Turn A Gundam: Part One

| June 30, 2015

As much of a mecha fan that I am, I’ve never managed to get into Gundam as a whole. I don’t know if it was just due to the fact that it was a massive undertaking or I just didn’t know where to begin. I’ve seen a few things like some random episodes of Gundam Wing and the entirety of 08th MS Team, but I had never really immersed myself into a true Gundam series, until now. Nozomi Entertainment has managed to convince Bandai of Japan to give them reign over domesticating the massive beast that is Gundam and they’re making sure that Gundam fans are in their corner, by releasing Turn A Gundam. Scheduled to be released by Bandai, back in 2010, before they pulled out of the North American market, Turn A Gundam follows Loran Cehack, a member of the Moonrace, who goes on a reconnaissance mission with two of his friends to see if whether or not its possible for them to resettle back on Earth.In the process of immersing themselves amongst the human population, Loran manages to become the chauffeur of the Heim family, a group of wealthy aristocrats that own a mine settlement. In the process of staying on Earth for a year, Loran befriends Sochie Heim, the youngest daughter of the Heim family and she chooses him to partake in the Coming of Age festival. As the two of them are in the midst of the ceremony, a large spaceship lands on Earth and destroys the “White God” statue that lied in front of them. The ship belongs to Queen Dianna Soriel of the Moonrace, who has come to negotiate terms to for her people to come back to Earth, as well as reveal a mysterious mech underneath the statue, known as Gundam.

This is just the initial set up and gives Gundam creator, Yoshiyuki Tomino, a reason to break away from some of the elements that weighed down the long running series, in order to give him enough freedom to breath new life into it. Turn A Gundam is fitting that its the first series to hit these shores, in that the legendary Syd Mead (Blade Runner, Tron) helped design the Gundams for the show. While I’ve never seen much other Gundam, I do note that one thing that permeates all of the others are situations of warfare, the effects on its participants and Turn A Gundam is no exception to that rule. While there are times where the show feels like its going around in circles, things do get exciting, whether its due to a fight between both sides, or a character taking a stance that you wouldn’t have expected, in order to retain some level of intrigue from its audience.

While there are a few of elements that are worth while, the one thing that stands out is the overall design of Turn A Gundam. The world of Turn A is set in a different timeline of the regular Gundam universe. While its far into the future, many of the aspects have this series set as if its the turn of the century. The result is a steampunk aesthetic that lies alongside the futurism of Syd Mead and it makes Turn A for a very engaging show, on an aesthetic level. Combined with the character designs from Akira Yasuda, known for his legendary work on Capcom video games and you have a TV series that feels both aesthetically pleasing and realistic to boot.

Turn A Gundam may be a bit long winded and feels like its never going anywhere at times, but it sure does look great the entire time its doing it. I think it was great on Nozomi’s part to give people people this series first, as opposed to the very first Gundam TV series. Not only due to this show never having been available before, but the sheer fact that you don’t have to be bogged down by all of this Gundam history in order to enjoy it. Gundam fans will no doubt be happy, but casual anime fans should know that this series can at times feel like a slog. Recommended

About the Author:

is a graduate from Columbia College Chicago with a degree in Audio for Visual Media. He works as a freelance location sound mixer, boom operator, sound designer, and writer in his native Chicago. He's an avid collector of films, comics, and anime.
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