Episode Analyses

Turn A Gundam Staff, Production, and Episode Analyses – Episode #3 “After the Festival”

Turn A Gundam‘s third episode was broadcast on Fuji TV on April 23, 1999. This is the first of many episodes whose screenplay is credited to a woman—Miya Asakawa. Director Tomino sought to have many women on staff and scriptwriting duties is one area in which this was prevalent.

Turn A Gundam‘s third episode was broadcast on Fuji TV on April 23, 1999.

Remember the “sacred marks” ritual Loran and Sochie were meant to apply (via leeches) in the Coming of Age ceremony? Turn A Gundam draws a lot from real-world folklore and fairytales, and it also establishes its own set of in-universe mythology. This is just one set of examples; that the “White Doll” guardian deity and one of its associated rituals stems from a thousands-year-old mobile suit that was buried underground. So, be on the lookout for more!

In this episode, we are further exposed to the WaDom (short for “Walking Dome”), which the Earth Militia dub the “Scarecrow” due to its appearance. The WaDom is a massive 40-meter tall mono-eyed mobile suit. It’s meant to look “organic” in design, with vein-like leg texture, to give it a sense of originality as an otherworldly menace from the Moon. Its anti-ship beam cannon is incredibly powerful and causes unprecedented damage to Nocis City with just one shot. A lopsided battle breaks out between the Earth Militia and Moonrace invaders, but the Militia’s aircraft fighters offer little resistance to the might of the WaDoms. The sheer size and destructive power of these towering mobile suits causes much chaos and confusion. People faint, people die, and people scramble to evacuate and save their skin.

We’re introduced to a few new characters: Poe and Phil from the Moonrace, the former a WaDom pilot and the latter a captain in the Dianna Counter. We’re also properly introduced to Sid and Joseph, engineers who speculate that the “mustached” Turn A could be a relic of the Dark History—remember this term, as it’s central to the show’s plot! Sid speculates that more “relics” (mobile suits) similar to the Turn A could be buried in the mountains, so Guin commands him to use the Militia to excavate any possible remnants to use to fend off the Moonrace.

The effects of the Moonrace’s invasion is brought to home as Loran and Sochie return to the Heim manor only to discover that Sochie’s father was killed in the destruction. This is significant, because Sochie’s despair and sorrow gives the viewer some perspective that is easy to relate to and sympathize. Her father’s death is also meaningful because revenge is ultimately what drives her to join the militia. As mentioned earlier, Kihel was also originally meant to die in the Moonrace’s initial attack and Loran and Sochie’s anger—Loran because he had a crush on her and Sochie because she’s her sister—is what causes them to fight against the Moonrace (it should be noted, however, that in earlier drafts of the story Loran was not part of the Moonrace himself). As Sochie mourns her father’s death, Loran’s sadness overwhelms him as he wonders if this the type of return to Earth Queen Dianna had intended.

There’s a lot of talk about if Dianna will be able to calm down the Moonrace and negotiate fairly with the Earthlings. Guin appears to believe that she will, based on his previous radio interactions. Loran pins his hope on this. Keith, on the other hand, doesn’t believe Dianna herself will make an appearance ’til the end. He later asks Loran if they should dig up the FLAT that they landed in two years ago and regroup with the Dianna Counter. Loran declines, noting that their observation period has come to an end and they can live however they choose to. This is notable, because it highlights loyalty as a key characteristic to Loran’s character; right now, it’s his responsibility to see things through with the Heim family.

Another important aspect to Turn A Gundam is its theme of dual identities or counterparts. This is already hinted at in the first episode but you see it in full effect now. Many characters, places, and objects are referred to by more than one name throughout the show. The Earth Militia refer to the Turn A as the “White Doll” while the Moonrace call it the “Mustache” (hige), and the Militia call mobile suits “mechanical dolls”. This goes hand-in-hand with the chaos and confusion in the show’s plot. Later on we’ll also see a lot of confusion in regards to Loran and “Laura” (no thanks to Guin) and of course Kihel and Dianna’s near-identical appearances.

Perspective: the size and scale of the Moonrace’s machinery.

The episode ends on yet another abrupt note as Loran sorties to fend off Moonrace mobile suits.

Turn A Gundam Episode #3 Credits
Loran – Romi Park
Kihel – Rieko Takahashi
Sochie – Akino Murata
Guin – Gou Aoba
Poe – Yumiko Nakanishi
Keith – Jun Fukuyama
Fran – Kumiko Watanabe
Sid – Akio Nojima
Joseph – Setsuji Sato
Phil – Tsuyoshi Koyama
Colonel Aji – Yutaka Nakano
Yani – Takuya Kirimoto
Jessica – Chikako Akimoto
Mrs. Heim – Fumie Hojo
Sam – Hidenari Ugaki
Military Officer A – Kouichi Nagano
Old Woman – Shinobu Sato
Mechanic A – Takehiro Murozono
Lighting person – Kihachiro Uemura
Platoon Official – Kenichi Sakaguchi
Soldier A – Masuo AMada
Radio Listener A – Toshihiko Nakajima
Radio Listener B – Kazunori Tanaka
Radio Listener C – Toshihide Tsuchiya

Key Animation – Studio D-Volt (Hisashi Ishii, Yuji Ikeda, Shuuji Sakamoto, Hideki Takahashi, Tomoko Tanaka, Kenichi Hamazaki, Yoshio Takikami, Minoru Katagai, Shigeki Kuhara, Shin Matsuo), Keisuke Hamada, Seiki Tanaka

Drawing Producer – Tetsuya Matsuoka

In-between Check – Sachiyo Hirade
In-betweens – Kazuyo Tominaga, Keiko Abu, Taeko Watanabe, Miko Tomioka, Anime R, Xebec, Studio Dove (Reiko Saitou, Akira Maeda, Yoshiaki Wada, Koji Yoshida, Kazumi Inadome, Yoko Kojita, Seoul Dove, Shanghai Dove

Color Setting – Akemi Nagao (EMUAI)
Finishing – EMUAI (Hiromi Tobita, Chizue Saito, Hiromi Mizuno, Mayumi Sugano, Yuko Takahashi, Mayumi Kato)
Finishing Manager – Fumie Maebayashi

Art Board – Yukiko Maruyama (Atelier Musa)
Backgrounds – Atelier Musa (Shuichi Okubo, Masaki Kato, Eiko Shinozaki, Yoichi Yajima, Masatoshi Kai, Tomoko Yoshida)
Special Effects – Toshio Hasegawa (Marix)
Title Lith Work – Maki Pro

Photography – Asahi Production (Shinya Sawada, Atsushi Tamura, Asami Kumazawa, Noriaki Akitaya, Tomokazu Kaneko, Akihiko Fujino)
Assitant Editor – Nobuhiro Akiho (Jay Film)
Development – Tokyo Laboratory

Sound design – Koji Kasamatsu
Foley – Eiko Morikawa
Recording Adjustment – Yasuhiro Nagura
Sound Production – Rakuonsha
Desk – Yoshimi Sugiyama
Music Production – Yoshiaki Ota (Borderline Records)

Digital Effects – Sunrise D.I.D. (Hiroshi Furuhashi, Ken Iokawa, Kayoko Murakami, Makoto Takakura)
Video Editing – Qtec
Telecine – Makoto Imazuka
Video Editor – Tetsuro Fujita

Mechanical Design – Hitoshi Iwaki, Yoshikazu Miyao, Junya Ishigaki, Mahiro Maeda, Tsukasa Dokite
Setting Proof – Shigeru Morita (Studio Nue)
Title Logo Design – Daisuke Unno

PR Management – Sachio Tamenaga (Fuji TV), Kaoru Asai (Sunrise)
Setting Management – Shigeru Horiguchi, Yoshitaka Kawaguchi

Episode Director – Yasuhiro Minami
Animation Director – Fujio Suzuki
Screenplay – Miya Asakawa
Storyboard – Minoru Yokitani
Assistant Episode Director – Masakazu Hishida
Production Desk – Yoichi Watanabe
Literary Coordinator – Tetsuko Takahashi
Setting Production – Koji Yasukawa
Production Secretary – Michiko Yamamoto
Production Advancement – Ryuta Wakanabe

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