Turn A Gundam episode 21 audio commentary
The Turn A Gundam BD BOX 1 includes select episode commentaries by various voice actors & actresses. This ep's features Rieko Takahashi (Kihel Heim & Dianna Soreil), Noriko Kitou (Miashei Kune), and Ai Kobayashi (Lily Borjarno).
Rieko: Welcome to the audio commentary for Turn A Gundam Episode 21: Dianna's Desperate Fight!
Noriko & Ai: Rieko-sama!
Rieko: I'm Rieko Takahashi, the voice of Kihel Heim and Dianna Soreil.
Noriko: I'm Noriko Kitou, the voice of Miashei Kune.
Ai: It’s been 15 years and my voice has gotten deep now, but I’m Ai Kobayashi, the voice of Lily Borjarno.
Ryota: And I'm the moderator, Fujitsu Ryota. The four of us are going to be doing commentary for episode 21. We are now at the opening sequence. I’d like to ask Noriko, what was the history behind voicing Miashei?
Noriko: The history? Well, it was my first time auditioning for a role. I was a new recruit of the theater company, Bungakuza.
Ai: Was it your first time acting in an anime?
Noriko: Yes it was.
Ryota: So you were completely new.
Noriko: Oh yes. I couldn't even differentiate between test shoots and real dubbing sessions. I could barely even use a mic! Once I tried speaking from a different side of the mic and got reprimanded for it.
Ai: Wow, that’s very new.
Ryota: How about you, Ai?
Ai: I don't remember all too well, but I didn't audition for the part. Lily appears about halfway into the story and I was simply called in to the studio. Perhaps they’d heard my previous work and thought I was good enough from that.
Ryota: Were you given any explanation of Lily’s character?
Ai: Well... she's a princess?
Ai: And acted high-and-mighty. I was in young and haughty back then, so I just acted without giving it much thought.
Rieko: Lily had a bit of an unpleasant attitude, but she was never really hated for it by anyone.
Ai: I guess she was just a lucky character! She had a lot of rude lines, like in this episode for example.
Ryota: She was probably at her peak in this one.
Ai: To be honest, I barely even remembered the lines I spoke. So when I'd watch the broadcast, I'd be surprised by how my character was being portrayed. It's not really what I'd intended.
Rieko: It was your natural attitude.
Ai: It really was.
Noriko: Thinking back about it, Turn A really was a dense piece of work.
Ai: Yeah, and we were all trying to do our best.
Ryota: After Turn A, Noriko and Ai once again collaborated in another series by Tomino, King Gainer. What are your thoughts on Tomino in general?
Ryota: Is it hard to say?
Ai: I don't know how to put it in words! I mean, like, he sexually harassed us!
Rieko: I remember he hugged us a lot.
Ai: He was a very energetic person. I didn't know much about him when I started out.
Ryota: How about you Noriko?
Noriko: Same as Rieko.
Noriko: I remember less about my actual character and more hugging a lot.
Ai: Every time we arrived at the studio he'd greet us with a cheerful "Hey, how are you doing?"
Ryota: Your hand is on your knee right now.
Ai: That's the kind of image I have of him.
Ryota: It seems we're digging up lots of untold stories today!
Ai: We sure are.
Ryota: It's been about ten episodes since Dianna and Kihel switched positions in the plot. How did you feel about the whole thing, Rieko?
Rieko: Hmm, in this episode it was the first time Dianna acted like an ordinary girl. For instance, she gets excited and expresses herself cutely when she's wondering if she'll be allowed a reward for her hard work. Those natural emotions were fun for me to act out. It wasn't easy though.
Ai: Acting two identical-looking characters must have been hard.
Rieko: Tomino didn't tell me to act differently. Though, what I personally had in mind when acting Dianna--
Ai: Your lips were blue.
Rieko: Yeah, I was pale.
Ai: Excuse me, that was a joke.
Rieko: For Dianna, I spoke in the first person using "watakushi" and for Kihel I used "watashi".
Noriko: Yeah, that is true.
Rirko: I think that's how I differentiated between them.
Ai: Did you record both parts simultaneously?
Rieko: No, they were recorded separately. The veteran voice actors would often joke and tell me to record them at once, but it was impossible!
Ai: I imagine something like that would be extremely hard.
Ryota: How was it like in the studio anyway?
Rieko: It was fun.
Ai: It was really fun for me too. My previous work had only involved people who specialized in anime, but in Turn A people from all sorts of backgrounds gathered -- people from theaters, people brand new to acting and recording. And the environment made me feel comfortable.
Rieko: We recorded for a long time and and became close friends.
Ai: Didn't we go to the hot springs after the final dubbing session?
Rieko: Did we?
Noriko: I didn't go to that.
Ai: Perhaps I'm thinking of King Gainer? I could've sworn it was Turn A...
Ryota: Haha, so you were all a close team and spent time together in and out of the studio. Something I've noticed is a lot of voice actors for Turn A Gundam were new to recording for anime.
Ai: Yeah. Well, like Noriko said, when you're new to something, you're surrounded by a lot of things you don't know. Like, I didn't know what "maruse" was.
Ryota: Maruse is a visual marker on the screen to indicate which character is speaking. It's commonly used when animation is not yet completed.
Ai: It was all so new to me. I barely understood what was going on!
Ryota: Did anyone teach you these things?
Ai: I asked the person sitting next to me about "maruse" and they started to snort in laughter.
Ai: They must have thought I was a complete newbie, but y'know... after a while you start picking up on things on your own.
Rieko: Yeah, exactly.
Noriko: Rieko's acting always felt on-point but perhaps even you didn't know about "maruse"?"
Rieko: I did! I did!
Ai: Haha seems yet another untold story got dug up today.
Noriko: Miashei did not appear in too many episodes, so I had a lot of gaps in-between dubbing sessions. Sometimes I couldn't even remember what some of the terms meant. Like, did so-and-so refer to a mobile suit or place or what?
Ai: The terminology! I often spoke lines and had no idea what was even going on. It was only after I watched the episode on air that I could figure things out.
Noriko: I remember asking Rieko about something once and even she couldn't answer.
Ai: For those of you listening, we used to banter like this all the time.
Noriko: Even though she wasn't familiar with all the terminology, Rieko's acting was still great.
Ryota: In this anime, there are a lot of people and places and things to keep track of.
Ai: There were a lot of terms with no explanations behind them yet they appeared on-screen as if it was common lingo.
Ryota: Now we are at the field hospital. This episode's setting and situation is quite realistic.... And here comes Miashei!
Rieko: She has pretty large breasts.
Ai: I see that!
Ryota: I remember Yasuda (Akira Yasuda, the character designer) once said he intended Miashei to be appear "glamorous".
Rieko: I think Miashei had an unfortunate place in the story in that many of her friends were princesses or of nobility. It might be a strange coincidence, but Miashei was like a commoner...
Ryota: She [Rieko] is speaking to us from high above!
Ai: I'm glad I get to hear the princess speak!
Noriko: Dianna is looking down at us from above.
Rieko: I meant she came from a normal household!
Noriko: Yeah, she was an ordinary person.
Rieko: That's what I wanted to say! And she was a pilot and character I liked.
Noriko: Plus she has those good looks and breasts.
Ryota: She would be the kind of close friend who makes you feel comfortable.
[hearing lines from the episode]
Ai: I'm glued to the screen.
Ryota: I was thinking of posing some questions now. I've gathered a couple questions fans had on the net and I'd like to ask: do you have any character--regardless of sex--in this series you'd likely follow in real life? I wanted to ask this after somebody like Guin showed up on screen.
Ai: Aww, Guin was extremely handsome.
Ryota: At this point, he's still seen as a reasonable leader, unlike in the later episodes.
Ai: Let me apologize for my performance in this episode. I had a terrible voice on the dubbing day.
Ryota: Were you sick?
Ai: I was just catching a cold.
Ai: Or maybe it was pollen allergy.
[Lily: Wow, there are many colors of light!]
Rieko: Ai has a sexy voice.
Ai: Um, where were we now?
Ryota: Are there any characters you'd be willing to follow in real life?
Ai: I'd choose Guin.
Noriko: I would choose Dianna.
Rieko: I would choose Gavane.
Noriko: Gavane! He was cool!
Ai: I know this is slightly off-topic but I laughed when I heard Guin speak his current line incorrectly. "gijutu-sha" (engineer)
Ai: "giju-sha". It's a tongue twister.
Ryota: That is one of those words that is hard to pronounce accurately.
Ai: My tongue often slips.
[Listing to Dianna's line]
Ryota: Dianna has such a kind heart and is very polite.
Ai: She must've been raised well.
Rieko: I bet even if she was bullied she'd say "thank you!"
Ai: Umm... that would be a bit odd.
Rieko: I know!
Ryota: Ai, was it fun for you to act as a character who often makes sarcastic remarks?
Ai: Like I said, I barely remember the lines I was saying. So it was just natural stuff for me. And it was fun.
Ai: It's always fun to act the villain on stage. For Lily, just take a look at her clothes!
Rieko: Look at her hair.
Ai: I bet lots of bugs get tangled in it.
Ai: You know, Rieko has a very elegant voice. I wonder... have you ever voiced a vulgar character? With lines like "get lost, you bastard!"
Rieko: I don't think I have, but I bet I'd be good at it!
Noriko: Ai has a great voice too.
Rieko: I was shocked when I first heard my recorded voice, it was totally different than what I'd imagined.
Noriko: Yeah, it is a weird experience to hear yourself playback.
Ryota: This back and forth scene of comedy and seriousness is interesting.
Ai: There's a distinct sense of line structure in Turn A Gundam. There's an explanation like, if this is this, then that would be that. It was kind of fun to voice those lines and see them fit.
Ryota: It's very common in Tomino's work.
Ai: It is. I remember being annoyed at first though.
Ryota: I know Rieko's been asked this already, so for the other two - what are your opinions of Loran?
Ai: My opinion? Well, he is a good kid.
Noriko: He's innocent.
Ai: A good boy.
Ryota: He's also a person who doesn't like to doubt people.
Ai: I wonder what kind of adult he'd be. Maybe he would just listen to what others say and get easily swayed.
Ryota: Here she comes again.
Ai: Looks like it'd be hard for her to walk.
Ryota: Now Lily is going to make a move.
[Hearing Lily's line]
Ryota: How did you feel about Dianna?
Ai: From Lily's perspective, Dianna must have come off as annoying and someone worth teasing. It's the kind of emotions all girls have, thinking negatively of someone who's younger and more innocent than yourself.
Ryota: How did you feel about Lily, Rieko?
Rieko: Personally I never trusted her, but to Dianna she was someone who was on her good side and tried to help her.
Ai: Lily didn't have any biased views.
[Watching the episode]
Ryota: In the first half of the show, there are many scenes of simple daily life struggles. And here Dianna is puking...
Ai: And look, someone's watching!
(They're talking about when Lily is spying on Dianna when Dianna has to empty the blood from the wounded into the river)
Ryota: What a bad person.
Ai: Lily thinks you deserve it.
Noriko: You are in so many scenes.
Ai: It's like the four dimensional pocket! [a magic item from manga/anime Doraemon]
Rieko: This episode made me think it's a good thing Dianna and Kihel switched places. Dianna was too innocent to lead a nation as a queen. She's one of those people who can't be happy without making everyone else happy.
Ai: She surely did not have this type of experience in her life before.
Ryota: She was less of a ruler and more of a symbol loved by everyone.
[Dianna: I never thought of it like that before.]
Ai: What a positive attitude.
Rieko: Who knows, she might be a tough girl.
Ai: I want to say it now. "I never thought of it like that before."
Ryota: This episode is known for its washing machine scene.
Ai: My, what beautiful legs.
Ryota: And here comes Loran. Let's change the subject though. It's not about this episode but in the final episode Miaeshei gets a boyfriend!
Ryota: Were you given any explanation or was it unexpected for you as well?
Noriko: It was.
Ryota: It was all of a sudden. But at least she looked happy.
Ai: We were glad to see she found happiness.
Ryota: At this point in the story, you don't know the ending and can only wonder who'll survive to the finish.
Rieko: We often used to talk about if/when I'd die.
Ryota: It's hard to predict in this show.
Ai: What I remember is the scene where Lily says "Wow, a mechanical doll with a mustache!"
Ryota: It was almost her first line I believe.
Ai: I think it was. I mean, she called the Gundam a mustache!
Ryota: Well, it does have one.
Ai: Loran's helping wash the clothes. What a nice scene.
Ryota: A gigantic washing machine. The episode audio commentary selection was done by fan vote. One of the other selected episodes was Laura's Cow, which has a scene where Loran carries a cow in the Turn A's chest. It seems these type of episodes are favored by the Turn A fandom.
Ai: They contain a kind of idyllic atmosphere you don't find in other Gundam series.
Ryota: Definitely. It can be used as a washing machine...
Ai: It's very different from the other series.
Rieko: This is my favorite scene in the show.
Ai: It sure is.
Ryota: This was one of the happiest scenes in the entire show.
[Kihel talking to Harry]
Ryota: Kihel is one step closer to him.
Rieko: They stand very close to each other.
Ai: I always used to wonder about his shades.
Ryota: It's said there is a frame connected to the back of his head that is hidden in his hair.
Ai: I forget, did he ever take it off?
Rieko: There was an episode where Harry disguises himself as another person.
Ryota: I think it might have been the next episode, Harry's Trouble, where he's disguised as an engineer.
Ryota: And we've come to the end. How did you feel watching this episode again, Rieko?
Rieko: I was fascinated by the scene where Dianna's face is reflected on the floating bubbles. The whole washing scene captured my heart and this is one of my favorite episodes for sure.
Ryota: I'd like to ask Noriko, what do you think of Turn A Gundam in your career?
Noriko: It was a major step for me. It was my first time acting in anime. I was also exposed to the Gundam franchise and the popularity it brought to me. For instance, I'd see fans waiting for me all the time. It was a first-and-last time experience for me.
Ryota: And how about you, Ai?
Ai: I'd go on to voice in several other anime afterwards. I worked hard and tried to have a good and fun time during Turn A Gundam and it gave me fond memories.
Ryota: Oh, here's Harrry without his glasses.
Ai: He wears pop clothes. I remember that!
Ryota: Now that we have figured out the mystery, it's time to say goodbye. Please continue to enjoying watching Turn A Gundam!