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The 08th Team
Lt. Shiro Amada
- An Arm and a Leg: He loses a leg at the finale.
- Badass Normal: He spent his life growing up in a space colony, and is an ace mobile suit pilot, but, there have been no confirmed reports of him being a newtype, put simply, in a series where the best pilots have levels getting close to ESP, Shiro here uses pure skill and determination to win the war.
- Captain Smooth and Sergeant Rough: The Captain to Karen's Sergeant. He is a rather idealist Ensign Newbie that is still learning how to lead his unit, while she is the more experienced soldier that doesn’t hesitate before employing some Corporal Punishment.
- Ensign Newbie: This is actually the nickname that his squad gives him.
- A Father to His Men: To the 08th Team, but it takes a lot of time and effort for him to get it right and for them to accept him as such.
- The Leader: Type III, thought it takes him a while to grow into the role.
- Leeroy Jenkins: In his first battle on Earth, he rushes out to engage a team of Zakus, even though he hasn't gotten accustomed to fighting in Earth's gravity yet (and Karen doubting his abilities just spurs him on even harder,) resulting in him getting incapacitated and spending a whole day out of contact with his team.
- Meaningful Name: Shiro means white in Japanese, the color of his Mid-Season Upgrade Gundam. Becomes an Ironic Name for his adopted son, Shiro Amada Jr., who is black.
- Mecha-Mooks: One of the things that set him apart from other Gundam main characters is that his Mobile Suits is essentially the heroic equivalent of an Elite Mook, rather than a Super Prototype.
- Nice Guy: So much that even the stress of war is unable to make him stop being so kind and compassionate to others.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Learning how to be one is a key part of his Character Development.
- Reluctant Warrior —> Technical Pacifist: Progresses from an eager officer, to someone who really resents the war, to someone who tries his hardest to not even kill his enemies. Though he makes one huge exception towards the end.
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: One of the reasons he tends to get in trouble with his superiors from time to time.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: By the finale Shiro and Aina have grown tired of dealing with the corrupt politicians and General Ripper that fill the ranks of both the Federation and Zeon, so they decide to go AWOL as their way of giving the middle finger to both sides of the war.
- Skilled, but Naïve: A competent officer and a good pilot, but totally unprepared for the realities of the war.
- Took a Level in Badass: At first, he has trouble fighting in Earth's gravity. Not so much in the final battle.
MCPO Karen Joshua
Voiced by: Mami Koyama (Japanese) and Debra Jean Rogers (English)The 08th Team's most experienced pilot, she's the de facto leader prior to Shiro's arrival. With a cynical attitude and a no-nonsense demeanor, she's a capable soldier who gets the job done with a minimum of drama.
- Captain Smooth and Sergeant Rough: The Sergeant to Shiro's Captain.
- Corporal Punishment: Beats the crap out of Sanders, tosses wrenches at Eledore, and generally reacts to anything approaching insubordination with violence, as part of established Federation (and general Gundam franchise) practice.
- Determined Widow: It only comes up in one scene, but her husband was a doctor. It's unclear whether he was killed during the One Week Battle or at some point during the war.
- Groin Attack: Sacks Sanders for "not having any balls."
- The Lancer: She's much more jaded and pragmatic than Shiro, and precisely because of that she is a great help for him both as a leader and as a friend.
- Mecha-Mooks: Like Shiro, she pilots a mass-production Gundam.
- The Medic: Against all odds. Her husband was a skilled medical officer, and was killed in battle.
- Sergeant Rock: Rides herd on the 08th Team (mostly Eledore) when necessary. She throws a wrench at the guy for listening to music on duty at one point!
CPO Terry Sanders, Jr.
- Ambiguously Brown: Dark skin, dreads...there's a pretty good chance he's supposed to be black.
- The Big Guy: He's an experienced MS pilot, and his loyalty to Shiro is unquestionable, yet his anxieties about his new team keep him from assuming a command position, and he largely serves as their muscle.
- Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: Does this to Michel when the latter flips out on Shiro.
- Grim Reaper/Shinigami: Nicknamed this.
- Heroic Self-Deprecation: Initially he's very negative about his own abilities, largely due to the deaths of his previous teammates.
- I Owe You My Life: The source of his loyalty to Shiro.
- The Jinx: Has had two previous teams shot out from under him, and is terrified he'll do the same to the 08th, prompting him to try and resign at one point.
- Mecha-Mooks: Flies the same mass-production mobile suits as the rest of the squad.
- The Mole: Ethan Ryar tries to force Terry into this role, demanding that he spy on Shiro for the Federation.
- Old Soldier: When compared to the rest of the squad, absolutely.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Being the Sole Survivor of your team not once but twice will do that to you.
- Sole Survivor: Became this twice before the start of the series, and is very bitter about it.
- Survivor Guilt: His previous two teams were massacred. Terry is more than a little screwed up from this.
- Undying Loyalty: As a result of Shiro saving his life in the first episode, Sanders is the most loyal of the 8th Team members.
PO3 Eledore Massis
Voiced by: Keiji Fujiwara (Japanese) and Eddie Frierson (English)The 08th Team's resident sensor tech, he accompianies the team into battle in the hovertruck, providing battlefield intel rather than fighting directly. He tends to be more interested in his fledgling music career than in being a good soldier, which tends to put him at odds with Karen. His frequent flirting probably doesn't help, either.
- Back for the Finale: He comes back after successfully releasing a pop song album in the last few engagements.
- Bridge Bunny: Well, the closest thing the 08th Team's got, anyway.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: Seems to be trying to invoke this with Karen.
- Non-Action Guy: When he and Michel have to hijack a Zaku, Eledore freaks out and tries to refuse.
- Put on a Bus: After he's injured in episode 5 and sent off to a field hospital for three episodes.
- The Smart Guy: Despite his lackadaisical attitude, he's pretty good at his job.
- Waiting for a Break: He'd rather make music than fight a war.
Cpl. Michel Ninorich
Voiced by: Hiro Yuki (Japanese) and Tony Ricci (English)A replacement sent to the 08th MS Team along with Shiro, Michel ends up working primarily as Eledore's goffer. Somewhat timid, he spends much of his time writing to his girlfriend. Not a particularly effective soldier, and he knows it painfully.
- Abusive Parents: Implied when Sanders (the oldest and most fatherly of the group) punches him in the desert and Michel flinches after seeing his belt buckle.
- Did Not Get the Girl: His girlfriend, Bebe, marries another guy much to his dismay.
- Communications Officer: Fulfills this role for the 08th Team alongside Eledore.
- In Touch with His Feminine Side: Sensitive, distracted by his faraway love, etcetera.
- The Load: His role in the 08th Team is to be Eledore’s assistant, but Eledore is so good at his job that Michel often feels like he isn’t really needed.
- New Meat: He's thrown into the deep end in battle.
- Non-Action Guy: Like Eledore, his job is to provide battlefield intel rather than fighting.
- Platonic Life Partners: Him and Kiki, to a degree. The last episode reveals they spend an unspecified amount of time looking for Shiro together.
- What the Hell, Hero?: To Shiro over his and Aina's relationship.
Other Earth Federation
Lt. Col. Kojima
Voiced by: Yuzuru Fujimoto (Japanese) and Alfred Thor (English)The commanding officer of the Kojima Batallion, and thus the 08th MS Team's immediate superior. Somewhat out of favor with the high command, he spends most of his time trying to keep things running rather than leading on the battlefield.
- The Brigadier: Kojima is as reasonable as he can be under the circumstances.
- The Dog Bites Back: After being fed up with how Ryer behaves, especially in regards to how Rob, Sally, and Mike died, he just leaves Ryer, with the latter offering him an office in Jaburo, only to refuse, because he doesn't like air-conditioned environments.
- Number Two: Reduced to this status after Ryer arrives.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Unlike his superior Cpt. Ryer, Kojima comes off relatively reasonable, preferring to at least detain and court-martial Shiro rather than execute him on the spot.
Lt. Jidan Nickard
Voiced by: Ichirō Nagai (Japanese)Supply officer for the Kojima Batallion. A fairly laid back old man who always carries a flask carrying liquor. He started a romantic relationship with a woman in a local town, and has something of an antagonistic relationship with Karen Joshua.
- The Alcoholic: Always carries a flask of liquor around with him.
- The Barnum: Has no qualms about taking bets when Sanders starts a fight with the 07th team. Nor running away with all the money once Kojima breaks it up.
- Cake Eater: Averted, while he falls for an attractive woman middle aged, he's still over than her.
- Cool Old Guy: If Shiro is playing the role of a father for the 08th Team, then Nickard is the cool grandpa that entertains everyone with his jokes but also knows when to get serious and lend an ear for people in trouble.
- Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Maria, the elder innkeeper who he has the hots for is pretty decent looking for an older woman... which is more than can be said about his appearance.
Cpt. Ethan Ryer
Voiced by: Ichirō Nagai (Japanese)
Kojima's superior, Ryer shows up late in the series, during the Federation's offensive against Ginias. Determined to destroy Zeon's base irrespective of the cost, he considers the men under him resources rather than human beings; expendable as long as it gets the job done.
- Bad Boss: Paranoid, ruthless, and convinced his men are expendable.
- Big Bad Wannabe: Ginias Sahalin is the show's Big Bad from start to finish, of that there is no question. Still, as antagonists go, Ryer constitutes a damn fine back-up team, and if Ginias were replaced with a generic Zeon admiral, would likely qualify for Big Bad status himself, despite being on the same side as the protagonists.
- The Captain: Addressed as such, which is strange. Unless he's a naval captain (which doesn't appear to be the case) he should be considerably outranked by Lieutenant-Colonel Kojima.
- Eviler Than Thou: With Zeon Rear-Admiral Ginias Sahalin.
- General Ripper: Obsessed with defeating Zeon, to the point of excluding all else. He's also quite paranoid when it comes to the possibility of enemy subversion.
- He Who Fights Monsters: Ryer's determination to defeat Zeon has turned him into someone who would very comfortably into their command roster.
- Karmic Death: His interfering in Shiro and Aina trying to finish off the Apsalus resulted in him getting killed by its final attack.
- Not So Different: From Ginias (at least morally; he's about fifty times saner). This realisation one of the things that motivates Shiro to jump ship.
- Nuke 'em: Tries to trigger a nuclear explosion atop Ginias' headquarters by causing a mobile suit to detonate.
- Smug Snake: Arrogant, condescending, and far too self-assured.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Ryer, Riar, Lyer, Liar?
- Token Evil Teammate: Unfortunately, he's the one in charge. He manages to make the Federation as a whole look very bad.
- Given what they became after the One Year War ended, he's actually a pretty textbook example of the typical Federation leadership or at least their largest and most powerful faction, though there were signs of this even in the original MSG, that the upper leadership seemed to be out of touch.
- Tyrant Takes the Helm: A particularly dark version, given that the changes he makes result in far higher casualties. Also a variation, since the former authority figure (Kojima) is still present, but emasculated.
- We Have Reserves: Will gladly throw away his men's lives if it means defeating Zeon.
- With Us or Against Us: Displays this attitude towards anyone who has the slightest doubts, most notably Shiro.
Cmdr. Alice Miller
Voiced by: Gara Takashima (Japanese) and Lynn Fischer (English)The eponymous viewpoint protagonist of the movie compilation Miller's Report, Alice is a high-ranking intelligence officer assigned with investigating Shiro's activities between his disappearance and apparent association with the enemy.
- Deuteragonist: Of the series, particularly of the movie compilation named after her.
Voiced by: Kikuko Inoue (Japanese) and Emilie Brown (English)A Zeon test pilot and younger sister to Ginias, one of its most brilliant scientists, Aina encounters Shiro in Episode 1. When the resulting battle leaves them both stranded in space, they work together in order to get rescued. Her repeated encounters with Shiro shape the overall course of the story, gradually leading both of them to question their roles in the war.
- Action Girl: She's the pilot of Zeon's new superweapon and very good at it.
- Anti-Villain: She works for Zeon and has lunatic older brother. Otherwise there's nothing really villainous about her.
- Babies Ever After: With Shiro in the Distant Finale.
- Blue Blood: Though not a case of Aristocrats Are Evil.
- Lady of War: A member of the Zeonic nobility, but also an experienced test pilot.
- Mad Scientist's Beautiful Daughter: Well, the younger sister of a Mad Scientist, at least.
- Proper Lady: When she's not piloting a giant mobile armor, she's very refined and polite.
- Sibling Yin-Yang: With the psychotic Ginias. Even during war, Aina never forgets her morals, while her brother grows increasingly insane as things spiral out of his control.
- Super Prototype: The monstrous Apsalus I, Apsalus II, and Apsalus III mobile armours, which she serves as the test pilot for.
- Wave Motion Gun: The Apsalus II and III's particle cannons.
- Weapons Of Mass Destruction: Pilots one. At first she was doing it of her own free will, but after getting to know Shiro she realizes she doesn’t want to see the destruction such a thing would create, so her brother forces her to go back to the cockpit at gunpoint.
- Yamato Nadeshiko: Subtly hinted, but she clearly demonstrates the virtues of the trope towards both Ginias and Shiro. Her being a test pilot also plays into the martial aspect of this trope, demonstrating duty to family.
R. Adm. Ginias Sahalin
Soap Opera Disease, he's prone to neglecting his health, forcing Aina to watch out for him instead. Possessed of a fragile psyche and an obsessive personality to begin with, he doesn't adjust well to the events taking place over the course of the series.
- Aloof Big Brother: Towards Aina, becoming more distant as development of the Apsalus progresses.
- Ax-Crazy: Once he completely loses his mind, he starts killing his superiors and all his underlings in the Apsalus project so he can have it all to himself to go on a rampage with.
- Badass Bookworm: Becomes one when he loses his mind and climbs into the Apsalus III.
- Big Bad: Of the series, though not the war itself (that award goes to Gihren Zabi who heads up Zeon and commissioned his project).
- Blood from the Mouth: He opens episode 11 with this.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Episode 11 seems to imply his childhood was neither healthy nor loving.
- Evil Genius: Despite being a scientist working for Zeon, he actually seemed like a pretty decent person at first, but then he gets into a huge Villainous Breakdown and never goes back.
- Eviler Than Thou: With Ethan Ryer.
- Forgets to Eat: Heavily implied, as he seems to grow more Lean and Mean as the series goes and his sanity deteriorates.
- Hot Scientist: His vaguely-defined illness does nothing to affect his Bishōnen good looks.
- Incurable Cough of Death: Eventually resulting in the aforementioned bleeding.
- Insane Admiral: He holds the rank of Rear Admiral in Zeon's navy. He's out of his freaking mind.
- Ill Boy: He's always been sickly, resulting in him living vicariously through Aina.
- Lean and Mean: Opens up episode 11 looking about as well fed as a whippet with an eating disorder, presumably because his obsession with completing the Apsalus has long since taken priority over silly things like eating and taking his meds.
- Mad Scientist: At first he's driven by his work.
- Mommy Issues: Their mother abandoned them as children.
- Not So Stoic: Once he finishes the final Apsalus.
- Oedipus Complex: Aina herself accuses him of having one.
- Sanity Slippage: From Aloof Big Brother to how he ended up.
- Sibling Yin-Yang: With his remarkably sane sister.
- Soap Opera Disease: While the condition is never mentioned by name, it's generally held by fanon to be Wilson's Disease, a condition of abnormal copper metabolism that often presents with liver disease, neurological damage, and schizophrenia-like symptoms.
- Took a Level in Badass: After climbing into the Apsalus III.
- Villainous Breakdown: Culminating in his break with reality in the finale.
- Yandere/Cute and Psycho: His fixation with Aina is trademark yandere, while his obsession with the Apsalus is made of the latter trope.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Does this to his entire research team.
Capt. Norris Packard
Voiced by: Osamu Ichikawa (Japanese) and Michael McConnohie (English)A soldier with ties to the Sahalin family, he is protective of Aina specifically. Tangling with the 08th Team on several occasions, the man is a force to be reckoned with on the battlefield.
- Anti-Villain: He's an honorable man whose primary concern is protecting Aina and Ginias.
- Ace Pilot: Norris is by far the most skilled pilot in the OVA. The Gihren's Greed series puts his statistics around the same level as Ramba Ral, South Burning, and Yazan Gable, making him one of the best Oldtype pilots.
- Colonel Badass
- Expy: Of Ramba Ral. They even share a voice actor in the dub.
- The Gloves Come Off: While facing down the 08th MS Team during the evacuation.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Upon learning he's fighting Aina's lover, he opts to throw himself on Shiro's sword and open fire on his real target. He completes his mission and secures victory. And all it costs him is his life.
- Sadly turns out to be a Senseless Sacrifice, as the med-evac ship he fought so hard to secure an escape route for ends up being blown to pieces anyway. And then there is the brutal irony that it was Ginias, head of the family that Norris was so loyal to, who provoked the Feds into shooting it down.
- My Master, Right or Wrong: He will obey the Sahalins no matter what.
- Old Retainer: Of the Sahalin family. He acts as a sort-of uncle to Aina and tries to be one for Ginias, though that just isn't happening.
- One-Man Army: Holds off the Federation assault singlehandedly, reminding everyone of the difference between an Ace Pilot and the grunts who make up most of the cast.
- Samurai: Norris hits the samurai themes as hard as possible without actually wearing medival armor and killing people with a katana.
- You Shall Not Pass: Holds off the Federation so that Zeon can evacuate a base.
Voiced by: Kyonosuke Kami (Japanese) and Daran Norris (English)A Zeon commander roughly equivalent to Ginias in rank, he's an actual battlefield commander as opposed to Ginias' R&D type. Thrown into conflict with Ginias when he becomes a threat to the Apsalus project by retreating to Ginias' base late in the series.
- A Father to His Men: Genuinely cares for his people and asks them to come back alive.
- Hidden Depths: Kellarny is a loud, obnoxious lech. He's also a good officer who puts the men first...though perhaps to an unreasonable degree, considering he probably broke the Anarctic Treaty on WMD to get them out of Odessa.
- Action Girl: She's as much of one as she can be when dealing with mobile suits on foot.
- Cry Cute: After she discovers Shiro and Aina alive and well at the Distant Finale.
- Friend to All Children: She's VERY good with children.
- Funny Background Event: In the OP she's stealing alcohol from Shiro without anyone noticing
- The Heart: To the group of Zeon orphans she and Michel encounter in the Distant Finale.
- Heroes Want Redheads: Averted. As much as she tried Shiro never even saw her as a potential love interest.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: After her father and all the guerrillas are killed.
- Hopeless Suitor: To Shiro. Sorry little girl, Star-Crossed Lovers is in play. You don't have a chance.
- La Résistance: Her father is the leader of a guerrilla faction in the local village.
- Naked First Impression: She was bathing in a river, then Shiro walked in.
- Platonic Life Partners: She and Michel get something of this vibe.