A summary page for the various characters in Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny and its spinoff, Stargazer. Many are also characters from Mobile Suit Gundam SEED. Note that all spoilers concerning the previous show are left unmarked here.NOTE: This series is particularly prone to Alternative Character Interpretation; please be conscious of such and remember that your take on a given character is not the only possible way to look at them. Do not remove tropes highlighting "opposing" intepretations unless they are flat-out factually incorrect.
"Do you want to start another one?! Another war?!"
The show's initial protagonist. His family was killed attempting to flee when the Earth Alliance invaded Orb during the First Bloody Valentine War; he became a refugee and ended up in the PLANTs. He blames Orb (and the Athha family in particular) for their deaths, and carries a lot of hatred for both. He joined ZAFT and became a Redcoat alongside Rey Za Burrel and Lunamaria Hawke as the pilot of the Impulse, the Minerva's flagship Gundam.Shinn has a problem with authority figures in general; he tends to lash out at his immediate superiors and resents being given orders. Due to this, he relies heavily on his peers for support; Rey acts as his moral compass, while Lunamaria provides him with much-needed emotional support.Pilots the ZGMF-X56S Impulse, a Combining Mecha with three Silhouette Packs which specialize in one combat aspect, and then the ZGMF-X42S Destiny, an all-around Gundam that proves to be one of the most powerful in the show.
Ace Pilot: Swiftly reaches this status, becoming one of ZAFT's highest-scoring aces of the Second Bloody Valentine War.
Anti-Hero: He's not a bad kid, he just has a lot of issues, which consistently derail his attempts at being heroic..
Attack! Attack! Attack!: Zig-zagged. Shinn's actually a very talented and, at times, clever combatant, but he has a bad habit of falling into this mindset the more worked up he gets; something that gets worse as his mental state deteriorates.
Anti-Villain: One of the best examples in the Gundam franchise. No one does all the wrong things for all the right reasons like he does. He starts out as an antiheroic protagonist, shifts to an antagonistic, but not necessarily villainous figure once the perspective flip goes down, and then moves up to Well-Intentioned Extremist during the show's last act.
Astral Projection: Semi-standard for a Gundam show. He has a couple with Stella. At the end she tells him that he gave her a yesterday, and because of that she understands tomorrow; that's she's happy because of it, and she'll see him then.
Heartbroken Badass: Shinn is a damaged set of goods. This doesn't stop him from giving the likes of Kira and Athrun a run for their money.
Bash Brothers: With Rey, after acquiring the Destiny and the Legend, respectively; Shinn fights head-on, while Rey provides long-range support.
The Berserker: Shinn's anger is his driving motivation. Throw in a love of close-combat, a huge ego, and little consideration for his own safety, plus access to SEED Mode and you have a recipe for some serious face-wrecking. Even when he's not in the midst of an anger induced rampage, he's the most aggressive out of the three lead ace'snote the other two being Kira and Athrun, favoring brute force (and the occasional "unconventional tactic") to win a fight.
Leeroy Jenkins: Discussed. Athrun voices the opinion that Shinn will start slipping into this trope, and worse, if he keeps getting so emotional during fights.
Fatal Flaw: This eventually becomes his biggest flaw in combat.
BFS: The anti-ship swords on both the Impulse and the Destiny are his weapons of choice.
Bigger Stick: The Destiny is superior to any mech the Earth Forces have, and allows Shinn to run rampant for a while. It thus comes as a rather nasty shock to him when the equally powerful Strike Freedom and Infinite Justice arrive on the battlefield.
Black and White Morality: Shinn's biggest problem is his inability to see anything in shades of grey. He and his friends are right, everyone else is wrong, and away we go. The root cause of this is his mess of anger issues; he gets wound up too damn fast and lets his feelings cloud his judgment.
Break the Haughty: Compare his attitude after disobeying orders to return Stella to Neo to that after her death an episode later. And there's his reactions once Kira and Athrun make their comeback.
The Brute: Shinn really wouldn't know what "subtle" means even if it slapped him in the face. He's far from stupid, but favors brute force over anything else, and only resorts to tactics when he absolutely has to, making him this to the Chairman, post-perspective flip.
It's interesting to note that Shinn could be described as the "Thug" out of the three main leads. While Kira fights at long range, and Athrun is a Close-Combat Specialist, Shinn's kinda the Jack of All Stats; Good all around, but doesn't particularly stand out in either area (despite his love for Melee combat). He compensates by being an aggressive Steamroller, favoring big weapons that don't require a whole lot of finesse, and by fighting dirty.
Character Development: Gets the most of any character in the series, all of it negative. He starts out as a relatively sympathetic Jerk with a Heart of Gold with anger and depression issues. But as the series progresses his personality conflict with Athrun, war-trauma, stress from his relationship with Stella, and inability to see beyond moral absolutes slowly eat away at his sanity. He becomes increasingly convinced of his own self-righteousness, even as he grows more unstable by the minute, and has to rely on Rey to justify his actions and Lunamaria to keep him from being completely consumed by rage. Stella's death and Athrun's defection finally break him, leaving him more susceptible to Rey and Durandal's manipulations than ever. When he loses his Sympathetic P.O.V., he is eventually shown the way the Archangel crew sees him: an Anti-Villain with lots of issues.
Combining Mecha: His Impulse is composed of three parts — Core Splendor, Chest Flyer and Leg Flyer, as well as the Silhouette Packs that change its combat capability.
Combat Pragmatist: Shinn's willing to do anything, and use any tactics in order to come out on top, as best displayed in his fight with the Freedom. He can also be surprisingly resourceful at times, such as when he uses an enemy mobile suit with a breached reactor as a giant grenade to take out a sheilded Wave Motion Gun. As the show progresses, however, and his rage clouds his judgement, he becomes less willing to think this way, relying instead on brute force to carry the day.
Corporal Punishment: Shinn gets punched by Athrun twice — after disobeying orders, and after apparently killing Kira. Bragging about killing someone's best friendto their face is neither intelligent nor kind, Shinn. Of course, it backfires in that it basically just convinces Shinn that Athrun hates him.
Cry Cute: As unbelievable as it is, Shinn actually cries in the OVA epilogue when he meets face-to-face with Kira and Kira, despite the many times Shinn tried to kill him and the one time he very nearly did, offers to bury the hatchet and work together for building a better world. One big dose ofsquee, coming up!
Cynicism Catalyst: Most of his character can be traced back to his family's — and in particular his little sister Mayu's — death.
Dark Is Evil: Major antagonist suits in Gundam SEED employ a downplayed version of this, wearing slightly darker shades of the iconic Gundam red, white, and blue (the white is replaced with grey, for instance). The Destiny, the suit Shinn gets after his Face-Heel Turn, is no exception.
Death Wail: Twice. When his family was killed and when Stella dies in his arms.
Decoy Protagonist: We follow Shinn for the first half of the series, learning to sympathise with him and his point of view. Then Durandal is outed as the villain, the POV shifts, and Kira and Athrun become the protagonists.
Expy: Shinn owes a lot to Kamille Bidan of Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam, and more or less shows what the latter might have become without proper guidance, being swallowed by his anger issues instead of overcoming them.
Flaw Exploitation: Exploits Kira's need to not kill anybody during their midseason showdown. Rey and the Chairman exploit Shinn's own insecurities to keep him onside.
In the latter part of the show, Shinn's predisposition for brute-force rush tactics get turned against him by Kira and later Athrun (best highlighted when Kira robs Shinn of his ever-mighty BFS with a Barehanded Blade Block).
Genius Bruiser: Shinn's violent, aggressive, and favours a fighting style that's based all around brute force. At the same time, he's far from stupid, and demonstrates a knack for tactics and improvisation, that can be surprising to his allies and his enemies.
Good Is Not Nice: ...Hoo boy. Shinn means well, but between his trauma and his general attitude he's not really capable of being nice about it (though he does Pet the Dog with Rey, Stella, and Luna), and even his attempts at winning people over frequently backfire (witness some of his interactions with Athrun).
Hair-Trigger Temper: It's not hard to make Shinn lose his temper. The number of times he devolves into berserker rage is actually a little disturbing.
Heel-Face Turn: Whatever one thinks of his motivations or whether he was right or not, he ends up on Kira, Athrun, and Lacus's side at the end of Final Plus, after Kira, whom he met earlier at the very same place — a memorial to the victims of the OMNI invasion that killed his family — shook his hands and said that he's willing to forgive him and even invites him to fight alongside him.
Hypocrite: He's outraged by what the Earth Forces have done to Stella, and is enraged when Kira—who had no other options available—cuts her down in the middle of a fight, going so far as to try and get revenge on him for it. He himself does the exact same thing to Auel and Sting (who he is fully aware are Extended) without batting an eye.
He also got his start with his family dying in a war. What does he do? Fight in wars. Especially bad once his side invades the country that his family died in, essentially making a cycle of pain.
Military Maverick: Displays no respect for the chain of command, and frequently disobeys orders, yet is allowed to get away with it due to his skill.
Mirrored Confrontation Shot: During his final attack on Sting Oakley's Destroy, the two of them do this. It's a pretty good demonstration of how bad Shinn's Sanity Slippage has gotten, when he and the Extended could use each other for shaving mirrors.
Mood-Swinger: Like you would not believe. He shifts from almost catatonically depressed to berserker rage to cheerful and back at a frightening rate. Gets worse as he suffers his Sanity Slippage.
Moral Myopia: Shinn has a lot of trouble understanding or sympathising with the actions of anyone outside his small group of friends. When a ZAFT pilot is killed, it's the actions of an EA monster. When an EA pilot is killed, even if it's just some poor bastard doing his job, it's heroism. This is especially obvious with regards to the Extended—it isn't okay for Kira to kill Stella, whom Shinn was in love with, but his own take downs of Auel and Sting (whom he very clearly recognizes) were entirely necessary.
My God, What Have I Done?/Freak Out: Happens in the final episode during his duel with Athrun, Luna interposes herself between the two in an effort to stop the fight. However, Shinn's become so worked up by that point that her intervention causes him to completely flip out. He begins to see confusing hallucinations of his sister, Stella, and the Freedom; Yells at top his lungs to "Make it Stop!!!"; then nearly attacks her in an attempt to get to the Justice. Athrun has jump in to shield her from the charge, leading to a very quick, and very brutal, brawl that ends with the Destiny crippled and Shinn unconscious. When he comes to his senses a few minutes later, the shock at what he just did finally makes him realize that he was being manipulated the entire time, and breaks any notion he had about his own righteousness.
No Social Skills: Shinn is bitter, brusque, and cranky, likely due to PTSD. Rey and Lunamaria are his only real friends, and even with Luna, a good deal of their relationship is a back-and-forth belittling of each other.
One-Man Army: Once he gets the Destiny. He all but singlehandedly wins the war for ZAFT.
Psychic Powers: Not a consistent part of the character, but they appear a few times, largely as throwbacks to previous Gundam shows.
Reality Is Unrealistic: Shinn keeps Mayu's cell phone, occasionally listening to her "leave a message after the beep" recording. It's really not that uncommon for survivors of tragedies to hold onto keepsakes, but try telling that to some of the fandom.
Replacement Goldfish: Some see his relationship with Stella as romantic. Others believe that she's a substitute for his deceased sister, Mayu.
Rescue Romance: If you interpret his relationship with Stella as a romantic one. He not only saves her from drowning during their first meeting, he later prevents her from dying on the Minerva by returning her to Neo.
Revenge: He makes it very clear when he goes after the Freedom that he sees it as a way of paying Kira back for Stella. One could argue that revenge on the EA was what motivated him to sign on with ZAFT in the first place.
Revenge Before Reason: He's trying to kill Kira for defeating an enemy that he himself was fighting. Rational thought was not involved in this decision. As for his personal war against the EA, as has been pointed out numerous times here, Shinn's actions aren't solving anything.
Rummage Sale Reject: Off duty, Shinn more or less dresses like a homeless guy, mixing and matching scarves, sleeveless shirts, and you name it. This outfit was actually based on something TM Revolution wore at one point. There's a fine line between looking like a homeless guy and looking like a jrocker.
Sanity Slippage: His mental health takes a dramatic turn for the worse over the course of the series. It's not until the epilogue that he even starts to recover.
Second Love: Lunamaria, after they each lose their respective first choices.
Shell-Shocked Veteran: Shinn's an interesting example in that his PTSD stems from his experiences as a civilian during the First Bloody Valentine War, with the trauma he experienced when his family died serving as the core of his characterisation. None of this is helped, of course, by his time as a soldier in the Second Bloody Valentine War, which only contributes further to his Sanity Slippage.
Small Name, Big Ego: Justified. Shinn is very, very good, and the fact that his opponents tend to hold back, or suffer mental breakdowns makes him seem even better. It would be impossible, however, for anybody (even Kira) to be as good as Shinn thinks he is by the end.
Smug Super: Crosses into this when he's released after taken prisoner because he let Stella go, he pretty much brags to Athrun his superiors are on his side due to the amount of skill he has.
Star-Crossed Lovers: A possible interpretation of his relationship with Stella. It certainly ends tragically enough.
Super Mode: Like Kira, Athrun, and Cagali, Shinn has access to SEED mode, entering it in almost every battle he participates in. Unlike Athrun and Kira's, which seems to be activated at will, his is entirely rage driven.
Survivor Guilt: Shinn's clearly suffering from a bad case of this in regards to his family; the situation with Stella only makes it worse.
Sympathetic P.O.V.: Though he starts the series as the viewpoint character, he eventually loses it — first to Athrun, and then to Kira.
Sympathy for the Devil: One of the few people to express any sympathy for the Extended. Not that this stops him from cutting down two of them without a second thought...
There Are No Therapists: Kira and Athrun's lives would have been a lot easier had someone taken the terminally depressed kid who just watched his entire family die to see a shrink. Or at least anger-management. Then again, Durandal needs him to be that screwed up for his plans to work.
To Be Lawful or Good: Faces this a few times, and as the show goes on, his Good decisions (freeing imprisoned laborers, moving heaven and earth for Stella) turn Lawful after deciding to execute Athrun and Meyrin.
Tragic Hero: Comes pretty damn close to becoming one in the final episode during the My God, What Have I Done? moment mentioned above. who knows what might have happened to Luna had Athrun not stopped him.
Shinn's also tragic in the sense that he started the series with noble and sympathetic intentions, but his anger issues led to him causing a lot of harm to both himself and the people around him.
Unstoppable Rage: His best weapon in a fight, but it's also a deconstruction. He increasingly slips into bouts of this as his experiences in the war slowly gnaw into his sanity. This becomes something of a problem for him in the latter half of the series, as his urge to charge in blindly lets him cut through countless mooks, but screws him in combat against fellow aces like Athrun and Kira, who are much more composed.
Eventually, this is Played for Drama. Shinn just can't let go of his anger. He feels like it's the only thing he's got left, and he clings to it, even though becomes harder to really justify it as the series goes on. It's not that he can't see shades of grey, he just doesn't want to admit it because it would mean giving up the one feeling that has kept him going.
Unwitting Pawn: Shinn has no idea of the extent with which Rey and Durandal are pulling his strings and encouraging his madness, and he trusts the two of them to the very end. Until his My God, What Have I Done? mentioned above finally makes him realize that he was being manipulated.
Used to Be a Sweet Kid: The enraged berserker and the kid we see playing with his sister in the flashbacks don't really have a lot in common.
With Us or Against Us: Starts expressing this kind of attitude as the war progresses. The scary part is that he doesn't realize that he's doing this.
Would Hit a Girl: Shinn makes a pretty determined effort to kill Cagalli when she confronts him in the Akatsuki. He also tries to go through Luna when she gets in the way during his final confrontation with Athrun (though this leads to a My God, What Have I Done? moment soon afterwords).
One of the Minerva trio of ZAFT Redcoats. She apparently comes from a totally normal background and family life, compared to Shinn and Rey. Luna is cheerful and outgoing, and a "people person", which balances out her friend Shinn's frequently-wrathful disposition and their friend Rey's nigh-disturbing calmness. On the other hand, she can be a bit petty, insensitive, or oblivious, especially to subtle things or pessimistic emotions. Her younger sister, Meyrin, is one of the Minerva's Bridge Bunnies. From Athrun's first appearance on the Minerva, she idolizes him and crushes on him.She is the pilot of a red ZGMF-1000 ZAKU Warrior and later inherits the Impulse after her ZAKU gets trashed and Shinn upgrades to the Destiny.
BFG: On her ZAKU Gunner. How big? The stock and part of the barrel are both collapsible when the weapon is not in use, and even then, the weapon is as long as the ZAKU is tall.
BFS: On the Impulse. She actually seems better with it than she was with her ZAKU's BFG.
Break the Cutie: With absolutely no warning, she's informed her two best friends have executed her little sister and the man she's been idolizing together, for treason. And she ends up wailing in Shinn's arms due to shared grief and trauma, anyway.Ow.
Can't Catch Up: Lampshaded from the very beginning, when the engine of her ZAKU blows midair as she and Rey are racing to Shinn's aid, and it isn't helped by the fact that she's stuck in an inferior mobile suit throughout the show. By the end, Rey and Shinn have been given a promotion and are more or less shutting her out of any and all serious discussions. She carries on with relatively good grace nonetheless.
Zettai Ryouiki: ...and a pink miniskirt with thigh-high socks on bottom.
The Dark Chick: Retains her position post-perspective flip. As a fairly classic Chick in what's otherwise a Five-Bad Band she ends up filling this position.
Friend Versus Lover: Since Rey was arguably her friend as well, when her relationship with Shinn changed in the wake of her sister's apparent death, this got awkward. She endured, and is eventually shown to have regained or retained his respect.
Genki Girl: At first, she's cheerful and energetic, and fawns shamelessly over Athrun. Later on... less so.
Overshadowed by Awesome: Luna's a perfectly competent pilot, capable of holding her own with Stella's Gaia using only a ZAKU Warrior. Unfortunately for her, she's on the same team as Shinn and Rey, has yet to register a major kill, and ends up going up against Neo and then Athrun in the finale.
Panty Shot: Has one in Phase 15 of the HD Remaster.
Plot-Induced Stupidity: Given her spying mission on Athrun, she's within a hairsbreadth of realizing the truth of their situation. She proceeds to do nothing with this information for the rest of the series (though it seems to color her attitude somewhat).
Power Trio: One of the only consistent group dynamics in the series; Shinn is the Id, Luna the Ego, and Rey the Superego. She seems to have trouble mediating between the other two though, which tends to leave Rey in control of the group dynamic.
Second Love: Shinn, after they each lose their respective first choices.
Shorttank: While undoubtedly attractive, Luna isn't nearly as feminine as other female cast members.
Token Good Teammate: Post-perspective flip. It's not like any of her teammates are trulyevil, but Luna's the only one who manages to keep her sense of perspective and avoid going totally over the line.
"Whatever kind of life it is - we want to keep on living, if we can."
The third of the Minerva's pilot trio. He is calm, stoic, and loyal to Durandal — his Parental Substitute — as well as a mentor to Shinn, providing some much-needed stability to offset Shinn's volatile emotions. When the others are confused, questioning, or doubtful, it's Rey who brings them back to focus on their mission. Rey displays a Well-Intentioned Extremist streak that makes him a useful right-hand man for the Chairman.He pilots a white ZGMF-1001/M Blaze ZAKU Phantom, performing the same function as Lunamaria (standing atop the Minerva and providing fire support). Eventually he gets his own Gundam — the ZGMF-X666S Legend — and begins to demonstrate exactly what he is capable of; he and Shinn provide most of the muscle for ZAFT in the later battles.
Ace Pilot: A Sniper, like his big brother, keeping his distance and picking off enemies one at a time.
Anti-Villain: Rey honestly thinks he's making the world a better place, but his methods are ruthless, he tends to be unforgiving and he's not shy about shooting people to do it. At one point he tells Shinn that he won't accomplish anything by being too kind.
Arch-Enemy: Considers Kira this, as revealed near the end.
Attack Drone: The Legend is the Providence's Spiritual Successor, hence DRAGOONs are to be expected among his repetoire. Eight of them deploy lasers; the other two are outfitted with beam swords. Unlike the Providence's DRAGOONs, they can be fired while attached to the Legend, as well as after deployment.
Avenging the Villain: Given his intense focus on destroying Kira, who killed Le Creuset and represents everything Rau loathed, this likely plays a role in Rey's motivations.
Badass: Keeping up with Shinn in a ZAKU, wreaking havoc on the ship for Stella even before confirming the situation with Shinn, becoming a force in the Legend, and generally being one of the most precise fighters in the show.
Bash Brothers/Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Shinn. From target practice and discovering crimes against humanity, to sharing a room to plotting combat tactics, to freeing Stella and getting thrown in the brig, to bringing humanity to the brink of a New World Order, Shinn and Rey are always together.
Blond Guys Are Evil: While he's nowhere near as bad as the likes of Azrael, Le Creuset or Neo, Rey's still out to impose a vision of "utopia" on the world, and is willing to do almost anything to make it happen.
Broken Pedestal: For Shinn, who falls apart when he realizes what Rey and the Chairman were doing to him.
Cloning Blues: Unsurprisingly (given his blond hair, blue eyes, and oddly constructed last name), Rey is a clone of Al Da Flaga, and believes that it's his job to be a better version of Le Creuset.
Dark Is Evil: Downplayed - see Shinn's entry above. In his case, it's the Legend Gundam that wears these colours.
The Dragon: Operates subtly as Durandal's, enforcing his will aboard the Minerva, and acting as his primary physical defence.
Evil Mentor: Can be considered one to Shinn. Rey keeps Shinn in line, is his greatest advisor and provides him with nearly all of his emotional stability and support, but he's also using his friend to his and Durandal's own ends, ensuring that Shinn's actions match the agenda they ostensibly share. Worse yet, he doesn't try to fix any of Shinn's underlying emotional issues, which only leaves the kid more screwed up than he started out, while simultaneously feeding him a With Us or Against Us attitude.
The Evils of Free Will: Shares the Chairman's belief that free will is what ultimately leads to suffering, and thinks that if everyone has their path in life laid out for them in advance the world will be a better place.
Friend Versus Lover: Rey gets downright bitchy when Shinn starts getting closer to Lunamaria, and does his best to shut her out of the decision making process. Given that Luna has her doubts about the Destiny Plan, which Rey needs Shinn to believe in. Also, Shinn's the only friend Rey has.
Hidden Depths: As shown in Episode 15, he has a fondness for playing the piano.
Only Friend: Shinn and Rey are one another's only friends for most of the show. Calling them "alone together" is pretty accurate.
Only Sane Man: Subverted. Rey appears to be the rational one in the Minerva's crew, but he's actually the single most damaged person on the ship.
The Quiet One: During Athrun's time on the Minerva. Plays right into his role as:
The Philosopher: Very much in the same vein as Lacus, Durandal, and Le Creuset, he spends a lot of time brooding about meaning, nature and actions.
The Political Officer: Very quietly plays this role on the Minerva, ensuring that Luna, Shinn, and the rest of the crew stay loyal to the Chairman, and thoroughly subverting what authority Captain Gladys has left in the process.
Power Trio: One of the only consistent group dynamics in the series; Shinn is the Id, Luna the Ego, and Rey the Superego.
The Reveal: A rather subdued one, when Shinn (and the viewers) saw him taking some of Rau's trademark little pills, and he casually remarks that he suffers from short telomeres, which confirms his status as a clone.
Stronger Sibling: Averted. He's certainly stabler than Le Creuset was, but isn't quite at his level of threat.
Sympathy for the Devil: He's the only person other than Shinn to expresses some sympathy for Stella's situation. He also has some sympathy for Le Creuset, whom he regards as a rescuer, as well as a brother/other incarnation of himself.
Undying Loyalty: Ultimately subverted. For most of the show, Rey's loyalty to Durandal is his signature trait. However, this loyalty is based more on a belief that he has to be loyal to the Chairman or end up like Le Creuset, than from anything else, and when his Arch-Enemy Kira points out that he can, in fact, choose to be whoever he wants, Rey finally snaps.
Utopia Justifies the Means: Why Rey is loyal to Durandal; he honestly believes that Durandal's world will be a better one, regardless of how many bodies are used to line the foundations.
Villainous Breakdown: An utterly epic one, during the final battle. Kira convinces him that clone or no, he is his own person who has to make his own decisions. Rey takes this rather hard. By the end, he's crying for his"mother"in Talia's arms as Messiah Base caves in on them.
Villainous Friendship: Had a Type I with Durandal and Le Creuset. He has one with Shinn as well, though Shinn's hardly evil.
A veteran of the first Bloody Valentine War, and an old friend (and enemy) of Kira Yamato's. He rejoins ZAFT when war breaks out once again and is assigned to the Minerva. His accomplishments and fame earn him the adoration of much of the crew, apart from the surly Shinn. He initially opposes his old friends on the Archangel, citing their actions as doing nothing but making the conflict worse.He pilots the ZGMF-X23S Saviour while onboard the Minerva, a Transforming Mecha just like his Aegis from two years ago, and eventually obtains the ZGMF-X19A Infinite Justice, a melee-oriented Gundam and the Justice's Spiritual Successor.
The Ace: The Minerva's crew treat him like this...
Broken Ace: ...but he doesn't live up to his own standards, and is very conflicted about what's right.
Aesop Amnesia: After Lacus confronts him with a To Be Lawful or Good decision two years ago, he chooses to listen to his conscience, rejected a "My Country, Right or Wrong" mentality, and tried to bring about genuine peace. By the beginning of Destiny, he seems to have forgotten all that, signs up with ZAFT again, and has to undergo the whole process a second time. Admittedly, this was probably deliberate on the part of the writers; a major theme of Destiny is how easy it is to repeat the mistakes of the past. Athrun's deeply conflicted feelings about the role he played in the last war (particularly issues regarding his late father) allowed Durandal to manipulate him into fighting on his behalf. It worked for a while, but coming into conflict with Kira caused Athrun to realize he was going down the same path again.
Badass: Piloting a Gundam while dealing with a gaping chest wound gets you serious Badass points.
Big Brother Mentor: He tries to be this for Shinn, but Shinn's not really interested, and Athrun doesn't have the people skills to pull it off. Though by the end of Final Plus, he seems to be doing a much better job.
Broken Pedestal: To Lunamaria and the other ZAFT soldiers who idealise him. They were expecting a legendary Ace Pilot. They got, well, Athrun. Again, the end of Final Plus indicates that he's reconciled with Both Shinn and Luna.
Determinator: Though he tends to waver when he's uncertain of himself, once he makes up his mind he's bloody unstoppable. See Freedom vs. Saviour for the former and Infinite Justice vs. Destiny for the latter.
Failed a Spot Check: Stays at the medical bay with Neo for several episodes because they are both injured, assuming the entire time that Neo is Mu La Flaga. Which he is, but Athrun somehow completely forgot that Mu apparently died at the end of the first series, just assuming that Mu somehow got injured during a fight or something. When he calls him Mu, Neo vehemently denies it, which finally prompts Athrun to remember Mu's Heroic Sacrifice. He is understandably shocked and confused. To his credit, Athrun had bigger things on his plate to consider.
Foil: To Shinn, with his burnt out apathy contrasting Shinn's rage and idealism.
Multi-Melee Master: Athrun takes this to new levels of insanity in his Infinite Justice by having two beam sabers, a beam blade in its shield, beam blades on its wings, legs, and sporting a rocket anchor that he never actually uses. To top it off he uses its beam shield as a makeshift melee weapon.
Older and Wiser: Though in a subversion, his experience and advice doesn't really make much of a difference. If anything, they create a bigger gap between himself and the more idealistic Shinn.
Reluctant Warrior: Athrun still doesn't want to fight, but unlike Kira he doesn't go out of his way to avoid killing when he does fight.
Secret Keeper: For Meer. She confides on him about her role as Lacus's Body Double, and he doesn't spill the beans about it.
Shell-Shocked Veteran: Not a full on example, but he's definitely got some aspects of this trope. May or may not explain his Aesop Amnesia, as he struggles to come to terms with his actions in the previous war.
It does explain his initial reluctance to becoming involved with the military in any capacity, instead opting to become a civilian bodyguard by Cagalli's side.
Spell My Name with an "S": An odd example: The Saviour, its official (Anglophone) name, is frequently rendered as Saber in Japanese sources, as the official name and the katakana used for it are at odds with each other. Specifically, it's not possible to get "Saviour" out of the katakana as the katakana lacks an "i" syllable. There's also the usual thing with "Savior" vs "Saviour"
The Stoic: Though Kira now outdoes him in this respect.
Back in Gundam Seed, Athrun could activate this mode at will. However he's since lost the ability to do this due to his internal conflicts interfering with his focus. Once he obtains the Infinite Justice, he no longer has any difficulty activating it, signifying that he's finally found some clarity in his purpose.
You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: After the Freedom is shot down, Ray and Durandal decide that he's become too much of a liability and make plans to frame him as a traitor. However, Meer overhears their plans and tips him off before they can arrest him, and he bust's out of the base with Meyrin's help (though he's forced to bring Meyrin along with him after Rey spots them in the MS hanger). Rey then dupes Shinn into thinking that Athrun really has turned traitor, and the Destiny ends up shooting down the spare MS they had used to escape. Fortunately, they're picked up by the Archangel shortly afterwords.
The Unfavorite: Seems to consider herself this. She shows occasional bouts of jealousy over Luna's popularity (for example, trying on Luna's pink miniskirt while Luna was in the shower — and becoming annoyed when it doesn't fit).
Captain of the Minerva and Shinn's commanding officer. Tries very hard to be a fair commander, despite her authority being constantly ignored by Shinn and increasingly subverted by the Chairman and Rey. Her second in command doesn't help any. Later revealed to be an old flame of Durandal's, she remains loyal to him and to ZAFT despite her doubts.
Authority in Name Only: She battles the Chairman's increasing subversion of her authority right till the end, but with little real success. Vacillates between rage, despair, and resignation towards the end.
Cool Ship: The Minerva. It's named after the Roman goddess of defensive warfare AND wisdom! - which only serves to make an already cool winged ship more awesome still.
Driven to Suicide: Her decision to die with Durandal and Rey comes off as this, though it could be justified if one goes by the idea that she feels just as responsible for allowing them to have come that far with their plan as they had even though she had her doubts. She also showed up intending to commit treason and murder; who knows if she had any plans beyond that.
Team Mom: She tries, but she isn't really emotionally equipped for it, the Chairman's overarching and arbitrary authority means hers is being constantly subverted, and her crew's problems are just too much for her to handle.
To Be Lawful or Good: Zigzagged; ostensibly lawful yet unhesitatingly skeptical through the entire show, she refused to invade Orb, and Durandal's use of the Requiem on friendly forces may have been her final justification for setting out to kill him on her own.
Cowardly Lion: Arthur is nervy, jumpy, and prone to freaking out, yet he's a perfectly capable officer, sticks by The Captain's side to the end, and adapts remarkably well to the Minerva's increasingly crazy plans.
You Are in Command Now: Twice. Briefly, after Talia is too emotionally exhausted, following the events of Athrun's desertion, then when she leaves the crew in his hands at the end, apologizing to him and asking him to look after everyone.Salute.
One of the Extended (a group of drug-enhanced Naturals who can fight on par with Coordinators), Stella is first seen participating in the Armoury One raid. While in battle she behaves like a berserker, off-duty she is childlike and innocent, curious over even the most mundane of things. She also sees Neo as a father-figure. She has a huge fear of death — she fights so aggressively because she's afraid of her enemies, and so lashes out at them. She develops a relationship with Shinn.She is at first the pilot of the ZGMF-X88S Gaia Gundam (re-coded as RGX-03), a Transforming Mecha that can turn into a fox-like mobile armor suited for ground combat, and later is placed in the cockpit of the first GFAS-X1 Destroy Gundam, which is a humongous Gundam of mass destruction.
Broken Bird: The process that made her an Extended did not leave her mind in good shape.
Character Development: As with Shinn, it's all negative. Neo's mindwipes, combined with increased exposure to drugs, and the general stress of both war and her relationship with Shinn cause Stella regress further and further into childhood as a means of mental defense. By the end, the poor kid is not much more than a frightened little girl that reacts to almost everything via screaming and crying in terror.
Idiot Savant: She barely functions above the level of a three or four year old, but give her a weapon or get her behind the controls of a Gundam, and she becomes every bit as dangerous (if not more dangerous than) as Auel and Sting.
The Juggernaut: When she's turned loose in the Destroy she slaughters half of Eurasia, forcing her way through cities and entire armies before finally being stopped in downtown Berlin.
Lack of Empathy: Given that she's barely aware that other people exist this shouldn't surprise anyone. If your name isn't Shinn or Neo, you aren't real to Stella. You're just one of the "scary things!"
The Not-Love Interest: For Shinn. Their relationship smacks of Star-Crossed Lovers, but is never explicitly romantic (and given Stella's extremely young mental age, she likely doesn't even understand the concept of romantic love).
One-Man Army: Not at first—although she's very good—but once she gets into the Destroy, she's essentially unstoppable.
Power Trio: The Id, to Auel's Ego, and Sting's Superego.
Psychopathic Womanchild: She's mentally very, very young. Unusually for this trope it just makes her more sympathetic and not less.
Psycho Serum: As part of the process that makes her an Extended.
Tragic Monster/Tragic Villain: Stella didn't ask to be turned into an Extended or to be turned loose on Shinn, whom she genuinely seems to have cared about. By the time we meet her though, it's far too late to change any of that.
Transforming Mecha: The Gaia can transform between bipedal and quadreped forms; later, she gets the Destroy, which has a mobile armor and a mobile suit mode.
Trigger Phrase: Mention the possibility of her death in her hearing and she flips out. Most notably used on her by Auel during the Armory One raid, but Shinn also manages to hit it entirely by accident.
"Sometimes I wonder when I crossed the line and became a wicked man."
Lord Djibril's mysterious, masked right-hand man and Phantom Pain's field leader. Neo and his team are the major antagonists for the first half of the series. Though a skilled pilot himself, he mostly acts as commanding officer. Quite the Manipulative Bastard, he generally uses his abilities in that field to keep his subordinates as stable and sane as possible.
Ace Custom: His purple-coloured Exus mobile armor and Windam mobile suit.
Cool Mask: To cover up some truly ugly scarring on his face.
Cool Plane/Space Fighter: The TS-MA4F Exus. An upgraded version of the Mobius Zero from Mobile Suit Gundam SEED, it's armed with wire-guided gunpods, missile launchers, and a heavy-machinegun. He's able to successfully outmaneuver Shinn and Rey (at the same time!) with it, making it a very Cool Plane indeed. He later pilots a Skygrasper during his Heel-Face Turn.
Cool Ship: Commands the first-of-its-kind Girty Lue assault carrier, which is essentially an Archangel-class battleship with the Lohengrin removed in favor of a Mirage Colloid system, a stealth propulsion engine, and a hanger room for an entire strike force of mobile suits.
Enemy Mine: How he portrays his initial alliance with the Archangel.
Fake Memories: It's heavily implied that Djibril had false memories of always being Neo planted in Mu's head, effectively creating a separate persona.
Fragile Speedster/Glass Cannon: The GAT-04 Windam, which blows up with alarming frequency, but is fast, and has a beam rifle, which lets it one hit KO anything that isn't a Gundam. Neo, being Neo, simply expects to not get hit.
Good Scars, Evil Scars: He proves to have extensive scarring all over his body, including his face. Despite being covered up with a mask, however, it's non-disfiguring.
Ignored Epiphany: Neo is fully aware that he's an incredibly bad person. He also thinks he's gone too far to turn back now. Being captured by the Archangel and a bad case of Amnesiac Dissonance help shake him out of this.
Invisibility Cloak: The Girty Lue carries both the Mirage Colloid system, which allows it to achieve radar and line-of-sight invisibility, and a stealth propulsion system that uses pressurised jets of gas to avoid detection by thermal sensors.
Irony: The man brainwashing the Extended is himself brainwashed.
Karma Houdini: Avoids responsibility for the variety of crap he pulled while leading Phantom Pain. May be because he was Not Himself at the time. Also, Kira and co. don't know about most of the things Neo did.
Know When to Fold 'Em: Unlike Djibril, Neo knows when to cut his losses. He retreats from any battle or personal engagement once he becomes aware that it's untenable, and he has nothing to gain.
Manipulative Bastard: He controls the Extended by playing off of their worst fears, and promises Shinn he'll keep Stella away from the battlefield, before putting her in the Destroy. Worst part is that this may actually have been best for everyone involved.
Overshadowed by Awesome: Neo is an absoultely lethal pilot, but his use of first a mobile armour and then a Windam can cause this to be overlooked. Come Heel-Face Turn he upgrades to the Akatsuki, and for the first time in series has a top model Gundam. Slaughter ensues. This mirrors Rau le Crueset from the previous series somewhat, as both upgrade their Mobile Suits at the very end of the series, and until then have had to make do with run-of-the-mill ones. Theres even a scene in episode 49 that mirrors Rau when he first emerges on the battlefield in the Providence.
Parental Substitute/Team Dad: Sinister version. Stella sees him as a father figure, and he certainly plays the role to all three Extended, but it's equal parts sympathy and just keeping them under control.
Pet the Dog: He's the only person other than Shinn to express any concern for the Extended, or even treat them like human beings. Whether this is genuine, or an attempt to manipulate them (or both) is really left open.
Another Extended member of Phantom Pain. Auel is usually easygoing and cheerful, which translates into mocking arrogance (and at times outright sadism) in battle. His blockword is "mother", apparently because one female scientist was kind to him during his days as a test subject.He pilots the ZGMF-X31S Abyss (re-coded as RGX-02), a Transforming Mecha which can turn into a stingray-like mobile armor that enhances its performance in amphibious combat.
Ax-Crazy: Probably the worst of the three, at least initially.
The oldest and most stable member of Phantom Pain. Lacking Auel's bloodlust and Stella's childishness, he comes off as the most well-adjusted of the group, which is probably why he acts as the trio's unofficial leader.He's the pilot of the ZGMF-X24S Chaos (re-coded as RGX-01), a Transforming Mecha capable of transforming into a bird-like mobile armor, giving it an edge in aerial combat, and later another Destroy.
Ax-Crazy: Late in the series he starts to exhibit these tendencies while piloting the Destroy.
Know When to Fold 'Em: He's the only member of the Phantom Pain trio with any concept of tactics, including when to retreat.
Lack of Empathy: He's got a better understanding of other people's emotions than Auel and Stella do, but at the end of the day, Sting's cold-blooded enough to utterly disregard them.
The Leader: Of the Extended (as Neo is normally busy running the war effort as a whole) and the Heaven's Base Destroys. He's a Type II, graduating to Type III at Heaven's Base (where he leads by example rather than instruction).
Mid-Season Upgrade: From the Chaos to the Destroy, much to the dismay of ZAFT's Heaven's Base assault force.
Mighty Glacier: Sting pretty much uses the Destroy as a mobile pillbox, taking advantage of its massive firepower and heavy armour to survive attacks.
Sociopathic Soldier: For a guy who's normally cold-blooded and unemotional, Sting enjoys shooting enemy soldiers just a little too much. He might actually be the best example of the three, as he lacks Stella's handicaps and Auel's obvious craziness, yet still gets a real kick out of violence.
Azrael's successor as the leader of Blue Cosmos, and a major antagonist throughout the show, Lord Djibril is best described as a total bastard. Vicious, cruel, arrogant, and not especially bright, he wants to slaughter all Coordinators while simultaneously establishing his own control over the world. Responsible for the creation of the Extended, the creation of Phantom Pain as a whole, and much of the misery in-series.
Bad Boss: He uses drugs to control the Extended and brainwashing on Neo. He regularly leaves his men behind to die while he escapes, fully believes in We Have Reserves, and treats his subordinates like imbeciles. Pretty much the worst boss ever.
Big Bad: Of the Earth Forces, Blue Cosmos, and Phantom Pain's Five-Bad Band. While he's not the only contender for the title of series' Big Bad, he's the only one that everyone—in-series and out—agrees is an irredeemable psycho with no good qualities.
Bigger Bad: In Stargazer, where first Azrael, and then he, are the ones giving Sven his orders.
Dirty Coward: Granted he's a politician and not a soldier, but every time things go south, he's quick to bail and leave his troops in a lurch.
Dragon Their Feet: Was apparently Azrael's Number Two during SEED, but was nowhere to be seen during it. Given Djibril's preference for operating behind the scenes this makes a certain amount of sense.
Flat Character: For such a major antagonist, Djibril recieves very little development. We know next to nothing about him, even at the end of the series.
General Failure: While he generally leaves the tactical decisions to Neo, Djibril's involvement in overall strategy frequently screws his own side over. In a variant on the trope, this is more because of his being a public relations disaster looking for a place to happen than any real strategic incompetence; suffering from a total Lack of Empathy will do that to you. See the business with the Destroy for a good example.
Government Conspiracy: Heads up a conspiratorial group of racists and arms dealers who remain well-entrenched in the EA, and particularly the Atlantic Federation, even after the death of their original leader, Muruta Azrael, during the First Bloody Valentine War. This makes Djibril the leader of most of the world, despite their not being aware of his existence.
Hair-Trigger Temper: There's a lot of rage inside Djibril, and it's not particularly difficult to bring it out.
Hypocrite: Like Azrael he believes that Coordinators are abominations. This doesn't stop him from using drugs and torture to create his own army of Super Soldiers to oppose them.
Improbable Age: Thirty-one years old, and not only does he head Blue Cosmos, but he's controlling the Atlantic Federation as well.
Know When to Fold 'Em: Toyed with. Djibril has no issues with forcing his troops to fight to the last man (something Neo does not do) but despite his arrogance, he does have a healthy respect for his own skin. Knowing when it's time to bail out saves his life at Heaven's Base, and during the battle for Orb, and he's in the process of trying to make yet another getaway when Rey catches up to him at the lunar base.
Lack of Empathy: The only person who matters to Djibril is Djibril. This is actually a problem for him, as many of his actions—the nuclear assault on ZAFT, unleashing the Destroy, firing Requiem—serve only to turn people against him, something that his sociopathy honestly doesn't let him see coming.
Shock and Awe: The Nibelung, a massive Tesla coil-like defensive weapon that projects from Heaven's Base and is fired on Djibril's orders. He takes out an entire ZAFT paradrop with it.
Sissy Villain: Subverted. He has the look certainly, but none of the attitude.
Smug Snake: He's sneeringly arrogant, none-too bright, void of redeeming qualities, and completely unlikeable.
The Sociopath: With his explosive temper, impulsiveness, and total Lack of Empathy, Djibril's a very good example of a low-functioning sociopath.
Stupid Evil: Djibril is very bad at keeping his violent tendencies in check, typically responding to any percieved threat or betrayal with overwhelming destructive force. This generally hurts his cause far more than it helps.
Unwitting Pawn: Possibly of Durandal's, though it's never made clear whether the Chairman is using Djibril, or he is actively seeking his destruction.
War for Fun and Profit: If Durandal is to be believed, Djibril's real objective is to make as much money off of the conflict as he can. Given that Djibril was willing to nuke the colonies (which would presumably cost him half his clientele), it's worth questioning the veracity of this statement.
"Power is necessary because there will always be conflict."
Durandal, the new ZAFT Supreme Council Chairman, is a moderate who believes Naturals and Coordinators can live in peace. He is a mentor figure towards the crew of the Minerva, and often talks about his plans for a better tomorrow. He also seems to be a bit of a fatalist, is somewhat mysterious, rarely explaining things directly, and his motives are unclear for most of the series.
Affably Evil: Durandal's a polite, well-mannered man who genuinely means well. And he's prepared to be utterly ruthless in getting what he wants.
Big Bad: Of the Minerva's Five-Bad Band, ZAFT, and ultimately, the entire show. He's certainly The Man Behind the Man to a lot of the worst events in-show, and is the last of the contenders for the title left standing following Djibril's demise.
Control Freak: Durandal simply cannot abide unpredictability, to the point of it being his Fatal Flaw. It's responsible for most of his Villain Ball moments (see below), and for the totalitarian nightmare of the Destiny Plan.
Dark Messiah: Plays himself off as something approaching a prophet, addressing the world on behalf of fate. Most of ZAFT, and a sizeable portion of the rest of the world ends up buying into it, with many people the Earth Sphere over believing that Durandal can do no wrong.
Didn't See That Coming: Lacus interrupting Meer's interruption of Cagalli's first worldwide broadcast since being "kidnapped" by Kira. Of course, he's quick to work around on this, but his shocked expression (if just for a moment) clearly showed that Lacus caught him off-guard.
The Evils of Free Will: Durandal never flatout states that he thinks freewill is a bad thing, but given his generally fatalistic demeanour, and what the Destiny Plan contains, it's obvious that he thinks that allowing people to make their own decisions is a bad thing.
The Fatalist: With all his talk about destiny and how things that happened were "meant to be" he definitely gives off this vibe.
Fatal Flaw: His need to maintain control over everyone.
Glorious Leader: Though more well-intentioned than most, Durandal's still a charismatic leader with a cult of personality and a radical vision for the future, who swept into office promising reform, and hiding his real agenda.
Humans Are Bastards: Shares Le Creuset's belief that people are inherently selfish, uncaring beings. The difference is that he wants to do something about it.
I Let Gwen Stacy Die: A rare, villainous example. A major part of Durandal's motivation stems from his guilt over his inability to save Rau Le Creuset from his madness, as evidenced by his "chess match" with the deceased villain, whose ghost is still haunting him.
The Man Behind the Man: Durandal is certainly the driving force behind many events in the series. Exactly how much he's responsible for is still debated by fans. Contested events range from the Armoury One raid, the Break the World incident, and the assassination attempt on Lacus to the formation of Logos itself.
Manipulative Bastard: He does a number on Rey, Shinn, Meer, Athrun in the first half, and most of the planet via Meer.
Putting on the Reich: It's not immediately apparrent, but dye his trenchcoat and jackboots black, and voila!
Reasonable Authority Figure: Subverted. Shinn believes the Chairman is one—he always listens to him, wants to make the world a better place, etc., etc., but it's all an act, designed to get Shinn on his side.
Replacement Goldfish: One of his specialities and entirely to suit his needs. Notably, Meer for Lacus, and Rey for Rau, and also for Athrun. Arguably, Shinn for Kira, and Athrun for Athrun, wanting the Athrun of the last show. Sadly and perhaps tragically unable to find one for Talia.
Social Darwinist: A different type than normal for the trope; he believes that people are genetically suited to certain roles, and therefore society should use genetic analysis to assign people their "proper" place in life.
Straw Nihilist: Tries very hard to avoid becoming one, with limited success. It's fairly obvious in flashbacks that the reason he could never win his arguments with Rau was because he had already accepted Rau's belief that people are inherently evil and the universe is a cold, unfeeling place. Despite this, he doesn't believe in giving up on them, and thus is out to inject some meaning into the world whatever the methods and cost.
Übermensch: Seeks to completely change the world and impose his own vision of morality upon it.
Utopia Justifies the Means: Believes that by creating a society where people's lives are determined for them at birth he will end all conflict and usher in a perfect world. To that end he's willing to manipulate everyone he meets, utterly destroy Shinn mentally, assassinate/arrest political opponents, and threaten countries that refuse with a Wave Motion Gun.
Villain Ball: Whilst he's generally the most competent of the show's Big Bad Ensemble by far, he has a bad habit of antagonising dangerous people well before he needs to. Examples include attempting to assassinate Lacus Clyne, turning his war with the Earth Alliance into a chaotic Mêlée à Trois, and trying to pull a You Have Outlived Your Usefulness on Athrun when he showed the slightest sign of hesitation in his loyalty (something that he had previously claimed he would grant some leeway on), driving him to defect to the Three Ships and severely jeopardising the Destiny Plan.
Visionary Villain: Picture a future without violence or the struggle for self-actualisation. That's the one that Durandal sees.
Well-Intentioned Extremist: His ultimate goal is, in a nutshell, to make people's lives better. His plan for accomplishing that, though...
With Us or Against Us: People who don't support the Chairman's utopian goals are not long for this world.
World Domination: He's got more complicated reasons than most megalomaniacs, but his plan still requires this in order to work.
Xanatos Speed Chess/Gambit Roulette: The series remains vague on which one definitely applies to him. Whether or not he is responsible for the Armory One raid, "Break the World", and the attempt on Lacus's life, or is simply letting fate take its course and then work around them to further his goal, is left to viewer debate.
A Girl Next Door and Lacus Clyne Fangirl, and strongly implied to be a war orphan. She is chosen to get plastic surgery and replace Lacus after she goes into hiatus, as she shares her idol's abilities and voice. While she appears naive and somewhat less than brilliant, it's uncertain how much of this is real, how much is part of her flawed impersonation of Lacus's Incorruptible Pure Pureness, and how much is self-serving Obfuscating Stupidity designed to either deny responsibility for her actions or to see where this whole act will take her. As the series progresses, she becomes less and less sure of herself and her role.
Anti-Villain: She tells Athrun that she knows what she's doing is wrong, but still does it because she wants to continue being Lacus instead of a nobody like Meer Campbell.
Ascended Fangirl: She gets the chance to become her idol! It... doesn't turn out well.
Becoming the Mask: Zig-Zagged; Meer seems to have initially thought that she'll be Lacus's proxy until she comes out of "retirement" (because Lacus will obviously support the Chairman), then realizes she'll have to "be" Lacus permanently but understands she's not really Lacus (especially once she — and the rest of the world — found out that the real Lacus would have none of Durandal's schemes), then as her mental state deteriorates she starts to convince herself that she's literally become Lacus, but in the end she puts the real Lacus over herself, even Taking the Bullet for her.
Gainaxing: She's rather stacked compared to Lacus, which is particularly noticeable when she's jumping around during performances. Her fans do take notice, but either dismiss it or consider it an improvement.
"I Am" Song: "Emotion" is basically the story of her character, and is the only song she sings that isn't a remix of Lacus's. In it she sings about how she used to be incredibly lonely, when one day someone knocked on her door and gave her everything she wanted, and how she refuses to go back to the way she was before.
Idol Singer: Her looks may be faked via plastic surgery, but she is a genuinely talented singer and her angelic voice is for real, and that's why she was chosen for the role.
Meaningful Name: Her name has two meanings: first, it means "lake" in Dutch, which symbolizes her as Lacus's (whose name also means "lake", this time in Latin) doppelganger. Second, her name is a phonetic spelling of the English word, "mirror", to symbolize her as Lacus's Body Double.
The Mentally Ill: Has no real sense of self and desperately wants to become Lacus in order to boost her fragile self-esteem. Her delusions aren't helped by Durandal, and by the end she's half-convinced she really is Lacus Clyne.
Surgical Impersonation: While her singing voice really is that good, she looked nothing like Lacus at first. She had plastic surgery performed to become a Body Double. A photo she gives Lacus shows what she actually looked like: black-haired, freckled, and overall somewhat plain.
Taking the Bullet: She shields Lacus from an assassin sent with her by Durandal, who apparently has had intel that Lacus, Kira, Athrun and Meyrin are taking a break in Copernicus.
"Well Done, Fangirl" Gal: Her self esteem is so low that she deeply wants to be noticed and loved, especially by her beloved/hated "Lady Lacus".
What the Hell, Hero?: Tries to pull this on Lacus upon their encounter, saying she has been helping people while Lacus was staying out of sight, ignoring the world's problems (unaware that she's been busy unraveling Durandal's Destiny Plan). Lacus manages to calm her down, but Meer dies soon afterwards.
Zettai Ryouiki: Wear a nice Grade A (long socks plus frilled pleated miniskirt) in the same episode she dies.
"Dearka and me? We probably should have died a long time ago."
A member of the Le Cresuet Team along with Athrun and Dearka in the first Bloody Valentine war, he was the only member of the team to remain loyal to ZAFT throughout the conflict. Now commanding his own forces as a Whitecoat, he does his best to defend the PLANTs without repeating the mistakes of his past. A relatively minor character in most of Destiny, he spends most of the series Out of Focus.
Ace Custom: He pilots a custom-colored blue Slash ZAKU Phantom.
Another veteran of the Le Creuset Team, he defected to the Three Ships Alliance near the end of the first Bloody Valentine war. Though accepted back into ZAFT, he was stripped of his red coat, and now acts as Yzak's Number Two. Like Yzak, he's only a minor character in Destiny, remaining mostly Out of Focus.
Voice Actors: Takanori Nishikawa (Japanese), Brian Dobson (English)
"This is no ZAKU, pal. NO ZAKU!"
A ZAFT Redcoat and member of FAITH, he's assigned to the Minerva partway through the war. A survivor of the First Bloody Valentine conflict, he maintains a more optimistic attitude than Athrun, and tries his best to balance his fellow veteran's cynicism, while making friends with Shinn, Rey and the rest of the crew. He pilots a Blaze ZAKU Phantom, and then a ZGMF-X200 GOUF Ignited.
The Ace: Treated as such by the Minerva's crew; unlike Athrun he seems to enjoy his status.
Ace Custom: His bright orange GOUF, which matches his pilot suit and his hair.
A ZAFT Redcoat and a member of the Joule Team, she joined Yzak during the Battle of Jachin Due at the conclusion of SEED. She continues to serve under him in Destiny. She never really interacts with the rest of the cast, and has no dialoguenote those voice credits are from a video game, but can often be seen by Yzak's side. Despite her apparent non-role, she has quite a devoted fanbase, and has more major roles in side materials.
New Meat: Was introduced this way in SEED as a new pilot serving in Yzak's unit.
No Celebrities Were Harmed: Subverted. Like Heine above, she is a tribute to a Japanese celebrity, in this case Nami Tamaki. However, Tamaki turned down the role, so Shiho's role in the story was rendered almost nonexistent. Ironically, fans suspect that this saved the character's life (given what happened to Heine).
Not to mention the fact that the other character voiced by a singer in the first series also died a brutal death after just a few episodes (Andy's girlfriend Aisha was voiced by Vivian Hsu, who sang the 2nd opening for Seed), which lends even stronger credence to the theory that Shiho's continued well-being just might be the result of her being The Voiceless.
Red Baron: Yzak gave her the nickname "Housenka" ("Balsam", or "Touch-Me-Not", in English) as a result of her fighting ability. She uses the image of the plant as her personal symbol.
Kira's twin sister, Athrun's on-again off-again love interest, and leader of Orb. She seems to be struggling with her position when the show begins, and is eventually forced to abandon the country as her plans fail. She plays a background role for much of the rest of the plot, but near the end comes back into focus after dealing with her personal demons.
Action Girl: Returns to this role after getting the Akatsuki, and proceeds to massacre the ZAFT forces attacking her country. She even tries taking on Shinn, who is fully in Berserker territory at this point.
A high-ranking Orb politician, he's a former friend of Cagalli's and a total jerk to boot. In her absence he leads Orb from one disaster to another, most notably the alliance with Neo and Djibril, both of whom he is terrified.
Manipulative Bastard: He thinks he's one, but he's way out of his league compared to the likes of Neo (who terrifies him) or even Djibril, let alone Durandal. His greatest skill seems to be using Cagalli's insecurities and father complex against her.
The Neidermeyer: Seen this way by Captain Todaka and the rest of the Orb troops who have to serve under him.
Replacement Scrappy: In-universe — he isn't well-liked by Orb officers for his incompetence and reliance on his blood ties with a powerful family vying for Orb leadership now that Cagalli is the only surviving member of the Athha family. And they're more than happy to pound his face in once Cagalli reappears after being "kidnapped" by Kira and orders his arrest.
Voice Actors: Kazuya Ichijou (Japanese), Fred Henderson (English)
"I'm counting on you Freedom."
Todaka was a high-ranking officer of the Orb Union military. He was one of his country's battlefield commanders and always carried out the orders given to him, even if he disagrees with them. Though he may appear single-mindedly obedient in the series, he is not without any opposing views against Orb's leadership that consolidated itself by joining the Earth Alliance especially under its self-serving representative, Yuna Roma Seiran.
The protagonist for the previous series, Kira returns to action following a botched assassination attempt upon Lacus. His general dissillusionment and inability to trust both sides of the conflict put him at odds with Athrun, Shinn and the rest of the new cast. He eventually regains his position as the main character, and leads an independent faction (a collection of Orb soldiers loyal to Cagalli and various defectors from both OMNI and ZAFT) against Durandal. Compared to the angsty teen prone to emotional fits two years ago, this time he's much more emotionally stable.Pilots the ZGMF-X10A Freedom, a long-range specialist Gundam, repaired by Captain Ramius after being badly damaged in his fight against Le Creuset and his Providence at the end of the First Bloody Valentine War, and later, the ZGMF-X20A Strike Freedom, the Freedom's more buffed-up Spiritual Successor.
Asskicking Equals Authority: He's an Orb Admiral by the end of the series. Given that he's also willing to turn on anyone who disturbs the world's peace, this makes sense: if he's going to act on his own, why not make it legal for him?
Four-Star Badass: Holds the rank of Admiral in the Orb military, and is revealed to have become a ZAFT commander in the finale.
Retired Badass: For two years, living with Lacus, Murrue, Andrew, Caridad Yamato (his adoptive mother), Father Malchio and his orphans in the Solomon Islands. He was forced to come back to service after an attempt on Lacus's life.
Beam Spam: With the Freedom, and especially the Strike Freedom, which now uses the very same DRAGOONs that gave him so much trouble two years ago against Le Creuset and his Providence.
The Dreaded: The reactions of everyone on both sides when the Freedom reappears would indicate that he's achieved this status. From the point of view of Shinn and the Minerva crew, he's effectively a Hero Killer.
Dual Wielding: All the time with both the Freedom and Strike Freedom.
Dynamic Entry: He does this a lot. Say what you will, the man knows how to make an entrance. (Justified because A).the Freedom is one of the quickest suits in the show B). It's nuclear powered, giving it near limitless operating time, and C). Kira's taking advantage of the hectic combat situation to get the drop on his opponents)
The Hero: Quickly resumes this spot post-perspective flip.
Hero Antagonist: Before the perspective flip, when his need to end the conflict quickly puts him in direct confrontation with Athrun and Shinn.
Hero on Hiatus: For the first dozen episodes he chose not to involve himself with any fighting and had Lacus keep him from piloting the Freedom. Until he had to protect her once again and the Archangel became active.
He's Back: His return aboard the Strike Freedom, having been thought of as KIA by Shinn and the Minerva left Shinn in utter shock.
Honour Before Reason: Right up until Shinn used it against him to destroy the Freedom. In subsequent fights he's more active in getting rid of Shinn, frequently aiming for his cockpit. Even then, he refuses to pursue Shinn whenever the latter backs down, and passes up a few killshots.
Invincible Hero: Barring two defeats, wherein he was trying to a) get away, and b) not kill his opponent whereas in the second one he is trashed by Zakus while piloting the Strike Rogue. Once he gets his hands on the Strike Freedom, he becomes a One-Man Army.
Lightning Bruiser: The Freedom and especially the Strike Freedom. The latter is equipped with the same "Voiture Lumière" propulsion system used in the Destiny, and has its own variant of the Wings of Light. During its maiden flight, the Strike Freedom singlehandedly disabled 25 ZAKUs and GOUFs in just two minutes.
Luckily My Shield Will Protect Me: Averted at first. The Freedom ditched the shield it carried in SEED and now Dual Wields. Normally this isn't a problem since Kira favors mobility in combat and rarely gets hit, but it does mean that the unit can't defend itself very well should it get cornered. Which is exactly what happened during it's final battle with the Impulse. Fixed with the Strike Freedom, which has two beam shields installed in the arms.
One-Man Army: Nobody can stand up to Kira when he truly lets loose, and he leaves an army of broken mobile suits behind him whenever he enters a battle. There's a reason why people react in horror whenever the Freedom takes the field. It helps that the Freedom is optimized for engaging multiple targets simultaneously rather than focusing on a single opponent, so it can take out Mooks like nobody's business.
Real Men Wear Pink: Averted when he pilots the Strike Rogue. He changed its specs so its PSA would display the Strike Gundam's original white/blue/red colours. His pilot suit, however, does have pink stripes on its shoulder boards.
The Stoic: He's certainly more serene compared to two years ago, but that doesn't stop him from showing a look of horror at the sight of the ruins of Junius Seven falling upon Earth, Shinn slicing his Freedom in half, and Rey explaining how he was meant to become another Rau Le Creuset.
Shoot the Dog: ...unless a Destroy wrecking Berlin is involved, in which case he was forced to impale the Destroy's Wave Motion Guns, mortally wounding Stella inside the cockpit from the violent disruption of energy.
Thousand-Yard Stare: He's developed a pretty significant one since SEED. In his early appearances, he's usually on the beach or at the window, staring off into space.
Thou Shalt Not Kill: For the most part. He breaks the rule against Stella though, and does take a few killshots at Shinn later on.
Übermensch: He and Lacus are a messianic pair of them, rejecting the cynical, violent, racially motivated politics of the Cosmic Era in favour of their own inclusive, technically pacifistic idealism.
The Unfettered: Which really sucks for political leaders with unethical agendas. He's more than willing to turn his Gundam on anyone who disturbs the peace, and he's got the allies, intel, technology and skills to make them think twice before messing with him.
What the Hell, Hero?: Athrun tries to hit Kira with this, claiming he's just making the battlefield more chaotic, but Kira more or less shrugs it off, commenting that it's not like he's got a lot of options.
Kira's girlfriend and an important political figure, Lacus essentially dropped off the radar following the end of the First Bloody Valentine War. Forced back into the political spotlight by an assassination attempt against her, she assumes leadership of the Three Ships Alliance, pitting them against ZAFT and the Earth Forces alike.
The Chessmaster: Not to the same degree as Durandal, but the existence of Terminal and the mobile suit factories in the asteroids show that Lacus was ready to move in the event of renewed hostilities.
Do Not Adjust Your Set: Double subverted! She interrupts Meer's interruption of Cagalli's broadcast and then makes it clear to the whole world that she would have none of Durandal's schemes, while also delivering a verbal bitchslap to Djibril.
The captain of the Archangel, and Kira's commanding officer from two years ago. Initially working as an engineer (which was, after all, her original job) in Orb, she answers Kira's call to action and reprises her role as the Archangel's captain once they enter the conflict.
Transforming Mecha: Starts off with an Ace Custom variant of Orb's Murasame variable-fighter [nicknamed "Torasame" ("Tiger Shark") by Japanese fans] , then switches to a recaptured Gaia, now recolored according to his specifications. It works out nicely for him seeing as it's animal form is more or less the LaGOWE which was his machine of choice back in SEED.
An old friend of Kira's, and an Archangel crew member in Mobile Suit Gundam SEED. She's a photojournalist covering the war when we first see her in Destiny, but she ends up back on the Archangel after running into her old crewmates again.
Ship Sinking: When she returns to the Archangel, chief mechanic Murdoch asks what happened to Dearka; she responds "I dumped him". Unlike countless instances of this trope, however, fans were happy to a degree since it confirms that they were an Official Couple, even if that's no longer the case.
"Everything is born into this world, and eventually, dies. That's the pure and simple truth of it."
The (late) Big Bad of the previous war, Rau makes several appearances in various characters' flashbacks, many of which expand upon his life and philosophy, helping to further explain his actions in SEED, while also showing his legacy two years later.
The Corrupter: More or less responsible for Rey and Durandal's slide into villainy (for want of a better description). The flashbacks show that he was attempting to make them as nihilistic as he himself was.
Predecessor Villain: Take Le Creuset out of the equation and you remove Rey and Durandal's reasons for being what they are. Everything they want to do is ultimately rooted in their experiences with him and his Straw NihilistOmnicidal Maniac philosophy.
Straw Nihilist: Anyone who has watched SEED already knows that Le Creuset is a nihilistic psycho, but his narration in Episode 29, and Durandal's flashbacks cement his status. He seems to have been making an effort to infect both Durandal and Rey with his philosophy as well.
"People like you walk your path believing something you desire is waiting for you. I walk it to confirm that there is nothing there."
Stronger Sibling: Inverted. He was far more dangerous than Rey, and continues to influence both he and Durandal.
Villainous Friendship: Actually seems to have had a Type I with the Chairman and Rey. It helps to humanise him somewhat.