Turn-A Gundam – Episodes 17 – 25 Review

Turn-A Gundam continues to move forward… slowly but surely. Much like the first quarter of episodes, this chunk has some good moments and interesting ideas surrounded by annoying side characters and episodes that just don’t seem to go anywhere… Let’s take a look!

Synopsis:

Queen Dianna of the Moonrace has swapped places with her human doppelganger Kihel Heim of Earth, but all that’s happened is both girls have struggled to stop a full-on war breaking out between both parties as the Moonrace try to settle on Earth…

*spoilers appear from here on out!*

The Good:

I mean, it’s not how I’d use a massive battle ready mech suit, but I guess it’s still serving a purpose if nothing else…

Once again the main plus point here is the more interesting world building and a less direct approach to showing war. So the Moonrace move into the “Sunbelt” of “Ameria” and try to start a new home there, but the local militia aren’t too happy. As negotiations continue, so do assassination attempts on Dianna (or Kihel posing as Dianna) so actual Dianna who is posing as Kihel reveals her identity to Loran and the two decide to put an end to the charade, but don’t manage to get to actual Kihel in time and she announces a refusal to officially declare the Sunblet Fiefdom as a sovereign state and instead says she intends to continue negotiations to make it official, therefore upsetting the locals and her own Moonrace (well, Dianna’s moonrace…) Meanwhile Earth’s Guin Lineford is now happily being forced to use more and more of his Militia and even has his eyes on setting off into space and getting some Moonrace tech for himself…

This leads to both Amerian military assaults on the Moonrace settlements and Moonrace assaults on Amerian towns, villages and farms. Both sides have people trying for peace, both have people who think a more violent and direct approach would be best. Episode 20 sees a small peaceful farm get caught in the middle of the conflict and shows the nicer people on both sides try to save his crops as the nastier members fight each other in mobile suits. It’s a really good example of the “no side is purely evil” vibe the show goes for. The Amerian Militia finish excavating a large space-capable ship they christen the “Willgem”, but various Moonrace factions attempt to destroy it before they can get it working. As if all this wasn’t enough stress for the fake Dianna she soon learns of a dissident faction led by “Agrippa Maintainer” (these names…) who not only were responsible for the attempts on her life but have also successfully completed a coup in the Moon capital of Genganam. Maintainer is dead set on staying on the moon, which makes the Earth’s plan to head into space on the Willgem far more dangerous than they thought.

Harry’s amazing glasses allow for an artsy shot during a meeting.

This causes the fake Dianna to send Harry to pick up “Kihel”, which of course leads to Dianna’s most loyal guard to figure out the rouse at last. The plan doesn’t work however, so “Dianna” has to okay a mission to destroy the Willgem’s systems to keep the Earthlings grounded, but it fails thanks to Loran and the Militia and they successfully take off at the end of Episode 25…

The Bad:

Sochie being a pilot, rather than a regular civilian. Slightly less annoying as at least she’s moving the plot along, but still annoying.

Mostly the same old stuff. Sochie is still far more annoying than she is enjoyable, with a side-story about her getting proposed and reluctantly accepting it despite the fact she clearly loves Loran being particularly cringey. Episode 21, the episode that followed on from the great farm-based episode, was set at a relief hospital and full of eye-rolling “Dianna as Kihel isn’t used to manual labour” jokes and generally tries to teach the same lesson as Episode 20 but does it far worse.

Undercover Moonrace member Fran has a whole side story of her trying to report on the brutality of the war, with photos and everything, only to be turned down by local newspapers allied with Guin who are therefore only interested in making the Moonrace out to be the evil. This is a rather apt comparison to a lot of actual media coverage at the moment, so it actually took me out of the fantasy quite a bit. Obviously I don’t want to make it out that I dislike real world issues being covered in fiction, but it sort of took me by surprise as I understandably didn’t remember it from my first watch 10 or so years ago. Plus Fran is sort of a non-character anyway so I was sort of … zoned out to begin with.

Overall Thoughts:

The regular white version of the SUMO. Still a fun design, but Harry’s gold one is still the best…

Turn-A Gundam continues to show a more evenly spread narrative full of layered characters and decent action when needed. There are still characters that no matter how much they try to add to them still come across as … annoying as hell, and a few episodes that are just “Meh”. A mixed bag, but still more good than bad, and I still love the artstyle.

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