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Char Aznable
Born in the Side 3 then-Republic of Zeon, the man who would become known as Char Aznable's life was shattered when his father died under mysterious circumstances, leaving Degwin Zabi, head of the Zabi family, as the new leader of it, much to Char's anger. Blaming the Zabis for his father's death, Char plotted against them, biding his time as a subordinate of theirs while he consolidated his own power and waited to strike.

Though often side-tracked, Char is the longest lasting enemy of the heroes of the Universal Century and despite stints as an underling to other villains, or even as a mentor to the protagonists themselves, remains a massive threat which comes to a head in the movie Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack.

For his depiction in the manga/OAV The Origin, see here.

As the character majorly appears in three works throughout the Universal Century timeline, tropes associated with him have been gathered onto one page, starting with a "General" section and then following with ones specific to installments he appears in:

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    Tropes exclusive to him in General 
  • Ace Pilot: Char is a notably brilliant tactician and thanks to a combination of intellect and skill, is able to outmaneuver and kill the vast majority of mobile suit users and goes toe-to-toe with some of the best pilots in the series, such as Amuro Ray and Haman Karn.
  • Affably Evil: Char's persona is nothing but social, charismatic, and pleasant (if occasionally condescending). The problem is, when the mask drops, you're left with someone who always believes Murder Is the Best Solution. He tends to pinball between this and Faux Affably Evil depending on what's going on.
  • An Axe to Grind: Notable for being the melee weapon of his first and last mobile suits. The Zaku II was armed with a heat-hawk and the Sazabi was armed with a beam-tomahawk.
  • Arch-Enemy: He and Amuro Ray view each other as Worthy Opponents but thanks to their past, both bitterly believe the other needs to be killed.
  • Broken Ace: Char is a talented mobile suit pilot and charismatic speaker, but underneath it all he's a hollow shell of a human being, broken by the tragedy that befell his family and weighed down by his lack of a moral compass as well as what he sees as his duty to bring humanity to the next point in its evolution.
  • Char Clone: The original himself; accept no substitutes.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Don't work with him. Don't trust him. It never ends well.
  • Chronic Villainy: Char tries to reform in Zeta, but his cynical nature and penchant for manipulating the people around him eventually draw him back into villainy.
  • Darth Vader Clone: Char spends the One-Year War concealing his identity with a mask, has deep-seated family issues and ultimately believes he can change a corrupt system by climbing to the top of it and restructuring the world as he believes best for it, similar to the Star Wars character. (His family connection to someone on the opposing side predates Return of the Jedi, however.)
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Downplayed, almost to the point of subversion. The two people Char cares for most arguably have their lives put in jeopardy because of his actions, without bothering him much. Char having major problems with love in any form is a theme in all his appearances, and it's rather easy to argue the only one he cares about is himself.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Though he's a villain, Char does have boundaries even he won't cross:
  • Evil Is Bigger: To showcase his prowess as an antagonist Char eventually ends up with mobile suits much larger than his opponent (Gelgoog, Zeong, Sazabi) which show him as a sort of Final Boss to the series and pit him as the Goliath against the Gundam's David. The MS he used most while a good guy, the Hyaku Shiki, by contrast, was a fairly small and slender suit dwarfed by much larger enemies.
  • Evil Is Petty: Char is a very petty man at his core. In MSG he gloats to Garma (who considered him not just a friend but his best friend) about setting him up to die, in Zeta he tells his old rival Amuro he came to laugh at him when seeing him in disgrace, and in Char's Counterattack it's widely believed that he literally started the entire war just to have one last throw-down with Amuro. Note that nothing Char says or does contradicts this theory.
  • Fatal Flaw: He's a Newtype with a decided Lack of Empathy for the people around him, even when they're his own allies.
  • Freudian Excuse: In Mobile Suit Gundam, his sister remembers him as "kind" and can barely believe what he's become. The deaths of their parents aside, abandoning his only living family member hurt Char a lot more than he ever acknowledges. See Laser-Guided Karma.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: The Rival in Gundam, The Mentor in Zeta, and the Big Bad in Char's Counterattack.
  • Icy Blue Eyes: Leds his glare an extra degree of coldness, and helps underline his characterization as The Sociopath. Subverted as he keeps them covered for more than 90% of MSG and Zeta.
  • Jerkass: Char is an extremely callous manipulator. Some of his last words are "I used her because [her feelings] annoyed me". Some of his most famous ones are "I came here to laugh at you", and "Blame this on the misfortune of your birth." This persists even in Zeta Gundam, when he's trying to be a good guy.
  • Knight Templar: Believes humanity is doomed staying on the Earth and will take extreme measures to force them to migrate to space, which boils up to insanity in Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack when he threatens to destroy the planet and kill any who remain to force his master plan.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: While he doesn't do much to restore his relationship with his actual little sister, his repeated attempts trying to recreate the dynamic with other younger girls have some very serious and dire consequences.
  • Messianic Archetype: Mercilessly deconstructed. As the son of a martyred spacenoid visionary who prophesied the coming of a new, evolved type of human being, and being one of those prophesied evolved humans himself, Char sees it as his duty to be mankind's messiah and usher in the world of Newtypes his father envisioned. Unfortunately, he has no real compassion for people as individuals, leading him to remorselessly use and manipulate everyone around him while still seeing himself as working For The Greater Good.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Unfortunately for everyone around him and most of humanity, Char's far more successful when he's doing this (which he is in all his appearances, even Zeta) than when he's not.
  • Opportunistic Bastard: Char possesses an overarching goal and puts in place a number of strategies to achieve it, but is also quite happy to let events unfold around him and merely take advantage of the chaos to see his plot through.
  • Overarching Villain: With stints as a Dragon with an Agenda, a very manipulative Anti-Hero, the Big Bad proper and later one as half of an ensemble, Char always remains a force to be reckoned with for the heroes of the UC timeline.
  • The Proud Elite: He's the Spacenoid equivalent of nobility and knows it. Further, due to either his upbringing or his nature, he believes his status as Zeon Deikun's son gives him the right to look down upon and judge all of humanity. He's not totally hard-hearted, and does seem to care about Sayla, Lalah and Mineva in his damaged way, but at the end of the day he still puts himself and his "mission" as the son of Zeon first.
  • Red Baron: Thanks to his infamy as a devastating Zeon Ace Pilot, Char is known as the "Red Comet".
  • The Resenter: Initially only to the Zabi family, but eventually becomes one to Amuro as well, due to a combination of Lalah's death and Amuro outperforming him at every turn. By the end of Zeta and especially in Char's Counterattack, he becomes a mix of this and condescension for humanity in general. This trope defines him so much Amuro calls him out for his need to always look down on/feel superior to someone. It stems from...
  • Tall Poppy Syndrome: Openly tells Amuro in Mobile Suit Gundam that he wants to kill him because Amuro is stronger. This is cemented when he gives the psycoframe data to his rival's Nu Gundam in Char's Counterattack to ensure they are on equal footing.
  • The Sociopath: Ruthless liar, poor emotional affect, no sense of shame or fear, need for stimulation, sees other people as tools to be manipulated. The clinicians would agree: CHAR, he is one. It not only defines who he is, his lack of morality and empathy cause most of his problems. However glamorous or initially well-intentioned he may be, this is what his character (and certainly his actions) boils down to, and makes his part in CCA far less surprising.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Char is a charismatic speaker and very well-liked by his followers, even managing to disband the Titans thanks to a Rousing Speech in Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam.
  • Weak, but Skilled: As a Newtype Char is rather on the low end of the scale, managing none of the empathic feats virtually every other Newtype demonstrates. He makes up for it by being incredibly skilled as a mobile suit pilot and orator.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Subverted. Though Char is unmistakably villainous, he does seemingly believe his rhetoric about moving humanity to space to allow them to evolve and thinks it best for the future. Until he finally tells Amuro "I don't care about any of that!"
  • Wins by Doing Absolutely Nothing: A running theme in Char's story is things falling into place for him with no action taken on his part. It does very little to encourage him to the positions of responsibility people around him keep urging him to take.

    Tropes exclusive to him in Mobile Suit Gundam 
Voiced by: Shuichi Ikeda (JP), Michael Kopsa (EN, TV series), Steve Blum (EN, Movies),
Main mecha: MS-06S Zaku II Commander Type (red), MSM-07S Z'Gok Commander Type (red), MS-014S Gelgoog Commander Type (red), MSN-02 Zeong

One of Zeon's most infamous aces (and the franchise's most iconic character), the enigmatic Char Aznable is responsible for the attempt at stealing the Gundam in the first place. Pursuing the White Base for much of the series, Char makes it clear that he has his own agenda, even as his rivalry with Amuro Ray develops from a professional one into something both deeply personal and very ugly.

  • Ace Custom: Repeatedly slaps red paint jobs and larger engines onto grunt suits. The later Gelgoog was built precisely to his specifications.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: He's the son of Zeon Zum Deikun and about as blue-blooded, and as coldblooded, as you can get.
  • Attack Drones: The Zeong's hands are detachable, and can be flown independently of the rest of the suit. The head can also detach.
  • Benevolent Boss: While not quite A Father to His Men like Dozle and Ramba Ral, Char is very patient, understanding, and polite to his underlings. Char actively discourages the risky behaviors of his minions and several deaths, like Crown burning up in reentry, came from them ignoring Char's orders. Even if it's all a ruse on Char's part to cultivate a likable image of himself via Pragmatic Villainy; there's no real advantage to him mistreating them so he usually doesn't.
  • Breakout Character: He's essentially become the face of the franchise.
  • The Bus Came Back: Char takes a leave of the series after episode 13 on account of Kycilia reassigning him. Ramba Ral, M'Quve, and the Black Tri-Stars all take his place as the major villains up until he comes back in the appropriately named episode 26, "Char's Return."
  • Can't Catch Up: A subtler example than many, but it is there. Throughout the show Char consistently upgrades to bigger and badder mobile suits, yet is consistently matched or outright defeated by Amuro and the Gundam, who remain one crucial half step ahead of him.
  • Char Clone: He IS A CHAR, launching a Fountain of Expies.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Char betrays everyone he's ever worked for. This trend continues into later installments in the franchise.
  • Cool Helmet: His iconic white helmet in the first series.
  • Cool Mask: His (even more) iconic white mask. He wore it so he could infiltrate the Zeon military (the explanation he gave was that he needed to keep his eyes covered for some medical reason) and exact revenge upon the Zabis.
  • Cognizant Limbs: The Zeong's head and hands can all be operated separately from the torso, as noted under Attack Drone. The suit has to be destroyed piecemeal to actually take it down.
  • Custom Uniform: One of the most famous ones out there.
  • Cyber Cyclops: All of his suits, from the Zaku II to the Zeong.
  • The Dragon: Following Kycilia's hiring him away from Dozle, and the death of her previous Dragon, M'Quve, Char assumes this role to Zeon's princess.
  • The Dreaded: The mere appearance of his Zaku panicked Paolo Cassius, the original commander of the White Base who had kept his cool until then in spite of being mortally wounded. Him summarily trashing the Gundam in spite of the superior performance of the titular robot (and failing to destroy it only because it's Nigh Invulnerable) would cause a collective Oh, Crap! every time he appeared.
  • Duel to the Death: Against Amuro. They both survive.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: Doesn't really activate his Newtype abilities until the last couple of episodes. This in turn, allows him to pilot the Super Prototype Zeong during his final battle with Amuro.
  • Empowered Badass Normal: For most of the series, he's a perfectly ordinary pilot who can outfight anyone else in space. Then he develops his own Newtype abilities in time for A Baoa Qu.
  • Enigmatic Minion: To the Zabis. It's obvious from early on that he has his own agenda that is not mutually compatible with theirs, but just what he's after, and why he's working for them at all is not explained until near the end.
  • Establishing Character Moment: It's only when the enigmatic Char murders someone he treated as a friend (along with other innocents in the vicinity) and calmly laughs while using it to Kick the Dog that you really get a sense of what's under the mask.
  • False Friend: Char was Garma Zabi's classmate from military academy. Garma considered Char his best friend, while Char repeatedly attempted to,and eventually succeeded in, arranging Garma's death in the war against the Federation.
  • Finger Firearms: The Zeong's lasers are built into its fingertips.
  • Flawed Prototype: The Zeong is only 80% complete, and is missing its legs. This isn't nearly as crippling as it sounds, since the suit's rockets enable it to be fully functional in space without the legs (although going to Earth would presumably cause some problems).
  • Fragile Speedster: His Zaku II isn’t fragile per se, but when compared to the insanely tough Gundam, it hits this trope full force.
  • Giant Hands of Doom: The Zeong's hands, which are both remotely piloted, and have lasers in the fingers.
  • The Heavy: Drives the action of most of the episodes in the series, even as Gihren drives the overall plot. They seem to share the role.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Has become more and more like the Zabis, even as he plots their deaths. By Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack he's become eerily like Gihren himself.
  • Improbable Age: He's twenty years old, and already one of Zeon's best aces and the captain of his own squadron of ships.
  • Informed Ability: He's constantly hyped for destroying 5 ships at the Battle of Loum, but in the series, his only onscreen mobile suit kill is a single Red Shirt GM at Jaburo.
  • Kick the Dog: "Garma, if you can hear me— You were a good friend. But blame this on the misfortune of your birth."
    • In the episode "Icelina- Love's Remains" when the White Base crashes, some of the civilian refugees attempt to escape and Char guns them down. (However the visibility was extremely poor and they'd been warned not to leave due to something exactly like this happening. A much more minor KTD.)
  • Lack of Empathy: Char is good at many things. Seeing other people as more than occupants of the same space or expendable tools is not one of them. Gets dramatically worse after his first few episodes.
  • Law of Chromatic Superiority: The trope originator, AKA 'Char Custom Rule' or 'Red = Three Times Faster'. It's worth noting that his final suit, the Zeong, is actually purple with red highlights.
  • Lightning Bruiser: The Gelgoog and especially the Zeong, which is faster, better armored, and better armed than anything the Federation has to offer.
  • Malevolent Masked Man: First of the franchise. Especially if your last name is Zabi, though it's not like he does much good to anyone else.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Starts with Garma and never stops. At the end he tries to get Amuro to work with him because "it's what Lalah would have wanted".
  • Mid-Season Upgrade: Repeatedly. Zaku —> Z'Gok —> Gelgoog —> Zeong.
  • Morality Pet: Subverted. He's much fonder of the gentle and devoted Lalah Sune than of nearly anyone else. He's also using her to a large extent as a Replacement Goldfish for the sister he continues to abandon, and is the one responsible for Lalah's employment as a psychoweapon. He pays lip service to allowing her to guide him, but doesn't actually change any of his moral or ethical behavior for her.
  • Named After Somebody Famous: The French/Armenian singer Charles Aznavour. It's more obvious when one looks at the phonetization (Shā Azunaburu).
  • Never My Fault: "Nobody wants to acknowledge the mistakes of their youth." Unlike most other characters in the show, who do, he goes on to make plenty.
  • Oh, Crap!: When Char first goes up against the Gundam, he's shocked by the fact that it shrugs off Zaku Machine gun fire like it was nothing, but what really horrifies him is the sight of the Gundam striking down Slender's Zaku in one shot with its beam rifle.
    Char: ...Slender? A Zaku suit destroyed with only one shot?! But, how could this happen? How could a Zaku be defeated like that?! That Mobile Suit would have to be carrying a beam cannon as big as a battleship!
  • Princess in Rags: Male example, who thinks Zeon is his by right. He was the son of the leader of a republic, but the effect is the same. Would Char be Char if his father was some less-powerful person he believed the Zabis had killed? Who knows...?
  • Psychic Powers: His Newtype abilities start to awaken from his proximity to Lalah. He's nowhere near as powerful as she or Amuro though.
  • Put on a Bus: While Char's easily the most recurring villain, after Garma's death he's reassigned in episode 13. The heroes have to contend with M'Quve, Ramba Ral, and the Black Tri-Stars before Char comes back in episode 26.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The blue to Amuro's red.
  • Revenge by Proxy —> Sins of Our Fathers: Pursues a vendetta against the Zabis on his father's behalf, as he thinks Degwin murdered his father. He extends this to Garma and Kycilia for being his children.
  • The Rival: To Amuro.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: His initial incentive to fight alongside the Zabi family is to take power out of their hands, by any means necessary. This is because Degwin - the Zabi family head - both potentially murdered his father and claimed that said father's last words were "to nominate him as the next prime minister of Zeon", while Char is almost certain his father's last words were "I know it was you who killed me". Char understands the need for patience and saving face to achieve this result, and he gets very close to realizing it.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: With his younger sister Artesia, who seemingly got 98% of the conscience and all of the empathy in the family.
  • The Sociopath: Char has the limited emotional affect, Lack of Empathy, need for stimulation, consummate lying and manipulation abilities, lack of shame or fear, Chronic Backstabbing Disorder, and a highly, highly questionable conscience. Murdering one Zabi is enough to prove all of this. Murdering two just... really reinforces it. Over the course of his franchise appearances, he checks all the boxes.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": His name is pronounced as "Shar", there's no C sound in it. Justified since, like "Charlotte", it stems from the original French pronunciation.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Evil: Oddly, Char starts at this and ends at the end too.
  • The Starscream: To the Zabi family. He wants Zeon to win the war, but he doesn't want them to be in charge of it. Garma Zabi suffers first, as Char, playing a friend and adviser in his pursuit of the White Base betrays him at the last and most crucial moment by leading Garma's vessel in front of the concealed White Base and exposing his rear wall to a fatal strike from the Federation vessel. He also betrays Kycilia atop the highest stakes for both sides of the war. Kycilia Zabi tried to have him killed as a kid but, after figuring out his identity gave him a job, restored his rank, gave him a promotion (from Lieutenant to Captain) as well as a ship to command and three new mobile suits (Z'Gok, Gelgoog and Zeong). This fails to loosen the intent to destroy her and her family from his head, and he repays her with a bazooka to the face. In a sense, Kycilia was too pragmatic for her own good; seeing the advantages of Char's abilities and passion yet not recognizing the immediate danger she placed her self in.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: To his sister Artesia.
  • Super Prototype: The MSN-02 Zeong, a prototype MS built specifically for Newtype pilots. In terms of performance it outclasses the Gundam in almost all respects.
  • Sword Fight: With Amuro in the finale.
  • The Unapologetic: Seemingly lacking any shame or remorse, Char seeks vengeance for his father's supposed murder by the Zabis by definitely murdering his friend Garma, who had nothing with do it, along with the entire crew of a Gaw. He contacts Garma to brag and laugh at him before he dies, then leaves the service with no thought whatsoever for the people he'd been commanding. He's one hell of an Ungrateful Bastard to Kycilia later, and he's very cruel and coldblooded even to his own sister, showing almost no concern for her safety as opposed to her anguish for him. It's part of being The Sociopath, but Char never makes a sincere apology or shows regret about anything, rationalizing whatever he does as part of war, vengeance, or being someone else's fault.
  • Villains Out Shopping: Attends a society party with Garma early in the series, then has an unmasked tea break with Lalah at Side 6 much later and watches some TV. They're watching Amuro and company in battle, but it's still one of the most peaceful moments in the entire show.
  • Wolf in Sheep's Clothing: He pretends to be a loyal friend and adviser to Garma, only to call curtains on him later.
  • You Killed My Father: His hatred for the Zabis comes from believing this.

    Tropes exclusive to him in Zeta

Voice Actors: Shuichi Ikeda (Japanese), Tom Edwards (English)

Main mecha: RMS-099 Rick Dias, MSN-00100 Hyaku Shiki

Warriors are destined to fight as long as they live.

A top AEUG pilot and former Zeon ace, Quattro Bajeena acts as a mentor figure to Kamille and the younger MS operators in the crew.

  • Anti-Hero: Char as Quattro is still a Blood Knight and a Sociopathic Hero at worst but he's still fighting the much more evil Titans. This is also his most sympathetic take on Zeonic Ideology; believing Humans Are Flawed but capable of doing good which stands in contrast to his more nihilistic view on them in other series. Though he doesn't share Kamille's remorse when killing his enemies; Quattro does take care to minimize civilian casualties.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Does this regularly with Kamille.
  • Berserk Button: While he has no love for the Zabi family, he goes completely ballistic when he realizes that Haman has turned Mineva into a puppet.
  • Big Brother Mentor: He tries to mentor Kamille in this matter, although for the most part, Kamille doesn't care about his advice.
  • Blatant Lies: Char, who betrayed his supposed best friend Garma to his death and assassinated his superior officer Kycilia, has the gall to tell Haman that he has never betrayed anyone in his life.
  • Bling-Bling-BANG!: The golden MSN-00100 Hyaku-Shiki. It's an antibeam coating.
  • Blood Knight: Several characters suggest that Char enjoys fighting or that he cannot live without war.
  • Can't Catch Up: A mild example. He's still one of the best (if not the best) pilots in the series, but he's fairly weak for a Newtype, and Zeta Gundam is absolutely saturated with powerful Newtypes who can compete with him one-on-one and expect to win. He's still a respectable ace, but nowhere near the Final Boss he was in Mobile Suit Gundam.
  • The Chains of Commanding: Ultimately, in order to gain more power for the AEUG, Char is forced to compromise all of his personal principles; losing his ability to start over a new life as Quattro and restoring the Zabi family to power.
  • Character Shilling: Happens a lot, but never to the point of Informed Attribute - he's still the Red Comet. Read: I Just Want to Be Normal below for the reasons to why.
  • Char Clone: While he is the original Char, the Quattro personality has become a subtype of the classic Char Clone. He's a blonde ace, favors red suits, and has a main rivalry like classic Char, but he swaps out the mask for shades, pilots a gold mech, and is more of an antihero. A number of future Char Clones borrow elements from Quattro's persona rather than classic Char.
  • Clark Kenting: What his "disguise" amounts to. It works in that very few people in the Federation-controlled regions actually know what Char Aznable looked like under the mask - and certainly would never expect him to join AEUG - but even in the first episode you see people guessing that they're being attacked by the Red Comet when he still handles his mobile suits as well as he does.
  • Color Motif: One guess, three letters. His uniform, his normal suit (though it's the same shade as his last one), and his first mobile suit all comply.
  • Cool Shades: Part of his disguise as Quattro. ...Pretty much his entire disguise as Quattro, actually.
  • Custom Uniform: The AEUG doesn't exactly have strict rules, but Char's still the only one walking around in bright red. His sunglasses and sleeveless jacket are almost as iconic as his cape, mask, helmet and gold trim of before. He also has another salmon-pink normal suit.
  • Cyber Cyclops: Played Straight with the Rick Dias, but Averted for the Hyaku Shiki (It was initially designed to be a Gundam after all). It's the only Char suit, in the main cartoon canon at least, to not be a mono-eye. It allows the suit to stand out from the rest of Char's more sinister looking antagonist suits, which is fitting for his Anti-Hero status.
  • Enemy Mine: He and Amuro still don't get along, but realize that their differences can wait. Their famous rivalry simmers down considerably during this period.
  • Fantastic Racism: While not overt about it, Char's interpretation of the Rhetoric of Zeon has some shades of this. Some of his statements about Earthlings seem to imply he views them as having an inherent malice to them stemming in part from their birthplace. In series it's very clear he views the Titans as evil because of their actions rather than where they were born, but in his next appearance this becomes a major part of his characterization.
  • Flawed Prototype: The Hyaku-Shiki was supposed to be the transforming Delta Gundam, but the technicians couldn't make the Wave Rider mode work properly. As is, it's still a high-end mobile suit that Quattro can control like his own arms and legs, but it's his skill alone that manages to keep him alive in the thing, considering how much higher everything he goes against is on the tech scale.
  • Foil: To Bask Om - both are veterans of the One Year War, both are in positions of power in their respective organizations, and both primarily appear wearing eyewear. However, Quattro learns not to hold grudges from that time period, as evident by the fact that he fights alongside members of White Base (even Amuro, despite the fact that neither have gotten over Lalah Sune); Bask, on the other hand, is never given a reason for his Colonel Kilgore elements in the shownote . Also notable that even at his worst, Quattro is still nowhere near as bad as Bask.
  • Four Is Death: Quattro means "four". In a more meta sense, it's also the fourth name the character has gone by.
    • Subverted. Quattro is alive and kicking after the end. He only dies in the movie after he goes back to Char.
  • Fragile Speedster: The Hyaku-Shiki is fast, maneuverable, and well-armed, and its anti-beam coating should make it resistant to beam weaponry. Yet the show repeatedly demonstrates that it simply doesn't have the durability of other Super Prototypes, like the Zeta Gundam, The O, and the Qubeley, and it is frequently manhandled at close ranges; the impression is that anyone less than a legendary One Year War veteran wouldn't last very long in it. Although when you consider that the Hyaku-Shiki was to be a Transforming Mecha as the Delta Gundam (see Super Prototype below), he was just probably shortchanged.
  • Good Is Not Nice: While he's doing his best to be a good guy in this series, Char's Lack of Empathy leads him to be a major Jerkass and it really doesn't help that the Federation keeps proving how useless and corrupt it is. Still, it's only towards the end of the show that he starts acting in ways that foreshadow Char's Counterattack at all.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Char was last seen attempting a mutual kill against Haman in the final stages of the Gryps Conflict. He fails - they both survive.
  • Hypocrite: Whether it's lecturing Amuro on getting over Lalah, getting mad at Haman for manipulating a member of the Zabi family, or being outraged by Axis-Zeon's treachery, Char spends most of the show calling people out on things he has no right to call them out on. Although if you will consider the next trope, it probably makes sense that he was trying to distinguish himself as "Quattro" from his time as "Char."
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: He's way happier as a battlefield pilot and Big Brother Mentor for the AEUG than a political figure - which is a bit of a problem for everyone else, since as the Red Comet and the son of Zeon Deikun, he'd be a really useful political figure. In fact, Haman outright hates him for it. The last handful of episodes show Char's frustration at not being allowed to go out and fight, as by this point he has become the AEUG's de facto leader. No wonder he went off the deep end as of Char's Counterattack.
    • At the same time, he clearly feels that someone has to do it, and is being crushed by having to be that someone.
  • Lack of Empathy: Downplayed. As he points out to Kamille, just because he's older doesn't mean that he necessarily knows anything about emotions. He's better than he used to be, but that's not saying much. A lot of the things "Quattro" says make more sense when you realize that he's a man without empathy trying to pretend he does have empathy.
  • No Sympathy: Even when attempting to empathise with people, "Quattro" at best manages to hit this trope, acknowledging why they feel the way they do, and still not caring or responding appropriately.
  • Oblivious to Love: Due to his Lack of Empathy, Quattro tends not to realize when women are in love with him, and brushes their feelings aside without even noticing how much he's hurting them. This makes him a couple of enemies (Haman, Reccoa).
  • Open Secret: Quattro's true identity being Char. As explained below, if people aren't outright aware, they are extremely suspicious. Amuro is the only person who refuses to humor him on this and calls him Char in all their conversations (he does, however, do him the courtesy of referring to him as "Lt. Quattro" when speaking to other people). When Haman Karn openly names Quattro as Char, Kamille snarks that at that point it's not much of a secret.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Quattro's shades, in general. The fact that his AEUG uniform is also carrying the same color scheme as his Zeon outfit emphasizes it further.
    • Somewhat justified in that there are only two (living) people in the entire universe who actually saw what Char looked like under the mask. (Although probably more knew what he sounded like)
    • Even then, it's implied that most people in the AEUG know who he really is, but keep quiet since he isn't admitting it himself.
    • Bright Noa accidentally cuts through his disguise almost immediately, as he refers to him as Captain Quattro on instinct (Captain was Char's rank in the Zeon military). Char corrects him by saying his rank is Lieutenant.
  • Pet the Dog: Zeta was the most sympathetic Char's been portrayed and over the course of the series many of his more positive traits are highlighted like his patience and honorable aspirations.
    • During the attack on Jaburo, Bright takes him aside and asks Quattro to try and see if he can find Mirai and the rest of Bright's family. Quattro agrees and does make a point to see if he can after they've captured the base but ultimately he doesn't find them.
    • When Quattro returns to space after Blex's death, he sincerely thanks Hayato for all he's done and agrees to deliver a video message to Bright from Mirai as a favor to him.
    • During episode 42, Char rushes into the Colony that the Titans attempted to gas to see if he could save Mineva. Though Mineva had been evacuated he finds Mineva's dying aid, Lamia, who Char seemed friendly with during his time in Neo Zeon. Char comforts her as she passes.
      "Rest easy, Lamia."
  • Redemption Demotion: When Char took on his role as Quattro, his performance tanked. He can still take down mooks with ease but against named characters, he'll often get kicked around. The Watsonian vs. Doylist reasons are easy to understand. In-Universe; suit design has improved considerably while his Hyaku-Shiki is a Flawed Prototype, New-Types are quite advanced and powerful while he's still fairly weak, and the AEUG simply doesn't have the resources to give him a powerful suit like Zeon and Neo Zeon did. Out of universe, Quattro being narratively on par with Char would just end conflicts too easily and overshadow Kamille's role in the story as The Hero.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Blue to Kamille's Red. Irony turned Up to Eleven. Red to Haman's Blue.
  • Scars Are Forever: He now has a scar on his forehead, between his eyebrows, from a climactic Sword Fight with Amuro in the last show. The head wound was saved from being fatal by his old mask. The large Eighties-style sunglasses that he has to replace the mask tend to hide most of the scar. The fact that it is forever and that Char does nothing about it tend to point to it as more-than-something of a Mark of Shame.
  • Secret Identity: Casval Rem Deikun, arguably Edouard Mass, and Char Aznable. He keeps racking them up.
  • The Sociopath: Downplayed as compared to Mobile Suit Gundam or Char's Counterattack, but it's not like a personality disorder is the sort of thing that goes away. His limited emotional affect is on full display, his Lack of Empathy is practically crippling at times (and called out repeatedly by Kamille), and he remains a self-confessed Blood Knight and a Secret Identity guy who can't help the self-glorification with flashy mobile suits and ridiculous Custom Uniforms.
  • Sociopathic Soldier: Quattro is a less apparent example than cruel sadists like Yazan, but it manifests at a few points. As with Char, Quattro doesn't deliberately go out to have his comrades die and when in combat he does his best to help people, but beyond that there's an emptiness to how he treats death. This is visible in his treatment of Roberto. During the attempt to steal the Gundam at the beginning, Roberto is injured and outmaneuvered by a GM and Quattro goes back for him, saving his life and taking him to safety. When Roberto dies later on during the fight with Buran, Apolly is crying, but Char can't bring himself to express any other sentiment than "the mission comes first."
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Quattro's last name has many romanisations, including but not limited to Bajeena/Bagina/Vagina/Vageena/Vajeena. The Gundam Perfect Files, which are usually a good source on proper romanisations (particularly for Gundam series that have not been licensed in America) spells it as Vageena. For obvious reasons, English speaking fans refer to him as Quattro Bajeena, which is Bandai Entertainment's chosen romanisation.
  • Spoiler Opening: Even before it is explicitly confirmed in the story, the narrator always refers to Quattro as Char. The ending credits don't even bother, either, just saying "Char Aznable".
  • Super Prototype: The Hyaku-Shiki (It apparently began life as the MSN-001 Delta Gundam as detailed in Mobile Suit Variations, supposed to have its own Wave Rider mode prior to the Zeta — hence the verniers at its back. However, because said mechanics wouldn't have been practical or even worked at the time, what they finished building was reworked into was turned into the Hyaku-Shiki. The concept was revisited in the Delta+).
  • Sunglasses at Night: In space, as opposed to at night, though he removes them when he needs to wear a normal/pilot suit helmet.
  • Taking the Bullet: When the Hambrabi team unveil the "Sea Serpents", a whip-like grappling weapon, they nearly defeat Kamille. Quattro saves him from a fatal strike by using the Hyaku Shiki to block it, an action that nearly kills Quattro when he's knocked into Earth's gravity.
  • Taking You with Me: Tries it on Haman Khan. They both survive.
  • Theme Naming: Quattro is the fourth name The Red Comet has used, after Casval Rem Deikun, Edouard Mass and Char Aznable.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Though he's never completely sympathetic, Char was at his most heroic here. Zeta toned down his arrogance, gave him a number of Pet the Dog moments, and his rivalry with Amuro cooled to a point of mutual respect. Even his characteristic Lack of Empathy, while better hidden, was used to show the difficulty that Char has connecting with other people. When he returns to his old ways Amuro is furious, but also disappointed that Char abandoned his attempts at being a better person.
  • Too Long; Didn't Dub: His mobile suit is still called the Hyaku Shiki even in English translations instead of the "Type 100". Justified in supplementary materials, as the scientist who designed it was Japanese (specifically a Tuckerization of Mamoru Nagano).
  • Unfortunate Names: His name is sometimes romanized as 'Quattro Bagina'. And considering the letter B in Japanese is sometimes romanized as a V... you get the idea. It is actually romanized as "Quattro Vagina" in the PS1 Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack game (proven here) as well as the SD Gundam G-Generation series.
  • Wave Motion Gun: The Mega-Bazooka.

    Tropes exclusive to him in Char's Counterattack

Voice Actors: Shuichi Ikeda (Japanese), Michael Kopsa (English)

Main mecha: MSN-04 Sazabi

  • All Love Is Unrequited: Nanai and Quess are both very much in love with him (though Quess's particular love is more an insane case of Mad Love) but in either case Char doesn't return the favor.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Char's suits have often been dismembered, but here the Sazabi losing its arm marks the turning point in the final battle and it all goes downhill for him from there.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Char embraces his position as Zeon Zum Deikun's son in this film. He's also at his most flat out crazy. Make of that what you will.
  • Attack Drones: The Sazabi's funnels.
  • Big Bad: After stints as a Dragon with an Agenda and an antihero, Char finally steps up as the leader of Neo-Zeon and the primary threat to not only the Earth Federation, but the survival of the human race as a whole.
  • Bigger Stick: The Sazabi (and its novelization upgrade, the Nightingale), which is equipped with every major piece of military technology we've seen developed across the course of the Universal Century. No other machine, save Amuro's Nu-Gundam, stands a chance against it.
  • Biseinen: At 33, he's too old to be bishonen, but he's definitely more of a pretty boy than he was earlier in the series.
  • Can't Catch Up: Char has always been just a step behind Amuro in terms of piloting ability and raw Newtype power. This is at its most obvious in this film—after thirteen years of mutual combat, Char's edge in experience is effectively gone, and their respective mobile suits are a technological match for one another, meaning that Char has to pit his own talents against Amuro's, with no other cards left to play. He comes up rather short.
  • Char Clone: He is Char. On a more serious note, this is the third, final, and darkest, of Char's major personas, and the one that Rau Le Creuset, Rey Za Burrel, and end-of-series Zechs Merquise draw on the most heavily.
  • Colony Drop: His master plan.
  • Color Motif: Red again.
  • Cult of Personality: Char's had one of these going since the days of the One Year War, when the Zabis promoted him as a war hero to encourage others to join up. Char capitalizes on both that cult, and his status as Zeon Zum Deikun's son, in order to hasten his rise to power and secure it once he's there.
  • Cyber Cyclops: The MSN-04 Sazabi is intended to evoke older Zeonic mobile suits, most notably the Zaku IIs that Char originally became famous flying.
  • Dark Messiah: Char presents himself as Neo-Zeon's saviour, and regards himself as one for the rest of the world. His methods however, go beyond the pale.
  • Deuteragonist: Hathaway and Quess might be along for the ride, but Char is the most important character in the film after Amuro Ray. There's a reason his name is in the title.
  • Ephebophile: According to rumor in-universe. How much he actually feels for Quess and how much he's just manipulating her is open to interpretation, but the fact that he'll do it at all says a lot about how screwed up his sense of sexuality is.
    • Considering what Gyunei told Quess at some point, this is an Ascended Meme.
  • Evil Is Petty: Both in-universe and among fans, it is believed that his entire plot to drop Axis on Earth is simply to get revenge on Amuro for killing Lalah.
    • The Zeta Gundam video game also explains how Quattro ended up as Char: he sensed the mind-rape of Kamille by Scirocco (being Newtype and all) and decided on the spot that playing nice with Earthnoids was off the table (even though Scirocco was not an Earthnoid).
  • Evilutionary Biologist: While not a scientist, he believes that forcing humanity to leave Earth and have them live in space will ultimately allow them to evolve into Newtypes, which technically is part of how it works.
  • Fallen Hero: From his Quattro Bajeena days. He's not only reverted to how he was in Mobile Suit Gundam, he's gotten worse. Of course how real "Quattro" was, is open for debate to begin with.
  • Frontline General: Char sets grand strategy, but leaves tactical battlefield considerations to Nanai and his other officers, preferring to sortie himself in the Sazabi.
  • Glorious Leader: In much the same vein as Gihren Zabi and Haman Khan, using his reputation, and promises to restore his father's legacy as the cement that holds his dictatorship together.
  • The Heavy: The film is called Char's Counterattack for a reason. Without him there wouldn't be a plot. Helpfully, he's also the Big Bad.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Through his actions Char has become a mirror of his previous foes.
    • He, like Gihren Zabi, pushes the rhetoric of the Spacenoids being a superior evolved race who're above the squabbles of the humans. There's even the implication that he, like Gihren, is mostly using the Zeon rhetoric for his own ends. Char's Colony Drop is of course meant to invoke Zeon's infamous act in their declaration of war.
    • Though not as apparent, Char's motivations parallel Jamitov Hymen's. Both men are sick of what they view as the decadence of Earth's government and people and thus seek to force a mass migration into space. Once in space it is their faction (Titans/Neo Zeon) that will rule.
  • Honor Before Reason: To the point of sending his enemies the blueprints for the Psycoframe: he thought it would be pointless to defeat Amuro if he wasn't piloting a competitive Mobile Suit.
    • He plays this trope straight constantly throughout the film, refusing to use his funnels against Amuro's Re-GZ, not ordering Gyunei to crush him while he's unarmed and out of his Mobile Suit inside the colony, and not taking the opportunity to destroy the Nu-Gundam when he finds it unoccupied while Amuro is inside Axis. Amuro does not reciprocate.
  • I Surrender, Suckers: And the Federation completely falls for it.
  • Insane Admiral: He's Commander-in-Chief of Neo-Zeon and an active admiral and frontline combat soldier. He also believes that dropping a meteor on the planet is somehow the path to world peace and spends much of his time slipping in and out of hallucinations.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: Continues to manipulate everyone in his hand emotionally for his own gains - the same way he manipulated Lalah Sune, except he really did care about her.
  • Lack of Empathy: Worse than ever. He's more or less replaced his ability to care about other people with Zeonic ideology and Spacenoid rhetoric.
  • Law of Chromatic Superiority: His uniform and his mobile suit are his usual red, though his pilot suit is orange.
  • Manipulative Bastard: He has no problem using his people's feelings towards him to ensure their loyalty.
  • The Mentally Ill: One could make a very good case for Char qualifying as clinically insane during the events of this film. He's having constant flashbacks, he sees things and hears voices, and his cognitive dissonance has become so strong that he can somehow mentally reconcile dropping a meteor on the planet with his end game of "saving the world."
  • Mid-Season Upgrade: The Sazabi is Char's ultimate upgrade... But only in the movie, as the novelization gives him the Nightingale.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: The political ideology he preaches and the image he presents is eerily similar to that of Gihren Zabi and Glemmy Toto, the UC's Hitler analogues.
  • Necessarily Evil: Thinks what he's doing is necessary for the future of mankind.
  • Never Found the Body: Following the Axis Shock, when the Sazabi's cockpit is recovered there is no sign of his body.
  • Never My Fault: Char refuses to accept any of the blame for what happened to Lalah, holding Amuro responsible for the entire affair. While it's true that it's Amuro who killed her, it was Char who turned her into a weapon, first handing her over to Kycilia Zabi's Newtype project, and then personally supervising her deployment. Though even when Amuro pointed it out to him back then, he believed it was justified in helping Lalah awaken as a Newtype. He also tries to hold humanity responsible for his actions in the film, saying that he's doing it to save them from themselves.
  • Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist: Char is a classic Type 1, and arguably has been since the beginning, but it's at its most blatant and obvious here. He talks a big game about lifting up humanity into Newtypes, but through his dialogues with Amuro it becomes clear that what is driving Char is not so much compassion for his fellow man so much as contempt and a desire to assert his superiority over them. And further, if you buy into the theory that many share both in and out of universe, he literally started the second Neo Zeon war just to have one final showdown with Amuro.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: He saves Gyunei at the beginning of the film when Amuro has him dead to rights. He later states that it was because Gyunei is to valuable a pilot to lose.
  • Psychic Powers: Char's been a weak Newtype since MSG. Here he's able to use the Psycommu system, the Biosensor, and the newly developed Psychoframe technologies to massively amplify his power level, making him deadly threat to everyone but Amuro, who has the same technology, and greater innate psychic ability.
  • Pure Is Not Good: Lalah Sune called him "pure" in Amuro's Dream Sequence.
  • Putting on the Reich: Much more so than in previous installments.
  • Sanity Slippage: Despite what the fans might tell you, Char was never a nice guy. But even so, he's become far less stable, and far less empathetic than he was in MSG, let alone Zeta.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: If the flashbacks and attachment to the past are any indicator, Char is still fighting the One Year War.
  • Super Prototype: The Sazabi, which is equipped with the new Psycoframe technology.
  • Took a Level in Badass: He was already badass, but given his relatively poor performance in Zeta, this could definitely be argued.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Especially notable from coming off of Zeta. Char is at his bleakest here, killing thousands of people with his Colony Drop and conspiring to kill even more to force the population into space where he will rule them. Char's manipulative tendencies are at the forefront as he uses Quess to his own ends as a super-weapon and all of his kinder acts to his comrades can easily be seen as a pragmatic means to control them. At the end of the day a not insignificant part of his goal is to have a final duel with Amuro and he'll endanger any amount of people to let that happen.
  • Visionary Villain: Char has a vision for the future. It involves an uninhabited earth, and the entire population moving out into space, where they will, of course, be dominated by his Neo-Zeon.
  • Wave Motion Gun: Mounted on the Sazabi's waist.

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