Episode Analyses

Turn A Gundam Staff, Production, and Episode Analyses – Episode #39 “Shattering an Asteroid”

Turn A Gundam‘s thirty-ninth episode was broadcast on Fuji TV on January 14, 2000.

Turn A Gundam‘s thirty-ninth episode was broadcast on Fuji TV on January 14, 2000.

This is the first episode with “Century Color” as the opening theme. This OP places focus on Loran and Dianna’s relationship and features many of Turn A Gundam‘s prominent animators. To learn more about its production history, read here.

The Willghem safely emerges from Mistletoe’s wreckage and detects Loran and co. on its sensors. The Gendarme and Mahiroo squad pull back and assemble into new formation to attack the escaping mobile suits. Their aim is actually the escape shuttle that Dianna’s in (remember, Gym and Meam know that the real Dianna had escaped). It’s also worth noting that Dianna herself is piloting the shuttle! Yes, she knows how to drive a car and pilot shuttles. This could be a remnant idea from earlier drafts where she actually pilots mobile suits and/or armors. For instance in a May 1999 Tomino Memo, Dianna is said to pilot an MS called the “Moonlight Butterfly”.

Loran and Dianna presume that Harry and Kihel have likely boarded the Gendarme, so Sochie pushes ahead determined to rescue her sister. Cancer Kafka and Loran chase after her to confront the enemy Mahiroos, and the Willghem provides support fire. The Mahiroos appear to be struggling, and Gym is confused and surprised by the battle data he’s receiving. Harry realizes that wargames and training simulators cannot replicate the experience of real battle. Meam contacts the Willghem, asking them to stop the attack as they’re only trying to recover their ship’s escaped shuttle (recall that the shuttle Dianna’s piloting is an escape pod from the Gendarme). Guin calls him barbaric for the actions he’s taking, endangering those who have come to establish a wartime agreement. Guin also claims that the Willghem is simply trying to recapture its “deserters”—referring to Loran and co. here. He’s a smooth talker! Gym’s taken by his words and tells his crew to inform Agrippa Maintainer that they’ll hear the Earthlings at the negotiations table. He retreats the Gendarme back to the Moon, allowing safe passage for the Willghem.

Due to the wreckage and ongoing battle, Mistletoe begins to fall out of its natural orbital pattern of gravitational equilibrium between the Earth and Moon. It’s slowly being sucked in by the Moon’s gravity and its current target is Von City, which is apparently the ancestral home of the Kafka family. Cancer vows to stop the impact at any cost, and Sochie is confused as to how or why the colony is going to crash onto the Moon. According to Loran, the city has a population of 200,000, so this is bad news. Back at the Gendarme, Gym enters Kihel’s chambers and informs her of the news. He even gleefully says they won’t be able to save anyone. Kihel questions why they simply can’t destroy the colony, but according to Gym even their most powerful armanents wouldn’t be able to do so. He claims there is insufficient time to evacuate the entire city anyhow. He caresses her beautiful hair and she slaps his hand away. Kihel is visibly angry and tries to slap his face to reprimand him, but he blocks her hand with ease. He asks if she really is “Dianna Soreil” or not, to which she asks what he would do if she wasn’t. To Gym, it’d mean that the Dianna Counter was briefly ruled by an lowly Earthling, and that he’d be attracted to such a woman. She uses this moment to grab his sword from its hilt and takes arms, proclaiming that she’ll execute him herself. Harry enters the scene and immediately intervenes. Gym simply says that he was showing the princess his katana. Kihel picks up on the cue and rolls with it, expressing her surprise at Gym’s proficiency in the martial arts. Gym takes his leave, claiming that he’ll do what he can to save Von City.

Gym’s masterplan is to have the Mahiroos indiscriminately attack the colony—killing two birds with one stone, since it’s also an attack on Loran and co. in an attempt to capture Dianna’s shuttle. They’re hiding inside the colony’s fragments. Loran says he’ll take care of the colony with the nuclear weapons stored in the White Doll’s chest, in a shocking revelation to Dianna and the RRET Team. After some back-and-forth, Dianna humbly requests Loran to use the nukes to save everyone, and she adds an “and yourself” as well. This is a really observant moment by Dianna, as she realizes that Loran has been tormenting himself by carrying these weapons with him. He’ll finally be free from the burden. Loran vows to save Dianna and everyone else.

Loran sends out a transmission to everyone in the battlefield. He claims to wield a “Heaven-scorching sword” that was locked away by the Dark history. In order to destroy the colony wreckage and save the Moon, he will draw that sword. The metaphorical analogy he’s making is very striking, and Harry is able to quickly pick up on it: Loran must have nukes from Lost Mountain. Sochie explains in further detail to Dianna how Loran got ahold of the nukes. Dianna is surprise that he’s been holding onto them for so long. Loran finds the Gold SUMO and the Turn X’s head (which Gym has launched in) on his radar, and the White Doll begins to resonate with “X” patterns. Gym’s voice comes through the White Doll’s comms, claiming that if he’s resonating with the Turn X then that means he is piloting the Turn A, his “brother”. Confused, Loran asks what he’s done with “Queen Dianna”, to which Gym assures him that the “person they picked up” is being treated well.

Loran informs everyone that he’s about to fire off the nukes and then throws the nuclear warheads. He aims his rifle at them and fires a beam shot. The nukes detonate and the colony is eradicated. He uses the Turn A’s shield to block the explosion and radiation effect to protect himself and everyone behind him. Gym’s Turn X automatically generates a barrier around him and his fleet. Sochie comments that it’s the same light from the time at Lost Mountain. Dianna calls it a “daybreak in space”, calling back to her words of choice in the past. Lots of deja vu in this episode from episode #27. Sochie begins to cry and reminisces about Gavane. After the explosion subsides, both the Willghem and the Gendarme’s crew work together to destroy all the remaining debris.

Sochie and Dianna frantically look for the White Doll on their radars, until they finally find it. The three of them land on the Moon, but they can’t seem to locate the RRET Team. Cancer and Muron reunite inside their FLAT. They figure they have food and booze to last them a few days. They are going to celebrate the safe return of their Queen to the Moon. With their signature chanting and ceremonious music, they sing, dance, and party as their mobile suit slowly floats away with the Earth in the background. With their ancestral duty complete, they have chosen to die. The curtains fall on the RRET Team. Godspeed.

Turn A Gundam Episode #39 Credits
Loran – Romi Park
Dianna – Rieko Takahashi
Kihel – Rieko Takahashi
Sochie – Akino Murata
Guin – Gou Aoba
Harry – Tetsu Inada
Gym – Takehito Koyasu
Sweatson – Toru Uganda
Midgard – Ryuji Mizuno
Captain – Yoshiyuki Kaneko
Subordinate A – Kihachiro Uemura
Official B – Ken Iwamatsu
Michael – Tetsuo Kanao
Lily – Ai Kobayashi
Bruno – Kazunari Tanaka
Jacop – Hidenari Ugaki
Official – Kenichi Sakaguchi
Cancer – Urara Takano
Muron – Fumihiko Tachiki

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

In-between Check – Rieko Saito
In-betweens – Studio Dove (Miki Otani, Akihiro Saito, Tomohiro Zaizen, Kazuko Otake, Koji Konno, Akira Maeda, Seoul Dove, Shanghai Dove)

Color Setting – Akemi Nagao (EMUAI)
Assistant Color Coordinator – Miyuki Sato (EMUAI)
Finishing – EMUAI (Yuki Kase, Miyuki Mizumaki, Akiko Inoue, Akemi Tejima, Takako Okude, Kumiko Matsuhara)
Finishing Manager – Fumie Maebayashi

Art Board – Yukiko Maruyama (Atelier Musa)
Backgrounds – Atelier Musa (Shuichi Okubo, Masaki Kato, Mayumi Okawa, Eiko Shinozaki, Yasuomi Kishi, Kozue Oka, Yoichi Yajima, 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. (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 – Seiji Okuda
Assistant Episode Director – Satoshi Toba
Production Advancement – Hiroyuki Sato
Production Desk – Yoichi Watanabe
Literary Coordinator – Tetsuko Takahashi
Setting Production – Koji Yasukawa
Production Secretary – Michiko Yamamoto

One thought on “Turn A Gundam Staff, Production, and Episode Analyses – Episode #39 “Shattering an Asteroid”

  1. One thing about this episode that I wonder if you have a bit more insight into now that you’ve gotten to it is that I’ve always assumed the barriers the Turn A and Turn X throw up are Moonlight Butterfly based because they have a rainbow light effect, but I’ve seen other people assert they’re just an i-field.

    I can certainly see dispute over whether the barriers are Moonlight Butterfly based since the pattern is much different, even if they share the rainbow hue, but the idea they’re i-fields doesn’t fit for me either, because they don’t have the same effect as the few times we see i-fields and either Harry or Gym (I can’t recall which off hand) acts like the barrier on the Turn X is something they don’t understand despite the Moonrace having portable i-field barrier tech they can attach to units like the SUMO.

    I don’t know if anything you’ve ever read/seen has given any insight into an answer, but if you have even an opinion on it then I’d be interested to read it.


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