Episode Analyses

Turn A Gundam Staff, Production, and Episode Analyses – Episode #36 “Militia Space Showdown!”

Turn A Gundam‘s thirty-sixth episode was broadcast on Fuji TV on December 17, 1999.

Turn A Gundam‘s thirty-sixth episode was broadcast on Fuji TV on December 17, 1999.

As the Willghem continues its trek to the Moon, the crew struggles to adjust to zero-gravity space travel. Kihel finds Loran and Sochie in the hangar and clumsily floats their way, and Loran has to grab ahold of her before she strays off too far. Sochie then goes flailing in their direction, bumping into the pair. It’s a cute and silly moment, and the three then decide to play Wolf & Sheep, basically an offshoot version of tag. Remember, Loran is Moonrace, so lesser-gravity environments are no stranger to him. Next we see Colonel Michael, Yanni, and the other Militia members struggling in the environment. There are goofy scenes where some characters are sitting on the “ceiling” while others are on the “floor”—in space, there’s no concept of “up” or “down”, as those are constructs dictated by Earth’s gravitational pull.

Kihel and Sochie have some sisterly bonding moments. They talk about Kihel’s long hair, and she mentions that Dianna gave her cream to help stylize her hair; a little tidbit that gives credence to Dianna’s fashion sense. They undress and shower in the confusing confines of the spaceship’s bathroom. Loran stands guard outside as the ladies go about their business, inputting data into the White Doll’s tablet, but then he notices droplets of water leaking through the door. He rushes in to their safety, forcing open the shower door, and finds the ladies drowning in a whirlpool of water. He quickly shuts off the water faucet and pulls out a strand of Kihel’s hair that had gotten stuck in the drain. It takes him a moment to realize he’s in a room with them naked and apologizes and runs off. Loran is such a modest lad! His reaction to staring at Kihel’s ass is hilarious. Kihel and Sochie however thank him for saving them, which somewhat alleviates his embarrassment. They also point out how it’s an interesting reverse scenario from when they first met. In the first episode, it’s Kihel and Sochie who save Loran from drowning. Loran pockets the strand of Kihel’s hair he pulled out, the sly little fellow.

The Inglessa Militia members grow tired of space travel. The zero-gravity environment has gotten to the best of them and they’re feeling spacesick. Yanni and a few others get drunk off booze floating out of a barrel. He declares that he’s had enough of this trip and wants to go back to Earth. In a burst of wisdom, he decides to “ride the river”, so to speak, back home in the empty barrel. The Militia toss him into a barrel and nail the cover so that he’s safe-and-sound inside, and then they throw him off the ship. Yes, this is all as ridiculous as it sounds. Loran sorties in the White Doll to recover the idiot; he captures the barrel in a cargo container and floods it with oxygen. Yanni’s taken to the infirmary, where it turns out he has a severe case of frostbite (worth noting that human body exposure to space wouldn’t actually give you immediate frostbite, but it’s a common trope in fiction nonetheless). Sochie notices that Kihel has gotten quite good at caring for patients, all the hands-on experience at the field hospital coming to play. Kihels however doesn’t know what she means, and it’s here that Sochie questions if that was actually Dianna back then. Kihel is exasperated at the fact that Dianna had to act as a nurse.

Without a doubt the best plan ever.

Fast-forward a bit, and Michael, Yanni, and other Militia members have decided to rebel and forcibly take control of the bridge, with Kihel as a hostage. They demand Bruno and Jacop to turn the ship around and head back to Earth. Guin surmises that not having his feet on the ground has made the colonel uneasy. Harry suggests that they cut the air supply from the bridge to force them to act. Kihel tries to reason with Michael, saying that now is the best time to negotiate with the Moonrace. If they believe her to be “Dianna”, then their safe passage to the Moon is all but guaranteed. But, if she’s “Kihel Heim” then she’s useless as a hostage! She has definitely learned her way with words by masquerading as the queen. Before Michael can really respond, the air from the bridge begins to vent away and the Militia members burst out of the bridge to catch a breath—looks like Harry’s strategy was effective.

But they’re not done with their antics, of course. They hijack some Borjanons and Kapools—with a half-dozen people or so in each cockpit—and desert the ship. Harry thinks this is fine, as the “bad air” has been “vented”, but John and Aims aren’t happy with the idea of their Borjanons just being handed over. Harry simply says there’s nothing that can be done and that weeding out troublemakers is necessary. Loran doesn’t agree with this line of thinking and launches in the White Doll. He quickly catches up to Yanni and the gang and urges them to return to the ship. They start attacking him and Loran can’t do anything but dodge, because he doesn’t want to fight allies, and he’s also carrying nukes in the White Doll’s chest chamber. There are some stunning cuts animated by Masami Goto in these skirmishes. Harry comes to Loran’s aid, and eventually the Kapools and Borjanons stop moving. Turns out that since the cockpits are carrying so many people, there’s a lack of air to go around. The Militia members are brought back to the Willghem, and after they’ve cleared their heads they clearly regret their actions.

While this episode has a lot of silly moments, it does effectively portray some of the uncertainties of space travel. Weightlessness is said to be a very difficult environment to adjust to, and the loud and rowdy Militia crew responding to it with reckless behavior makes sense. It’s also an equivalent opposite to the trope of spacenoids reacting to the Earth’s environment, particularly the sea.

Turn A Gundam Episode #36 Credits
Loran – Romi Park
Kihel – Rieko Takahashi
Sochie – Akino Murata
Guin – Gou Aoba
Fran – Kumiko Watanabe
Sid – Akio Nojima
Miashei – Noriko Kito
Michael – Tetsuo Kanao
Harry – Tetsu Inada
Yani – Takuya Kirimoto
Ladderum – Ikuya Sawaki
Lily – Ai Kobayashi
Harry – Tetsu Inada
Bruno – Kazunari Tanaka
Jacop – Hidenari Ugaki
Aims – Dai Matsumoto
John – Toshihide Tsuchiya
Soldier A – Kihachiro Uemura
Soldier B – Koji Fukumaki
Soldier C – Kenichi Sakaguchi

Key Animation – Studio Dove (Katsunori Enokimoto, Tetsuya Ishikawa, Kazuhiro Ono, Satoshi Tazawa, Lee Ju, Seoul Dove), Toshio Mori, Atsushi Shigeta, Yoshiaki Tsubata, Hidetoshi Omori, Masami Goto

In-between Check – Reiko Saito
In-betweens – Studio Dove (Akira Maeda, Yoshiaki Wada, Yoko Kajita, Takashi Uchida, Keiji Kawakubo, Seoul Dove, Shanghai Dove)

Color Setting – Akemi Nagao (EMUAI)
Assistant Color Coordinator – Miyuki Sato (EMUAI)
Finishing – EMUAI (Atsuko Iiyama, Hiromi Mizuno, Junko Hakamada, Yukari Goto, Junko Iida, Miho Tanaka)
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. (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, 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 – Yasuhiro Minami
Animation Director – Shinichi Sakuma
Screenplay – Ichiro Okouchi, Minoru Yokitani
Storyboard – Yasuhiro Minami
Assistant Episode Director – Masakazu Hishida
Production Advancement – Tomoaki Kono
Production Desk – Yoichi Watanabe
Literary Coordinator – Tetsuko Takahashi
Setting Production – Koji Yasukawa
Production Secretary – Michiko Yamamoto

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