Main character of the show. In short, he was going to get married when a man only known as "The Claw" murdered his bride on his wedding day, and now he's going to get his revenge. Along the way, he makes a name for himself as a Badass, acquires a ton of nicknames, and more or less goes on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge to avenge the woman he loved.His primary weapon is a sword which morphs from a cloth on his belt. He can summon an Armor named "Dann of Thursday" when the situation calls for it.
Chick Magnet/True Companions These two tend to go hand in hand, as Van seems to unintentionally get attractive women to follow in his wake (despite having no interest, as he's very devoted to his deceased lover), and manages to make friends despite his very personality militating against it. It gets so bad Ray Lundgren blatantly lampshades it.
Determinator: With regard to vengeance; he may be apathetic about other things.
The Drifter: Both during the series and prior to meeting his (ill-fated) future wife.
Empathic Weapon: Dann of Thursday is this to him. He literally can't LIVE without it.
Evil Laugh: Manages to let out a rather disturbing one when he finally finds the Claw.
Healing Factor: When he links with Dann of Thursday he can heal almost all the injuries he sustains. It's necessary for him to enter Dann once a week because he will die if he doesn't, and Dann's functionality would shut down completely without him.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: A variation. The biggest reason he is seen as a jerk is because he takes Not Good with People to its maximum level. After losing Helena, he is extremely focused to his quest, becoming extremely apathetic as a result.
Van's main traveling companion. She's an orphan with a strong sense of loyalty to her kidnapped brother: she'll risk anything to get him back. However, she is also deeply concerned with right and wrong, and is willing to put her sense of ethics above her emotions when necessary.
Cool Pet: Her pet turtle Kameo counts for this big time. He helped make money when she had none, and actually saved her life in the beginning of the series. He has the bullet mark on his shell to prove it.
Girlish Pigtails: Notable because in the scenes when she has her hair down, she frequently looks older.
Hairstyle Inertia: A flashback shows that when she was a small child, she wore the same pigtails as when she was a teen and as an adult.
The Heart: She's the character who most cares about helping others in need, even if she hardly knows them.
Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Van towers over her. A sketch in the artbook really brings this home. Even after Wendy is grown up, the top of her head is still a little below shoulder height to Van when they stand together.
I Will Wait for You: A variation: she never explicitly promises this, but it seems to be what she's doing.
Jail Bait: She's about middle school age (indicated by the Sailor Fuku she wears in an early piece of credit art) but that doesn't stop grown men from threatening her sexually in episode 4. Good thing she's traveling with a protective Celibate Hero.
Kid Sidekick: She's no good at fighting, but she's smarter and more grounded than Van, so sometimes steers him the right direction.
Modesty Shorts: When hiking across the world its a good idea to wear these.
An information broker who has known Van for a long time, and who happens to be one of his few friends (whether Van openly admits it or not). She originally was a neutral element in his life, but when her life is ruined by the same guy who murdered Van's wife-to-be, things become personal.
Action Girl: She doesn't have an armor, so she isn't as flashy as other Action Girls, but she did beat Fasalina in a fight.
Anti-Hero: While she's nowhere as cruel as Ray, she can be so apathetic at times that she makes Van look altruistic. While she won't kill people just because they have something she wants, she will not hesitate to screw them over and her only reaction to overhearing how Pricilla is fighting in an Armor tournament for the sake of the orphans she's taking care of is to roll her eyes.
Big Breast Pride: She is very proud of her chest. The 99 in her name refers to her measurements.
Cool Big Sis: She somewhat assumes this role when it comes to Wendy and, to a lesser extent, Pricilla.
Deadpan Snarker: Almost everything she says. If there's something weird going on, she'll be the one to snark about it. If Van or Ray is getting to into their vengeance, she'll snark about it. If Wendy starts acting altruistic, she'll snark about it. If it exists, she'll snark about it.
I Lied: Jokingly tells Wendy she's in love with Van. Given who she is, it may or may not be true. Turns out it was.
"When you're out for revenge, humanity just gets in the way!"
Ray, like Van, witnessed his wife being murdered by the Claw, and took to avenging her death. Unlike Van, however, he is willing to do anything to kill the Claw, even taking the lives of innocents who get in the way.
Detached Sleeves: A rare male example, though he's wearing some kind of bodysuit beneath his outer layers. Oddly, his 'chaps' are also detached in the same manner as his sleeves.
Everything's Better with Spinning: His armor, Volkain, has a transport vehicle that travels underground by digging tunnels with a massive drill, and it often makes its entrance by burrowing up from the ground, in contrast to the falling Dann. It destroys most of a train station in Episode 13.
Kick the Dog: He has several moments, but one that stands out is when Yukiko gives him a Get a Hold of Yourself, Man! slap, his response is to call her a bitch and draw his gun. It's quite likely that if Josh hadn't stopped him, he would have shot her, even though she was obviously concerned about him and just trying to help
Knight Templar Big Brother: He acts all aloof, but it's just a façade to keep his brother away. In reality, if you so much as think of hurting Joshua, he'll viciously murder you.
Macross Missile Massacre: As befitting Ray's love of dakka, he can fire a large number of missiles all at once, and often uses them at close range.
More Dakka: Believes in this whole-heartedly — his favored tactic is to throw as many bullets at his enemy as possible. Volkain is more than prepared for this strategy. Hell, some of the bigger guns have smaller guns attached to them.
Fasalina: "Then why not part with this idiocy?" (By idiocy, she means the series' True Companions)
Ray: "Big talk, coming from The Claw's whore."
He gives her another one later in the same episode:
Fasalina: "You fight only for vengeance, but we fight for the sole reason of protecting our comrade's dream. And those who live to protect are always stronger."
Ray: "Just a bunch of knights in shining armor, aren't you? Well, let me tell you something. I had a dream once too: to live a peaceful life with the woman I loved. A modest one, I know, but he tore it to pieces because we wouldn't go along with his lunacy."
Fasalina: "Our comrade's dream is for all of humanity."
Ray: "AND WE THROW OUT OUR OWN? What did you think... what did you imagine we would do... when our dreams were taken away?"
Sociopathic Hero: For most of the series, he places absolutely no value on human life. Upon being convinced that Carossa and Melissa wouldn't give him any information, he shoots them with a simple, "Very well, I guess I won't be getting anything out of them. Delete." After killing Melissa, he notes, "Alright, that's one of them down." He gets better by the end, though.
Would Hit a Girl: His introductory episode has him shoot two women separately before he drills a hole clean through their Armor, causing it to blow up with both of them inside. One of those women was his employer.
In the same episode, he also fires at Wendy, and later threatens her again to keep Van from attacking him.
Would Kill a Young,Preteen Girl: Even though she was the pilot of an Original Seven armour and an enemy, the fact that he didn't even hesitate to murder Melissa shows just how cold and ruthless he's become.
You Are Better Than You Think You Are: He delivers an understated one to Joshua that overlaps a bit with Heroic Self-Deprecation. When the latter comments that he was always too cowardly to pursue vengeance like Ray had, Ray corrects his brother, telling him that his own revenge trip was nothing but an attempt to run away from his own pain, and that the only coward there was Ray, not Joshua.
A quartet (formerly quintet) of walking shout-outs to the days of themed combining super-robots. They were content to wait around in their town's cantina, tired and forgotten by the younger generation, until Van stumbled along one day and showed them that there are still people with the spirit of heroes and, more importantly, people who need heroes.
The Alcoholic: Except Carlos, who's generally too asleep to drink much, all of them drink so much that they're essentially dependent on alcohol.
Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: 4 old men who seem to be nothing but worthless, washed out old fools who cling to the past. In battle, they become an extremely devastating fighting force, despite using an extremely outdated machine and often being drunk.
Dude, Where's My Respect?: At first it seems like the townsfolk don't appreciate their local retired heroes, but it turns out that's mostly the younger folks' opinion. The sheriff in particular is kind of torn about having to regularly arrest his childhood heroes for drunk and disorderly conduct.
Nice Guy: The straightest example in the series with the possible exception of Pricilla. Seriously, they put their lives on the line for a town full of people who treat them like crap because it's the right thing to do.
Older than They Look: They do look old, but they look nowhere near as old as they should, Nero in particular. For reference, the rather old Town Sheriff mentioned that they are his childhood heroes, meaning they were already established badasses when the sheriff was a young child. For further reference, Chizuru, Yukiko's grandmother, died at the age of sixty-five, and going by the old picture of the team, the rest of them are of comparable age. Given how we don't know how long ago she died, they could even be in their seventies.
A... very nice, affable old man who is a Friend to All Living Things, polite, soft-spoken and loves everyone... except that he's the Big Bad. While his motives may seem good, his final goal is morally problematic. His charisma is one of his main strengths: he gathered a lot of followers by merely 'helping' them. However, he has also committed his share of murders, namely Van's bride Elena and Ray's wife Shino, which marked him as the ultimate target of their bloody revenge.
Affably Evil: And how. He's so polite, you almost forget that he kills anyone who gets in his way. Could be Faux Affably Evil, depending on whether or not you think it's actually an accident when he kills someone.
And Call Him George: He has a habit of killing people because of this, although it's ambiguous the degree to which it's accidental versus accidentally-on-purpose.
Insane Troll Logic: The various ways that he downplays and justifies his crimes can often fall into this. For instance, him explaining to Ray that his murder of the latter's wife wasn't such a big deal because 'she still lives on in your heart, doesn't she?' The viewer is left rather surprised that Ray does not immediately fill him full of holes and explain to him that his missing organs aren't such a big deal because they, too, still live on in his heart.
Wendy's brother. At first kidnapped against his will by The Claw, he is later charmed with The Claw's methods and faithfully served him, abandoning his sister. He also strikes a relationship with Fasalina and goes a bit more on the extreme side later on. He is later selected as the pilot of Saudade of Sunday and spends his life protecting The Claw.
A Man Is Not a Virgin: Seems to be proven completely during Michael and Fasalina's intense sex scene, but is subverted in a later episode, which explicitly refers to him as a "boy" in contrast to Van, who is both a man and a virgin.
Death by Sex: If you believe he and Fasalina were crushed by that falling boulder. According to the Drama CD, however, they survived. It's unclear if that's supposed to be canon or not.
A blank-eyed beautiful woman who was formerly a pole/prostitute dancer and came to hate her own unclean body. Until The Claw rescued her and promised her a new world where she and her unclean body could be cleansed. Cool-headed, polite, and soft-spoken, she is somewhat The Claw's second in command. She grew interested in Michael, and later had sex with him. She's also Carmen 99's arch-enemy, as she is responsible of the death of Carmen's friend, her hometown's destruction and her fall from grace. She pilots the Dahlia of Wednesday.
The Atoner: Very subverted. She does indeed want to atone for what she views as her past sins as a prostitute, but the way she goes about trying to do so by siding with the Big Bad and helping to further his decidedly evil plan isn't the most moral way to do so.
Berserk Button: There's nothing that can actually make her angry, but calling her a whore comes close.
Boobs of Steel: She is quite possibly the most powerful female in The Claw's group, if not the whole series, and the bustiest as well. Granted, of the two named females in the Claw's group she's the only one who's an adult.
The Dragon: More or less serves as The Claw's second in command.
Dull Eyes of Unhappiness: Her eyes always look like this. They're constantly empty and dead looking. This is likely because of her past and her status as a Broken Bird desperately looking to redeem herself. The only time her eyes really show life and have the lighting and shading that resemble the eyes of your typical anime female more is when she shows concern for Michael when he collapses from blood loss after being shot in the arm and right before the giant boulder falls on them (if you believe it actually fell on them, that is).
Pet the Dog: Semi-played straight, albeit a little late. If she wasn't so broken, she wouldn't be nearly as messed up, and she did genuinely try to be The Heart of the antagonist team (even the JerkassTykebomb Carossa had a soft spot for her), and even truly falling for Michael at one point.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: The jerk part is subverted with Carossa who just wants to protect his sister Melissa. Mostly a way of projecting his massive insecurities, and both Fasalina and his sister managed to get his softer side to show.
Knight Templar Big Brother: Carossa is definitely one of these, due to his overprotective nature of his younger twin sister Melissa. This is taken to extremes when she saves his life and dies during the same battle.
Punch Clock Villain: When not working for the bad guys, these kids aren't all that different from the average brother/sister dynamic you'd see at their ages.