By Mark McKee | Published

Sean Connery was the first James Bond, making Daniel Craig’s superior films possible. Christopher Reeves Superman proved that superhero movies could work on the big screen, leading us to benefit from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. There’s a lot to be said for an original, and Mobile Suit Gundam was an original that paved the way for one of anime’s most popular subgenres, mecha anime. Characterized by its use of giant robots to wage grand and dramatic battles, while Power Rangers at Pacific Rim owes a debt to the pioneering series. Four decades later, it breaks new boundaries with the latest spin-off and brings a first to the franchise: a female protagonist.

Fans at San Diego Comic-Con were treated to a preview of the first Mobile Suit Gundam project in seven years. Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch of Mercury follows Seuletta Mercury, a single girl from the planet of the same name who transfers to the Asticassia School of Technology. Overtaken by corporations and capitalist greed, the new project seems to have unique and different messages surrounding a coming-of-age storyline and, of course, giant robots. The trailer promises new characters, unbridled battle scenes, and expansive landscapes.

The original series aired 43 episodes from April 1979 to January 1980. Mobile Suit Gundam is set in Universal Century 0079 and follows the war between the space colonies known as the Principality of Zeon and the Earth Federation. The series primarily focuses on the experimental mobile suit Gundam RX-78 and its civilian pilot, Amuro Ray. His mostly untested crew aboard the White Base saw many trials and tribulations as they navigated the war. Being four decades old, most of the animation and sound are far from stellar, but the trailer for the new series puts the brand score and fight sequences center stage for our greatest pleasure.

The unmistakable commentary from the original series centered around what happens when we send young people fresh out of school and still teenagers to war. It gives us an honest look at the reality that these children don’t come back from war mentally or physically intact, and sometimes they don’t come back at all. With the new trailer and synopsis available, viewers can take a look at two social commentaries explored by Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch of Mercury. The most obvious is sex; it’s been forty years and it took many series, novels, games and movies before fans had a female protagonist. It is likely that this will be the central point of the plot. With the plot provided by MovieWeb, it looks like we can get some commentary on capitalism as well.

With everything happening at San Diego Comic-Con, there are a host of properties for fans to enjoy, from Shazam! Fury of the gods at Tales of the Living Deadit’s probably something smaller like Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch of Mercury could go unnoticed. Do yourself a favor and make sure the trailer doesn’t get missed.