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The Galactic Empire
Reinhard von Lohengramm
Fleet Admiral 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 Bi: On the one hand, early on in the series Reinhard shows no interest in pursuing women and is only shown to care about two people: His sister Annerose, and his childhood companion Sigfried Kircheis, with whom he shares a very intense and intimately personal bond. Even if there's no sexual attraction, it's clearly at least a romantic friendship of some kind. After Kircheis's death he appears to grow fond of his young aide Emil von Seele as well, possibly as a sort of Replacement Goldfish. On the other hand, later on Reinhard does fall in love with and conceive a child with Hildegard von Mariendorf, whom he eventually marries, so it isn't as if he's incapable of finding women attractive. In the books, some speculate that Reinhard may even be essentially a Celibate Hero; he simply has a much greater passion for war and conquest than he does for sex and romance.
- Antagonist in Mourning: Due to Yang Wenli's death.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: He seems to believe this.
- Badass Boast: Spoken to a group of hesitant mutineers holding him at gunpoint.Reinhard: Shoot me! There is only one Reinhard von Lohengramm, and there is only one man whose name will be remembered for killing me. Who wants to be that man?
- Bishounen: The guy's actually famous for his looks in-universe.
- Blood Knight: "A sword has no reason to exist except as a sword."
- Byronic Hero : Charismatic, check. Deals with arrogance and pride, check. A larger than life character, CHECK CHECK CHECK.
- 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.
- 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.
- Despair Event Horizon: He ends up hitting one when Siegfried Kircheis is killed.
- The Emperor: Aspires to topple the Goldenbaum dynasty and reunite humanity under a rejuvenated, meritocratic New Empire. He manages to do just that, but dies before he can see the fruits of his labor fully mature.
- Enfant Terrible: When he was a child, Kircheis had to stop him from beating a bully to death. 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 hair out after becoming emperor.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: Began life as the son of an Impoverished Patrician in the lower ranks of the Imperial nobility. After his father sold his sister to the Kaiser, he embarked on a secret quest for revenge that saw him swiftly climb his way up the ranks to become one of the Empire's most skilled and feared admirals. He eventually overthrows the Goldenbaum dynasty and has himself crowned Kaiser.
- Galactic Conqueror: Aspires to unite humanity under a single banner in the name of progress. About midway through the series, he succeeds... mostly.
- The Hero Dies: At the end of the series, he dies from an undiscovered disease.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: 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.
- Hyper-Competent 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 Reuenthal 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.
- Impoverished Patrician: Reinhard comes from a noble background, but by the time he was born, his family had fallen on hard times.
- 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: He achieves his goals, but his best friend is dead and his sister is not talking to him. Eventually gets better as he gets closer to Hilda and Emil.
- 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.
- Missing Mom: Reinhard's mother was killed by a reckless driver, throwing herself in its path in order to get Reinhard and Annerose to safety. Since the driver was a high noble, he was never prosecuted, even though he was clearly at fault.
- 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.
- It's more on the point in the novels where there was no manipulation by Oberstein, Reinhard made the decision not to intervene by himself.
- Nepotism: In his early career, he was hounded by rumors that he was a "petticoat admiral" who only got promoted because his sister happened to catch the Kaiser's eye. Given how rampant and blatant nepotism was among the high nobility, and how it was one of the things he held them in contempt for, the sheer hypocrisy of these accusations rankled him immensely.
- No Challenge Equals No Satisfaction: Has a deep-seated hunger for challenges to overcome and fights to win, both in military and state affairs, and he doesn't appreciate victory that he doesn't feel he's earned for himself.
- No Historical Figures Were Harmed:
- Could be seen as a stand-in for Frederick the Great, the King of Prussia (1712-1786). 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.
- Not So Invincible After All: He ends up dying of a congenital disease.
- 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 in the first place!
- So What Do We Do Now?: He falls into a state of ennui after becoming Emperor and defeating the Free Planets Alliance. He's never really satisfied unless he has a Worthy Opponent to test his wits.
- The Starscream: To Friedrich. Reinhard deeply hated him for having taken his sister as a concubine, although this link to the royalty gave him the necessary clout to rise high in the ranks. When the Kaiser dies of natural causes, Reinhard seethes, stating that he had hoped to kill the man with his own hands one day.
- 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.
- Tragic Bromance: Shares a close personal bond with Siegfried Kircheis. The latter dies at the end of the first season while protecting Reinhard from assassins.
- Übermensch: A surprisingly sympathetic and fallible example.
- The Unfettered: Reinhard will get his sister back and 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.
- 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: A minor aristocrat from an impoverished house who manages to climb his way up the ranks of the Imperial military. He eventually seizes the throne himself by force.
- Young Conqueror: He's already a renowned admiral by the time he reaches his mid-twenties, and he conquers Fezzan and the Free Planets Alliance soon afterward. Like Alexander the Great, he dies young after essentially conquering the known world.
Admiral Siegfried Kircheis
Voiced by: Masashi Hironaka (main series), Takehito Koyasu (Golden Wings)If Reinhard von Lohengramm was the light that would lead the Empire into a new age, then Siegfried Kircheis would have to be 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.
"Please, Lord Reinhard, promise me that you will conquer the universe."
- 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 Confidant: One of the few people Reinhard has ever truly opened up to.
- 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. Unfortunately for them, Kircheis is a brilliant and observant man in his own right.
- Good Is Not Soft: As with Good Is Not Dumb above. Just because he's usually the kinder, gentler Foil to Reinhard's haughty ambitions doesn't mean he's incapable of killing when he has to.
- The Heart: His presence early on helps to humanize Reinhard and to remind him that toppling the Goldenbaums has a higher purpose than just a personal vendetta.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Dies while protecting Reinhard from Lippstadt League assassins sent to kill him under false pretenses.
- Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Kircheis is known to all as an honest, upright, and incorruptible officer and a gentleman. His devotion to Reinhard's cause is unquestioned.
- Keigo: As opposed to Reinhard who rarely uses keigo and when he does he's mostly sarcastic about it (unless he's talking to Annerose), Kircheis habitually uses it with everyone, even with people who are way below him in rank. It emphasizes his humble, unassuming personality.
- Living Emotional Crutch: His positive, idealistic, and comforting presence helps to calm Reinhard's inner turmoil. This almost crosses over into Spirit Advisor territory after his death, though we don't have any evidence of these appearances being anything more than the product of Reinhard's memories and imagination.
- Number Two: He acts as Reinhard's second in command. 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!
- Precocious Crush: He has been smitten with Reinhard's sister Annerose since he was very young.
- Present Absence: 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 despite being established as a major character in his own right.
- Subordinate Excuse: He's way more than happy to serve Reinhard for this reason.
- Too Good for This Sinful Earth: A rare adult and male example, both in the narrative and in-universe. Kircheis's death defending Reinhard from assassins is both exalted as an example of true loyalty and lamented as a sign of the perversity of the universe. In a meta sense, Kircheis even seems to come across as part of the price Reinhard pays for his ruthlessness in dealing with Westerland.
- Tragic Bromance: With Reinhard. He ends up Taking the Bullet for Reinhard twice in one incident, which kills him.
- Undying Loyalty: To Reinhard. It began when Annerose told him to look after her brother for her, but Kircheis also grew to develop a close bond with Reinhard himself as well.
- Walking Spoiler: It's really hard to discuss the series without revealing that he dies a little under a quarter of the way through, given the profound impact this has on the subsequent plot.
- 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
Fleet Admiral Oskar von Reuenthal
Voiced by: Norio WakamotoThe 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 brown 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.
"That's right. I should have never been born. But since I was, I'll live to my fullest potential."
- Abusive Parents: His mother tried to kill him shortly after his birth when she saw his Mismatched Eyes (a sure sign of her infidelity), but was caught in the act and took her own life instead. After this incident, his father turned to drink and bluntly told Oskar to his face that he wished he had never been born.
- Ambiguously Evil: He's openly ambitious and misogynistic, but he's also intensely loyal to his one true friend and A Father to His Men with a strong (if somewhat warped) sense of honor, and he has one hell of a Freudian Excuse. Most of the drama in his character arc comes from seeing whether or not he can overcome his inner demons and find true peace.
- And Then What?: An ambitious man, he strives to achieve as much as he can... but what happens when he seems to have succeeded?
- In the 9th battle of Iserlohn he has a chance to kill or at least capture Yang. He doesn't act on it, because, as he puts it, "Without prey there's no use for hunting dogs." (Hearing this, his adjutant Bergengrün frantically asks him to watch his words.)
- Animal Motif: Eagle. Together with Mittermeier's wolf, they're the eagle and the wolf who guard Valhalla in Norse Mythology.
- Bad Boss: A complex case. He's a little faster on the trigger with summary executions than his peers, but the victims we see on camera generally deserve it.
- 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. When he showed up to Mittermeier's wedding Mittermeier's father was worried Evangeline would find him more attractive than Mittermeier.
- Broken Ace: Reuenthal is brilliant, loyal, and highly competent- but many of his personal decisions indicate a trainwreck of a psyche. The fact that he's doomed to be second best to Reinhard von Lohengramm only makes things worse.
- Byronic Hero: He's an intensely proud man who feels driven to strive for greatness and live according to his nature without compromise, even if it kills him.
- The Casanova: Infamous in-universe as a womanizer who keeps getting into affairs with women then abandoning them after a short time. However, it's not him who seeks out these relationships, it's the women who approach him despite his bad reputation.
- At one point Müller laments that with Reuenthal around no woman even looks at him.
- During Mittermeyer's wedding, all the young women (minus Eva herself) start to blush once Reuenthal comes walking in to kiss Eva's hand.
- Cold Ham: He rarely raises his voice, but his melodramatic speaking style means that he rarely has to in the first place.
- 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.
- Death Seeker: Increasingly so in the second half of the story.
- Destructive Romance: His relationship with Elfriede von Kohlrausch starts off ominously enough, with him catching her in his home trying to kill him and talking her into his bed apparently just for the hell of it. It ends with her abandoning him as he's dying, gloating over the fact and leaving behind their newborn son. Given how screwed up the entire relationship is, calling it a "romance" at all is perhaps overly generous.
- Determinator: Once he made up his mind to rebel there's no stopping him. It's pointed out numerous times how easy it would've been to avoid tragedy, but Reuenthal has refused every single chance he got - leading to the suspicion that he regarded the rebellion as a grandiose form of suicide.
- Duality Motif: His mismatched eyes (one brown eye, the other blue) hint at both his sordid parentage and the inner conflict between his loyalties and ambitions.
- Even Evil Has Standards: While whether Reuenthal himself is properly an evil man is up to the viewer's interpretation, he's definitely one of the more morally dark characters in the show. Nevertheless, even after his rebellion, he kills Trunicht himself when the latter admits that he's perfectly willing to pander to, manipulate, and ultimately destroy Kaiser Reinhard to save himself as he had already done to the Free Planets Alliance.
- Freudian Excuse: Most of his issues with women stem from the fact that his mother didn't love him. He even compares Elfriede to his mother.
- He-Man Woman Hater: Although he's more of a run-of-the-mill misogynist.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: He's fatally wounded in his final battle when falling debris spears him clean through.
- 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.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: It's significant that for all his misogynistic, womanizing ways, Reuenthal never tries to take undue advantage of or has an unkind word to say about Wolfgang and Eva Mittermeyer, hinting that he doesn't want to spoil true happiness for those who have genuinely found it and are content with it. He even entrusts them to care for and raise his illegitimate son as though it were their own, giving the Mittermeyers the child they've always wanted and his son the stable, loving environment he himself was denied as a child.
- 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 killed 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.
- Noble Demon: Cunning and ruthless, yet he generally refrains from taking advantage of the genuinely innocent and absolutely despises those who take the Evil Is Petty approach.
- Not So Stoic: He rarely ever loses his composure, but he's visibly shaken when he hears that Mittermeyer has been killed in action. (Fortunately it turns out to be misinformation.)
- Only Friend: He considers Mittermeyer as his only friend. Not only did Reuenthal rescue him from his execution
- Overshadowed by Awesome: Discussed by the narrator with regards to him — he would have been a brilliant ruler of his own right if not for the fact that he was born in the same era as Reinhard von Lohengramm.
- Love at First Punch: More like "Intense And Possibly Sadomasochistic and Maybe Even Incestuous Sexual/Emotional Interest At First Assassination Attempt"; he 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, this proves to be the character flaw he struggles the most with. It's mentioned numerous times that Reinhard is the only person he's ever willingly bent a knee for and accepted as his superior.
- 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.
- Red Right Hand: His heterochromia serves as a clear marker of his mother's infidelity and hints at possible genetic irregularities, neither of which is viewed positively by the elite in the conservative, purity-obsessed Galactic Empire.
- The Starscream: Somewhat. He is loyal to Reinhard, but also highly ambitious on his own. Reuenthal himself lampshades this every single chance he gets.
- Strong Family Resemblance: Reuenthal is just a masculine version of his mother, down to having the same haircut.
- 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 Mittermeyer. The last days of his life are spent knowing they're going to have to face one another in battle. Reuenthal loses the battle and his life, but his only real regret is that Mittermeyer couldn't arrive in time to hear his last words.
- Tragic Hero: Is Reuenthal a bad man trying to be good, or a good man who can't help but be bad?
Fleet Admiral Wolfgang Mittermeyer
Voiced by: Katsuji MoriA 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.
"Do not think that Wolfgang Mittermeyer is double-tongued!"
- Beware the Honest Ones: As at least one subordinate with powerful family connections found out.
- And some others as well, who were executed in public for robbery and rape. Their superiors appealed to Mittermeier to save them, but his only reply was that he's not going back on his word.
- 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 distant relative. They were each others' first love, and while their inability to have children casts a slight shadow on their happiness as a family it puts no strain on their love for one another.
- Last-Second Chance: He offers it to Reuenthal.
- Lightning Bruiser: He was fast to begin with, and then he got that huge fleet...
- Knight in Shining Armor: Famous on all sides for his battle prowess and his upstanding character.
- Morality Chain: The strong bond of friendship he shares with Oskar von Reuenthal is perhaps the only thing keeping the latter from walking down the path of self-destruction. It's notable that Reuenthal's rebellion only occurs after the two have been kept out of close contact by their respective duties for some time.
- 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 - he's also an intelligent and immensely capable soldier, commander and leader. In this sense he's probably the most balanced character in the main cast on the Empire side.
- 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.
- Red Is Heroic: Of the Twin Pillars of Reinhard's admiralty, Mittermeyer with his red cape is closer in personality to a passionate Ideal Hero, contrasting with the cold, pragmatic, morally conflicted Reuenthal, who wears a blue cape.
- Red Ones Go Faster: Mittermeyer is associated with the color red, and he has a reputation as Reinhard's lightning-fast "Gale Wolf." His flagship is explicitly built to be fast and agile.
- 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.
- Self-Made Man: Mittermeyer's swift rise to admiral before the series proper begins was all the more unusual because he was born a commoner. Under Reinhard, he becomes one of the most powerful men in the galaxy. (His underlings muse that under the old regime he may have never gotten so far, due to his commoner background.)
- 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. He's known to have an especially strong hatred for violence against women.
- Tragic Bromance: With Reuenthal. Despite their friendship, Mittermeyer goes into battle knowing the entire affair can only end with one of them coming out alive. On hearing of Reuenthal's death, he weeps for him openly on the bridge of his flagship.
Paul von Oberstein
Fleet Admiral Paul von Oberstein
Voiced by: Kaneto ShiozawaOriginally 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.
- Ambiguously Evil: His highest concern is ultimately the greatest good for the greatest number, but he's not averse to putting fundamentally good and decent men through hell or killing them outright if that's what it takes. While there's nothing directly tying him to the two biggest deaths in the series, those of Sigfried Kircheis and Yang Wen-li, some fans speculate that, at the very least, he knew what was going to happen and stood by and did nothing to stop them.
- The Chessmaster: Possibly the most formidable one in the story.
- Chessmaster Sidekick: Despite being terrifyingly ruthless and competent, Oberstein has little in the way of personal ambition. He's content to remain in the shadows as long as he deems those in the limelight are worth his respect.
- Consummate Professional: Never lets personal relationships get in the way of his duty, though this is in part due to him being a very reserved man to begin with.
- 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: He says that everything he does is "for the good of the Empire." It's hard to believe that anyone with his power and means might not have more personal motives, but at the same time, we never see anything that really contradicts his stated motive.
- Face Death with Dignity: He even goes so far as to tell the doctors to refrain from making a futile attempt to save him.
- Everyone Has Standards: Even he considers brainwashing to be too tasteless, especially for someone like Ovlesser. Besides, a good old Paranoia Gambit takes much less effort to pull off.
- Hyper-Competent Sidekick: Reinhard von Lohemgramm may be a brilliant and ambitious fleet commander, but his personal sense of honor and lack of interest in most civilian affairs give him certain blindspots. Oberstein, a ruthless schemer, covers those weaknesses quite well.
- 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.
- No Historical Figures Were Harmed:
- 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.)
- No Social Skills: Perhaps best demonstrated by the one time he interrupted a wedding — and Reinhard's own, no less — to bring Reinhard's attention to some pressing matter of state. Time and place much?
- It's possible he did it on purpose, to remind Reinhard once more that government business must always precede everything else.
- 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).
- Pragmatic Villainy: His methods are often reprehensible, but they work, and they often cost less time and effort in the long run to implement. He even accepts the responsibility for them himself, so as to deflect the criticism from falling on Reinhard and derailing his vision of a galactic system built on order and merit.
- 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 bionic eyes have a way of creeping people out. It doesn't help that his original blindness came from a genetic condition, which in the Empire is still seen as a mark of inferiority; Oberstein himself has noted that, in the bad old days of Kaiser Rudolf, he'd probably have been killed outright under the Inferior Genes Exclusion Act.
- The Spock: He places a premium on acting logically and not being swayed by emotional appeals. Next to the rest of Reinhard's admirals, this makes him appear especially ruthless.
- 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: Keeps his emotions hidden from those around him.
- Totalitarian Utilitarian: He's unapologetically ruthless about destroying anyone who could pose a real threat to Reinhard or his vision within the Empire, even if only hypothetically, but he justifies this on the basis that it ultimately saves lives in the bigger picture. At one point, in an uncharacteristic display of exasperation, he outright declares that he finds the other admirals' willingness to sacrifice their men's lives at the drop of a hat simply to satisfy their honor as wasteful and pointless.
- The Unfettered: There are very few means he won't consider when eliminating a threat — and most of those he won't are more a matter of Pragmatic Villainy than any sort of ingrained revulsion.
- Vicariously Ambitious: Oberstein has precious little in the way of personal ambition, but he works to support and elevate Reinhard because he sees him as the Empire's best chance for a strong, enlightened despot.
- 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
Hildegard von Mariendorf
Voiced by: Masako KatsukiUncommon 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: She's not afraid to confront Reinhard with uncomfortable truths that he doesn't necessarily want to face, though she does learn to tone down the bluntness a little after one incident where she crosses a line by being a little too frank.
- 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 acknowledges 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 Soft: 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 B.S.O.D.: 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.
- This is played up more in the novels, where Reinhard is intrigued by her combination of good looks and political savvy from their first meeting onward.
- Hyper-Competent 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.
- Iron Lady: She's a tough negotiator and a shrewd politician, and she has the knowledge and skills to back her words up with concrete results.
- 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.
- Power Hair: Her typical hairstyle, as befitting an Iron Lady.
- 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
Annerose von Grünewald
Voiced by: Keiko HanOriginally 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.
"Reinhard, when you are weary, please come to see me. But you must not be weary yet."
- Distressed Damsel: A long-term case, in that she spends most of the early series trapped in the Imperial Palace.
- Gilded Cage: As the Kaiser's beloved concubine, she has access to almost anything she could ask for — except the freedom to live her own life.
- 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.
- 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.
- Small Role, Big Impact: While she was just a timid woman 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. Hilda 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.
Otho von Braunschweig
Prince Otho von Braunschweig
Voiced by: Osamu KobayashiA Duke (later Prince) who strongly believes in the eugenics propaganda of the Galactic Empire. Married to one of the Kaisar's daughters, Braunschweig is an ambitious man who would do anything to get his family on the imperial throne. Despite a massive ego, Braunschweig is a very inept commander and makes many poor tactical decisions, even against the concerns of his advisors.
- Aristocrats Are Evil: He's one of the highest of the Imperial High Nobles, and a prime example of their collective arrogance, greed, callousness, and (ultimately) utter impotence.
- Bad Boss: When a single noble survives a battle Braunschweig set the fleet upon, the mere suspect of treason leads the monstrous prince to have the man executed.
- Can't Take Criticism: Braunschweig is utterly incapable of taking criticism as anything but an attempt at undermining him. As the Lippstadt Rebellion progresses, he gradually alienates the few subordinates both honest and intelligent enough to confront him over the flaws in his plans, increasingly isolating himself in an echo chamber of flatterers and sycophants.
- Dirty Coward: Braunschweig demands his soldiers fight to their last ounce of strength and condemns anyone who does anything less as a traitor. Despite his rhetoric, he still has the gall to flee himself when the going gets tough and when he's caught and "persuaded" to commit suicide, he dies with a look of terror on his face as he struggles to break free and run.
- Evil Prince: Uses his granted position to terrorize and abuse the people under his reign.
- General Failure: Braunschweig ignores a subordinate's advice have Reinhard assassinated, instead wishing to face the tactical genius in battle head on. Later, he orders a planet nuked in response to an uprising, which causes him to lose a massive amount of favour amongst his followers.
- Hypocrite: After the Lippstadt Rebellion starts to unravel, he gives an impassioned yet ineffectual speech denouncing anyone who would run away from the coming battle as a Dirty Coward — then immediately makes an aside comment to one of his aides revealing he's made an escape shuttle ready for himself.
- Lack of Empathy: Throws waves of his men at the enemy with little strategy beyond overwhelming the opposition and cares nothing for those killed in the ensuing conflict.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: Buys into the imperial eugenics policies and despises commoners, viewing them like cattle.
- Smug Snake: Despite being severely lacking in intelligence, Braunchsweig is convinced of his noble blood making him inherently superior to others, actually believing in his own stupid decisions.
- Stupid Evil: Unable to conceive of any threat to what he believes to be his own impervious power, Braunschweig orders one of his own territory's planets nuked in response to a rebellion, despite his own soldiers pointing out the detrimental consequences of doing so. After ignoring their suggestions, Braunschweig quickly finds himself losing allies to both abandonment and suicide out of sheer disgust and swiftly loses his fight against Lohengramm.
High Admiral Neidhardt Müller
Voiced by: Yuu MizushimaThe 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 spoiler: Reuenthal's rebellion, but he turned it down, believing that he had not accomplished enough to deserve it.
"Command promises to return all of you home alive. Guarding our pride and discipline, shall we not follow the road home in good order?"
- 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 Moment of Awesome and Took a Level in Badass.
- Cool Ship: His second flagship, 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.
Fritz Josef Bittenfeld
High Admiral Fritz Josef Bittenfeld
Voiced by: Keiichi NodaBittenfeld 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.
"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?"
- 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.
- Big Damn Heroes: His charges have saved the other admirals' bacon and turned the tide of a battle on several occasions.
- Boisterous Bruiser: Loves space battles and commands his forces with barely contained glee. He's also one of the few admirals to always stand on the bridge, not sit in an admiral's chair, because it gives him more space to make broad and expressive gestures.
- 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.
- Determinator: Just days after losing half his fleet to Yang, he went on to inflict critical damage to cripple Yang's fleet in the battle of Iserlohn Corridor.
- 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: His temper is as fiery as his hair; notably, he was one of the very few characters in the show to drop an Atomic F-Bomb (or what counts for one in Japanese).
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Gets angry with minimal provocation and deals with it by ordering his armies to attack.
- Hidden Depths: While he's rather blunt and doesn't seem to be much of a thinker at a first glance, he can make surprisingly deep and thoughtful observations, see the quote. See also Dumbass Has a Point.
- 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.
- Hot-Blooded: Aggressive, impatient and easily provoked. Oberstein uses this once to provoke Bittenfeld into physically attacking him and places him under arrest for assaulting a superior officer.
- Leeroy Jenkins: Unusually, for a Leeroy, he is capable of recognizing when he has been outmaneuvered and retreating.
- Plucky Comic Relief: Closest to one in the show on the Imperial side.
- Spanner in the Works: Singlehandedly ruined Yang's plans in the battle of Iserlohn Corridor.
- Too Dumb to Live: Averted. He even becomes more restrained with time, surprising his enemies by not falling for obvious traps.
Adalbert von Fahrenheit
High Admiral 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.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: Surrenders to Reinhard at the end of the Lippstadt Rebellion. Reinhard gives him a pardon, a place in his fleet, and eventually an admiral's stripes.
- Only in It for the Money: A low-ranking and impoverished nobleman, Fahrenheit joined the military simply to eke out a living.
High Admiral Ernest Mecklinger
Voiced by: Takaya HashiAlso 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.
"It just shows how irredeemable we are."
- Boring Yet Practical: His job of 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: Of the "paragon of manliness" sort; Legend of Galactic Heroes was first conceived during the style's heyday, and Mecklinger's 'stache was meant to be a visual shorthand for his Cultured Warrior status.
- 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 himself on Leonardo's level). Even as a soldier he's capable in two very different fields: organizing the supply lines and directing the battles (even if he's better at the former).
- His flagship is named Kvasir, after the Norse deity of knowledge and poetry.
Ernst von Eisenach
High Admiral Ernst von Eisenach
Voiced by: Creator Masane TsukayamaStoic admiral famous for being almost completely silent. Commanded through hand signals. Like Mecklinger, he was mostly in charge of logistical management rather than fighting on the front line but he is a competent commander.
- Badass Fingersnap: Some of the gestures he uses to communicate involve this. It's Played for Laughs in one scene, where the narrator reveals that he gets a double dose of coffee each morning on one campaign because one of his orderlies mixes up the gestures and Eisenach is too proud to break silence to correct him.
- Bunny-Ears Admiral: Is one of the best admirals in the Imperial fleet, despite the fact that he communicates almost entirely through hand gestures.
- Cold Ham: Manages to be a dramatic presence in any scene he's in despite the fact that he so rarely speaks. The one word he says over the course of the entire series is so apropos for the situation that everyone else in the room is stunned into silence from shock.
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Aside from the one line he gets on camera, during one battle the narrator mentions off-handedly that he had to break his silence to whisper a command to retreat, since he didn't have a gesture for it.
- Nerves of Steel: Has a reputation for being practically unflappable.
- Elective Mute: 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.
Fleet Admiral Cornelius Lutz
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: Gave his life to save Reinhard's.
- 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: Stayed behind during the attack on Uruvashi to fight off Reinhard's assailants and allow him a chance to escape. He died in the ensuing firefight, but he took a few enemies down with him.
Karl Gustav Kempf
High Admiral Karl Gustav Kempf
Voiced by: Tessho GendaOverall commander of the Imperial fleet during the first attempt to recapture Iserlohn. Fell in that battle when his flagship was shot down.
High Admiral Helmut Rennenkampf
Voiced by: Takeshi WatabeAppointed Imperial representative to the FPA after the Treaty of Ba'alat. Was captured by the Rosenritters in conjunction with them breaking Yang out of jail.
"Don't count on me valuing my life so much that I'd deal with you!"
August Samuel Wahlen
High Admiral August Samuel Wahlen
Voiced by: Masaaki OkabeStoic admiral who commanded the expedition against the Terraist headquarters on Earth after their first attempt on Reinhard's life. His left arm had to be amputated after a cultist stabbed him with a poisoned blade.
"Losing something I lost before does not inconvenience me at all."
- Artificial Limbs: His amputated arm is replaced with a cybernetic prosthetic. Later in the series it's injured again, giving him the opportunity to make a rather dry quip about the whole thing.
- 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.
- My Greatest Failure: Regrets not thoroughly wiping out the Terraists after the survivors killed Silberberch and Yang.
- 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 a Death Glare.
- Not So Stoic: He's shown to have a soft spot for a childhood friend whom he would have married if not for his calling in the Imperial military.
- The Stoic: Very reserved. Occasionally prone to Brutal Honesty.
High Admiral Ulrich Kesler
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
High Admiral 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.
- Celibate Hero: He swore that he would not marry his girlfriend until Reinhard does.
Rudolf von Goldenbaum
Kaiser Rudolf von Goldenbaum
Founder and first ruler of the Galactic Empire. Starting his career as an officer in the Galactic Federation Armada, Goldenbaum was able to use his status and popularity as a military hero to pursue a highly successful political career, becoming the first (and, as history would later reveal, only) man to hold the offices of President and Prime Minister of the Galactic Federation simultaneously. This concentration of power in the hands of one man set the stage for an increasingly authoritarian regime, with Goldenbaum first proclaiming himself President for Life, then abolishing the Galactic Federation altogether and proclaiming himself the first Kaiser of the new Galactic Empire.As Kaiser, Rudolf's reign was incredibly brutal, persecuting both political dissidents and ordinary citizens engaged in proscribed activities and lifestyles through the use of summary punishments, a secret police, and a heavy-handed court system. To support his rule and maintain order he delegated power to a network of trusted and exceptionally talented subordinates who would go on to form the core of the Empire's nobility. His most infamous piece of legislation was the Inferior Genes Exclusion Act, designed to "purify" the Empire by weeding out the poor, the physically and mentally handicapped, and other persons he considered inconvenient; its enforcement killed billions.Rudolf's legacy would cast a long shadow, setting the stage for the conflict between his Galactic Empire and the Free Planets Alliance founded by political dissidents fleeing from Goldenbaum rule.
- Culture Police: He was highly socially conservative, and many of his policies aimed at cracking down on "unhealthy" lifestyles and personal activities.
- Founder of the Kingdom: Created the Galactic Empire and its ruling Goldenbaum dynasty.
- Glorious Leader: Rose to power on promises to reform the Galactic Federation's corrupt bureaucracy. Once he had absolute power, however, he became a brutal tyrant.
- Irony: Rudolf was succeeded by his grandson through his eldest daughter, as his only son was rumored to suffer from congenital defects — a harsh blow for a ruler so committed to genetic purity through eugenics.
- Kill the Poor: Believed poverty was a symptom of genetic unfitness, and the unfit deserved to be weeded out through "the law of the jungle."
- Loophole Abuse: Before Rudolf von Goldenbaum, no one had ever been both President and Prime Minister of the Galactic Federation at the same time due to the sheer amount of power this would have placed in the hands of one person. However, the prohibition was only customary, not legal — hence why he was able to get away with it in the first place.
- A Nazi by Any Other Name: He's an autocrat with a German name committed to enforcing brutal policies in the name of genetic purity, and his rise to power explicitly mirrors that of Adolf Hitler.
- Posthumous Character: He's been dead for five centuries by the time the series starts, but his legacy lives on to this day. Both Yang and Reinhard are explicitly compared to Rudolf: Reinhard uses Rudolf's rise to power as a model for his own but abhors the society he created, while Yang is viewed with suspicion by the political elite of the Free Planets Alliance because he's an immensely talented and popular war hero like Rudolf was.
- The Social Darwinist: The Inferior Genes Exclusion Act goes without saying, but even before that he was reversing the Galactic Federation's social welfare policies on the grounds that they provided too much support for the "unfit."
The Free Planets Alliance
Fleet Admiral Yang Wenli
Voiced by: Kei Tomiyama (main series), Hozumi Gouda (prequel series), Yasuyoshi Hara (Golden Wings)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.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.
- Author Avatar: Partially. Yoshiki Tanaka is an avid fan of Chinese history. Yang is Chinese and originally wanted to be a historian.
- 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.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Yang's eclectic command style and quasi-anarchist political views make him an embarrassment in the upper echelons of the Alliance's political establishment, but his tactical genius makes him a valuable commander, and his popularity makes him difficult to move against overtly — which, unfortunately, only serves to make him more dangerous in their eyes.
- 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.
- Children Raise You: In some respects, Julian is more of a caretaker for Yang than the other way around.
- 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.
- 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.
- Interestingly for a skilled military commander with a Chinese name and an interest in history, this serves to illustrate Sun Tzu's ideas of a perfect general, showing what happens when an otherwise exceptional general lacks the will to disobey his leaders, even in pursuit of what is arguably the best interests of the Alliance.
- 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 uses it to his advantage even when it is clear to everyone that he will make a much better political leader than 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 books 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: Bleeds out while fleeing from Terraist assassins and looking for aid. Julian finds his body just moments too late.
- 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.
- Famed In-Story: Enemies and allies alike attribute Yang with almost godlike abilities. He really is brilliant, but his subordinates are almost never mentioned. His reliance on their talents to pull of his schemes is just as important to their success as his own ability to think outside the box.
- Famous Last Words: "I'm sorry, Frederica. I'm sorry, Julian. I am sorry, everyone."
- Fatal Flaw:
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."
- 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.
- This exchange about Yang between Trung Yu Chen and Alexander Bucock sums it up perfectly:
- In a chillingly literal example, his lack of skill in personal combat ends up getting him killed.
- 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.
- Guile Hero: Most of Yang's victories come through subterfuge, trickery, and a dash of lateral thinking that exploits loopholes in standard military doctrine. He's so good at it that people call him "Yang the Magician."
- 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 soldier, 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.
- Living Legend: Earns the nickname "Yang the Magician" because he seems to be able to pull plans for victorious battles in the face of nigh-impossible odds out of his hat. Like most other aspects of his reputation, he's rather uncomfortable with it because he thinks he really doesn't deserve that much credit for it.
- Messy Hair: A hint as to his generally lax attitude towards anything not involving either studying history or ensuring his men's safety.
- Military Maverick: It may come as a surprise to some that he almost failed his training at the military academy, as he had generally low marks in most courses not involving military history or strategic theory. As a commander, his command style is very informal and idiosyncratic, to the point that Yang Fleet sometimes feels more like a big extended family or a fraternity house than a military unit.
- Nice Guy: Polite, generally soft-spoken, cares deeply for the man under his command, and has a strong moral backbone.
- Nerves of Steel: Yang may be troubled by many things, but very little actually fazes him.
- Non-Action Guy: He is not much for combat, but put him in a command seat and he will send Imperial admirals running.
- Not a Morning Person: Requires Julian to wake him up every single morning.
- Not So Different: Like Reinhard, Yang's talents lie in warfare, command and having a keen eye for scouting talent in others (Reinhard with the young commanding officers turned admirals, Yang with the Rosenritter), but both also ended up with women who are far better at the political game than they are and both had widows who basically inherited poltical power from them.
- 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. He even waxes poetic about alcohol at one point, in part to justify his own drinking habits.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gives one to the Alliance Inquiry committee. It almost ends with his resignation — but before it comes to that, the committee cancels the hearing because the Empire is invading again, meaning they need his talents once again.
- 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. However, he's assassinated before anything comes of it.
- Reluctant Warrior: He never meant to become a career soldier in the first place - the FPA military academy was just the cheapest way to get an education. He expounds at length about how he believes that war is a Dirty Business, and every death, whether of an ally or enemy, weighs on his conscience heavily.
- Ship Tease: With Jessica, before she died.
- The Slacker: Off the clock, he's notoriously lazy, to the point that he can barely last a few days without Julian around before his quarters start looking like a college fratboy's dorm. At one point, he says that if he weren't in the military, he'd spend all day reading history and drinking tea.
- 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.
Sub-Lieutenant Julian Mintz
Voiced by: Nozomu SasakiJulian 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.
- 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.
- 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: After he enlists in the Alliance military, he proves to be both resourceful and audacious.
- 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: Flies into one of these after Yang dies in combat.
- Wise Beyond Their Years: Even as a boy in Yang's care, he rather precociously takes control of the household's management. His subsequent military career under Yang's wing allows him to hone his talents to nearly equal Yang's own.
- 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.
Lieutenant Commander Frederica Greenhill
Voiced by: Yoshiko SakakibaraAfter 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 Cazelnes transferred her to the 13th Fleet as Yang's adjutant, much to her delight.
- Ascended Fanboy: Fangirl technically, but exact same principle. 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: Serves as Yang's most trusted advisor 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 up 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.
- Hyper-Competent 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.
- 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.
- 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 of 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.
- 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: After Yang's death, Frederica becomes the de facto public face of Iserlohn's resistance.
Vice Admiral Alexander Cazelnes
Voiced by: Keaton YamadaOne of Yang's closest friends, Cazelnes 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.
- 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.
- Nerves of Steel: His wife even lampshades it.
- 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 Cazelnes' 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.
Vice Admiral Dusty Attenborough
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.
- It Amused Me: A rare heroic version. He follows Yang into revolt out of "foppery and whim," and his favorite words in the universe are "So what?", which he claims to be a universal Armor-Piercing Question.
- 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
Vice Admiral Walter von Schönkopf
Voiced by: Michio HazamaAn 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.
"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 Axe to Grind: Hand-to-hand combat in the universe is usually fought with axes, and Schönkopf excels at hand-to-hand combat.
- Badass Crew: He's the leader of the Rosenritter, one of the deadliest and most audacious units of Space Marines in existence.
- Defector from Decadence: How he, the Rosenritter and the other Imperial exiles view themselves in general.
- 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: Fights on the front lines right alongside his men. He's rather good at it.
- Frontline General: As much as possible, he leads his men into battle from the front and often engages in close-quarters combat.
- 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.
- Honor Before Reason: After a fashion. He clearly resents the Alliance's farce of a democracy. But he and his fellow exiles would rather have that than go back to the Empire.
- Rated M for Manly: By his own account, he's killed hundreds of men with his bare hands and bedded nearly as many women, and he takes pride in both accomplishments. He might be exaggerating, but from what we see, it's probably not by much.
- 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
High Admiral Willibald Joachim von Merkatz
Voiced by: Goro 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: One of the few members of the old Imperial admiralty that almost everyone respects due to his skills and moral character. He also looks a little like Charles Bronson.
- Defector from Decadence: Defects to the Alliance in the aftermath of the Lippstadt Rebellion and helps form the military core of an Imperial government-in-exile opposed to Reinhard's New Empire.
- 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 League in the first place.
- Interrupted Suicide: Considers taking his own life after the failure of the Lippstadt Rebellion, but his aide Schneider manages to talk him out of it.
- 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.
Wing Commander Olivier Poplin
- Ace Pilot: He's one of the Alliance's best Spartanian pilots.
- 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: He's a womanizer, but he's just looking for a little fun.
- Drowning My Sorrows: Lets just say that he does not take the news of Yang's death well.
- For Happiness: Takes the view that life is short, so any time you aren't spending by doing something you enjoy is time wasted.
- Plucky Comic Relief: His antics and humorous commentaries on events often provide a breather from the deadly-serious drama of the plot.
- 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: We never do learn what his first name is.
- Put on a Bus: Retires from military service after Yang's death in order to purge out the half-hearted members of the Iserlohn Republic.
Vice Admiral Edwin Fischer
Voiced by: Taimei SuzukiThe Vice Fleet Commander of the 13th Fleet, Fischer is renowned for his ability to execute perfect fleet manoeuvres and is thus highly valued by Yang, who requires his talents to allow the 13th Fleet to realise his brilliant tactics in the actual battlefield. This also meant that he rarely commands a separate fleet by himself, unlike Attenborough.
- Boring Yet Practical: His talents in fleet deployment are not flashy at all, but are essential for the success of Yang's "magic".
Commodore Fyodor Patolichev
Voiced by: Kozo ShioyaThe Vice Chief of Staff of the 13th Fleet, Patolichev is often seen together with Murai and Fischer.
- The Big Guy: Physically, he's very much a big bear of a man.
- Gentle Giant: When he's not in the thick of combat, he's usually quite friendly and cheerful, with a dry but whimsical sense of humor.
Katerose von Kreuzer
Corporal 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.
- Ace Pilot: She has great potential according to Poplin. This is not an Informed Ability, as she ends up doing a lot of damage as an Alliance fighter pilot.
- Fiery Redhead: However much she may deny it, she certainly inherited her father's aggressive temperament.
- Heroic Bastard: Her parents weren't married and she is a hero through and through.
- Revenge: What she wanted on her father, at least at first, for abandoning her. Their relationship got better over time.
- Tsundere: Towards Julian. They end up together by the end of the series.
Baghdashswitch loyalties once his plans were exposed and he realised that the coup d'état was doomed to fail. An expert in intelligence warfare, he is often tasked to gather intelligence or conduct subterfuge operations, such as executing the initial phase of the Yang Fleet's re-capture of Iserlohn Fortress.
- 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: He doesn't have a family name
- Refuge in Audacity: He executes the trope with such ability that anyone who can makes sense of his scam is declared insane in advance.
Fleet Admiral Alexandre Bewcock
Voiced by: Kousei Tomita (main series and Gaiden), Mitsuaki Madono (Spiral Labyrinth)
"The Alliance should die as a democracy rather than become a dictatorship to survive. I guess what I am saying is rather extreme, but if a nation cannot protect its founding ideals and its citizenry, there is no reason for such nation to exist."
Commander of the Free Planets Alliance's 5th Fleet, Bewcock is notable for already having a long and distinguished career when the series begins. Unlike most fleet commanders, Bewcock began his career as an enlisted soldier, slowly and gradually working his way up the ranks over many years. He is also a close friend and mentor of Yang Wen-li, and one of Yang's few allies and advocates in the upper ranks of the Alliance's military establishment.
- Cool Old Guy: He's clearly earned every ounce of respect he got from his friends and subordinates.
- Defiant to the End: In his last battle against Reinhard, he refuses an offer of surrender even though he's clearly been defeated, as he'd rather die while remaining loyal to his ideals.
- A Father to His Men: Bewcock cares deeply for the men he commands. It's one reason why he gets along so well with Yang.
- Ignored Expert: The Alliance defeat at the Third Battle of Tiamat was caused by one of his subordinates ignoring his orders.
- Interrupted Suicide: Contemplates taking his own life after the Battle of Rantemario, in which his fleet was nearly destroyed in a Delaying Action. Fortunately, his second-in-command has the foresight to unload his pistol and talk him down.
- Old Soldier: He's spent over forty years in the FPA Navy, climbing from a humble gunner all the way up to Fleet Admiral. He may not have the native cunning of someone like Reinhard von Lohengramm, but his experience gives him enough of an edge to force even Reinhard to work for his victories.
- Up Through the Ranks: Where most officers are commissioned through the FPA's Military Academy, Bewcock earned a field commission. It hindered his career progress in the past, since he didn't have the benefits that came with the patronage networks an Academy student could take advantage of, but time and battlefield incompetence slowly weeded out most of those who stood in his way.
- Young Future Famous People: Gets a cameo in Spiral Labyrinth as a gunner in Fifth Fleet, the same fleet he would eventually command.
Voiced by: Kiyoshi KobayashiLast 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.
- 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.
- It's All About Me: In the end, his true allegiance is to himself, and himself alone. Nonetheless, he does a good job Playing Both Sides to his and Phezzan's benefit.
- 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.
- Playing Both Sides: His entire game plan is focused around playing the various factions against one another to ensure that every other power continues to consider Phezzan essential to the Balance of Power, thus allowing the planet to preserve its autonomy.
- 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.
Chairman Job Trunicht
Voiced by: Unshou IshizukaTruniht was the Chairman of the Free Planets Alliance's High Council for much of the series and was generally a very slimy person. His defining characteristic, as commented on by many characters over the course of the series, was his utter shamelessness. Trunicht was willing to do whatever it took to maintain his position and privileges, and did not truly believe in the concept of democracy if it didn't serve his interests.While he was Chairman he retained the services of a vigilante group called the Patriotic Knights Corps and was also shown to have strong ties to the Earth Cult.
- Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Trunicht 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 Reinhard is disgusted by it, but is forced to keep him alive out of pragmatism.
- 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.
- Also early on, he mentions that he has no great love for a democratic system that would allow a self-serving opportunist like himself a clear shot at power that can be easily exploited and abused. You do almost have to admire his candor... Almost.
- 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: Shamelessly accepts a role in the Imperial occupation force's administration after the collapse of the Free Planets Alliance.
- Smug Snake: Trunicht practically revels in his role as a slippery, deceptively charming, manipulative backstabber who only looks after his own self-interest, and he has a water rat's instinctive ability to know when to abandon a sinking ship. The only one able to best him in the end is Oskar von Reuenthal, who has no qualms with just shooting the guy when Trunicht comes by to gloat about it in the aftermath of Reuenthal's failed rebellion.
- The Sociopath: He's aware that nearly everything he does is borderline unethical at best and a blatant abuse of his position at worst. He just doesn't care; he looks after himself, and himself alone.
- 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
The Earth Cult, The Terraist Church
- "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: Ever since the rebellion of the Sirius Republic, Earth has been a galactic backwater. The Earth Cult are attempting to restore its former glory by any means possible.
- Path of Inspiration: The Cult plays this up as being the salvation for all mankind. Not to mention that it gives its leaders a network of fanatics and useful idiots at their beck and call.
- Meaningful Name: "Terraism" is only one consonant shy of "terrorism." Guess what their M.O. is.