Turn A Gundam is not about what atrocity war has done and the things it has done. It is not about how many people have died in a war. It’s about what could happen and what is happening.
Turn A Gundam stars many main characters and a whole slew of supporting characters. The main character/pilot being Loran Cehack a young man who is from the moon who wishes for both Earth and the Moonrace to live together in peace. Loran is a pacifist but pilots the strongest Gundam ever created, the Turn A. It tells the story of the Moonrace wishing to live back on Earth but the people on Earth who had no idea that there was an advanced race on the moon, who do not want to share the land that they have had tendered since they were born. Conflict arises and everyone becomes selfish. A part of the Moonrace’s military attacks a nearby city and war is soon to erupt. Negotiations start with Queen Dianna Soriel of the Moonrace but due to rising conflicts with the Earth militia and the Moonrace wishing to “educate” the barbaric nature of human beings by conquering them, the negotiations become troublesome.
Turn A is, in my opinion, the greatest Gundam story because it shows the conflict through before, during, and after the war. What makes it as great is because the time spent on each person is the same. We get to understand all the sides of each character and understand their motives. I grew to hate the actions that many did but it made sense with what they thought was right for them.
For example Loran Cehack is a pacifist; In all of his fights he never took a life unless he absolutely needed to because his life was in danger or his crew might be in danger if his enemy were to live. In all of his other fights he disarmed, or talked his way out of a fight. A true pacifist unlike Kira Yamato from Gundam SEED.
There are many episodes that didn’t have any action but that is okay. Gundam shows, at least to me, were never just about big huge robots clashing at each other. Tomino, the creator of Gundam, preached in every Gundam series he had worked at (Mobile Suit Gundam 0079, Zeta Gundam, ZZ Gundam, Victory Gundam, etc.) that war is bad and that we should avoid it as much as possible. That was the heart of the series. The Mobile Suits were tools of war that was exaggerated in order to show the devastation that it creates. Yet the newer iterations of Gundam has forgotten that and has focused purely on combat between Mobile Suits. In the same way imagine the movie Saving Private Ryan; then imagine a reboot of the same movie but this time there is 80% more guns and instead on focusing the story of finding a wounded soldier the story is replaced with tons of gun battles and a narrative that tries to tell you that the story is actually supposed to be about fighting. I understand that is an odd analogy to create but in some ways it is what has happened to the Gundam series.
Turn A delves in the morality of men and their selfish reasons to act. All if not most of the characters in Turn A develop in unexpected ways. Some who I hated early in the beginning became my characters that I can relate and like and some the exact opposite happens.
I accept that there are now four generations of Gundam fans. Those who like the Universal Century, those who love Wing, those who LOVE SEED and the those who started with 00. Turn A appeals heavily to those who loved the Universal Century fans but will almost never appeal to both the SEED and 00 fans purely because they were shown a different iteration/generation of Gundam. The emotions and lessons created by the Universal Century applies and are more explained in Turn A and wishes to tell a story of why we should not wage war. It does so effectively by choosing not to show “war” until the later half of the series. Instead it uses the beginning half to fortify the reasons of the characters and show the effects of an impending and current war between two races.
The SEED fans will not enjoy Turn A because of its great pacing and because of its character development. They won’t even like the beautifully done fight scenes or the greatly designed Turn A Gundam. Instead what SEED fans will be complaining about is the lack of fight scenes and “beam spam” that the series is known for. It is known that SEED (and including Destiny) has absolutely no story to tell and just crams as much “Gundams” as possible in a series and make them fight, for sometimes, absolutely no reason except they want to have a ton of fighting in the anime. To summarize, SEED fans won’t even watch a trailer of Turn A because not enough fighting and “weird” looking Gundam.
Wing fans…. they are kind of in the same boat as SEED but not as bad. Some may decide to watch the series but they just won’t like it or they will just be okay with it.
00 fans are definitely on the same boat as SEED fans.