April 13, 2004

And hell just froze over (see the final paragraph). I can feel the adrenaline pumping through my veins after seeing this announcement.

I finished watching Turn-A Gundam last night.

Turn-A was the 20th anniversary Gundam series, and as such, it is itself a commentary on the Gundam franchise. The creators seem to be saying, “Look, we’ve been showing you the horrors of war for twenty years. When are you going to get the point?

It’s a remarkably well-balanced series, too. The plot’s always moving, and the characters are developing, and there’s action and comedy and drama. And none of this overshadows any of the rest.

But what impresses me most, really, is the ending. It’s a perfect ending.

Many Gundam series end with most of the characters dying. I don’t think I’m spoiling much by revealing that this is not the case with Turn-A. Most of the characters survive, which is even harder than killing off the characters, since you have to find endings for all of them.

I cannot image better fates for these characters. Some of these fates are bittersweet, because of the characters. They don’t all deserve to live happily ever after, and they all don’t.

I’m looking forward to the next time I experience this series again. I will benefit from re-watching it.

…and I just realized that I wrote six short paragraphs about my reaction, without a word about what Turn-A really was. (Ugh. Please forgive my bloodied massacre of the English language there.)

It’s about memory and hope. About remembering the past, seeking to recapture it, and finding…something else. And that that’s okay.

It’s about government and leadership, oddly enough. Gundam is usually more interested in the soldiers on the front lines; Turn-A asks, “What about the generals? Don’t they have lives and decisions and fears, too? Don’t they sweat through battles like the men with helmets?” They do. And they bear the burdens of millions.

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