Mobile Suit Gundam has, for the most part, spent the last decade focusing on its adaptations on both big-screen and small. While series like the model-kit themed Gundam Build series and adaptive works like The Origin and Thunderbolt have kept the iconic mecha series on TV, its major projects pushing the series forward have been on film, like Gundam: Hathaway. That is, until now.
This morning Sunrise announced that the first entirely new Gundam TV series — as in, a non-adaptive, original entry to the saga’s sprawling timelines — since Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans will begin airing in 2022. Titled Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch from Mercury, or G-Witch for short, the show is being targeted as “a work that even young generations will support,” according to a statement from Koji Fujiwara, Bandai Namco’s Chief Gundam Officer (a job title I would like immediately).
Aside from the title and release window, details on the new series remain sparse. It’s unknown, for example, if the series will be set in one of Gundam’s several previously established timelines — whether the iconic Universal Century, the timeline of the original series and the majority of the franchises’ successors, movies, manga, novels, and games, or one of the other alternates like Gundam Wing’s “After Colony” setting or Iron-Blooded Orphans’ “Post Disaster” — or an entirely original one.
It’s also unknown what the series is even about, although a fantastical title like Witch from Mercury potentially suggests that the series could focus on a female protagonist, a rarity for Gundam.
The idea of a spacebound “Witch” could even draw parallels to one of the most iconic concepts from Gundam beyond its titular mobile suits: the Newtype, a name given to human beings who have evolved from life in the space colonies during the Universal Century, with latent psychic abilities. Newtypes — and artificially developed iterations of them known as Cyber-Newtypes — are a hallmark of the Universal Century timeline in particular, although variations on the concept have been riffed on in other Gundam material.
So if The Witch from Mercury wants to play with the concept as well, it could be very interesting indeed beyond more giant robot astropolitical action.
All that’s speculation for now, however — all we know is that Gundam is back on TV in a big way, and no doubt we’ll learn more as we wait for its release in 2022.