Episode Analyses · storyboard

Turn A Gundam Staff, Production, and Episode Analyses – OP2 “Century Color”

Turn A Gundam‘s second opening is titled “Century Color”. This song is a collaborative project with RAY-GUNS, who provide the vocals and arrangement. Its lead singer Youmu Hamaguchi composed the song and also co-wrote the lyrics with Yoshiyuki Tomino (under the pseudonym Rin Iogi).

Turn A Gundam’s second opening – “Century Color”

“Turn A Turn” (OP1) was unfortunately unpopular in airwaves and dwindling CD sales eventually prompted Sunrise to approach director Tomino about a new opening theme. This gutted Tomino, as he was a big fan of the song and wanted it to remain as the show’s OP for its entire run (read more about OP1’s production here). This is why “Century Color” doesn’t kick in until episode #39, since it originally wasn’t planned to exist in the first place—likewise with “Tsuki no Mayu” in episode #41. While Sunrise executives and Fuji TV producers were relatively accommodating to Tomino during Turn A Gundam, they did make demands when necessary. Then-Sunrise CEO Takayuki Yoshii recommended he have a different approach for the music for the new opening, so the band RAY-GUNS were approached.

Tomino toyed with a handful of ideas to help promote the show with its new OP. The generic approach would be to introduce a mid/late-season upgrade for the titular Turn A Gundam. A “Mk-II” upgrade featuring wings or a backpack system and new armaments, etc., but Tomino could not bring himself to request Syd Mead to draw new designs. Mead’s assigned work on the show had already finished by this point, and there wasn’t enough time to re-open the contact channels and get the ball rolling. Producer Hideyuki Tomioka suggested simply adding the Turn X and Bandit in an attempt to appease the higher-ups, so that’s what they did.

Thematically, “Century Color” places heavy focus on Loran and Dianna’s relationship—their Takarazuka-inspired subtle and sweet lady & knight romanticism. It features animation by the show’s prominent animators: Masami Goto, Yoshihito Hishinuma, Atsushi Shigeta, and Akitoshi Yokoyama. Shigeta played a important role in Turn A Gundam, primarily being responsible for taking Syd Mead’s design sketches and realizing them into master drawings for animation, and Goto was a tenured animator who was seen as a successor to Ichirō Itano. While “Century Color” is an upbeat and exciting song with fantastic visuals, it never caught on with diehard fans the way “Turn A Turn” did, understandably so. But it’s my favorite anime opening theme, personally! I even own a copy of its storyboard.

A copy of the “Century Color” storyboard, by Yoshiyuki Tomino.
“Century Color” (OP2) storyboard v. animation side-by-side comparison video.
This cut is by Akitoshi Yokoyama.
This cut is by Masami Goto and also the first time the Moonlight Butterfly is shown on-screen.
This cut is animated by Yoshihito Hishinuma. In the storyboard, Tomino refers to an “adult Loran” interlocking hands with Dianna (hinting at the epilogue?), with accompanying lyrics: “I’ve kept believing in the warmth of your hands, as I cried and cried, weaving our dreams…”
Atsushi Shigeta’s animation cut, of which I own a handful of cels. The Turn X and Bandit were added to the opening visuals in an attempt to boost the show’s popularity. It was a simple idea suggested by producer Hideyuki Tomioka to appease Sunrise execs and sponsors.

Turn A Gundam Series Credits
Planning – Sunrise
Created by – Hajime Yatate, Yoshiyuki Tomino

Character Design – Akira Yasuda
Character Setting – Yoshihito Hishinuma

Mechanical Design:
Kunio Okawara, Syd Mead, Atsushi Shigeta, Takumi Sakura

Art Director – Shigemi Ikeda
Color Coordinator – Miyoko Kasamori

Director of Photography – Yoichi Oogami
Editing – Shigeyuki Yamamori

Music – Yoko Kanno
Sound Director – Yota Tsuroka

Production Cooperation – Asatsu-DK, Sotsu Co., Ltd.

Producer – Yoshihiro Suzuki (Fuji TV), Hideyuki Tomioka (Sunrise)

Chief Director – Yoshiyuki Tomino

Animation Producer – Fuji TV, Sunrise

Opening Theme “Century Color” Credits
Lyrics – Rin Iogi, Yumu Hamaguchi
Composition – Yumu Hamaguchi
Arrangement – RAY-GUNS
Opening Animation – Akitoshi Yokoyama, Atsushi Shigeta, Yoshihito Hishinuma, Masami Goto

2 thoughts on “Turn A Gundam Staff, Production, and Episode Analyses – OP2 “Century Color”

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