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The top negotiator in Paradigm City and The Hero of the story. A Batmananalogue, he's committed to the well-being of the citizens of Paradigm, especially children and the elderly. He controls the Megadeus he calls Big O, though he's not sure why he has this power. In fact, he never seems to dwell much at all on his own youth, or how he came to possess so many amazing capabilities...
Tropes associated with Roger:
Angst Coma: In the first episode of the second season, Roger goes introspectively catatonic as he struggles to figure out just who — and what — he is.Mind Screw ensues.
Badass: A small example would be how easily he carries Dorothy. Beck's lackey couldn't do it, and Dastun only managed to get her to get to prone position. Granted, he did say she "must weigh a ton". He can also break off iron shackles by simply pulling his limbs as long as he has enough leverage.
Grappling-Hook Pistol: In his wristwatch. In the final episode he even uses it as a garrote. He's also got one shaped like a small briefcase that makes instant wire bridges.
Honor Before Reason: The 'no guns' thing, keeping in with him being a Batman Expy. However, when he's piloting his Megadeus, then he has no problems with guns as he's been shown to be using its ranged weapons.
Informed Ability: In the early episodes you have to wonder at this skill as a negotiator when he has to pull out his ace in the hole so damned often. Not so glaring to be obtrusive, but DAMN. Paradigm must have some dumbass criminals. One website called him the worst negotiator since Kevin Spacey.
Invocation: A justified trope, given the Megadeuses' response to their masters' voice commands. The following could be anything Roger wanted (presumably; the backstory is complicated).
The Man Behind the Man: If Gordon Rosewater's picture means anything, then he is the reason that everyone lost their memories.
Multiple-Choice Past: He can't be more than his late 20s or so, right? So he couldn't possibly have memories of before 40 years ago. No wait, before the Event he was a cop who decided to leave his job and become a vagrant possibly because a megadeus was unearthed, and he cannot be more than 40 years old. And then he became Big O's pilot, holding the rank of major, and they've known each other since before the Event. No, wait, he was a mass-produced megadeus pilot robot. Or none of this actually happened because there were no memories! Has actually caused him to have a Heroic BSOD or two, but overcoming this may be what allows him to successfully negotiate with Angel in the Grand Finale.Maybe.
When major villain Gaiou tried to offer knowledge of Roger's past in Super Robot Wars Saisei-Hen, Roger respectfully refused:
Gaiou: We meet again, Black Megadeus. Dorothy: You're familiar with Big-O? Roger: Looks like it was related to his lost memories. Gaiou: Would you like to know about it? Your past, that is. Roger: No, it's fine. You and I have both already abandoned our pasts. Roger: But if you plan to shroud the future of this world in darkness, my Rules say that I'll stop you! Gaiou: That's good, Negotiator! This battle has nothing to do with the past! The present just belongs to you and me!"
Wise Beyond Their Years: Inverted and Enforced version. Word of God stated that they didn't want a Kid Hero so they made Roger into a young man. The point was for the target demographic to look up to him instead of identify with him.
This young lady happens to be an android, who ends up as Roger's live-in maid after negotiations to rescue her from kidnappers results in the death of her creators. Built from a pre-Event design, her sophistication rivals that of the other androids seen around the city, and she carries the distinction of being the only one capable of passing for a human under casual inspection. Until the final episodes reveal at least one other character was an android all along as well.
Tropes associated with Dorothy:
Action Girl: She has to be if she's going along with Roger.
Animation Bump: She's often given especially fluid animation, but this just serves to point out her robotically smooth movements. It also doesn't help much that audible whirring sounds can be heard during these sequences...
Deadpan Snarker: With emphasis on the deadpan: "You're a louse, Roger Smith."
Deceptively Human Robot: Her movements are too precise, she whirrs occasionally, and she has next to no intonation when she talks. All little things that remind you there's metal under the cute.
Though after a couple of episodes it's evident that she can invoke or avert this trope intentionally, i.e. either appear and behave very human, or very inhuman. And she often does the latter to simply tick off Roger.
Dreadful Musician: She'd probably be pretty good were it not for her stubborn insistence on playing every last note perfectly, which prevents her from playing with feeling.
Emotionless Girl: She has the flat voice and expressionless face down pat but the words she says...
Kindhearted Cat Lover: The focus of an early episode revolves around her attachment to a kitten she rescues.
Loophole Abuse: Roger says "wear black" so she wears very very dark red.
MacGuffin Girl: Being the most advanced android ever made tends to prompt a number of kidnapping attempts. When you're able to interface with Big type megadei, this should be a given.
Meido: Justified - Roger's house rules demand she dress in black. She thinks it's tacky at the best of times. She's worn a full meido outfit in some episodes, complete with brooms and other cleaning utensils.
Rei Ayanami Expy: Teenage girl, short hair, mysterious past, emotionless; all she's missing is the blue hair.
Ridiculously Human Robot: Lampshaded by Roger several times. Every other robot in this show doesn't look nearly as human as she does.
Robot Girl: She's much heavier than her looks imply. Roger can still pick her up.
Running Gag: Has a tendency to get picked up by giant industrial magnets. The first time it happens, the situation was serious. The second time, Roger forgot about her. The final time was during Beck's funniest episode...
Sarcastic Devotee: She'll happily help Roger when working on a case. Just don't expect her to give him an easy time with it.
The Stoic: Her body was made for a wide expression of emotion.
Tin Man: She's not particularly expressive, but there's definitely something going on underneath the non-emotive surface. She goes out of her way to claim she wasn't programmed with emotions, which makes you wonder what she's hiding.
Younger than She Looks: She's a freshly manufactured robot, barely a couple of years old. She looks at least sixteen. Everyone even seems to count her age starting from when the original Dorothy was born.
Voiced by: Motomu Kiyokawa (JP), Alan Oppenheimer (EN)
Norman is Roger's butler. Though he's a faithful domestic servant in his daily routine, he's also a skilled and fearless fighter, and has been maintaining the Big O since the Event forty years ago. Apparently when the Big O accepted Roger as a worthy master, Norman did the same.
Tropes associated with Norman:
Badass Biker: When he goes to pick up his master, he does so in a bike that has a rocket launcher attached.
Bald of Awesomebalding at least and all it means is that he's been badass for a long time.
Battle Butler: Fixes up your robot, neutralizes physical threats, and prepares your breakfast, lunch, and dinner ready on time and grilled to perfection.
Cool Old Guy: As said in Expy, he's basically Alfred Pennyworth with additional badass injected.
Expy: Just as Roger Smith is Batman, Norman is Alfred Pennyworth with additional badass injected. Amusingly, his voice actor in Season 2, Alan Oppenheimer, went on to voice the actual Alfred in Superman/Batman: Public Enemies.
Eyepatch of Power: One has to wonder; did he get it before Roger's service or during?
Gadgeteer Genius: He maintains the Big O on a regular basis with some occasional help.
The Head of Paradigm City's Military Police, and formerly Roger's commanding officer. Technically his allegiance lies with the Paradigm Corporation, but his true loyalties are to the genuine welfare of the city and its people. Unlike Roger, he's (mostly) willing to put up with Paradigm's corporate string-pulling in order to keep serving the public trust.
Tropes associated with Dastun:
Badass Normal: Somehow manages to survive all encounters with Megadei.
Commissioner Gordon: mixes elements of this with Vitriolic Best Buds in his relationship with Batman Expy Roger Smith. He's a poilice chief that doesn't like working with "the pilot of Big O" but recognizes that the man is better equipped to handle giant robots than himself.
Da Chief: The Head of Paradigm City's Military Police and has the temper to match the trope.
A Father to His Men: His pride in the Military Police causes him to be extremely loyal to his men.
This lovely blonde has at least one hidden agenda, with very vague loyalties on top of that. She has a nose for trouble, which usually means she's always one step ahead of Roger. Oddly appropriate to her name, she has a pair of scars on her back — at about the place an angel's wings are usually shown sprouting from (seen in Act 7).
Tropes associated with Angel:
ActionGirl/DarkActionGirl: Whether or not her agenda is sinister is ambigious but she can take care of herself either way (most prominently in season 2).
Apocalypse Maiden: One possible interpretation of her in the finale given that she was the key to activating Big Venus and erasing everything.
Artificial Human: We seem to think that this may be the case given how Gordon Rosewater calls her a Memory, as well as her bizarre Wing Pull in the finale.
Bigger Bad: One possible interpretation of her in the finale is that she is the "memories" everyone is searching for and that she has the power to reset everything again like what happened forty years ago.
The man in charge of Paradigm City and the corporation that owns it, controlling them both with ruthless efficiency. He's willing to preserve the state at the cost of its people when necessary, has no qualms about dealing with people he knows can't be trusted, and genuinely believes that anything would be better if he was in control of it.
Tropes associated with Rosewater:
A God Am I: The last few episodes have him go absolutely whacko.
Smug Snake: Zigzag. Playing with a toy Big Fau while boasting to Roger about how he can pull the strings controlling the entire city is kind of a dick move
To elaborate: Alex Rosewater invites his archenemy Roger Smith over for dinner, which is being cooked by Psycho for Hire Alan Gabriel, whom Roger despises. Alex plays with his toys while boasting about how he's going to rule the world. He and Alan share a laugh over Roger's distress when Roger's incapacitated by one of his flashbacks. Alex rubs dirt in the wound by mocking Roger's ignorance of his past, and hints that he knows the truth. And to top it off, Alex was already rejected by Big Fau for being unworthy one episode before! It takes a special kind of arrogance and petulance to insult the one man in the city who can literally squash him flat, but Alex Rosewater has it in spades.
Formerly Michael Seabach, reporter. His search for the truth of Paradigm City led him into its darkest secrets, where he witnessed... something... and became unhinged, to say the least. Upon his return, he begins a one-man crusade against the lies and complacency of Paradigm, and cares little for what he destroys along the way.
Tropes associated with Schwartzwald:
Ballroom Blitz: He infiltrates a masquerade ball for very wealthy people and rigs their masks so that they catch on fire all at once. Roger is the only one present who refuses to wear the mask as he's savvy enough to figure something is amiss.
Defector from Decadence: While not advocating a totalitarian dictatorship to keep the populace in line, he REALLY hates the blind hedonistic tendencies of the Paradigm City's elite. He does everything in his power to fight back against this apathy, including handing out flammable masks at a cocktail party and trashing the city with his own Humongous Mecha.
Expy: The bandages are evocative of Hush, but he wouldn't debut for another three years after this series' airing. Schwartzwald's really the Joker meets Char Aznable. His background as a formerly happily married, moral man, asymmetrical facial scarring, and subsequent mental breakdown also parallels Harvey Dent/Two-Face.
Haunted Technology: One possible explanation of Big Duo's behaviour in season 2. A major contributor is his "ghost" that appears as he verbally breaks Alan for being (seen as) unworthy as the pilot of a Megadeus, whereupon his finishing statement Big Duo flashed the words "YE GUILTY," as if to agree with his assessment.
Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: It takes some pretty strong principles to turn down THAT level of severance pay. We only see the zeros. 12 of them and they don't end there. Shit, Roger was surprised...
Straw Nihilist: He's not so bleak as to declare all life meaningless, but the speech at the beginning of Act 17 ("Leviathan") certainly carries some darker notes of existentialism (See the link in Large Ham).
Thanatos Gambit: After his death midway through the second season, he manages to aid Roger with his letters.
That Man Is Dead: Michael Seabach is no more. Even Paradigm Corp. executives start thinking this way.
This criminal has the distinction of being Roger Smith's first foe introduced in the series. Like any good criminal, he just wants to get rich at the expense of others... but unlike good criminals, he's equally concerned with looking as good as possible while doing it. Might be more than he seems, if the pre-Event memories he gets after being hit by lightning are any indication.
Tropes associated with Beck:
Beard of Evil: Originally clean shaven, he grew it after he got locked up the first time as pictured above. He apparently likes it as he shaves it down to a goatee after he gets out.
Blond Guys Are Evil: He even has a blond-colored suit. He contrasts directly to the clean-shaven, black-haired, black-clothed Roger.
Expy: His obsession with one-upping his nemesis, style of dress, and technical savvy makes him almost fit the role of The Riddler.
Flanderization: While his first appearance shows a competent mob boss, he just keeps getting sillier and more incompetent the more the series progresses, until the penultimate during 'The Big Flop' which name drops his failure. Ironically, he seems to return to some resemblance to his former self toward the end after being stuck in prison.
Genius Ditz: He's a total incompetent as a villain, but his skills at electronics and android neuroscience are second to none.
Man of Wealth and Taste: Tries to be one, anyway. He's better at the being fashionable part than the villainous part.
Not-So-Harmless Villain: His final chapter in the manga has him unearthing a "Gigadeus" that knocks Big O around like it was a toy. Roger only wins because Beck goes totally mad from greed after seeing the old world replayed for him in the underground.
Villain Decay: An example done hilariously right: Roger and Dorothy find him a nuisance at best, but he never ceases to be entertaining for the audience. Earlier episodes shows him succeeding to a degree with his plans, but he just gets more and more incompetent and hilarious as the show goes on. He didn't even get a real fight scene in his final appearance battling Big O!
Alex Rosewater's father, a kindly old man who has given up the cosmopolitan life to lead a simple life of farming.
Tropes associated with Gordon Rosewater:
Amnesiac Dissonance: Some of his conversations have such a sinister overtone due to the fact that he is such a pleasant and kind old man who just happens to lackadaisically allude to big scary conspiracies which he might have accidentally set in motion.
A foreign woman who appears in the second season as a commander of the forces of the Union. Her French accent and claim to be from a country across the sea suggests there's civilizations in the world other than Paradigm City, but there's no memories to be had out there.
Tropes associated with Vera:
Abusive Parents: If one accepts the interpretation that she actually raised Angel as her daughter.