Episode Analyses

Turn A Gundam Staff, Production, and Episode Analyses – Episode #26 “A Battle for Enlightenment”

Turn A Gundam‘s twenty-sixth episode was broadcast on Fuji TV on October 8, 1999.

Turn A Gundam‘s twenty-sixth episode was broadcast on Fuji TV on October 8, 1999.

The episode begins with an amusing scene, with Corin carrying Dianna on his back in a makeshift chair. She beckons that she’s perfectly capable of walking herself, but Corin doesn’t budge. They come across a town where the sounds of musical instruments can be heard.

The Willghem crash-lands after its premature launch and Moonrace engineers are called in to repair it. Miashei tends to Sochie’s wounds, as Loran daydreams about where Dianna might have gone to. Sochie’s temper rises because she thinks Loran and “Kihel” only care for each other. Remember, it’s a tricky situation for Loran, who of course knows that “Kihel” is actually Dianna. As she storms off, Loran says he doesn’t understand what Sochie’s thinking anymore, but Miashei is surprised by how dense Loran is in this situation. He doesn’t realize that Sochie has always had a crush on him, and that makes the whole ordeal with Gavane awkward. Loran heads out in the Gallop to continue his search for Dianna, and he even convinces Bruno and Jacop that it’s imperative that they find her. There’s talk of a new Mountain Cycle worth investigating from both Dianna Counter and Militia sources.

Corin mingles with the townsfolk, who are in the midst of a festival. He plays with the children and carves wooden toys for them. Dianna pleads that they need to hurry along and can’t waste any more time. Corin calmly responds back with my favorite quotes in the show.

Words of wisdom.

There’s a lot to unpack here, especially if we continue with the angle that Corin Nander serves as a representation of Tomino’s own life experiences (I recently received confirmation via my sources that this is indeed the intent). Post-Victory, Tomino felt neglected by Sunrise because they did not consult him for all the new Gundam projects being released, as if his long years of dedication had meant nothing. With Turn A Gundam, Tomino wanted to create something new and atypical; akin to the original Mobile Suit Gundam. He had to overcome many hurdles to get Sunrise producers on-board with the show’s ideas. And here’s the reality: Turn A Gundam was not catching on with audiences and had poor TV ratings, but Tomino did his best not to listen to all the criticisms. Fuji TV producers Kenji Shimizu and Yoshihiro Suzuki allowed it to air as-is, because they liked Tomino’s style of Gundam, and they’re the main reasons why Turn A Gundam was free from sponsor demands. Despite the poor ratings, older fans were more receptive to it, and staff members and industry people were very pleased with the show and viewed it as a “cultured” anime. This filled Tomino with a sense of pride—that he was doing something right. It’s also worth noting Tomino wanted Turn A Gundam to run for two years instead of just one, but he was informed on August 10, 1999 (~20 episodes in) that it’d only be a single-year anime. All which lean into Corin’s appropriate sequence of lines. It’s Tomino himself speaking!

The Corin-Tomino connection further continues when the monk drops lines about how children are too young to appreciate their mothers. As discussed in the previous episode’s post, Tomino relied heavily on the women in his life during his years of depression, and one needs no introduction when it comes to Tomino’s philosophy regarding mothers. Corin nonchalantly goes on to tell a kid that he doesn’t remember what his father looks like. This comes off as an innocent line, but it possibly has a deeper connotation. Tomino had a very strained relationship with his parents, particularly his father. That’s putting it lightly, if I’m being honest—he has some choice words for them in his Turn A no iyashi memoir—but I won’t go into detail in this post. His go-getter approach to life stems from the fact that his family had inherited its wealth and his father always sought the easy way out in everything he did—Tomino wanted to do the opposite by working hard and proving himself in his own craft.

Corin and Dianna share a meal with the kids and their parents and afterwards all join in on the festivities; Dianna reluctantly agrees to as well. Meanwhile, Loran uses the Gallop’s heat-detecting sensors and eventually find the same town everyone else’s at. Along with Bruno and Jacop, they too join in on the festivities while keeping an eye out. Loran notices a Mobile Rib being used by festival staff; turns out Moonrace engineers have volunteered to provide assistance. Apparently it was Keith who’s organized all this. Yes, Earthlings and Moonrace celebrating together! They’ve created a mock-up float of the White Doll. Loran finally stumbles onto Dianna chasing after some kids.

Loran and Dianna take a seat and enjoy the festival together, surprised by the fact that Earthling and Moonrace alike are celebrating together. He wishes they could have approached things like this from the beginning, and Dianna blames it all on her incompetence. She had let the military have free reign while she was making preparations. Loran doesn’t see it as her fault and instead suggests that mistakes can be fixed. She doesn’t know how to though, which is why she wants to return to the Moon. She plans to use the Sackträger, a catapult waystation orbiting above the Earth’s equator. We’ll learn more about it in coming episodes.

Corin notices the mock-up White Doll and starts hyperventilating as his lost memories flood in. He jumps onto it and attacks it with a knife but is thrown off by the river’s current. He then makes a dash towards the parked Mobile Rib. Dianna orders Loran orders him to stop him before he goes out of control. He chases after him and tries to reason with him but to no avail. Before Corin can make another attack on the mock-up, he’s stopped by none other than Harry Ord’s Gold SUMO! Harry drags Corin out of town as Loran and Dianna come up with a plan for Corin to “destroy” the mock-up White Doll and get it out of his system. With Bruno and Jacop’s help, Corin boards the Gallop, and just as Loran launches in the real White Doll he starts firing rockets. He then boards one of Jacop’s suits, and with Harry’s help they allow Corin to destroy the mock-up White Doll to allow him to “let go of his past”.

In the aftermath, Corin decides to leave town by himself. He claims that the princess’ soul has been freed from the vengeful spirit of the Gundam and can stay in heaven. This all symbolizes Tomino’s own soul being freed from the shackles of Gundam.

Turn A Gundam Episode #26 Credits
Loran – Romi Park
Kihel – Rieko Takahashi
Dianna – Rieko Takahashi
Sochie – Akino Murata
Guin – Gou Aoba
Corin – Yasuhiko Kawazu
Miashei – Noriko Kito
Gavane – Hochu Otsuka
Bruno – Kazunari Tanaka
Jacop – Hidenari Ugaki
Horace – Hirohiko Kakegawa
Harry – Tetsu Inada
Poe – Yumiko Nakanishi
Phil – Tsuyoshi Koyama
Miran – Kazuyuki Sogabe
Zenoa – Takehiro Murozono
Sid – Akio Nojima
Kakito – Ikue Otani
Toniiniyo – Mayumi Yanagisawa
George – Nami Okamoto
Estrolita – Natsumi Asaoka
Head Nurse – Atsuko Mine
Soldier A – Toshihide Tsuchiya
Bodyguard – Kenichi Sakaguchi

Key Animation – Studio Dove (Katsunori Enokimoto, Tetsuya Ishikawa, Satoshi Tazawa, Kazuhiro Ono, Lee Ju, Seoul Dove), Katsutoshi Tsunoda, Atsushi Shigeta

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

Color Setting – Kazuko Kikuchi (EMUAI)
Assistant Color Coordinator – Miyuki Sato (EMUAI)
Finishing – EMUAI (Chizue Sato, Mizumi Inoue, Mayumi Kanno, Mayumi Kato, Noriko Nakamura, Yumi Matsuda)
Finishing Manager – Fumie Maebayashi

Art Board – Yukiko Maruyama (Atelier Musa)
Backgrounds – Atelier Musa (Shuichi Okubo, Masaki Kato, Eiko Shinozaki, Yoichi Yajima, Kozue Oka, Tetsuko 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 – 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, 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 – Tetsuya Watanabe
Animation Director – Shinichi Sakuma
Screenplay – Jirō Takayama
Storyboard – Tetsuro Amino
Assistant Episode Director – Satoshi Toba
Production Advancement – Naohiro Ogata
Desk – Hidenori Watanabe
Production Cooperation – Art Land
Production Desk – Yoichi Watanabe
Literary Coordinator – Tetsuko Takahashi
Setting Production – Koji Yasukawa
Production Secretary – Masakazu Hishida

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