The following is a list of characters and tropes that apply to them in Arpeggio of Blue Steel. Do note that The Other Darrin is in full effect, as the drama CD and anime uses an entirely different set of voice actors. Note that due to the anime diverging from the manga's storyline, some characters' anime versions may differ from their manga counterparts.
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The main characters. On paper a semi-independent firm that also did some work for the Japanese government, at the beginning of the series Blue Steel is the only force that has a real chance at striking back against the Fog Fleet blockade of the Japanese islands. They are eventually hired by the Central government to deliver the blueprint of a weapon that might finally turn the tide in humanity's war against the Fog, to the only country likely still capable of producing it in the numbers needed: the United States of America.Commanded by Gunzou Chihaya, and manned by some of his classmates from the Maritime Institute, Blue Steel's ability to fight the Fog Fleet on somewhat even terms is mostly due to the fact that it has its own Fog ship under its disposal: the renegade Fog submarine I-401, Iona, who follows Gunzou for reasons even she herself isn't quite sure of.Initially just composed of Iona, Blue Steel becomes an actual fleet once Takao throws in her lot with them, and Hyuuga joins the crew.
Chick Magnet: Both human girls and Fog ships seem to be attracted to him, though perhaps for different reasons.
Child Prodigy: He was one of the top students in his class back when he was studying to join the navy.
Combat Pragmatist: He's willing to do whatever it takes to win a battle. Considering his opponents are nigh-invulnerable who gave humans a Curb-Stomp Battle countless times before, it's not surprising he's forced to think outside the box a little bit with I-401.
Disappeared Dad: His dad, a war hero who captured the I-401 during the final naval battle between the UN Fleet against the Fog Fleet, was presumed dead after he and his crew first mission on the I-401 disappear after the submarine returned to Japan without it's crew. However, two years before the series began, Gunzou learns not only is his father and his crew alive but they defected to the Fog Fleet.
The Paragon Always Rebels: While not exactly top of the class, he qualifies for this in the merit of being in the top three and is quite a decent captain even amongst professional soldiers. End result? Deserted the military, taking a few of their most talented personnel, and works as a mercenary.
The Strategist: He comes up with some rather unique tactics during combat to win against his opponents.
Red Baron: Called the "Battleship Killer" and "Route Holder" in chapter one.
A Fog ship somehow captured by humans a while back. While her origins are undoubtedly of the Fog fleet, she has no idea what her purpose was, other than to find and obey Gunzou Chihaya.
Amnesiac Hero: She only remembers one order, which was to obey Gunzou Chihaya. This served extremely useful for the humans, who are finally able to fight back against the Fog ships for the first time since their appearance.
Bad Ass: While she doesn't appear to be one at first glance, she is a pretty effective fighter with the help of Gunzou and the other humans. And even her mental model is capable of this, such as when she rescues Haruna, Kirishima, and Makie from soldiers. She also dodges several of Kongou's torpedoes in episode 12 of Ars Nova, and at one point even runs across one.
Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right: In episode 10, after suffering from a surprise attack from I-400 and I-402, I-401 begins to break down from sinking into the ocean. Gunzou orders her to gradually cut power to parts of the ship, and eventually orders her to cut off life support functions to preserve her remaining energy. Although she usually follows his orders without question, in this instance she became very conflicted about whether to save him, or let him die and continue the mission of getting the vibration torpedoes to America. So she instead decides to jettison her core and himself in a life pod in an attempt to hold out a bit longer, and fortunately for her, Takao finds them and gives up her nanomaterials to ensure both of them survive.
Self-Duplication: She has one main form and several numbered clones running around the submarine, taking care of various tasks.
Talking To Herself: With her other triplet sisters in the drama CD. In the anime each of the 400-series subs has their own voice actress.
Undying Loyalty: In episode 10 of Ars Nova, she's very conflicted with Gunzou's order to leave him to his fate to save herself and the weapon plans. So she takes a risk in scuttling the remainder of her ship, and jettisoning him in a life pod with her core inside of it. Fortunately Takao finds them shortly afterwards and sacrifices her ship and nanomaterials in order to allow Iona to rescue Gunzou.
The Generic Guy: Compared to the others, at least. All of the human officers who came from the nautical school belongs to the top ten of their class with the sole exception of Kyouhei, who ranks consistently... in the 200's.
Otaku: A mild case, since only him and Iona watch anime aboard the ship.
Heavy Cruiser of the Fleet of Fog, she is the first named Fog ship Blue Steel battles and defeats (though chronologically speaking that honor would go to Hyuuga) in the series. When she is surprisingly let go by Gunzou in the wake of that battle, she develops a girlish fixation on Blue Steel's commander and, by extension, Humanity in general, to the point where she literally goes AWOL from the Fog Fleet.
Heroic Sacrifice: Anime-only: She uses the remainder of her nanomaterials to restore Iona back into working order, though she loses her ship and her Mental Body in doing so. However, her core survived, and she is still able to at least turn up in screens onboard the ship.
Averted: Her mental model is fully restored during the last episode episode credits.
In-Series Nickname: Tsundere Heavy Cruiser. At least two characters have independently started calling her that.
I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: In episode 10 of the anime, she sacrifices her ship and mental model after she locates the remains of I-401, and a barely alive Gunzou inside a lifepod with Iona's core inside.
Themed Aliases: The surnames that Takao used during her forays into human society reflect the aliegances she had at that point: Kirino (literally "of the Fog") after the first time she was defeated by Gunzo, and Aoki (can be read as "pure blue") after she had fully aligned herself with Gunzou and Iona's Blue Fleet.
Tsundere: She's a Type B, which is acknowledged by most characters. She'll be gentle and nice but do not make fun of her.
Self-Duplication: Like Iona, she too has several mini models that helps her in doing mundane tasks.
Unlimited Wardrobe: Like all mental models, she can change clothes as she wishes, but she's one of few who doesn't stick to one set.
Shipper on Deck: To Gunzou and Takaoship. Mostly because she wants Gunzou away from Iona so she get have her herself.
The Fleet of Fog (Japan)
The segment of the Fog Fleet blockading the Japanese islands, the Mental Models of its ships are the ones that Blue Fleet and its allies mostly interact with, via opposition (in Kongou's case) or actual dialogue (in the case of Haruna and Kirishima). Ostensibly under the command of Superbattleship Yamato, the responsibility for actually maintaining the blockade falls under Battleship Kongou, the latter of whom takes her duties very seriously.
Members of the Japanese Fog Fleet
Supreme Flagship of the Fleet of Fog. Looks exactly like Amaha Kotono.
"We are weapons. Weapons have no need of emotions."
Establishing Character Moment: In the prologue for Episode One of the anime, a bit of the Last Great Battle is shown. In it, Kongo is shown at the head of the line (distinguished by her purple glow), and engages the human ships via ramming them, hinting at the brute force method of solving problems she will exhibit later on.
Villainous Breakdown: She gradually starts to act in ways that causes I-400 and I-402 to question her loyalty. Then in episode 10 of the anime, her ship is locked down by the two subs, and she also finds out that Maya, her last friend/ally, was an AI construct designed to spy on her.
Badass Longcoat: A rather intimidating All-Encompassing Mantle variant. Its badassery is acknowledged in-universe as well - wearing it gives Haruna a significant confidence-boost. Not really. Supplemental material in the manga reveals that the coat actually boosts her processing power by 100%. Losing it drastically reduces her capabilities.
Coat Cape: It covers her entire body, and most of the time only the upper part of her head is visible.
Pintsized Powerhouse: After being reconstructed with part of Haruna's nanomachines and gaining control of one of Makie's stuffed dolls. In the manga, the stuffed doll is actually a costume the now chibified Kirishima wears.
Pride: A traits of hers and what led to her downfall. Haruna and Kirishima could have defeated both the I-401 and Hakugei had they call the rest of the 2nd Oriental Fleet for backup but refuses out of her desire to claim credit in defeating the I-401.
Battleship of the Fleet of Fog, leader of the governing body "Student Council".
The Rival: To Hyuga. Hiei doesn't like the former 2nd Fleet Flagship because her eccentric behavior rub off on Takao, Haruna, Kirishima and Maya, her subordinates at the time, which lead them to have their own personalities and later defecting from the Fog.
Genki Girl: Most of the time. In Ars Nova, after the revelation that she's an AI construct designed to spy on Kongou, this attitude takes on a creepy undertone when she starts to repeat herself to Kongou.
Former Sonar operator of I-401. Transfers to the ''Hakugei.'
Love Cannot Overcome: Even though she was the first crew member to join the Blue Steel because she was in love with Gunzou, his many attempts that almost got him killed was just too much as she couldn't bare seeing him die.
Prime Minister of the Northern District and a Design Child.
Team Switzerland: Is willing to support either the Japanese government or the Fleet of Fog as long as Hokkaido benefits from the alliance.
The Leader: Was genetically engineered to be a capable leader without humans flaws like corruption or greed.
The Scarlet Fleet
A splinter faction of the Fog Fleet maintaining the European blockade, and commanded by Gunzou's father Shouzou, the Scarlet Fleet has notably deviated from the duties tasked to it by the Admirality Code, to the point where it's been drawn into conflict with the rest of the European Fleet (under the HMS Hood). With the Superbattleship Musashi as its flagship, the fleet seems to be tacitly supporting Shouzou's machinations toward an as-of-yet unknown goal.
Members of the Scarlet Fleet
Captain of the Musashi, Former Captain of the I-401 before he defected to the Fleet of Fog
Morality Pet: Turned Haruna from a war machine into one of the best developed characters of the manga.
Mysterious Waif: She isn't allowed to travel very far from the mansion she lives in. As a result, she hasn't had much contact with too many people.
Lawrence Valentine/Toujuurou Osakabe
Makie's overprotective butler. Unknown to Makie, Lawrence is actually Toujuurou Osakabe, her grandfather and creator.In Ars Nova, he is Makie's adopted father and a prominent weapons researcher. His attempts to defeat the Fog inevitably turns up in failure, largely due to the limitations of humans. He ends up creating Makie in the lab, and with her help, manages to design a torpedo that's capable of defeating Fog ships.
Battle Butler: Although Makie just knows him as Lawrence, secretly he is...
The Professor: Involved in the creation of Makie and the other Design Children and her unseen 'grandfather'.
Disease Bleach: His hair turned white as he watched most of design children die in front of him.
Faking the Dead: In Ars Nova, he faked his death in an attempt to keep the government from doing things to Makie. While Makie believed he really died, Haruna and Kirishima finds out he was still alive, but bedridden. He does eventually die shortly after meeting the two Fog ship girls however, but not before asking them to watch over Makie, after noticing how attached the girl was to them.
Omnidisciplinary Scientist: In Ars Nova where he was a weapons researcher and geneticist. Unlike in the manga where he was only a geneticist.
Mother of Gunzou Chihaya. She is currently under house arrest.
The childhood friend of both Gunzo and Sou, she was the valedictorian of their class at the Maritime Institute. She died when the test facilities of the institute caught fire, but her remains have never been found. It was her death that fueled Gunzou's dissatisfaction with the current state of the world, which eventually made him join up Iona.There are increasing signs that she might have been one of Yamato's mental models to begin with, sent to live among humanity to satisfy whatever curiosity the supreme battleship had for humans in general.
The Ace: Her reputation among Gunzo's schoolmates. Sou even calls her "the wall that Gunzou could not overcome".