It is the Correct Century, two millenniums after a devastating conflict which left the world broken. Earth is now mostly uninhabitable, and thus a remnant of humanity has resided on the Moon while the Earth and its few survivors recover. For years, the "Moonrace," people of the Moon, have continued to check if Earth is fit for resettlement.
A boy named Rolan Cehack and two others are sent down to Earth for a reconnaissance mission. Rolan ends up spending a year on the planet working for the Heim Family, aristocrats living in a Victorian-like society. This family, like others of similar wealthy status, celebrates one's coming of age with a ceremony involving a giant stone statue known as the "White Doll."
To Rolan's surprise, the Moonrace suddenly touches down on Earth with the intent of taking it by force. During the attack, the White Doll is broken apart, revealing a mobile suit called the "Turn A Gundam" inside. With Rolan in its cockpit, the Turn A causes a standoff between the forces of Earth and Moon. The young pilot, along with the people of both sides, must keep the peace and avoid another all-out, catastrophic war.
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.
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.
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...
Ever since I reviewed Gundam Build Fighters series aka the modern era for Gundam I wanted to check out the Gundam franchise again because Gundam Build Fighters series was the series that re intrudes me to the Gundam universe. At the time the only Gundam show that I saw before GBF is Gundam 0079 and a bit of Gundam Wing. Over the course of last year I started to watch the Gundam universe from 00. Wing, Seed, Iron Blood Orphans and so on. Some were great and others range from mediocre to bad. Now out of the all the Gundam shows Turn A Gundam is
the one of the few Gundam shows that doesn't get a lot of hate but has been praised by a lot of anime fans including Gundam enthusiast such as myself.
Hello everyone this is Shawn aka KurataTrigger and welcome to my review of Turn A Gundam and with that out of the way let's get started.
It is the year correct century 2345 the earth has almost all of its space travel technology after a series of past cataclysms and has since been reduced to the technological logical levels of the World War 1 era. On the other hand the people on the moon also called the Moon race left earth long ago to live in space until they deem the earth suitable to return to. The story of Turn A follows a young member of the moon race named Loran Cehack who was selected along with his friends Fran and Keith to take part on a recon mission to see if the earth is suitable for resettlement. After landing on earth Loran befriends the Heim family as well as being hired for work. 2 years later during the Coming of Age ceremony the moon race deploys mobile suits and tries to earth by force. During the chaos the ceremony statue crumbles and reveals a While Doll aka an ancient mobile suit. Loran uses the mobile suit to fight back and the two sides call for a ceasefire. Soon the earth forces discover more mobile suits from the past who is known as the Dark History and uses them to fight back against the moon race while the Moon Race just simply just want to return to earth as they original home. Now Loran must find a way to maintain peace and prevent both sides from starting an all out war with each other.
Turn A Gundam marks the return of director Yoshiyuki Tomino, after recovering from depression from Victory Gundam. However Tomino had a amputation. The amputation is to end the Gundam franchise.
Also Tomino decided to combine every single Gundam universe together. From Universal Century to After War.
Like most Gundam shows Turn A is set in futuristic calendar but the setting itself looks like it takes place in the early 20th century. This will play a huge role in the story as its connection with the Turn A.
The tone in Turn A Gundam is mostly balanced unlike Tomino's others such as the brutal Victory Gundam or the Goofy ZZ Gundam.
The pacing of Turn A may be slow but unlike Gundam Wing where it doesn't do anything in the terms of worldbuilding or character development. Turn A actually uses the slow pacing for great character building, worldbuilding and themes exploration.
Speaking of World building the worldbuilding in Turn A is beautifully as its shows the life of the moon and earth races and very little things such as the perofomise of the coming of age ceremony and the amount of detail to such set events is honestly refreshing
I personally didn't mind the pacing at all.
One more thing you should know is Turn A Gundam is not your average Gundam show. You will need some knowledge about the Gundam before diving in to this series due the show referencing stuff from past Gundam shows as well as Dark History bits of the show.
I can’t talk about anymore about the story of Turn A due to spoilers for both this show as well as the other Gundam shows but what it is Turn A Gundam story is great and very refreshing when compare to other Gundam shows.
The characters in Turn A are a massive step up from the bland and unlikable cast that is from Gundam Wing and they are actually interesting and very likeable to watch from start to finish.
Loran Chack is honestly a great protagonist for Gundam.
He is smart, mature and very likeable. He's also a pacifist unlike Quatre Raberba Winner (Gundam Wing) and Kira Yamato (Gundam Seed) who are hypocritical and pretentious idiots who fail at being a pacifist. Loran actually threatens his foes first and if they didn't comply then he will take action. Loran is honestly the best Pascfist character in all of Gundam and hes a perfect example how to do a pacifist pilot the correct way.
Sochie may be a bit annoying but unlike the girls in Gundam Seed you can actually sympathise with her. Sochie life was turned upside down by the moon race and now she is trying to make a best of it. I personally kinda like Sochie as a character.
Kihei Heim and especially Queen Dianna are two of the best female characters in Gundam. They are both well developed they are both interesting to watch from start to finish. I really the way they get to see the war from a different point of view and the way they deal with their situation is whets makes these two very interesting and likeable.
In the wave of terrible female characters in Gundam especially the ones in the cosmic era timeline both characters stand out in their own right as characters.
The rest of the characters are just plan fantastic as they are very likeable, memorable and have a purpose in the story and event of Turn A Gundam
Overall the characters in Turn A are amazing.
The visuals of Turn A Gundam is great and refreshing.
The animation is smooth, constant and thankfully there is no stock footage used whatsoever.
While the show may not be as well detailed as Cowboy Bebop, Outlaw Star and Escaflowne I still think Turn A looks impressive. Compare that to Gundam Wing where the show had inconstant visuals, choppy animation and heavily abused stock footage.
Also the overkill formula from Wing has completely is non-existent making the battles in Turn A feel a lot more balanced in a narrative.
I personally really like the character designs as they are very unique and original. It will take some time to get used with the character designs but once you get used it you will have a great time watching Turn A.
Lastly the mecha designs in Turn A very unique, well drawn, very original and they fit with the setting and atmosphere of Turn A perfectly. My favourite mecha designs are the Turn A and the Turn X. They are so original very well design and fit well with the setting of Turn A Gundam perfectly.
Overall the visuals of Turn A are great.
The soundtrack of Turn A is nothing but amazing. At this time of the review Turn A Gundam soundtrack is easily my favourite soundtrack in all of Gundam dethroning the Gundam Build Fighters soundtrack and I consider that soundtrack to be amazing. The soundtrack of Turn A was done by Yoko Kanno who also done the soundtracks of Cowboy Bebop, Wolf's Rain, Ghost in the shell stand alone complex and Escaflowne.
Both openings are great put I personally prefer Century Colour over Turn A Gundam because the prefer the beat and the tone of it.
The ending theme is good but not very memorable in opinion
Sadly Turn A Gundam doesn't have a dub but the Japanese voice acting is top notch.
Overall the soundtrack in Turn A is great as well as the voice acting and the openings were great.
Turn A Gundam is easily the most underrated show from the Gundam franchise.
Lucky Rightstuff in America has officially released the series on DVD and Blu Ray.
The UK version will be release soon but it will be a Blu Ray format only. For people who don't have a Blu ray player you can always import the DVD versions of Turn A from websites such as Okatu.co.uk or United Publications and they are cheap to buy now.
Turn A Gundam is a great show that everyone should check.
It has a great story, fantastic world-building, amazing and well rounded characters, impressible visuals, along with original mecha designs and a beautiful soundtrack.
The only minor complaints that I have with Turn A Gundam is the pacing. I personally liked the pacing in Turn A but it may bother some people.
Turn A Gundam is easily one of the best Gundam I have ever seen from the franchise
I give Turn A Gundam a 9/10.
Anyway this was KurataTrigger I will see you guys next time.
Stay tune for my next Gundam review where I will be reviewing Gundam Seed Season 1
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