Wiki Headlines
It's time for the second TV Tropes Halloween Avatar Contest, theme: cute monsters! Details and voting here.

main index




Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
Anime: ∀ Gundam

An Alternate Universe of the Gundam meta-series. Actually, it is THE Distant Finale to the meta-series.

In the Correct Century, the people of Earth are living in a world roughly at the turn of the 20th century. What they do not know, however, is that they are not the first incarnation of mankind. Far in the past, there were humans living on the moon who, after a great catastrophe, were forced to go into cryo-stasis and await the time when it is safe to return to the Earth. In the meantime, they occasionally send scouts to the Earth to see if it has returned to a state where people can live on its surface once more. Among these scouts is a young boy named Loran Cehack.

At the start of the series, the people of the moon (descriptively dubbed "The Moonrace") decide that they and their superior technology wish to return to the open air and full gravity of Earth. This understandably leads to some confrontation with the people already there. Loran, who had been living on Earth a few years ahead of time, has grown attached to the people there and after Falling into the Cockpit of a mobile suit that has been buried in the earth for millennia, proceeds to defend the Kingdom of Bostonia as tensions build between Earth and the Moonrace, and the threat of war spirals ever higher.

A... a... V... this series (which is pronounced "Turn A Gundam" - because that symbol's an "A" ''turned'' upside down, get it?) premiered in Japan in 1999. It's notable as the last original Gundam work by creator Yoshiyuki Tomino (before he came back for Reconguista in G), his first outside the Universal Century timeline begun by the original series, and arguably one of his best efforts. It also came after he finally won his years-long battle with depression, thus rather stunningly averting his Kill 'em All reputation.

After years of No Export for You, Bandai Entertainment had announced — using This Very Wiki itself to provide the hint (by listing three tropes from this page at random - the listed tropes have been bolded for your convenience)—that it would be licenced for a Fall 2011 release, which was confirmed at Comic-con 2010.

... Except not. On January 2, 2012, Bandai Entertainment then announced that the release was canceled along with all their other new releases for the North American market, while the company undergoes a re-structuring process.

Then, in October of 2014, Right Stuf and Sunrise announced a new licensing deal for Gundam in North America, including Turn A Gundam, so it may finally come to the English-speaking market.

This anime provides examples of:

  • Action Girl: Sochie Heim, Poe Aijee, Cancer Kafka, Mayolito.
  • After the End: If you believe the backstory, there's actually been quite a few.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Loran, Miashei and Guin Lineford.
    • Many of the background characters are like this too, probably as a result of all the intermarriage that happens in ten thousand years, plus some likely bottlenecking after various wars and the Moonlight Butterfly.
  • Ancient Conspiracy: The real truth behind the Black History was kept hidden by the Moonrace even from themselves out of fear that it would reawaken humanity's warrior potential and shatter the "never again" status quo that's kept the Moon peaceful. Queen Dianna however simply considers the excuse as prejudice.
  • And I Must Scream: A Fridge Horror version of Gym's ultimate fate. According to supplementary materials, the Turn A, and presumably the Turn X, are capable of regenerating themselves and their pilot endlessly. Given that the Moonlight Butterfly is just an extension of the Turn units' nanomachines, there is every reason to believe that Gym will be trapped in the Moonlight Butterfly's cocoon, fully conscious, for all time.
  • Animation Bump: The animation is good throughout, but it becomes especially high-quality during the Final Battle.
  • And Man Grew Proud/Future Imperfect: On Earth, much of what's known about the Black History (or the pre-Correct Century past in general) come from old legends and whatever could be scrounged from archaeological finds until the real truth is revealed. Though given what the Moonlight Butterfly apocalypse did, it's very much justified.
  • Anyone Can Die: It may not be a Kill 'em All series, but come on, who expected Gavan Gooney to go out in a nuclear bang midseries?
  • Artistic License - Geography: This map places many of the important landmarks much farther apart from each other than they seem in the show. For example, Vicinity and the Mountain Cycle are within one night's walking distance in the show, but on the map they're in central Jersey and West Virginia.
  • Archaeological Arms Race: All the major Earth-bound factions are trying to dig up and salvage old mobile suits from previous Gundam Eras.
  • Armchair Military: A good chunk of the Moonrace's military forces (particularly Gym's faction) don't have any actual combat experience outside of simulations. As a result, they have no idea what war is really like, let alone how to wage a real one.
  • Ascended Fanboy: Gym, of all people. He finally gets to wage a war and give meaning to his life as a soldier. After playing wargames for 2000 years.
    • This may also be a tongue-in-cheek reference to his voice actor, who was a long time Gundam fan before landing various roles in the franchise.
  • As You Know: An amusing justified example - Dianna and Kihel use these sorts of conversations to brief each other on their roles when one's impersonating the other.
  • Attack Pattern Alpha: Subverted. The Mahiroo Team used such tactics in their simulations, but they just don't work on actual opponents like Harry and Loran.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Plenty—Cancer of the Red Team, the King of Adeska, and Gym Ghinganham.
  • Award Bait Song: After All, sung by Donna Burke is definitely one, though some of the other songs also qualify. But considering who composed the soundtrack...
  • Bad Ass: Harry Ord by way of being an Ace Pilot.
  • Beam-O-War: Given how much he hates killing people, Loran's favourite use for the Turn A's rifle is not to blow up mobile suits with it, but to disrupt and redirect enemy beam attacks.
  • Berserk Button: Corin Nander does not like Gundams.
    • Super Robot Wars expands this: He doesn't like white Gundams. Other colors, like red and blue (from Gundam X), he doesn't care about.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Loran does this for the Militia very often. Harry Ord pulls it off a few times too.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: One of the songs is named "Puff The Pussy Puzzle". That said, some of the songs with vocals are done in fluent, English, with a number of them done by native English speakers.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Not that there's much carnage to speak of, but when there is, it's usually this.
  • Blood Knight: Big Bad Gym Ghingnham and his minions.
  • Bodyguard Crush: Harry, on Kihel.
  • Break Out the Museum Piece: The eponymous Gundam and other mobile suits that are dug out of mountain cycles.
    • Loran tries to do this with the weapons cache that came with the White Doll, but they're so old and ravaged by nanomachines that only one of them works.
  • Broad Strokes: Towards non-UC shows. The only concrete AU references are the Turn A and X having weapons similar to ones from G Gundam and Corin Nander's memories of Wing Zero, which only appear for a second. The rest are just random clips from previous shows played on holoscreens.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Corin Nander is pretty loony and at the same time one of the first opponents Loran faced that gave him serious trouble. He's not charming or evil enough for Affably Evil or similar tropes.
  • But What About The Space Colonies?: It's revealed in the Black History that at some point prior to the Moonlight Butterfly, those Spacenoids who hadn't gone to the Moon simply took off for greener pastures across the stars, their homes becoming impromptu Generation Ships. But by the time the series takes place, there's still a handful of debris still floating around the Earth Sphere, presumably the remains of Colonies unlucky enough not to get out in time.
    • This is later referenced in Gundam SEED with the GENESIS device, the doomsday weapon Patrick Zala intended to use to destroy the Earth, which is actually a repurposed nuclear booster intended to be affixed to space colonies. We get to see one used for its intended purpose in Gundam SEED Astray.
    • A sidestory manga for Mobile Suit Victory Gundam shows this happening as well in the Universal Century, with a specially modified colony filled with Newtypes on the verge of setting off to Proxima Centauri as a Generation Ship. We also learn that the whole thing was a decades-long gamble by Judau Ashta.
    • The fate of Newtypes meanwhile, for all their roles in the Black History is left open. Odds are they've either left with the aforementioned Colonies, gone extinct or assimilated into the general population at large.
      • Guin Rhineford is one, at least according to the novelization, judging by his ability to control the fearsome Psycho Gundam.
  • Butterfly of Death and Rebirth: The Moonlight Butterfly, which has the power to destroy all technology, and essentially cause an apocalypse, forcing the reconstruction of human civilization. It took millenia for humanity to get back on its feet after that. The quote at the top of the page is extremely appropriate after this is revealed.
  • Call Back: One Dianna Counter soldier's terror at lightning mirrors that of a Zeon soldier from Mobile Suit Gundam.
  • Chastity Couple: Loran & Dianna.
  • Char Clone: Well, duh. Harry Ord.
  • Chekhov's Gundam: The Turn-A Gundam itself. It's the first mecha excavated, but soon the series is swimming in old mecha. However every once in a while there will be an indication that there is something different about the Turn-A Gundam. Only as the series nears its end does it truly become an important plot point.
    • The Turn-A Gundam's targeting system. Every time an enemy mecha comes within sight a small window will appear with its name and vital statistics: initially everything Loran fights is unknown. However, when Loran encounters the Turn-X for the first time, the system identifies it right away.
  • Colony Drop: Naturally. This time, it's an abandoned asteroid colony that has been knocked out of its lunar orbit, heading right for the moon's capital. Loran finally gets rid of those nuclear bombs by using them to destroy it.
  • Combat Pragmatist: The Militia; they really can't afford to be anything else.
  • Combining Mecha: The Turn X is a single unit, but it separates into segments (so it's more like a splitting mecha). Corin Nander makes a very crude one by jury-rigging three Kapools into one unit and adding a Rocket Punch.
  • Continuity Nod: See Mythology Gag below.
  • Continuity Snarl: The Black History makes it hard to explain how even though human civilization keeps getting destroyed and re-built they keep having New York Cities, Romes and other such places in spite of regular Monumental Damage or how no else noticed the mecha storage units in previous series, or how the word Gundam keeps coming up in every series and everyone acts like they invented the word and SO much more.
  • Convection Schmonvection: Corin Nander survives getting knocked out of his mobile suit a few meters above a lava pit. Then again, he is Corin Nander. Once you've survived fighting Wing Fucking Zero nothing is impossible.
  • Cool Shades: Harry Ord.
  • Cute as a Bouncing Betty: The Moonlight Butterfly sounds poetic, and in a way looks beautiful even. Never mind that it's an nigh unstoppable system of nanomachines capable of reducing any technology to sand and bringing about apocalyptic destruction. It's still a fitting name though for what amounts to the most deceptively powerful weapon in the franchise.
  • Dark-Skinned Blond: Frequent both among the Earthrace and Moonrace. Among the main characters are Guin, Miashei, and Loran himself.
  • David Versus Goliath: The Earthrace militias are at a severe technological disadvantage even after excavating mobile dolls from the Mountain Cycles, apart from the Turn A. And it turns out to be an inversion whenever the Turn A fights anything.
  • Days of Future Past: Why does the post-apocalyptic future look like a cross between The American Civil War & World War One? Maybe those scheming Innocents or Magus were obsessed with old Pre-WWII nostalgia pieces...
    • Justified: the Moonlight Butterfly deployed at the end of the Black History dissolved (most of) the technology on the Earth to dust. Naturally, it takes a while for humanity to get back on its high-tech feet.
    • Apart from the Industrial Neo-Americans, there are Neo-Mayans in Adeska (who worship a mass driver). It's not hard to imagine post-apocalyptic humanity reverting to old cultures.
  • Did Not Get The Guy: Gavan dies halfway through the series and provides angst for Sochie. Then at the end, Loran chooses Dianna (who everyone else thinks is Kihel, including possibly Sochie herself) over Sochie and the last we see of them together is Loran giving her a kiss as she cries. The last scene with Sochie has her throwing Loran's toy fish into the river where they met, screaming in anger. Soundtrack Dissonance to the max.
  • Die or Fly: The Turn A gains the ability to fly in order to avoid falling into a river of molten lava.
  • Distant Finale: The show itself is one for several, if not every Gundam timeline.
  • Divided States of America: Well, they do start working together once the Moonrace invasion hits and the Earthlings find out how far behind they are.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Scheming (though not necessarily outright villainous), technically advanced race comes to a hot, dry place claiming it's the land of their ancestors and they want it back, much to the consternation of the current residents. Hilarity (and sporadic firefights) ensue. Jee, wonder where Tomino got that idea...
    • There's also a reason why many Chinese viewers hate the moonrace.
  • Doomed Hometown: Vicinity. It's not destroyed, but it's pretty well trashed by Dianna Counter.
  • Drama-Preserving Handicap: Due to its immense power, the Turn A gets several. At first, it's Loran's inexperience, an unintuitive user manual, and the machine's own poor condition after getting buried for thousands of years. Then Loran is forced to hide a pair of nuclear warheads inside the chest, requiring careful piloting lest they go off. Then the Moonlight Butterfly is revealed, and suddenly nobody sane wants to know what the Gundam can do at full power.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Loran's entire crossdressing saga can be attributed to Guin's insistence that he looked and acted more like a Laura.
  • Dynasty Warriors: Gundam: The Turn A and Loran have appeared in all three games, with Gym and the Turn X being added to the second (and the Turn X being promoted to Rank 1 in the third.) Sochie and the Turn A era Kapool also appear in the third game.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: Otherwise nondescript Moonrace soldier Ralfa fighting off multiple mobile suits so that the Dianna Counter does not get their hands on the nukes he discovered.
  • Easily Forgiven: The Dianna Counter force on Earth is never held to account for its mutiny.
  • Easy Logistics: It isn't elaborated on how the Earth Militia manages to keep their Kapools and Borjanons in working order, despite how maintenance-intensive Capules and Zakus have proven to be in Universal Century. The Turn A and the Turn X handwave this via the use of nanomachines.
    • The quick answer there is, they're not originals, but simplified reproductions. This would explain why the supposedly underwater-use Kapool is capable of operating in vacuum, for example.
  • Enemy Mine: Loran and Harry team up when Dianna Counter's forces attack the Willgame excavation site, where Dianna is posing as Kihel, and again when they outright mutiny against Dianna.
  • Eternal English: Even though the series is set thousands of years in the future, people on Earth (at least) still seem to use modern English. On the other hand according to 2001 Correct Century, A Bibliographical Study of "Black History", which is included in the UC Gundam Officials Encyclopedia, it's stated that Universal Century humanity spoke a language possibly derived from English that's still discernible enough to translate.
    • Beyond even that, there's Corin Nander, whose fluency in the same language as both the Moonrace and Earth peoples is even less explicable. Not only is he much older than the rest of the cast, as a former OZ soldier he may not even have spoken English, or whatever they're speaking in America now, as a first language to begin with, seeing as most of OZ came from Continental Europe. Then again, he appears to be an albino black man rather than European, but that's neither here nor there.
  • Everybody Lives: Well, almost everybody. A large number of the secondary characters do die, but compared to Tomino's other works....
  • Evil Chancellor: Agrippa Maintainer. Too bad for him that Gym is his right hand man...
  • Expy: Will Game was modeled after Brad Pitt.
    • Interestingly, the ship named after Will Game resembles A Star Destroyer painted like an A-Wing. Aside from the requisite White Base-class influences like the conning tower-style bridge and rounded yellow external hatches, anyway.
    • Harry Ord is a subversion. While obviously A CHAR, he's different enough that he's his own character and only shares some basic elements from Char.
      • Harry Ord is definitely more a QUATTRO than a CHAR. Obvious jokes aside, he wears shades rather than a mask, and pilots a gold Mobile Suit. Whereas other CHAR characters opted to imitate MSG Char and CCA Char, Harry is one of the few that really takes Zeta Char and runs with it.
    • There's a pretty good argument for the Borjarnons and Kapools being replicas of the original Zaku II and Capule.
    • Considering their incredible power and reputation as well as their ability to wipe out human civilization via the Moonlight Butterfly, both the Turn A and Turn X are arguably the Gundam equivalent of the Ideon.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: The Amerian nations are pretty much the late 19th Century United States with elements of World War I thrown in for good measure. Although there also seem to be some Native American and Shinto influences in their religion, among other things.
    • Luzianna, in its names and people, also seems to have Italian influence, although the name itself could be a corruption of "Louisiana." When the Militia travels south to launch the Willgame, the festival with the Turn A float is located in a place that seems to have Mexican-derived clothing, food, and phenotypes.
    • And even further south, there's the nation of Adeska, which is largely Mesoamerican in nature.
  • Fantastic Racism: Some among the Dianna Counter forces (and Moonrace in general) tend to see Earth people as primitive barbarians, though most get over that as the series progresses.
  • Fish out of Water: Dianna Counter has a number of challenges on Earth: the higher gravity, the weather, assuming that lightning is a weapon rather than a natural phenomenon...
    • And when the Willgame launches into space, it's flipped with the Earthrace being the fish.
    • Subverted with Loran and company when they first arrive on Earth. While they do find everything strange initially, the mere fact that they're provided with appropriate-looking outfits to make themselves fit in better suggests that the Moonrace already has at least some knowledge on what's happening on the ground. After all, they weren't the first ones to make planetfall, what with the Red Team and the first Will Game coming long before them.
  • Flash Step: One of Turn A's abilities. It's actually more like a cloak step—the Gundam briefly becomes invisible, so wherever it appears next is a surprise.
  • Gender Is No Object: Certainly true for the Moonrace. Dianna is the clear political leader, and there are many female pilots and technicians in the military. This is less true of the Earthrace—women can and do join the military, but it's said that they haven't progressed enough to be politically led by "someone in a skirt."
    • That said, however, Earthrace women are also shown to have decidedly more equality than their ancestors did in the 19th Century or World War I.
  • Ghibli Hills: No wonder the Moonrace want Earth so badly. Of course, it's been millennia since the Moonlight Butterfly apocalypse.
    • It's implied that Ameria is one of the few places where this is true.
  • Going Native: Loran and quite a number of Moonrace folk undergo this as they adjust to life on Earth.
  • Gorgeous Period Dress: Girls wear these in special occasions.
    • As does Loran/Laura, to great effect.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Will Game. "I don't think those are anything but hands anymore, Sochie..."
  • Go Out with a Smile: Cancer and Muron spend their last five days having one big party before dying of asphyxiation in orbit. Given the atmosphere within the FLAT, it gives significant potential for Fridge Horror.
  • Government Conspiracy: It's revealed that both the Earthrace nations' high officials and the Moonrace were in secret on-off negotiations for at least some years prior to the invasion. It was when diplomatic attempts fall apart that Dianna Counter forces finally make their move on a populace totally unaware of the Moonrace's existence.
  • Gray Goo: The Moonlight Butterfly, perfectly capable of spreading its nanomachines a great length (in supplemental materials, all the way from Earth to Jupiter), destroy all technology... and thus cause a Class 1 apocalypse, Societal Collapse included.
  • Guile Hero: The mobile suits used by the Earthrace militia tend to be dated compared to the Moonrace, so they do things like get the Moonrace soldiers drunk or lay black-powder boobie traps first.
  • Gundam Vs Series: The Turn A, Turn X, and Sochie's Kapool appear in Gundam vs Gundam NEXT.
    • Extreme Vs includes the Turns, Harry's golden SUMO, and Full Boost added a Kapool tag team of Sochie and Corin, along with Po's SUMO.
  • Hazy Feel Turn: Unusually, this comes about because the setting is so idealistic. Horace and his Moonrace technicians have no qualms about helping the Earthrace excavate and restore the Gallop and Willgame; they're more interested in their work than the conflict.
  • History Repeats: Retroactively applied to the Gundam series as a whole, with everything being mushed into one big timeline that keeps bombing everything back to early post-industrial revolution. The nth earth/Terrans-who-emigrated-generations-ago war is waged this time almost entirely with weapons left over from previous conflicts.
  • Heel Realization: Over the course of the series, Queen Dianna discovers that her policies and army have actually caused quite a bit of suffering.
  • Heroic Dolphin: There is a healthy population of dolphins and whales in the Moon's canal system. Loran's hometown friends marshal quite a number of them to help the Turn A fight the Mahiroo squad so that the battle won't cause collateral damage.
  • Human Popsicle: Cryostasis is how the Moonrace are able to live for several hundred years. Some have even been in stasis from the Black History, such as Corin Nander being a veteran from the After Colony era. This is done to keep overpopulation from overwhelming the Moon's limited resources.
    • People are frozen and un-frozen in shifts, meaning that children can physically age more than their parents, such as when a little old lady refers to a young woman as "Mama".
  • Humans Are Warriors: This is the basis of Gym's beliefs.
  • Humongous Mecha: Turn A Gundam sports some of the franchise's biggest. In particular, the WaDOM is fully twice the size of any other mobile suit mechanical doll, comparable to mobile armors.
    • It also has the smallest mecha in the entire Gundam Franchise, at least among Mobile Suits. The WaD only stands tall enough to reach Turn A's knee. That means the WaD are the same size as an average Knightmare Frame. They're also just as durable.
  • Identical Stranger: Kihel and Dianna. It becomes a major plot point later on.
  • Idiot Ball: If either side had sat down and talked to each other before getting the military involved, the whole Earthrace/Moonrace conflict in the first part of the show might have been avoided. Although that said, the mess with Agrippa Maintainer and the Gingnham faction would still have been there, not to mention the secret talks with the Moonrace before the conflict didn't work out so well either.
  • In a Single Bound: The Moonrace's mobile suits are capable of jumping absurd distances, even the colossal Walking Dome.
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Poe for the first half of the series, Corin Nander for a few episodes.
  • Intimate Healing: Harry, on Poe.
  • Just Think of the Potential: Guin Lineford in many ways embodies the spirit of can-do innovation that's driven human progress. Unfortunately, the same drive that brought mankind to the Moon in the first place also helped bring about the horrific marvels of the Black History. He eventually embraces both, believing that the destructive potential of something like the Turn A is worth the risk for all the amazing wonders that come with them.
  • Karma Houdini: Both Guin Lineford and Merrybell are alive, if not well off, at the end of the series.
    • Colonel Michael is apparently never punished for joining Guin's Heel-Face Turn either.
  • Kiai: Harry's UNIVEEEEERSEEE!!!!
  • Killed Off for Real: Will Game, Gavanne Goonney, Teteth Halleh, Agrippa Maintainer, Midgard, Corin Nander, Gym.
  • Large Ham: Gym GhingnHAM
    • Really, Takehito Koyasu's performance as Gym must be seen to be believed as the man is clearly having the time of his life chewing the scenery with gems such as the famous "GEKKOUUU CHOUUUUUU DEARU!!" Thanks to this, Gym is considered one of the most enjoyable and entertaining villains to watch simply due to the sheer ham he brings to any scene.
    • Harry Ord has his moments. Like this.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Fans breathed a down-to-earth sigh of relief the first time the Turn A is referred to in-series as "the thing with the mustache," and later on when someone asks, of the Turn X, how an inverted X is any different from a regular X.
  • Latex Space Suit: Played straight with the Turn A's white spacesuit, but averted for most of the spacesuits used by the Willgame and Dianna Counter. Explained by the fact that the technology had to be reinvented after the catastrophe caused by the Turn A.
  • Lighter and Softer: Than all of the previous Gundam works done by Tomino.
  • Likes Older Women: Loran for Dianna. Likewise Sochie for Gavane Gooney.
  • Lost Technology: What drives the plot.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: After All, sung by Donna Burke sounds like something out of a Don Bluth or Disney film. The lyrics on the other hand come across as melancholic and a tad apocalyptic for an otherwise wistful song.
  • Mayincatec: Adeska.
  • Meaningful Name: Merrybell Gadget and Dian(n)a.
    • The symbol "∀" is a mathmatical symbol meaning "all items in a set". Some assume that this is Tomino's way of bringing all the Gundam series thus far into one universe.
    • The Heim sisters' name is an anagram of hime, Japanese for princess. Additionally, it's pronounced the way somebody unfamiliar with how romanized Japanese works might say it, making it almost an example of Alternate Character Reading, or as close as you can in romaji.
  • Motion Capture Mecha: Parodied by Harry Ord in episode 35. Aboard the Zacktrager, Midgard and Dianna see Harry's SUMO "adjusting" its sleeve as Harry normally does. Dianna mentions that it's one of Harry's bad habits, thinking that it's "dandy," while Midgard says that it's funny for him to make his SUMO do such a thing.
  • Multiple Choice Past: The Turn-X's mysterious origins. It's vaguely implied to have been created by aliens in the series, but the videogame G Generation F seems to indicate that it was a descendant of the Devil Gundam, as the Original Generation unit Devil Gundam Junior bears an uncanny resemblance to it.
  • Mundane Utility: Gundam washing machine! Gundam cow carrier! Gundam forklift!
    • This becomes especially mundane when you realize that the Turn A was designed to fight against an entire planet's military armed forces. And be expected to win.
  • Mutual Kill: Although they themselves don't die, Loran and Gym destroy each other's Gundams in the final episode. Both machines are enveloped in nanomachine cocoons.
  • The Mutiny: Major Phil leads one against Dianna halfway through the series, feeling that she is too weak a leader to properly deal with the resistance on Earth. The fact that Kihel was interfering with more aggressive policy while posing as Dianna contributed to this.
    • Another mutiny occurs in the Militia when they freak out over space travel. They resolve it by the end of the episode.
  • Mythology Gag: Probably one of the things this series is most famous for. Hovering between Continuity Nod and Mythology Gag, the entire Black History is everything from Universal Century to After War. However, it is unconfirmed and unlikely that series such as SEED, 00, and AGE are included, which makes sense due to there being a better trail of history between the mentioned time lines. This is especially noticeable when the Militia starts digging out Neo Zeon Capules and Zeon Zaku I's and II's.
  • Nanomachines: The Turn A and Turn X use these both for repairing themselves, and as an attack.
  • New-Age Retro Hippie: The Red Team resemble this. Apparently, your ancestors getting stranded on Earth does that.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: The Turn A itself. Loran suddenly gets a lot more familiar with the features in the last ten or so episodes. Were you expecting the Core Fighter?
  • No Pronunciation Guide: Averted by the show's logo, which appears as the title is being spoken by a Japanese guy you'd swear was British.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: The Earthrace militia aren't put off by the David Versus Goliath nature of their conflict with the Moonrace, but they are so unnerved by space travel that they try to mutiny and bring the Willgame back to Earth.
  • A Nuclear Error: Averted. While nuclear weapons are treated as being at risk of going off by being bumped too hard, this is Truth in Television since it is possible that the warheads seen in the series were impact-fused, or a timer set to an impact fuse; after all, some Real Life nuclear missiles are specifically designed to penetrate bunkers several hundred meters underground, or are impact-fused.
    • Besides, would you want to risk it?
  • Nuclear Weapons Taboo: Explicitly avoided. Some nukes are dug up, and after five kill off Gavan Gooney, Loran hides two inside the Turn A to prevent them from being used until he can properly dispose of them.
    • Both of which he uses to blow something up - though it was an uninhabited falling satellite.
  • Oblivious Guilt Slinging: When she brings up the Moonrace occupation whilst disguised as Kihel, Queen Dianna gets a faceful of angry Sochie. Then they drive through a bombed-out neighbourhood. Then they visit Kihel and Sochie's mother, who went insane when her husband died. She's understandably horrified.
  • Of Corsets Sexy: Kihel dresses Loran up as a girl, then adds a corset for a better effect.
  • Official Couple: Dianna and Loran, Harry and Kihel, Joseph and Fran, Keith and Verlaine.
  • Off with His Head!: Actually a safety mechanism for the Moonrace's enormous WaDom mobile suit. The cockpit is in the abdomen and all the weapons are in the head, so if the suit takes too much damage and the ammunition stores look like they're about to cook off, the pilots can jettison the head and run away to a safe distance before everything goes boom.
  • Oh, Crap: Midgard gets an absolutely glorious one when the Turn A first uses the Moonlight Butterfly.
    • Everyone who sees the eponymous "sunrise at midnight" in Episode 26 has this reaction.
  • The Ojou: The Heim sisters, though Kihel follows the trope more closely.
    • And then Dianna when she and Kihel switch places.
    • Even Laura pulls this off quite well.
  • One-Woman Wail: The soundtrack piece Black History.
  • Perky Female Minion: Merrybell Gadget to Gym.
  • Platonic Life Partners: One possible interpretation of Loran and Dianna's relationship. They clearly like each other a lot, but there's pretty much zero evidence of it being romantic. In the finale, where Loran's caring for Dianna in peaceful obscurity, it's made clear that they sleep apart, if they even live in the same house as each other to start with.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Much of the Will Game arc could have been avoided had Dianna been forthcoming about her true identity, though extenuating circumstances did prevent her from doing so.
    • In fact, a lot of the show itself could have been avoided if people listened to other people, both on their side and the opposing side.
    • Averted or defied to some extent - both sides were negotiating at the start, and had been doing so for years beforehand.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: Gym Ghingham, the race being Humanity.
  • Purposefully Overpowered: Both the Turn A and Turn X are revealed to be in many ways the epitome of mobile suit technology. That they can also destroy an entire world's civilization through the Moonlight Butterfly nanomachines (and potentially wipe out humanity) only adds up to them being the most powerful Gundams to date.
  • Ragnarok-Proofing: Many of the machines excavated from the various mountain cycles are in perfect working order despite having been buried for millennia. Of course, this is because of the protective coating of nanomachines that they were already covered with. Everything else not protected as such during the Moonlight Butterfly apocalypse, on the other hand...
  • Really 700 Years Old: Dianna Soreil was in cryogenic storage for a good chunk of time. While she does go in and out of stasis occasionally, she is rather old, as she was able to meet Will Game both the grandfather and grandson.
    • Gym Ghingnham is stated to have been conducting military maneuvers for roughly two thousand years. This is likely an exaggeration, though.
    • Corin Nander was the same, apparently for much much longer than Dianna as he apparently suffered some form of brain damage or other while in stasis. He's been around since the Black History, which occurs at least 2,345 years before the main story takes place. It's implied he's actually the sole survivor of the colony Quatre blew up with Wing Zero during his epic freakout.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: The Dianna Counter's standard colour scheme for its mobile suits. They start out as Anti Villains, if not outright Hero Antagonists, but then the war crimes start racking up...
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Sochie and Miashei.
  • Reporting Names: In the same context as BattleTech, many Moonrace and some Zeon mecha get different names from Earth troops. At one point Miashei and a Moonrace soldier argue over whether to call one mecha a WaD or an Armadillo.
  • The Reveal: The Black History, a.k.a. Mobile Suit Gundam through Gundam X.
    • The manual for the Master Grade Turn-X model implies SEED, 00, and AGE,and further series could be included, but model kit manuals are dubious canonical at best. Reconguista in G and Unicorn are the only recent series that could conceivably and definitely occur before Turn A, due to explicitly being series that take place after and during the UC timeline, respectively.
  • Rock Beats Laser: Averted. Biplanes and foot soldiers don't do much against Dianna Counter; it's not until the Inglessa milita finds its own mobile suits that they start putting up a decent fight.
    • There are some exceptions - Po's Wadom is described as having its beam cannon hatch damaged early on, for example, apparently through heavy Militia attacks. It's also mentioned that solid munitions can bypass I-Fields and that the Earth forces know their environment enough to stage ambushes. Still, it's only after the Militia begin fielding their recovered mobile suits that the conflict becomes anything but lopsided.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Dianna's position is anything but ceremonial—she sets policy and makes the original decision to recolonize Earth. She also does a lot of hands-on work over the course of the series, such as nursing in a military hospital.
    • Lily Borjarno is also a skilled politician who knows how to work an angle and frequently does so.
      • Heck, if we're counting the rich and well-off, Sochie counts, too, as she was a member of the Inglessa Militia before the conflict started. (Both sisters made it clear that they intended to avert the trope.)
  • Running Gag: Loran just keeps getting his crotch smashed in early on when Sochie's around. It foreshadows the 'loveless relationship' with Dianna down the line, in a way.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: A meta-example. Much of the soundtrack is comprised of pastoral, period-piece and tribal music with a dash of techno and orchestral set-piece themes. There are even songs that wouldn't be out of place in a Studio Ghibli or Disney production. One would be mistaken for thinking that they're not from a Gundam show.
  • Second-Hand Storytelling: The end of the Black History, including: The discovery of the Turn-X Gundam, the building of the Turn-A Gundam, and the resulting conflict. Probably impossible to show anyway, since it took place in all of the previous continuities instead of just one of them. It's All There in the Manual and is also an Offscreen Moment of Awesome.
  • Shout-Out: Not surprising, considering the not quite insignificant amount of references to already existing Gundam timelines. Most prominently in the mecha, which include designs (overall and cockpit) and model numbers that reference all the previous Gundam works.
    • The Turn X deserves specific mention for its Shining Finger Attack. At one point, Gym even takes down a WaDOM by picking it up and performing an Erupting God Finger on it.
    • There are also references to other series that Tomino has worked on, which makes sense since the original pitch for the series was to be a sort of Super Robot Wars: Tomino, featuring every mecha show he's worked on.
      • In the first episode Guin discusses the possibility of war with the continent of Gallia, the main setting of Combat Mecha Xabungle.
      • The White Doll statue the Turn A comes out of bears some resemblance to the launch sequence from Brave Raideen.
      • Not directly a Tomino reference, but the Royal Guard SUMO team's paint jobs (white and red with a gold leader) are identical to those of the Mirage Knights (who are also royal guards of a sort) from The Five Star Stories by Mamoru Nagano, co-creator of Heavy Metal L Gaim, Zeta Gundam and Brain Powerd.
  • Southern Belle: Kihel & Lily.
  • Space Clothes: Deliberately invoked. The Moonrace at large are portrayed in both fashions and technology as futuristic and a tad alien, in sharp contrast to Earth people. That said, they're recognizable enough that know what they're supposed to be...though Harry Ord's shades and at times odd fashion sense still tend to stand out.
  • Space Whale: There's quite a large number of cetaceans living in the Moonrace's sublunarian canals.
    • Not to mention that Dianna's flagship for returning to Earth after Guin betrays them is named the Whales and has whales painted on it...
  • Spell My Name with an "S":
    • The Kapool is romanized differently than its Universal Century counterpart from Gundam ZZ, where it appeared as the "Capule". There's actually a reason for this. Despite retaining the Capule's model number of AMX-109, it's actually a different unit, possibly a reproduction, as there are a few physical differences. For one, it's a couple of meters shorter...
    • "Loran" or "Rolan"? It's "Rolan Cehack" according to the official website and the Turn-A artworks. When the character in question gives someone an autograph, it is written as "Rolan Cehack".note  On the other hand, in Dynasty Warriors: Gundam, the only translated material to include Turn-A, his name is given as "Loran Cehack."
    • Most of the human characters have this problem. Seriously... Loran/Loran, Lineford/Rhineford, Corin/Colin, etc. Meshy/Meshie/Miashi probably gets the worst of it, and let's not even get started on her last name...
  • Spiritual Successor: To Gundam X. Both post-apocalyptic stories involving the moon and Gundams with hidden doomsday weapons. But then, this show may actually be a proper sequel.
  • Stock Footage: Completely and utterly absent (well, with the obvious exceptions). This is surprising for a Gundam series.
  • Straight Gay: Guin Lineford, the first (and so far, only) character officially outta the closet in the franchise. Then again, he might be bisexual, but his onesided love for Loran is carefully held off until the last few episodes.
  • Strawman News Media: Luzianna's is Type 2. They censor any news stories that say the war is, well, not going well. They don't do so by menacing journalists, however—they just buy the stories and photos without printing them.
  • Superpower Lottery: This is a common joke on most mecha/Gundam forums. The Turn-A at its theoretical full power has more potent abilities than even the infamous Zeorymer. Only the most Super of Super Robots are unquestionably more powerful, like certain Gurren-Laganns, Getter Emperor, or RahXephon. Therefore, most Gundam vs Gundam arguments end up solved with "Turn A kills them both." Everything else is basically competing for second place.
  • Super Prototype: Parodied. Gavan chose his personal Borjanon because it looked different from the other Borjanons that his men excavated. That would be because it's a Zaku I, while the other Borjanons are Zaku II production models.
  • Super Robot Wars: Has appeared in Alpha Gaiden and Super Robot Wars Z and Z2.
  • Sweet Home Alabama: Tomino seems to have based the setting on Gone with the Wind. The fiefdom of Luiziana is the most blatant indicator here.
  • Sword Fight: Loran has one with Gym after they abandon their suits in the final episode. It only lasts for a few clashes before Gym is pulled in by the Moonlight Butterfly and trapped in a cocoon along with the Turn A and Turn X.
  • Ten Thousand Years: Since the Dark History of space warfare ended in a catastrophe that nearly wiped out human life on Earth. It's taken that long for the land to recover enough to support a society analogous to World War I America.
  • This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman: It's a damn good thing that Sochie's Kapool was meant for underwater travel, otherwise Loran and Turn A would've had no means of joining up with the others across the sea.
  • Title Scream: TURN A. GUNDAM.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: The Heim sisters: Sochie is a Tsundereish Action Girl. Kihel is a quiet Ojou.
  • Transforming Mecha: A bit thin on the ground for a late 90s Gundam show, but there's a few. The very first MS we see, the FLAT folds up into a space capsule, as does the oddly-named Muttowooo and Corin Nander's Eagle (Egail? Egil?), turns into a pachycephalosaurus of all things.
  • Tsundere: Sochie Heim.
  • Turtle Power: Queen Diana's flagship, the Soleil, is designed to look like a giant, floating turtle with a castle on its back. The massproduced Almaiya class also resemble smaller flying turtles with hideously swollen heads.
  • Twin Switch: Dianna and Kihel, despite being not really twins. It actually serves as a major plot point of the series.
  • Undying Loyalty: Harry Ord.
  • Unfortunate Names: Miashei, a mulatto (or something like that) has a surname that most subbers wisely romanize as Kune or Kyunn... (which is appropriate, as the former actually is the official spelling.)
  • Unsettling Gender-Reveal: Harry Ord is led to believe that Loran is actually a woman named Laura Rolla and there is some Ship Tease between the two. Subverted when its eventually revealed that Harry knew "Laura"'s true identity the whole time and was just playing along.
  • The Vamp: Teteth Halleh.
  • War Is Hell: Although it's less pronounced than in other Gundam shows, the After the End setting and Dark History showcase this quite well.
    • The scenes that take place in the military hospital, with heaps of bloodied bandages and a soldier desperately begging the doctor not to amputate his leg, are also an effective illustration.
  • Weak, but Skilled: The only explanation as to how the Militia forces, using millenia-old machines, are able to put up more than token resistance against the moonrace. It helps that all those I-Fields do jack squat in deflecting bullets and bazookas, the Militia forces probably have more experience with actual military actions, and they are familiar with Earth's terrain.
  • Wham Episode: "Sunrise at Midnight." Zenoa, a Moonrace officer, is absolutely horrified to discover a cache of nuclear missiles. And at the end of the episode, we see why when five of them go off at once... oh, and there are two more. The stakes, they have been raised.
  • White and Gray Morality: There are very few people who are actually evil. Much of the conflict arises from a lack of understanding between the two sides when they first meet. And unlike the Universal Century, a strong effort is made by both sides to maintain the initial cease-fire after it's declared despite tensions.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Loran Cehack, aka "Laura Rolla".
  • Why Am I Ticking?: Prior to safely disposing of the nukes, Loran has to worry about the fact they are stored in the chest region of Turn A and they could go off if he's hit there.
  • Women Are Wiser: Invoked with the Moonrace. Their ruler is very specifically a Queen, not a King.
  • Worst Aid: The Militia hospital, but they're working with WWI-era medicine.
  • Wrench Wench: Miashei Kun, Merrybell.
  • X Meets Y‎: It's basically Gundam blended in with Gone with the Wind and The War of the Worlds along with a dash of H.P. Lovecraft and Space Runaway Ideon thanks to the civilization-destroying Moonlight Butterfly.

Mobile Suit Zeta GundamMilitary and Warfare Anime & MangaGundam Sentinel
After War Gundam XCreator/Studio DubMobile Fighter G Gundam
Angel LinksAnime of the 1990sBetterman
After War Gundam XFranchise/GundamMobile Suit Gundam SEED
NichijouCreator/Bandai Entertainment    
After War Gundam XThe EpicMobile Suit Gundam SEED
After War Gundam XAnimeMobile Suit Gundam SEED

alternative title(s): Turn A; Turn A Gundam
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from
Privacy Policy