This story is set thousands of years in the future. The people of Earth have forgotten the space wars of the past, reverting back to a pre-industrial existence. But the lunar settlers known as the Moonrace, who have retained their high technology, now plan to seize their mother planet for themselves. As the war of the worlds begins, a young Moonrace citizen named Loran Cehack, pilot of the legendary Turn A Gundam, struggles to bridge the gap between humanity's long-separated branches.
Turn A Gundam marks a turning point in the career of Yoshiyuki Tomino. Caught in a severe depression during and after the production of Victory Gundam he turned out two lackluster projects (Brainpowered and Garzey's Wing). As he came out of his depression he began developing an idea for a new Gundam series to include all the alternate continuities into one the Correct Century. He succeeds with Turn A Gundam.
Breaking away from his Kill 'Em All melodramas that marked his earlier successes, he came up with a much lighter outlook which has shown in the works after. While Turn A follows the usual teenager finding himself piloting a mecha in a war it manages to present plot devise in an interesting and untried way successfully. The Mecha themselves (by futurist Syd Mead who designed Blade Runner and Tron) are so aesthetically different they border on grotesque. This plays very well in early episodes when the battles take on a very War of the Worlds feel to them. The characters interacting in a typically rich Tomino script are well rounded, likable, and surprisingly complex who carry with them stings of an individual plot that the director skillfully weaves into a deep and complex story. The plot itself is heartwarming, funny, tense and has Machiavellian dealings on both sides of the war. Action does take a back seat to plot development, but as the series progresses fights become faster, more brutal, and with none of the canned battles that tend to pop up in mecha series recently. Yoko Kanno delivers again in the soundtrack, one of my favorites she has done. Of Particular note is Tsuki no mayu which appears in the first episodes in one of the most memorable scenes in the show.
Now if there was a downside I would have to say hardcore action fans would be disappointed in the slower pacing as Tomino slowly develops characters and the political situation. On the plus side this is one of the few Gundam series you do not need prerequisite knowledge to understand what is going on. It also has the single best ending I have ever seen in an anime. Whether you are a mecha fan or not I would implore you to at least give this underrepresented series a try, you will undoubtedly find something to you own liking. read more
This is not your average Gundam series.
If you're not familiar with Gundam and the UC universe in particular, then this is not a good place to start.
It does have a stand alone story, but it's certainly not intended for people who have little to no prior knowledge about the franchise.
This is a spoiler free review.
This one takes place thousands of years in the future in which the only space colony left is on the moon and obviously its population has advanced technology (including mechs of course), meanwhile, the people on earth are still living in a 1930s way of life. Everything is fine and dandy, until one day the moonrace decide to return to their roots, earth. And of course, a war breaks out.
It is a little different from the usual Gundam since it gives one side of the war a clear advantage due to their technology and knowledge on how to use it, while the other side is rather primitive. They also make it clear how different the two cultures are in many interesting ways and the 1930s clothes and technology really give off a unique vibe to this series, it's something you rarely see in anime in general.
It's also different because the atmosphere is relatively lighthearted, but at the same time it also deals with its themes and issues with a straight face.
Another thing you'll notice about Turn A is that even though it follows the Gundam tradition of a boy eventually finding a Gundam - piloting it - fighting in a war and so on.. It also goes through its traditional route in a noticeably unique way that you'd never see elsewhere. Furthermore, it's also famous for containing various easter eggs from previous Gundams that only fans will immediately recognize.
I must warn you though, that the first episode is very rushed and poorly presented. I don't know what they were smoking when they made it, but thankfully the next 3 or so episodes slow down and assist in making everything sink in. And much like in most series in the franchise, the pacing in general is kinda slow and it does get faster towards the end. And it's not really slower than usual so you should be used to this by now.
The story is also very rich since it explores this conflict through the various perspectives of each party that's involved, whether it's the citizens, the spies, the soldiers or the leaders of each side. It does this very throughly and it keeps going back and forth from peace or some sense of settlement and then back in to war again so the situation won't remain static. Also things do get wrapped up very nicely and the story is concluded very well. It also focuses a little more on politics than your average Gundam and as a result it doesn't have as much action and the battles aren't on a massive scale with many deaths in each episode either, but it does make sure that most deaths have a certain impact on the story and not just death for the sake of it (I'm looking at you, Victory Gundam).
Overall the story is both more unique and more complex than usual, but as a result it's also a little more clunky and it felt like it's a bit much for the show to handle from time to time. Heck, at times it's even a bit hard to follow because it keeps jumping around, but I still think it's handled very well for the most part.
As much as I love Gundam in general, I can't deny that characters and characterization are among the franchise's biggest weaknesses. Gundam characters normally consist of angsty teens and/or dumb adults who randomly do irrational and unreasonable actions for petty reasons just to take the story in a certain direction. This is a bad thing because it normally makes them feel like slaves to the story without much free will or solid reasoning behind them.
Fortunately, in this particular installment those types of things seem to be toned down significantly. Some characters are even more complex than usual and their motives and dilemmas are a lot more believable and easier to follow.
Whether these motives are related directly to the war, or just normal motives related to their personal lives as a result of the war. This is truly what drives the story forward and not in an overly forced way.
Many characters are inserted in to different inconvenient scenarios throughout the series that inevitably change them over the course of it. Their development in general is given a lot of time and focus.
Even the main character is not your usual Gundam angsty teenage boy either. He's basically a pacifist, ("I'm on neither side!") and much like the story, he's also quite unusual. Oh, and I should probably mention that this boy talks, looks and even dresses up like a girl from time to time. So that might turn off some people (and turn on others, lol).
I'm no fan of these types of characters, but this does make him far more memorable than usual. But besides that, he's also well portrayed and his actions are usually quite believable. The only downside is that he's kind of a Mary Sue and he's mostly the one who's there to change the people who surround him and not the other way around..
The series even tries to avoid having clear villains, but I'd be lying if I said it completely succeeds, since they do emerge eventually. And some characters even seem like plot devices who's main purpose is to prolong the conflict between the two sides (quick! throw in some random lunatic before they find an excuse to stop fighting each other!). Though I do like how some characters that seem to be very minor at first, unexpectedly play rather important roles later on.
Overall, for a Gundam series, these characters are handled exceptionally well and are also pretty memorable.
The visuals do have their ups and downs.
On one hand the mecha designs are nothing amazing and the production values in general are a little low for the franchise. The Gundam of this series in particular gives me a craving for Pringles for some reason. With that being said, there are cameos of mechs from other Gundam series, most notably, the Zaku which is present through out most of the series. Now that more than makes up for those weird designs for me.
The animation is pretty average for its time, but the battle choreography is noticeably good and well above average, despite having less action in terms of quantity than most Gundams do.. And that's probably the result of it being on a smaller scale.
In terms of character designs, they aren't the most detailed, but are expressive enough and they do have an interesting variety in their features. Each one looks very different from the other and the 1930s clothes add a lot to it as well.
The first opening is a pop song (I guess) and it isn't exactly a masterpiece, but you get used to it and at least the lyrics fit perfectly with what the series is about. And pretty much the same can be said for the second opening.
The ending songs aren't bad, but are way too quiet for me to remember and the soundtrack in general doesn't have much variety but it does fit the series' tone and it's very noticeable. Especially one track in particular that had a violin in it, or something..
I don't speak Japanese, but voice acting is also ok, I guess, but nothing really stands out about it.
I enjoyed it very much of course.
It's an exceptional Gundam series and a great anime on its own as well.
Though admittedly, not every Gundam fan would appreciate it because of how different it is. I guess you either love it or hate it. read more
with pictures and sounds creating an imaginary world, rich and beautiful, full with doubts and questions live is providing. unfolding an epic story just with giving the actions of the displayed characters in a fully participating enviroment.
thats the way of Turn A Gundam.
i enjoyed it very much, got deeply sought in.
even more than by the literary quality of storytelling and the excellent work of all the participating visual and performing artists i was deeply impressed by the great respect toward nature and humanity as a part of it. the smallest thing was allowed to create its own beauty, the least important character was granted its complexity. so this is giving an idea how far you may advance the art of animated film.
the title is programme, but again a mark for the thoughtful balance of this oustanding art piece - a programme not only for the makers also for the recipient. so at least you have to decide how good Turn A Gundam might be for you...
The Mobile Suit Gundam series has existed since 1979, so 36 years old as of the end of 2015 later this year, and in that large span of time, Sunrise and Bandai have put out a vast array of Gundam anime. And for the 20th Anniversary of Gundam in 1999 they released the first Yoshiyuki Tomino(Creator of Gundam) series since Mobile Suit Victory Gundam, Turn A Gundam. And even when placed against the myriad of Gundam series, and even the black sheep Mobile Fighter G Gundam, Turn A Gundam is a bit of an oddball.
It is a well known fact that Gundam often portrays large scale wars with high death tolls of both soldiers and civilians and the emotional, the psychological effect that it has on the main cast of characters. But Turn A Gundam has neither a large death toll nor any kind of psychological effect. Very few characters actually died in this series compared to any other and their deaths had very little impact on the main cast. In fact, compared to Gundams normal dark atmosphere, Turn A is actually very lighthearted, very free spirited. And this is quite the departure from just about any Gundam series in existence save Gundam Build Fighter/Build Fighters Try and Gunpla Builders Beginning G. As a fan who really likes the dark atmosphere, this was kind of a letdown.
The characters themselves though weren't bad by any stretch of the imagination. The Moonrace protagonist Loran Cehack wants nothing more than for his fellow Moonrace to come and live on Earth. And this creates conflict with some kind characters who hold racial prejudice against the Moonrace who violently emigrated to Earth. And this puts him in an interesting position because the story constantly wants him to choose between the Terrans or the Moonrace and despite fighting for the Terrans, he still manages to walk a very grey line. His two main companions, Kihel and Sochie Heim also play an important role. Kihel looks identical to the Moonrace Queen Dianna Soriel which proves to be a crucial plot point as the story progresses and Sochie reflects the maturation of the cast. She goes from being the spoiled daughter of a mine who is racist against the Moonrace for killing her father, to being a mature woman who becomes the head of the Heim household despite being the younger sibling. The Royal Guard Captain, Harry Ord, is probably one of the most interesting Gundam characters I've ever seen. His unquestionable loyalty and devotion to Queen Dianna shows itself multiple times over the course of the series. The rest of his personality is unlike any other character. He wears the strangest clothing and constantly tugs on his sleeve because he thinks it "makes him look dandy." Harry is definitely a unique character.
The theme of the show was kind of hard to nail down for the majority of its 50 episode run. At first I assumed it was all about racism or coexistance, but that wasn't it at all. It's only in the stretch of the last 10 episodes of the show that the true theme comes out: Human Nature. Despite the Terrans and Moonrace having developed separately over the course of 2,000 to 3,000 years, they are both still Human at the core, and it is often said that fighting is in Human nature. Neither race displayed this nature for those thousand or so years that they had no contact, and when the Moonrace finally began to return to the Earth, it awakened Humanity's desire to wage war, and in turn awakened it within the Moonrace. And that is the theme of the show. It wasn't trying to hide it from you so it really isn't a spoiler. It's just that it isn't as readily apparent as it would be in most other series. That confusion took some of the enjoyment out of it for me because I like to see how they tackle the theme over the course of the series.
I have to give praise to both the art and the sound though. The art was really good for a 1999 series. Very detailed, very fluid, and very vibrant. They shunned the use of newly emergent computer tricks and it was all hand drawn. So props where props are due. As for the sound, the soundtrack was composed by Yoko Kanno, which is an immediate win in my book. I've had "Moon" and "The Third Advent" on repeat for days now. The sound effects are entirely new as far as I can tell, especially having watched a vast majority of the available Gundam series. Most series reuse sound effects to avoid having to create new ones, and so it gets repetitive after a while of hearing those sounds since the beginning of time. Turn A was refreshing in that respect.
And so looking back at Turn A Gundam, it is by no means my favorites as it didn't quite live up to what I expect a Gundam show to be. Many of my friends had hyped it up as being the pinnacle of Gundam stories, and they would know since they grew up with the first Gundam and so on, but to me it just didn't feel like Gundam. I had Mobile Suits and Gundams, it had a very Gundam theme to it, but at the end of the day it just didn't feel like the Gundam that I fell in love with. And so it's somewhat of a love/hate relationship because I liked the story, the character, the music, the art, and I did enjoy it, but at the same time it just didn't scratch that itch. And I noticed quite a few similarities with the currently airing Gundam: Reconquest in Gravity(Yes, that is the actual English translation of the name.). Both were conceived and written by Yoshiyuki Tomino and both are more lighthearted than their predecessors. Though this is to be expected since Turn A's Correct Century timeline is the destiny of all Gundam timelines, whether the show was made before or after Turn A aired. Correct Century is, officially, an actual continuation of the original Universal Century timeline from the original Gundam series, and therefore it is also a direct continuation of Reconquest's Reguild Century which comes directly after the Universal Century. This is made even more apparent because the country or continent of Ameria exists in both Reconquest and Turn A.
I digress, Turn A Gundam seems like more of an acquired taste even for Gundam fans. Fans who have been around since the beginning will be able to pick Turn A up in a heartbeat because it's a Tomino series, but people who grew up on the alternate universe series like Wing, X, G, SEED, or 00 will more than likely find it hard which is to be expected. In fact, the same is happening with Reconquest at the moment. So really, I say give the show a try, but not even I can guarantee who will like it, who will say "Meh", and who will not like it. I recommend it to Gundam fans, but I can't really recommend it as a starting point to anyone.read more
The ultimate fantasy for any anime fan is the anime crossover. How cool would it be if one of your favorite anime characters teamed up with another one of your favorite characters to make animated magic? Very, indeed. Let's explore some of the most creative anime crossovers of all time.
Gundam is one of the largest anime franchises today, made up of more than a dozen TV shows, as well as movies, OVAs, and more. With so many stories split up into multiple timelines, it can be tough to know where to start. But don't worry. This comprehensive Gundam guide will help light your way.