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Turn A Gundam

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Yoshiyuki Tomino

Mecha, Romance, Steampunk


Turn A Gundam movie poster

Release date
February 10, 2002

Mobile Suit Gundam SEED, Mobile Suit Gundam 00, Mobile Fighter G Gundam

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Turn A Gundam (Japanese: ∀(ターンエー)ガンダム, Hepburn: Tān Ē Gandamu), also stylized as ∀ Gundam, is a 1999 Japanese Mecha anime series produced by Sunrise and aired between 1999 and 2000 on Japan's FNN networks. It was created for the Gundam Big Bang 20th Anniversary celebration and is the eighth installment in the Gundam franchise. It was later compiled in 2002 into two feature-length movies entitled Turn A Gundam I: Earth Light and Turn A Gundam II: Moonlight Butterfly.


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Turn A Gundam was directed by Yoshiyuki Tomino, who was the main creator of the Gundam franchise and had written and directed many previous Gundam works. Tomino created the series as a means of "affirmatively accepting all of the Gundam series," which is reflected in the series title's use of the Turned A, a mathematical symbol representing universal quantification.

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Turn A Gundam GUNDAM GUY Turn A Gundam Redined Design Images by Kunio Okawara

Turn A Gundam takes place in the year Correct Century 2345 (正暦2345年, Seireki Nisen Sanbyaku Yonjū Go Nen, CC 2345), in a different calendar era than the previous Gundam projects. The Japanese term for Correct Century, Seireki, is a wordplay on the Japanese term for the Common Era (CE) Western calendar system (西暦; pronounced Seireki). The population of the Earth is, at the beginning of the series, limited to simple, steam-driven technology after past cataclysms; the Moon is populated by the Moonrace, humans who left Earth after a great war long ago to reside in technologically advanced lunar colonies until such time as they deemed the Earth suitable to return to.

Plot summary

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Turn A Gundam follows the character Loran Cehack, a young member of the Moonrace. Selected as part of a reconnaissance mission to determine whether or not the Earth was fit for resettlement, Loran lands on the continent of North America, spends one year living on Earth as the chauffeur to the Heim family, and grows attached to its people. With the expectation of a peaceful resettlement operation from his people, he and a pair of his close friends sent down with him confirm that the Earth is now fit for the Moonrace to make their return. He's taken by surprise when the Moonrace intends to return to Earth via an offensive with mobile suits, and their first attack sparks a violent conflict between Earth and moon.

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The night of the first attack, Loran is at the White Doll, an enormous humanoid statue, for a coming-of-age ceremony. When the Moonrace attacks and the battle in town can be seen from a distance the children panic. In the midst of this panic, the White Doll shatters, revealing a metallic figure within, and the shrine collapses around it. During the panic, Loran recognizes the White Doll as a mobile suit, and succeeds in applying his knowledge of the Moonrace's mobile suits to pilot it. The death of the Heim patriarch in the attack pulls the family and Loran into the budding war; Loran becomes the designated pilot of the White Doll, and its discovery prompts the excavation of further mobile suits in the various "mountain cycles" covering the Earth. As the Moonrace's invasion rapidly turns into a full-fledged war against the increasingly armed Earthrace, it becomes clear that this state of affairs is divisive among both groups; while the Moonrace's queen Dianna Soriel attempts to negotiate with the local leaders for a peaceful solution by which the Moonrace can come to reside on the Earth, the militaristic among both populations interfere with the negotiations again and again, forcing the war to continue as opposed to accepting a compromise.

Production and design

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The titular WD-M01 Turn A Gundam is notable because it is the first Gundam mecha designed entirely by a foreigner, the famous American visual futurist and conceptual artist Syd Mead, whose designs have been used in many sci-fi films in the U.S. The first design of the new Gundam created by Mead was rejected at first by Yoshiyuki Tomino due to its extremely exotic appearance, since Tomino decided that he wanted a figure closer to previous Gundam designs. Because of its quality and impressive appearance, the old design was not discarded at all by Tomino, instead renamed and used by him as the antagonist Mobile Suit design Sumo.

Mead designed Turn A Gundam using real world industrial design aspects, which were aimed to make it look simple and realistic. The shield was one of the components designed by Syd Mead with little constraint from the production team. It needed to be big enough so that the suit could hide behind it, making it easier for the anime production staff to draw. Syd Mead imagined it to be like a clam shell and finally settled with a design that looked like the old MS-14 Gelgoog's shield from the first series.

Turn A Gundam is the last entry of the Gundam franchise (not counting the compilations and future video game cut scenes) to be mostly hand painted on cels. Mobile Suit Gundam SEED, released in 2002, was the first series to switch entirely to digital ink and paint.

Relationship with other Gundam series

Turn A Gundam has been cited by Director Tomino and other sources as a show that would unify the stories from the various Gundam series into one. Throughout the show, mobile suits resembling those from the eras depicted in previous Gundam shows and indicated to be preserved by nano machines for thousands of years, including as those of the Universal Century, are excavated by the show's various factions. In Episode 43, this plotline comes to a culmination as the history of the Correct Century timeline is shown in a collection of clips known as the Dark History (黒歴史, Kuro Rekishi), which is revealed to be events that took place in different Gundam series prior to Turn A Gundam, thus making those events part of the Correct Century timeline's history.

The book 2001 Correct Century, A Bibliographical Study of "Dark History", printed in black pages in front of the Universal Century Gundam Officials Encyclopedia, is supposedly uncovered by a fictional Lecturer in Black History named Yokk Wakk Onimott during Correct Century 1993. Onimott spends two years to fix the broken pages, five years to interpret the language, and a year to find a publisher. He states that the book was first printed around 3,000 years ago by the Rhea branch of the Earth Federation Government University. Included in the book is a picture drawn by Kunio Okawara showing a mobile suit supposed to be MS-04 as a S.U.I.T. project of the Zeon forces in UC0072~0075. It supposedly was found in 1993 Correct Century in the mountain cycle Library A-a. The white page introduction by another fictional writer, Minaka Junkers, an economy assistant professor of the Rhea branch of the Earth Federation Government University, states the book was published in UC0100 to celebrate the Centennial anniversary of the Universal Century. Thus it is officially claimed that the Universal Century is a time before Correct Century, possibly around 3,000 years before the story of Turn A begins.

Later sources would greatly increase the time frame between the two. The official English Archives website, created by Sunrise, describes Correct Century as, "similar to early 20th Century America, but is actually set tens of thousands of in the distant future and incorporates every Universal Century and Another Gundam timeline that ever existed." The manual for the Master Grade Turn X gunpla, released in June 2014, would further explain the Dark History as the original Mobile Suit Gundam marking the beginning of humanity's space age, and Turn A as the final result, with all other Gundam series, including those that were produced prior to Turn A: G Gundam, Gundam Wing, and Gundam X, and those produced after: Gundam SEED, Gundam 00, and Gundam AGE, taking place in the tens of thousands of years in between the two shows.

In an official livestream that occurred after the airing of Gundam Reconguista in G, Tomino stated that the timeline of that series is set 500 years after the events of Turn A Gundam (while confirming that it takes place 1,000 years after UC), to the surprise of producer Naohiro Ogata and others who were with him at the time. This directly contradicted what most published material claim, as Turn A Gundam had been said to take place thousands of years after UC, and not 500 years. The presence of the Moonlight Butterfly in G-Reco was cited by Tomino as evidence of this revised timeline.

Theme Songs


  • "Turn A Turn" (ターンAターン, Tān Ē Tān) by Hideki Saijo (Ep. 2-38)
  • "Century Color" by RAY-GUNS (Ep. 39 - 50)
  • Endings:

  • "Aura" by Shinji Tanimura (Ep. 1 - 40)
  • "Tsuki no Mayu" (月の繭, Moon's Cocoon) by Yoko Kanno (sung by Aki Okui) (Ep. 41-49)
  • "Kagirinaki Tabiji" (限りなき旅路, The Endless Journey) by Aki Okui (Ep. 50)
  • "After All" by Donna Burke (First compilation movie ending)
  • "Tsuki no Mayu" (Moon's Cocoon) by Yoko Kanno (sung by Aki Okui) (Second compilation movie ending ~ In its full version right before the ending credits which are instrumental only)
  • Inserts:

  • "Moon" by Gabriela Robin (a.k.a. Yoko Kanno)
  • "Overnight Festival" (宵越しの祭り, Yoigoshi no Matsuri) by White Doll no Matsuri no Kaiichidou
  • "Queen of the Night" (月下美人, Gekka Bijin) by Hideki Saijo
  • "The Spirit of the Moon" (月の魂, Tsuki no Tama) by RRET Team
  • "Black History" by Kaoru Nishino
  • North American release

    On 22 July 2010, Bandai Entertainment announced that they had acquired the license to release Turn A Gundam in the United States and that they were planning to release the series on Region 1 DVD in 2011. The release was cancelled in January 2012 when Bandai Entertainment announced it would no longer offer any new products in the North American territory.

    On October 11, 2014 at their 2014 New York Comic-Con panel, Sunrise announced they will be releasing all of the Gundam franchise, including Turn A Gundam in North America though distribution from Right Stuf Inc., beginning in Spring 2015.

    On March 11, 2015, Right Stuf Inc. announced that the first 25 episodes will be released on June 30, 2015. Sunrise and Right Stuf will also release the Turn A Gundam movies in addition to the TV series.


    Mobile Suit Gundam 00 designer Yun Kōga cited Turn A when asked about her favorite series within the franchise.

    The Turn A Gundam was chosen to be the 100th Master Grade model of Gunpla (abbreviation of Gundam Plastic Model) and at an earlier time, the first release of the Turn A Gundam DVD box set was announced. Two of the three Model Magazine in Japan, Hobby Japan and Dengeki Hobby was informed to build their own Turn A model using the old 1/100 kit for a display in the official announcement of the MS100 Turn A. Hobby Japan modeller Seira Masuo drastically redesigned the unit while Dengeki Hobby modeller went for the original approach of diorama. Both of the models was placed next to the MG100 draft design at the Bandai display forum at the announcement of MG100. Tomino addressed his little disappointment in the design of Turn A Gundam not having good reception, but he commented that it was happy to see that it was not pointless work as Turn A was selected as the 100th Master Grade model.

    Turn A Gundam is also available on High Grade 1/144 scale and on Robot Spirit line. Turn X was released in Master Grade format in June 2014.


    Turn A Gundam Wikipedia