Episode Analyses

Turn A Gundam Staff, Production, and Episode Analyses – Episode #48 “The Return of Dianna”

Turn A Gundam‘s forty-eighth episode was broadcast on Fuji TV on March 17, 2000.

Turn A Gundam‘s forty-eighth episode was broadcast on Fuji TV on March 17, 2000.

Merrybell is wreaking havoc across the world, fully utilizing the Turn A’s destructive Moonlight Butterfly and decimating cities. We see Corin Nander observing the devastation from atop a cliff. He’s back! Meanwhile, Guin informs Gym all of Ameria’s lords have written letters avowing that they’ll resist to the bitter end; they want no part in Guin’s plans to create a unified nation. Guin suggests attacking Dianna Counter forces to raid their supplies and gain Earthling allegiance, which Gym thinks is a good idea. He also suggests the idea of mass-producing the Turn A (perhaps a callback to the iconic line from Mobile Suit Gundam; “once the Big Zam is mass-produced…”).

Joseph argues with Fran and Sochie; he thinks Loran is incapable of stealing back the Turn A, so he needs to go do so in his stead. Sochie tells him that the Whales can’t take action right now because they’re currently in talks with Dianna Counter forces in the area. They’re interrupted by “Petty Officer Corin Nander”, who appears out of nowhere and wants to meet the Queen. They lead the way, thinking he’s a spy who has returned. Loran, Dianna, Harry, and Sid all immediately recognize him, of course. He kneels down to Dianna and informs everyone that he’s witnessed the destructive power of the Turn A. Curiously, he also mentions that it’s only 1/500th of the power that he’s witnessed in the past, which ties into the idea that he’s battled with the “Gundam” in a past life. Loran asks a simple question; “who is this man?” Dianna describes him as a passionate man who was around during the time of the Dianna Counter’s founding, but she doesn’t know anything about his history before that. Corin doesn’t know how exactly to counter the Turn A, but he can’t help but want to help out now that he’s in the presence of “Her Majesty all grown up”. Dianna grants him the honor of joining their forces. Corin’s mannerisms are very erratic and unclear, and Kihel wonders if this is level of mental degradation is caused by repeated cold sleep. Corin’s origins remain a mystery, but we can concur that he’s fought against the “Gundam” in the past and brings that experience to the battlefield. Joseph suddenly launches in his FLAT, claiming he’s going to find out what Guin is really up to. Loran sorties in the Core Fighter, and Sochie and Miashei follow suit.

Sweatson Stero and his Mahiroo Squad approach the Soleil, demanding their surrender. Phil and Miran refuse, of course, and they counterattack with their WaDom forces. Dianna and co. catch wind of this, and Dianna thinks the Whale should go to their rescue. Kihel wonder if it’s okay, since Phil and Miran tried to have “Dianna” assassinated in the past, but Dianna assures her that they’re good people at heart (to which Kihel agrees with). Dianna orders Harry to lead the charge. Meanwhile, Joseph, Loran, and co. arrive at the Willghem’s open cockpit hangar. They’re led to the bridge and Guin asks if Loran has had a change of heart. Joseph butts in and asks why has Guin teamed up with Gym. Guin gives a very political answer—that Gym’s warships are much stronger than theirs and that the pacifist nature of the Moonrace would have led him to attack and conquer Earth; so he figured he’d team up with him, in hopes of preventing a catastrophe. Of course, this all hinges on the pretense that Guin can actually keep Gym under control, a detail he keeps sidestepping. He recognizes Joseph’s ambition, and offers him to join forces together. Suddenly there’s an explosion on the ship, a comotion caused by Bruno and Jacop, and Loran, Joseph, and co. make their escape back to the hangar. Guin pleads one last time for “Laura” to join him, but Loran ignores his request and runs off—this is the last time we see this type of interaction between Loran and Guin; Loran’s constant rejections of Guin’s advances has been a running theme and it finally comes to an end. Loran attempts to re-engage the Core Fighter with the Turn A, but before he can do that Joseph jumps into the cockpit, taking control of the machine. They shake off the Borjarnons and make their escape. Kenichi Yoshida has another fantastic animation cut in this episode. Recall that Yoshida is an animator and illustrator well-known for his unique style and character design work on shows like Eureka Seven. In the 1990s he was a staff member at Studio Ghibli and was involved in a number of their productions, but by 1999 he had left the studio to become a freelancer. Turn A Gundam was his first credited post-Ghibli endeavor. Here you can see his smooth movement and attention to character weight(lessness) in its budding phases. The Tomino-Akiman-Yoshida partnership formed during the Turn A Gundam era, and the trio would go on to work together on King Gainer and Gundam Reconguista in G.

This cut of Joseph jumping into the Turn A’s cockpit is animated by Kenichi Yoshida.

Meanwhile, the Soleil continues to engage in combat with Ghingham’s forces, and the Whales makes its way to the combat zone as well. Corin and Dianna attempt to fly through the battle in a fighter jet to reach the Soleil. There are lots of skirmishes between WaDoms, SUMOs, and Mahiroos, and Gym has his forces scatter and retreat to avoid taking too much damage. There’s a fair bit of solid animation by Masami Goto amidst all chaos and mayhem.

A WaDom and Mahiroo face off! Animation by Masami Goto.

When the battle temporarily subsides, the Soleil notices Dianna’s fighter aircraft. Poe breaks into tears and Phil orders the crew to welcome her with open arms. Dianna lands majestically onto the Soleil as “She’s So High”—yet another rendition of “Moon”—plays in the background. She spares not a second and pleads for their assistance to defeat Gym Ghingham. Both Phil and Miran bow down to their Queen, pledging their life to her once again and the crew breaks into cheers and applause. This scene always brings me to tears. After tens of episodes, Dianna finally returns to the Soleil and retakes her place as its rightful commander. Let bygones be bygones, the Dianna Counter must band under its queen to fight against the Ghingham Fleet. I recently got some insight about this scene. During scenario meetings, some of the writers raised objections about Tomino’s idea to have Dianna welcomed back so easily. The Dianna Counter was compared to the “Japan Self-Defense Forces” with Dianna being the “Emperor”; no one would disobey an order to defeat a rebel army. In early drafts Phil and the others show some resistance and question her, but Tomino ultimately omitted all of that from the storyboard and stuck with his gut. I think it works wonderfully as an emotional show-not-tell moment that highlights Dianna’s mercy and empathetic nature.

Turn A Gundam Episode #48 Credits
Loran – Romi Park
Dianna – Rieko Takahashi
Kihel – Rieko Takahashi
Sochie – Akino Murata
Guin – Gou Aoba
Harry – Tetsu Inada
Fran – Kumiko Watanabe
Sid – Akio Nojima
Joseph – Setsuji Sato
Michael – Tetsuo Kanao
Yani – Takuya Kirimoto
Bruno – Kazunari Tanaka
Jacop – Hidenari Ugaki
Gym – Takehito Koyasu
Sweatson – Toru Uganda
Merrybell – Rio Natsuki
Poe – Yumiko Nakanishi
Miran – Kazuyuki Sogabe
Phil – Tsuyoshi Koyama
Corin – Yasuhiko Kawazu
Daisuke – Hiroshi Matsumoto
Aspit Captain – Yoshiyuki Kaneko
Maintenance Soldier – Toshihide Tsuchiya
Militia Soldier A – Kihachiro Uemura
Boy Soldier – Kei Kurita
Militia – Kenichi Sakaguchi

Key Animation – Masami Goto, Seiichi Nakatani, Takenori Tsukuma, Kazuteru Kitajima, Etsushi Mori, Hidetoshi Omori, Kenichi Yoshida, Hiromi Maezawa, Toru Yoshida, Yoshiaki Tsubata, Yasushi Shingo, Atsushi Shigeta, Studio Dove (Tetsuya Ishikawa, Kazuhiro Ono, Satoshi Tazawa, Lee Ju, Seoul Dove, Shanghai Dove)

In-between Check – Reiko Saito
In-betweens – Studio Dove (Liu Jun, Akihiro Saito, Tomohiro Zaizen, Kazuko Otake, Yoshiaki Wada, Seoul Dove, Shanghai Dove)

Color Setting – Akemi Nagao (EMUAI)
Assistant Color Coordinator – Miyuki Sato (EMUAI)
Finishing – EMUAI (Atsuko Mori, Chizue Sato, Mayumi Sugano, Junko Hakamada, Ayako Tsunoda, Yuriko Utsunomiya)
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)
Digital Coloring – EMUAI
Video Editing – Qtec
Telecine – Makoto Imazuka
Video Editor – Tetsuro Fujita, Minami Takahashi

Mechanical Design – Hiroshi Iwaki, Yoshikazu Miyao, Junya Ishigaki, Mahiro Maeda, Tsukasa Dokite, Kazutaka Miyatake, Takeshi Takakura, Kimitoshi Yamane
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 – Jirō Takayama
Storyboard – Seiji Okuda, Minoru Yokitani
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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