Episode Analyses

Turn A Gundam Staff, Production, and Episode Analyses – Episode #34 “Fly! Into the Stratosphere”

Turn A Gundam‘s thirty-fourth episode was broadcast on Fuji TV on December 3, 1999.

Turn A Gundam‘s thirty-fourth episode was broadcast on Fuji TV on December 3, 1999.

Meam Midgard receives word that the Dianna Counter outpost at Manupichi has fallen to Militia hands. He vows to have Dianna taken to the Moon before the Willghem launches. There’s an interesting yet disturbing scene where he “tests” Dianna by attempting to sneak up on her, but she immediately senses his presence and tells him to buzz off. To him, this fully convinces him that she is indeed the real “Dianna Soreil”. I suppose being Queen has heightened her sense of suspicious individuals in her vicinity.

The Militia uncover a mass driver, which Loran explains to Tarka will allow them to “trace back the myth to its source”, i.e. allow them to launch into space. A mass driver or electromagnetic catapult is a real-world proposed method of non-rocket spacelaunch that uses a linear motor to accelerate and catapult payloads up to high speeds. It is no stranger to Gundam, with it heavily being utilized in the Universal Century. This idea of borrowing real-world scientific proposals is also no stranger to Gundam, with its space colonies being modeled after the O’Neill cylinder settlement concept. Anyhow, the Militia aim to repair the mass driver as quickly as possible and have it up-and-running before Dianna Counter reinforcements arrive. We learn that the Sackträger has an orbital period of about three hours, which makes it a very fast-moving waystation. Guin announces that he wants to take the opportunity to catch the next window and launch the Willghem. He has assurances from the Moonrace engineers that the ship is equipped for a successful launch, and Bruno and Jacop have volunteered themselves to pilot the craft.

Harry in his Gold SUMO arrives near the stationed Gendarme, which itself is preparing to launch. Meam spots him on the radar and begins sending fire. Harry attempts to damage to the ship to prevent it from lifting off, however he’s wholly unsuccessful. He curses Miran and Midgard as they fly out of his range, exclaiming that if they make Dianna suffer or cry he’ll make them pay, even if takes a million lifetimes. This scene has become a bit of an infamous moment for Harry as a character, given how dramatic and over-the-top his shouting is, befitting the show’s emphasis on performative theater. Older fansubs even word it in an incredibly hammy manner; “”You’ll taste the wrath of a man whose hatred will survive even I’m killed and reborn a million times!”

Phil and Miran discuss the Militia’s potential to head to space, and Phil appears to be okay with the possibility. He sees it as an opportunity to make them the Moon’s problem, so he can rule without worry on the Earth’s soil. Miran disagrees, because they need to think big picture and in a worst-case scenario the Militia may have access to nuclear weapons. He suggests using Lt. Poe in a last-minute attempt to stop their advances.

Loran and the Militia sortie to defend the Willghem as it makes launch preparations. Kihel attempts to quell Poe’s assault via the ship’s intercom by ordering her to fall back, but her voice falls on deaf ears. Poe’s convinced that the woman onboard the Willghem is the Dianna lookalike (well, she isn’t wrong!). Loran brings out a pair of Gundam Hammers—remember them from episode 6?—and this time he’s dual-wielding them in combat. He easily overpowers Poe’s SUMO and the Muttowooos but doesn’t directly attack them, his intent simply to move them out of range of the Willghem. It’s worth noting that Loran’s combat style in this episode is what leads to the dual-Hammers being a staple for the Turn A Gundam in many Gundam games, notably the Super Robot Wars and Gundam vs. series. Loran’s Hammers are eventually broken and Harry comes to the rescue out of nowhere. He immediately informs Loran that the shuttle which had abducted Dianna has left for the Moon, much to his shock.

The Willghem’s launch sequence begins. The mass driver is activated and the ship’s engines are ignited. Poe and her squad are pushed back by sheer force of the rocket’s thrusters. Loran and the Militia pilots return to the Willghem. He fires shots at Poe as she desperate tries to catch up to the accelerating spaceship. Harry stops her in her tracks and advices her to find a better man to follow than Phil (can’t disagree there…). He then flies up to the Willghem to join them in their flight. Loran welcomes him and throws out a chain for him to latch onto. It really is quite the epic launch sequence, with fittingly bombastic music to accompany the scene. As Tark puts it, the gians have taken flight to reach the Bough of Ades!

As they near the Sackträger, the ship starts to lose altitude. Bruno and Jacop request the mobile suits on deck to boost the ship so that they can course correct and make contact with the oncoming waystation. The episode abruptly ends.

Turn A Gundam Episode #34 Credits
Loran – Romi Park
Dianna – Rieko Takahashi
Kihel – Rieko Takahashi
Sochie – Akino Murata
Guin – Gou Aoba
Fran – Kumiko Watanabe
Sid – Akio Nojima
Miashei – Noriko Kito
Michael – Tetsuo Kanao
Joseph – Setsuji Sato
Yani – Takuya Kirimoto
Ladderum – Ikuya Sawaki
Lily – Ai Kobayashi
Harry – Tetsu Inada
Poe – Yumiko Nakanishi
Phil – Tsuyoshi Koyama
Miran – Kazuyuki Sogabe
Midgard – Ryuji Mizuno
Bruno – Kazunari Tanaka
Jacop – Hidenari Ugaki
Horace – Hirohiko Kakegawa
John – Toshihide Tuschiya
Taraka – Hiroki Touchi
Tyrant – Kihachiro Uemura
Mother – Mie Odagi
Child – Nami Okomoto

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

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

Color Setting – Kazuko Kikuchi (EMUAI)
Assistant Color Coordinator – Miyuki Sato (EMUAI)
Finishing – EMUAI (Toru Kawamura, Mizuho Ueda, Junko Nakayama, Yuriko Utsunomiya, Minako Kuwamura, Tomoko Kawata)
Finishing Manager – Fumie Maebayashi

Art Board – Yukiko Maruyama (Atelier Musa)
Backgrounds – Kyoto Animation (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. (Makoto Takakura, Akira Iribe)
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, Kazutaka Miyatake
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 – Jirō Takayama
Storyboard – Toshifumi Kawase
Assistant Episode Director – Masakazu Hishida
Production Advancement – Naohiro Ogata
Production Desk – Yoichi Watanabe
Literary Coordinator – Tetsuko Takahashi
Setting Production – Koji Yasukawa
Production Secretary – Michiko Yamamoto

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