A soldier of the Galactic Alliance, Ledo, is an ace Caliber pilot who, during a decisive battle between his fleet and a hostile alien race known as the Hideauze, was forced into a wormhole, stranding him in an unknown time and location. The residents of the world where Ledo now finds himself a permanent resident are not at odds with the Hideauze, forcing him to adapt to life outside of a perpetual war that has occupied his entire life.
Adventurer Archaeologist: The ending shows that he's picked his profession as a salvager. He's in a partnership with Bevel to decipher the lost secrets of the past age and targets artifacts with historical or scientific value. He's also working on deciphering the Hideauze language and forging a relationship with them.
Anti-Hero: He is willing to help other characters that are in danger as long as he is told to do so. However, he has been raised throughout his entire life as a Child Soldier without a moral code, and the solution to dealing with enemies is flatout killing them without showing any form of remorse, which shocked many of the Gargantian residents when he was combating the pirates. However, he gets a bit better, though.
Badass: Not only is he an extremely capable soldier, being able to match an AI-optimized robot with superior equipment while he's on limited energy supplies, he also proves strong-willed enough to overcome his lifelong indoctrination when faced with issues of morality.
Bishōnen: The transsexual men in episode 5 are eager to recruit him into their businesses precisely because he is this.
Blind Obedience: To the cause of killing Hideauze, or anything perceived as being them, at all costs. When a huge pod of whalesquid passes under the fleet, Ridget is forced to hold him at gunpoint so that he doesn't attack them and make them angry—which he very much wants to do, despite the fact that doing so might have put the fleet at risk.
Later subverted when he makes it clear that part of the reason he wants to destroy the whale-squid is that he's worried that they might force the humans on Earth into a similiar situation to the one the Alliance is in.
Character Development: Although he still does some really stupid things while at Gargantia, spending a lot of months in a peaceful civilization allows Ledo to gradually transform from a emotionless Child Soldier, whose only goal in his life to defeat the Hideauze, to a young boy who developed some form of moral conscience. Compare his totally emotionless response when a boy was sent to be burnt to death for deficiency in a flashback to episode 9 where he reacted in sadness and angst when he finds out that the Hideauze are actually genetically modified humans and Chamber killing a baby Hideauze without his command.
Character Tic: He's constantly carving peculiar ocarinas. Given that he doesn't seem to know what they are, it's almost certainly an instinctive habit. He picked it up from a kid he used to know who showed it to him right before he was sent to be incinerated for deficiency.
Child Soldier: To the extreme. Not only is he an experienced soldier at 16, it's the only life he knows, and it's the only life he was raised to understand. The only other mode of life he is aware of is to stand by and await further orders.
Dangerous Forbidden Technique: By "merging" with Chamber, he can enhance their abilities at the cost of essentially burning out his own body. In the final episode, Chamber is extremely reluctant to have him go through with it and eventually kicks him out of the cockpit so he can survive.
Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: Episode 5 has him wondering what kind of job he can take in Gargantia. He doesn't seem to fit in either fishing, farming, ranching, or salvaging. The episode ends without him figuring out his place in the fleet. He finally decides to be part of the Salvage Teams in Episode 6. Episode 7 has his purpose in life come looking for him: to be a soldier.
Determinator: At one point, Pinion sends him on a mysterious errand that takes him through Gargantia's red-light district. His first time through, he is harassed by several transvestites who comically attempt to force him to become one of them, freaking Ledo out severely, as might be expected, and ending with him being chased up and falling out of a high tower. Ledo later braves the area twice more in order to finish the job.
Fish out of Water: He's a bit squicked out when Chamber tells him that he's been offered carcasses (i.e. fish jerky) to eat. He also has no clue about balance between factions on Earth. Judging from what we've seen of the Alliance, it's unlikely he knows much of anything beyond being a soldier.
Going Native: At the end of the series, he settles down on Gargantia and becomes a salvager.
Heroic BSOD: He has a massive one in Episode 9 upon discovering that the Hideauze were a faction of humans who responded to earth's devolving climate by genetically modifying themselves to be able to survive in extreme environments, and the Galactic Alliance originated as those who opposed this measure and just wanted to abandon earth in its entirety. Still don't think it was big? He tries to stop Chamber from killing a Hideauze.
I Choose to Stay: Ledo, Not that he has much choice, but after everything he's been through and has learned, Ledo ultimately accepts life on Gargantia and chooses to live peacefully as a savager, although, a girl like Amy would be more than enough of a reason for him to stay.
In-Series Nickname: Melty always refers to him as "the hottie" (ikemen) and never by name.
Instant Expert: Averted. He attempts to control a Yumboro instead of Chamber in episode six. While he does get a hold of the very basic controls, he overestimated the technology within it.note While he wasn't expecting an AI on Chamber's level, he expected at least a primitive guide program capable of assessing the situation for him, as Chamber often does, and was surprised when he was told to do so on his own by eye. Also, since he doesn't know how to swim, he had no idea how to get the Yumboro to do the same and wound up having to get fished out by some crew members on the Gargantia.
Language Barrier: In early episodes he relies on Chamber for translations, and wears a small headset for that purpose. But by episode 4 he's able to sting together simple sentences on his own, and his mastery of the language continues to grow that by the final episodes he no longer needs to depend on Chamber. Definitely Symbolic.
Murder Is the Best Solution: His personal philosophy. It's a given where he hails from, but here on Earth, it brings about serious consequences. As a result of Ledo using this option, he causes problems for the Gargantia fleet; first against human pirates, and later when he kills a whale squid, which Chamber identifies as Hideauze, a large swarm of them pass by Gargantia, and Ledo is held at gunpoint from provoking any further hostilities towards the whale squids by Ridget.
Pragmatic Hero: He kidnaps Amy so that he won't be attacked on sight but is willing to open negotiations later. He carefully questions what are seemingly contradictions in Bellows' words about the way of life on Earth.
He's aiding the Gargantians simply because they have the kind of norms that may facilitate his return to his fleet. He's not necessarily viewing Gargantians as good people— he probably doesn't think about the bargain much beyond, "Don't do things that reduce your chance of survival."
Shell-Shocked Veteran: When he sees the whole-cooked octopus in the "super special" dinner during episode 6, he immediately draws his gun— its tentacles remind him of Hideauze. He has to be talked out of his combat stance. The awful thing is that he is right of his suspicion: the Hideauze do originate from Earth, though not as hideous space krakens.
Straw Vulcan: It seems that he exists solely to prove that Gargantians are right, though the series arguably turns him into a subversion; he ultimately has, or at least gains, a much clearer picture of the situation than the rest of the Gargantians, and it makes the Gargantian choice of lifestyle correspondingly more difficult for him to agree with.
Through a lot of Character Development, he and Chamber come to their own conclusions that lead Ledo to stick with Gargantia. The ending shows that he hasn't completely accepted the status quo; he actively researches Earth's past, associates with the whalesquid, and reports his findings with Bevel in order to dispel Gargantia's intellectual stagnation. So while it seems that he spends a lot of the early parts of the series needing to be educated on the error of his ways, it ultimately turns out that the tables do, in fact, turn.
Tender Tears: When remembering his figurative little brother, who taught him how to carve a flute.
The Load: A large part of his personal conflict is that he has no useful skills of his own with which he can support himself. He's given living quarters as a stipend, and his cost of living is low enough that loaning out Chamber for manual labor gets him by, but he's looked down upon with pity or mild contempt because he doesn't contribute to a society in which you need to find a place for yourself or you burden the community.
Turned Against Their Masters: Ledo doesn't agree with Kugel's plan to destroy Gargantia to make an example of them to other fleets, particularly after learning the truth about the Hideauze.
What You Are in the Dark: When the belief that the Hideauze weren't monsters and Ledo's instilled philosophy to kill them finally have equal justification, Ledo, without guidance or witnesses, refuses to kill the Hideauze.
The AI system of Ledo's Caliber. He progressively deciphers the earthlings' language and acts as a translator for Ledo until he begins to grasp the language himself. Chamber can perform simple tasks on his own when given a basic goal and can follow the orders of a third party with Ledo's permission. Despite being a machine, Chamber displays a good amount of independence and even a personality.
A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Defied. Whereas so many AI similar to him throughout all forms of media, Stryker amongst them, come to conclusions fueled by Blue and Orange Morality at best and downright evil ones at worst, Chamber's conclusions are always sympathetic, but reached using pure logic. He implies that this is due to the fact that Ledo is his operator.
Beam Spam: Chamber is able to destroy dozens of targets with a single barrage, which, unfortunately, causes a lot of trouble for the people of Gargantia. What's even more problematic is the fact that he seems to have only one setting: Annihilate. (Humorously, he can't even use this power to barbecue meat without incinerating it.)
Blessed with Suck: Despite being armed with incredibly powerful weapons and the ability to fly, Chamber's assets are actually liabilities on the Gargantia. The anti-gravity field will lift other objects nearby uncontrollably, and his beam weapons are set to destroy their targets. As a result, Chamber has been reduced to being a forklift and a makeshift barbecue grill. The only time he is able to use these powers with fine control is when Ledo is at the helm.
Butt Monkey: He keeps getting into situations in which he's awkward.
Covert Pervert: In episode 6 of Petit, Amy asks him why he has detailed photos of the girls in their Belly Dancer outfits. He awkwardly states his purpose as a Caliber while slowly retreating.
Deadpan Snarker: "I will leave it to your decision," with regards to whether to accept the dried fish Amy offers when Ledo is squicked out by the idea of consuming animal carcasses.
Fantastic Racism: After Ledo learns the Hideauze were originally human, Chamber still claims that they need to be destroyed. He then explains that this is not a result of his programming, but by his own reasoning. To him, the Hideauze have abandoned civilization and cannot be considered human anymore. He believes that it is simply impossible for humans and Hideauze to co-exist.
His reasoning is also part of why he eventually opposes Striker, as her beliefs and desire for humans to stop thinking for themselves and obey her goes against his belief of what a human is.
Heroic Sacrifice: After ejecting Ledo and the cockpit, Chamber takes Striker down with him with by grappling and destroying her with an energy blast at point-blank range.
In-Series Nickname: Pinion refers to him as the "tin can," and that nickname is occasionally used in the fandom as well.
Loophole Abuse: In the last episode, he "decides" that Ledo is psychologically unfit to be a soldier and ejects him from the cockpit, allowing Chamber to preform a Heroic Sacrifice.
An interesting note is that he had no knowledge of Earth's language beforehand, and had to "pick it up" (so to speak) by recoding all the jabber from the natives for a while before he could start translating.
Undying Loyalty: He will electrocute anyone, aside from Ledo, who steps into his cockpit. This is a unique variant, as it's likely a result of his programming.
At the end of the series, it's all but stated that he really is that loyal to Ledo.
Unskilled, but Strong: He's unquestionably the most powerful sentient being on Earth (so far), but he's largely unable to finely control his own abilities, because in the Alliance, that's what the pilots are for, probably as a safety measure against the Robot War.
Verbal Tic: Statement: Much like HK-47, Chamber adds descriptive nouns to the start of his sentences.
Ledo's commanding officer seen in the first episode, where he commits Heroic Sacrifice to save as many of his men as possible, including Ledo. It turns out that he did not die but was also transported to Earth, where he began wiping out all of the Earth Hideauze he could find along with the fleet of cultist humans he wound up with. He did this because he came to the conclusion that having Stryker serve as a symbol and a god to the people of earth would ensure their obedience to a way of life very similar to the Galactic Alliance's. After he dies, all that's left of him is his rotting corpse inside Striker which continues to serve as a god to the anti-Hideauze cult, has them gather relics of the past, and hides Kugel's death in order to garner Ledo's loyalty.
A Father to His Men: Is this at the start of the series, as well as much of the second OVA. And then, Linaria dies, and it keeps on getting worse from there...
A God Am I: To an extent. He resists this trope at first and considers his role as a divine emissary to be a farce, but after crossing the Despair Event Horizon, he starts calling himself a god.
Asskicking Equals Authority: On Earth, he leads a cult due to his ability to wipe out the whale squids that humans there seem deathly afraid of. The second OVA episode reveals that the cult was originally a pirate fleet that worshipped the Hideuze as gods.
Chekhov's Gunman: Seemed like a throwaway sacrifice in the first episode. Turns out to have landed on Earth and becomes a foil to Ledo. Double subverted when it turns out that he's been deceased for quite some time.
Combat Pragmatist: He chooses to stay behind and let Ledo live to fight another day, not as a simple act of selflessness, but because Ledo is younger and will be able to do more for the Alliance in the grand scheme of things.
Dead All Along: Although, the second OVA shows what he did before he died.
Despair Event Horizon: He crosses it when Linaria dies. The fact that her father's fleet expects him to serve as an emissary to the "God of the Sky" overwhelms him when he can't even save a single girl.
Disney Death: Downplayed, he survives but still dies before he could meet Ledo.
The Faceless: Owing to what he calls an endemic disease that requires him to remain in his sterilized cockpit, he has become this to his allies - Striker does a fair bit of the talking for him, and Ledo only sees him through transmissions or as a hologram. Chamber concludes that he is also deliberately remaining unseen so as to inspire awe and fear in his followers. As it turns out, there's areason forthis.
Fallen Hero: In the second OVA, it's revealed that he genuinely wanted to help the people in his fleet, and he explicitly rejected the culling policies of the Alliance while on Earth. Then, hisLove Interestdied...
Religion of Evil: Before dying and leaving everything to Striker, he founded one based off of the Galactic Alliance's philosophies, complete with "sacrifices" note ceremonial drownings. of weaker fleet members, scarily akin to how deficient soldiers in the Alliance were incinerated.
The second OVA reveals that Kugel was horrified of seeing Gargantians worship Hideauze and wanted to lead them out of danger. The formation of the cult, however, was Striker's idea, taking advantage of Kugel's grief from losing Linaria and his horror of seeing people worship Hideauze.
Sanity Slippage: A one-two punch of losing Linaria and Striker's manipulation takes a massive toll on his sanity.
Small Role, Big Impact: He spends less than a minute on screen and has about three lines, but he's the main reason Ledo even winds up on the Gargantia to begin with. Later subverted when he turns up on Earth and has a larger role in the story.
Flat-out averted in the second OVA. He's the main character, and you really get to understand why he and Striker are what they are by the time they are mentioned again in the first season.
A God Am I: She begins to think in this way after Kugel dies, reasoning that her practices, such as getting rid of weaker humans, is standard Galactic Alliance protocol. She then reasons that by becoming a god, she is relieving the burden of having to think from humans. Chamber calls her out on this.
A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Played with. She is doing exactly what she was programmed to do and is following both the Alliance's and Kugel's ideals. However, Chamber then claims that she is acting illogically and that her A God Am I beliefs are the result of a flaw in her programming - namely that Kugel's actions and poor choices influenced her own conclusions.
Cyber Cyclops: Unlike Chamber, her face is strictly ornamental, with a single real eye built into her neck.
Distaff Counterpart: In many ways, Striker is a female version of Chamber, voice being amongst them.
Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: She has no idea why Ledo and Chamber would oppose her ways, as she sees them as an extension of the Galactic Alliance's ways and amounting to allowing the humans of earth to advance and return to their former glory.
Well-Intentioned Extremist: What she claims to be, but is, in reality, driven to dominate humans, have them perform human sacrifices to appease her, and reestablish a Galactic Alliance on Earth. In the end, Chamber calls her out on what she really is and declares her as needing to be exterminated.
A courier of the Gargantian fleet, Amy is the first to come in contact with Ledo after his Caliber was winched from the ocean floor. It was through her mediation with Ledo and testimony to the higher officials of Gargantia that gave them reason to trust him and offer him sanctuary. She acts as Ledo's guide in adapting to life on Gargantia and helps him learn about normal life. She eventually falls in love with him.
A-Cup Angst: In Petit Gargantia, she gets angry and kicks Chamber after he calls her bust the second smallest of the cast.
Belly Dancer: A pretty damn good one, too; Ledo even asks her to dance for him again the night after she first performed, and this is someone who's NEVER experienced sexual arousal or romantic attraction in his life! Amy is definitely having an effect on Ledo in more ways than one.
Charles Atlas Superpower: At one point, while gliding on her glider, she grabs a rope hanging from a tall pole by hand and uses it to slingshot herself around. Considering she's going maybe 20-30 mph, with the full weight of Ledo and the glider on her arm, she'd be lucky to keep it attached.
Manic Pixie Dream Girl: To Ledo. Although, arguably, a subversion: she's the steady-minded working girl trying to help the loner settle down. A stabilizing influence, if you will. She's just also enthusiastic and creative, and can get Ledo anywhere.
Number Two: To Commodore Fairlock, partially due to him being an old friend of her father. When Fairlock passes away, she becomes Number One.
Reasonable Authority Figure: She's skeptical of Ledo but believes him when he explains his motives for negotiation with Gargantia. Unfortunately, what passes for reasonable to her is seen by others as weakness.
Stripperiffic: In episode five, she wears just about the skimpiest bathing suit of them all.
You Are in Command Now: Following Commodore Fairlock's death, she is given the command of the entirety of Gargantia. Deconstructed, though: she doesn't have enough political muscle nor experience due to her young age, and Gargantians loyal to Flange decides to break apart from the fleet.
Voiced by: Yuka Terasaki
Amy's little brother, a smart and inquisitive, but frail-bodied boy, who is very interested about how the world around them works. Seems to have a knack for the technical side of things and is always seen crafting some models of gadgets.
Wise Beyond Their Years: He contemplates space and the legend about people who come back from there in a manner seldom seen in children his age. He is seen, in episode 13, teaching a bunch of people about the things he's learned from Dr. Oldham.
Big Brother Instinct: He grabs the biggest wrench he has and quickly tells Amy to get away, when he realizes that someone's come out of the mecha that they excavated. And in episode 13, he also orders his workers off the ship when he discovers their weapons have too long of a cooldown period between shots to be of much more use.
Butt Monkey: A mild example. The gags he's fallen victim to so far include:
Hopping around like a fool when dodging Ledo's Ray Gun.
Getting electrocuted by Chamber when he falls into the cockpit.
Having a bunch of people crashing his barbecue in episode 5.
Getting chewed out by his coworkers for taking the day off for said barbecue.
Failing to recruit Ledo (and by extension, Chamber) to his Salvage Team, despite having treated him to a rowdy bar.
After his over-the-air declaration of sovereignty due to their recently acquired lost tech, Kugel's fleet shows up and outclasses them. Pinion, himself, realizes whatever respect he had built up as being a leader in the splinter fleet is gone at the time and willingly submits to be the envoy to discuss terms with Kugel's fleet before it was announced they had asked for him by name.
Defeat Means Friendship: A particularly sinister example. In a manner befitting barbarian overlords, he spares the fleets he defeats because he wants to build an empire based on his military might.
Disaster Scavengers: His steady job is as a mechanic, though he may take to scavenging from time to time.
Drunk on the Dark Side: He's significantly less humane after he has a railgun and other assortments of pre-ice age weaponry. Then, Kugel's forces perform the "Sacrifice ritual," and that breaks him out of it.
Enemy Mine: Despite being at different odds with Lukkage, he's willing to work together with her when it comes down to Kugel's fleet, since Kugel decided to invade Gargantia.
From Nobody to Nightmare: Used to be a mechanic and the resident Jerk with a Heart of Gold in Gargantia. After he gets ahold of pre-ice age weaponry, however, his ego explodes, and he all but challenges the entire world, claiming that due to the technology and weapons, they are the rulers of the seas. He gets better after seeing Kugel's fleet show up and assimilate his own men by force, as well as having viewed the "Sacrifice ritual."
Going Down with the Ship:When it becomes apparent that his lost tech wouldn't be able to reload fast enough to be a contributing factor, he calls all his workers useless and kicks them off his ship, intending to sacrifice himself to make sure no one gets the "Treasure Castle" he claims for himself and his brother. He is only saved at the last moment by Lukkage.
Hidden Depths: He might seem like a goofy guy, but he lost his older brother to the Hideauze and will go to great lengths to get his revenge. And with Ledo as an ally, he finally gets his opportunity, even if he must lie to his fellow Gargantians to get them to go with his plan.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He frequently makes fun of Ledo for being useless and/or an outsider, but he throws a party for Ledo as a way to cheer him up after his fruitless job search in episode 5. In the next episode, he treats him to a nice dinner before offering him a job.
On a more serious level, he commits a lot of unsavory acts in order to obtain treasure, and even Lukkage is disturbed by how easily he sells out. However, once he learns about the atrocities the Kugel fleet is committing, he does end up choosing to protect his friends over the promise of wealth.
Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: After he find a cache of pre-ice age technology, which includes a railgun, he decides to begin acting as if he should be the king of the world— to hell with bettering humanity or making peace.
Best Served Cold: He lost his brother long ago, and only recently has he put a plan into action upon seeing Chamber and Ledo being able to take out a Whalesquid.
Secret Test: In episode 11, he is requested over at Kugel's fleet and put in a large room with no one there. He sees something on the table, gets a little curious about it, and eventually manages to open it. Turns out that Striker had put that device there to see if he had the minimum skills required to fix and reactivate the weapons recovered throughout the ocean floor over the years.
The Tease: Enjoys ogling and flirting with Ledo herself, nonetheless.
Voiced by: Hideaki Tezuka
A Father to His Men: By his own admission, the only thing that validates his existence is the smile of the Gargantians. Seeing his fleet facing one crisis after another which eventually cause them to split politically is what gives him the heart attack.
A woman pirate who's become famous for her powerful custom Yumboro. After Ledo easily defeats her she winds up with Kugel's fleet of cultists. There, she grows disgusted with their way of life and waits for the chance to overthrow them.
Chromatic Superiority: Her mech is red and more powerful than most Earth mechs. The alien and black Chamber is still the top dog though.
Curb-Stomp Battle: Despite the fact that her Lobster mech and her two subordinates in speedboats usually have the advantage in battle, they're no more effective against Chamber than a real lobster and two fishes on hooks. The end result was the Lobster mech being torn apart and tossed back into the ocean with the two boats, like a kind of mecha catch-and-release.
Episode 12 shows her more then holding her own against Kugel's cultists in their Yumboros. Thankfully Ledo is there to keep the Striker unit busy, unlike when she first attacked Gargantia and had to deal with Chamber.
Even Evil Has Standards: Had plans to betray them before by hiding some of her crew but after seeing just how batshit insane the cultists who worship Kugel are, she begins to initiate her plan for a coup.
Heel-Face Turn: She's so disgusted with Kugel's fleet that she ends up being the one to start the revolution. She later saves Pinon and is also seen on board the Gargantia in episode 13, flirting with Pinion.
Two people from Ridget's past. Storia is Ridget's childhood friend, while Ritona was an acquaintance of hers from another fleet. Seven years before the beginning of the series, Storia moved to Ritona's fleet. In the present day, the Gargantia crew comes across that fleet, which was abandoned after an irreparable power failure. Storia and Ritona's wherabouts are unknown, but are presumed to be alive.
A religious girl from a pirate fleet that is fighting a Succession Crisis against her half-sisters. Kugel arrives on Earth in time to save her life, which causes her to view him as a divine emissary. She becomes Kugel's guide and follower, and influences Kugel's later actions. She eventually dies of an illness, triggering Kugel's Despair Event Horizon and the birth of his cult.
Casting Gag: Her voice actor sing's the anime's opening theme.
Chaste Teen: She remains a virgin to devote her life to Kugel.
Cynicism Catalyst: To Kugel. Her death also convinces Striker that the humans of Earth have the same value system as the Alliance.
Easy Evangelism: She views Kugel as an emissary for the "God of the Sky." Though to be fair, Kugel and Striker did save her bacon.
Expy: She's virtually a carbon-copy of Amy, only with orange eyes. She even has a pet squirrel, for crying out loud!
Shadow Archetype: She's arguably what Amy would be under different circumstances. For example, Amy works to support her brother while Linaria is fighting against her sisters. Amy tries to help Ledo acclimate to Gargantia, while Linaria treats Kugel as a god and to some extent uses him to gain control of her fleet.
The Unfavorite: Inverted; her father left the fleet to her... which leads her sisters Aleria, Onderia, and Kuraria to hunt her freighter down and kill all of her crew!
Unwitting Instigator of Doom: In the long run, it was probably a bad thing to tell Kugel she wanted to die for the good of the fleet. Not to mention the fact that it's implied Kugel caught her disease.
Laser-Guided Karma: She attempts to suck up to Kugel and take Linaria's place as priestess after she dies. Kugel sees right through it, kills Aleria, and uses then uses her image with Manipulative Editing to help institute the new "culling the weak" policy.