Episode Analyses · Tomino · Turn A Gundam

Turn A Gundam Staff, Production, and Episode Analyses – Episode #23 “Teteth’s Last Words”

Turn A Gundam‘s twenty-third episode was broadcast on Fuji TV on September 10, 1999.

Turn A Gundam‘s twenty-third episode was broadcast on Fuji TV on September 10, 1999.

The episode begins with Phil interrogating Harry, wondering why he was at the Militia site by himself. Before things escalate, Kihel interjects and convinces Phil that it was she who ordered him to investigate. Looks like she’s picked up Dianna’s knack with words! Meanwhile, Loran and co. have stationed the Gallop at Keith’s bread factory, and Teteth (yes, remember her?) appears to be masquerading as a staff member. We’re introduced to Meam Midgard, a manager at the factory and Moonrace returnee, who seems to have repertoire with Teteth. Clearly they’re in cahoots. Akiman was allowed to be very experimental with his character design, similar to his approach when designing fighting game characters at CAPCOM. He added circles to Meam’s eyes to accentuate his personality and gave him a greyish complexion to compliment his sinister hairstyle. Meam will be a recurring character, so keep an eye out.

There’s a scene between Gavane and Sochie where he appears to be proposing to her in an extremely indirect manner. She isn’t sure how to take it, feeling that it’s too sudden. But Gavane declares love blooms on the battlefield, as soldiers never know if they’ll live to see another day. Could this be the sign of a budding relationship? It’s a bit awkward for Sochie, of course, given that she has a crush on Loran. Fran Doll and Joseph Yaht also get a small moment together.

Corin Nander lives! He was defeated in battle in episode #12 but has returned and radically changed his tune. He looks like an ascetic traveler, as if he’s a monk, and talks in a thoughtful and philosophical manner. He constantly brings up the idea of a “heavenly maiden” who “dangled from the heavenly bagworm on the Tree of Origin”. Said maiden is actually indirectly referring to Dianna, who’s inspired in part by Diana Nemorensis, an ancient Latin goddess who later became the Roman goddess of the Moon. Much of this mythology (such as the “Tree of Origin”) is explored later on in the Adeska arc. Why—or rather how—Corin would draw this connection is left to interpretation, but it is implied that he’s lived for generations. I have a running theory—based mostly on conjecture—that Corin Nander represents Tomino’s own experience through Gundam, so he’s essentially a self-insert mouthpiece. Haunted, tormented, and defeated by the “Gundam” (i.e. Tomino’s struggles leading up to Victory Gundam), to then go on a spiritual journey of healing and finally have a triumphant return (Turn A Gundam). Again, mind you, this is all just fun conjecture. Nothing I’ve read nor heard confirms any of this, but it does seem plausible. Teteth confronts the wandering monk and recognizes him as Corin, asking if he’d like to restore his honor by assisting her in an operation but he declines.

In the middle of the night, a factory worker Teteth has seduced tricks Loran into being held at gunpoint. Ominous music starts playing as Teteth declares that the White Doll is part of a line of “Gundams”, and she even points out that the mark on its forehead looks like an upside-down ‘A’, as if it’s the “Turn A Gundam”. This is the first time in the show that the Turn A is mentioned by its actual name. Twenty-three episodes in for the title drop! She proclaims that the “Gundam” is a monster that brought upon the Dark History. She hijacks the cockpit and computer tablet and kicks Loran out, claiming that she’ll sell the White Doll to the Dianna Counter and restore her honor as Moonrace.

Dianna, who’s woken by all the noise, heads out with a rifle and tries to gun down Teteth from below. While she’s not a great shot, I’ve always found it interesting that Dianna knows how to use firearms. The recoil of a rifle does not phase her, for instance. A queen must learn to protect oneself, I suppose. Teteth grabs her with the White Doll’s hands and intends to use her as bait, given that she’s a Dianna “lookalike” (remember, everyone thinks this is Kihel). Bruno and Jacop chase after them with the Gallop but Teteth jumps onto the hovercraft and demands they surrender it to her. Teteth uses Dianna as a shield to threaten Loran and co. to yield to her demands. Her actions finally cause the man she’d seduced to try to stop her, claiming that the “Miss Tate” he knows would never do something like this, but he falls on deaf ears. Dianna pleads that Teteth needs to adopt an Earther mind and not give in to hatred, but Teteth retorts that she’s suffered more than anyone could imagine because of her Earthling blood. No one can understand the hatred she holds for Earthlings.

Loran makes a deal to exchange the White Doll’s rifle and shield to guarantee Dianna’s safety. She finally lets her go, and just as she’s about the grab the armaments, Bruno and Jacop accelerate the Gallop into the factory’s granary, causing a mild dust storm. In the midst of the confusion, Loran jumps onto the White Doll’s cockpit and struggles with Teteth. They both fall off and enter into a fistfight, with Teteth throwing most of the blows. She reprimands him for being an “elite” who never had to suffer like she did. Loran grabs her arm and throws her over his shoulders and onto the ground (he’s strong!). A gunshot can be heard as he does so, and a bullet has gone cleanly through her forehead. Loran is in complete shock at her dead body and Dianna comes to examine as well. Turns out it was Meam—her own collaborator—who’d fired the shot. He’s a sneaky and conniving villain, as we’ll come to see.

As the characters mourn her death, the man Teteth had seduced tells everyone that her ancestor was an Earthling who had returned to the Moon with Dianna Soreil generations ago. As a result, her family had always been persecuted for its bloodline, which’s why she always sought after honorary citizenship. Dianna, in a moment of self-reflection, chides herself for being the “root of all sin”, to which Loran instantly denies. The episode ends on a solemn note as the curtains fall on the tragic story of Teteth Halleh.


Turn A Gundam Episode #23 Credits
Cast:
Loran – Romi Park
Kihel – Rieko Takahashi
Dianna – Rieko Takahashi
Sochie – Akino Murata
Teteth – Yumi Touma
Keith – Jun Fukuyama
Fran – Kumiko Watanabe
Joseph – Setsuji Sato
Verlaine – Nao Takamori
Gavane – Hochu Otsuka
Mallygan – Hiroya Ishimaru
Harry – Tetsu Inada
Poe – Yumiko Nakanishi
Phil – Tsuyoshi Koyama
Corin – Yasuhiko Kawazu
Bruno – Kazunari Tanaka
Jacop – Hidenari Ugaki
Midgard – Ryuji Mizuno
Troy – Kihachiro Uemura
Merchant – Yoshiyuki Kaneko
Militia Soldier 1 – Takehiro Murozono
Militia Soldier 2 – Dai Matsumoto
Militia Soldier 3 – Toshihide Tsuchiya
Child A – Nami Okamoto
Child B – Yumiko Nakanishi
Old Woman A – Mari Maruta
Old Woman B – Fuko Shinomiya

Key Animation – Studio Dove (Katsunori Enokimoto, Akira Takahashi, Tetsuya Ishikawa, Kazuhiro Ono, Satoshi Tazawa, Lee Ju, Seoul Dove), Toshio Mori, Seiichi Nakatani, Etsushi Mori, Tetsu Yoshide, Katsutoshi Tsunoda

In-between Check – Miki Otani
In-betweens – Studio Dove (Liu Jun, Akihiro Saito, Tomohiro Zaizen, Katsuhiro Yokoyama, Kazuko Otake, Reiko Saito, Seoul Dove, Shanghai Dove)

Color Setting – Kazuko Kikuchi (EMUAI)
Assistant Color Coordinator – Miyuki Sato (EMUAI)
Finishing – EMUAI (Kazuhiro Mikami, Yoshiki Ito, Naoko Horikawa, Atsuko Iiyama, Kinue Muramoto, Tomoko Okamoto)
Finishing Manager – Fumie Maebayashi

Art Board – Yukiko Maruyama (Atelier Musa)
Backgrounds – Atelier Musa (Shuichi Okubo, Masaki Kato, Mayumi Okawa, Yasuomi Kishi, Tetsuto Shimono, Myong Chi Park)
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. (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 – Mihiro Yamaguchi
Animation Director – Shinichi Sakuma
Screenplay – Ichiro Okouchi
Storyboard – Hiroki Kudō, Minoru Yokitani
Assistant Episode Director – Satoshi Toba
Production Advancement – Ryuta Wakanabe
Production Desk – Yoichi Watanabe
Literary Coordinator – Tetsuko Takahashi
Setting Production – Koji Yasukawa
Production Secretary – Michiko Yamamoto


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