Char/Quattro: Complete Jerkass who is ready to lie and try to bed Reccoa...maybe just for fun, or is he a perfectly human character that can be charismatic to many people but is useless one-on-one when it comes to stuff aside from combat?
Jerid: An anti-Char: blonde hair, likes red, and instead of becoming the big bad/main antagonist of the show is killed rather quickly in the penultimate episode after appearing less frequently. Or was he supposed to be a joke-rival from the start, who just scored a few lucky wins early on? Though he did ascend rather quickly, even working right next to Jamitov, and though he failed to kill Kamille he did survive numerous fights with him for a long time.... You can't promote pilots who die can you?
Reccoa: Did she go to the Titans because of Scirocco pulling some kind of Newtype power on her? (Scirocco demonstrates in the finale that he canMind Rape people.) Or is she really a "combat junkie" who felt spurned by not getting more combat missions, and went to the Titans to handle her addiction instead? (She did admit to Kamille the "combat junkie" bit) Or was that bit of both?
Scirocco: Is he manipulating women and seizing power for his own profit, or is he acting out of more Dark Messiah motives? His speech in the final episode hints heavily at the latter... but as numerous characters comment, Scirocco can't really be predicted at all and even more than 30 years later, his motives are still shrouded in mystery.
Does his stated desire to create a world ruled by a woman stem from a belief that they're less warlike? Or did he actually have a desire to be The Man Behind The Woman, considering the fact that he's a glorified pickup artist who finds them easy to manipulate and does manipulate emotionally-unstable ladies like Sarah and Reccoa to be insanely devoted to him?
Even Jamitov Hymem of all people gets some of this, was he a powerhungry Earth-Supremist who wishes to hinder human evolution into newtypes and kill and oppress all Spacenoids, or a visionary who wants to overthrow the corrupt Federation elite and move the population to space on his own terms, or both?
Supplementary materials says it's the latter and that he purposely filled the Titans with abusive powerhungry assholes so that their actions would eventually cause war. Doesn't really forgive what he did though.
And then there's the (somewhat) joking interpretation of Haman where the reason she's so angry at Char is because he never slept with her in the time they were together.
Anvilicious: Can be seen this way, particularly about how Newtypes are the future, and how our 'souls are bound by gravity' and that we need to move into space to both evolve ourselves as well as give the exhausted Earth some breathing room. It's just the show really shoves it in your face, but then again, some might argue that Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped.
The exact opposite is argued in other Gundam series such as Crossbone, it's likely just an example showing the Titan's kind of Earth first extremism is just as bad as Zeon's.
Base-Breaking Character: Kamille, big time. There are some who find him to be a good replacement to Amuro, whereas others find him annoying for his high angst and tantrums. His detractors even believe that he doesn't deserve his Fix Fic from the movies.
Yazan Gable is a warmonger who goes so far to admit that he joined the Titans' military so he could legally kill members of the Anti-Earth Union Group (AEUG). He has no interest in the rules of warfare, murders solely because he is good at it, and gladly participates in the Grenada Colony Drop, knowing it would have killed thousands of civilians and seeing it as an opportunity to shoot down anyone who tries to defend Grenada. When a superior officer tries to stop a pointless battle, Yazan takes this as a hindrance to his bloodlust and arranges for the officer to die at the hands of an AEUG pilot. When Paptimus Scirocco betrays the Titan leadership, Yazan does so as well, out of his belief in fighting for the strongest military power. In the finale, Yazan leaves his mark on the show's tragic take on war when he goes on a savage killing spree, leaving numerous major heroic characters dead and even murdering some of his own allies. With a Fountain of Expies in further Gundam series who are also Complete Monsters, Yazan is a blight upon his world, more of a feral predator than a man.
Captain Bask Om, the second-in-command of the Titans, has the Freudian Excuse of being horrifically tortured during the last war, yet this still doesn't come close to justifying his brutality or making him seem any more sympathetic a character note especially given that the excuse is only touched on in side materials. Bask is first seen beating the tar out of one of his officers for opposing his order—an order which risked civilian lives. Later, Bask has Kamille Bidan's mother, Hilda, put in a capsule in outer space without a spacesuit in order to retrieve the Gundams stolen by the AEUG, and orders one of his men to shoot at it, claiming the capsule contains a bomb, leading to her heart-wrenching death. He subsequently orders two massive colony gassings. He is also the man responsible for the Titans' brutal treatment of the colonies in the first place, favoring the seizure and murder of hostages to get people to go along with his plans, and being a major proponent of the use of Cyber-Newtypes, teenage super soldiers created through Mind Rape and a cocktail of Psycho Serum.
Creepy Awesome: Paptimus Scirocco. He's a practitioner of Mind Rape, and yet despite that—or because of it—he's one of the most effective, well-liked villains in the franchise.
Die for Our Ship: Fa has been bashed often and for a long time by Kamille x Four fans. Made worse when Four actually does die, Kamille lives but his brain is fried after being Mind Raped and Fa stays with him by his side as he slowly recovers from it.
Ensemble Darkhorse: Apolly, to an extent. He had by far the most character of the minor cast and he almost made it to the end despite being a Mook Rick Dias pilot, only dying because he was protecting Fa. Almost everyone who watched the show likes him, but it really didn't come apparent until him and the other minor Z Gundam pilots were removed in the Super Robot Wars games to make room for the Gundam ZZ pilots. Thankfully, he and Roberto help represent Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam in SRW Z and SRW 64 as well.
Haman Khan for being seen as awesome, piloting a cool suit, sexy, her bitchiness, being a good pilot or all of the above. She's especially popular on 4chan's mecha board where she's hailed as the Queen of /m/.
Also Four seems to have her fans considering she gets saved and joins the heroes in many SRW games. She even won Animage's Anime Grand Prix Award in 1985 in the category of favorite female anime character of the year and there's a novel that tells her origin story.
In terms of Mobile Suits, despite it's relatively short appearance on-screen and being piloted by an extremely minor character, the Barzam has a rather sizable following, so much so that it was able to get it's first HG Gunpla kit in 2017 - almost 32 years after it's debut.
On top of that, it's considered more memorable and influential given how the series is frequently referenced in other anime works and has the best-selling line of model kits.
Family-Unfriendly Aesop: Peace is a nice ideal, but you have to be willing to fight because the world is full of bad people who delight in tormenting others. Indeed, the Grand Finale basically has Kamille getting over his earlier "Why do we have to keep fighting?!" attitude and killing the Big Bad.
Hilarious in Hindsight: The Libyan word for Scirocco is "Ghibli" (Studio Ghibli didn't technically exist yet when Zeta first came out). Scirocco's self-important attitude and two-faced "male feminist" pretensions could easily be mistaken for a rather unflattering caricature of Hayao Miyazaki. Both of them even have a background in aviation mechanics.
Jerkass Woobie: Kamille Bidan. Four Murasame is one as well; no matter how sorry you feel for her, she's still the one who burns down Hong Kong while laughing about it in her first appearance.
Also, Jerid. He may have the personality of a 1980's Jerk Jock and killed Kamille's mom and Four but he also lost all the people he genuinely cared for throughout the series because of Kamille.
Magnificent Bastard: Paptimus Scirocco and Haman Khan go back and forth on this one. But the former deserves some detailing: He starts out as a glorified mercenary for the Titans, but eventually takes over the entire faction. He's also a genius inventor, a potent Newtype, and remains one of the few Gundam villains who wasn't also The Rival (most Gundam main villains being manipulative politicians rather then soldiers) who nonetheless engages the hero in a final one-on-one mobile suit duel, in a suit he personally built and design himself.
Moral Event Horizon: Bask crosses this in the 3rd episode by tricking Jerid into executing Kamille's mother Hilda and somehow only gets worse further on. Reccoa has hers when she gasses a civilian colony.
Kamille's dad Franklin was a huge jerk and he showed it via slapping his wife Hilda when she calls him out on his crap and regarding her death very coldly, but it really shines when he tries to kill Kamille in battle despite Kamille pleading with him to not fight. It's a relief when Quattro decides to kill Franklin with his own mecha.
Narm: At the end of "Half Moon Love" Kamille's contorting and tortured face, after realizing Sarah had escaped, makes him look like a stoner.
The Scrappy: Katz Kobayashi. Some people cheered when he crashed into an asteroid during the finale.
Tomino unfortunately took all of the hubris out of the scene in the Compilation Films. Originally Katz bragged about how Yazan's shots couldn't hit him, only to be caught unaware and crash into an asteroid. In the Compilation Films, the bragging is gone.
Wong Lee, huge cheers when Judau punches him in the sequel.
Strangled by the Red String: Kamille and Four, whose Newtype powers cause them to fall in love within seconds of meeting. This is justified in-show (Four is badly messed up due to her Dark and Troubled Past, Kamille was the first person to treat her like a human being and not a test subject), but it doesn't make the relationship any more real to those watching it.
Amuro and Beltorchika meet in episode 15. They barely talk. Then in episode 16 they are already kissing for the third time. Somebody needs to learn how to write romance apparently. Again, justified in-story: Amuro doesn't actually love Beltochika, but is using her presence as an excuse to not deal with his massive traumas. Interestingly enough, had Tomino gotten his way with his original draft of Char's Counterattack and had Amuro marry Beltorchika, it's likely that he would have eventually fallen for her for real.
Four Murasame's death in the episode "Forever Four"(made more poignant by a Hope Spot and Kamille's Death Wail), remembered as one of the best episodes of the Gundam franchise. In fact, a certain death scene in Gundam SEED Destiny (Stellar's) was basically copied from this very scene.
Another tear jerker for this series is when Kamille kills his "little sister" Rosamia. She was basically mindscrewed by the Titans and only wanted a normal life; Kamille felt bad when he killed her, because he wanted to see her have a normal life in the end. What really makes it hit home is her last words, "Brother, I've found you.".
The next to Four's death was when Kamille's mother, Hilda, was killed. He was trying to save her and just about did, then Jerid has to shot her capsule exposing her to the vacuum of space without a space suit on. It's a tear jerker because it happened right in front of Kamille, not to mention she may have been a Missing Mom but she still cared for him way more than her Jerk Ass husband.
Emma Sheen's death. Which came right after the sacrifice of the Radish and Henken Beckener's demise. The saddest part of her death was how Kamille lingered in the room with her. You could really see his hesitance in leaving her body there and the way he turned back to her as he opened the door was the saddest thing in all of Zeta Gundam and is perhaps the saddest launch announcement ever.
It's easy to forget in among all the heroic deaths in episode 49, but the death of Jerid Messa is just depressing. To see a character, even a villainous one, who's been with us since the first episode, who we've learned to sympathize with, die such a pointless, meaningless death, is honestly pretty heartbreaking, especially since he wasn't that bad compared to the rest of the Titans.
Episode 45: Between Apolly's death and Fa's talk with Emma after her showdown with Reccoa, where Fa blames herself for not being able to kill her...
The final scene in the show hits home HARD. Fa finding Kamille alive, only to realize he's been brain damaged by Scirocco Just seeing her expression sort of sums up the show...
The ending of the final movie, which completely inverts the ending of the show. The final scene is of Kamille and Fa tearfully reuniting as they float around the quiet battlefield, with Kamille commenting that even after all the horror and death he's been witnessed, they're still alive.
True Art Is Angsty: Aside for the many deaths and dark themes, it has also one of the saddest endings in the franchise and many love the series because of it.
Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Like Kamille, Jerid tragically loses many loved ones over the course of the story, but he never changes from being a power-hungry fascist.
Values Dissonance: Even more so than the original series, characters are quick to dish out Corporal Punishment. Wong's beatdown of Kamille in particular for disobeying orders and talking out of line was treated as both right and justified by other characters. The fandom's opinion on this, was quite the opposite.
Wangst: Kamille, especially. It's not even a girl's name, you know.
Woolseyism: Kai's introductory line to Reccoa is a little more straightforward in the dub. It also sets up nicely for some dialogue between them at the end of the epidosde. But the direct translation actually has Narm Charm due to it not seeming to make a whole lot of sense. Reccoa's amused response, however, is probably more in character for the line in the sub.
Dub: My name's Kai Shiden. And as a freelance journalist, I can behave professionally, even with a beautiful woman such as yourself.'''
Sub: My name's Kai Shiden. As a freelance journalist, I can appear anywhere, anytime. Even the Vatican.