Episode Analyses

Turn A Gundam Staff, Production, and Episode Analyses – Episode #40 “Sea Battle on the Moon”

Turn A Gundam‘s fortieth episode was broadcast on Fuji TV on January 21, 2000. Incidentally, this is one of four episodes whose scenario is by Ichiro Okouchi, who’s responsible for the script and series composition on the currently-airing Gundam: The Witch from Mercury.

Turn A Gundam‘s fortieth episode was broadcast on Fuji TV on January 21, 2000.

On the Moon’s surface, Loran leads Dianna and Sochie to a hatch that follows a pathway below to a door opening. They emerge at a fishing port at a sea canal, complete with bright sky and seagulls flying about and whales & dolphins swimming in the water. Supposedly, this is where Loran’s from! People like him are referred to as “Canallers”. Sochie is confused by how it can be so bright on the inside when it’s so dark outside. Dianna uses this opportunity to explain that cities on the Moon adjust their lighting to match the day-night cycle of Earth. Loran spots two friends; Hammett and Donna, siblings who he’s known since childhood. They’re confused as to why Loran’s on the Moon, but apparently word of the war on Earth hasn’t reached the Moon’s people (or rather, news might be being suppressed).

The fishing village Loran calls home – via setting material.

The Willghem is docked with a Moonrace transport ship and they’re transferring items to-and-from each other. Guin tells Gym that the plan to unite all of Ameria under Lord Barjarno is currently underway. Gym understands what he’s saying, but he’s merely a soldier and has little input on politics and negotiations. They’ll have to negotiate with Agrippa Maintainer, but he doesn’t know how long it’ll be before they’re granted an audience due to their untimely arrival. Lily butts in, questioning why that is so. She remarks that it’s impolite to keep a noble lady like herself waiting. Gym laughs and picks her up by the foot, wondering if all of Earth’s women are this amusing. Gym’s the type of villain who dominates every scene they’re in, and this one’s no exception. Despite allowing the Willghem passage, he doesn’t back down in his domineering attitude.

Back at Donna and Hammett’s place, Loran catches them up with all of the happenings on Earth. They’re in denial at the fact that “Crybaby Loran” is fighting in a war, but Dianna assures them that he’s telling the truth. There’s a cute moment between Dianna and Sochie where Sochie thanks her for helping them navigate through space. It provides even further subtle character development from Sochie; she’s gone from despising Dianna to slowly accepting her as another sister (“two peas in a pod”, as she said in a previous episode), and it’s very endearing when they’re finally on the same wavelength. Dianna surmises that if news is being suppressed, then that means martial law has been invoked ever since she has left. She has a better idea of the bigger picture now, and knows she’ll have to head to Gengnham and speak with Agrippa. Suddenly, the door bursts open and a group of Dianna fanboys crash into the room, excited at the opportunity to meet their Queen. How did they even know she was there? It’s a mystery!

In her room, Kihel’s pendant begins to glow. It’s a transmission from Harry. Looks like he’s done some sneaking around the ship and has come to the conclusion that Agrippa Maintainer basically has control of the Moon. All the assassination attempts on “Dianna”, along with supply ship delays and whatnot, have been his doing. He plans to turn on Dianna when she arrives on the Moon. Harry’s suddenly cut-off, because he notices Meam eavesdropping and chases after him. He questions him, asking who ordered to tail him. Meam isn’t keen on answering, so Harry figures that Gym has actually sidelined him so he’s trying to exploit “Dianna” for his own benefit. Later on, Meam heads to the bridge to report that one of the Militia folks has turned traitor, to which Guin requests they be brought in alive so that they can execute them.

The Dianna fanclub researches ship docking data to see where the Willghem may be arriving at. The system however appears to be down for maintenance, which is odd but par for the course lately. Turns out that Dianna is so integral to Moonrace society, that after she left there has been rising inflation, media suppression, and rationing of goods. They’re hoping that now that she’s back, things will go back to normal. Dianna blames herself on the matter and realizes she must make haste. She asks Loran if they can travel to Gengnham via the Canal, who responds that normally yes they can but it might be difficult under martial law. Donna however butts in, suggesting that Cannallers know how to use the canal to their advantage. They head down to the city below to prepare—cities on the Moon are built down below along the canals, which act as network of “blood vessels” infrastructure. Dianna wears a hoodie to hide her identity, and the group walks the street markets and try some of the local delicacies. Meanwhile, Donna heads to the sewing factory and prepares a large tapestry, while Hammett fills up a large barrel of tar(?)/paint(?) to drip it in. The idea is to have the White Doll to masquerade as a whale and ride along the current to Gengnham. As they complete their preparations back at the canal, a siren suddenly goes off indicating that there are mobile suits in the area. Loran launches in the White Doll, but not before being called Dianna’s “knight in shining armor”, and Dianna gets into the submarine with Cent (one of the fanboys).

Sweatson Stero and his squad of Mahiroos have entered the canal’s territory. He detects that one of the whales has a higher thermal rating than usual… and fires a warning shot below, exposing the White Doll’s disguise. An in-and-out underwater battle commences between Loran and the Mahiroos. Sochie tries to intervene, but Loran warns her not to fire missiles because they might accidentally set off an explosion and flood the city below. Amidst the fighting, Donna and Hammett lead the whales to follow the current and confuse the Mahiroos. It makes it difficult for them to catch the masquerading White Doll. Loran uses this chance to come up from behind them and attack the Sweatson’s Mahiroo’s generator, disabling the unit and forcing the squad to withdraw. This battle features stunning animation by both Masami Goto and Seiichi Nakatani.

Masami Goto’s animation cuts.
Seiichi Nakatani’s animation cut. Some of the most stunning animation in the show!

After the battle, Loran and co. rest on the canal shores above Gengnham. Donna and Hammett take their leave, entrusting Loran with their queen.

Turn A Gundam Episode #40 Credits
Loran – Romi Park
Dianna – Rieko Takahashi
Kihel – Rieko Takahashi
Sochie – Akino Murata
Guin – Gou Aoba
Harry – Tetsu Inada
Michael – Tetsuo Kanao
Lily – Ai Kobayashi
Bruno – Kazunari Tanaka
Jacop – Hidenari Ugaki
Gym – Takehito Koyasu
Sweatson – Toru Uganda
Midgard – Ryuji Mizuno
Shikkinen – Ken Iwamatsu
Hammett – Atsushi Murai
Donna – Fumiko Orikasa
Cent – Masatoyo Tetsuno
Canal Person – Toshihide Tsuchiya
Canal Girl B – Rie Ishizuka
Canal Girl C – Takako Fuji
Canal Girl D – Yumiko Nakanishi

Key Animation – Masami Goto, Etsushi Mori, Kazuteru Kitajima, Kenichi Yoshida, Takenori Tsukuma, Seiichi Nakatani, Katsuhisa Yamamoto, Yasushi Shingou, Studio Dove (Yoshiaki Tsubata, Tomohiro Kawahara, Hiromi Maezawa, Hidetoshi Omori, Akiko Nagashima, Kazuyo Tominaga, Atsuo Tobe)

In-between Check – Sachiyo Hirade
In-betweens – Setsuko Takenouchi, Taeko Watanabe, Kazuyo Tominaga, Maya Fujimari, Studio Dove, Studio Mu, Anime R, Studio Cashew, Studio Bogey, F.A.I. International

Color Setting – Kazuko Kikuchi (EMUAI)
Assistant Color Coordinator – Miyuki Sato (EMUAI)
Finishing – EMUAI (Naoko Horikawa, Izumi Inoue, Mayumi Hiraide, Mayumi Kato, Kinue Muramoto, Akiko Okamoto), Studio Bogey, F.A.I. International
Finishing Manager – Fumie Maebayashi

Art Board – Yukiko Maruyama (Atelier Musa)
Backgrounds – White Map (Masashi Hasegawa, Sachie Endo, Junko Sakurai, Akiko 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)
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 – Tetsuya Watanabe
Animation Director – Atsuo Tobe
Screenplay – Ichiro Okouchi
Storyboard – Tetsuro Amino
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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