Turn-A Gundam (Episodes 37 – 50) Review

Turn-A Gundam arrives at its busy conclusion, with several background characters coming to the forefront and a new antagonist arriving with his own Turn-X Gundam to counter the Turn-A. Does this more frantic pace lead to a satisfying end? Let’s find out!

Synopsis:

The Militia and Dianna loyalists have nearly made it to the moon, but lying in wait is a man far more dangerous than Agrippa Retainer…

*spoilers appear from here on out!*

The Good:

It’s the Turn-X Gundam! I assume the ‘X’ is upside down, but you know… an upside down X is just an X…

Almost immediately we’re introduced to Gym Ghingham, what turns out to be the lead antagonist of the show. He has found out a lot about the Dark History and mankind’s love of war and has become convinced that fighting on the battlefield is the only time a human is truly alive. His goal is literally war for war’s sake and he has been manipulating Agrippa this whole time in order to provoke open warfare. He’s as one-dimension as they come, but I still enjoy Gym and love the design of the Turn-X. Alongside Agrippa Retainer, Gym Ghingham has a commander named Sweatson Stero and a protégé named Merrybell Gadget, so apparently naming on the moon is pretty random, and often hilariously awkward! Anyway, the Militia soon arrive at a Moonrace colony named Mistletoe and here is where they have their first battle with Gym’s forces, but actually come out on top due to their enemies having only trained for battle via simulations and therefore not used to their opponent’s odd movements. As a last resort Gym has the whole asteroid destroyed, which ends up causing a deadly meteor shower to head towards the moon’s capital. It’s here where Loran uses the two nukes he’s had stored all this time, clearing the debris with a massive nuclear explosion (seems safe!).

We then get a few episodes of people being captured, escaping and have very quick skirmishes before repeating the sequence. Dianna and Kihel admit their deception at last (but don’t stop using it as a get-out ploy) and everyone arrives at the “Winter Palace” and shown a video archive of the Dark History full of scenes from the Universal Century, as well the timelines seen in G-Gundam, Wing, and X (which… well, that’s a whole other debate) as well as showing that the previous version of humanity was destroyed by Turn-A unleashing a nanomachine weapon called the “Moonlight Butterfly”. Eventually Dianna and Kihel are taken before Agrippa, who blames them both for all the war that’s happened, which while true Kihel argues Earth would’ve gone to the moon eventually anyway (great argument…) Agrippa is then killed by his soldier in Meme, who then tries to attack the Militia and Dianna loyalists at the Winter Palace. In a fit of anger Loran takes the Turn-A and accidentally activates the Moonlight Butterfly (literally glowing butterfly wings of pure energy) which causes Meme to flee and eventually get killed by Harry.

It’s the forbidden archive of the Dark History! Hopefully Victory Gundam has been expunged from the system…

This all leads to the Militia getting ready to head back to Earth but Loran finds out that Militia head Guin has betrayed them and joined forces with Gym, who has now betrayed the Moonrace and duo are going to bring the war to Earth. Guin just wants the technology seen in the Dark History archive to strengthen his country, while Gym is Gym and just wants the war that will follow. Loran and the Turn-A lose to the Turn-X, leading to him ejecting from the machine and fleeing, leaving it in the hands of Gym and his protégé. The good Earth/Moonrace army find a new ship they soon name “Whales” (That’s right, “Whales”, not “The Whale”) and manage to escape back to earth thanks to Harry and Loran guarding the port. It’s not long before Guin/Gym also arrive on the planet via the Willgem and much to Guin’s horror Gym begins indiscriminately attacking Earth cities, so he manages to convince him to take on the Militia/Dianna Counter that haven’t joined them instead. Loran and a bunch of his allies sneak on board the Willgem but aren’t able to convince Guin to change his ways, but do manage to reclaim the Turn-A although its previously-not-very-interesting-enough-to-mention character Joseph who takes the machine. He does a bad job with it in the next episode mind you and Loran takes back control…

This leads to the big finale as Gym betrays Guin to the surprise of no one and causes all-out war to break out across the rebuilding Earth. It’s an intentional horror show as Tomino once again wishes to get across that war isn’t a very fun thing. Loran in the Turn-A soon clashes with Gym in the Turn-X, and both suits activate the Moonlight Butterfly, eventually the unexplained light envelopes both machines and Gym himself in a cocoon of sorts when the war-crazed man loses a sword duel with Loran. The Militia abandons Guin for unleashing hell on the Earth and soon peace between them and the Moonrace is officially signed. We then get a pleasant “this is what they did later” montage to a rather nice piece of music, which includes Kihel agreeing to take the role of Dianna permanently while starting a relationship with Harry and Loran agreeing to live with the actual Queen Dianna in a countryside cabin, much to Sochie’s distress.

The Bad:

“I say that it is humanity’s destiny to kill each other in wars, so why not kill each other in wars? That is my philosophy!”

Not a lot really. The plot never slowed down enough to focus too heavily on some of the annoying side characters like Sochie (who I’m sorry I didn’t feel sorry for as she cried over Loran choosing Dianna over her) and the hippie duo of Cancer and Muron. As I mentioned there are more Dianna / Kihel switch jobs, but normally on the fly to fool an enemy rather than an on-going thing, but man… the fact they were still up to it right until the final moments of the final episode is mind-boggling. It really wasn’t that good of a concept!

Overall Thoughts:

The sun sets on another Gundam show… well, apart from the Overall Review next week. Damn, should’ve saved this for that! Oh well.

Turn-A’s finale was a fun one, full of twists and turns and a satisfying conclusion thanks to the hastily added new antagonist in Gym Ghingham. While the romantic drama isn’t always handled well they do mostly lead to a happy ending, and I was happy to see characters like Loran and Harry get their dream girls in the end. Overall a fun end to a very odd series, just as I remembered it!

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