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Called Turn-a Gundam


F-ZeroOne
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Gui, you're welcome - if you're a bit puzzled about the "X-Bomber/Star Fleet" reference Black Valkyrie mentioned, you can find out more here: http://www.sfxb.co.uk/ (as you mentioned writing for a French anime site you might know the series by its French alter-ego: "Bomber X"...?)

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Ah, yes: I remember now. Bomber X was broadcasted in France about 25 years ago and I watched only a couple of episodes or so. This show didn't do very well in terms of audience in my country but I have good memories of it nonetheless: I've noted the link, I'll give a try to it when I have some time, thanks :)

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  • 1 month later...

I'm trying not to think about that aspect too hard - after all, given the amount of time thats claimed to have passed since the U.C. period in Turn-A, all I can say is that Zakus must have one heckuva warranty to have lasted so long, even before the nano-machines got to them! :)

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Turn-A is not without a few problems; Tomino does like to drop people into things without much in the way of explanation, the ending feels a bit rushed and theres not really a nice, charismatic villain to yell "BOO!" at. Theres also a few story elements which can be a) confusing and b) tend to fall apart if you think about them too hard.

All of these, however, are totally outweighed by its strengths. The fact that every single thing that initially appeared as a weakness, such as the bizarre mecha designs, actually... er... "turns" out to be a real strength; to the extent that, at least in my estimation, the Turn-A has gone from being a hearty chuckle to one of my favourite Gundam designs.

And conceptually, Turn-A is streets ahead from certain "G" series I could mention... ;) One thing I loved about the original Gundam series was its use of O'Neill cylinders. Turn-A takes a similar proposal and makes excellent use of it; I won't spoil it here but when I found out what the "Zacktrager" actually was I felt like applauding - I think its the first time I've ever seen that particular idea used in a SF series or film.

Perhaps the biggest shock, though, is that Tomino does have a sense of humour. Those who suffered through the first half of ZZ might find it hard to believe, but Turn-A shows a lightness of touch that prevents the series becoming the sort of character death-spiral Zeta became. That the show still manages to display the serious aspects of war is just part of why this series is highly recommended, not just to Gundam fans, but to anyone with a passing interest in SF.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I just finished watching this series for the first time. Overall, it was good. I'd give it a B+. It was certainly better than Seed and Wing. It had likeable characters, interesting mecha designs, and good pacing (notbing ever really felt rushed). What I didn't like about it was that it seemed slow for the first 20-25 episodes. Only around episode 30 did things really pick up and you could tell this series was going somewhere.

The last 4 episodes though felt like more like an epilogue. It seemed like the series should have really ended at episode 45-46 and they decided to add a few more eps just to stretch it out to 50. In a way, it felt like the last 9 eps in SDF Macross. The real story was over, but we'll extend the series anyways.

Still, if this series ever becomes available in North America, I would buy it.

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It's true that the first half of this show is a bit slow but I think it's supposed to develop characters and it works rather well on this point IMO though this can turn off the average mechafreak who tends to prefer action-based stories: I think Turn A targeted an older audience than usual (I read into an ANN topic that the average audience was around 30-35 years old during the broadcast in Japan but I don't remember exactly ATM...) hence the necessity to develop characters so deeply

On the other hand, all this room is not always used to its best and it's not always easy to understand the various 'relationships' which occur: it's better for the spectator to read additionnal material here and there to get all the details to their fullest. I'm not sure if it's really a flaw because this show is, for me, more a matter of atmosphere than a succession of events and actions: from this point of view, I could almost say that Turn A is a shojo show :p

Oh and the Zacktraeger's great! I immediately thought of Arthur Clarke and his crazy ideas about making near space the 'suburbs' of Earth, in a 2001-ish way, sort of. But I have been more interested into the relationship between Dianna and Kihel which reaches some tops during this episode: their bond looks like some achievement of the newtype concept...

As for humour, there's plenty indeed (when the earthlings go in space for the first time, it's purely hilarious...) and it's a good thing IMO: tragedies often make good stories and Tomino masters them but it's a welcome change to see from him a Gundam story which ends 'well' for once. I've nothing against Z or V, they're amongst my favorites Gundams, like a lot of people, but something different had to be done one day and Turn A is brilliant on this point: the ending has a nice touch of optimism and it convinced me that it's more difficult to make spectators happy than to make them feel sad. I really like this 'faery tale' aspect of Turn A ('they all lived happily together') which doesn't fall into the usual affected/effete (sp?) :)

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