Characters: Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team
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The 08th Team
Lt. Shiro Amada
A rookie ensign newly assigned to the 08th Team, Shiro is idealistic but inexperienced. Doing his best to do what he thinks is right, his perceptions of what the right thing to do is
in fact, shifted over the course of the series.
- In his first appearance he attacks an experimental Super Prototype Zaku with a Ball. And wins. While his leadership skills need some work, his piloting skills has been great from day one.
- In the Battle in 3 Dimensions short (released as part of the Blu-ray memorial box set) one Zeon pilot flat out calls him an ace after he hits a target from a supposedly impossible distance while under cannon fire.
- 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.
- Ensign Newbie: This is actually the nickname that his squad gives him.
- A Father to His Men: Eventually.
- The Hero
- 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: His Gundam is one.
- Nice Guy
- Reasonable Authority Figure: As Character Development sets in.
- Rousing Speech: Seems to give one before every mission.
- 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!: In the finale.
- 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.
CPO Terry Sanders, Jr.
An experienced pilot, he's rescued by Shiro during a mission gone bad in Episode 1, and ends up joining the 08th MS Team at the same time as Shiro does. Haunted by his previous experience in the war, it takes him some time to adjust to life in the 08th Team.
- 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
- Sole Survivor: And very bitter about it
- Survivor Guilt: His previous two teams were massacred. Terry is more than a little screwed up from this.
PO3 Eledore Massis
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.
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.
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.
Lt. Jidan Nickard
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
- Ugly Guy Hot Love Interest: Maria, the elder innkeeper who he has the hots for is pretty decent looking for an older woman.
Cpt. Ethan Ryer
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.
- Eyes Always Shut
- 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.
- Porn Stache
- 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.
- 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.
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.
R. Adm. Ginias Sahalin
The head of the Apsalus project, Ginias is part nobleman, part scientist, and part military commander. Suffering from 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).
- Blond Guys Are Evil
- Blood from the Mouth: He opens episode 11 with this.
- Broken Bird
- Dark and Troubled Past: Episode 11 seems to imply his childhood was neither healthy nor loving.
- Evil Genius
- Eviler Than Thou: With Ethan Ryer.
- Fan Nickname: The aforementioned Soap Opera Disease combined with his Ambiguously Gay design has earned him the moniker "Space AIDS" in a few places.
- Forgets to Eat
- 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.
- Kick the Dog: What he did to Kellarny.
- 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.
- Sissy Villain
- 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
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.
- 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.
Kyonosuke Kami (Japanese) and Daran Norris
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 civilian girl living in the area where the show takes place, she is a member of the local guerilla forces that oppose both the Earth Federation and Zeon. Initially antagonistic, she eventually warms up to Shiro when it becomes clear that he actually cares about the wellbeing of the locals. She eventually invites herself onto the team, tagging along even when they range far from her home village.