Well. Wellwellwellwell. Well. That, is a rather impactful return to the Asticassia School of Technology, 2 weeks after the attack on Plant Quetta during the cour 1 finale.
There was some grumbling online regards episode 13 as Miorine (daughter of Delling Rembran, essentially the President of space) remained separated from Suletta and the rest of the Asticassia Earth House crew, watching over her injured father and managing the Beneriit Group in his absence. This means we don’t get any resolution between the two regarding the highly meme-able stinger at the end of episode 12 wherein Suletta turns a man into a smear to protect her "Bride".
All this is more than made up for however by Suletta's mother, Prospera, turning her attention to Miorine and manipulating her a little more, whilst back at the school Suletta has been fighting through the backlog of duels that have built up - a fun sequence that dips into the other groups and their own mobile suits before we meet the real chaos factor: Dawn of Folds G-unit pilots Sophie and Norea, who are enrolled into the school as visiting students from Earth. And chaos they do indeed bring, coming to a head in Episode 14 as the school's open day Battle Royale mech fight unfolds.
And for anyone worried that Ep13 was too light on mecha action, Ep14 is the cure to those woes as we get to see almost every suit in the series take to the field and get to do something interesting. In the course of this we also get a revelation of something that a number of fans had been theorising about, and schemes setting events in motion that will be intriguing to see how they play out.
Like Dawfydd, I was somewhat frustrated by the time-lapse between cours and the lack of closure to that ending from the previous run. However, we did get plenty of Sophie Pulone, easily my favourite character of the series, given two episodes to really shine. Energetic, full of life and gleefully malicious, she was such a joy to watch that events taking the turn they did was pretty inevitable, especially by Gundam standards.
Action scenes were on top form, especially the early duels of episode 13 where the rebuilt Aerial just mops the floor with everything thrown at it, creating a few laugh-out-load moments as she practically has suits take themselves out, all while being distracted like the ditzy tanuki she really is. Given that by episode 14 we're reeling form what is essentially a school-shooter incident, levity is probably going to be in short supply moving forward.
Almost every character got a chance to shine in these two opening episodes - ChuChu remains a surly badass, Miorine is clearly conflicted over her father and Prospera continues to perplex as she plays 4D chess with all around her. Ichiro Okouchi deserves much credit for setting out such a well-realised cast of characters and the conflict that surrounds them.
G-Witch continues to be a breath of fresh Gundam-scented air, taking the core concepts of two factions at each other's throats, wrapped in a school setting with younger protagonists and a grounded reason for mecha variation. This, to my mind, makes the Tomino "kill-em-all" curse all the more threatening, as we're not dealing with grizzled soldiers, but youngsters who still don't understand the world around them.
With 23 episodes to go, I'll be biting my nails every Sunday to see who - if anyone - survives.