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「あと一歩、キミに踏み出せたなら」 (Ato Ippo, Kimi ni Fumidaseta nara)
“If I Could Take One More Step Toward You”

I think you know by now what my usual spiel is for Witch from Mercury. New episode, slightly new developments, one step forward on the path to something – and upwards of fifty new steps to work through before the goodies arrive. Maybe it’s just me getting too impatient and wanting something more than the teasing and hinting (the curse of week-by-week watching), but for a rapidly approaching season end we are certainly lacking in a big mic drop.

While it would be unfair to disparage Shaddiq too much, did anyone really not see this final result coming? For all the surprise of the showdown coming down to a duel (and a team duel at that) plus Guel not giving into temptation and helping out, Suletta crushing the competition and Miorine being Miorine were always a given. If anything the point of this episode character-wise was to reinforce that Miorine is not a damsel in distress; though she lacks the technical skills of Suletta and is very proud, she is more than capable of standing on her own two feet and fighting for what she wants. Shaddiq was incredibly arrogant in his approach to claiming her, differing from Guel – or for that matter Elan – simply in the manner of it. In the end he wanted Miorine as a trophy to show how far he’s come – not a partner and equal – but unlike one now tempered hothead was willing to splurge a bit and give the girl a pedestal with a cushion. No shocker he, like all the rest, lost that fight before it even began.

Shaddiq, however, is only half the picture this week as Suletta and Aerial are, once again, the dominant pieces of a much larger puzzle. While we are still lacking in any explicit details, there’s no denying what scenes like this and accompanying maternal thrill indicate: Aerial has a very personal secret at play and Suletta has the means of interacting with it. Is said secret an AI based on human consciousness? Or an actual human consciousness? I’d like to play devil’s advocate and say there’s no proof yet – but I’m increasingly believing it to be the case. It’s growing difficult finding another explanation for the incongruities surround Aerial and its (her?) existence, particularly when Suletta, outside of potential clone status (still to be decided), has displayed nothing physically and mentally out of the ordinary. Couple on the ability of Aerial to overcome anti-Gundam technology without much trouble and it’s pretty obvious we aren’t dealing with simply a machine. It’s increasingly just a question of when the reveal is made.

With only three episodes for this season left to go (unless surprise 24 episode first season) I’d place your bets on such a thing happening soon.



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