Episode Analyses

Turn A Gundam Staff, Production, and Episode Analyses – Episode #12 “Underground Passageways”

Turn A Gundam‘s twelfth episode was broadcast on Fuji TV on June 25, 1999.

Turn A Gundam‘s twelfth episode was broadcast on Fuji TV on June 25, 1999.

The episode picks up immediately where the previous one left off—the WaDom bombardment of the Mountain Cycle causes Loran and Dianna to get caved in. After the ruckus, they find a safe spot to rest for a moment and Loran lowers the cockpit and slips out and lands on the floor. Dianna rushes to care for his wounds and he wonders why she’s being so nice to him (remember, Loran doesn’t know she’s not actually Kihel). They even share a cute little moment where Loran saves her from some falling debris. After some scouting, they find Sid and the others still excavating the deeper regions of the underground mountain caves. Outside, Phil and the others give up their search for the White Doll and leave the rest to Corin Nander’s unit.

The show begins to move at a bit of a quick pace here, so I’ll do my best to simplify it. The Earth Militia learn that Nocis has fallen and Guin has abandoned the city. They decide to form an alliance with the neighboring Lousana territory, and all Earth-Moon negotiations shall move there as well. The Lousana territory is ruled by Lord Borjarno, and his youngest daughter Lily Borjarno is introduced in this episode as well. Guin meets with her in private and asks if she could act as a spy or agent for him and report back on the Militia’s happenings. He wants to take a backseat role at the moment due to his failures but doesn’t want to fade away from relevancy. He’ll bide his time and make his return to the centerstage when appropriate, or so he says.

Lilly Borjarno’s a curious character. She’s shrewd, sharp, playful, and an astute politician, as we’ll come to see. While not a main character, per se, her influence and relevance to the plot can’t be understated. Originally, she was intended to just be one of Guin’s acquaintances from his first appearance in episode #1, but Tomino believed it’d be a waste not to make her an important character. Her hairstyle is meant to be in contrast to Kihel’s and is based on Scarlett O’Hara‘s from the 1939 film adaptation of Gone With the Wind. Her voice actress Ai Kobayashi was one of the few VAs who didn’t have to audition for her role; Lily was added into the story later on, so Kobayashi was actually invited to play the part. She’s particularly fond of Guin and thinks he’s handsome, so perhaps it was a fitting role. She’d later work with Tomino again on King Gainer.

Lily Borjarno was originally intended to simply be a friend or acquaintance of Guin Lineford, as pictured above. This was changed as Tomino thought it’d be a waste for her not to be an important character

Loran and Dianna discover an exit, but Corin, Bruno, and Jacop are scouting the area in their mobile suits. In their desperation to locate the White Doll they begin firing indiscriminately, triggering a thermal reaction from the depths of the caves. Amidst the confusion, Loran uses a tree trunk to knock out Bruno and Jacop’s suits. Dianna pleads with Loran to allow him to let her talk to the enemy, but he doesn’t get why and for what purpose and doesn’t want to endanger her (her being “Kihel Heim”). She realizes how difficult it is to be someone else and wonders how Kihel is fairing.

The blast from earlier causes a buried missile to denotate, and Corin’s suit falls into the caves below to where Sid and co. are. Loran directs them to escape as he holds off Corin’s attack. He asks Sid to look after Dianna as he continues to engage in combat. Dianna asks one of Sid’s men for their rifle, to which they hesitantly oblige. She’s taken by Loran’s bravery and wants to act on her own as well. Loran and Corin’s battle escalates and they fall further into the depths of the volcanic cave. Corin drags him down to the fiery pits as he reminisces about how the “Gundam” made a fool of him; he wants revenge for being bested in combat in a previous life.

Before Corin can deliver a decisive blow, Dianna appears and fires her measly rifle. She informs Corin that his mission is complete and that there’s no reason for him to continue fighting. If he disobeys her orders, she’ll personally execute him. He begins to have a mental breakdown, struggling with his internalized desire to defeat the “Gundam” and his love and dedication towards his Queen. He eventually gives in to his desires and resumes his attack on the White Doll. Dianna orders his execution and fires her rifle again, which only exacerbates his insanity as he exclaims that everything he did was for her happiness. Loran uses this distraction to attack Corin and pushing him down into the pits of the volcano. He then activates the White Doll’s hidden thrusters to make his way back up to safety. Corin’s suit burns to a crisp, but we see him off the side knocked out. Clearly this is a sign that this isn’t the last we’ll see of him!

The episode ends with Loran falling asleep on Dianna’s shoulder, who then takes him into her lap. Dianna’s respect for Loran has increased, as she begins to see him as a chivalrous and reliable fellow. The insert song “Ojousan, naishobanashi desu” plays, which symbolizes Loran’s love and dedication to both Kihel and Dianna. It’s a song of duality, with lyrics like “there is only one of you, and yet perhaps two. One, ripened in the rays of the Sun. And the other, made from the light of the Moon.” Akiman’s drawn an illustration of the scene as well.

This episode’s script is by the legendary Hiroyuki Hoshiyama, who’d previously worked with Tomino on anime like Daitarn 3 and Mobile Suit Gundam. He’s responsible for a number of Turn A Gundam‘s key episodes, such as the very first episode. I happen to own a copy of episode 12’s script, definitely one of my most prized items!

Turn A Gundam Episode #12 Credits
Loran – Romi Park
Dianna – Rieko Takahashi
Sochie – Akino Murata
Guin – Gou Aoba
Sid – Akio Nojima
Michael – Tetsuo Kanao
Joseph – Setsuji Sato
Yani – Takuya Kirimoto
Corin – Yasuhiko Kawazu
Phil – Tsuyoshi Koyama
Bruno – Kazunari Tanaka
Jacop – Hidenari Ugaki
Lily – Ai Kobayashi
Zenoa – Takehiro Murozono
Soldier A – Toshihide Tsuchiya
Soldier B – Kihachiro Uemura

Key Animation – Yun Geun Jang, Tadashi Sakazaki, Hatsue Kato, Takeshi Matsuda, Ikuo Kuwana, Akiyoshi Maeda, Akio Takami, Hideki Takahashi, Toshihiro Nakajima, Taeko Hori, Atsushi Otsuki, Shigehiro Asaoka, Yoko Ito, Makoto Uno

In-between Check – Ayumi Tsukamoto
In-betweens – Yukiko Takahashi, Kazunori Shimada, Masayuki Kato, Shinjiro Mogi, Ryuichi Saito, Yuka Yoshiwara, Haruko Iizuka, Yuka Takashina, Yoshinori Yumoto, Chikashi Kubota

Animation Cooperation – Studio Dove
Key Animation – Tetsua Ishikawa, Kazuhiro Ono, Satoshi Tazawa, Seoul Dove
In-Betweens – Reiko Saitou, Akira Maeda, Yoshiaki Wada, Koji Yoshida, Kazumi Inadome, Yoko Kojita, Tomonari Shimazu, Liu Jun, Seoul Dove, Shanghai Dove

Color Setting – Akemi Nagao (EMUAI)
Assistant Color Coordinator – Miyuki Sato (EMUAI)
Finishing – EMUAI (Mizumi Inoue, Emiko Okui, Miho Kobayashi, Mayumi Kanno, Miyuki Yashiki, Kazue Terashima)
Finishing Manager – Fumie Maebayashi

Art Board – Yukiko Maruyama (Atelier Musa)
Backgrounds – Kyoto Animation (Joji Unoguchi, Minoru Yasuhara, Ryuji Kawabata, Takumi Honma, Yuriko Honda, Hideki Kaneko)
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 – Yasushi Nagura (Avaco Creative Studio)
Recording Adjustment Assistant – Mika Kamemoto (Avaco Creative Studio)
Sound Production – Rakuonsha
Desk – Yoshimi Sugiyama
Music Production – Yoshiaki Ota (Borderline Records)
Digital Effects – Sunrise D.I.D. (Hiroshi Furuhashi, Ken Iokawa, Makoto Takakura)
Digital Coloring – EMUAI
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 – Kouichi Sugitani
Animation Director – Makoto Uno
Screenplay – Hiroyuki Hoshiyama
Storyboard – Kazu Yokoda
Assistant Episode Director – Satoshi Toba
Production Desk – Yoichi Watanabe
Literary Coordinator – Tetsuko Takahashi
Setting Production – Koji Yasukawa
Production Secretary – Michiko Yamamoto
Production Advancement – Yumiko Suzuki

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