems from the thought that the gundams will give the impoverish Earth a chance to instigate war. Furthermore he believes that what Ochs Earth does is fundamentally in the wrong.
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We’ve never done a Gundam show on the Rolling Review and with this being the first (proclaimed) one with a lead female pilot I thought “Why not?”. 
I enjoyed the prologue the first time I watched it but the second time around for this review left me with a lot of questions. I still like it quite a bit buuuut there are things I’m scratching my head about. The violence ramps much faster than I thought was merited (we go from 0 to super murder in the first 12 minutes). Supposedly Ochs Earth (technically the acquired research company Vanadis) is making giant mech suits that cause enough strain on their human pilots to induce life altering injuries or death. Since the evidence shown on the onscreen news clips indicate scientific studies being done to prove this, this doesn’t seem to be a case of mistaken understanding on our part as viewers.
One member of the Vanadis/Ochs Earth team is dismissive of the accusations of wrongdoing which initially doesn’t give the best impression. Perhaps the station are ignorant of the body count that’s been wracked up? They all seems like perfectly nice people just doing their jobs. It also seemed like Lfrith’s design was meant to reduce strain on the pilot once they got the synchronization to work. That or it’s a special killing machine but Dr. Carbo, Elnora and Nadim don’t seem like they’d stand for that. The latter two in particular because they are cute parents, and cute anime parents don’t generally do that sort of thing. Eri is quite adorable as well.
Even if Vanadis was manufacturing the Mobiles Suits and they were causing harm, it’s the clients that buy them that are ultimately the problem. I fail to understand how military hardass Delling has enough authority to murder a swath of people due to his beliefs. It’s clear the Mobile Suit Council isn’t pleased with Ochs Earth but murder wasn’t on anyone’s agenda until Delling decided it was necessary.
Speaking of those beliefs, Delling’s ideals are…kinda stupid? He believes that when people go to war they should bear the burden of killing someone. He blames Ochs Earth/Vanadis because their machines kill both enemy and pilot. Okay but…that still makes them weapons for killing. What’s your point friend? I feel like if he was more on the side of “Mechs allow people to kill another without the burden of feeling like they did the dirty work” that would have made more sense.
The lead characters are all nice enough people. I wish I had gotten to know them better. Don’t get attached to any of them because spoilers, 99% of them are dead by the end of the episode. I did feel the emotional reveal of Elnora’s face as she realized A.) her friends and husband are dead combined with B.) the the knowledge that her adorable daughter Eri is now linked to Lfrith and has committed unwitting murder was solid. She’s mortified but desperate to keep her emotions together for the sake of her child. I can get behind that motivation.
For all my foibles the prologue looks beautiful and I was definitely intrigued to know more about the show. I like Lfrith’s mech design, though it’s head is more insectlike than I’d prefer and I am 100% not feeling that neon pink color. I have nothing wrong with pink on a Gundam per se but this just looks so out of place and feels like Sunrise is desperate to be like, “LOOOOK! OUR LEAD PILOT IS A GIRL!”.
Aside from that I want to point out two subtle things that I really enjoyed:
1.) It’s rapidly established that it’s common for women to pilot mechs in this world. Elnora is shown piloting the Lfrith and a girl named Wendy is seen jumping into a mech to retaliate against the base’s attackers. I like that when Eri is chosen by Lfrith she isn’t magically both the chosen one and something like “the token lone girl who can pilot a mech in a world full o’dude pilots”. 
2.) The news clip shown early in the episode has a survey wherein it ranks the issues that Earth and the Spacians feel lawmakers need to discuss. If you pause and look, majority of Earth’s citizens are concerned about things like Poverty Reduction, and the Education Gap. The Spacian’s on the other hand care about Defense/Security and Infrastructure. In this single image you get a sense of the political climate of these two nations and what types of societies exist there. I thought that was an amazing way to do some quick worldbuilding.
 For everyone who’s about to scream, I am aware that Witch of Mercury is not the first time a female has piloted a mech. Characters like Sayla Mass, Allenby Beardsley, and Lucrezia Noin all come to mind. No torches and pitchforks please!
The pilot was shiny and flashy and half full of murder. I’m certainly intrigued as to where we are going but I have questions about the overall setup. Either way, I haven’t watched a Gundam show in a while so I’m excited for some mech battles.
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