English: ∀ Gundam
Synonyms: Mobile Suit Gundam Turn A
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Apr 9, 1999 to Apr 14, 2000
24 min. per episode
PG-13 - Teens 13 or older
L represents licensing company
Score: 7.761 (scored by 4704 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
action drama mecha
SynopsisThis 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.
Related AnimeAdaptation: Turn A Gundam, Turn A Gundam: Tsuki no Kaze, Turn A Gundam
Parent story: Mobile Suit Gundam
Summary: Turn A Gundam I: Earth Light, Turn A Gundam II: Moonlight Butterfly
Characters & Voice Actors
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 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 you know the rest.. 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 like 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 tree hugger, ("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 are kinda weird looking. And 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..
In terms of character designs, they aren't the most detailed, but they 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.
The first time I watched it, I disliked it and I wasn't really paying attention, but the second time (which was a few years later) I enjoyed it almost as much as I did the original Gundam (which is a lot).
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. You either love it or hate it.
These are stories about peace though lens of war and conflict, with Ledo of Gargantia being the actual soldier conditioned for a life of fighting while Loran is a peace loving young man trying to mediate in a war to preserve the peace he loves so much. There lack of emphasis on actual mech combat in lieu of developing the world around them. Turn-A creates this grand narrative that examines the nature of peace, and Gargantia takes that same message and condenses it to fit within 13 episodes. And yes, both are indeed worth a look at.
Both have a similar feeling and have the mix of super advanced technology and a peaceful civilization.
Both have strong character development, and eventually a plot twist most wouldn't expect.
Opening Theme"Century Color" by RAY-GUNS (eps 39-50)
"Turn A Turn" by Hideki Saijou (eps 2-38)
Ending Theme#01: "AURA" by Shinji Tanimura (eps 1-40)
#02: "Tsuki no Mayu (Moon's Cocoon)" by Aki Okui (eps 41-49)
#03: "Kagiri naki Tabiji (The Endless Journey)" by Aki Okui (ep 50)
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