Characters: Legend of Galactic Heroes
The cast of Legend of the Galactic Heroes is almost as immense in scale as the series itself. So immense, in fact, that at the beginning of the show (and once each subsequent season) they have to put subtitles bearing their names for each of their on-camera appearances! Here is a list of these truly memorable individuals who helped shape the face of history forever.As always, please beware of spoilers. Humans are only human after all.
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The Galactic Empire
Reinhard von Lohengramm
Voiced by: Ryo Horikawa (main series, prequel series), Hikaru Midorikawa (Golden Wings)
A young noble whose family had fallen on hard times, Reinhard von Musel was nevertheless content, with his best friend and older sister providing him with all the happiness he needed. This changed when he found out that his sister Annerose had been taken to the Imperial Palace as a concubine for the Kaiser. This abuse of authority drove him to swear a lofty oath: he would fight and eliminate anyone who stood in his way to rescue his sister, or die in the attempt. Along with his friend, Siegfried Kircheis, he abandoned his father and entered the Imperial military academy in the Imperial capital. With the patronage of Kaiser Friedrich IV he rather quickly rose to the rank of Admiral and was later inducted into the high nobility with the title of Count von Lohengramm.Reinhard von Lohengramm possesses a strategic genius evident both on and off the battlefield, and perhaps even more importantly, a keen eye for human talent. His nigh-unfaltering confidence, personal charisma, and refusal to cater to those with noble lineage garner him a significant power base among common soldiers and dissatisfied nobles alike. He has also earned himself quite a few enemies among in the more conservative nobility for these very qualities, but he is in many ways protected both by his military reputation and the Kaiser's favor.When Reinhard took to the field personally, it was aboard the white battleship, Brunhilde.
- Ambiguously Gay: He was very Fabulous, seemed to have Bishie Sparkle for no reason and was very friendly with Kircheis.
- He also postpones the necessity of his own marriage to the point of becoming conspicuous.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: He seems to believe this.
- Be All My Sins Remembered
- Berserk Button: Don't touch his sister. Better, don't even suggest someone may try to harm her (when Hilda did this, he started a rant on how he'd torture an High Noble if he tried to).
- Bishounen: The guy's actually famous for his looks in-universe.
- Blood Knight: "A sword has no reason to exist except as a sword."
- The Call Knows Where You Live: He is definitely not a Reluctant Warrior, but he was content with a simple life until his sister was taken away to be the Emperor's concubine and his father did nothing to prevent that.
- The Chains of Commanding
- Character Development: Probably undergoes the most personal changes out of all the characters.
- Character Tics: Later in the series, Reinhard develops a habit of clutching a medallion (actually a locket containing a lock of Kircheis's hair) during key moments.
- Death Seeker: In the second half of the story, Hilde starts suspecting that this is a good part of the reason why he's so obsessed with chasing down Yang Wenli.
- The Emperor
- Enfant Terrible: When he was a child, Kircheis had to stop him from beating up to death a bully. Apparently it wasn't the first time, just the first time Kircheis didn't show up in time to stop Reinhard before he could make the bully bleed...
- Expository Hairstyle Change: Grows his out after becoming emperor.
- Expy: Could be seen as an expy for Frederick the Great, the King of Prussia (1740-1786). Military and tactical genius? Check. Talented politician? Check. Childhood companion who was both best and only friend? Check. Witnessing said friend's death at a young age? Check. Affectionate older sister? Check. Frugal in regards to personal affairs but lavish in warfare? Check. Sexually ambiguous? Check. Loner? Check. Wore nothing but military uniforms? Check. Saved by a miracle during a battle? Check.
- Also, of Alexander the Great. Ascended to military power at a very young age, began many social and economic reforms, conquered all they saw before them, and both died of a young age when they had no more worthy foes to fight.
- Likewise, of Napoleon Bonaparte. Given that he's from a family of poor nobles, rose up the ranks by both his own hand and connections, embarked on risky campaigns, sought for reforms, becoming Emperor himself and even daring dissident soldiers to shoot him, much like Napoleon did.
- Galactic Conqueror
- Heroic BSOD: Happens twice; once after Kircheis' death, and again when a would-be assassin calls him out for his willingness to sacrifice Westerland.
- Hot-Blooded: It's rather unusual that he manages to be both this and extremely conniving.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: Reinhard surrounds himself with these by gathering the most talented men in the Empire. Though Reinhard is incredibly competent in all fields, it could be argued that he has subordinates that excel him in the field they are working for (except warfare, though Reuentahl and especially Kircheis may be equal). For example, Hilda is a smarter politician than him. Reinhard relying on their superior abilities is what makes him such a supreme leader.
- I Did What I Had to Do: This was Reinhard's excuse to Kircheis about his inaction regarding Westerland. After which he never made excuses for his decisions again.
- Japanese Pronouns: After using "ore" and the more official "watashi" all his life, he graduates to "yo" and uses it exclusively after he becomes Emperor.
- Lonely at the Top
- Man in White: Reinhard was known by his enemies as "the commander of the white ship" before they even learned his name. After a promotion or two, he dons a distinctive white cloak that he keeps for the rest of the series.
- My Greatest Failure: Failing to prevent the Westerland Massacre. Sure, Oberstein got him to hesitate and lied about the timing so when he tried the ships were too late, but he still considers himself guilty, and never gets over it.
- Not So Invincible After All
- Only Friend: Kircheis, at least at the beginning of the story. As the story develops, he opens up to Hildegard, Mittermeier and Emil as well.
- A Real Man Is a Killer: This belief is one of his few real character flaws, but its existence — and its manifestation in the belief that conflict or combat are the only means of determining a belief's worth — have galactic-scale consequences.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: He consistently tries to be one, though he progressively becomes better at it by the time he becomes Emperor.
- Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: Do not try and bribe him: the guy who did was arrested on the spot for it, and that in spite of Reinhard being inclined to give him what he wanted until then.
- So What Do We Do Now?
- Took a Level in Kindness: Bloodthirsty, ruthless, and exploitative in the first few seasons, he eventually calms down, shows mercy to his enemies, and starts dealing with his subjects as human beings instead of expendable human resources. His men wonder if this is Badass Decay.
- Tragic Keepsake: Wears a locket with a lock of Kircheis's hair around his neck constantly after Kircheis's death.
- Victory Is Boring: After his conquest of the Free Planets Alliance, he falls into a state of ennui, wondering if he's truly cut out for pursuits other than war. When he gets another opportunity to fight Yang Wen-li afterward, he throws himself into the campaign with renewed fervor.
- Warrior Prince
- Tragic Bromance: Kircheis...
- Übermensch: A surprisingly sympathetic and fallible example.
- The Unfettered: Reinhard will get his sister back/ take over the galaxy no matter what it takes.
- Unknown Rival: To Yang Wen-li. Yang has an immense respect for Reinhard's abilities but has no idea that Reinhard takes their encounters so personally.
- Young Conqueror
Voiced by: Masashi Hironaka (main series), Takehito Koyasu (Golden Wings)
- "Please, Lord Reinhard, promise me that you will conquer the universe."
If Reinhard von Lohengramm was compared to the light that would lead the Empire into a new age, then Siegfried Kircheis would have been the shadow that followed directly behind. Kircheis and Reinhard became close friends at a young age, and even then, Reinhard insisted on calling him by his surname Kircheis because he felt that Siegfried was too common a name for such an extraordinary person. Kircheis adored both Reinhard and Annerose, so much so that when Annerose was taken away and Reinhard swore to rescue her and asked for his assistance, Kircheis promised to follow and help him in any way he could. He joined military school and rose quickly through the ranks alongside Reinhard. Along the way he made another promise, this time to Annerose - to protect Reinhard and guide him on his way to power.Even though Kircheis' talents rival those of Reinhard himself, Kircheis does not share in his ambition, drive, and charisma. He is deeply devoted toward his friend, and possesses a wisdom, composure, and sense of morality that Reinhard occasionally lacks. Reinhard fully recognizes his friend's talents and depends heavily on Kircheis' advice and direction, if only in private.As a military commander, Kircheis is as kind and benevolent as he is brilliant, often demonstrating his preference for avoiding as much bloodshed as possible. He directs his forces aboard the red flagship, appropriately named Barbarossa.
- The Ace: Genius tactician capable of making Yang sweat, expert marksman, good enough in combat to go toe-to-toe with Schenkopp... All while also being incredibly kind and acting as Reinhards conscience. Quite deliberate considering he dies very early on and everyone spends the rest of the entire story mourning his death.
- Animal Motif: A dog. In the animated short Teikoku Momotarou he's the dog to Reinhard's Momotarou, and can only say "Yes, Reinhard/Annerose-sama!"
- The Conscience: He is this for Reinhard. Possibly for the audience as well.
- The Consigliere: The influence he wields is incredible. Even after death.
- Fiery Redhead: Completely inverted. Kircheis hates killing and is very slow to anger, occasionally being the only one who can calm Reinhard down.
- Good Is Not Dumb: Many in the Imperial military circles tend to overlook Kircheis' political and military importance for his gentle nature and total submission to Reinhard.
- The Heart
- Heroic Sacrifice
- Incorruptible Pure Pureness
- Living Emotional Crutch
- Number Two: To Reinhard. Oberstein has a problem with it.
- Our Ghosts Are Different : Even though Kircheis' spirit doesn't manifest itself in any sort of supernatural way, his very lack of presence is in itself profoundly haunting. Him appearing in Reinhards dream even leads to a truce between Reinhard and Yang!
- Present Absence: And how. The phrase "If only Kircheis was still alive." is uttered by multiple characters several times over the course of the story and every implication is made that Reinhard wouldn't have had nearly as much trouble if Kircheis hadn't died.
- Sacrificial Lion: Dies right before the end of the first season.
- Subordinate Excuse: He's way more than happy to serve Reinhard for this reason.
- Taking the Bullet: Twice.
- Tragic Bromance: With Reinhard.
- Undying Loyalty
- What the Hell, Hero?: Unlike a true subordinate, he has no qualms whatsoever on calling Reinhard out for unwise or immoral decisions. The fact that Reinhard is perfectly willing to be directly influenced by Kircheis makes it clear that, in their minds, they are on equal terms.
Oskar von Reuenthal
Voiced by: Norio Wakamoto
- "I don't care if you belittle republican democracy, profit at the expense of a nation, or deceive the people. But I won't allow you to soil the Kaiser's dignity with your filthy, feces-filled tongue."
The man with the Bewitching Eyes, Oskar von Reuenthal, was an exceptionally talented and capable individual, almost as much as Reinhard, and reasonably popular among the lower classes and the common soldiers. When he was born, his mother attempted to kill him (by gouging out his blue eye) because he was a constant reminder of her infidelity but could not bring herself to do it and killed herself instead. His father always held him responsible for that and began drinking heavily while telling him that it would have been better if he had never been born. Eventually circumstances lead to him joining the military where he met Wolfgang Mittermeyer and the two became fast friends, fighting together as common soldiers, then in the Panzergrenadiers, and finally in fleet actions as commanders where their exceptional coordination earned them the title of Twin Stars of the Empire.Reuenthal's continued service and his friendship with Mittermeyer lead him into the service of Reinhard von Lohengramm where his achievements allowed him to rise to the rank of High Admiral and later, to Governor-General of Neueland. Although he was never able to truly match wits with Yang Wenli, Reuenthal was still highly capable and proved instrumental in recapturing Iserlohn Fortress for the Empire. In the end it was his pride that caused his downfall, though even in disgrace he still remained loyal to the Lohengramm Dyansty.Reuenthal's preferred command ship was the Tristan, an Ace Custom with less firepower but a greater sensor range and speed.
- Animal Motif: Eagle. Together with Mittermeier's wolf, they're the eagle and the wolf who guard Valhalla in Norse Mythology.
- Badass: Very badass and manly.
- Better to Die Than Be Killed: Part of the reason he chooses to refuse the treatment that could save his life is even if he does survive, he would certainly have been dishonorably executed later for treason.
- Bishounen: Aristocratic, very handsome and having mysterous mismatched eyes, he's acknowledged in-universe as a very attractive man with female admirers ranging from teenage girls to middle-aged women.
- Broken Ace: Reuenthal is brilliant, loyal, and highly competent- but many of his personal decisions indicate a trainwreck of a psyche.
- Byronic Hero
- Dark and Troubled Past: He was literally unwanted from birth.
- Deadpan Snarker: So deadpan that no one seems to realize when he's joking except Mittermeyer. It doesn't help that his witticisms revolve around things like misogyny, self-destruction and high treason. Often elicits Dude, Not Funny! responses from those around him.
- He-Man Woman Hater: Although he's more of a run-of-the-mill misogynist.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice
- In Vino Veritas: Reuenthal says some pretty self-incriminating things under the influence that he probably wouldn't otherwise. Luckily it's usually only Mittermeier who listens to them.
- Like Mother Like Son: Reuenthal's mom was a proud, sexually promiscuous woman who eventually went mad and killed herself. Guess what becomes of Reuenthal.
- Major Injury Underreaction: It eventually kills him, but didn't stop him from deadpan snarking about it and going about his business almost as if there was nothing wrong with him.Reuenthal (to his officers): Stop panicking. It's me who is wounded, not you.
- Meaningful Name: "Reuenthal" can be, rather appropriately, translated as "Valley of regrets" (in German "reuen" means "to regret" and "thal" in place names means valley). His flagship's designation is "Tristan" which is related to the French word "triste" meaning "sad".
- Reuenthal also has some curious parallels with his flagship's namesake, the classic Tragic Hero Tristan.
- In Wagner's Tristan and Isolde when the main characters first meet, Isolde tries to kill him in revenge for her fiancé, but in the end she can't do it. Later on she tries to kill him again with poison that turns out to be a love potion making them fall in love. Compare this with Reuenthal's relationship with Elfriede who tries to kill him out of vengeance for her family, but in the end she never follows through with it, and they develop a rather twisted relationship.
- In the opera Tristan then proceeds to betray his liege lord (by continuing his relationship with Isolde), without offering any justification for his actions or pleading for mercy. Similarly, Reuenthal betrays Reinhard even though he knows he's being set up, and refuses to beg for mercy.
- In other versions of the story, Tristan then marries another Isolde, Isolde of the White Hands. Reuenthal at least once remarks on Elfriede's beautiful white hands (noting that they're just like his mother's).
- In most versions of the story Tristan is fatally wounded by a poisoned lance, but tries to stay alive until Isolde's arrival, only to die of grief when he thinks Isolde is not coming. Reuenthal is fatally wounded by a long, suspiciously lance-like ceramic shard. He tries to hang on so he can see Mittermeier for one last time, but in the end dies before Mittermeier arrives.
- Reuenthal also has some curious parallels with his flagship's namesake, the classic Tragic Hero Tristan.
- Mommy Issues: Most of his issues stem from the fact that his mother didn't love him. He even compares Elfriede to his mother.
- Only Friend: Mittermeyer
- Intense And Possibly Sadomasochistic and Maybe Even Incestuous Sexual/Emotional Interest At First Assassination Attempt: Tries to seduce a woman who tried to kill him. This goes about as well as can be expected.
- Pride: Like a true Tragic Hero.
- Properly Paranoid: Of Oberstein, Truniht, Lang, and the Ministry of Internal Security, all of whom he believes are conspiring against him. He's right.
- Psychotic Smirk: On occasion. Inverted rather disconcertingly that he only does it when he's in the one in trouble.
- The Starscream: Somewhat. He is loyal to Reinhard, but also highly ambitious on his own. Reuenthal himself lampshades this every single chance he gets.
- Tall, Dark and Snarky
- Then Let Me Be Evil: His final break with Reinhard comes about through circumstances beyond his control, but the animosity he feels for fellow subordinate Oberstein and his own pride keep him from trying to mend the breach.
- Tragic Bromance: With Mittermeier.
- Tragic Hero/Tragic Villain: Is Reuenthal a bad man trying to be good, or a good man who can't help but be bad?
Voiced by: Katsuji Mori
- "Do not think that Wolfgang Mittermeyer is double-tongued!"
A commander best known for his efficient and fast movements in space combat, Mittermeyer earned the nickname Gale Wolf even before entering Reinhard's service. He was born to a commoner family and although his father wanted him to take up a profession, he decided to enter the military instead where he climbed through the ranks with hard work and determination. Mittermeyer came to know Reinhard von Lohengramm after he executed a noble-born subordinate under his command for raping a civilian. To make things worse, the man was a relative of Prince Braunschweig, the next in line to the throne and so he was scheduled to be tortured and then executed. Reuenthal appealed to Reinhard on his behalf and he agreed to intervene in order to save Mittermeyer's life. From then on the four of them - Reinhard, Kircheis, Reuenthal and Mittermeyer - became comrades in arms and eventually became the most powerful men in the Empire.Mittermeyer had a loving, devoted wife named Evangeline, arguably one of the brightest spots in a series that became increasingly sad as time went on. The only sad part was that they could not have children. He also became extremely concerned for Reuenthal as he saw his vices catching up with him little by little.His flagship was of a similar design to the Tristan, an Ace Custom built for speed and a greater effective firing range. Its designation was the suspiciously appropriate Beowulf.
- Animal Motif: A wolf.
- Beware the Honest Ones: As at least one subordinate with powerful family connections found out.
- Reuenthal makes his decision to rebel knowing from the outset that his friendship with Mittermeyer would take a backseat to his integrity, and that they will almost certainly fight to the death.
- Beware the Nice Ones: He is one of the nicest characters in the show, but he has executed his own men for robbery and rape of civilians. He also snaps spectacularly when he finds out that his friend Reuenthal was framed.
- Gut Feeling: Mittermeyer is a very intuitive judge of characters and situations; a talent which enables him to always act swiftly and rightly, though not always cleverly.
- Happily Married: To the love of his life, who's also a long-time family friend. Her inability to have children casts a slight shadow on their happiness as a family but puts no strain on their love for one another.
- Honor Before Reason
- Last-Second Chance: He offers it to Reuenthal.
- Lightning Bruiser: He was fast to begin with, and then he got that huge fleet...
- Living Emotional Crutch: To Reuenthal.
- Knight in Shining Armor: Famous on all sides for his battle prowess and his upstanding character.
- My Significance Sense Is Tingling: A side effect of his intuition.
- Nice Guy: He's loyal to his comrades, a proud and faithful husband and father, and generally congenial and open-handed off the battlefield. But he's far from boring.
- Please Spare Him, My Liege!: Pleaded to Reinhard to give Reuenthal another chance, offering to return all his accolades as exchange. Sadly, it was more complicated than that.
- Red Baron: Is known as "The Gale Wolf[gang]" because of his swift attacks.
- Reports of My Death Were Greatly Exaggerated: During the eleventh battle of Iserlohn, it is reported that his flagship was hit and he died at the front. Only the first part of this turns out to be true.
- Sadistic Choice: Take down his best friend himself, or step aside to let his king do it?
- It makes it worse when you - and he - realize it is not actually a choice at all, but an order designed to deflect future resentment.
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right: The rules he breaks tend to be more societal than legal, however.
- Shipper on Deck: Appears to be this for Reinhard and Hilda; in Episode 58, when everyone's going on about marriage, he mentions to his wife that he feels that Hildegard is the only woman deserving of being Reinhard's consort, and that a child the two had would be bound to be brilliant.
- The Women Are Safe with Us: Executes his own men for robbery and rape.
- Tragic Bromance: With Reuenthal.
Paul von Oberstein
Voiced by: Kaneto Shiozawa
- "Without fail, in light, shadows must follow."
Originally assigned to Iserlohn Fortress, Oberstein was a deeply unsettling man who wanted nothing more than to destroy the Goldenbaum Dynasty and all of its descendants. He was born with a birth defect that left him blind and had to have his eyes replaced with cybernetics. Oberstein was grateful to have been born under the current regime, as he would have been put to death under the Inferior Genes Exclusion Law in Kaiser Rudolph's day, but nonetheless believed that any government that was capable of passing such laws was not worthy of his support. After surviving the battle for Iserlohn, he returned to Odin to offer his services to Reinhard and became one of his top advisers.What set Oberstein apart from the Twin Pillars Reuenthal and Mittermeyer was his utterly ruthless personality. He would not blanch from any task that needed to be done to ensure the security of Reinhard's power and continued to perform his duties flawlessly even though it made him unpopular with the rest of the admirals. Many of the officers felt that Oberstein's decisions had indirectly caused Kircheis' downfall and feared that he would be prepared to remove them if they spoke out directly against the government. Because he kept mostly to himself, no one truly knew if he was directing all of this antipathy away from Reinhard intentionally or he simply did not care.
- Adaptation Dye-Job: In the original novels he had dark hair, extremely pale skin and light brown eyes.
- The Chessmaster
- Consummate Professional
- Creepy Monotone: Almost never raises his voice or emotes when he speaks.
- The Creon: Prefers to operate from the sidelines under Reinhard's aegis, as he realizes he doesn't have the charisma to be a respected leader himself.
- Electronic Eyes: A necessary augmentation to overcome his congenital blindness.
- Enigmatic Minion
- Face Death with Dignity: He even goes so far as to tell the doctors to refrain from making a futile attempt to save him.
- Expy: The guy is in many ways what Maximilian Robespierre would have been like had he been reined in.
- To a degree. Their ruthlessness and utter commitment to their ideal of government is comparable, but Robespierre was famed for his intensely charismatic oratory, whereas Oberstein... isn't. (And of course, more superficially, Robespierre was a dedicated republican, while Oberstein clearly prefers Enlightened Despotism.
- Everyone Has Standards: Even he considers brainwashing to be too tasteless, especially for someone like Ovlesser.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick
- Jerkass Has a Point: Despite being rather immoral and dishonorable, most of his advice and actions are the quickest way to get the job done. Even his advice that indirectly caused Kircheis' death was originally meant to suppress favoritism. Episodes 89 (him giving an explanation for his decision-making while the admirals look on in utter horror) and 103 (chewing out the admirals on their lust for glory) are fantastic examples of Oberstein's cold and calculating thinking.
- Moral Event Horizon: In-universe: allowing the Westerland Massacre. As expected, it shattered the morale of the Lippstadt League's troops, firmly swung the public opinion against them and shortened the Imperial Civil War, but at the price of letting the League nuke two million people, with the very act of using nuclear weapons against a world being considered crossing the Moral Event Horizon, and when they find out the rest of Reinhard's allies turn against him.
- Necessarily Evil: Which he pretty much admits himself.
- Pet the Dog: In a rather literal application of the trope, Oberstein takes a old stray dog into his home for no reason other than simple humanity. As Bittenfeld remarks: "So people hate him, but dogs like him? I guess dogs tend to get along."
- Poisonous Friend: Played with. His modus operandi certainly fits, his loyalty to Reinhard as to the key figure in his plan is indisputable, but no sane person would call him Reinhard's friend (or anyone's).
- Psycho Sidekick: Reinhard really hates Oberstein, but keeps him around for this.
- Token Evil Teammate: Nobody likes Oberstein (perhaps aside of his aide Ferner) - but it's heavily implied that he wants people to view him as this.
- Red Right Hand: His byonic eyes have a way of creeping people out.
- The Spock
- The Spymaster: In an official capacity, his duties as a staff officer include gathering intelligence on the enemy and making sense of the reports. Unofficially, while he never acts as head of a security agency, he keeps his ear close to the ground on any matters that involve subterfuge... including taking actions to keep other Imperial commanders from getting too powerful or too close to Reinhard for comfort, if he deems it necessary.
- The Stoic
- The Unfettered
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: His goal is to replace the Goldenbaum Dynasty with one that will not produce monsters as rulers, and unite Mankind under a powerful but just government. His methods are amoral and dishonorable at best.
- The Extremist Was Right: His methods work, as shown multiple times, starting from that time he overstretched the supply lines of the Alliance Liberation Fleet (and exposing a large chunk of their transport fleet to a devastating attack) by taking all the food from the planets in its path (as soon as the overstretched supply lines were cut off, the invasion collapsed).
- What a Senseless Waste of Human Life: Chews out Reinhard's admirals and even Reinhard himself (though not to his face) for wasting human lives for the sake of glory.
- Zero-Approval Gambit: It is suggested that Oberstein takes on the role of an dirtyhanded schemer so Reinhard can remain a popular, heroic figure. This may also have been to relieve tension between some of Reinhard's highest subordinates by giving them someone to hate. (And hate him they do, especially Bittenfeld and Mittermeier.)
Hildegard von Mariendorf
Voiced by: Masako Katsuki
Uncommon for the daughter of an old noble family, Hilda took a keen interest in politics and statecraft from a young age and distanced herself from the social maneuverings of the other ladies at court. As the rest of the family prepared to support Prince Braunschweig in the Lippstadt Rebellion, she intervened and bartered with Reinhard von Lohengramm for protection of their holdings in exchange for switching sides. When Reinhard rose to power he appointed her as his personal secretary and she served in this capacity through most of the war. Fräulein Mariendorf was not only an efficient worker but astute in both politics and strategy, often advising the regent and later Kaiser in an informal capacity. She would not hesitate to intervene if she thought it was in his best interests and more than once, she was able to save Reinhard from certain defeat by outmaneuvering her opponents in the political arena while he was fixated on the battle in front of him. Throughout the series she tried to convince him to focus on consolidating his power rather than chasing after Yang Wenli but was very rarely able to dissuade him.Though officially only Reinhard's consort, she became sole regent of the Empire after his death and remained so until Alexander came of age. She was also instrumental in instituting democratic reform within the Empire and pushing it along the path to becoming a constitutional monarchy.
- Brutal Honesty
- The Combat Pragmatist: Though she's rarely involved in military matters, when she does offer her advice, Reinhard comments that her plans can be just as underhanded as Oberstein's.
- Daddy's Girl: She's very close to her father, who lets her pursue her interest in politics.
- Dirty Business: Her solution of winning the war consist of her exploiting Yang's moral conviction and good hearted nature, turning it all against him by putting him in a situation in which he will have to either betray everything he stands for, or lose the war. She fully acknowledge that it is a despicable thing to do, but necessary for winning the war and saving Reinhard's life.
- Flaw Exploitation: Mariendorf takes advantage of Yang's inflexible ideals in order to win the war.
- Good Is Not Nice: She's kind and affectionate, but beneath the surface can be as cold and calculating as Oberstein.
- The Heart: She urges Reinhard to show mercy to his opponents and to pay more attention to his subjects' well-being. Doesn't mean that she's naive or unwilling to take the necessary actions.
- Heroic BSOD: Suffers a minor one when her sickly cousin turns out to be involved in a plot to assassinate Reinhard.
- The High Queen: At the end of the series after Reinhard's death. He gives her all the power, allowing her to make the decision to bypass their son and move on to democracy if the boy isn't fit to rule. The narrator informs us that she does bring the Empire to prosperity and is instrumental in building a constitutional monarchy.
- Honest Advisor: She always tries to guide Reinhard to do what is right/most practical rather than follows his will.
- Hot Consort: Several characters remark upon her beauty, but this is not really played up.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: She favours the strategy that instead of trying to be proficient at everything, it's more efficient to find experts to work for you. And she herself is one to Reinhard when it comes to politics.
- More Deadly Than The Male: Her tactics to defeat the Free Planets Alliance is more efficient than Reinhard's and ultimately it is her who brings decisive victory to Empire side.
- Not So Different: To Oberstein, at least in term of what they think Reinhard should do. They both want to steer Reinhard from military conquest to concentrate on governing. And Reinhard comments that her tactics can be just as ruthless as Oberstein's.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: She comes from among the handful of noble houses that actually uphold the ideal of Noblesse Oblige, and her actions show it. By the end of the series, she becomes Kaiserin-Regent.
- Silk Hiding Steel: It doesn't take long for Reinhard (and viewers) to realize that Mariendorf is one of the most fearless and intelligent characters in the entire show.
- The Smurfette Principle: The only woman in Reinhard's group.
- Spirited Young Lady: She prefers politics to finding a husband or pastimes fashionable among the nobles. She also dresses in masculine clothing.
- Squee: An unusual example. It pleases her greatly that her father allows her to handle their family affiliation during the Lohengramm faction vs Goldenbaum old nobles conflict, as she's very interested in politics and thus she can observe an interesting age and interesting people.
- Women Are Wiser: Mariendorf is much more practical than the glory-seeking and stubborn men who surround her.
Annerose von Grünewald
Voiced by: Keiko Han
- "Reinhard, when you are weary, please come to see me. But you must not be weary yet."
Originally Annerose von Müsel, she was Reinhard's older sister, the one thing he cherished more than anything else in the world, and the entire reason for his quest to overthrow the Goldenbaum Dynasty. Her beauty had captured the attention of Kaiser Friedrich IV and he made her one of the Imperial consorts with the title of Countess von Grünewald, much to the envy of other ladies at court. Through it all she never lost her kindness and consideration for those around her even when they were plotting to stab her in the back. She charged Kircheis with standing by Reinhard and protecting him always, a task that he was only too happy to accept.Needless to say, her withdrawal from Reinhard's life had a considerable impact on him and he would later remark that his triumphant ascension to the throne was made hollow and bitter because the two people he cared for the most were not around to share it with him. It would be a long time before they would see each other again.
- Distressed Damsel
- Hermit Guru: A rare female example.
- Hidden Depths: She's not exactly as fragile as she appears to be.
- Living Memory: She sees herself as this.
- Small Role, Big Impact: While she was just a timid women that just wanted to be left alone, and didn't have much time on screen. Her being taken by Kaiser Friedrich IV as his consort was what both enraged her younger brother Reinhard into seeking more power for himself in order to save her and jump started his military career. Ultimately resulting in the fall of the Goldenbaum Dynasty, the destruction of the Free Planet Alliance, the rise of the Lohengramm Dynasty, and the unification of humanity. Hilde outright referred to her as the mother of the Neue Reich in her inner monolog, and that history would have been very different if she was never born at all.
- My Greatest Failure: She knows it was at her behest that Kircheis became Reinhard's follower and friend, and so blames herself for his death.
- Proper Lady: Kind and compassionate and wholesome; she'd fit right into the imperial court if the others were not jealous of her position.
Voiced by: Yuu Mizushima
- "Command promises to return all of you home alive. Guarding our pride and discipline, shall we not follow the road home in good order?"
The youngest of Reinhard's admirals, Müller was constantly frustrated that the war between the Galactic Empire and the Free Planet's Alliance was coming to a close and he would never have the opportunity to prove his worth in battle or achieve glory equal to that of his peers. All this changed at the Battle of Vermillion where his tenacious defence of the Kaiser earned him the nickname "Iron Shield". From then on his fleet was charged with the final line of defence, protecting Reinhard whenever he took to the field. In all other theaters of war, Müller proved to be a capable Admiral and commanded respect that was second only to the three Fleet Admirals themselves.Although he suffered defeat after defeat at the hands of Yang Wenli, he saw the miracle-worker more as a rival and always itched for another opportunity to try and defeat him. During a lull in the fighting, he was even able to go to Iserlohn and pay respects as the Kaiser's unofficial envoy.Müller's command ship was the Lübeck until after Vermillion, where it was destroyed. He was given the Percival to commemorate his new title. Reinhard offered him a promotion to Fleet Admiral after Reuenthal's rebellion, but he turned it down, believing that he had not accomplished enough to deserve it.
- Big Damn Heroes: One of the most unexpected and triumphant instances in the whole show, especially since up until then he had done nothing but lose, big time. See Crowning Moment of Awesome and Took a Level in Badass.
- Cool Ship: The Percival had very smooth lines and was the most advanced ship in the Imperial Navy at the time of its commissioning.
- The Determinator: At Vermilion Yang's ships shot down his flagship from under him three times. He found another every time, and continued fighting.
- Friendly Enemy: Acts like this towards Yang Wen-li when the latter boards the Brünhilde and towards Julian when paying respect at Yang Wenli's funeral in Iserlohn. Not bad for the man who had taken an oath in Odin's name to kill Yang Wenli after Admiral Kempff's death. He also stands out among the admirals in that he is often chosen by Reinhard as representative in diplomatic work with the Republicans.
- Made of Iron: How did you think he got his nickname?
- Please Spare Him, My Liege!: Tried to plead for Reuenthal when Reinhard promised to do anything he asked. Unfortunately, that was the one thing Reinhard could not do.
- Post-Victory Collapse
- Stone Wall
- Took a Level in Badass: Starts out as a relative unknown and after the Battle of Vermillion gains a serious reputation that lasts the rest of the series.
Fritz Josef Bittenfeld
Voiced by: Keiichi Noda
- "Either way, the chronicles of our lives are written in blood, no matter which page we turn to. Even if we were to put a thick foundation of humanism over them we can't erase the color of blood there, can we?"
Bittenfeld was always infamous for his temper and desire to be in the thick of battle. His fleet, the Black Lancers, inherited these traits and earned considerable renown for their fast, devastating charges. Though his timely intervention turned the tide of battle for Reinhard on more than one occasion, Bittenfeld was as much a liability as an asset. He was the most aggressive of even the offense-minded Admirals and easy to bait into traps. Even when the noose was closed around him he still believed he could break through. Nonetheless, Bittenfeld was still a capable commander and knew to retreat when the situation could still be salvaged.His ship of choice was the all-black Königstiger, emphasizing speed and firepower above all else.
- Animal Motif: A tiger. Even his flagship is named after it.
- Attack! Attack! Attack!: His default strategy in space combat, and that of the black lancers. He's so good at it that, to quote Attenborough, even the pretense of running away from him becomes a matter of life and death.
- Boisterous Bruiser
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: He's not an idiot by any means, but he's so aggressive you can be forgiven if you mistake him for an idiot. But when there's someone telling him when and where to attack he will break through any opposition.
- Dumbass Has a Point: Played with. He's not actually dumb by any means, but damned if he doesn't make everyone forget sometimes. It just makes it a little shocking every time he expresses a valuable (i.e. sensible) opinion or does something sensible in combat. In fact, he'd probably be one of the smartest admirals in the series if it weren't for his out-of-control aggression. On one occasion he advocates taking Heinessen to force Yang Wenli to surrender, an option that Yang would have been able to do nothing about. The other admirals dismiss it as unworkable...but this is precisely the option Hilda takes to save Reinhard from being blasted to space dust at the Battle of Vermilion.
- Fiery Redhead
- Honor Before Reason: He won't even hear about vile and dishonest ways of waging war, even if they are effective - one of the reasons why he hates Oberstein so much.
- Leeroy Jenkins
- Plucky Comic Relief: Closest to one in the show on the Imperial side.
- Too Dumb to Live: Averted. He even becomes more restrained with time, surprising his enemies by not falling for obvious traps.
Adalbert von Fahrenheit
Voiced by: Show HayamiA coolheaded admiral who shared Bittenfeld's preference for offensive tactics. Farenheit originally fought on the side of the nobles during the Lippstadt Rebellion and was Admiral Merkatz's second-in-command. He shared Merkatz's opinions of the nobles but, unlike his superior, he did not flee when the war ended. He received a pardon from Reinhard and was promoted to the rank of admiral when the regent recognised his skills. He clashed with Merkatz on several occasions during the war with the Free Planets Alliance and was eventually killed in the Iserlohn Corridor due to, some might say, the incompetence of Admiral Bittenfeld.His flagship was the Ahsgrimm, the only ship shown to possess a Wave Motion Gun.
- Face Death with Dignity: After a brief reminiscence of his life, he orders the last survivor of his crew, a young boy, to evacuate quickly and to live on, and dies on the burning bridge.
- Heel-Face Turn
- Only in It for the Money: Fahrenheit joined the military simply to eke out a living, in spite of his noble status.
Voiced by: Takaya Hashi
- "It just shows how irredeemable we are."
Also known as the Artist Admiral, Mecklinger was a well-known patron of the arts even during the last days of the Goldenbaum Dynasty and was known to have composed many of his own works, even winning prizes for his paintings and piano playing. He did not take to the field as often as the other admirals but was always picked by Reinhard to manage the Empire's supply lines during long campaigns. When he was in battle, Mecklinger was shown to be a cautious commander who was every bit as good as the others, but playing conservatively cost him whatever advantages he might have gained.
- Boring Yet Practical: His job on managing the supply lines.
- Badass Baritone: Has a VERY deep voice.
- Cultured Warrior: And it shows. On more than one occasion he supervised the recovery of looted artwork.
- Nice Guy: Or at least the one least enthusiastic for battles among the admirals.
- Officer and a Gentleman
- The Philosopher: Of Reinhard's faction. He sometimes pondered about the future not unlike Yang did and it is mentioned that he recorded the events of his time.
- Porn Stache
- Renaissance Man: He's accomplished not only as an admiral, but also as a painter, a pianist and a poet, and another character even compared him to Leonardo da Vinci (to his credit, Mecklinger didn't consider him on his level). Even as a soldier he's capable in two very different fields, namely organizing the supply lines and directing the battles (even if he's better at the former).
Ernst von Eisenach
Voiced by: Masane Tsukayama
- Bunny-Ears Admiral
- The Stoic
- The Voiceless: To the extent where almost everyone of his fellow high-ranking colleagues were shocked when he finally muttered a word late in the series. It was even lampshaded by the narrator, who helpfully provided the time and date of that occurrence.
- His flagship is named after the Norse god Vidar, Odin's son who was famous for never speaking.
Voiced by: Katsunosuke HoriCommanded the Iserlohn garrison fleet until the Yang fleet recaptured the station. Was injured and hospitalised during a terrorist attack on Phezzan. Volunteered to stay behind to delay attackers during the attempt on Reinhard's life on Urvashi and was killed by them.
- Heroic Sacrifice
- More Hero Than Thou: Pulls seniority on Müller to be the one who gets left behind on Urvashi.
- Technicolor Eyes: He has purple eyes which even change shade when he's excited or anticipating something.
- You Shall Not Pass
Karl Gustav Kempf
Voiced by: Tesshō GendaOverall commander of the Imperial fleet during the first attempt to recapture Iserlohn. Fell in that battle when his flagship was shot down.
- Happily Married: Had a devoted wife and two young sons who adored him. Lead to a Tear Jerker when it fell on Mecklinger to deliver the bad news of Kempf's demise.
Voiced by: Takeshi Watabe
- "Don't count on me valuing my life so much that I'd deal with you!"
- Driven to Suicide
- General Ripper: Is so convinced that Yang must be up to something that he accepts extremely suspect evidence as irrefutable confirmation that he is.
August Samuel Wahlen
Voiced by: Masaaki Okabe
- "Losing something I lost before does not inconvenience me at all."
- Artificial Limbs
- Enemy Mine: He was not aware of them being on the opposite side but Julian and co. helped him in his mission against the Terraists.
- Nerves of Steel: Gets his artificial arm torn by a direct hit of an enemy gun and makes a calm remark, see the quote. He also stopped the unrest between Bittenfeld's and Oberstein's men just by parking his armored car between them and giving Death Glare.
- Crowning Moment of Awesome, big time.
- The Stoic
- Not So Stoic: He's shown to have a soft spot for a childhood friend who he would have married if not for his calling in the Imperial military.
Voiced by: Shuichi IkedaOriginally a military lawyer, Reinhard appointed him Superintendent of the Military Police, which in the Empire also functioned as a general State Sec service. Credited with reforming this corrupt and oppressive organisation and generally improving the Imperial Justice system. Risked his own life in order to rescue Hildegard and Annerose during the Terraist attack on the Imperial residence.
- Big Damn Heroes: really, was it necessary for a chief of police to personally break into a burning building?
- Always Lawful Good: Stopped Mittermeyer from personally murdering Lang for what happened to Reuenthal because justice only comes with law.
- Meaningful Name: not him, but his flagship. Forseti was the norse god of justice.
- Meet Cute: How he met Marika, his future wife.
Karl Robert Steinmetz
Voiced by: Hiroya IshimaruFirst captain of the Brünhild, later promoted to admiral. Was killed together with Fahrenheit in the final battle commanded by Yang.
The Free Planets Alliance
Voiced by: Kei Tomiyama (main series), Hozumi Gouda (prequel series), Yasuyoshi Hara (Golden Wings)
- "I believe that being ruled by the worst democracy is preferable to being ruled by the best autocracy. That’s why I’m fighting Prince Reinhard von Lohengramm on behalf of Job Trunicht. I think it’s a good principle."
Originally a simple student who wanted to be a historian, Yang Wenli eventually joined the military to pay off his debts and rose through the ranks to become a Commodore. At this point he was already known as the Hero of El Facil after his superior organizational skills helped avert a major crisis on that planet. After the Battle of Astarte, in which he saves the Alliance fleet from utter destruction at the hands of Reinhard von Lohengramm, and the capture of Iserlohn Fortress he becomes known as Miracle Yang and every battle afterwards served only to increase his fame. Unlike Reinhard he is a more subdued man who dislikes having accolades heaped upon him and would rather retire to live a comfortable life on as big a pension as he can accumulate through distinguished service. However, circumstances throw him time and time again into the war where he proves to be a greater strategist than even Reinhard. At one point, the Kaiser even tries to recruit Yang but he refuses, citing his loyalty to the principles of democracy regardless of how hopelessly corrupt it may have become.Yang's most glaring flaw is his lack of political acumen. He makes no secret of the fact that he despises both politicians and the military, and his ever-increasing tally of successes only serves to make people in power nervous. Several attempts are made on his life, which he manages to survive but which leave him in a much more precarious position or force him to act before he's ready. Yet, for every disaster, he is able to rally his forces and lead them to an even greater victory than before. Yang Wenli earns the respect of both his peers and his enemies as a miracle worker and a magician.Yang Wenli has commanded several ships in battle. The most iconic are the battleship Hyperion and the cruiser Leda II.
- Adorkable: He is a deeply knowledgeable historian with very poor social skills, and much prefer to send his days drinking tea and writing political treatise instead of fighting a war.
- Anyone Can Die: If there is a character that can illustrate this trope, it's Yang. With him dying with an entire season left to go before the series ends.
- Badass on Paper: He fully admits that he is a terrible shot and completely useless in combat situations. However, put him behind an admiral's chair and he will devastate entire enemy fleets with his tactical genius.
- Badass Unintentional: He never intended to join the military, instead, he only signed up because the only way that he could afford a post-secondary education was by attending the navy academy. Even then, his first choice was the military history department, and he only took up officer training after the history department was dissolved. And in the battle in which he first made his name, he only got put into his position because his commanding officer ran away.
- Big Good: He ended up becoming one for not only the Alliance, but also Republicanism and representation government in general.
- Brilliant but Lazy: Yang Wen-Li loves napping, drinking tea and studying history, but he constantly finds himself in situations that require his tactical and strategic insights.
- The Cassandra: If only if the people in charge of the Alliance government listens to Yang, then perhaps things would have turned out better for them. Namely, his prediction that an invasion of Imperial territory will be a horrible idea due to the Alliance lacking the logistics capacity to support such an endeavor, and later, that due to the debacle of the attempted invasion, the Alliance government is in danger of being overthrown by a military coup. Finally, he foresaw that instead of once again laying siege to Iserlohn, the Empire will instead invade though the Fezzan Corridor.
- Character Filibuster: Quite often Yang will launch into long, detailed lectures and rants about war, history, and politics. Justified slightly in that he actually is a historian at heart and puts a lot of thought into his opinions and writes them down in various essays. Later he begins to point out contradictions and hypocrisies in his views, and eventually bluntly admits that his beliefs are likely biased and frequently expresses doubts about having done the right thing. Doesn't stop him from filibustering, though.
- Character Tics: Please decide whether your hat looks better on your head or off it, Yang.
- Combat Pragmatist: Yang doesn't really care about little things like honor or conventional strategy as much as ending things decisively with the least amount of people dead.
- He was once asked about the best path to win a battle. His answer: get a numerical superiority of six-to-one and make sure your forces are fully equipped and the commander's orders are clear.
- Dangerously Genre Savvy: Don't let this friendly personality, lack of work ethic, and pacifist ideology fool you. Yang knows exactly what he is doing, and is said to be one of the greatest military commanders to have ever lived. Take the battle of Battle of Astarte and the Battle of Amritsar, for example. Even after his superiors managed to completely screw up to the point that Alliance forces faces total annihilation, Yang manages to savage to the situation to allow for the Alliance to achieve a minor victory or at lease to retreat and fight for another day.
- Deconstruction: In a less cynical universe, Yang's devotion towards the ideals of democracy, his humanitarian tendencies, and the way that he cares deeply about the wellbeing of those under under his command will make him the best example of an Officer and a Gentleman, the Ideal Hero in a Military Science-Fiction. However, his refusal to make moral compromises even in the face of incompetent political leadership resulted in him losing the war and the destruction of the Alliance. Also, his humanitarian tendencies means that every casualty on both sides at the end of every battle weights heavily on him, resulting him having to resort to become an alcoholic just to deal with the sheer amount of emotional stress and guilt.
- He is also a deconstruction of the Brilliant but Lazy and Humble Hero tropes. Yang shows no political ambitions whatsoever. While he enjoys 100% Adoration Rating from both the Alliance's civilian population and those serving under his command due to his legendary tactical genius, he never actually use it to his advantage even when it is clear to everyone that he will make a much better political leader then those currently in power. And at the end of the day, all he really wants from life is to be able to retire with a large pension and live out the rest of his days writing political treatise while reading history book all day in peace. However, his unintentional status as both a symbol of the democratic ideals and as a war hero who has never been defeated in battle means that those in the position of power will simply never leave him alone, as he is just too much of a threat as long as he is alive.
- Dirty Business: As a pacifist at heart, Yang is never shown to be excited or happy about his tactics actually working, since he understands that every victory means that thousands of lives are lost on the other side.
- Distressed Dude: He keeps getting imprisoned by his own government, to the consternation of the subordinates who have to save him.
- Dying Alone
- Executive Meddling: A frequent victim of this, often preventing him from seizing a great victory and, in one occasion, destroying Reinhard's flagship with him and his best officers on it.
- Famous Last Words: "I'm sorry, Frederica. I'm sorry, Julian. I am sorry, everyone."
- Fatal Flaw: Yang is a strong advocate in Republicanism, and simply refuses to violate it's democratic principles by either setting himself up as the military dictator for the Alliance, or disobeying a direct order from it's majority elected officals. He is also a pacifist at heart, and always seeks to minimize causalities on both sides whenever possible. This ends up costing him the entire war.
Chen: "Yang Wenli has many shortcomings, but he has one virtue that no one can possibly criticize. That is, he honestly believes in the principle that a democracy’s military exists solely for the purpose of protecting the lives of its citizens, and that he has acted upon that principle on more than one occasion."Bucock: "If Yang were to ever be defeated, it wouldn’t be by the great genius of Kaiser Reinhard. It’ll be by his adherence to his own ideals."
- This exchange about Yang between Trung Yu Chen and Alexander Bucock sums it up perfectly:
- Famed In-Story: Enemies and allies alike attribute Yang with almost godlike abilities. He really is brilliant, but his subordinates are almost never mentioned.
- The Fettered: He is a firm believer in the democratic political system and the republican form of government. This conviction ended up costing him the war at the end.
- Functional Addict: Although we never see him drunk, Yang drinks a little bit just about all the time. It's to the point that people who live with him express their concern about it, and it's mentioned that his consumption is on the rise.
- Good Is Not Soft: While he is perhaps one of the most morally upstanding and easy going characters on the show, he is still a navy admiral. And each battle that he fights in routinely results in the death of tens of thousands of casualties on both sides.
- Happily Married: With Frederica, even if it only lasted a short while.
- Heroic Self-Deprecation: As a pacifist at heart, he deeply resents the fact that by doing his job he is both sending and costing thousands of man to die every battle. As a result, the reason why he didn't originally pursue a relationship with Frederica was because he believes that he doesn't deserve family happiness after creating so much widows and orphans throughout his career.
- Heroic Neutral: Yang seems strangely unemotional about the ultimate fate of either government. When the nation he serves ceases to be his benefactor, he's quick to abandon it.
- Honor Before Reason: When he was order to stand down and seize all hostilities by the Alliance government during the Battle of Vermilion, he obeyed it since as a solider, he must respect the orders of the country's democratically elected leaders... While he was literally SECONDS away from destroying Reinhard's flagship, ending the war in a total Alliance victory.
- Humble Hero: He doesn't like taking credit for his victories, and generally doesn't care much for the titles given to him by others.
- Inspirational Martyr: He ended up becoming one.
- Nice Guy: Polite, generally soft-spoken, cares deeply for the man under his command, and have a strong morale backbone.
- Nerves of Steel: Yang may be troubled by many things, but very little actually fazes him.
- Not a Morning Person: Requires Julian to wake him up every single morning
- The Slacker
- Messy Hair
- Omniscient Hero: Deconstructed in that being fully aware of all possible consequences of his actions just makes him incredibly indecisive when it comes to taking initiative.
- Only in It for the Money: He often says that the main reason he fights is to secure his livelihood after retirement. How much of this is true is up to debate.
- Order Versus Chaos: Yang is chaos to Reinhard's order. In that he not only supports republican democracy and believes in the ideals of personal freedom, but was also at one point accused of having anarchist tendencies when he expressed the view that while people require societies in order to live, they do not require nations to govern them.
- The Philosopher: He often writes and monologs about the nature of war, government, and politics when with those that he trust in private.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gives one to the Alliance Inquiry committee.
- Reluctant Ruler: He's not particularly fond of being a leader and it's not until several episodes later that he begins begrudgingly entertaining the notion of leading the Alliance remnants against the Empire. He's assassinated however before anything becomes of it.
- Reluctant Warrior
- Ship Tease: With Jessica, before she died.
- Smart People Play Chess: Subverted - despite his genius on the battlefield, Yang actually seems to suck a little at the game. This may be because he can't "break the rules" on the chessboard the way he can in real life.
- The Strategist
- 10-Minute Retirement: He tried to retire and live a peaceful life with Frederica. It lasted less then three months before he was forced into action again
- Worthy Opponent: Reinhard calls him this to his face.
- Xanatos Speed Chess: Plays the military version of this frequently.
Voiced by: Nozomu Sasaki
- "Please excuse me for this hypothetical situation, but if your beloved Kaiser passed away, would you consider changing the flag you uphold?"
Julian was an orphan who was introduced to Yang Wenli by his old friend Alex Caselnes. Yang adopted Julian as his ward and ensured that he got as good an upbringing and education as he could provide. From very early on, Julian felt that he was indebted to Yang in ways that he could not repay and became a soldier in order to make himself useful, despite his guardian's wishes. Eventually, Yang came to accept that Julian had become something he never wanted for the boy but still strived to end the fighting as quickly as possible. Julian studied everything he could learn about strategy, fighting, and leadership, becoming a popular mascot for the garrison at Iserlohn but eventually he proved himself to be every bit as capable as his teachers, uncovering plots by the Earth Cult and anticipating even Reinhard von Lohengramm's strategies. He was eventually chosen to succeed Yang Wenli as the military leader of the Iserlohn garrison.
- Adorably Precocious Child: His role at the start of the series.
- An Axe to Grind
- Beware the Nice Ones: Give Julian an axe and a reason to hold a grudge, and you'll see what this means.
- The Caretaker: Of Yang, ironically enough.
- The Confidant
- Character Development: His maturity beyond his age increasingly becomes very apparent as time passes.
- Chef of Iron: His skill in the kitchen is at least as formidable as that on the battlefield.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: In a sense, he goes from a young schoolboy learning about the world to one of the most talented and lethal characters in the series.
- Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death!: “A democratic republican should never kneel to an autocratic ruler…!”
- Good Is Not Nice: Despite his unfailing politeness and often sweet exterior, Julian is also shown to be extremely insecure, and he can be surprisingly uptight, cynical, and mean. Also, while he's quick to extend mercy to those who ask for it, he feels absolutely no guilt about killing his enemies in battle.
- Happily Adopted: You would be too, if your father figure was Yang Wenli.
- Neat Freak: The first thing that he did upon moving into Yang's house was to tidy up the entire place. In his defence, that house was a dumpster.
- Plucky Middie
- Post-Victory Collapse: Promptly passes out after fighting his way to get a personal audience with Reinhard.
- Punny Name: A subtle and possibly coincidental example. Julian's surname (Mintz/Minci) combined with his military rank (Lieutenant, or Chui) form "Mintzu chui", which sounds fairly similar to the Japanese words for democracy, or "Minshu shugi"(民主主義). Since he pledges to continue fighting for democracy and against autocratic rule at the end of the series, the pun works whether it was intended or not.
- Underestimating Badassery: Due his young age, many didn't take him seriously. But, as Rubinsky pointed out, Reinhard had already made a name for himself at the same age Julian was appointed to serve of Fezzan.
- Unstoppable Rage
- Which leads to Extreme Melee Revenge.
- Wise Beyond Their Years
- You Are in Command Now: Julian is given full military authority in Iserlohn after Yang's death. Partially subverted in that, while he does have ultimate say in military matters, his main purpose is to be a figurehead under the guidance of the few who elected him.
Voiced by: Yoshiko Sakakibara
After personally witnessing Yang's pivotal role in the Miracle of El Facil, Greenhill was inspired to follow her father's footsteps and join the military. She graduated as the Salutatorian of her class and was assigned to Information Analysis before Cazellnu transferred her to the 13th Fleet as Yang's adjutant, much to her delight.
- Ascended Fangirl: She joined the military due to witnessing Yang's role in the Miracle of El Facil. Working close to Yang and eventually marrying him is obviously a dream come true.
- Break the Cutie: By having her father and eventually, her superior officer/husband die ignoble deaths.
- Broken Pedestal: Her father, upon betraying the democratic principles that the Alliance was founded upon by staging a military coup.
- The Confidant: Becomes one when Julian is not around.
- Conveniently Timed Attack from Behind; How she managed to save Yang from being executed when he was in prison, with literally seconds to spare.
- Daddy's Girl: Was very close to her father and was hit hard emotionally when he staged a military coup and ended dying as a result.
- Determined Widow: After Yang's death, she became the head of the government council for the self-proclaimed Iserlohn Republic.
- Happily Married: With Yang, even though it only lasted for a short time before he was killed.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: As noted by Yang, he needs her around to do all the paper work and operate the machinery for him
- Knight in Sour Armor: She eventually became the political representative for the Iserlohn Republic, the last bastion of democracy left in the galaxy. But she admits that if given the choice, she would rather preferred if democracy had died instead of Yang.
- Last Girl Wins
- One-Note Cook: Sandwiches, when she asked Yang about her cooking, her sandwiches was the only dish he could think of that he actually liked.
- Photographic Memory: Reportedly has one.
- Single Woman Seeks Good Man
- Silk Hiding Steel: She served in the navy in a non-combat role as the 13th Fleet's adjutant, and later, tried to settle down with Yang as a peaceful housewife. However, as demonstrated by the raid of the Alliance prison to save Yang from execution, she is more then capable and willing to kill in order to save the lives os those that she cares about.
- The Call Knows Where You Live: She tried to peacefully settle down the Yang as a housewife after the defeat of the Alliance. However, the Imperial Imperial Consul viewed Yang as too much of a threat and had him arrested, with the intention of killing him. Forcing her to abandon her peaceful life and join the resistance.
- The Squadette
- Through His Stomach: She first met Yang when she was only 14 years old, and offered him a cup of coffee. And throughout the war she is often seen bringing his meals to him. They eventually got married at the end of the first war.
- Violently Protective Wife: Her response to the Alliance arresting Yang from their home was to abandon her life as a retired happy housewife and launch an armed raid of the prision where he was held.
- You Are in Command Now
Voiced by: Keaton Yamada
One of Yang's closest friends, Alex is a staff and logistics officer (which gives him more power than one might expect at first glance). A family man through and through, he is frequently trying to get Yang settled down.
- Big Brother Mentor
- Desk Jockey: His skills in logistics management are highly valued by Yang, who invited him to manage the day-to-day operations of Iserlohn Fortress after its capture.
- Happily Married
- Nerves of Steel: His wife even lampshades it.
- Non-Action Snarker
- The Scapegoat: He's one of these after the disastrous Battle of Amlitzer.
- Shipper on Deck: He's implied to be one, playing an active role in introducing Frederica to Yang.
- And platonically shipped Julian with Yang, basically forcing the kid on him without consulting him first.
- For quite a while, he and Yang both tried to do this for Julian and the Cazellnus' elder daughter, Charlotte (in an Arranged Marriage sort of way, since Charlotte is a child throughout the series, and Julian was a minor too initially). This tapers off, though, after Karin arrives on the scene.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Yang.
Voiced by: Kazuhiko Inoue (main series, prequel series), Etsuo Yokobori (Golden Wings)
Attenborough knew Yang Wenli since their days in the Officer Cadet School, though they were each assigned to different fleets. Not much is known about his background but he rose quickly through the ranks and was promoted to a flag officer at an even younger age than Yang, and goes on to become the youngest admiral in Alliance history. He is a romantic at heart, casting his lot with Yang and his group out of foppery and whim, as he calls it, but this does not dull his edge in battle. Attenborough keeps a book of memoirs that he hopes to publish after the war is over.
- Cannot Keep a Secret: It doesn't take long for him to reveal the identity of Schönkopf's daughter to the rest of the cast.
- Christmas Cake: A rare male version: He gets a lot of flack from Poplin over turning 30.
- Defensive Feint Trap: Does this so often it basically becomes his signature tactic. Justified in that he's almost always gravely outnumbered.
- Rebellious Spirit: In Spiral Labyrinth, he expressed dislike for military regulations and being commanded by incompetent superiors, which he kind of inherited from his journalist father.
- Replacement Goldfish: For Poplin, after Konev's death.
- Those Two Guys: He and Poplin account for about 80% of the comic relief on Alliance-focused episodes.
Walter von Schönkopf
Voiced by: Michio Hazama
- "If the majority of the citizens wish for dictatorship instead of democracy, how do you solve such a paradox?""Rudolf, who established the Galactic Empire, became Emperor with the full support of the people. What must it have been like before then, during the rule of a terrible democracy? Something worth pondering, don’t you think? In other words, does rulership by the worst democracy provide better government than rulership by the best autocracy? Which is better, indeed?"
An expatriate who defected from the Empire along with his family, Schönkopf served in the Alliance army as the commander of a unit of elite close combat specialists known as the Knights of the Rose or the Rosenritter. He first gained Yang Wenli's attention when he and a group of his subordinates publically disciplined an officer for misconduct towards civilians and they were eventually instrumental in taking key points and installations from the Empire. With Schönkopf at their head, they have carved out such a bloody reputation that most soldiers on either side shuddered at the prospect of having to face them in combat. As one of Yang's most loyal subordinates, he had always believed that Yang should take power by force and set himself up as a benevolent governor, a course of action that Yang consistently opposed. In the past, Schönkopf had a reputation as a womanizer and fathered at least one illegitimate child.
- An Axe to Grind: Hand-to-hand combat in the universe is usually fought with axes, and Schönkopf excels at hand-to-hand combat.
- The Dreaded: Schönkopf is notorious amongst both armies as one of the most badass and dangerous people you could face on the battlefield. He's even been ambushed by enemy troops, only for them to turn tail and run away when they realize just WHO they just ambushed.
- Ethical Slut: He thinks he is. His illegitimate daughter disagrees.
- Four-Star Badass
- Frontline General: As much as possible, he leads his men into battle from the front and often engages in close-quarters combat.
- Go Out with a Smile
- Hidden Depths: He's shown to be rather quick to grasp political machinations. Not to mention his own resentment of the Alliance's double standards.
- Rated M for Manly
- Secret Test of Character: His tendency to encourage if not outright challenge Yang to take the reins of power himself can be interpreted as this.
Willibald Joachim von Merkatz
Voiced by: Gorō NayaOriginally an Admiral in the Empire, Merkatz was one of the few major commanders who sided with the high nobles during the Lippstadt Rebellion. He was appointed supreme commander of their combined fleets by Prince Braunschweig but was repeatedly marginalised by the constant demands and disunity among the rebels. Eventually his advice was ignored completely and the rebellion was put down. Merkatz himself escaped and defected to the Free Planets Alliance where he placed himself under the command of Yang Wenli and continued to fight in the wars that followed. In the aftermath of the war between the Empire and the Alliance, he was charged with putting together a clandestine fleet and waging a guerrilla war against the occupying forces.Merkatz enjoyed a certain comradeship with Admiral von Fahrenheit, but they eventually found themselves on different sides of the war. By this point he had resigned himself to defeating Fahrenheit by any means at his disposal.
- Cool Old Guy
- Defector from Decadence
- Ignored Expert: In the Lippstadt League: he was the only commander who had any chance against the likes of Reinhard and Kircheis and could have given them a run for their money, but the nobles constantly ignored his orders and plans and went out on their own to get killed.
- We Have Your Daughter: How Prince Braunschwieg got him to join the Lippstadt Alliance in the first place.
- Interrupted Suicide
- Reasonable Authority Figure: He's one of the handful of high-ranking officials among the old guard who actually did their duty admirably and competently.
- Space Fighter: His trademark is the exceptional use of them.
- Still Wearing the Old Colors: Even after he defects to the Alliance, he and his adjustant still wear the Goldembaum-era Imperial uniform.
- Undying Loyalty: To the Goldenbaum dynasty even if he is aware of its problems and to Yang Wen-li to a certain extent.
Voiced by: Toshio Furukawa
An ace pilot of the Alliance's Spartanian Fighter Corps, Poplin was eventually appointed as chief of the Aerial Defence Corps stationed in Iserlohn Fortress after its capture and remained with the Yang Fleet ever since. Outside the battlefield, he is often seen providing comic relief, be it his snarky banter with Konev and later Attenborough, or his alleged competitions with Schönkopf in being The Casanova.
- Ace Pilot
- Body-Count Competition: He and Konev before every battle bet on which of them will get the most kills. After Konev is KIA, he continues to keep score, and near the end of the show, he's well into the hundreds.
- Big Brother Mentor: He tries to be one, at least, for both Julian and Karin. It's implied he is this for most of the young pilots and trainees in the Spartanians as well.
- Chivalrous Pervert
- Drowning My Sorrows: After Yang Wenli's death.
- For Happiness
- Plucky Comic Relief
- Those Two Guys: At first with his fellow colleague Ivan Konev, then later with Attenborough.
Voiced by: Takeshi AonoThe Chief of Staff for Yang's 13th Fleet, Murai has a reputation of being a strict disciplinarian and is equally feared and respected by the members of the 13th Fleet. When Attenborough and Poplin heard that he is returning to the fleet after the re-capture of Iserlohn Fortress, Poplin even began to hum Chopin's Funeral March!
- Commander Contrarian: Saw his role of Chief of Staff as such, since his superior is talented enough to not require a staff officer. Therefore he restricts himself to playing the devil's advocate and provides common-sense arguments against Yang's command decisions.
- Consummate Professional: Murai is well-known for being a stickler for military order even before he joined the Yang Fleet.
- Only One Name
Voiced by: Taimei Suzuki
- Boring Yet Practical: His talents in fleet deployment are not flashy at all, but are essential for the success of Yang's "magic".
Voiced by: Kozo ShioyaThe Vice Chief of Staff of the 13th Fleet, Patolichev is often seen together with Murai and Fischer.
Katerose von Kreuzer
Voiced by: Kotono MitsuishiThe result of one of Walter von Schönkopf's many dalliances in his younger years. At the age of sixteen, she became a fighter pilot in Yang's fleet.
Voiced by: Ryūsei Nakao
- Catch Phrase: "You can't fight fate."
- Heroic Sacrifice: Shields Julian with his body and takes several laser blasts in the back for his trouble.
- The Quiet One
- Token Minority: One of only two prominent black men in the show.
Voiced by: Akira Kamiya
- Fake Defector: The National Salvation Military Council tasked him as such, with the mission to assassinate Yang, thereby crippling the 13th Fleet. It did not work.
- Heel-Face Turn: An exceedingly pragmatic one following the 11th Fleet's destruction (and, surprisingly, a genuine one, as Bagdash remains loyal to Yang and company for the remainder of the series).
- Only One Name
- Turn Coat
Voiced by: Kiyoshi Kobayashi
Last Landesherr of Phezzan. Went underground when the Empire invaded and annexed his planet and worked with the Terraists to subvert the imperial cause until his capture and subsequent demise from a brain tumor.
- Ambiguously Brown
- The Chessmaster
- Dangerously Genre Savvy: He rarely underestimates someone for whatever minor defect they could have. Most notable when he compared the sixteen year old Julian to Reinhard at the same age... And look what happened at the end of the series.
- Double Agent
- Everyone Has Standards: Though he nominally serves the interests of the Earth Cult, even he finds the notion of the sort of all-encompassing theocracy envisioned by the Terraists to be abhorrent.
- Nerves of Steel: He can stay calm and relaxed even with a gun pointed at him.
- Offing the Offspring: Killed his illegitimate son Rupert Kesserling since he tried to overthrow Rubinsky.
- Red Baron: "Black Fox of Phezzan"
- Suicide Attack: After a fashion: he had rigged several powerful bombs in the center of Heinessenpolis to explode the minute an implant in his skull no longer could detect his brainwaves. Already dying from a brain tumor, he deliberately unplugged his life support machine, hoping to catch Reinhard in the blast. He failed, but the damage to the city was considerable and the death toll in the thousands.
Voiced by: Unshou Ishizuka
- Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Truniht is revealed to have very little pride and has no depths to which he will not sink in order to ensure his own survival and position: If he must go down on his knees and beg to survive, then that is what he will do. Even Reinhart is disgusted by it, but is forced to keep him alive out of pragmatism.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Oh so much.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Early on, he opposes a plan to invade Imperial space from the recently captured Iserlohn, bringing as justification the fact that, with the strain of economy and shortage of manpower, they simply can't afford to escalate things further. Yang, Greenhill and others can see he's only doing it to preserve and even increase his power (as he's only the Defense Secretary at this time), but have to admit his official reasons are right.
- Karmic Death: Is shot by Oskar von Reuenthal in his office after taking his shameless selfishness one step too far. Reuenthal may have just fought a losing rebellion against Kaiser Reinhard, but he does not take kindly to hearing Truniht slandering Reinhard with his "feces-stained tongue."
- Manipulative Bastard: His M.O. All he does is more or less for his own personal gain and power.
- The Quisling
- Smug Snake
- Straw Hypocrite: As the above quote exemplifies, though the writers refrained from using him to make a point.
- One main facet of Truniht's character was how completely unabashed he was about his goals; namely personal power and comfort by any means. He provides a Character Filibuster early on in the series essentially outlining how messed up the Free Planet Alliance's "democracy" is by letting someone like him into power in the first place.
The Earth Cult/Terraism
- "Terra is my mother. Terra in my hands."
- Ancient Conspiracy: Their hands have been involved in a number of Imperial and Alliance affairs for generations.Which in the end failed.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: The Cult seeks to make Earth the very heart of human civilization once again. And for a short while it did, but not as it intended following Reinhard's campaign to purge the Cult.
- Insignificant Blue Planet
- Path of Inspiration
- Villain by Default