This page contains unmarked spoilers for Mobile Suit Gundam SEED. You Have Been Warned!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: 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.
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Crew of the Minerva
Main mecha: Impulse Gundam, Destiny Gundam
Voice Actors: Kenichi Suzumura (Japanese), Matthew Erickson (English)
- "Do you want to start another one?! Another war?!"
- Accidental Pervert: Accidentally grabs Stella's chest in their first meeting.
- 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..
- 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.
- The Atoner: Implied at the end of Final Plus. More for what he became during the war rather than what he did.
- Bash Brothers: With Rey, after acquiring the Destiny and the Legend, respectively; Shinn usually fights head-on, while Rey provides support. Often, the main reason Kira and Athrun is able to gain the upper hand against Shinn is because the two are separated.
- Became Their Own Antithesis: This is a major theme with Shinn; he basically wanted to become strong because out of a desire to prevent tragedies like the one that took his family. However, Rey and Durandal's manipulations and his own inability to deal with his anger and bitterness gradually turn him into the kind of person that caused those tragedies in the first place. And he doesn't even realize it. He's called out on it during the final battle, which causes him to have a breakdown.Shinn: It's not the same! IT'S NOT!
- The Berserker: Shinn is a very headstrong and very emotional young pilot, and as such, during battle he rushes headlong at his enemies (often without much regard for his own safety), relying on sheer aggression to win fights. As the series progresses and Shinn's mental stability degrades it arguably becomes a weakness when forced to fight equally skilled opponents like Kira and Athrun and he's still doing things like reckless, mad charges with his BFS, to the point that by his final duel with Athrun he's taken a massive mental nose-dive and loses the ability to tell between friend and foe.
- BFS: The anti-ship swords, large physical blades with a beam generator across its length, is Shinn's preferred weapon of choice in combat. He is first shown dual-wielding them with the Sword Impulse; he would later switch to using just one with the Force Impulse and the Destiny.
- 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 Insanity: He's not insane per se, but his obsessive belief in Black and White Morality is certainly unhealthy, and is portrayed that way. 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 and demolish his unchecked belief in his own superiority.
- 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 the Brute to the Chairman's Big Bad and Rey's Dragon, post-perspective flip.
- Character Development: Gets the most of any character in the series, almost 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. It's not until the very end of the series when he realizes exactly how badly he's been acting all this time.
- Combat Pragmatist: When he's actually using his head in a fight Shinn's shown to be remarkably resourceful and has a good grasp of combat tactics. He makes good use of his equipment (such as Impulse's Silhouette packs), and can be surprisingly creative at times by coming up with unconventional uses for the resources at his disposal. note Above all else he's driven, and willing to do whatever it takes to beat his opponents. Add access to SEED Mode and it can make him a very dangerous opponent. However, Shinn's volatile personality (and ego) prevent him from making full use of this, and goes out the window once he gets the "Destiny".
- 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.
- Corporal Punishment: Shinn gets punched by Athrun twice — after disobeying orders, and after apparently killing Kira. Bragging about killing someone's best friend to 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.
- 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.
- Darth Vader Clone: He shares a lot of traits with Anakin Skywalker. They're both young, talented fighters who eventually become well-respected and good at what they do. But he also develops a serious ego problem and insecurities, making him an easy target for manipulation by the Big Bad. Though unlike Anakin His Mentor, Athrun, stops him before he can cross The Line.
- Dash Attack: His signature attack, and favorite tactic, is to Bonzai charge his opponent with his BFS (sometimes with the blade held in front of him like a skewer).
- 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 sympathize with him and his point of view. Then Durandal is outed as the villain, the POV shifts, and Kira and Athrun become the protagonists.
- Defeating the Undefeatable: How ZAFT and Shinn himself view his mid-season takedown of the Freedom.
- Deflector Shield: Unlike the previous Gundam units, the Second Stage Gundams (of which Impulse is a part of) built by ZAFT are equipped with shields enhanced with beam deflecting forcefields, allowing it to bounce beam shots and defend against powerful attacks that mundane shields cannot block. When Shinn feels like being creative, he often takes advantage of this by throwing the shield ahead of the opponent, fire his beam rifle at it, and bounce it off the shield to hit the enemy from behind.
- Emo Teen: He's often accused of this by the fanbase and he certainly is very angsty. Then again, he has reasons for it and no one around him is helping him get over it.
- 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.
- Face–Heel Turn: He turns his back on his friends thanks to Durandal's manipulation.
- Face Palm of Doom: The Destiny has the "Palma Fiocina" palm beam cannon. Deconstructed somewhat in that the cannons don't have to be fired at point-blank range - the fact that Shinn never does so (except once in the rerelease) is a sign he's not using it to its full potential.
- Fatal Flaw: His tendency to go berserk ultimately becomes his biggest flaw in combat. As his mental state deteriorates, he becomes more prone to rushing in and trying to overpower his opponents instead of using the more flexible tactics he showed earlier.
- Flaw Exploitation: Exploits Kira's need to not kill anybody during their mid-season showdown. Rey and the Chairman exploit Shinn's own insecurities to keep him on their side.
- Freak Out!: Late into the series, Shinn's issues are so out of control that Rey and Durandal's "guidance" is the only thing keeping him from having a breakdown. But when Duranda's good image starts to fall apart, so does Shinn. Things finally come to a head in the final battle when he engages in a duel with Athrun and the Infinite Justice... a fight that starts taking a real toll on his Mecha, and his sanity. The final nail comes when Athrun begins chewing him out for his hypocrisy and need to destroy. In a mad fit he tries to charge the Justice with one of the Destiny's palm cannonsnote and is so far gone that when Luna jumps in an attempt to break up the fight, he nearly attacks her instead. When that happens Athrun realizes the time for sentiment is over. A few seconds later the ''Destiny'', now missing most of it's limbs, is sent careening into the surface of the moon with an unconscious Shinn still on board.
- Freudian Excuse: His family died in front of him, he's never gotten any help for it, his superior officer is a Shell-Shocked Veteran with No Social Skills and his Only Friend is a Manipulative Bastard who doesn't want him to get better.
- Friend Versus Lover: Rey is less than thrilled when he appears to be getting closer to Luna. Luna doesn't do much fighting back though.
- Foil: Shinn is what Athrun would've become had he chosen loyalty over conscience. There's also some parallels to how Kira could have become if he'd chosen emotion over reason or allowed himself to obsess over the past.
- Genius Bruiser: Shinn's violent, aggressive, and favors 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 enemies both.
- 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 a berserk rage is actually a little disturbing.
- Heartbroken Badass: Shinn is a damaged set of goods, and his pain fuels his rage in combat, letting him take on the likes of Athrun or Kira.
- 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.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: Although whether he's "heroic" by the time it happens, or if he ever truly was, is arguable. When the Infinite Justice appears at Orb and Athrun contacts Shinn, the latter completely freezes up in disbelief - to the point that even fighting Kira is forgotten about. When he does finally regain cognition, the only thing he can do is mumble in shock that he'd already killed Athrun.
- Heroic Wannabe: He's a good kid and he means well, but he's far too screwed up to ever be The Hero.
- Hero with an F in Good: God knows he tries, but he just can't seem to get anything right. He seems to realize this, as well, which only adds to his frustration.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Rey; even closer than the ZAFT example of the previous war. A rare undivided Gundam example.
- Hot-Blooded: To a degree that reaches deconstruction.
- Hypocrite: A major aspect of Shinn's character is he contradicts himself - a lot.
- He bawls Cagalli out for Orb's actions during the last war, claiming (not unfairly) that Orb's attempt to stick to it's neutrality lead to a lot of people getting killed, his family among them. Then, when Orb side with The Earth Alliance to keep from being invaded again, he gets pissed off and calls them hypocrites, even though that was essentially what he was advocating to Cagalli.
- 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.
- I Let Gwen Stacy Die: Mayu was already this; then Stella bites the dust as well.
- Innocently Insensitive:
- He called Cagalli out on how Orb's actions led to the death of his family, but as Athrun later points outnote Cagalli lost family too.
- In episode 35, he out and out brags about about shooting down Kira. To ATHRUN, Kira's closest friend. To make things worse, he claims it is revenge, not just for himself due to Kira's defeat and accidental killing of Stella, but also for Athrun due to Kira disabling the Savior several episodes prior. Needless to say, it doesn't end the way he expects, as Athrun punches him out for it.
- Immigrant Patriotism: Played with. Despite being born in Orb, he's one of ZAFT's most loyal soldiers. We never see him waving a flag or claiming PLANT is a better place, though. He's certainly angry at Orb, but too traumatized and disinterested to become very enthusiastic. In the last two CD dramas, it's revealed Shinn has returned to Orb and enlisted in their military.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Despite his anger and depression issues, he does care about his friends. Then he has a Face–Heel Turn until the end of the series.
- Leeroy Jenkins: Shinn's temperament often gets the better of him during fights, meaning his Hot Bloodedness actually undermines his performance. Impulsive and reckless to a fault, he often runs off into the think of things without a clear strategy, or giving much consideration to his allies at all. And like most berserkers, he lacks what you would call "restraint"; he puts all of his energy into offense at the expense of everything else (at most using quick dodges or blocks), and never retreats from an opponent even when it would be prudent to do so. This puts a lot of strain on his machine and its energy/ammo reserves and makes long, drawn out engagements very dangerous for him, especially since the more frustrated and angry he gets, the more likely he is to try something risky. During the battle over Orb, he's forced to retreat midway through his fight with the Strike Freedom because he nearly ran out of fuelnote . What's worse, he didn't notice; Rey had to call him out on it and more-or-less wrench his arm to get him to come back (if he hadn't, it's likely that Shinn would have kept fighting until the Destiny dropped out of the sky). Later he loses an arm when he tries to rush the Infinite Justice. This eventually leads to his defeat in the finale. After losing his other close-combat weapons, he tries to rush Athrun using the palm beam cannon on Destiny's hand, only to get bashed aside with the Justice's shield. Even though he has two beam shields generators in both of his hands, Shinn is too shocked to even defend himself, and the Destiny gets cut to pieces.
- Lightning Bruiser: The Destiny. Designed to be an all-purpose mobile suit, it has a BFS, beam sabers that double as beam boomerangs, palm beam cannoms, and a BFG, as well as "Voiture Lumière" system, which allows it to grow wings of light to move at very high speeds and create afterimages in its paths, allowing it to disorient enemies who are trying to aim at it.
- Mecha Expansion Pack: The Impulse's Silhouette Packs — Force (flight), Sword (melee) and Blast (long-range).
- The Mentally Ill: A milder example than many in this franchise, but Shinn is still in desperate need of emotional and mental counseling for his PTSD and anger management issues.
- 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. He finally grows out of it at the very end of the series.
- Multiform Balance: The Impulse's Silhouette Packs. Force Impulse has great mobility and standard weaponry, Sword sacrifices said mobility for close combat might with a pair of beam boomerangs and Big Freaking Swords, and Blast trades said speed for heavy firepower, with missiles, railguns and a pair of beam cannons.
- My God, What Have I Done?: He has this reaction after attacking Lunamaria during the final battle (and, to a lesser extent, coming to his senses about his behavior during the series as a whole).
- Mythology Gag: Not funny at all, but Shinn loses his entire family in an explosion in the exact same way as Frau Bow in the very first episode of Gundam — accidentally, inadvertently surviving by having jumped a highway guardrail in a battle to go after something seen as important. It's what inspires a boy to pilot a mobile suit...
- Never My Fault: A golden example of this his his blaming Freedom for killing Stella, as Kira was the one to strike the final blow. However when we see Stella after the Destroy's cockpit is exposed her body is riddled with shrapnel from the attack Shinn himself caused.
- 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.
- Not So Different: A positive version. Athrun introduces him to Kira in the epilogue of Final Plus, and Shinn is struck dumb by the realization that guy he he spent the entire show trying to kill wasn't just not much older than himself, but that he was also someone he'd already met in a peaceful situation without knowing it, just like Stella had been. This to his first real bit of positive character development as he realizes how easily he'd generalized all his enemies as a uniform evil without acknowledging that they were people the same as himself.
- Oh, Crap!: His reaction to seeing the Strike Freedom at Orb and recognizing from it's movements that it's the same pilot as the original.
- One-Man Army: He all but singlehandedly wins the war for ZAFT, especially once he gets the Destiny.
- Parental Abandonment: His mom, dad, and sister were all killed in the previous war.
- Power Trio: One of the only consistent group dynamics in the series; Shinn is the Id, Luna the Ego, and Rey the Superego.
- Protagonist Journey to Villain: Though toyed with in that he becomes not the Big Bad or The Dragon, but an Anti Villainous Brute.
- Pet the Dog: Played with; while he retains his strict Black and White Morality turned Black and White Insanity views throughout the series, Shinn did take pity on, if not outright sympathize with, Stella Loussier after finding out she was the Gaia's pilot. Unlike his reaction to Kira killing Stella, Shinn overlooks, if not forgives, the fact that Stella was both the one who killed Heine Westenfluss and prior to that had been part of the attack that sparked the second war in the first place - likely due to her never knowing anything else but war and thus it not really being her choice, whereas Kira's actions were conscious decisions. When he learned Durandal basically planned to keep Stella for study even if it meant she died, Shinn went against Durandal by temporarily going rogue to return Stella to the Earth Alliance as they were the only ones who could treat her - which was not only a big shock due to how much he'd respected and admired Durandal, but was arguably the last truly good independent act he did before Durandal and Rey buckled down hard on getting Shinn loyal to them.
- 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.
- Red Eyes! Take Warning: He has dull, red eyes that makes his gaze very striking.
- Redemption Demotion: His FAITH badge is missing in the epilogue, implying he was demoted.
- 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. Especially considering that even if Shinn could have successfully talked Stella down before Kira killed her, Stella would likely have died anyway from a repeat situation of being drug-starved in ZAFT custody the same as before. As for his personal war against the EA, as has been pointed out numerous times here, Shinn's actions aren't solving anything.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Not only is this arguably his default state in battle, but is rage is actually the trigger for his SEED mode - though unlike Kira and Athurn, his is more uncontrollable. It doesn't help that he seems to have a convenient reason (be it real or imagined) for him to hate everyone aside from his own team; he wants payback against the EA for causing the renewed war, he blames Orb and it's policies for causing them to be invaded and result in his family's deaths, he holds the Archangel and Kira responsible for the attacks on his comrades and later the death of Stella, then again when Athrun joins them after he and Meyrin were nearly killed by Shinn.
- Rummage Sale Reject: Off duty, Shinn more or less dresses like a closet explosion, randomly mixing and matching scarves, sleeveless shirts, you name it. This outfit was actually based on something T.M.Revolution wore at one point. There's a fine line between looking like a homeless guy and looking like a J-Rocker.
- 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.
- Screaming Warrior: Usually while hacking things to bits with his BFS.
- 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.
- Skilled, but Naïve: It would be hard to find anyone in this show who's more badass than Shinn. It would also be hard to find anyone who's more gullible or easy to manipulate.
- 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 to be as good as Shinn himself thinks he is by the end—which leads to some very harsh lessons.
- Smug Super: Crosses into this when he's released after being imprisoned 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. Thus it's quite the nasty shock for him when Athrun cripples the Destiny in the battle over Orb. (Probably would have been worse for Shinn had he known that Athrun was still recovering from the injuries he'd received during his flight from ZAFT)
- Star-Crossed Lovers: A possible interpretation of his relationship with Stella. It certainly ends tragically enough.
- Super Mode: Like Kira, Athrun, and Cagalli, Shinn has access to SEED mode, entering it in almost every battle he participates in. Unlike Athrun and Kira, who are able to activate theirs at will in Destiny, Shinn's is entirely rage driven and thus he loses himself to it more easily.
- 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 because it makes him easier to control.
- 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: He's a sympathetic but very flawed individual who makes some bad choices (as seen by the other entries on this page). Yet it's hard to actually fault him for his actions at the same time, as he's naive and smack dab in the middle of a situation he barely understands. The people around him were also a factor; Durandal and Rey were just using him, Athrun failed to be a good mentor, and Luna (bless her heart) was in over her head. Reagarless of how you spin it, Shinn's story is not a happy one. He starts out with noble intentions, but his inability to grow past his flaws ultimately made him no different than the people he hated. And he came very damn close to becoming a full on case near the end, when in a moment of blind rage and insanity, he nearly kills Luna. Thankfully, Athrun intercepted the attack.
- Tragic Mistake: Makes a few of these, though it's not till rather late on that he sees most of them as this:
- Returning Stella to the Roanoke and the Extended was this for Shinn. It's hard to fault him for it. He took pity on someone (an enemy at that, rather surprising for Shinn) and tried to save their life Stella was so drugged up that she would die if she went into withdraw; but it blew up into a cruel and tragic mess. Roanoke lied when he promised Shinn that Stella wouldn't have to fight anymore. Instead he threw her into the Destroy and sent her on a rampage.
- Happens again in the end of the series when he nearly goes through Luna to attack Athrun, having lost all control of himself. This is what finally snaps him out of his self-righteousness and realize that he'd become just another killer the same as what he'd claimed to hate, driven to tears upon realizing he'd not only nearly helped enact a mass genocide but nearly killed someone he cared about just because she was in his way.
- By the time of the epilogue, he seems to view not just his nearly killing Athurn and Meyrin as this, but even admitting he doesn't know whether his original hatred of Orb was justified or not anymore.
- 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, but rather that 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 last episode, only snapping out of it after his berserker rage nearly gets Luna killed.
- 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.
- This is ultimately rooted in his Black and White Morality way of thinking (see Black and White Insanity above); Shinn is so utterly convinced that ZAFT and Durandal is flawlessly just and righteous that, in his eyes, any other factions in the world that doesn't submit to or support Durandal's regime is either ignorant or evil.
- 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 afterwards).
- Wrecked Weapon: Happens several times in the final episodes at the hands of Kira in the Strike Freedom and later Athrun in the Infinite Justice. And each time it happens, Shinn is left with a look of stunned disbelief.
Lunamaria "Luna" Hawke
Main mecha: ZAKU Warrior (red), Impulse Gundam
Voice Actors: Maaya Sakamoto (Japanese), Maryke Hendrikse (English)
- "I'm fine! I got defeated splendidly, though."
- Ace Custom: Her ZAKU Warrior is a standard Mook unit, except painted red.
- Ace Pilot: Decorated, even, though overshadowed by Can't Catch Up. While not as over-the-top badass as the other main characters, Luna holds her own against Gundams and the Extended, despite piloting a ZAKU for most of the series.
- Badass Adorable: Sweet ray of sunshine, she is.
- 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.
- Celeb Crush: On Athrun. She seems a tad disappointed when she actually meets him.
- Character Development: It starts with Break the Cutie, and is tied to developing maturing feelings and sensitivity due to grieving and developing a much closer, more romantic relationship with Shinn.
- The Chick: Among the ZAFT pilots.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: She becomes jealous of Meer/Fake!Lacus being so glompy around Athrun.
- Custom Uniform of Sexy: Her uniform consists of a standard ZAFT redcoat on top 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.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: Appears to suffer this during Shinn and Athrun's final battle, openly shocked and horrified upon seeing how compromised Shinn's mental state is and watching frozen from the sidelines as he's eventually driven into a corner by Athrun. Even when she does finally snap out of it, it's to try and stop Shinn's rampage - which nearly gets her killed - and then make sure Shinn is alright after he's defeated, her will to fight having been completely broken.
- Hero-Worshipper: Of Athrun, at least at first.
- Idiot Hair: It's a Mythology Gag, in her case.
- Just Following Orders: It's never flatout stated, but Luna's whole reason for going along with the Destiny Plan is because she's been ordered to.
- Mid-Season Upgrade: The Impulse may be an older Gundam, but it's a huge cut above her ZAKU.
- Mythology Gag: Her red ZAKU doesn't have Char Aznable's famous command antenna. Her head does.
- Oh, Crap!: Has two of these moments, both during the final battle. The first is when Athrun's Justice easily overpowers her Impulse and slices off it's arm, left reeling as she realizes how badly outmatched she is. The second is when she tries and fails to stop Shinn's berserk rampage, only able to stare back in shock upon realizing he can't tell friend from foe anymore and is about to tear right through her - and it's only because of Athrun saving her that he doesn't.
- 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 far-more-skilled Shinn and Rey, and ends up going up against even-more-skilled Neo and 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 that any of her teammates are truly evil, but Luna's the only one who manages to keep her sense of perspective and avoid going totally over the line.
Rey Za Burrel
Main mecha: Blaze ZAKU Phantom (white), Legend Gundam
Voice Actors: Toshihiko Seki (Japanese), Kirby Morrow (English)
- "Whatever kind of life it is — we want to keep on living, if we can."
- Ace Pilot: Like his brother before him, he is a sniper who keeps his distance and picking off enemies one at a time. At least until he gets the Legend, with which he can Beam Spam like both the Freedom and Providence from the previous series.
- Ace Custom: His first suit, the Blaze ZAKU Phantom, a Mecha-Mook painted white.
- Affably Evil: Rey is a loyal friend and effective subordinate, so long as you're on his side. However, he's also a badly damaged Manipulative Bastard who thinks that humans are scum and wants to install a New World Order based on genetic determinism, and is willing to cross any lines to get there.
- 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 as his enemy, as revealed near the end.
- Attack Drone: Being the Providence's successor, the Legend also has the DRAGOON System. Eight of them are equipped with 2 standard beam guns; the other two are larger and are equipped with 5 beam cannons and 4 beam spikes, the former being powerful enough to tear through gigantic mobile armors and the latter can penetrate their Deflector Shields (which is weak against close range beam weapons such as beam sabers). Unlike the Providence, they can also be used while attached to the Legend's backpack as well as after deployment, allowing it to be more consistent with its Beam Spam.
- 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.
- Bash Brothers: 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.
- Beam Spam: The Legend has a total of 26 beam guns across its ten DRAGOON units, and it can fire them while they're still docked, allowing it to achieve this trope in Earth as well as in space.
- BFG: Legend's beam rifle is very large, even longer than the Providence's beam rifle, which is already the size of a beam bazooka.
- Bigger Stick: Although understated, the Legend is among the best Gundams in the entire storyline, on par with the Destiny, Strike Freedom and Infinite Justice. Although on paper it doesn't seem to be anything impressive (it even has less Beam Spam than Providence), it is much faster, has better offensive and defensive options, and can use its heavier firepower even in Earth. Two of its Attack Drones are capable of close range engagement as well, and when combined with the drone's speed the Legend is a nightmare for most mobile suits specializing in close combat. Even Athrun in his Infinite Justice avoids a one-to-one confrontation with the Legend.
- Bishōnen: Probably the prettiest member of the male cast.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Appears to be a rational, likeable young man. Is actually a bitter Manipulative Bastard with plans for a genetic determinist utopia.
- Broken Pedestal: For Shinn, who falls apart when he realizes what Rey and the Chairman were doing to him.
- Clones Are People, Too: Kira Yamato eventually convinces him of this, which leads to his Villainous Breakdown.
- Cloning Blues: Unsurprisingly (given his blond hair, blue eyes, voice actor, 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.
- Conflicting Loyalties: Emerge after his Villainous Breakdown.
- Dark Is Evil: Downplayed - see Shinn's entry above. In his case, it's the Legend Gundam that wears these colors.
- Deflector Shield: The Legend is equipped with a pair of beam shield generators, just like the Destiny.
- The Dragon: Operates subtly as Durandal's, enforcing his will aboard the Minerva, and acting as his primary physical defense.
- Dual Wielding: The Legend carries a pair of beam javelins stored at its legs that can be combined together at their hilts into a Double Weapon, similar to Athrun's use of beam sabers with the Justice from the previous series and later with the Infinite Justice.
- 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.
- Foil: To Rau Le Creuset. See Straw Nihilist for how.
- Freak Out!: He has one at the Extended lab, foreshadowing both his clone status and his eventual Villainous Breakdown.
- 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.
- Icy Blue Eyes: Of the cool and unflinching variety.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: Vaporizes Djibril by firing through the bridge of his battleship while the latter is trying to escape from yet another losing battle. Also doubles as a Mythology Gag.
- The Last Dance: Much like Rau le Creuset, drugs stave off the Clone Degeneration to some degree, yet he tells Shinn he'll die shortly. This clearly factors into his desire to see the Destiny Plan implemented soon.
- Light Is Not Good: Blond hair, blue eyes, white mobile suit and pilot uniform...you get the idea by now.
- Lightning Bruiser: The Legend is much faster than the Providence, fast enough to fight toe-to-toe with the Strike Freedom, and has absolutely no issues avoiding the latter's own Beam Spam.
- Living Emotional Crutch: Acts as the voice of reason for Shinn both on and off the Battlefield. Deconstructed in that Rey actively encourages this to keep Shinn under his sway- something that proves to be a mistake. Rey makes a tactical error in the final battle when her orders's Shinn to go on alone, apparently not grasping that without his presence Shinn would start to fall apart.
- Manipulative Bastard: He has Shinn wrapped around his little finger for the entire series, maintains control over the Minerva through his role as The Political Officer, and almost drives Kira into a Heroic B.S.O.D. during the final battle by revealing his Cloning Blues. Bot Justified and Subverted; because he's believes he needs to be his "Brother" Rau; a view fostered onto him by Durandal. Then subverted when Kira rebuffs his arguments, showing that Rey is not the same Rau, and that he himself had been manipulated
- Mythology Gag: Well, everyone was wondering who'd get the bazooka to the head in a show featuring Shuichi Ikeda and Mami Koyama...
- Not So Stoic: During his Freak Out! at Lodonia, and his Villainous Breakdown at the end.
- Number of the Beast: ZGMF-X666S Legend.
- 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 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 Quiet One: During Athrun's time on the Minerva, he generally keeps his head down, as it wouldn't do for Athrun to recognize Rey's similarity to Rau le Creuset.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Blue to Shinn's Red. Just look at their eyes.
- The Reveal: A rather subdued one, when Shinn (and the viewers) see him taking some of Rau Le Creuset's trademark little pills, and he casually remarks that he suffers from short telomeres, which confirms his status as a clone.
- The Stoic: Always calm, always controlled.
- Straw Nihilist: Subverted. While Rey has a very negative view of humanity, he consciously rejects Rau-style Omnicidal Mania, believing instead that Utopia Justifies the Means. Further cemented in the finale, when the realization that he can be his own person and make his own choices — rather than blindly following the path set out before him by others — leads him to betray the Destiny Plan and shoot Durandal.
- 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.
- Toxic Friend Influence: Rey is not a good influence on Shinn. While the friendship is quite real, Rey is more interested in using Shinn to further Durandal's ideal world since he can't do it himself due to his short lifespan. He goes to great lengths to keep Shinn dependant on him, such as having Athrun framed for treason, and trying to drive a wedge between Shinn and Luna. All the while, remaining unaware (or indifferent) to Shinn's failing psyche. Turned
- 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.
- Unknown Rival: To Kira. Once he reveals his Cloning Blues, however, he immediately has Kira's attention.
- Used to Be a Sweet Kid: If Durandal's flashbacks are any indicator.
- 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.
- Visionary Villain: Shares Durandal's vision of the future.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: In the same vein as Durandal. Having seen what his "other self" tried to do, Rey is convinced that something has to change.
- When He Smiles: He has a very warm and striking smile that isn't seen much due to his stoicism.
- With Us or Against Us: The show's main proponent of this attitude.
Main mecha: Saviour Gundam, Infinite Justice Gundam
Voice Actors: Akira Ishida (Japanese), Samuel Vincent (English)
- "The enemy? And who are they?"
- The Ace: The Minerva's crew treat him like this, but see Broken Ace, below for how he feels about it.
- Ace Pilot: Though his record is overshadowed by Kira, and later Shinn, Athrun is probably the most skilled and experienced pilot on the show; excelling in Close-combat and battlefield tactics. During combat, he keeps a close eye on the overall tactical situation, issuing orders and engaging key (or difficult) targets to keep the pressure off his allies. He's the only pilot that was able to go one-on-one with Kira's Freedom at first, and did so with the less advanced Savior while not in Seed Mode. In the two times he faces against the Destiny, Athrun can handle everything that Shinn throws at him, and then starts destroying weapons when the latter's hotheadedness gets the better of him. And while Shinn was in SEED mode for most of the fight, Athrun wasn't. He didn't activate it until the very end in order to shield Luna from a berserk Shinn, after which he basically wrecks the Destiny into pieces.
- 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.
- Attack Drone: As Justice's successor, the Infinite Justice is equipped a flight backpack that gives it full flight abilities in the atmosphere. While it retains the two beam cannons from the Justice's design, its shape is more streamlined and is equipped with beam blades instead of machine guns. This makes its ramming attack much more lethal, and although Athrun doesn't risk using it against dangerous enemies like the Destiny and Legend, it is very effective against slow moving targets like battleships, allowing to Athrun to later destroy the Minerva by simply deploying its backpack to ram straight through it.
- 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. The two do still manage to develop a relationship however, one which is strong enough for Shinn to be fairly distressed after Athrun's "betrayal". Athrun, in turn, continually attempts to talk sense into Shinn about the wrongness of Durandal's plans for the remainder of the series, up through their final fight in the last episode.
- Break Them by Talking: Twice towards Shinn near the end series. First time they meet, he goes the Kirk Summation route. The second time he's not so nice.
- Broken Ace: He doesn't live up to his own standards, fails to mentor others, and is very conflicted about what's right.
- Broken Base: In-universe example. Athrun's a controversial figure in his (former) home country, wildly regarded as one of the best pilots ZAFT ever produced, but is also technically a traitor.
- Broken Pedestal: To Lunamaria and the other ZAFT soldiers who idealize him. They were expecting a legendary Ace Pilot. They got, well, Athrun. The end of Final Plus indicates that he's reconciled with Both Shinn and Luna, but the hero worship remains gone.
- Brought Down to Badass: Suffering from this for a little over half of the series. Though he was capable of using Seed Mode at will by the end of the first series, he has since lost that ability. He still remains a highly skilled pilot and field commander, retaining all of the experience he gained during the first war. This makes it so that even without the ability to access Seed Mode at will he is still one of the best fighters around. By the end of the series however, he regains the ability to access Seed Mode whenever he wants.
- Chick Magnet: Despite (or because of) being somewhat stilted and awkward, women throw themselves at Athrun.
- Combining Mecha: The Infinite Justice, which is comprised of two units - the core mecha, and a glider unit that can serve as either the backpack or a remote-controlled mount.
- Corporal Punishment: Administers it to Shinn a few times. It doesn't take.
- The Cynic: His attitude towards the entire war. Shinn and Luna's idealism in particular seem to grate on him.
- Cynical Mentor: Vaciliates between being this and a more traditional Big Brother Mentor to Shinn. It doesn't really work.
- Deflector Shield: Like the Impulse, the Savior's shield is enhanced with beam deflecting forcefields.
- Unlike Strike Freedom, Destiny and Legend, the Infinite Justice only carries a single solid shield that is equipped with an additional beam shield generator to defend itself.
- Determinator: Though he tends to waver when he's uncertain of himself, once he makes up his mind he's nigh-unstoppable. See Freedom vs. Saviour for the former and Infinite Justice vs. Destiny, when Athrun enters the Battle of Orb and takes on Shin while still wounded for the latter.
- Double Weapon: Just like with the Justice, Athrun always combines the beam sabers of Infinite Justice into a double-bladed beam saber.
- Et Tu, Brute?: A rare protagonist example; even though he'd been growing increasingly distant, it was a huge blow to the crew of the Minerva when he aparently turns traitor (not that he had much choice in the regard)
- Expy: Plays Quattro Bajeena to Shinn's Kamille Bidan, ultimately deconstructing the relationship that the Zeta Gundam heroes shared.
- 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.
- The Gloves Come Off: Occurs in the final battle when Shinn tries to kill Luna in a moment of berserk rage. For most of the battle, Athrun had been sticking to the defensive, as he really didn't want to fight either Shinn or Luna. But when the previously mentioned spoiler happens, his restraint breaks and the fight ends VERY quickly especially since the Destiny had lost most of it's close-range options.Athrun: "You Damn FOOL!!"
- The Hero: While Shinn is The Protagonist of the first half and Kira takes over in the second, Athrun is ultimately the overall main character of the sequel.
- Heroic Self-Deprecation: Athrun's opinion of himself and ZAFT's hero-worship of him do not exactly match up. Durandal exploits this in order to induce the Aesop Amnesia mentioned above.
- Knight in Sour Armour: Some things never change. Athrun is absolutely dedicated to doing the right thing. That doesn't mean he'll be anything approaching cheerful or optimistic about it.
- The Lancer: To Kira, when they finally end up on the same side again.
- Law of Chromatic Superiority: What is it with Athrun and red Gundams?
- Lightning Bruiser: In the Infinite Justice. It's fast enough to keep pace with the Destiny, and carries enough melee weapons to make an NRA member cry.
- Mid-Season Upgrade: The Infinite Justice.
- Mr. Fanservice: Considering his Chick Magnet status, yes.
- Multi-Melee Master: Athrun takes this to new levels of insanity with his Infinite Justice by having two combinable beam sabers, beam blades on its wings and lower legs, and a shield sporting a beam boomerang that double as a beam saber, a beam shield generator, and a rocket anchor that he never actually uses. To top it off he uses its beam shield as a makeshift melee weapon.
- Mythology Gag: His "Alex Dino" disguise wearing Cool Shades is an obvious reference to Char Aznable's Quattro Bajeena persona in Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam. And the one who revealed his identity? Gilbert Durandal, who shares the same voice as Quattro/Char himself!
- No Social Skills: Athrun's cynical outlook and inability to relate to the younger generation of pilots more or less sabotage his relationships with the entirety of the Minerva's crew.
- Not So Different: Shinn reminds Athrun of himself during the First Bloody Valentine War. Given that he's not real proud of his actions during that war, it explains why he's so tough on Shinn. The greatest difference between them ultimately lies in what makes both of them so similar; while Athrun is cynical and Shinn is idealistic, they are both devoted soldiers who feel that they need to be a part of a chain of command to fight for peace, which ZAFT and Durandal handily provide.
- 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.
- Roundhouse Kick: His Signature Move with the Infinite Justice, made more effective due to the cutting beams built into its legs. Though they're more of quick sweep kicks instead of the flashy kind usually seen in fiction.
- 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.
- Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!: The contrast between cynical, war-weary Athrun and the idealistic, patriotic (and badly misguided) Shinn couldn't be much stronger.
- 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.
- Super Mode: SEED mode again.
- 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.
- Supporting Protagonist: For both Shinn and Kira.
- The Reason You Suck: Gives a rather abbreviated but very deep-cutting one to Shinn Asuka in the final battle, lambasting him for taking part in what's effectively attempted genocide on Orb purely because of his own selfish inability to let go of his angst and hate. He then further goes on to imply the reason Shinn can't allow his anger to fade is because he himself has become someone who lives off of the hate and death of war, the very same as the people he claimed to despise - that since Shinn doesn't know anything else except pain and how to cause it, he pathologically needs to think himself on the "right" side so that he can always have a way to justify continuing his hate. To say Shinn doesn't react well to this assessment is a gross understatement, but in doing so only proves Athrun right as his mad desperation to kill him nearly resulted in Shinn killing Luna instead, forcing Athrun to finally go on the offense and cut the Destiny down to save Luna.
- Transforming Mecha: The Saviour, which converts into a jet-like mobile armor.
- Would Hit a Girl: As Lunamaria can attest.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: She has bright blue hair.
- 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 busts out of the base with Meyrin's help (though he's forced to bring her 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.
Voice Actors: Fumiko Orikasa (Japanese), Nicole Bouma (English)
A Bridge Bunny on board the Minerva, and Lunamaria's little sister. Like her sister, she has a crush on Athrun and an overly simplistic view of the world.
- Adrenaline Makeover: She wore Girlish Pigtails until her defection, after which she let her hair loose. Subverted later: in the last battle, she wore her hair up in pigtails again.
- Celeb Crush: On Athrun Zala. Unlike her sister, she's able to accept him for who he is, rather than who she expected.
- Distracted by the Sexy: Deliberately Invoked via Modesty Towel in order to delay some soldiers. She wasn't even naked underneath the towel!
- Green-Eyed Monster: Downplayed. Meyrin demonstrates some jealousy of Lunamaria's looks, but it's a minor aspect of her character.
- Hero-Worshipper: Has a serious hero-crush on Athrun.
- Plucky Girl: When under pressure, she can be pretty resourceful.
- She Knows Too Much: Gets caught by Rey when helping Athrun sneak into the MS hanger bay, forcing Athrun to take her with him least she get tried for treason alongside him.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: The girly girl to Luna's tomboy.
- 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).
Voice Actors: Mami Koyama (Japanese), Venus Terzo (English)
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.
- Benevolent Boss: She's variously temperamental, professional, or introverted, but Talia cares very much about every single one of her subordinates.
- Boobs-and-Butt Pose: In a Shower Scene in episode 30 of the HD Remaster.
- Broken Bird: Her history with Durandal left her one of the more jaded and resigned of the cast, especially where he's concerned.
- The Captain: She serves as the Minerva's captain.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: Don't get enthusiastic over other women, Arthur.
- Commissar Cap: Part of the standard ZAFT captain's uniform.
- 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.
- Foil: To both Murrue and Natarle Badgiruel, with Talia's sharpness and stricter approach contrasting Murrue's original naivete, and her anger and skepticism contrasting Natarle's unquestioning loyalty and unemotionalism, and Murrue's current idealism. In a Call-Back, Talia also ends up trying to take out a non-military boss she can no longer stand, in the end. Acknowledged by Talia herself when she expresses the wish for Murrue to meet her young son, someday.
- Freudian Slip: In the original, she does refer to Arthur once the way a wife usually does to her husband. Japanese fandom noticed the Ship Tease.
- Gray Eyes: They match her Cool Ship. Appropriate - as in "gray-eyed Athena".
- Like an Old Married Couple: Arthur's constantly at her side and she has a mix of affection and annoyance for him, so they come off as this.
- Modesty Bedsheet: She uses it after her one time with Durandal.
- New Old Flame: To Durandal. Almost instantly begins turning to an Old Flame Fizzle, due to his ever-increasing callousness and her responsive disgust.
- Parental Substitute: Becomes this to Rey at the very end, in the most tragic way possible.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Tries hard to have a sound personality. It's a tough job though, considering the kind of crew she has to deal with.
- Ship Tease: With Arthur. Even the fact that she calls him "Arthur" implies more of a degree of familiarity than strict professionalism (not that their relationship is terribly professional to begin with).
- Subordinate Excuse: Would just as soon NOT be in this position with the Chairman.
- The Reveal: In succession, she and Chairman Durandal are lovers, at least for one early episode, were romantically involved more than a decade ago, and she is a mother with a young son from the marriage she chose over him.
- The Rival: She and the Minerva are very much the Morally Ambiguous Counterparts to Murrue and the Archangel.
- The Skeptic: Is there an order of any kind from HQ? Talia will be questioning it, and what's behind it. Professionally, she simply tends to ask "why" more often than not. (Whether this is a good or unfortunate thing for a highly-placed military officer might be another in-show example of nature vs. role.)
- 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.
- Woman in White: She wears her white captain's uniform.
- Woman Scorned: Ends up as this to the Chairman, though she's not goaded into action so much by her personal feelings as she is horrified by the monster he's become.
Voice Actors: Hiroki Takahashi (Japanese), Jonathan Holmes (English)
Talia's second-in-command, Arthur is a likeable and competent, if remarkably panicky executive officer. Totally loyal to Captain Gladys, he has a good rapport with Shinn and the other pilots.
- Accent Adaptation: He has no accent in the original, but in the English dub (likely due to his name, quirky personality, etc.) he gains a British-Australian one (and loses his Catchphrase).
- Adorkable: Fanboying Shinn and the Impulse; bouncing at Meer's concert; gaping up against the glass of the bridge window; clapping two beats too long at an assembly, glancing at Talia, and stopping... Up to 11.
- Black Comedy: "And if they all decided to turn on us, that'd be the end of Gibraltar! Ahahaha..." (Given his ''other'' specialty, Talia might have been right in getting mad here.)
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Arthur's goofy and inexperienced but is never shown to be less than competent at his job. Justified, in that ZAFT is a militia.
- The Cassandra: "Impulse can beat the Freedom"? "If someone doesn't get shot, this war is never going to end"? "Hey, maybe it's NOT a good idea to go after The Chosen Many on the Archangel"? This is his non-Plucky Comic Relief role. Arthur tends to be rather startlingly accurate when he predicts something, but for various reasons, he's not terribly effective at getting taken seriously.
- Catchphrase: In Japanese. EHHH??
- Commissar Cap: Part of the standard uniform.
- 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.
- Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: In the Remaster, Talia yanks him by the EAR for daring to ogle Murrue.
- Ensign Newbie: Unlike his boss, Arthur is not a veteran. Fortunately, he's the Number Two, not The Captain, and acquits himself fairly well.
- First-Name Basis: Talia addresses him this way, and it's noticeable because ZAFT is more of a Last-Name Basis kind of place.
- The Fool: Plays this so well, it obfuscates his other talents.
- Like an Old Married Couple: His relationship with Talia, and it's very much played for all the comedy inherent.
- Mildly Military: He gets called by his first name, yelled at by his boss, and his personality makes him seem like he's not much of a soldier, but he does know what he's doing and can get strict about it.
- Nice Guy: Arthur is a rarity in this show—hell, in this franchise—an unambiguously affable guy.
- Non-Action Guy: Subverted. He may not pilot a mobile suit, but he's the first officer of a battleship.
- Officer and a Gentleman: He may be periodically goofy, but Arthur's nothing but devoted and chivalrous.
- Plucky Comic Relief: In a universe that's as much of a Crapsack World as the Cosmic Era, Arthur embodies this.
- Ship Tease: With Talia, who else?
- The Skeptic: Not as much as Talia, but he frequently questions the logic of her decisions, especially in the first part of the show. Since she is one, she's pretty benevolent about explaining everything to him.
- Subordinate Excuse: May have a crush on Talia. He never acts on it though, as her relationship with the Chairman predominates things to the end.
- Unknown Rival: For Athrun, as top officer on the Minerva. Justified; he dislikes his presence on the ship from the get-go, but Arthur never says anything about it, it's the middle of a war, and Athrun has far bigger issues. Watch him Death Glare at Athrun a couple times or fail to ever reprimand Shinn's insubordination the way he instantly does for Talia, though. (And given how Athrun's involvement with the ship turns out...)
- 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.
Earth Alliance Forces
Main mecha: Gaia Gundam, Destroy Gundam
Voice Actors: Houko Kuwashima (Japanese), Lalainia Lindbjerg (English)
- "Shinn... protect Stella..."
- Ax-Crazy: Beneath her Cloudcuckoolander exterior she's just as violently insane as (if far more pitiable than) Auel.
- Attack Drone: The Destroy's hands are equipped with beam cannons in each of its fingers, and can be deployed to attack independently of the suit from various directions.
- Badass Adorable: Aww, can I take her home with me?
- Bigger Stick: The Destroy is a 400-tonne stick.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Stella's memory is regularly rewritten by Neo, leaving her with little in the way of a functioning personality.
- 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.
- Cloudcuckoolander: A dark version, underscoring her mental problems.
- Custom Uniform of Sexy: Though not quite as blatant as Luna's, if only because all three Extended have modified their uniforms to some extent.
- Dark Action Girl: One of the EA's most dangerous pilots.
- The Dark Chick: Compare her Cloudcuckoolander behavior to that of her teammates, Ax-Crazy Auel and cold-blooded Sting, let alone Neo Roanoke's. She's definitely the odd one out, and it only gets worse as trauma causes her to regress further and further into her childhood.
- Deflector Shield: Like the Impulse, Gaia's shield is enhanced with beam deflecting forcefields, allowing it to bounce beam shots and defend against powerful attacks that mundane shields cannot block. Stella doesn't make extensive use of her shield, however.
- The Destroy Gundam is equipped with three shields called Positron Deflectors, which reflects all sorts of solid and beam attacks. It is located at its head and the detachable arms. They can only be bypassed by close range beam weapons such as beam sabers and the anti-ship beam swords.
- Detached Sleeves: On her custom uniform.
- Drugs Are Bad: Considering what they turned her into, yes.
- Evil Is Bigger: The Destroy Gundam is roughly the size of a battleship at Mobile Suit mode.
- Expy: Anyone who has watched Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam will notice that she's a mix of Four Murasame and Rosamia Badam, following the former's character arc, but possessing the latter's personality.
- Go Out with a Smile: Smiles at Shinn as she bleeds out.
- Innocent Fanservice Girl: She warmly smiles at a blushing Shinn when they had to sit naked together next to a campfire as their clothes dry...
- 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!"
- Magic Skirt: Both her civilian and military outfits miraculously prevent Panty Shots.
- Meaningful Name: The Gaia is a land-bound mobile suit.
- The Mentally Ill: Stella's a mentally handicapped girl who reacts to almost everything with horror and cannot process that other people are people.
- Mighty Glacier: The Destroy, though she's more mobile than most, bludgeoning her way through much of Eurasia and into the heart of Berlin.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: The GFAS-X1 Destroy.
- No Social Skills: Stella has the social skills of a three or four year old, if that.
- 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.
- The Rival: At times, can be seen as Lunamaria's.
- Sanity Slippage: She was already unstable, and the stress of the war sends her overboard into Ax-Crazy, although she remains sympathetic.
- Screaming Warrior/Screaming Woman: A little bit of both actually.
- Slave Mook: She has no choice when it comes to working for Neo.
- Small Girl, Big Gun: More accurately a childlike girl with the Destroy.
- Sociopathic Soldier: Though not to the same degree as Sting and Auel. She's insane, not evil.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Japanese sources list her name as "Stellar". North American sources, as well as the R1 DVDs, use "Stella".
- Star-Crossed Lovers/Like Brother and Sister: Her relationship with Shinn.
- Stellar Name: She's named after "Stella".
- Super Soldier: Though you'd never know it to look at her.
- Thanks for the Mammary: Her first encounter with Shinn involving him accidentally grabbing her chest.
- Third-Person Person: Always refers to herself as "Stella".
- Tragic Monster: 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.
- Tykebomb: Bred and trained for Phantom Pain.
- Vapor Wear: She's not wearing a bra in her civilian outfit, at least.
- Weapon of Mass Destruction: The Destroy series is built with mass destruction in mind.
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Seems to be the case with all the Extended, but it's most obvious with her.
Main mecha: Exus, Windam (purple), Akatsuki Gundam
Voice Actors: Takehito Koyasu (Japanese), Trevor Devall (English)
Spoilers!Click here to see him without his mask.
- "Sometimes I wonder when I crossed the line and became a wicked man."
- Ace Custom: His purple-colored Exus mobile armor and Windam mobile suit.
- Ace Pilot: One of the best pilots at the EA's disposal, regularly taking on the likes of Shinn and Rey in vastly inferior mecha.
- Alertness Blink: Between him and Rey. It's a callback to SEED, where Mu and Rau could sense when the other was nearby. This foreshadows that Roanoke is actually an amnesic Mu, and Rey is another clone of Mu's father.
- Amnesiac Dissonance: Meeting Murrue touches off a bad case of it.
- Attack Drone: His TS-MA4F Exus mobile armor features four of them. So does the Akatsuki when equipped with the Shiranui DRAGOON pack.
- Badass Normal: He's not a Coordinator or Extended and doesn't have SEED mode or a Gundam (at first), but regularly fights on the same level as pilots who are/do.
- Big Brother Mentor: Still projects this aura. This is a bad thing for people who might like to be objective about things like, oh, trusting him.
- Bling-Bling-BANG!: The golden Akatsuki he inherited from Cagalli after his Heel–Face Turn. The characters actually have to avert their eyes!
- Broken Ace: In both his personas. Neo is a profoundly damaged set of goods to say the least.
- The Captain: For Phantom Pain and the Girty Lue.
- Catch-Phrase: "I'm the man who makes the impossible possible."
- Char Clone: Blonde, masked enigmatic Ace Pilot who is also The Dragon and The Rival? Ayep, he's a Char.
- Also, ever noticed how much he resembles Rau Le Creuset? That's not a coincidence.
- Cool Mask: To cover up some truly ugly scarring on his face.
- Cool Plane: 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.
- Covered with Scars: His face and torso are coated in scar tissue.
- Criminal Amnesiac: Mu, courtesy of Djibril.
- Custom Uniform: His all black uniform and helmet cause Neo to cut a very noticeable figure.
- The Cynic: Neo is fully aware of the kind of people he is working for and the sort of war he is fighting.
- Death from Above: Delivered in his Windam. Generally, he and Sting provided the Earth Forces with air support.
- The Dragon: To Djibril, leading both the Navy and Phantom Pain for him. Overlaps with Hypercompetent Sidekick as he, and not his boss, is the reason for most of the Earth Forces' military successes.
- Enemy Mine: How he portrays his initial alliance with the Archangel.
- Exact Words: Shinn returned Stella to his custody on the sole condition Neo remove her to some safe place far from war. Neo said "...I promise." He didn't say "I'll do it."
- 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.
- 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.
- Heel–Face Turn: After his memories as Mu start coming back to him, he decides to stick around the Archangel in order to find out who he really is.
- He's Back: Finally regains his memories as Mu after recreating his own Taking The Antimatter Beam Heroic Sacrifice, only this time in a mobile suit that can handle it.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: To Djibril. Not a case of Dragon-in-Chief though, as Djibril is very much in charge (and is by far the more evil of the two of them).
- 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.
- I've Come Too Far: Neo crossed his personal Moral Event Horizon when he first started working with the Extended. He doesn't feel like there is any going back now.
- Irony: The man brainwashing the Extended is himself a brainwashing victim.
- Just Following Orders: He has a bad, bad case of this.
- 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. Given how loudly and repeatedly he stated who he was working for, it's hard to know if it's more disturbing if they do know or if they don't.
- 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.
- Lightning Bruiser: The Akatsuki. See Cagali's entry for more on that.
- 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.
- Meaningful Name: Roanoke might get his name from The Lost Colony Of Roanoke, an English colony whose inhabitants mysteriously vanished. Given that he's actually Mu La Flaga, a soldier who was lost in battle...
- Overshadowed by Awesome: Neo is an absoultely lethal pilot, but his use of first a mobile armor 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. There's 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.
- Pragmatic Villainy: Neo has no interest in pointless destruction. It's not efficent.
- Real Men Wear Pink: Well they wear black, actually, but they fly modified bright pink Windams. His Exus mobile armor was pink as well.
- Redemption Earns Life: Coming over to the Archangel spares Neo from being killed with his superiors and subordinates—and likely from the war crimes trials that would have ensued after the war.
- 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.
- The Rival: To Rey, mainly at the beginning.
- Zen Survivor: Right down to the cryptic behavior, cynical mentoring, and lack of giving a damn.
Voice Actors: Tadahisa Saizen (Japanese), Lee Tockar (English)Neo's second-in-command, Ian usually runs the ship while Neo takes care of strategy. A capable officer, he seems to get along well with his boss, despite the latter's eccentricities.
- The Captain: Oddly, yes. He's the actual captain of the Girty Lue, although he's outranked by Neo.
- Commissar Cap: As part of his uniform.
- Number Two: To Neo in Phantom Pain.
- Punch-Clock Villain: Ian seems pretty unhappy with the worst of the crimes he's made accessory to, yet commits them anyway as part of his job.
- The Strategist: He's willing to plan out strategies in battles.
Main mecha: Abyss Gundam
Voice Actors: Masakazu Morita (Japanese), Brad Swaile (English)
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 (redesignated the 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.
- Beam Spam: When not underwater, the Abyss usually provides long-range support with its impressive array of beam weapons.
- Blade on a Stick: The Abyss is equipped with a beam lance.
- Blood Knight: Though whether it's the fighting or the killing that he likes more is open to debate.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Auel, like the other Extended, has little idea of who he really is or why he's fighting.
- The Brute: To Neo's Dragon, and Stella's Dark Chick.
- Custom Uniform: His open shirt and orange shirt are not part of the standard EA uniform.
- Deflector Shield: The wings of the Abyss double as shields and are enhanced with beam deflecting forcefields.
- Drugs Are Bad: They've wrecked his mind.
- Evil Laugh: He laughs wickedly more often than not.
- Expy: He's pretty much a stabler version of Shani Andras, from the pre-Extended trio. They were even supposed to share the same voice actor in English, before Richard Ian Cox got caught up with other commitments.
- Faux Affably Evil: If Auel is acting friendly he's probably ten seconds away from gutting you.
- Guns Akimbo: In the first episode, with submachine guns.
- Hot Sub-on-Sub Action: Sinks a ZAFT command sub while in submarine mode.
- Jerkass: Towards Stella, and anybody who isn't a member of Phantom Pain.
- Kick the Dog: Probably the nastiest of the three, as evidenced by his use of Stella's Trigger Phrase as well as his sneering disregard for other people's lives.
- Knight Templar Big Brother: Towards Stella. When a soldier attempts to move her out of the way by grabbing her, Auel's reaction is to almost stab the guy to death.
- Lack of Empathy: He's a sneering, arrogant bully who treats everyone—excepting Sting and maybe Stella—as though they deserve to die.
- Meaningful Name: The Abyss is ocean-going.
- Mommy Issues: Given that his block word is "Mother" it seems likely.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: The Abyss Gundam. I don't even want to pilot that, let alone fight it.
- Pet the Dog: See Knight Templar Big Brother It doesn't make up for his sadism or cruelty, but it's nice to see the drugs did leave something human behind.
- Power Trio: The Ego (tending towards Id), to Sting's Superego, and Stella's Id.
- Psycho Serum: As part of the process that makes him an Extended.
- Put the "Laughter" in "Slaughter": Constantly cackles as he cuts people down.
- The Rival: To Shinn in the first half of the series.
- Slave Mook: He's not as sympathetic as Stella, but Auel doesn't have any choice.
- Sociopathic Soldier: Whoo boy. Auel is having far too much fun whenever he gets behind the Abyss's controls.
- Super Soldier: The drugs and brainwashing let him fight at Coordinator level.
- Transforming Mecha: The Abyss can transform into a mobile armor suited for underwater operations.
- Trigger Phrase: His is "mother". Take from that what you will.
- Tykebomb: Raised since early childhood to be a killing machine.
Main mecha: Chaos Gundam, Destroy Gundam
Voice Actors: Junichi Suwabe (Japanese), Brent Miller (English)
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, keeping them in line when Neo is unavailable.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.
- Bare Your Midriff: In his civillian outfit.
- Big Brother Mentor: Is a bit of one to Auel, albeit of the "hellishly dysfunctional family" variety.
- Bigger Stick: The Destroy, 400-tonnes of murder.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Sting's memories have been tampered with, to the point of forgetting about Auel and Stella after their deaths.
- Custom Uniform: His open shirt is not standard for the EA.
- Death from Above: He and Neo provide the air support, while Stella handles ground combat and Auel takes care of the water.
- Deflector Shield: Like the Impulse, Chaos' shield is enhanced with beam deflecting forcefields. It wasn't able to block Yzak's anti-ship beam axe though, and is sliced in half early on.
- Drugs Are Bad: Drugs have left him a sociopath.
- Evil Genius: While not a genius by any stretch of the imagination, he fills The Smart Guy role in the Five-Bad Band, largely by being the most rational of the three Extended.
- Evil Laugh: Sometimes, he lets out a cackle; starts happening a lot more post-Sanity Slippage.
- Expy: He's Orga Sabnak to Auel's Shani Andras. He also bears some similarities to Gates Capa of Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam, the Only Sane Man among the Cyber-Newtypes.
- Genius Bruiser: Comparatively. He's got all the Super Soldier training of his compatriots, but a far stronger grip on reality, allowing him to actually make tactical decisions.
- Irony: Tells Kira (piloting the Freedom) that piloting a mobile suit has less to do with the mobile suit itself and more to do with pilot skill. And then for an extra helping he is beaten by a trio of Mook Suits.
- Jerkass: Mocks and belittles Auel and Stella. Of course, Auel gives as good as he gets.
- The Juggernaut: In his 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 armor to survive attacks.
- Mirrored Confrontation Shot: He and Shinn do this during the last part of their battle, both screaming their lungs out.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Both the Chaos and the Destroy. Arguably his real name as well (unless you're a big fan of The Police).
- Only Sane Man: At least compared to Auel and Stella. He's certainly the only one with any common sense.
- Psycho Serum: As part of the process that makes him an Extended.
- Psychotic Smirk: Frequently. Becomes a full on Slasher Smile once he gets the Destroy.
- Put the "Laughter" in "Slaughter": Once he gets the Destroy.
- Sanity Slippage: Following Auel and Stella's deaths and upon getting his hands on the Destroy.
- Screaming Warrior: While piloting the Destroy.
- Slave Mook: Sting, like Stella and Auel, is kept brainwashed and addicted to ensure his loyalty.
- 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.
- Super Soldier: Frequent doses of Psycho Serum let him fight like a Coordinator.
- Transforming Mecha: The Chaos can transform into a Space Fighter. And like Stella, he pilots the Destroy later in the series.
- Trigger Phrase: It was never stated in the show, but Word of God is that it was Dream.
- Tykebomb: Like all the other Extended.
- Weapon of Mass Destruction: Following Stella's death he's given command of a Destroy, and leads a squadron of them at the Battle of Heaven's Base.
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Like his fellow Extended, Sting is already a bit of a loose cannon, thanks to years of abuse and drug addiction (although compared to the "Druggies" he's a pillar of stability), but he truly flips when — after already losing Auel and Stella — he gets his hands on the Destroy.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Green hair.
Voice Actors: Hideyuki Hori (Japanese), Alistair Abell (English)
- Aristocrats Are Evil: Invoked by his title.
- 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 Ensemble: As the leader of the Earth Forces, Blue Cosmos, and Phantom Pain's Five-Bad Band. While he's not the only contender for the title, he's the only one that everyone—in-series and out—agrees is an irredeemable psycho with no good qualities.
- Diabolical Mastermind: He's got the secret lair, hordes of minions, Ominous Multiple Screens, an Evil Plan, and a Right-Hand Cat that this trope seems to demand. While intellectually he's no Lex Luthor, he still has the resources, influence, technology, and total disregard for human life to be a serious threat.
- 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 Ascendant: 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.
- Evil Is Hammy: Of all the characters in show, he's easily the one who chews the most scenery. Somehow it just makes him all the more disgusting.
- Fantastic Racism: Against Coordinators. Like his predecessor Azrael, he wants to see them all exterminated, no matter what it takes.
- Final Solution: Djibril has a vision for the future, and it doesn't include Coordinators.
- 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.
- A Glass of Chianti: Frequently pictured with one.
- Greater-Scope Villain: In Stargazer, where first Azrael, and then he, are the ones giving Sven his orders.
- 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.
- Hate Sink: Djibril has the worst traits of his predecessor, Murata Azrael, while lacking the style, competency, or charisma that made the latter popular in-and-out of universe. He also gets overshadowed as the driving villain by Durandal, who exploits Djibril's vileness to get popular support for his own agenda.
- 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.
- Karmic Death: Every bit as fitting and deserved as Azrael's. He is killed by Rey Za Burrel, another of Al Da Flaga's clones. Both Al and Djibril are wealthy men driven by their egos and abused children for their own gain.
- 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.
- Last-Name Basis: His first name is never brought up, even when Durandal exposes LOGOS and its members to the world, he is still curiously listed as 'Lord Djibril'. Then again, in a world with names like Neo, Sting, and Shams, 'Lord' may very well be his actual first name rather than just a title.
- The Man Behind the Man: To the Atlantic Federation and this particular incarnation of the Earth Sphere Alliance.
- Meaningful Name: "Djibril" is the Arabic of "Gabriel", one of God's angels. It fits in nicely with his status as successor to Azrael, who was named for the Angel of Death.
- Muggle Power: As the new head of Blue Cosmos.
- A Nazi by Any Other Name: As the head of Blue Cosmos this goes without saying.
- No Indoor Voice: Even when he's trying to be quiet, Djibril is loud.
- Non-Action Big Bad: Of the Earth Forces. Unlike Azrael, Djibril prefers to stay behind the lines, where it's safe.
- Nuke 'em: Tries to nuke the colonies right at the start of the war. The use of the Destroy could be seen as another example of this.
- Obviously Evil: We first see him in a secret underground lair, surrounded by televisions, having A Glass of Chianti and stroking his Right-Hand Cat.
- Oh, Crap!: Has two moments. First is when Durandal reveal the existence of Logos and its members, including him, to the world. The second is when he spots the Legend through his battleship's window, mere seconds before it reduces him to ashes.
- Ominous Multiple Screens: Surrounds himself with TVs, through which he views the world and communicates with his subordinates.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: He seems to lack Azrael's misogyny, but makes up for it in terms of how intense his Fantastic Racism is.
- Psychotic Smirk: His usual expression.
- Right-Hand Cat: And it's a black cat to boot.
- 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, and his deep voice undermines any femininity his look lends him.
- 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.
- There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Between the nukes, the Destroy, the Nibelung, and the Requiem, it's clear that he, like Azrael, is a firm believer in this trope.
- 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.
- Weapons Of Mass Destruction: Loves these as evidenced by the nuclear weapons, the colossal, city-killing Destroy, the Nibelung Tesla coil, and the Requiem Wave Motion Gun.
- We Have Reserves: Lives don't mean much to Djibril. He'll gladly throw away his troops if he thinks it'll let him win.
- Western Terrorists: Under Djibril, Blue Cosmos has returned to its terrorist roots.
- Would Hurt a Child: He and Azrael created a project that takes children from their families, and puts them through Training from Hell in order to make them grow up to be teenaged super soldiers. That's without mentioning the Extended program.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: In the novelization he kills Yuna Roma Seiran after he is no longer needed.
- Younger Than They Look: He's only thirty-one. That makes him a year younger than Durandal and only three years older than Ramius.
Voice Actors: Shuichi Ikeda (Japanese), Ted Cole (English)
- "Power is necessary because there will always be conflict."
- 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.
- Anti-Villain: Durandal absolutely believes that he's saving the world, but his methodology leaves a lot to be desired.
- Artistic License – Biology: There are a few problems with Gil's reasoning, to say the least. Science knows right now that even people with identical DNA do not express it identically — not in appearance, health, personality, interests, or anything else. For someone who's as much of an acclaimed genetics expert as Durandal to make that kind of a fundamental error is... both bizarre and hand waved.
- Then there's Meer. The guy set up the lynchpin and major supporter of his plans not only on a lie, but as their potential downfall seeing as how her hugely successful role as "Lacus" had nothing to do with genetics.
- Big Bad Ensemble: As the leader of the ZAFT forces and perpetuating the war against Lord Djibril and the Earth forces, they both share responsibility for the conflict of the series. Durandal is also The Man Behind the Man to many of the worst tragedies in the show, the final antagonist to be faced and implied to be behind much of the incompetent Djibril's success for his own gain.
- Broken Ace: He's a successful doctor and lawyer turned politician, a Manipulative Bastard seen as Messianic Archetype by much of the world, a Well-Intentioned Extremist whose plans just might work, and a Villain with Good Publicity poised to gain everything. Whatever angle one looks at him from, Durandal has got it all. And he is deeply, deeply depressed, frustrated over his rocky relationship with Talia, unable to see any good in the world, and coping very badly with his inability to save Rau.
- Broken Pedestal: To Athrun and the ZAFT pilots who defect to the TSA.
- The Chessmaster: Durandal is really good at getting people to do things that benefit him.
- Char Clone: Channels Char Aznable's extremism to a more sane (but no less sinister) level than his friend Rau Le Creuset, as well as serving as a relatively-benevolent mentor for his army. And come on, THAT VOICE.
- Chess Motifs: The guy loves 'em, frequently playing with a chess set.
- 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.
- Dead Person Conversation: With Rau Le Creuset
- 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.
- Establishing Character Moment: Right off the bat, he calls Cagalli "Princess", instead of her preferred (and proper) title of "Chief Representative Athha". When Cagalli says "can you stop?" he responds "of course, Representative Athha"... and then goes right back to doing it. It's remarkably effective at showing his utter inability to view people as anything other than his pre-assigned roles, or take into account another person's wishes, and his general asshole tendencies, as well as neatly subverting the "nice and thoughtful guy" image he takes such care to project.
- Evil Genius: Absolutely.
- Eviler Than Thou: With Djibril, his rival for the title of Big Bad. Djibril is more evil, Durandal more competent and manages to outmaneuver him.
- The Evils of Free Will: Durandal never flatout states that he thinks free will 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.
- Expy: Fans have drawn parallels between Durandal and Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam's Paptimus Scirocco. The key difference is that Durandal is actually well-intentioned, while Scirocco talks a big game, but has an ego that views himself as the near center of the universe.
- 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.
- Good Eyes, Evil Eyes: Has narrow, serpentine eyes.
- Graceful Loser: A rare exception to the standard fare of screaming and raving antagonists in the Cosmic Era.
- 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.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: In the backstory. It actually helped to screw him up even more than he already was. Subverted in the current story, where he's perfectly happy to keep her life in constant danger in front-line combat because it suits his purposes.
- Improbable Age: He's a doctor, lawyer and the de-facto leader of an entire nation at the ripe age of thirty-two.
- Jerkass: He's a smug, vain, manipulative Control Freak who shows almost no regard even for the people who are most devoted to him and/or his plans while simultaneously demanding the approval of the entire world. And this is before he busts out the giant WMDs.
- Karmic Death: He's shot by an illegal product of the lab where he used to work because he didn't bother to recognize Rey's individuality or value as a person, and Kira Yamato did. Doubles as Laser-Guided Karma. Also a Mythology Gag to anyone who has ever seen the UC series, considering how a "white kid" named Rey shoots a guy with Char Aznable's voice.
- Lack of Empathy: He can fake it pretty well when it suits his purposes, but at the end of the day, he's not really interested in, or affected by, anyone else's feelings. Arguably hurts him just as much as his need for control.
- 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.
- Narcissist: Durandal desires the approval of others while actually caring very little about them, their wishes, or their needs. He's a textbook case, as well as a Spiritual Successor to the Mendel colony narcissist of the last show, Al Da Fllaga.
- New Era Speech: When he reveals the Destiny Plan.
- Non-Action Big Bad: Of ZAFT, and the show as a whole.
- Parental Substitute: To Rey. He doesn't do very much on his end.
- The Philosopher: Like Le Creuset and Lacus, Durandal spends a lot of time contemplating the life, the universe, and everything.
- President Evil: Of the legally elected variety.
- Putting on the Reich: It's not immediately apparent, but dye his trenchcoat and jackboots black, and voila! (His willingness to murder anyone who doesn't fit in with his master plan also helps.)
- 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.
- The Reveal: Happens slowly, but here goes — he's playing on Shinn's emotional fragility through his adopted son Rey, is conning the world with both his charm and the support of Lacus... er, Meer, was an old friend of Rau (whose disillusionment with humanity has rubbed off on him), and intends to Take Over the World and impose a Social Darwinist utopia. God help you if you get in his way.
- Smart People Play Chess: The most manipulative man in the show and a brilliant chessmaster.
- 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. Kira calls bullshit.
- 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.
- Sympathy for the Devil: Along with Mu La Flaga and Rey, he's the only person in-series to express any sympathy for previous Big Bad, Rau Le Creuset.
- Take Over the World: He's got more complicated reasons than most megalomaniacs, but his plan still requires this in order to work.
- 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.
- Villain with Good Publicity: Convinces most of the world that he is their saviour.
- Villainous Friendship: Has a father/son relationswhip with Rey, and a complicated friendship with the previous Big Bad, Le Creuset.
- 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.
- 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.
Voice Actors: Rie Tanaka (Japanese), Chantal Strand (English dialogue), Jillian Michaels (English singing)
"I am Lacus Clyne. I'm Lacus! I'd rather be her!"A Girl Next Door and Lacus Clyne Fangirl, 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, protect herself from others, see where this whole act will take her, or a mix of all of the above. As the series progresses, she becomes less and less sure of herself and her role.
- Anti-Villain: She explains to 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."Miss Lacus is so beautiful, so kind, so adored! [...] But me? I'm not needed by anyone."
- Ascended Fangirl: And one who 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 meets the real Lacus and puts her over herself, even Taking the Bullet for her.
- Belated Backstory: After her death, Lacus finds her electronic journal and learns how Meer's initial days as her Body Double were...
- Broken Bird: To say this young woman is a mess, mentally and emotionally speeaking, is an Under Statement.
- Celeb Crush: On Athrun Zala, whom she still believes is Lacus' boyfriend. Boy is she misinformed.
- Deal with the Devil: She got to be her idol and have fortune, fame, beauty, and a purpose to boot. Too bad it was offered by a guy with extremely sinister motives for the human race.
- Desperately Seeking A Purpose In Life: See her Anti-Villain quote. This is really the root of her (and a lot of the eventual world's) problems. She believes she's totally unneeded and can't figure out her own destiny, so letting someone else give her a destiny mimicking someone as beautiful and beloved as Lacus (for national security reasons, no less) seems to be a solution.
- Expy: Of the Hans Christian Andersen version of The Little Mermaid. (A mermaid is "Meerjungfrau" in German.) She gave up her voice for her dream. It's even represented in one of the SEED Character Theater picture dramas.
- Heroic Sacrifice: When Lacus is again marked for death, Meer willingly takes the assassin's last bullet and dies protecting her.
- Gainaxing: She's rather stacked compared to Lacus, and was already that busty before starting the Body Double deals, 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.
- Glamorous Wartime Singer: Invoked on her with a vengeance. A big part of her role is posing as Lacus and singing with the troops to offer them solace.
- Hair Decs: Lacus's iconic hairclip is the only thing Durandal didn't feel the need to replicate. Meer's is a giant gold star. Given how this is the only thing to identify her while she works for A Nazi by Any Other Name, it has deeply and deliberately unsettling implications.
- Hotter and Sexier: What she did to Lacus' "sweet and pure" image. Her outfits show a lot more skin and her versions of Lacus' songs and faster and flirtier. Also, compare her Girl Next Door past self to her current one.
- "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. In fact, her flashbacks show her being recruited through what looks like a singing audition.
- Light Feminine and Dark Feminine: Lacus is sweet, kind, and has an angelical aura around her when she performs. Meer is also sweet, but she's completely broken by war and is a Miss Fanservice.
- 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 plays on the 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 probably fed by him), and by the end the poor woman is half-convinced she really is Lacus Clyne.
- Ms. Fanservice: Pretty? Yes. Busty? Yes. With revealing wardrobe? Yes. Bubbly and cheerful, at least on the outside? Yes... Invoked by Durandal, both to gain an audience and also to get "Lacus" to be seen as merely eye-candy.
- Redemption Equals Death: She wasn't exactly evil, but did go with Durandal's plans. So...
- Sanity Slippage: She eventually seems to believe — or at least tries really hard to convince herself — that she really is Lacus.
- Stepford Smiler: Type A. She's all smiles on the outside, but the reality is, she's a deeply broken and disturbed young woman who hated herself enough to try and become someone else.
- She certainly ends up as this once she believes she's no longer needed, again, but Meer genuinely believed in the Chairman and that what she was doing would provide a better future for everyone. Also, there's nary a teenage girl who wouldn't accept the amazing, life-changing deal she was offered.
- 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.
- Talking To Herself: She and Lacus share the same voice actresses. Also in-universe when she speaks to Lacus.
- Villainous Breakdown: In the last couple of episodes, for a certain definition of "villain".
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: 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, and even is this close to convince her to pull a whole Heel–Face Turn, but Meer dies soon afterwards.
- Zettai Ryouiki: Wear a nice Grade A (long socks plus frilled pleated miniskirt) in the same episode she dies.
Main mecha: Slash ZAKU Phantom (blue), GOUF Ignited (white)
Voice Actors: Tomokazu Seki (Japanese), Michael Adamthwaite (English)
"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.
- Ace Pilot: One of the best pilots of the previous war, he makes ace again in this one.
- The Atoner: Not a full-fledged example, but he's definitely trying to make up for his mistakes from two years ago. Just see his quote, above.
- Big Damn Heroes: He and Dearka do this a couple of times, the most notable being their last minute Heel–Face Turn and attack on the Requiem.
- Blade on a Stick: On his ZAKU.
- Character Development: Compare the suicidally hot-blooded Yzak of SEED to the much more mature Yzak of Destiny.
- Close-Range Combatant: Both his Slash ZAKU Phantom and GOUF are geared towards close quarters combat.
- Commanding Coolness: It's "Commander Joule" now.
- Demoted to Extra: Recieves much less screentime in Destiny than he did in SEED.
- Good Is Not Nice: Insulting Clyne's faction while coming to their rescue. Dearka had to stop him speaking, because they were mistaking him for an enemy.
- Hot-Blooded: At least this time he does think things through more than he used to.
- Karma Houdini: Feels this way about himself. He was honestly surprised, and maybe even a little disappointed, that Durandal pardoned him during the trials following the war.
- Man in White: His new uniform is colored white.
- Military Brat: His mother, Ezalia, was a member of the PLANT supreme council.
- Older and Wiser: One of the best examples between SEED and Destiny.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: He has a very sound judgment befitting of a commander.
- Redemption Promotion: Since returning to ZAFT he's achieved the rank of "commander", which, with ZAFT being a loosely-organized militia, means he's more or less an admiral.
- Spanner in the Works: Leads a sizeable chunk of the ZAFT fleet over to Lacus during the finale.
- Those Two Guys: Him and Dearka to Athrun.
- Two Guys and a Girl: The Joule Team's command roster consists of himself, Dearka, and Shiho.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: His Character Development turned him this with Athrun, although the Foe Yay is still there. "Athrun, you bastard, what are you doing here?!" seems to have become his standard greeting.
Main mecha: Gunner ZAKU Warrior, Blaze ZAKU Phantom (brown)
Voice Actors: Akira Sasanuma (Japanese), Brad Swaile (English)
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.
- Ace Pilot: One of the best pilots of the first war, he earns the title again here.
- BFG: He uses the Gunner model for his ZAKU, which matches his experience with the BFG-wielding Buster in Mobile Suit Gundam SEED.
- Big Damn Heroes: His and Yzak's Heel–Face Turn and attack on the Requiem.
- The Consigliere: Dearka's common sense does a lot to tone down Yzak's Hot Bloodedness. Yzak needs it.
- Demoted to Extra: Receives much less screentime in Destiny than he did in SEED.
- Dark-Skinned Blond: Blond hair, dark brown skin.
- The Lancer: He is officially Yzak's Number Two now.
- Long-Range Fighter: He does show some skill in CQC in his more well-rounded Blaze ZAKU Phantom later in the series, but still generally prefers taking out enemies at a distance.
- Military Brat: His father was a ranking officer.
- Offscreen Breakup: With Miriallia, before the series began.
- Redemption Demotion: Due to his defection in the previous war, he was demoted from a Redcoat to a mere Greencoat. This is mitigated by his status as Yzak's Number Two, which means he effectively holds a much higher rank than he previously did.
- Ship Sinking: Miriallia dumped him before GSD began.
- Spanner in the Works: Convinces Yzak to pull the above-mentioned Heel–Face Turn.
Main mecha: Blaze ZAKU Phantom (orange), GOUF Ignited (orange)
Voice Actors: T.M.Revolution (Japanese), Brian Dobson (English)
- "This is no ZAKU, pal! NO ZAKU!"
- 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.
- Badass Boast: "This is no ZAKU, pal! NO ZAKU!"
- Command Roster: Subverted. He disapproves of Zaft soldiers being identified with titles and believes everyone is equal which says a lot from a member of Faith.
- Commanding Coolness: Although he prefers not to be called commander.
- First-Name Basis: With the Minerva pilots he insists they call him by his first name and encourages everyone to be as open with each other as well.
- Foil: Serves as one to the more conflicted Athrun, being totally loyal to ZAFT and the Chairman and convinced of the righteousness of the war. Needless to say, Shinn wishes Athrun was more like him.
- Good Is Not Soft: The friendliest Zaft soldier ever seen towards his comrades but still a soldier that won't hesitate to strike down his enemies.
- It Gets Easier: He thinks so.
- My Country, Right or Wrong: Heine's all about being a good soldier, which makes him a fair bit like Athrun was in the previous war.
- Nice Guy: Introduces himself to the Minerva pilots and is completely outgoing and friendly attempting to raise the morale of his fellow pilots.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: His character is based on T.M Revolution, who provided his voice in the Japanese version.
- Sacrificial Lamb: He's brought in, seems to be a badass, is established as a Foil to Athrun, makes friends with Shinn and dies a few episodes later.
- Shout-Out: He gives Ramba Ral's "No ZAKU" line while piloting a GOUF.
- Whip It Good: One of the GOUF's main weapons is a heat whip.
Voice Actor: Makiko Ohmoto (Japanese), Annika Odegard (English)
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 , 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.
- Ace Pilot: She has a red uniform. On top of that, other materials reveal that she went head-to-head with the OMNI Ace Pilot "Sakura Burst" and fought her to a draw during the Battle of Jachin Due.
- The Cameo: What her role in the anime is reduced to.
- Former Regime Personnel: Left ZAFT after the first war to fight in South America. She was later rehired by Yzak.
- 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.
- Subordinate Excuse: The fans see this as her reason for joining the Joule Team.
- Two Guys and a Girl: The Girl to Yzak and Dearka's Two Guys.
- The Voiceless: In the anime, she has no lines.
Cagalli Yula Athha
Main mecha: Strike Rouge Gundam, Akatsuki Gundam
Voice Actors: Naomi Shindo (Japanese), Vanessa Morley (English)
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.
- Arranged Marriage: Was supposed to have one with Yuna.
- Attack Drone: With the Akatsuki. Subverted though, as she doesen't use the Shiranui pack herself. That title goes to Neo Roanoke aka Mu La Flaga towards the end of the series.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Once Cagalli starts fighting she's Orb's most effective soldier barring only Kira & Athrun. Having access to top of the line tech probably helps her here.
- Badass Normal: She's a Natural, but fights against Coordinators on pretty even footing. Her ride probably helped.
- Four-Star Badass: She's Orb's Commander-in-Chief, as well as its First Representative, complete with gold-braided uniform.
- Bigger Stick: The Akatsuki, which is a huge cut above the Strike Rouge.
- Bling-Bling-BANG!: The Akatsuki, whose gold paint is actually an anti-beam coating.
- Curtains Match the Window: Has gold hair and gold eyes.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: After trying to be a Politically Active Princess backfires on her, Cagalli spends a good chunk of time in this state though she tries to keep going nonetheless. Getting the Akatsuki and her father's final message snaps her fully out of it.
- Immune to Bullets: In addition to the phase-shift armor which makes it nearly impervious to physical attacks, the Akatsuki can also reflect any beam shots fired at it. It cannot stop beam sabers, however.
- Lightning Bruiser: The Akatsuki. It's fast, well-armed, and impervious to beam shots.
- Love Hurts: Whatever the status of thier relationship is by the end there's no arguing that most of her interactions with Athrun after his return to the Archangel are pretty painful to watch.
- Politically Active Princess: She attempts to become this, but massively fails. Seems it worked much better in the epilogue.
- She's Back: After returning to Orb and retrieving the Akatsuki. She proceeds to massacre the ZAFT forces attacking her country. She even tries taking on Shinn, who is fully in Berserker territory at this point.
- Situational Sword: The Akatsuki's unique Yata no Kagami coating makes it virtually immune to beam attacks, even those as powerful as the Minerva's Tannhauser. However, unlike Phase Shift Armor it's useless against ballistic, mass-based weaponry or beam sabers, meaning that it's in serious danger of being torn to pieces when facing these weapons, as demonstrated in Cagalli's fight with Shinn.
- Took a Level in Badass: When she gets her hands on the Akatsuki, Cagalli, who had massively failed in her early gambits, returns to her old form from two years prior.
Yuna Roma Seiran
Voice Actors: Kenji Nojima (Japanese), Brian Drummond (English)
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.
- Aristocrats Are Evil: A smug, upperclass dumbass.
- Armchair Military: Yuna thinks he's a great commander because of his talent for strategy games, and as such, takes command of Orb's forces, believing that he will lead them to victory. About that...
- Arranged Marriage: His father and Cagalli's had set one up. Yuna's willing to go through with it because he wants the political prestige.
- Big Bad Wannabe: Yuna actually thinks he's a player in this game, but he's way out of his league with Durandal, Djibril, and even Neo (who scares him to death).
- Bling of War: His very fancy uniform.
- Dirty Coward: Even more so than Djibril, panicking at the slightest hint of difficulty.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: Dropped a crashing GOUF on him. It was hilarious.
- Fantastic Racism: Yuna's not noticeably anti-Coordinator himself, but he's willing to promote this sort of attitude in Orb if it makes the Atlantic Federation more willing to deal with them.
- General Failure: He manages to make Djibril (who has his ruthlessness going for him, if nothing else) look like a great commander in comparison.
- Humiliation Conga: Ending with him being crushed to death under a falling mobile suit.
- Jerkass: Kind of goes without saying once you look at the rest of the tropes associated with him.
- Karmic Death: Started a pointless war. Had a GOUF shot down by one of his own mobile suits land on him.
- In the novelisation he's killed by Djibril after he outlives his usefulness. Also very karmic.
- Laughably Evil: Particularly in the English dub, where his status as a Smug Snake, Dirty Coward, and General Failure is played for all the comedy it can provide, in contrast to the much more serious (if not much more effectual) Lord Djibril.
- 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.
- Non-Action Guy: No experience in combat, no desire to see it.
- 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.
- Romantic False Lead: A pretty obvious one.
- Sissy Villain: Effeminate voice and mannerisms? Check. Screams like a girl? Check. Sleeps in elf pajamas? Check.
- Smug Snake: Incredibly stuck-up, incredibly incompetent.
- War for Fun and Profit: Got Orb involved in the war to win political points with Djibril and maintain his position at home. It backfires pretty badly.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Purple.
Voice Actors: Kazuya Ichijou (Japanese), Fred Henderson (English)
- "I'm counting on you, Freedom."
- Death by Irony: Shinn kills him, although neither Todaka nor Shinn were aware of each other at that point.
- Heroic Sacrifice: He orders his crew to flee while he remains behind and accountable for Orb's defeat against the Minerva.
- Must Let Them Get Away: He lets the Archangel escape from Orb after kidnapping Cagalli.
- Pet the Dog: In a flashback, he tried to comfort Shinn after he lost his parents.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Very sound in judgment and willing to listen to his subordinates.
- Reluctant Warrior: He very much believes in Orb's original ideals but is involved in Orb's alliance with the Earth Alliance and is forced into battles he wouldn't willingly participate in.
- Suicide by Cop: Possibly. Trapped between his My Country, Right or Wrong mentality and a criminally incompetent head of state, he orders his lightly-armed supercarrier to make a frontal attack on the enemy's most advanced battleship. Even the captain of said enemy warship is baffled.
- Try Not to Die: Under orders he has to order his own fleet to open fire on Cagalli and hopes the Freedom can save her.
Crew of the Archangel
Main mecha: Freedom Gundam, Strike Freedom Gundam
Voice Actors: Soichiro Hoshi (Japanese), Matt Hill (English)
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.
- Ace Pilot: The best, and most infamous, pilot of the previous war, he returns to action here and walks all over the competition.
- Alertness Blink: Kira gains a Newtype Flash when he activates the Super DRAGOONs on his first sortie on the Strike Freedom, and shows one again upon sensing Rey during their duel.
- Arch-Enemy: Shinn and later Rey see him as this. Initially, Kira doesn't notice these a lot; he eventually clues in on both, he seriously tries to eliminate Shinn later and culminates an inverse Breaking Speech against Rey.
- 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? He doesn't really exercise his authority though, and only once (nervously) issues an order (for the Archangel, Athrun, and Mu to deal with Requiem). They mostly take it as a request from a friend and ally, rather than an order from a superior.
- Attack Drone: The Strike Freedom has eight.
- Bash Brothers: He's nigh-unstoppable when taking the field, but it's practically impossible to even touch Kira when Athrun has his back. Their units even cover the weaknesses of each other, with the Infinite Justice being optimized for Athrun's specialty in close combat, taking care of high speed foes like the Destiny Gundam while the Strike Freedom is able to wipe out long-ranged entrenchments that would otherwise be difficult to approach.
- 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.
- Big Brother Instinct: Whether he's the older one isn't yet confirmed, but it doesn't stop him from looking out for Cagalli. Such as by turning up in his mobile suit and kidnapping her from her own wedding, stopping her from marrying a Jerkass.
- Bigger Stick: The Freedom and the Strike Freedom, the latter being totally superior to any Gundam save perhaps the Infinite Justice, the Legend, and the Destiny.
- Born Winner: Being a Coordinator and reliable access to SEED mode is a good place to be.
- Breaking Speech: Inflicts one on Rey, triggering his Villainous Breakdown.
- 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. When Shinn and Luna meet him at the end of the series, they're shocked that the suit's pilot is a kind, soft-spoken young man not much different from themselves.
- 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.
- Expy: He plays a similar role to Amuro Ray in Zeta Gundam, but he gradually evolves into Amuro circa Char's Counterattack, with Strike Freedom's design being based on the Hi-Nu Gundam (from the novelization of Char's Counterattack).
- Four-Star Badass: Holds the rank of Admiral in the Orb military, and is revealed to have become a ZAFT commander in the finale.
- 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.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: When Rey announces himself as Rau Le Cruset Kira experiences a rush of rapid fire flashbacks in a fit of PTSD.
- Hero Killer: Inverted. He's a heroic character who utterly terrifies our antivillainous protagonists.
- 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.
- Honor Before Reason: Aims to disable his opponents (by destroying their mobile suits' cameras, weapons, or limbs) rather than kill them because he wants to keep the loss of human life to a minimum. Though noble in intention, it veers into Reckless Pacifist territory, which Athrun points out in his What the Hell, Hero? speech. Shinn later uses 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: Kira is only defeated twice in the series, both while piloting an older mobile suit than his foes, and handicapped by his Technical Pacifist tendencies. Once he gets his Mid-Season Upgrade to the Strike Freedom, he's never even damaged in combat.
- Lady and Knight: The Knight to Lacus Clyne's Lady.
- 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 (minus the afterimages). 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's shield is a fairly mundane physical shield with a limited defense against both solid and beam attacks, and is the only area of performance in which the Freedom is lacking in comparison to the present time Gundams. This is normally not a problem considering Kira often ditches it anyway as he engages in Dual Wielding his beam sabers. This bites Kira hard in its final battle with the Impulse. Fixed with the Strike Freedom, which has two beam shields installed in its forearms.
- Martial Pacifist: Kira doesn't like to fight. He'll take you apart if you push the issue though.
- Mid-Season Upgrade: The Strike Freedom. On top of having virtually everything the Freedom has (which was already on par with the most advanced mobile suits of the time despite being two years old), it has updated specs and an OS specifically designed for Kira along with beam shields (which eliminated the risk of losing his shield mid-combat and gave him additional melee weapons) and DRAGOONS to cover its backside (which can be deployed to attack from multiple directions when in space). While the Freedom was already incredibly fast, the Strike Freedom is implied to be even faster, having no problems keeping up with the all-purpose Destiny Gundam. Combined with Kira's own superior skills, he is able to take on Shinn and Rey with their respective Bigger Sticks at once, although only for a short time before being overwhelmed.
- Official Couple: With Lacus.
- Older and Wiser: And just a little burnt out.
- 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 Rouge. He changed its specs so its PSA would display the Strike Gundam's original white/blue/red colors. His pilot suit, however, does have pink stripes on its shoulder boards.
- 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.
- Rogue Protagonist: He knows Durandal's got an agenda. Shinn and Athrun don't. This causes problems.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: If the Thousand-Yard Stare, constant flashbacks, and stoic personality are any indicator.
- Shoot the Dog: Forced to break his Technical Pacifism to stop the Destroy from wrecking Berlin, killing Stella as a side effect of damaging the Destroy's Wave Motion Gun, which exploded and mortally wounded her.
- 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.
- Super Mode: SEED again.
- For most of the show, he's the only member of the cast who can activate this mode at will. It's one of the reasons he's a One-Man Army.
- Take a Third Option: He again refuses to pick a side, targeting both ZAFT and the Earth Forces, while trying to get Orb to back out. This doesn't stop the likes of Shinn from gunning for him though.
- Technical Pacifist: His new fighting style involves severing the enemies' limbs.
- 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.
- Too Many Belts: His civilian outfit.
- Übermensch: He and Lacus are a messianic pair of them, rejecting the cynical, violent, racially motivated politics of the Cosmic Era in favor 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.
- Would Hit a Girl: He's willing to hit women such as Stella.
- Zen Survivor: Due to a combination of shellshock and having learned, for better or worse, that he can't expect anybody else to be reasonable.
Voice Actors: Rie Tanaka (Japanese), Chantal Strand (English dialogue), Jillian Michaels (English singing)
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.
- All-Loving Hero: There's nobody Lacus doesn't care about.
- 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.
- Expy: As in SEED, she's a more active take on Relena Darlian.
- Friend to All Children: Takes care of an orphanage alongside Kira, and acts as the kids' mother figure.
- Guile Heroine: She's the brains of the outfit, fighting back against Durandal using the same sort of political pressure and propaganda techniques that he employs.
- The High Queen: Even more so than in SEED.
- Honour Before Reason: Not as much as in SEED, but still present.
- The Leader: She's a Charismatic Type to Terminal and the rest of the anti-ZAFT forces. Final Plus also shows that she became the new Chairwoman of the PLANT Supreme Council (the same position as her late father) after all had settled down.
- Idol Singer: Although she's apparently been out of sight for a couple of years.
- Messiah Creep: Since SEED. It makes her conflict with Durandal that much more interesting.
- Music for Courage: She sings "Fields of Hope" to calm the children during the Break the World incident.
- Soundtrack Dissonance: ...which provides the music while we watch the effects it has on the planet.
- Politically Active Princess: In all but title.
- Princesses Prefer Pink: Always has a little pink on her and that's not getting into her hair.
- Robot Buddy: Still has her army of Haros.
- Silk Hiding Steel: Just ask Durandal about that. The girl has an iron spine.
- Technical Pacifist: Doesn't want to kill anyone, but if she has to, she will sic Kira on them. And it will hurt both their enemies and herself.
- Tender Tears: Meer's Heroic Sacrifice, and subsequently reading an account of her life and how her extreme makeover took a heavy toll on her sanity, sent her crying into Kira's arms.
- Übermensch: She and Kira are messianic versions of this.
Voice Actors: Kotono Mitsuishi (Japanese), Lisa Ann Beley (English)
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.
- Badass Normal: Is a genetically unmodified Natural, yet holds her own when a group of coordinators attack Lacus's home.
- The Captain: He serves as the Archangel's leader.
- Cool Ship: The Archangel is still pretty damn cool.
- Expy: The parallels between her and Bright Noa are as strong or stronger in this show.
- Official Couple: With Neo Roanoke, aka Mu La Flaga.
- Platonic Life-Partners: With Andy, on account of both of them having lost their loved ones.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Still the most rational military leader around.
Main mecha: Murasame (yellow), Gaia Gundam (red)
Voice Actors: Ryotaro Okiayu (Japanese), Brian Drummond (English)A former ZAFT ace, who defected near the end of the previous war. Still has the scars from his battle with Kira.
- Arm Cannon: Hides a really nasty gun within his prosthetic arm.
- Artificial Limbs: Has a prosthetic arm, complete with built in shotgun.
- The Captain: Of the Eternal once it gets back in action.
- Cool Old Guy: As cool as ever despite his advancing age.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: His face is disfigured by scarring from his duel with Kira.
- Handicapped Badass: He can hold his own despite having lost an eye and an arm (now replaced with a prosthetic arm which also conceals a gun just in case).
- Platonic Life-Partners: With Ramius.
- Team Dad: To the Archangel crew.
- 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, recolored according to his specifications. It works out nicely for him seeing as its animal form is more or less the LaGOWE which was his machine of choice back in SEED.
Voice Actors: Megumi Toyoguchi (Japanese), Anna Cummer (English)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.
- Demoted to Extra: Although she was with Kira and Cagalli during their secret meeting with Athrun.
- Mythology Gag: Her post-war profession and the nature of her reintroduction is rather reminicent of Kai Shiden in Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam.
- Offscreen Breakup: With Dearka, before the series began.
- 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.
Hilda Harken, Mars Simeon, and Herbert Von Reinhard
Main mecha: DOM Trooper
Hilda's Voice Actors: Michiko Neya (Japanese), Tabitha St. Germain (English)
Mars's Voice Actors: Junichi Suwabe (Japanese), Philip Pacaud (English)
Herbert's Voice Actors: Taiten Kusunoki (Japanese), Lee Tockar (English)Hilda, Mars, and Herbert are a trio of former ZAFT pilots who are very loyal to Lacus Clyne.
- Attack Pattern Alpha/Combination Attack: Their Jet Stream Attack.
- Expy: Of the Black Tri-Stars Gaia, Mash and Ortega; they even share the Tri-Stars' Signature Move, the Jet Stream Attack.
- Undying Loyalty: They are extremely loyal to Lacus.
Rau Le Creuset
Voice Actors: Toshihiko Seki (Japanese), Mark Oliver (English)
- "Everything is born into this world, and eventually, dies. That's the pure and simple truth of it."
- Aloof Big Brother & Big Brother Mentor: To Rey, for a certain definition of "brother".
- Big Bad Friend: To Durandal, before the show began.
- Cool Mask: Though in this show we finally see him take the mask off.
- 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.
- Dead Person Conversation: Has an episode length one with Chairman Durandal.
- Foil: Both Rey and Durandal serve as foils to Le Creuset, whose nihilistic philosophy informs their actions, but drives them to very different conclusions from the one that he came to.
- Greater-Scope Villain: He's been dead for 2 years, but his presence and influence continues to haunt Kira, Durandal and Rey even now, even driving the latter two to villainy themselves. The irony being that all three wish to prevent someone like Le Creuset from being created and successful, though they come into conflict because of the different ways they wish to achieve that.
- Man in White: Arguably fits this even better now than he did during Mobile Suit Gundam SEED, as he is now a ghost, a memory, and a corrupting force.
- Manipulative Bastard: Pretty much talked Durandal into becoming the Straw Nihilist Social Darwinist he is today. Which was actually a failure on his part; Rau wanted to convince Durandal to become an Omnicidal Maniac like himself.
- Omnicidal Maniac: And the world is more or less living in his shadow now.
- Pet the Dog: His interactions with Rey, and to a lesser degree Durandal, are retroactive examples of this, and help to humanize him, if just a bit.
- The Philosopher: An especially deranged one. He spends his few appearances contemplating life, the world, and why people are scum.
- Posthumous Character: But for a dead guy, his influence on the plot is pretty significant.
- 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 Nihilist Omnicidal Maniac philosophy.
- The Reveal: His face is finally revealed◊ during one of Durandal's flashbacks.
- Smart People Play Chess: Definitely one of the smartest people in the series, and as his flashbacks demonstrate, he was capable of checkmating Durandal, both literally and philisophically.
- 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.