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    Sousuke Sagara 

Sergeant Sousuke Sagara

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/lnsousuke.png
The Assassin Saint (or Pain-in-the-Ass Transfer Student)
Voiced by: Tomokazu Seki (JP), Chris Patton (EN)

The protagonist of the series. He is an approximately 16 year old sergeant within the paramilitary counter-terrorist force, Mithril, and has been designated as Kaname Chidori's undercover bodyguard. He is an Arm Slave specialist in the SRT (Special Response Team) of the Western Pacific Battle Group "Tuatha de Danaan". His call sign is Uruz-7 and his ID number is B-3128, and he operates as the team point-man. Growing up as a Child Soldier in the KGB and mujahideen, his talents as a soldier come at the expense of any and all social skills.


  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Sousuke is described as having black hair in the novels, with both the color illustrations and the manga adaptation stylistically depicting it as purple. Anime Sousuke, meanwhile, simply has brown hair.
  • Adorkable: He's a giant weirdo, especially when trying to pretend he's a normal guy, but people are just as likely to find his deadpan earnestness and social ineptitude endearing as it is infuriating. As Tessa puts it: "Awkward. Earnest. Makes you want to help him." Kaname even initially humored his apparent stalking because he was so pitifully inept at it that he came off as a stray puppy following her home rather than a dangerous creep.
  • Accidental Pervert: It happens so many times that Kaname eventually knows that it's Not What It Looks Like.
  • Ace Pilot: While beaten out by Clouseau in pure fighting ability, Sousuke is nonetheless an exceptional AS pilot (especially for his age) and is particularly skilled exploiting most AS models' mechanical weaknesses against them.
  • Ace Custom: In the light novels, when Sousuke participates in underground AS battles, he pilots an Rk-91 Savage painted white and navy blue like the Arbalest, which he dubs "Crossbow". Subverted in that the Crossbow is under-powered; the Rk-91 is an older model which uses a diesel engine, which is less powerful than the gas turbine engines most other 2nd generation Arm Slaves have (to say nothing of the 3rd generation's Palladium reactors). On the other end, The ARX-8 Laevatein fits this to a T, as it was designed by Al, whose neural network is directly modeled off Sousuke's own brain activity.
  • Alliterative Name: Sousuke Sagara.
  • Almighty Janitor:
    • Despite being insanely skilled and competent, saving the day countless times, he remains a sergeant for the entire series. Partly explained by his lack of motivation to move up in rank and how he just plain doesn't care; Mao actually calls him out on it in The Second Raid after he admits that his only plan for his future is to keep following orders.
    • After TSR, he's now working at half his previous pay (as leverage for being allowed to live at least part of his life as a normal teenager in Japan with Kaname).
  • Ambiguous Disorder: His incredible lack of social common sense, monotonous speech patterns, and obsession with the military and weaponry seem to hint at him being on the Autism Spectrum.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Thus far, combining all the different canonical material for the series, Sousuke has received around five of these. Out of these five, he's misunderstood or blown off four of them.
  • Animal Motifs: A cute little dog, during more comedic occasions or a wolf during serious situations. Though a more plot significant one is a tiger (seeing how he's the "son of Badakhshan's tiger," as well as his eventually having a tiger as a pet).
  • Anti-Hero: He's a good guy who willing to do bad things to save the day, such as the willingness to use torture and deception and execute any terrorists detained.
  • Axes at School: One if his main Running Gags is the fact that he brings a wide variety of military-grade weapons and explosives to school and has absolutely zero problem unleashing them on an unsuspecting student body with full intent to kill whatever he perceives is a threat to himself or Kaname. In the more serious moments it is a case of being Properly Paranoid, sure, but Kaname has the very appropriate reaction of freaking out whenever she sees him pull out a weapon and the story very heavily implies that it takes an absurd amount of bribe money from MITHRIL to keep the school management quiet (in Fumoffu it also helps that the Student Council President is enough of a Cloudcuckoolander to accept Sousuke's explanations, regardless of how crazy they sound even with context).
  • Badass Normal: No superpowers, no special augmentation, just Child Soldier training and experience to kick copious amounts of ass throughout the series.
  • Bad Liar: He sucks at it. Pretty much any Muggle he tries to lie to is not convinced.
  • Bandage Babe: There are quite a few Fanservice-laden instances where he's shirtless except for some bandages.
  • Beautiful Dreamer: He inspires this with many people. Now how well they restrain themselves is a different story...
  • BFG: Sousuke's newest AS, the Laevatein, is equipped with a ridiculously powerful Multi-purpose Demolition Howitzer cannon. It's intense firepower and huge recoil makes it impossible to use under real-life conditions and normal physics. It has to be used in conjunction with the Lambda Drive to nullify all the those drawbacks.
  • Big Damn Heroes: The way Sousuke tends to make his awesome entrances to save the day. He does it so often, it gets to the point where Gauron actually lampshades it mockingly when he tackles and holds him down. "Well well, how do you like this? It's such a disgrace like this, isn't it? You can't act like a big damn hero and save the day in a cool way."
  • Birds of a Feather: He bonds with Shinji through their shared love of Arm Slaves.
  • Black Vikings: As pointed out by Nami, you don't find many ethnically Japanese kids who grew up as a mujahid. Sousuke wound up there under unusual circumstances.
  • Book Dumb: Being raised by the KGB and mujahideen as a Child Soldier has left some massive gaping voids in his education. He's a Teen Genius when it comes to military strategies and techniques and the maintenance and operation of Arm Slaves... but he has little to no knowledge of Japanese history, can't wrap his mind around modern literature, and can barely read classical literature and poetry thanks to his complete lack of familiarity with more archaic and poetic forms of the Japanese language. As a result, he often struggles with his high school homework. He does, however, do fairly well in math and science when he actually shows up for exams.
  • Broken Bird: Though it takes him a good while to realize just how broken he is, after which it becomes a serious worry of his (and Kalinin's) that he might be unfixable.
  • Busman's Vocabulary: Sousuke is prone to using military terminology regardless of context. While part of it is just his natural inclination, it's also because he had to relearn much of his Japanese from Kalinin.
  • But Not Too Foreign: Ethnically Japanese but raised in Russia and later Afghanistan (or, in the anime, Helmajistan).
  • Can't Hold His Liquor:
    • Despite being in the military ever since he was young, he doesn't drink. He's shown to be disgusted at the idea of it, and can't understand how others can stand it. As a result, he has zero tolerance for the stuff. Especially pronounced in the manga, where he takes a small sip of amazake (a drink that has very low alcohol content), and promptly gets dead drunk, complete with the fever and loss of strength. Kaname even lampshades it, telling him he really can't hold his liquor. He ends up dropping unconscious, and even after waking up, he's still drunk.
    • This could be a holdover from his KGB training; as an assassin in Helmajistan (what used to be Afghanistan), abstinence from alcohol would be a necessary part of his cover as a member of the mujahideen. It also helps to note that he's also raised as a Muslimnote , where Islam forbid their followers to drink any alcohol.
    • As of recently in the novels, he literally Can't Hold His Liquor, due to debilitating internal injuries courtesy of a rifle round that relieved him of a portion of his liver among other things.
      • Sousuke himself is fine with that. After a rather unpleasant experience in Hong Kong involving whiskey (and Gauron), he really doesn't want to see alcohol again.
  • Catchphrase:
    • "Mondai nai/Not a problem."
    • Before Kaname found out about Mithril and everything else surrounding Sousuke, he always used "It's a coincidence" to justify his following her.
  • Cannot Tell a Joke: After discovering the alien concept known one might call "humor", Sousuke tries his luck at telling his very first joke and bombs it spectacularly. His later attempt to cheer up Mao by imitating Kurz winds up similarly embarrassing.
  • The Champion: Even early on, Tessa suspects would readily disobey orders if it was for Kaname's sake. She's not entirely wrong.
  • Chaste Hero: Subverted, as it turns out that Sousuke is a lot more familiar with sex than he lets on—it's just that all prior personal experience he's had with it has been unilaterally terrible and he thus likes to think about it as little as possible.
  • Chick Magnet: Let's see, there's Kaname, Tessa, Nami, Ena Saeki, Gray, and countless girls from his school (that are just too scared to approach him, but nonetheless fangirl and drool over him). And that's not even getting into how Even the Guys Want Him.
  • Child Soldier: He was trained as an assassin for the KGB ever since he was 2-3 years old. Sousuke fits quite neatly between the Talented and Tragic flavors; he isn't angsty or traumatized (much), but he has severe difficulties coping with civilian life, rarely bothers trying to do anything non-violently and sees everything in terms of its value in a guerilla combat situation.
  • Clark Kent Outfit: He's described as looking rather thin, especially in his school uniform. However, Nami notes after catching him undressing that he's exceptionally well-toned despite the narrow silhouette (her second clue that he might not be lying about being an expert AS pilot), and Kaname is similarly shocked when she holds onto him during a bike ride and realizes just how much muscle he's hiding under his clothes.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: A very hilarious example in that he is generally serious, by-the-book and not crazy by any standards. The problem is that, due to having No Social Skills, his classmates (and the viewers) see his behavior as... UNUSUAL.
  • Clueless Chick Magnet: He never notices all the girls he attracts.
  • Coincidence Magnet: Being the person that has the most connections to all known "whispereds".
  • Combat Pragmatist: He uses small arms in close quarters that involves martial arts and his background as an anti-Soviet guerrilla in Afghanistan gave him training and ideas to take on armored vehicles and Arm Slaves when cornered.
  • The Comically Serious:
    • He finds humor in practically nothing, and never gets a joke. Doesn't help that he's a Perpetual Frowner who has apparently forgotten how to smile. Despite, or perhaps because of, all this, he's well known for being the funniest and most beloved character in the entire series.
    • He eventually plays the straight man to his own mecha. The two of them agree that the mecha has a better sense of humor.
  • Conditioned to Accept Horror: Growing up as a Child Soldier in the Soviet-Afghan war, Sousuke almost casually expects the worst to happen at any given moment and simply tries to plan accordingly. The light novels take it into even darker territory, with one exchange indicating that he's also had enough sexual violence directed towards him that he views Attempted Rape as just another unavoidable inconvenience to prepare for.
  • Consummate Professional: Meticulous, precise, and Crazy-Prepared, Sousuke can deal with any problem (except mundane ones) discreetly, politely, and efficiently.
    • It's also partly the cause of his problems in interacting with normal people, as he views their antics as dreadfully amateur compared to his military experience.
  • Conveniently an Orphan: Although his mother's death while protecting him, along with her dramatic Last Words for him to "live," "never give up," and "fight!" serve to help make him the Crazy Survivalist he is today, it mainly seems to serve the purpose of making him an orphan with no ties. Since he has no one waiting for him, it justifies why he can carelessly put himself in such dangerous situations without worry or care.
  • Crazy-Prepared:
    • Goes hand in hand with his Hammerspace and Hyperspace Arsenal. It's also Lampshaded numerous times by shocked and exasperated bystanders. Especially pronounced in an episode of Fumoffu, where he was asked to get rid of all of his weapons during a hostage situation. It takes him a long time to put all of his weapons out in a (huge) pile, which makes the kidnappers horrified.
    • Worth noting the pile includes a 9mm handgun, extra clips, at least five frag grenades, and from what else could be noticed, one assault rifle and two L.A.W.s. And he managed to hide all of this inside regular civilian clothes!
    • Oh it goes beyond mere weaponry. In the very same situation as above, he not only prepares a counter-hostage of original hostage-taker ahead of time okay, a pretend hostage, but still, he thoroughly researches each and every gang member and pulls off Shame If Something Happened on all of them.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Sousuke's skillset is narrow enough that not only does it severely impede attempts to live a civilian life, it even hurts him in his own line of work, as it's hard to rise above Sergeant when you have no diplomatic or leadership skills.
  • Crazy Survivalist: Heck, he even carries a special biochemical suit on him, just in case.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: People at his high school know him as an idiot military geek. He is not an idiot military geek; he is a specialist.
  • Cutlass Between the Teeth: The Arbalest can be equipped with an anti-tank dagger attached to its mouthplate, giving it this effect.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Child Soldiers do not have happy childhoods, and Sousuke's was especially bad.
  • Defrosting Ice King: Over the course of the series, Sousuke's lifelong icy stoicism begins to melt as he starts recognizing feelings and desires he can barely put a name to. Unfortunately for him, a lot of those feelings are unpleasant ones like fear, insecurity, and powerlessness as he becomes increasingly cognizant of how much he has to lose and how much harder it's becoming to slide back into the detached, calculating objectivity that made him such an effective soldier before.
  • The Dreaded: Feared by the rank and file of Amalgam that at one point, he was made a priority target when a DGSE safehouse was raided somewhere in Polynesia.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty:
    • Boy, does he make one nasty drill sergeant. He breaks a whole army of cuties into Ax-Crazy killers in record time. Extra irony in that it's hinted that he makes a more cruel and sadistic teacher even when compared with Gauron (who was actually a well respected AS instructor for a camp). Granted, this was Mao's fault since he was using her guidebook.
    • One chapter of Overload has Kaname trying to get a slimmer figure for swimsuit season; Sousuke offers to help and ends up becoming this, putting her in a Bonta-kun suit that forces her to exercise while he shouts insults. Eventually he apologizes, explaining that her original weight-loss methods (which included skipping meals) were dangerously unhealthy and he was trying to get her to realize that.
  • Dull Surprise: Sousuke tends not to be particularly expressive even when he does feel strong emotion. He also doesn't use voluntary expressions at all if he's not sure which would be appropriate, which is just about always.
    Kurz: I take it you're not surprised.
    Sousuke: Oh, I am. I just don't know what expression I should use when talking about these sorts of things.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: In FMP! Another, Clara Mao considers contacting "Seagal" (one of Sousuke's aliases) for help, but Kurz insists that she leave him alone due to this trope.
  • The Eeyore: Along his more violent forms of Mood Killing, Sousuke has a habit of regularly ruining his friends' enthusiasm for a fun trip, usually by relaying a tragic war story it reminds him of or highlighting all the (highly unlikely) ways it can go horribly wrong. Kaname usually finds these almost as infuriating as the explosions.
  • Emotionally Tongue-Tied: Mostly because he has trouble identifying what his feelings are to begin with.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Even beyond Gauron's obsession, the fifth volume notes that, in combat zones, Sousuke was very often the first guy other soldiers would try to bed in the absence of women, consent or even consciousness be damned.
  • Expy: Gets compared to Heero Yuy a lot, since both are Stoic Teen Soldiers-slash-Humongous Mecha pilots who come out of their shells due to Bodyguard Crushes on Ordinary High School Students (namely, Relena and Kaname); the main difference is that Heero lacks Sousuke's comedic awkwardness and can blend into regular society much better. Years later Sousuke would get his own Expy in the Gundam franchise: Setsuna F. Seiei, who unlike Heero actually does have a degree of Sousuke's social awkwardness, as well as a Kurz-like ally and Gauron-like archrival.
  • Extreme Doormat: Starts as one, having no ambitions beyond following orders and making it through the day. It's not until meeting Kaname that he starts entertaining the idea of actually wanting something (mostly because she was the first to call him out on it), and it takes him another six months to build up the nerve to start pushing back against his superiors to achieve it.
  • Fish out of Water: Pretty much the whole premise of the series. Military nut who has no social skills gets shoved into a school where he wreaks havoc.
  • Fluffy Tamer: Sousuke at one point decides to adopt a cat, the cat in question being a full-grown Bengal tiger he freed from poachers the night before. Nonetheless, said tiger (unimaginatively named Shiro by Sousuke) seemed content to be Sousuke's oversized housecat before Kaname convinces Sousuke to move the tiger to Merida Island for its own health and safety.
  • Fool for Love: Even before he figures out what love actually is, he begins to notice that his professionalism and rationality tend to take a serious hit when Kaname is involved. While he initially finds this confusing, frustrating, and painful, he quickly comes to embrace it following his Love Epiphany.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Friends naturally get very exasperated with him, dubbing him "that pain-in-the-ass transfer student" (except for Kyoko, who instead just thinks he's hilarious).
  • Genre Refugee: Assumes this role in Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu. He is quite distressed to discover in first episode preview that there will be no giant robots for him to pilot.
    Sousuke: Wait, nobody told me this would be a Romcom!
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: He has a cross-shaped "hero scar" on his jaw, as visible above.
  • Hammerspace/Hyperspace Arsenal: Lampshaded in both Fumoffu and The Second Raid.
  • Hates Being Touched:
    • Due to his highly paranoid nature. It's shown later that only a select few (which you can count on your fingers) can without provoking a very violent reaction.
    • Best shown in one episode of The Second Raid where Chidori drags him out to get a haircut; he ends up freaking out and holding the barber at gunpoint. Chidori has to do it herself, and he falls asleep during the process, such is his trust in her.
  • He Cleans Up Nicely: As demonstrated by his Teen Idol Identical Stranger (with whom he briefly switches places), the only things keeping Sousuke from stopping traffic with his looks are his default expression and complete disinterest in looking presentable.
  • Heroic BSoD: He has an epic one in The Second Raid.
  • Hero with an F in Good: He's one of the good guys, but he tends to cause a lot of problems in some of his solutions to things, such as blowing up his school locker when he finds a suspicious letter in it in Fumoffu. And he interprets said love letter as a letter of challenge based on the bits of the letter that survived the explosion.
  • Hyper-Awareness: Has an almost supernatural ability to subconsciously detect when a weapon is trained on him. This winds up being much more trouble than it's worth when Wraith notices this and starts trolling him with her sniper sight.
  • Identical Stranger: In a side story, it's revealed that Sousuke, excepting the scar, looks exactly like a very popular Teen Idol named Kousuke, a resemblance which went completely unnoticed by all of Sousuke's friends because Kousuke actually smiles. Upon coming across him on the street, Kousuke convinces Sousuke to switch places with him so that he can have a day off and experience life as a "regular" high school student. This ends about well as one would expect it to.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Maybe not exactly normal, but he does come to wish he hadn't Sacrificed Basic Skill for Awesome Training and envies how adaptable an Ordinary High-School Student like Kaname can be in comparison. He also becomes concerned that his continued work at Mithril will interfere with his life in Japan, particularly when Kaname starts becoming a Living Emotional Crutch for him.
  • I Let Gwen Stacy Die: How he feels about Nami. He also feels horrible about Kyoko getting injured on his watch, thanks in part to Ono-D chewing him out for it.
  • Improbable Age: Even beyond being a 16-year-old genius secret agent and sergeant working for an anti-terrorist organization, before that he was a prepubescent KGB assassin.
  • Informed Judaism: Was raised Muslim by the mujahideen in Afghanistan/Helmajistan, but the only Islamic practice he routinely follows is not drinking alcohol, which might be more the result of his state of perpetual paranoia than any religious upbringing.
  • Ignorant of Their Own Ignorance: Sousuke is a regular victim of the Dunning-Kruger effect, confidently jumping to absurd conclusions based on superficially similar military analogues or the most literal meaning of the words used. If Sousuke insists some task is not a problem, he will very soon turn it into one.
  • Introverted Cat Person: Well, introverted tiger person, but tigers are basically just big cats to him anyways.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Barring his near-sociopathic tendencies, which are kinda justified, he's a actually a Nice Guy who cares about his friends in & out of school/military & loves Chidori very much.
  • Just a Kid: Especially pronounced during the arc where he was sent to assassinate Gauron. All the teammates that he was forced to join up with (other than Gray) found it hard to believe that Mithril would send a child to help them, and refused to take his advice.
  • Kicked Upstairs: He was pretty quickly appointed to Head of School Security and Aide to the Student Council, an important-sounding but entirely inconsequential position pulled from the Student Council's ass in hopes that they can keep him too busy with errands for him to regularly destroy school property.
  • Kick Them While They Are Down: He's definitely not averse to doing this to his opponents.
  • Killer Rabbit: BONTA-KUN. That is all.
  • Lack of Empathy: A product of his upbringing; he's by no means a Sociopath, but he finds it difficult to understand other people's feelings, and tends to do very morally ambiguous things without much consideration for others. Most of the time it's played for laughs. There are numerous times where he finds himself unable to understand why someone feels fear or sadness (even when someone died).
  • Lethal Chef: In the manga, he's shown to be this due to his lack of common sense. He ends up cooking rice in a rice cooker... over a fire. Indoors. Which results in the others fainting from the fumes.
  • Lightning Bruiser: All the Arm Slaves barring the Savage "Longbow Custom" he pilots are like this, being very fast & powerful especially the Laevatein. His battle style in & out of Arm Slaves is also like this, preferring to charge in for medium-to-close range combat.
  • Literal-Minded: While not completely incapable of grasping metaphor, he has a great deal of difficulty with recognizing innuendo and tends to interpret colloquialisms he's unfamiliar with by their most literal (or militaristic) meaning. One of the reasons why he struggles so badly at literature classes is that he's entirely ignorant of the Rule of Symbolism and also translates unfamiliar/archaic kanji very literally (e.g. reading 背子 as "back-child").
  • Love Hurts: And how. His whole Heroic BSoD in TSR was pretty much caused by being ripped away from Kaname after he was starting to feel something for her.
  • Luminescent Blush: He has a couple of rare moments in Fumoffu.
  • Machine Empathy: Between his personal experience since childhood, natural affinity for engineering, and almost obsessive consumption of Arm Slave periodicals, Sousuke knows most models exceptionally well and can diagnose individual units' mechanical issues with ease. It's even implied that Al was able to design himself a new body following the destruction of the Arbalest in part from absorbing Sousuke's own mechanical knowhow.
  • Mad Bomber: Definitely. Especially in Fumoffu and Overload. And no, it's not everyone from Mithril - it's mainly just him.
  • Magnetic Hero: He tries to not get attached to people and just stay a loner... but True Companions just keep flocking to him.
  • Married to the Job: Kurz and Mao tend to Lampshade this, calling Sousuke a bore that doesn't care about anything else except his job. This eventually becomes a major plot point for TSR.
  • Master of the Mixed Message: His pragmatism, stoicness, constant mood-killing, and complete lack of social awareness makes it difficult for Kaname to figure out whether he genuinely likes her or mostly just sees their relationship as part of his job.
  • Messy Hair: While not the wild mane it was in his guerilla days, Sousuke's hair is still notably disheveled and unkempt thanks to his insistence on cutting it himself with a combat knife and complete disinterest in styling it.
  • Mini-Mecha: His Bonta-kun costume in Fumoffu is basically a human-sized AS.
  • Minor Living Alone: While he had originally shared Mithril's provided apartment with Mao and Kurz, Sousuke stayed behind as "insurance" after the initial mission was complete while Mao and Kurz returned to active duty on the TDD.
  • Moment Killer: It's pretty much 100% guaranteed that if he's saying something or doing anything that could possibly be construed as romantic or seductive, he'll kill the mood almost immediately by revealing his intentions to be purely pragmatic if not actively violent.
  • More Dakka: The ARX-8 Laevatein is already a Game-Breaker machine to begin with. Then during the final assault on Amalgam, Sousuke & some of the MITHRIL engineers develop a Long-Range Booster Jet Pack called the XL-3 that not only gives it the ability to fly but also adds ANOTHER SHOTGUN, TWO ASSAULT RIFLES, ALMOST A DOZEN MISSILES, & to top it off TWO GATTLING CANNONS. Gloriously animated in Super Robot Wars Z Tengoku-hen
  • Necessary Drawback: The Fairy's Feather system on the Laevatein. It nullify all Lambda drivers in the vicinity. However, the Laevatein's own Lambda driver is also disabled.
  • New Transfer Student: His cover story to allow him to transfer into Kaname's school without anyone being the wiser about his ties to Mithril.
  • No Guy Wants to Be Chased: He does not take well to aggressive methods of romantically pursuing him. As a matter of fact, it almost seems like he subconsciously turns up the level of his obliviousness when his admirer becomes too direct. In contrast, when the girls act more shy and cute, and tell him touching things like "I trust you," his heart starts fluttering. (Case in point: Why Tessa is rather unsuccessful at wooing him, versus Kaname and Nami, both of whom he admits deeper feelings for.)
  • No Place for a Warrior: Becomes an increasing worry of his after he starts to realize he wants to fully transition into a civilian life with Kaname.
  • No Social Skills: Someone once described Sousuke as that character in a Tabletop RPG who traded in all those "worthless" character points in social skills and instead put them into combat abilities. He is a nice guy, he just has no concept at all of what's expected of someone in a high school environment. Naturally, the writers put him in a high school environment, often.
  • Not Good with People: Boy does he suck at dealing with people (in ways that don't involve explosives, that is). He's shown to actually be capable of understanding and relating to animals more than humans (such as in the cases of Mousuke and Shiro, both of whom he managed to communicate with, and even understood their actions).
  • Not So Stoic:
    • The most obvious one would be his huge Heroic BSoD during TSR, where he thinks Kaname died. But even then, he didn't cry.
    • In the final novel, it looks like he's going to die on Meridia Island and he makes peace with that. But after he sees a video from his classmates at Jindai High asking him to come back to school, he breaks down, sobbing that he wants to live so he can see his friends even if it's just one last time. Thankfully, Al manages to save the day
    • An often-overlooked (and utterly hilarious) one is in the third episode of Fumoffu!. After Kaname STILL hasn't come back from washing off the watermelon juice Sousuke accidentally covered her with (It Makes Sense in Context), Sousuke goes off to look for her. He's told that she was seen going to a mansion on a cliff, and after his attempts to ask for her there failed (she was seriously not happy with him and told the kid running the mansion that Sousuke was a sick pervert stalking her), Sousuke...imagines what the people there are doing to her. The resulting look of complete fury on Sousuke's face is enough to scare Chuck Norris. Keep in mind that all the times she's legitimately kidnapped this season, Sousuke is still his eternally composed self.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: He's shown to have done this when Mao interviewed him for a position on her squad. Suspicious of the mysterious organization sponsoring the training camp (actually Mithril), he deliberately underperformed during tests so as not to stand out, and insisted that his victory in an AS match (where he won overwhelmingly over another AS that was much superior in make) was entirely a fluke.
  • Oblivious to Love: At one point someone angrily yells at him about how much she loves him, and he never notices, and he should just admit he wants to be with Kaname...and there's evidence he still didn't get it.
  • An Odd Place to Sleep: Prefers to sleep underneath beds.
  • Official Couple: At the very end on the last chapter of the novel, with Kaname.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: He's a consummate and serious professional, but when he sees Chidori with a former boyfriend, he starts mixing up his words and giving orders for an exfiltration to men who aren't there, obviously working from muscle memory, all the while speaking in his usual tone.
  • Other Me Annoys Me: His reaction when Tessa explains that Al, being modeled off his own brain, is basically an alternate (and more well-adjusted) Sousuke.
  • Overt Operative: Sousuke attends Jindai High School under his real name (not that he has any legal records attached to it), uses no disguise, and even openly talks about his history as a Child Soldier. It's only his current profession, affiliation with Mithril, and his true reasons for attending Jindai that are actually kept under wraps.
  • Paralyzing Fear of Sexuality: On the occasions he can't willfully turn up his cluelessness, Sousuke outright panics when confronted with sexual situations and treats them as far more dangerous than any active firefight could be.
  • Perma-Shave: It's noted that Sousuke just doesn't grow any facial hair at all. It's apparently part of why he drew so much "friendly" attention from other combatants when working with other squads.
  • Perpetual Frowner:
    • Alluded to even in the beginning. Kurz is exasperated when he tries to get Sousuke to put on a decent smile for his photo ID. He ends up looking like he has facial neuralgia. Also referenced by some characters feeling it's a pity that such an attractive boy looks perpetually angry and unapproachable (with slanting down eyebrows and lips pressed firmly in a straight line).
    • Unnervingly, one of the few times he's shown to smile naturally can be seen here. Yikes, Sousuke.
    • He does legitimately smile a few times. In particular, in Episode 1 of the first anime when he tells his new classmates at Jindai that he loves to go fishing, and in Fumoffu Episode 2 when he thanks Kaname for lending him her notes for Japanese class.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: He's the poster boy for this. You know he is when he considers blasting holes in the wall to get to the room next door as being more efficient than just using the door.
  • Properly Paranoid: The humor value of his seemingly ridiculous overreactions to aspects of civilian life others take for granted is somewhat tempered by the fact that people genuinely are out to get him and Kaname.
  • The Quiet One: Let's face it, no matter who he's with, he will always be the person who speaks the least. This is especially pronounced later in the novels, when he's with Nami's group.
  • The Rain Man: He at least borders on this due to his extensive knowledge of all things military and complete lack of social skills. Heck, he didn't realize that kissing a girl without her permission was a bad thing in the anime.
  • Raised by Dudes: Not just any dudes, but soldiers, mercenaries, and insurgents.
  • Rape as Backstory: Or some form of sexual abuse, at any rate. An aside in "Ending Day by Day" notes that he was often a target of unwanted sexual advances when conducting joint operations with unfamiliar mercenary and guerilla units, including several cases of Attempted Rape. He's come to view it as just another occupational hazard.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Sousuke is so bad at pretending he's a normal highschool boy that nobody can actually imagine he's anything but a weirdo LARPer. When he first confesses his true identity to Kaname, she immediately assumes that the stress of the hijacking made him outright delusional until he demonstrates his ability piloting an AS.
  • Sacrificed Basic Skill for Awesome Training: He was raised by the KGB to be an assassin ever since he was 2-3 years old. Spending his entire life in the military has left him completely incapable of even understanding civilian life, let alone actually passing as a civilian himself, and tends to lead him to some very off-kilter interpretations of other peoples' behavior:
    Sousuke: [Chidori] seems to be bothered by something. Either that or she's been abusing drugs.
    Kyoko: Er... I don't know about that...
  • Safety in Indifference: Though he only realizes he was doing it at all after he starts losing the ability to maintain it.
    Sousuke: "Coward"... Gauron said I used to be strong, but he was wrong. I've always been weak, a weak person trying to be strong... The weight of the things I'm supposed to protect—the old me never felt it. That's the only difference between then and now.
  • Scars Are Forever: His little, cross-shaped scar on his cheek is permanent.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: By all accounts, Sousuke should have been kicked out of school ages ago for all the property damage he causes and contraband he brings to class. The principal insists that she is simply being considerate of Sousuke's unusual, troubled background and that it has absolutely nothing to do with the huge, anonymous donations the school has been receiving since his transfer.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Beautiful!:
    • He has a mission to follow Kaname around and protect her from terrorists, but he must not let her know he's doing that. So to Kaname and everyone else, he's acting like a creepy Stalker With a Crush. The only thing is, she completely underreacts to his insanely creepy and scary behavior, even blushing and acting extremely shy when talking about him. In fact, hardly knowing him (other than seeing him throw himself off a train to continue stalking her), she actually starts fishing around for an answer if he has a girlfriend or lover, and is shown to be ridiculously happy when he tells her she's his "special person." It undoubtedly has quite a bit to do with his good looks, seeing how she acts towards men who don't even do nearly as much crap as Sousuke but are ugly. It's only when he gets to the point where he's on her balcony at night holding her panties that she gets angry.
    • In the novels, his being able to screw the rules because of his looks is lampshaded. He had always been a bit suspicious about how all the other guerrillas that were working with him treated him a lot nicer than they treated anyone else, and he got away with a lot more. Turns out that they all wanted to jump him.
  • Second Love: To Tessa. Not in the anime, but in the novels, her first love was Bani Morauta (the whispered that built the Arbalest) - they were girlfriend and boyfriend. He ended up dying, and she later ends up falling for Sousuke (Within two months of Bani's suicide!).
  • Selective Obliviousness: Sousuke's apparent cluelessness regarding sex isn't genuine innocence so much as him willfully tuning out a subject that makes him deeply uncomfortable.
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: A variation of this is found during the party on the Tuatha De Dannan, in regard to Kaname. Kurz: "Any man would fall for her." Sousuke (quickly and coldly): "I wouldn't know. I'm not interested." So Sousuke is capable of acting like a Tsundere...
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Kalinin confirms in a side story that much of Sousuke's erratic behavior stems from PTSD so severe that he simply can't function outside the context of a warzone (which is why Majeed used him as a Child Soldier despite his reputation for compassion towards refugees and POWs—Sousuke was already too far gone by then). It turns out assigning him as Kaname's bodyguard was Kalinin's attempt at a sort of informal exposure therapy.
    This had the appearance of a mission, but was also an opportunity to attend a normal Japanese school, adapt to local life with minimum stress. Of course, I assumed it would cause some trouble for the locals, but if he learned to adapt to peace, surely a life between his school and his unit was a small price to pay?
  • Shirtless Scene: He has one even in the beginning, where he's being bandaged up by Kurz. And then there's that completely gratuitous shot in Fumoffu.
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: While using the Arbalest, Sousuke's favorite weapon is a Boxer shotcannon, which is essentially a mecha-sized shotgun.
  • Skilled, but Naïve: Even other lifelong Military Brats find his naivete baffling.
  • The Spartan Way: What Sousuke subjects his schools' Rugby team to. His results could be considered a little too successful.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": An unusual in series case. Sousuke was orphaned before he had learned to write in kanji, and the only surviving record of his name was his own hiragana scribbles on his clothing, which meant Major Kalinin had to guess at the kanji used for his name and came up with 相良宗介. However, Kaname's Last Temptation of an alternate world where Sousuke was never orphaned and forced to become a Child Soldier reveals that the original kanji for his name was actually 相宗介, meaning that Sousuke has been spelling his own name wrong for the entire series. His last name is also improperly transliterated in English documents as "Seagal" frequently enough that it's effectively become an alias.
  • The Stoic: He's famous for this. Not to mention that it's pretty much expected of him from his superior and colleagues. Any display of emotions by him tends to be met with shock by people who know him.
  • Straw Nihilist: Temporarily near the end of TSR, and in his backstory.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: In his backstory, he's shown to look exactly like his mother.
  • Stupid Sexy Friend: Tessa finally accepting that they're Better as Friends doesn't quite stop him from accidentally turning her on from time to time.
  • Subordinate Excuse: Sousuke's mission was originally supposed to end following the North Korean hijacking incident, with Wraith replacing him as Kaname's bodyguard. However, after noticing Sousuke's despondence at the news, Kalinin pulls some strings to keep Sousuke as Kaname's "decoy" bodyguard so he can stay with her.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: See Bad Liar.
  • Talk to the Fist: More of the form "Talk To The Bullet." Being the Combat Pragmatist he is, he tends to do this when his enemies show an opening and are giving long speeches.
  • Tranquil Fury: He always maintains his composure and cool, even when utterly pissed off.
  • Teen Genius:
    • Gauron was well known for being a genius at handling AS in Amalgam. Gauron is 40-50 years old. And then here's Sousuke, who is 16 years old, and can actually fight evenly with Gauron (minus the Lambda Driver - and even then, Sousuke ends up being able to handle it extremely well in a remarkably small amount of time, with little guidance). It's even more pronounced when one considers that the boy was a genius even when he was only 8-12 years old.
    • Kalinin mentions during their final duel to the death that while Sousuke is good at everything, he can not beat specialists of the area, ie. Kalinin in CQC, Melissa in strategy, Kurz in shooting, and Clouseau in AS piloting. Effectively making him Jack-of-All-Trades.
  • That Man Is Dead: This reaction is provoked whenever Gauron calls him "Kashim." But only when Gauron calls him that. Because he hates Gauron acting like he was his friend.
  • Trash Talk: It may seem surprising that he would stoop to such behavior as The Stoic, but actually he uses this several times in the series due to a combination of his professionalism (and contempt for amateurs), Brutal Honesty, and as a legitimate tactic to demoralize his opponents. Gets expanded greatly in the Super Robot Wars series.
  • Trigger Happy: No matter which canon, he can definitely be described as this. Now how Trigger Happy depends on which source. He's at his most outrageous and violent when in Fumoffu and the Overload manga, where he has traces of Ax-Crazy as well. In the Overload manga, he's even shown getting withdrawal symptoms when forced not to use his gun or shoot anyone.
  • Troubled, but Cute: Good looking, 16-year-old male that has extreme Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, plants land mines around his school, bombs public and private property, and points gun at people? Yes, he qualifies. This is furthered even more when one realizes that, in his school, it's implied that a bunch of girls (and guys) have precocious crushes on him, but are just too scared to directly approach him.
  • Tsundere: Not towards Kaname (as he tries to be fairly honest about his feelings for her, even if he can't understand or articulate them worth a damn), but towards his robot. Several other characters even comment that he's basically the Kaname to Al's Sousuke, including Kaname herself.
  • Tyke-Bomb: Brought up in the USSR's K-24 program to assassinate a powerful mujahideen commander, Majeed, hoping to exploit his reported soft spot for children and refugees. He failed his mission, however, and while Majeed was unable to reverse the damage the USSR had done to him, he was able to quickly turn Sousuke against the Soviets and join his side.
  • Unable to Cry: Even after defrosting, Sousuke finds it seemingly impossible to cry and is somewhat troubled with it. This finally ends in the series finale, where he finds himself sobbing uncontrollably upon realizing that he's about to die alone without ever seeing Kaname or his classmates again.
  • The Unfettered: He has a tendency to treat everything as if it's a military mission, which often leads to him pulling guns on Kaname's classmates, blowing up lockers, or threatening to torture people he thinks are spies trying to get at Kaname. Kaname hitting him is the only way to effectively stop him.
  • Virginity Makes You Stupid: An obvious virgin, and a complete idiot when it comes to anything not involving fighting.
  • Wake Up Fighting: As his teacher learned very painfully.
  • What Beautiful Eyes!: Although his eyes don't have a particularly special color, they are big and very pretty. Gauron initially became infatuated with him because of seeing his emotionless, cold eyes. To put it in Gauron's words: "Anyone would say they're beautiful."
  • What Is This Thing You Call "Love"?: For the majority of the series. He literally doesn't understand the meaning of "love," even when Kaname tries to explain it to him.
  • When He Smiles: During the moments where his face relaxes and he lightens up, people who see him like that tend to have their heart racing BIG TIME.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Or shoot, bomb, whatever. He definitely isn't sexist when he deems the person a threat, that's for sure.
  • "X" Marks the Hero: His most identifiable scar is the cross-shaped one on his cheek. It even winds up being critical to the plot, as seeing Sousuke without his scar is what snaps Kaname out of The Final Temptation.
  • Young Face, Old Eyes: Lemon notes that he has eyes of a man at least twice his age.
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    Kaname Chidori 

Kaname Chidori

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/lnkaname.png
The School Idol No Guy Dares to Date
Voiced by: Satsuki Yukino (JP), Luci Christian (EN)

Kaname is the main female protagonist of the story, and appears to be a "normal" 16 year-old Japanese high school student at first glance.note  However, the discovery of her Whispered abilities attracts the attention of terrorist organizations. As a result, Sousuke has been assigned by Mithril to protect her. While Sousuke Sagara's battle intuition generally saves her from dangerous situations, she often considers Sousuke's instincts an irritant in daily high school events, leading to countless comical situations. Nonetheless, she and Sousuke continue to grow closer, to the point where they have expressed their feelings for each other.


  • Abstract Apotheosis: Sousuke comes to view her as synonymous for hope for the future and the possibility of having a life outside of war.
  • Action Survivor: After The Second Raid. She's an ordinary girl with no military training or anything aside from powers that are useless in a direct offensive purpose but she's managed to outwit and beat up assassins and is one of the few people Sousuke is genuinely afraid of.
  • Almost Kiss: An agonizing amount with Sousuke. Normally he doesn't even notice or realize that they almost did, much to Kaname's embarrassment and annoyance.
  • Apocalypse Maiden: The main reason Kaname requires so much protecting and monitoring is that no one knows what sort of Black Technology she "specializes" in, and history generally suggests Whispereds usually have devastating military technology locked up in their heads, so there's no telling what sort of dangerous, world-destabalizing tech abductors might pull out of her. In Kaname's case, it goes as far as warping spacetime.
  • Armor-Piercing Slap: She's pretty much the only one who can successfully beat Sousuke up and deal as much damage to him as she does.
  • Ascended Fangirl: She frequently references to action movies. During her first adventure with Sousuke, she even compares the situation her, Sousuke and Kutz are in to the final scence of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, getting some real life experience with her nerdy pastime.
  • Aside Glance: What she does when she tricks Sousuke (who was the New Transfer Student) into doing garbage duty.
  • Audience Surrogate: She's ostensibly the normal one of the main characters despite being a Whispered. We see Mithril and its workings through Kaname's eyes in addition to Sousuke's.
  • Badass Adorable: Arguably, especially on the "badass" side. The "adorable" part comes through from time to time.
  • Brooklyn Rage: She spent about eight years of her childhood in New York City, which she herself admits is why she's used to being more open and aggressive than most Japanese people.
  • Cannot Live With Them Cannot Live Without Them: She constantly claims that she can't stand Sousuke and all the troubles he brings. And then she realizes just how much she needs and wants him when he gets redeployed.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: She gets incredibly jealous anytime she realizes Sousuke's spending time with another woman. She often butts heads with Tessa, such as in episodes 8 and 9 of Fumoffu.
  • Closet Geek: She's somewhat embarrassed by her "strange" taste in books, genres which include military history-themed self-help, ancient alien conspiracies, and Douglas Adams.
  • Cloud Cuckoolanders Minder: She pretty much has to handhold Sousuke through mundane life and smack him upside the head when his cluelessness gets too destructive.
  • Conversational Troping: Kaname is quite prone to processing her more dangerous adventures with Sousuke through the filter of action film and battle manga tropes, most references to which go completely over Sousuke's head (such as when she instructs him to use the Lambda Driver like it's a Kamehame Hadoken).
    Sousuke: A kamehawhat?
  • Cry Cute: She has a few times where she bursts into tears.
  • Cute Sports Club Manager: In the Rugby episode of Fumoffu.
  • Defiant Captive: Kaname is openly hostile towards most of her captors and often fights with them, sometimes even physically. At her most cooperative, she'll spend her captivity brutally explaining to her captor all the ways in which they suck. At her least, she'll tear half their face off with a cheese grater.
  • Disappeared Dad: Her father is actually alive and well. However, Kaname has a strained relationship with him and he lives in New York with Kaname's sister.
  • Dude, He's Like, in a Coma!: She almost brings herself to kiss Sousuke while he's sleeping, but quickly realizes this trope. So she ends up dunking his head in cold water instead.
  • Dude Magnet: Played with. She's known around Jindai HS as "The School Idol Nobody Wants to Date" because, while the guys recognize that she's incredibly attractive, smart, and athletic, her short fuse is a major deal-breaker. Thus they're content to fawn over her without actually wanting to ask her out.
  • Enraged by Idiocy: Hence why Sousuke gets her hackles up so often.
  • The Final Temptation: In the final volume, after showing Kaname Sousuke's apparent brutal death, Sofia gives Kaname a choice: either continue live in a the present war-torn world which had killed Sousuke, or burn it all to ashes and start a new one with her mother alive, her family together, and a Sousuke who was not only still alive, but had grown untouched by the horrors of war into the adorkable Boy Next Door who's everything she could ever want in a boyfriend. She almost gives in until she notices that this new "Sousuke" is missing his original's scar and realizes that she would be invalidating everything Sousuke and everyone else had fought and suffered for should she accept.
  • Forceful Kiss: Twice by Leonard Testarossa.
  • Get A Hold Of Yourself Man:
    • To Sousuke in The Second Raid. With several knees to the face and stomach.
    • Did one to herself after being kidnapped by Gauron due to the info flooding her mind. She proceeded to silence all of the noise by slamming her head into a tree.
  • Grand Theft Me: Kaname spends the last 1/3 of the series being "possessed" by Sofia, the Whisperer; it's foreshadowed by her sudden shift in attitude and willingness to go along with Leonard's plans, but becomes more obvious when Kaname exerts enough control to type "You are not me" on a computer Sofia's using.
  • Gratuitous English: "Don't worry, everything's gonna happy <3"
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Gets extremely angry easily and with minimal provocation, and usually deals with it by using Sousuke as a punching bag.
  • He Is Not My Boyfriend: She insists to everyone that she spends so much time with Sousuke because she has a duty as the Class Representative and student council vice president to rein in the school's most notorious troublemaker. Most people just assume they're dating anyways.
  • He Went That Way: What she does to help Sousuke escape from the police while he's dressed as Bonta-kun during an episode of Fumoffu.
  • Hostage Situation: She tends to get in these a lot. Even when it doesn't involve terrorists. Sousuke always handles it in his typical crazy way.
  • Insulted Awake: Late in the story, when Sousuke is attacking Merida Island, he contacts "Kaname" on the radio and starts calling her names — because he knows Sophia has taken over Kaname's body, and uses the insults to give Kaname the push she needs to start fighting back. Interestingly, what got under her skin the most wasn't stuff like "You stupid bitch!" but rather Sousuke accusing her of being too gutless and weak-willed to resist Sophia herself.
  • I Know Mortal Kombat: She invokes this when she proposes the idea of stealing a plane to escape North Korea, insisting she'll work something out based on the flight simulators she's played. While she thankfully doesn't have to test that particular theory, she is later forced to take the wheel of a kei truck in a high speed chase with the Behemoth and relies on her go-kart experience with mixed results.
  • Invisible Parents: Kaname lives all by herself in Tokyo. Her mother died years ago and her father lives in New York along with her younger sister Ayame.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Her crude personality and violent tendencies made her this way. Kaname treats Sousuke like dirt very often. However, as time passes, she takes her character development and admit her feelings for Sousuke.
  • Kid with the Leash: People are often as likely to call her Sousuke's "owner" as they are his girlfriend.
  • Laughing Mad: She has a crazy one she gives whenever she's lying about something (most of the time involving Sousuke).
  • Little Professor Dialogue: Lapses into this when hearing the Whispers. Sometimes it's to the extent that even Sousuke can only understand half the military tech jargon she just rattled off.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: While Kaname loves Sousuke, Sousuke straight up needs Kaname and is ready to admit she's the one thing keeping him functional.
  • Lovable Alpha Bitch: Kaname has a reputation in school as one thanks to being a moody, abrasive loudmouth who often aims her words to wound; so while she's popular (to the point of being effectively press-ganged into the student council), most people also find her obnoxious in large doses and keep her at arms length.
  • Luminescent Blush: She tends to do this when she misunderstands Sousuke's actions as being "bold" and "romantic." Cue Sousuke doing something to completely kill the mood.
  • MacGuffin Super Person: As Tessa states, Whispereds haven't hit the gold mine—they are the gold mine.
  • Minor Living Alone: Lives alone in Japan while her father and little sister remain in New York due to his job in the UN
  • Missing Mom: Her mother died of illness before the start of the series.
  • Modesty Shorts: She wears these in an early chapter to prevent Panty Shots.
  • Moment Killer: What tends to happen any time it looks like things are getting too mushy between her and Sousuke. Most of the time, it's Sousuke who does this to her.
  • Near-Rape Experience: An odd version; one of the indicators that "Kaname" isn't herself late in the series is that when Leonard tried to initiate sex with her, she wanted to go along with it but her body instinctively shoved him away. It's later revealed that "Kaname" is Sofia, and the shove was the real Kaname's response.
  • Not So Different: She and Sousuke are both Fish out of Water in modern Japanese culture, but they approach the trope from opposite ends of the spectrum. While Sousuke has been a soldier his whole life and is extremely guarded and close-mouthed for security and trust reasons, Kaname's childhood in America made her much more forceful and open with her emotions than her peers.
  • Official Couple: At the very end on the last chapter of the novel, with Sousuke.
  • The Ophelia: Becomes one temporarily whenever she goes into her Whispered moments.
  • Peerless Love Interest: A combination of Attractiveness Isolation and her abrasiveness has led her to be dubbed the School Idol No Guy Would Dare to Date.
  • Protectorate: Sousuke's, obviously. First because it's his job, but eventually because he's head over heels for her.
  • Psychic Link: Whispereds are able to transmit thoughts to each other within a limited range. Ironically, this means Kaname has a psychic bond with her romantic rival rather than her love interest.
  • Sexy Soaked Shirt: During the Battle in the Rain in The Second Raid.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: What she does in an episode of Fumoffu, where she dressed in one of her mother's old kimonos and posed as an older, married woman who is having an affair with Sousuke. Needless to say, it was enough to make Sousuke become uncharacteristically shy and beet red.
  • Sparkling Stream of Tears: She does this in one later episode of the first season. Kurz gets very angry at Sousuke for making her feel that sad.
  • Split Personality: Sophia pretty much acts like this, even if she was originally a person that lived 18 years ago. At the end of the series, she monologues that Sophia is still inside her mind but no longer seems malicious, apparently content to experience Kaname's life to make up for the one she didn't get to have personally.
  • Split-Personality Takeover: While Sophia is the one in control.
  • Strapped to an Operating Table: She's subjected to this in the beginning of the first season.
  • The Talk: Kaname gives Sousuke a variation of this... on exactly what it means to "flirt" and "pick up girls." Needless to say, whatever she explained to him (done as a Fast-Forward Gag) was enough to traumatize him, making him go completely white and break out in cold sweat, stammering that he "could never do that."
  • Teen Genius: Being a Whispered likely has something to do with it.
  • Through His Stomach: As Kaname is a Tsundere she naturally fulfills this trope. She's shown to have prepared a special meal for Sousuke on several occasions, either as reconciliation after losing her temper, or as Ship Tease promptly followed by Sousuke doing something to make Kaname lose her temper.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: The tomboy to Tessa and Kyoko's girly girl.
  • Too Dumb to Live: In the rugby episode, she insults the Opposing Sports Team (who are all about two heads taller and very muscular) by comparing them to gorillas. If Sousuke hadn't been around to help, things could have gotten very nasty.
  • Tsundere: "Stupid Sousuke! It's not like I'm doing this because I like him or anything..." (Blush, blush)
  • Twitchy Eye: Whenever she's trying not to blow her top.
  • What Does She See in Him?: What Leonard bitterly keeps wondering about Kaname, citing that Sousuke is a worse choice for a boyfriend because he's killed hundreds of people. Of course, if he would sit down and start figuring out exactly what makes Sousuke so appealing, maybe he would find it easier to woo women.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Sometimes her Genre Savvy leads her astray, mostly because it's based on American action movies. For example, she refused to believe Tessa could be a captain because "captains are tough old bastards like Sean Connery. You're one of those people who read telegrams or something."
  • Yaoi Fangirl: Especially pronounced in the novels.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: In the anime. The novels, however, describe her hair as black.

    Teletha Testarossa 

Captain Teletha "Tessa" Testarossa

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/lntessa.png
Mithril's Witch of the Sea
Voiced by: Yukana (JP), Hilary Haag (EN)

Teletha "Tessa" Testarossa is the clumsy but charming Captain of the Mithril anti-terrorist organization's revered TDD-1 'Tuatha de Danaan'. She is American by birth but has lived on submarines and military bases for most of her life. She is also a child prodigy who rose to her relatively high rank at the age of only 16 after using her Whispered power to design the submarine. Tessa has silver hair (described as platinum/ash blonde) and grey eyes.


  • The Atoner: Joined Mithril after learning that the theory for ECS technology she had scribbled out as a small child was used to nuke Kuwait and spark a pan-Middle Eastern war.
  • Alliterative Name: Teletha "Tessa" Testarossa. Not just the first letter, but every sound in her name is alliterative!
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Which falls fantastically flat when Sousuke misunderstands it brilliantly.
  • Attempted Rape: In the light novel and manga, she was almost ganged-raped by Amalgam soldiers. Fortunately for her, Melissa gun them down.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: While hopelessly uncoordinated, her tactical abilities (and a fair deal of beginner's luck) are exceptional enough that she manages to beat Mao in a mock AS fight.
  • Badass Adorable: It's hard to believe this moeblob is the commander of a next-gen nuclear submarine carrying a battalion of Humongous Mecha. Fortunately, most enemies underestimate her because of this very reason, usually with grave consequences.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Zig-zagged in the "Into the Blue" arc. In the penultimate episode she's left with a bloody nose courtesy of Gauron and it lasts through the rest of the episode, but then the following episode picks up on its cliffhanger and her face is clean from any traces of blood.
  • Being Personal Isn't Professional: She strives for this, as her Improbable Age makes it difficult enough to be taken seriously as a captain already. Unfortunately, Sousuke makes this very difficult for her; and though she can still usually maintain her professionalism while they're both on the clock, she jumps so eagerly at any chance to (not-so) covertly "deepen" her relationship with him in private that Sousuke starts treating her as a missing stair.
  • Betty and Veronica: The Betty to Kaname's Veronica.
  • Can't Hold Her Liquor: Much like Sousuke, she doesn't drink one bit. Also like Sousuke, this resulted in a hilariously low tolerance for alcohol as it's implied a single mixed drink (which would have about as much alcohol as a strong beer) knocked her so thoroughly out that she forgot what she did the night previously.
  • The Captain: As Gauron found out, to his cost. "This is my ship, and I am her only Captain."
  • Captain Smooth and Sergeant Rough: The smooth captain to Mao's rough sergeant.
  • Character Tics: She has a habit of absentmindedly playing with her ponytail.
  • Clean Pretty Reliable: Tessa uses CPR as an excuse for trying to kiss Sousuke after he drowned. Kaname stops her in time for Sousuke to wake up by himself.
  • Covert Pervert: Her mid-sleep ramblings imply that she has a very active imagination when it comes to Sousuke, to say nothing of what she gets up to when Sousuke is asleep.
  • Curtains Match the Window: Gray eyes with silver hair.
  • Cute Clumsy Girl: Tends to trip quite often.
  • Ditzy Genius: Extremely talented due to being a Whispered, but otherwise look like an innocent airheaded teenage girl.
  • Dude, He's Like, in a Coma!: Unlike Kaname, Tessa has no problems whatsoever trying to take advantage of Sousuke in his sleep. It gets to the point of being a Running Gag that she tries to kiss/grope/molest him while he's sleeping somewhere else (and normally getting stopped by others before she goes too far).
  • Dude Magnet: The moment it was announced that the bingo winner would get a (cheek) kiss from her, everyone in the hangar started up their fighting auras. For a bingo game. To say nothing of the Death Glare's that Sousuke got when she said she and him have a "special relationship".
  • Even the Girls Want Her: When Tessa introduces herself as a Foreign Exchange Student, all the girls Squee! over how cute she is. Except a fuming Kaname... and even she gets turned on by Tessa's choice of bathing suit later on.
  • Foreign Exchange Student: For all of two episodes in Fumoffu.
  • Heel Realization: Tessa starts to realize that she (and Mithril in general) might be on the path of He Who Fights Monsters when she sits in on Bruno's interrogation. It's not the Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique itself that horrifies her, but realizing that she enjoys watching Bruno suffer for his betrayal. Much like Sousuke, she eventually decides she'd rather not keep fighting war with more war and very eagerly opts out of any efforts to re-establish Mithril following the final battle.
  • Graceful in Their Element: For all her klutziness, she's actually quite a good swimmer and winds up having to rescue Sousuke in his panic attempt to rescue her from drowning.
  • I'm Taking Her Home with Me!: While all the guys clearly find her sexually attractive when she visits Sousuke and Kaname's high school in Fumoffu, the girls go up in exclamation about how cute she is.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: In episode 22, Tessa gets the drop on a pair of hijackers by drawing a hidden pistol and somehow manages to miss both of them at close range with her entire magazine.
  • Improbable Age: A 16-year-old captain in a huge, anti-terrorist organization. Although this is justified by her Whispered status, her father being a well-known submarine captain himself, and Admiral Borda and Mardukas being family friends. Note that Borda repeatedly tried to discourage her from the task, and failed.
  • Joshikousei: Even Mardukas and Sousake are stunned when she dresses up in her Jindai High uniform in Fumoffu.
  • Just a Kid: As a 16-year-old girl who constantly trips over her own feet, people who don't already work under her often dismiss the possibility that she could be a captain. Kalinin often lies about her age when she has to engage with ministers or diplomats (sometimes without telling her).
  • Lady of War: As stated above, Tessa is a damn dangerous opponent and has a rather firmly military outlook.
  • The Load: She tends to become one once she steps off the TDD and onto land. Tessa herself is quite aware of this, and it's a major source of insecurity.
  • Military Brat: Her father was a US naval commander, and she was quickly adopted by Mardukas after his death.
  • No Guy Wants to Be Chased: Her... methods of pursuing Sousuke were not very well done (or well taken, for that matter). She didn't really seem to wise up to the fact that he does not react well when girls try to actively seduce him by throwing themselves at him or forcefully put him in compromising situations. Numerous attempts at molesting him in his sleep probably didn't help things, either.
  • Obfuscating Insanity: She shows up in San Francisco wandering down the highway and is taken to a hospital, where she openly talks about Mithril and Amalgam, saying that after being betrayed by her crew she's just an Empty Shell now. When they move to transfer her to a mental institution, Amalgam tries to kidnap her, only for Mithril to ambush them, revealing the whole thing was a sting operation intended to capture Leonard's "messenger boy" Lee Fowler.
  • Omniglot: Is fluent in Italian, German, French, Japanese, Latin, and possibly other languages. It was one of the first signs that she was a Whispered.
  • Precision F-Strike: When speaking to Leonard's subordinate Lee Fowler, Tessa has enough of his know-it-all attitude and says that she can't stand "smug pieces of shit like you", telling him to pass the message along to her brother. The assembled Mithril crew's jaws drop upon hearing their "princess" swear, and in Sigma even Leonard looks surprised when Fowler repeats the message.
  • Psychic Link: With any other Whispereds within range. She mostly uses it to covertly pass strategic knowledge on to Kaname or contact her in lieu of a communications channel.
  • Raised Catholic: Is "reportedly Catholic" in the light novels, though it doesn't have much relevance to the plot except that it gives (the nominally Muslim) Sousuke the suspicion that she brought up Christmas as a sneaky way of nudging him towards a more relationship-compatible religion.
  • Red Baron: She's known by Amalgam as "Mithril's Witch of the Sea". The Tuatha de Danaan, likewise, is referred to by the US Navy with equal parts fear and respect as the "Toy Box".
  • Romantic Runner-Up: Officially as of Dancing Very Merry Christmas, when Sousuke finally fully processes his Love Epiphany and answers her Armor-Piercing Question with an equally Armor Piercing Answer. Tessa, thankfully, takes it in stride and accepts that they'd be Better as Friends (even if Sousuke is the Stupid Sexy Friend).
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Shows serious signs of this after the events at Merida Island, as seen in Sigma.
  • Silk Hiding Steel: In Continuing On My Own (Invisible Victory episode 2), there's a moment where a member of the SRT jokingly suggests that they hand Tessa over to Amalgam in exchange for their safety. Tessa brings him back in line by personally threatening to shoot him dead on the spot unless he apologizes and reaffirms his loyalty to Mithril; when he expresses doubt that she'd actually do it, Tessa puts a bullet in the ground and reminds him that while he might have assumed she was just a delicate little fairytale princess, she's a professional soldier through and through.
  • Sunny Sunflower Disposition: In one of her short stories.
  • Teen Genius: She's 16 and designed the Tuatha de Danaan. This is likely due to her status as a Whispered, giving her knowledge that shouldn't possibly exist yet.
  • Unrequited Tragic Maiden: Tessa, as much as she'd hate to admit, had basically lost the Love Triangle even before she entered it. Surprisingly, she ends up letting go quite readily once Sousuke can finally articulate his feelings (or lack thereof), accepting that they're Better as Friends and later referring to it as her 'make-believe love affair'.
  • The Woman Wearing the Queenly Mask: She has a bad case of imposter syndrome and is constantly worried that all her soldiers will one day realize (or have already realized) she's ultimately a clutzy teenage girl who's useless in a firefight.
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