Episode Analyses · Tomino · Turn A Gundam

Turn A Gundam Staff, Production, and Episode Analyses – Episode #35 “Sackträger!”

Turn A Gundam‘s thirty-fifth episode was broadcast on Fuji TV on December 10, 1999.

Turn A Gundam‘s thirty-fifth episode was broadcast on Fuji TV on December 10, 1999.

The Willghem matches its altitude and relative velocity with the oncoming Sackträger and finally docks with the waystation. Michael informs the crew that they are now in the vacuum in space and take necessary precautions, i.e. wearing spacesuits when exiting the ship—remember, while space travel is common in most Gundam series, it’s still new territory for half the characters in Turn A Gundam. Turns out the Gendarme is also docked on the other side of the Sackträger. Meam orders the crew to keep an eye on the Willghem and asks Dianna to come to the bridge.

Harry is admitted into the Willghem and helps some struggling Militia members with their spacesuit adjustments. Yanny is understandably weary of him and leads him to where Kihel is quartered. They question why the Willghem’s been auto-docked and who’s controlling the mechanism. Michael warns Harry that they’ll use him as a hostage, but Harry wittily responds by claiming that that’d serve no purpose since the Dianna Counter have effectively abandoned him. On the Gendarme, Meme contacts the Sackträger’s center hub and requests WaDoms as reinforcement in case the Militia attack. They don’t know what the Willghem’s intents are but are ordered to keep damage to as little as possible. Dianna doesn’t want the RRET Team to leave the ship in their mobile suits until after the Gendarme has undocked.

Guin orders Loran and Sochie to scout the area and investigate the Sackträger’s control room. He’s worried that the Moonrace will send reinforcements while the Willghem’s forcibly docked. Kihel and Harry want to negotiate with the waystation’s garrison squads, but apparently they aren’t responding to any of their signals. Harry notices on one of the monitors that the Gendarme is docked on the pier above. He curses himself for failing to notice until now and reckons they’ll launch during the next window of opportunity. He sorties with Loran and Sochie—while the latter two investigate the control room, he wants to examine the situation at the Gendarme.

Loran analyzes the working processes of the Sackträger’s exterior. They find a linear motor rail that likely links the central hub to the cylinders. Sochie grabs ahold of one of them to see where it’ll take her, but Loran pulls her back before any Dianna Counter forces notice them. He suggests they instead go the drum’s pier in hopes of finding another control room. It’s the first time in the show we get proper scenes in space, and Loran even takes a moment to explain to Sochie that the giant blue sphere in front of them is the Earth, which flabbergasts her. There are many perspective shots of the Sackträger itself as well, giving context to how long the waystation actually is. The Sackträger is essentially a skyhook (which is a proposed real-world concept), a tether used to “fling” objects into space via angular momentum. Unlike a full-blown space orbital elevator, it requires a launch device to reach its lowest point; in this case, the Manupichi mass driver. In Turn A Gundam Record Collection #2, it’s stated that the Sackträger’s predecessor actually was an orbital elevator, a symbol of peace that was destroyed due to a space war, and years afterward people built the existing Sackträger waystation. This lines up with the Manupichi legend of the “World Tree” (orbital elevator) and “Bough of Ades” (Sackträger).

Harry’s given the silent treatment by the Gendarme. He issues a sign or signal of sorts through his SUMO, but no one recognizes what he means. Dianna says it’s simply a habit of his, as he fancies himself a dandy, but it’s strongly implied that she understands what he means. Harry opens a contact channel between the Gendarme, Willghem, and maintenance staff via communication cables. Bruno and Yacop learn that the people in the control room plan to keep the Willghem locked down. Guin orders Michael and the others to launch an operation to shoot the docking arms down. Meanwhile, Fran and Kihel share a little moment and she recognizes that Kihel is not Dianna. Apparently the way she carries herself in space gives it a way, which isn’t really a surprise. Lily catches ear of the conversation.

Loran and Sochie head back to the Willghem, because they’re concerned about the incoming WaDoms from central hub. The WaDoms are intercepted by Harry, who informs them that the Willghem is en route to the Moon and requests the docking arms be removed. The WaDom pilots haven’t received any such orders and refuse to oblige even when Harry reveals himself to be the Captain of the Roayl Guard. At the Gendarme, Dianna is furious that WaDoms are here to guard the ship. She doesn’t believe they will leave the Willghem alone. We also learn that the Sackträger is a “sacred place” that she has forbidden even Dianna Counter forces from entering. She demands a mic to speak to the forces.

Before Dianna can begin speaking, Kihel’s voice comes through the intercom commanding all squads stationed at the Sackträger. She reveals that the Willghem is here as a special Earth negotiation delegation to the Moon and that she is escorting them. She orders all forces to stand down and not attack the Willghem when it launches. Dianna herself then speaks, also commanding all squads stationed, that the Gendarme will launch as scheduled. If the Militia attacks as they do, then they are allowed to open fire and defend the ship. If the Militia doesn’t attack then they must stand guard. Kihel then takes over and promises that if they comply by her orders, then she’ll consider overlooking their crime of occupying this sacred place. The Gendarme’s docking legs are then removed and it prepares to launch. Harry curses himself for not being able to rescue Dianna yet again, and Loran is also dejected that Dianna is leaving their grasps. Next is the Willghem’s turn; the WaDoms clear the way and bid save travels to “Dianna Soreil”.

This is a really stunning moment that encapsulates the show’s “two in one and one in two” thematic focus. “This is Dianna Soreil calling Dianna Soreil / this is Kihel Heim calling Kihel Heim” are a powerful set of lines that embody the Dianna-Kihel moniker some characters have begun to refer to them as, the theme of duality at full power.


Turn A Gundam Episode #35 Credits
Cast:
Loran – Romi Park
Dianna – Rieko Takahashi
Kihel – Rieko Takahashi
Sochie – Akino Murata
Guin – Gou Aoba
Fran – Kumiko Watanabe
Miashei – Noriko Kito
Michael – Tetsuo Kanao
Joseph – Setsuji Sato
Yani – Takuya Kirimoto
Ladderum – Ikuya Sawaki
Lily – Ai Kobayashi
Harry – Tetsu Inada
Bruno – Kazunari Tanaka
Jacop – Hidenari Ugaki
Midgard – Ryuji Mizuno
Aims – Dai Matsumoto
John – Toshihide Tsuchiya
Pilot A – Kenichi Sakaguchi
Control Staff – Kihachiro Uemura

Key Animation – Nakamura Production (Kohei Yoneyama, Shinichi Takahashi, Akira Matsunaga, Kazuhiro Sakakura, Hiroyuki Mori, Seiichi Hoshimoto, Yuji Miyashita, Takeo Tominaga, Takefumi Suzuki, Hiroyuki Hashimoto)

In-between Check – Tsuguru Fukuda (Nakamura Production), Kazuyo Tominaga
In-betweens – Nakamura Production (Kenichi Kasuya, Ryuji Iwabuchi, Isshou Matsuya, Tomonao Ohashi, Takashi Muratani, Hitomi Takechi, Hiroyuki Ogura, Keiko Yoshida), Fumiyo Mori, Miko Fukuoka, Studio Bogey, Studio Dove, Studio Live, Studio Cashew

Color Setting – Fusako Nakao (EMUAI)
Assistant Color Coordinator – Miyuki Sato (EMUAI)
Finishing – EMUAI (Nobuto Takagi, Mika Nagano, Hiromi Okamoto, Emiko Okui, Fumiyo Takejima, Kaseko Yamasaki)
Finishing Manager – Fumie Maebayashi

Art Board – Yukiko Maruyama (Atelier Musa)
Backgrounds – White Map (Masashi Hasegawa, Sachie Endo, Jun Sakurai, Akio Manabe)
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, Akira Iribe, Haruka Iwamoto)
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 – Akira Nishimori
Animation Director – Takuro Shinbo
Screenplay – Hiroyuki Hoshiyama
Storyboard – Akira Nishimori, Minoru Yokitani
Assistant Episode Director – Satoshi Toba
Production Advancement – Tatsuto Higuchi
Production Desk – Yoichi Watanabe
Literary Coordinator – Tetsuko Takahashi
Setting Production – Koji Yasukawa
Production Secretary – Michiko Yamamoto


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