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Voiced by: Daisuke Sakaguchi (JP)
- Book Dumb
- Calling Your Attacks: LampshadedWaku: Can I shout when I attack?Koyemshi: Whatever floats your boat.
- Gets a Call-Back in the last episode, where Ushiro wonders if this is the point to shout like Waku did.
- Chekhov's Hobby: In the anime, Moji happens upon him juggling a soccer ball, which is also what he is shown doing in the opening. He uses kicks like that to defeat his first opponent.
- Chick Magnet: In the manga, girls made a point to go to his soccer games just to see him.
- Averted in the anime. The only girls you see at the soccer game are cheerleaders who would have been there regardless.
- Death by Falling Over: Subverted. The kids thought that Ushiro accidentally killed him by pushing him off Zearth's shoulder, but Waku was already dead.
- Decoy Protagonist: He is presented in a way that couldn't be mistaken for anything other than the classic Hot-Blooded shonen Kid Hero. At least until he dies after piloting the robot in the second episode (first volume of the manga).
- I Know Madden Kombat: Interestingly enough, he's arguably the least skilled pilot of the group.
- Jumped at the Call: He's eager to be Falling into the Cockpit.
- Posthumous Narration: It's presumably Waku's voice that we hear in the opening of episode 1 where said voice talks about the game as if it's already happened.
- Stock Shonen Hero: Out of the dozen main characters, Waku gets the most emphasis early on and has the most "stereotypical" shonen protagonist traits, despite the series being seinen. He's boisterous, shouts while attacking, is Book Dumb, and is happy to become a hero. Then things get ugly when Waku gets to see what happens to characters of this type when put in the wrong genre and he dies before the first volume is done (episode 2 of the anime) to set the tone of the series.
- What You Are in the Dark: Ponders this concept. After his father didn't go to his championship game, he started to wonder why he was playing soccer, and took a break from it for a while. When he's chosen to pilot Zearth, he decides it's an opportunity to be the hero even if no one is watching him.
Masaru Kodaka aka "Kodama"
Voiced by: Soichiro Hoshi (JP)
- Anti-Hero: Nominal Hero. He intends to save the world, but is not only not troubled by collateral damage, but sees it as desirable Except for his father, that is.
- Cain and Abel: Cain to his brother (or brothers in the manga), who are considerably more responsible and ethical than he and his father are.
- Creepy Child: Nicely demonstrated when he says that he somewhat respects Ushiro because he knows what it's like to kill someone, as he accidentally pushed Waku to his death (or so it seemed at the time).
- Establishing Character Moment: See Kick the Dog. The two overlapping is proof that he's trouble.
- The Friend Nobody Likes: One comment by him about how the pilots should get used to killing people is enough to convince Youko that he's worse than Ushiro, who physically abuses his younger sister.
- Jerk Ass
- Jerk Ass Has A Point: He says the kids will have to get used to killing, since it will become very common for them. Then comes the realization that not only are the enemy robots piloted by humans, but for every enemy defeated, a universe is destroyed.
- Kick the Dog: Or better said, burn the crab to death.
- Madness MantraKodama: There's no way my dad could have died... There's no way my dad could have died...
- Nietzsche Wannabe: Until he accidentally killed his dad.
- Moral Myopia: Sees the deaths of thousands as a small price to pay for saving the world, but his father is another matter.
- Purely Aesthetic Glasses: Wears Kokopelli's glasses like this, and even lampshades the fact when his older brother notices them.
- The Short Guy with Glasses: Subverted. While he is the shortest of the male pilots, the glasses he wears are Kokopelli's and not his, which he uses as Purely Aesthetic Glasses.
- Token Evil Teammate: While most of the others are troubled in various ways, few of them possess as cavalier an attitude to the loss of human life
- Übermensch: He believed he and his father were this.
- Unscrupulous Hero His main goal (protecting the Earth) is certainly a heroic one, but pretty much the only remotely heroic thing about him.
- Villain Protagonist: He has no scruples to speak of, but in the end, if he loses, the protagonists' world will be destroyed.
Voiced by: Tomokazu Sugita (JP)
- Broken Pedestal: Becomes this to his siblings in the anime, who think he ran away, and don't learn of his death until Kana tells them years later in the Distant Finale.
- Disappeared Dad Mr. Yamura was helping a friend who ran into some trouble. He comes back toward the end of the series.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: In a sense While he dies, his siblings are safe.
- I Will Wait for You: A major part of the reason why he doesn't take his siblings and move in with his uncle is his belief that his father will eventually return, and that he wants him to be able to come home. His father does come back in the manga.
- Last Request: In the anime, he asks Koyemshi to hide his body, and asks Ushiro to treat Kana kindly before he dies.
- Nice Guy: He's one of the kindest cast members, from supporting his siblings to being surprisingly patient with Ushiro.
- Numerical Theme Naming: He and his siblings have references to numbers in the names in the order they're born- Daiichi (oldest), Futaba (second), Santa (third), and Yoshi (fourth).
- Promotion to Parent: He raises his three younger siblings, with their father missing and their mother dead.
- Spared by the Adaptation: He's the third pilot in the manga and the fifth in the anime, meaning that he gets to live a little longer.
Mako Nakarai aka "Nakama"
Voiced by: Yuka Iguchi
- All of the Other Reindeer: Due to her beautiful single mother being a bar hostess and ex-prostitute, Mako always faced this from other kids.
- Blackmail: She does this to Koyemshi, threatening to reveal his identity as The Mole if he doesn't help her.
- Enjo Kosai: She almost gets into it to get enough money for the uniforms. Her "client" turns out to be a friend of her mom, and manages to talk her out.
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette
- Entertainingly Wrong: She claims that Moji is Koyemshi's mole in the group, because of said character's intuition. She's wrong, but she manages to be convincing enough that Koyemshi does as she says.
- Friendless Background: Due to being the daughter of an ex-prostitute, and partly because of her overly duty-driven personality.
- I Just Want to Be Loved: She admits that part of the reason why she tries to be a "good girl" is because she wants people to like her. She does eventually see the error of her ways, though.
- Little Miss Snarker
- Daughter Of A Whore: She's the daughter of a prostitute, resulting in her being ostracized by her peers and the community.
- Sugar-and-Ice Personality: After she makes uniforms for the others, they comment that she's not as gloomy as she first seems.
- Textile Work Is Feminine: Is very good at making clothes, as already mentioned above.
- What the Hell, Hero?: In the manga, towards the Alpha Bitch who bullies her, after catching said Alpha Bitch and her boyfriend going at it right before her battle.
Voiced by: Yoshinori Fujita (JP)
- All of the Other Reindeer: Was heavily bullied at school.
- Attempted Rape: In the manga, he tries this on Chizu soon after he learns he's next in line to pilot. She fends him off, though.
- Dirty Coward: In the manga, he doesn't fight back, hoping that if he does nothing, he'll survive. When he does act, he flees the battle, trampling over many houses, until Chizu stabs him.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: In the manga Chizu stabs him in the neck. In the anime, he's pushed down the stairs, hurt badly enough that he can't move, and dies after the building collapses on him.
- Freak Out!:
- In the middle of his own fight, in the manga. Chizu stabs him, then.
- In the anime, he already had trouble with the news that the pilot of the winning robot dies, on top of his already screwed-up home life. When he learns he is the next pilot, he doesn't take it well.
- Hope Spot: Seeing the fighter planes attacking his opponent gives him some hope that he will win without having to move. They fail to destroy the enemy.
- Inferiority Superiority Complex: Because of his own severe self-worth issues, he looks down on Kirie, someone he considers even more pathetic. Ironically, Kirie ends up making significantly more progress in dealing with his own issues than Kako does.
- Jerk Ass: While he seems more pathetic than anything, he looks down on Kirie so that he will have someone to look down on, and when the time comes to fight, he's far more concerned about his own safety.
- Power Fantasy: In the manga, he has a disturbing dream in which he takes revenge on everyone who was mocking him
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: In said dream, he ends up getting one from his sister.
Chizuru Honda aka "Chizu"
Voiced by: Ao Takahashi (JP)
- Accidental Murder: In the anime, she pushes Kako down some stairs during the rape attempt, and then runs out. The building collapses on him as he's immobilized, killing him.
- Adaptational Consent: In the anime the gang-rape never happened, while Hatagai is clearly manipulating her and portrayed as reprehensible.
- Adaptational Heroism: In the manga, she plans on using Zearth to kill her rapists without caring how many die as collateral damage (with the exception of her sister).
- Amoral Nihilist: In the manga, decides that "the death of any one person is meaningless", after learning that she is going to die as Zearth's pilot, and her baby will die with her.
- Beauty Mark: She has one under her left eye
- Break the Cutie: Her being raped by Hatagai, particularly the revelation that the man she loved betrayed her.
- Broken Bird: Of the Yandere kind.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: A variant, as the only person Chizu cares about enough to not want to kill in her Roaring Rampage of Revenge is her older sister.
- Good Is Dumb: In the manga, she sees her family as overly gullible and idealistic. Subverted, however, as it is eventually IMPLIED that the would-be car thief was merely trying to return a favor.
- Groin Attack: During her fight, she gets Zearth to kick the enemy robot like this. She also does something like this in the anime when she pushes Kako down the stairs when he tries to rape her.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: In the manga, she fires Zearth's lasers at the men who raped her.
- Kick the Dog: One of them is carrying his young daughter. She clearly sees this, and kills him (and likely the kid too) anyway, without any remorse over the collateral damage.
- Knife Nut: After being "broken", in the manga she carries a knife for self-defense. She uses it to kill Kako, and before dying she gives it to Kirie. This same knife is used to injure Hatagai.
- Murder-Suicide: She plans this on Hatagai after finding out that he had her gang raped and is moving on to someone else. The realization that she's pregnant, though, causes her to reconsider, until she learns she'll die anyway as part of her contract.
- Rape as Drama: Her backstory is easily the darkest part of the manga for this reason, among others.
- Roaring Rampageof Revenge: In the manga. Using half a kilometre tall Humongous Mecha, no less.
- Shut Up, Kirk!: In the manga, when Tanaka protests her use of Zearth for her revenge:Tanaka: What makes you think this is even remotely acceptable? We live under a constitutional government to prevent that from happening!Chizu: Constitutional government? Then go ahead and make a world with a perfect government. However, I don't have the time to wait for that to happen.
- Teen Pregnancy: It's indicated this is why she didn't kill Hatagai at first, and why Zearth has an extra pilot.
- Unmoving Plaid: Her dress in the manga.
- What the Hell, Hero?: In both versions, especially the manga, when she goes off to kill Hatagai in the middle of her fight, resulting in a great deal of collateral damage.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: She's a victim of gang rape and teen pregnancy who nevertheless is responsible for potentially thousands of deaths in the name of her revenge.
Voiced by: Kouki Miyata (JP)
- Awesomeness by Analysis: In the anime, he figures out that the enemy robots are piloted by humans when his strategy to trick the robot into exposing which half is the half with the cockpit by defending himself and going after the one that didn't attack him works.
- Big Brother Mentor: To a degree.
- Love Triangle: He's in one with his Ill Boy friend Nagi and a girl named Tsubasa Hiiragi.
- I Want My Beloved To Behappy: Having come to terms with his impending death, he decides to donate his heart to Nagi so that he will be able to be with Tsubasa.
- Secret Keeper: In the manga, being the one last seen with Waku, he's the only one questioned about his disappearance. He's able to deflect any suspicion from the group.
- Two Guys and a Girl: Him, Nagi and Tsubasa, a dynamic that became more complicated when he and Nagi fell in love with Tsubasa.
Voiced by: Kumiko Higa (JP)
- Abusive Parents: In the manga, it's implied that her mother was absolutely terrible, and by the time Maki was removed from the home as a baby, she was on the verge of death.
- Berserk Button: Ushiro hitting Kana infuriates her.
- Birth/Death Juxtaposition: Her battle happens at the same time as the birth of her baby brother. She manages to witness it right before passing away, even getting to hug the baby and pass away smiling.
- Cool Big Sis: In the anime at least, she seems to see herself as this to Kana
- Dying Dream: Maki holding her newborn brother, probably.
- Happily Adopted: She has a few insecurities when her parents get pregnant with a new child but when she teases her father about watching anime while his first child is on the way, he responds by saying she's his first child.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: She's been friends with Komo for a long time.
- Mama Bear: Do NOT harm Kana in front of her. She elaborates in the manga that a major reason why this upsets her is that Ushiro's seemingly using his being related to Kana by blood not that she would know that he isn't, as license to mistreat her, whereas Maki is considered as much her parents' child as their soon to be born son.
- Otaku: Both she and her dad have an avid interest in Humongous Mecha.
- Team Mom
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: She's the tomboy to Anko, Kana and Komo.
Voiced by: Shintaro Asanuma (JP)
- Achilles in His Tent: In the anime, after surviving his first duel by pretty much driving the other pilot to suicide, he seriously ponders not returning. When he sees that his family and specially his mother is doing well, though, Kirie comes back to the fight, wins his duel, unmasks Youko and then dies.
- In both versions, he has his doubts about fighting to begin with (his first battle in the anime, his only battle in the manga), since he's the first to find out that he's fighting with the existence of other Earths on the line. In the manga, after a talk with Misumi discussing how we live on because of the sacrifices of others, and after the above events in the anime, he regains his will to fight.
- Bad Liar: In the anime, his pilot mark appears on his face, unlike with most of the other pilots, who could hide it under their clothes. He tells his mother that he hit his head, and Ushiro says that she wouldn't believe a lie like that.
- Beware the Nice Ones, manga only: Kirie stabs Hatagai in the stomach after he offers him to teach him his way of life
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: He's a timid boy with poor self-esteem, but in the anime, he ends up making Zearth jump, impressing even Ushiro as he looks back on it.Ushiro: Kirie was something else, to make Zearth move like that.
- Gentle Giant: He's significantly larger than the others, and is a kind person at heart.
- Heroic Self-Deprecation In the manga, seeing his Hikiko Mori cousin suffer so much makes him question his own worth. Same goes to his Ill Girl mom in the anime.
- Last Request: In the manga, he asks that his cousin be told about him when it is possible to do so.
- Shut Up, Hannibal!: Stabbing Hatagai, largely to prevent himself from ever becoming like him.
- The Stoic In the anime, he's relatively quiet and reserved.
- Not So Stoic: In the manga, he loses his cool and stabs Hatagai when Hatagai tries to teach him about his way of life.
- Sweet and Sour Grapes: In his despair, he decides not to fight his first battle in the anime, and when his opponent commits suicide, he lives to pilot Zearth another time, as he had not moved it an inch.
- Tragic Keepsake: In the manga, Chizu gives him her knife before dying. He uses it to stab Hatagai later.
- Wham Line: In the anime, as he, with some of his last words, reveals who isn't in the contract.
- Wins by Doing Absolutely Nothing: In the anime, he resolves to not move Zearth at all, willing to forfeit his battle and the cast's universe. Then his opponent commits suicide.
- Wise Beyond Their Years
Takami Komoda aka "Komo"
Voiced by: Mamiko Noto (JP)
- Adaptational Badass: In the anime, she's somewhat more resilient than in the manga, and fights and wins her battle easily, even knowing that her father has died and she will join him at the end. In the manga, she's about to lose her fight when the enemy pilot retreats, and is generally more emotionally vulnerable than her best friend Maki.
- Disappeared Dad: In the anime, Congressman Komoda gets assassinated by members of the conspiracy.
- Elegant Classical Musician: Is an accomplished piano player Turns out to be a plot point in the manga, where she wins without fighting via luring her rival into her last recital.
- Go Out with a Smile: In the manga.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: She and Maki have been friends for a long time.
- Lonely Rich Kid: Mainly in the manga, when having an admiral for a father meant that she was very lonely until she met Maki. By contrast, in the anime, Maki once points out how well she gets along with everyone else.
- Military Brat: In the manga.
- The Ojou
- Plucky Girl Mere hours after her father is killed, she's willing to fight and die to save her Earth, and is undeterred when Zearth falls into a pit trap that is slowly filling with acid.Komo: Compared to the loneliness and frustration that Father felt, I feel nothing for falling into a hole!
- The Stool Pigeon: In both the manga and the anime, she's an Innocent Ingrid, as she is the one who argues in favor of telling people about Zearth.
- "World of Cardboard" Speech: In the manga, while playing the piano for the last time, comments on how she has just started to "notice the world."
- Wise Beyond Their Years: One of the first to realize what they're getting into, even before the more obvious red flags come up that indicate that this is not a game.
- Yamato Nadeshiko: She has the looks, the voice and the Silk Hiding Steel personality, which lets her keep her cool almost all the time like in her Thanatos Gambit from the manga.
Aiko Tokosumi aka "Anko"
Voiced by: Yui Makino (JP)
- Armor-Piercing Slap: In the anime she applies several to Youko while giving her a heartfelt What the Hell, Hero? after Kirie outs her before dying.
- Calling the Old Man Out: Defied in the manga. She's less than happy with her father's repeated absences, hoping to become an Idol Singer in order to see him on television, and believing he's only talking with her to find out more about Zearth. Then after she gets her legs burned off by acid while saving Youko and Akira decides to keep filming, Youko yells at Akira, saying "And you call yourself a father?", but Anko tells Youko to calm down. Her last words are that she learned how to give a Rousing Speech to Earth by watching her father on television.
- Caught with Your Pants Down By Koyemshi, in the manga. It wasn't anything sexual, mind you! Just her indulging into her Idol's fantasies.
- Dance Battler: Manga only, where she uses her dance experience to catch upon her elusive opponent.
- Dark-Skinned Blonde: Partially. Her hair is light brown, but her skin tone is darker than the other kids
- Death Glare: In the anime, she gives one to Machi, as she is still angry about her being outed as the uncontracted pilot and being responsible for getting them into the game, when she tries to offer advice during her battle.
- Died in Your Arms Tonight and Go Out with a Smile (anime, when she perishes in Kanji's embrace)
- She dies in her father's arms in the manga, but not smiling.
- Freak Out!: After the aforementioned incident with Youko, Koyemshi punishes the girl by choosing her as the next pilot. Understandably, she shuts down. And then she gets better.
- Idol Singer: What she wanted to be, at least in the manga, as a way of being able to connect with her father on television.
- Out of Focus: In the anime. She didn't received as much attention as other pilots during her episode, which focused a great deal of time on the media exploits regarding Zearth. Her TWO crowning moments of awesome were also missing on the adaptation.
- Plucky Girl: Especially in the manga, where she continues fighting even after having her legs burned off
- Precision F-Strike: In the anime, immediately before running over and repeatedly slapping Machi for her role in recruiting everyone into the game.Anko: What the hell... what the fucking hell?!
- Rousing Speech In the manga, before dying
- Ship Tease: Her interactions with Kanji in the anime can be seen as this, to a degree.
- Stepford Smiler: In the anime, when her dad is caught in an affair and her mom goes Lady Drunk mode, Anko hides her distress at both this and her position as the next pilot. She acts happy and sweet, but when she and her friend Kanji are alone, she cries in his arms.
- Taking the Bullet: In the manga, she pushes Machi out of the way of corrosive substance that an enemy robot injected into the cockpit. Because of it, she got her legs burned off.
- Token Romance: With Kanji, but only in the anime. Since it occurs with no build up prior to the episode where it happens, it comes as kinda awkward.
Voiced by: Kenji Nojima (JP)
- Missing Mom: In the manga, she committed suicide after the Ascension Towers were constructed, believing them to be unsafe.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: In the manga, his insistence on fighting near the Ascension Towers essentially leads to many deaths including Seki's Heroic Sacrifice, which leaves them another pilot short.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: He gives one to Ushiro in the manga, calmly accusing him of abusing Kana to take out his anger towards his mother on her.
- Secret Keeper: In the manga, he reveals that he didn't tell anyone about Ushiro hurting Kana because Kana herself asked him to do so.
- A Shared Suffering: He and Ushiro bond while visiting their mothers' graves. Except Ushiro's biological mother isn't dead.
- Snow Means Death: In the manga, he dies on top of Chutenro tower as it's snowing, with his last thoughts on the weather.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Ushiro. He doesn't hesitate to be frank with Ushiro, even when it angers him (such as regarding why he treats Kana the way he does), but the two remain friends.
- Wise Beyond Their Years
- You Monster!: Does this to Koyemshi twice in the anime. Koyemshi is not happy to hear it.
Voiced by: Kana Asumi (JP)
- Girlish Pigtails
- Living Emotional Crutch: Kanji sees her as one to Ushiro.
- Love Martyr: She goes through all kinds of shit at her older brother's hands, but still loves him and tries to take care of him.
- Face Death with Dignity: Heartbreakingly averted in the manga. After she wins her battle, the last time we see her she begins to break down crying because she knows she is about to die.
- Spared by the Adaptation: The anime has Machi enter the contract in Kana's place. As a result, she is the Sole Survivor of the main cast.
- Wise Beyond Their Years: See the main page for a detailed description, as well as Youko, in her last moments, expressing a desire to be "as strong as Kana-chan".
- Yamato Nadeshiko: One in training.
Voiced by: Yuko Sanpei (JP)
- Alcoholic Parent: In the manga. It turns out that it's for the Youko from this universe, in a rare case of people having selves in alternate universes.
- And This Is for...: Dedicates one of her gunshots on Koyemshi to Yuu, Kokopelli's daughter and one of the victims of Koyemshi's manipulation.
- Becoming the Mask: She was raised in our Earth, comes to truly love our world and, in the anime, she sacrifices herself for us. Her crush on Ushiro helps a bit, too.
- Dead Person Impersonation: In the manga, during the live broadcast from Zearth's cockpit, she has to impersonate Komo, who was the only other identified pilot of Zearth, as the official story is that she and Anko are the only pilots.
- Dropped a Bridge on Her: In the manga, she was shot by a nameless assassin and is taken off life support.
- Dying Alone: In the anime, She passes on with only the remains of Koyemshi nearby, after saying goodbye to Ushiro and Kana
- Gallows Humor: In the manga, she jokes about assassins coming after the pilots after the boy who claimed to be a Zearth pilot is shot dead; it is implied that the families of those killed in Zearth's battles helped that happen. She ends up being killed that way herself.
- The Generic Girl: Played with in the manga. Every tankobon begins with a list of Zearth's pilots, complete with short descriptions. Throughout the series, Machi remains "That girl with the freckles." Ultimately subverted. She's far from generic.
- It's All My Fault: Blames herself for the whole mess as she's the one who brought the kids to Kokopelli's cave.
- Last-Name Basis: The cast tends to call her "Machi," in contrast to the other girls, who are typically referred to by their first name or a nickname. She also uses most of the others' last names.
- The Mole: She's the only one who isn't in the contract and essentially works for Koyemshi.
- Nice Hat: She has a very cute white one
- Not Funny Anymore: In the manga, Machi says the kids might have assassins sent after them, which is considered as a passing comment making some black humor about the situation. She's shot to death some episodes later, and Koyemshi has to kill her to ease her suffering.]]
- Plucky Girl
- Redemption Equals Death: In the anime, after betraying Koyemshi and helping Ushiro kill him to hijack Zearth, she's the first to go. She wins her battle and dies.
- Scars Are Forever: In the manga, a bit of acid splashes on her cheek and leaves a scar that is mostly covered up with a bandage.
- Snow Means Death: She dies while it's snowing.
- Spanner in the Works: Iin the anime, upon Ushiro's request, she out-gambits and kills Koyemshi, undoing his cruel manipulations on him and Kana and forcing her way into the contract.
- Think Nothing of It: In the anime, after Kana thanks her for killing Koyemshi and preventing her from being entered into the contract, thereby saving her life, she says she didn't do it to be thanked.
- Tomato in the Mirror: She is Koyemshi's little sister)
- Unrequited Love for Ushiro
- Walking Spoiler: She's hard to discuss without spoiling details from her backstory, her brother's, or the existence of alternate Earths.
- Wham Episode: Before she can fight her battle in the manga, she gets shot in the head.
- What the Hell, Hero?: In the manga, accuses Akira of being unsuited to be a father when he continues to record footage after his daughter Aiko/Anko had her legs burned off by acid while protecting Youko. Anko tells Youko to calm down.
Voiced by: Junko Minagawa (JP)
- Accidental Murder: Subverted; he didn't actually push Waku to his death; Waku was dead before he fell.
- Aloof Big Brother: More like Abusive Big Brother to Kana.
- The Atoner: He gradually realizes the error of his ways and how much he hurt Kana. In the anime, he takes Kana's place in the last battle. In the manga, he chooses to volunteer as a pilot so that some stranger won't have to.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: Though he really took his time.
- Dying Alone: In the anime, at the end of the last battle, he dies in Zearth's cockpit, alone, and it soon falls apart around him.
- Four Eyes, Zero Soul: His character is initially presented this way, on top of being a Jerk Ass.
- Kick the Dog: In the manga, when they're running short on pilots, he casually suggests that Kana pilot, not knowing that she's already volunteered for it.
- Missing Mom (He abuses Kana because their mom succumbed to Death by Childbirth. Or so he thought)
- My God, What Have I Done?: Upon realizing how much he had mistreated Kana.
- Oblivious to Love: Poor Youko
- Odd Friendship: With Koyemshi, though only in the manga, and only at the very end.
- Stoic Spectacles
- Not So Stoic: Has various moments like this, especially when he freaks out after it seems as though he accidentally pushed Waku to his death, and no one seems to think otherwise.
- Took a Level in Kindness: Over time.
- Tragic Keepsake: Kanji's jacket in the manga.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Kanji.
- Vomit Indiscretion Shot In the manga, during his battle. He's in an Heroic B.S.O.D. because of the stress and throws up on his lap, so he has to put on a custom uniform.
- Wham Line: Manga only:Jun: I'm not in the contract.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Gets varying degrees of this over his treatment of Kana, especially from Maki. Tanaka also calls him out on suggesting that Daiichi is getting cold feet, saying that "Everyone's afraid."
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: In the manga, having suffered the loss of all his friends, his sister and his biological mother, his final task is to kill everyone on the last planet to make sure he kills the enemy pilot.
- Would Hit a Girl: To make matters worse, it's his younger sister.
- Yakuza Prince: In the anime, his father Ichiro was a Yakuza heir, but after he was killed by his enemies, his mom Miko (later, Misumi Tanaka) gave Ushiro away to her cousin so he'd have a normal life.
Voiced by: Hiroki Tochi (JP)
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Kokopelli says in the manga that he had a scar from one of the kids in his group, when the recruiter made the mistake of recruiting too many at the start, but he covered it up.
- Killed Offscreen: He perishes from piloting Zearth offscreen. Several of the other pilots aren't shown at the moments of their deaths, but in his case, it isn't obvious at first that he's dead.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Apologizes when the kids leave his cave. And with good reason.
- Sacrificial Lamb: Although his status as such is not revealed until later.
Koyemshi/Dung Beetle (Shirou Machi)
Voiced by: Akira Ishida (JP)
- Adaptational Villainy: In the manga, he actually has some redeeming moments. Contrast when he puts Youko out of her misery and grieves for her in his own way in the manga, with him getting killed by Youko in order to save Kana from being forced into the contract in the anime.
- Aloof Big Brother: To Youko
- The Atoner: In the manga, after assassinating Machi, he creates a replica of Machi to live an ordinary civilian life on Earth, and voluntarily becomes Zearth's final pilot and the next Kokopelli.
- Berserk Button: Kanji insulting him by calling him a pawn of the Masterminds seems to be this, as he tells him he's gone too far and wants him to be selected next.
- Brutal Honesty: When he becomes Kokopelli, he makes it clear to the pilots that they are going to die.
- Dirty Coward: There's the part where he physically forces a fellow pilot from his Earth to participate, only to break down and beg for his life when it's his turn, and his reaction when Youko is shooting him to death.
- 11th-Hour Ranger: In the manga, he pilots Zearth in the very last chapter.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: As Shirou, he has a huge scar on his face.
- Heel–Face Turn: In the last chapters of the manga.
- Hey, You!: The most pleasant he'll get with someone is referring to them by their last name without an honorific. At worst, he enjoys calling them names.
- Hypocrite: See the Dirty Coward entry.
- I Always Wanted to Say That: Koyemshi at the start of his battle at the end of the manga: "Zearth, take-off."
- The Imp
- Jerk Ass
- Kick the Dog: Too many to list them all, but one nice example is after Anko dies, he comments that he's disappointed that her passing didn't involve more crying and screaming.
- Kid-Appeal Character: He seems like the typical Non-Human Sidekick.
- Manipulative Bastard
- Morality Pet: Machi.
- Nay-Theist: Manga only— Koyemshi believes that it's better to think of the mecha battles as natural phenomena and God as a yet-undiscovered law of physics, because "it's better that way"... Probably because the idea that God might be behind the pruning is not a comfortable thought.
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business: In the manga, after his sister is killed, he is not laughing anymore. He is not smug. He is not condescending. He is angry, and his ''first'' act of anger is to teleport the killer ''somewhere'' which is implied to be very, very bad.
- Out-Gambitted: In the anime, by Ushiro and Youko.
- Pet the Dog: Koyemshi can appear nearly sympathetic in the manga, when he displays some signs of care for Machi.
- There's also the talk he has with Ushiro just before the final battle of the manga, encouraging him and giving him a reason to fight for the ones close to him, including his still living sister, Miku Tanaka.
- Perpetual Smiler: His human form in the manga.
- Portal Cut: His means of severing Seki's hand; he teleports the rest of his body away, then back.
- Redemption Equals Death: In the manga, he becomes the last pilot of Zearth before it moves to a different universe.
- Robot Buddy: Subverted—Koyemshi doesn't always tell the kids things they really ought to know.
- Sadistic Choice: His treatment of Kana and Jun by the end of the anime, when he tries to manipulate Kana into becoming a pilot and threatening her with forcing Ushiro to do so if she hesitates. Ushiro, however, had asked Youko for help behind his back, and she out-gambits and kills him.
- Shoot the Dog: He has to put a mortally injured Youko out of her misery in the manga, which lets him show a slightly softer side.
- Sir Swears-a-Lot: His crass mannerisms are conveyed using this trope.
- Stern Teacher: In the manga he retakes his human form, becomes the new Kokopelli and goes to another Earth with Zearth. When he recruits the new pilots, he straightforwardly tells them that they'll die after piloting (unlike Garaku/Kokopelli, who couldn't bring himself to do so), but then he adds that he will be the first pilot and show them how to do it right, which triggers the Redemption Equals Death mentioned above.
- They Call Me Mister Tibbs: Once demands to be called "Koyemshi-sama". He's amused when Tanaka calls him "Koyemshi-san".
- This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: Tells Kanji "You're can die next, you little bitch!" It's Komo's turn instead.
- Also, after Youko shoots him in the anime.Koyemshi: That fucking hurt, you bitch!
- Also, after Youko shoots him in the anime.
- Trickster Mentor: Subverted in the anime; Koyemshi is such a Jerk Ass that he torments the children simply because he enjoys seeing them suffer.
- Villainous Breakdown: In the anime, as he's being shot to death.
- Was Once a Man: Had a human form from his previous universe.
Captain Misumi Tanaka
Voiced by: Naomi Shindo (JP)
- Action Mom: She has a daughter Kana's age and is Jun's mother.
- The Atoner: In a sense. She describes her service in the Self-Defense Force as this, saying that she's caused trouble for others, and can't make it up to them, but can spend her life serving others.
- Cool Big Sis: To the girls of the group, despite being older than the standard.
- Dark and Troubled Past: It varies from version to version, but it involves her ties with the Yakuza in the anime and teen pregnancy in the manga.
- Give Him a Normal Life: Her reason for giving up Jun.
- Mommy Had A Good Reason For Abandoning You: To Ushiro. The reasons differ depending on the media, but still damn good.
- Team Mom: Oh, the freaking irony.
- Wham Line: After meeting Kana's father, she mentions that it's been a while, and that she left Jun in his care.
Voiced by: Shinji Kawada (JP)
- An Arm and a Leg: In the anime, after pointing a gun at Koyemshi, he loses his hand
- Heroic Sacrifice: In the manga, he willingly becomes a living target to help Kanji in his battle.
- Scars Are Forever: In the TV series he loses an arm after threatening Koyemshi, then has it replaced with a prosthesis.
- Spared by the Adaptation: Survives in the anime.
- So Proud of You: In the last battle of the anime, thinks about how strong Ushiro has become.
Voiced by: Kenichi Suzumura (JP)
- Can't Act Perverted Toward a Love Interest: A very disturbing example of this is applied in the manga; he claims that the fact that he has never had sex with his girlfriend, Chizu's older sister, is proof of his love for her. It only serves to make him seem even more vile.
- Jerk Ass: In the anime. His manga incarnation is much worse.
- Karma Houdini: Chizu backs down from killing him, and in the manga, her family doesn't believe they can legitimately press charges against him after Chizu killed innocent people in the pursuit of her revenge against him.
- Spell My Name with an "S" (He is Morihiro Hatagai in the manga, but Hiroyuki Hatagai in the anime.)
Voiced by: Hiroyuki Kinoshita (JP)
- Hidden Depths: At first, he seems to be just another power-hungry army commander who is only interested in seizing Zearth for their own benefits. Once he learned what's at stake, however, his attitude quickly changed.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Tries his best to help the kids and to protect the Earth.
Voiced by: Toru Furusawa (JP)
- Adults Are Useless Averted in the anime, where he works with other adults (Komo's dad, Kanji's mom, etc.) to find out what is going on and try saving the kids. In the manga he still tries to support Anko as much as he can.
- Intrepid Reporter
- Parents as People: He feels guilty about not spending more time with Anko. In the manga, after sharing some of his reservations with his boss, his boss says that he's not exactly a good father, but he has the mindset of a great journalist.
- When You Coming Home, Dad?: Anko is unhappy with his constant absence in the manga.
- Your Cheating Heart: In the anime, he has an affair that is used against him in an attempt to discredit the plans to go live about Zearth..
- Fingore In the manga, he threatens Koyemshi with a gun, gets his fingers severed. He later gets them reattatched.
Voiced by: Takehiro Murozono (JP)
- The Alcoholic
- Canon Foreigner: He only appears in the anime.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander
- My Greatest Failure: Was a friend of Ushiro's deceased father Ichirou, blames himself for his death.
- Plucky Comic Relief: Says a lot about the show when the funniest character is an ex-con.
Voiced by: Takashi Taniguchi (JP)
- Adults Are Useless: Averted, as mentioned.
- Alliterative Name (anime)
- Foil: In the manga, Anko compares him with her father, thinking that while she has to wonder how much her father cares about her, Tomoe cares for his daughter but can't express it well.
- My Greatest Failure: Komo's death is this for him, in the manga.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: In the anime, he's a congressman. In the manga, he's in the military, and Komo talking to him is what gets the military involved.
- Say My Name: In the manga, he screams his daughter's name as she dies.
- Spell My Name with an "S": He is Kouichi Komoda in the anime, and Tomoe Komoda in the manga. Those two versions could be considered separate characters altogether, as their character designs are different as well: Kouichi looks quite younger than Tomoe, to start.
- The Stoic: In the manga, it's pointed out that he does love his daughter, but is not very good at showing it.
- These Hands Have Killed: Asks if he can play the piano- as he had planned to do after retiring from the military- with the same hands that he says killed his daughter.
Voiced by: Saeko Chiba (JP)
- Go Through Me: Attempting to snap Chizuru out of her Roaring Rampage of Revenge, she stands between Zearth's arm and Hatagai and tells her little sister to kill her instead, dumping the blame on herself. Chizu stops, but Ichiko can't save her from dying. In the manga, she knows that Chizu is there. In the anime, she shields Hatagai with her body, without ever seeing Chizu.
- Horrible Judge of Character: She's dating Hatagai, 'nuff said. In the manga, she breaks up with him after she learns of what he did to Chizu; in the anime, there's no indication that she finds out about what happened to Chizu.
- Onee-sama: To her little sister Chizu.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: The tomboy to Chizu's girly girl.
Voiced by: Sayaka Ohara (JP)
- Deadpan Snarker: In the manga, during the community cleanup, she manages to snark at Oda during an argument over each other's parenting style.Mrs. Oda: My daughter has decent parents.
Miko: Is that so? Decent parents who don't help out with the neighborhood cleanup.
- Hooker Witha Heart Of Gold: She's a good person and a loving mother to her daughter.
- Parents as People: While her status as a prostitute makes things difficult for her daughter, she nevertheless cares for Mako, and Mako deeply respects her.
Voiced by: Kenjiro Tsuda (JP)
- Death by Origin Story: His murder at the hands of other Yakuza sets off the deal with Tanaka, baby!Jun and the Ushiros.
- Disappeared Dad
- Yakuza: More exactly, a Yakuza heir
Junji "Katari" KaritaA boy who pretends to be a Zearth pilot on TV. He ends up being killed for it.
- Cassandra Truth: It's obvious to the Zearth pilots and everyone else working with them that he's lying, but not the public; to them, it's more believable than the word of the rival newscaster's daughter.
- In-Series Nickname: Anko mentioned the Zearth pilots coined one for him despite never having met him.
- Meaningful Name: His nickname means "to deceive" or "cheat," since he's a fake Zearth Pilot.
- Never Speak Ill of the Dead: The main characters have to keep up the illusion that he's one of them,.
- Spanner in the Works: By coming forward on TV, he essentially derails the main character's plans regarding Zearth in the media, largely because having the daughter of one of the reporters come forward as a Zearth pilot is less believable than what he says.
- Too Dumb to Live: Pretending to be the pilot of a machine that's killed thousands of people is essentially inviting your own death.
- Walking Spoiler: His only appearance involves a somewhat significant plot twist.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Shot dead mere pages after his introduction.
Miku TanakaMisumi's daughter, who is about Kana's age. She's Jun's sister
Voiced by: Katsuhisa Houki (JP)Masaru's father, head of a construction company.
- Bad Boss: He abuses his own subordinates for not meeting his standards.
- Bald of Evil
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: He intends to profit off of the destruction Zearth wreaks.
- Drunk Driver: In the manga, Kodama says he thinks nothing of driving under the influence.
- Fat Bastard
- Karmic Death: Dies from the destruction he had hoped to profit off of, and to make it ironic, it was caused by the son who idolized him.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: In the manga, Kodama makes a reference to this, saying "He only feigns being crude and dense."
- Politically Incorrect Villain: He "treats women like objects"
- Show, Don't Tell: In the manga, the viewer has a few pages of exposition on his habits. In the anime, you get to see him at a board meeting, with him saying that he wants to develop the area that was destroyed in Waku's battle, and slapping a subordinate for not closing a deal at its original terms.
- Übermensch: In the eyes of his son.
Mr. UshiroKana's biological father and Jun's adoptive father.
- Cool Teacher: His students respect and look up to him. In the anime, he runs a school that teaches non-traditional values.
- Outliving One's Offspring: Jun in the anime, both his children in the manga.
- Parental Favoritism: He admits that he tried to love Jun the same way he loved Kana, but it's not the same. It's further driven home when he realizes that Kana will pilot next, he's genuinely heartbroken, admitting that he didn't react the same way when he heard about Jun.
- Parents as People: In the manga, he admits that he was scared of getting close to Jun, and so treated him as just another student, which damaged his relationship with both his children.