Mobile Suit Gundam Witch of MercuryThe TV anime “Gundam” for the first time in about 7 years has closed. For the first time in the history of the franchise, the main character is a woman, and the show has generated a lot of buzz about the new directions Gundam is taking, including elements of school life and inter-company warfare.
Program script: Ichiro Okouchi ( planet, Code Geass Lelouch of the Rebellion, SK8 Infinityetc.) was asked to “create a Gundam series that newcomers to the franchise, including younger audiences, would enjoy.” “I myself am not that young, so I thought that just matching the sensibilities of the story to the sensibilities of young people would be irrelevant. So far, Gundam has mainly focused on tragedy, combat, and war, but this new series also covers school life, society, and love.”
But he couldn’t turn his back on the franchise tradition that began in 1979. New elements have been added to the excellent foundation built at the previous Gundam exhibitions. However, it also made it difficult to control the amount of information included. It was hard to keep my balance. Okochi did this out of respect for the traditions of Gundam fans and the franchise. Because I made a body of work.I couldn’t just ignore it and make something completely different.”“One thing I can say is that one of the core elements is a certain hard-edged tone. When the first Mobile Suit Gundam came out, most of the viewers of the new series were not yet born. When I thought about what fighting means to today’s generation, I thought “company.” People experience factionalism, are called to repressive meetings, and are harassed by their superiors. I thought I could use battlefields like that to create something not too far removed from modern audiences. ”
The opening song “The Blessing” was written by YOASOBI, a music unit known for producing songs based on novels, in response to the creator’s desire to let more people know about Gundam. YOASOBI consists of two artists, Ayase and ikura. Formed in 2019, the debut song “Yoru ni Kakeru” won first place on Billboard JAPAN’s 2020 “Hot 100” year-end song chart.
YOASOBI’s Ayase said, “Honestly, I felt a lot of pressure. But I wanted to make a good song that could live up to those expectations. I decided to make it a powerful and straightforward song that reflects the image.”
Ikukura commented, “Since it’s the opening theme, I listen to it every episode. That’s why we talked about creating a song that can be interpreted in various ways as the story progresses. I wanted to make a song that has new discoveries and keeps it fresh.”
Each song of YOASOBI is based on a novel. Original “The Blessing” cradle planet, a novel by Okochi. “When I first heard their songs,” Okochi says. The novel is not a happy one, so the song they wrote may have ended like a witch’s curse, but their imaginations led to an answer in the form of a ‘blessing’.
cradle planet Drawn from the perspective of Gundam Aerial, a mobile suit piloted by the main character, Suretta Mercury. Okouchi explains the reason as follows. Writing about the adults around her results in songs that don’t quite match the series. I suggested writing what Sleta would look like from Gundam’s point of view, and they accepted my idea.
name Witch from Mercury It conjures up images of ‘curses’ and ‘spells’. We asked Ayase to talk about the production process leading up to “The Blessing”. “At first, I thought, ‘What is the opposite of curse?’ Yes, I felt like the curse came to the fore more clearly.I always have a hard time naming a finished song, but this time it ended surprisingly smoothly.The word “curse” is a very strong word. But at the same time, it is commonplace and ubiquitous. Of course “The Blessing” Witch from Mercury, but I think it’s also connected to the real world in a way. ”
In the past, vocalist ikura decided on the delicate vocal nuances before recording, but this time it was different. “Without thinking too much about it, I read novels, listened to music, and decided to pour all the power I felt from them into it. Rather than trying to put my own sensitive feelings into the lyrics, I thought it would be better to sing the lyrics as they are.It expresses the feelings I had when I read the story. Sretta does her best to survive in the environment she has been forced into, but it is a curse placed on her by her mother, she is unaware of this, but her partner Aerial knows all about it. At the end of the novel, when Sleta chooses to face her situation head-on instead of running away, Aerial tells her, “I’m with you.” I think it would be great if the gentleness of Aerial and the power of Suretta could be included in the song. ”
When Okochi heard this song, he said, “I was moved by the fact that the image of the original novel was firmly preserved, and that the song was created by opening it up.” At the same time, he also points out how the lyrics are interpreted differently after watching each episode.
“That’s what I’m most particular about,” says Ayase. “The season consists of 12 episodes. I wanted to make a song that has a strong impact that flows along with the story.”
“I’m surprised you can write like this,” said Okochi. “Originally it was a song by Sureta, but when you watch episode 7, it becomes a song by Miorine. When you try, at some point you want to give up, and when ‘The Blessing’ comes to mind, it keeps you going.”
—This interview with Takuto Ueda was first published on Billboard Japan.