The cast of Legend of the Galactic Heroes is almost as immense in scale as the series itself. So immense, in fact, that at the beginning of the show (and of each subsequent season) they have to put subtitles bearing their names for each of their on-camera appearances! Here is a list of these truly memorable individuals who helped shape the face of history forever.
As always, please beware of spoilers. Humans are only human after all.
The Galactic Empire
Kaiser Reinhard von Lohengramm
A young noble whose family had fallen on hard times, Reinhard von Musel was nevertheless content, with his best friend and older sister providing him with all the happiness he needed. This changed when he found out that his sister Annerose had been taken to the Imperial Palace as a concubine for the Kaiser. This abuse of authority drove him to swear a lofty oath: he would fight and eliminate anyone who stood in his way to rescue his sister, or die in the attempt. Along with his friend, Siegfried Kircheis, he abandoned his father and entered the Imperial military academy in the Imperial capital. With the patronage of Kaiser Friedrich IV he rather quickly rose to the rank of Admiral and was later inducted into the high nobility with the title of Count Lohengramm.
Reinhard von Lohengramm possesses a strategic genius evident both on and off the battlefield, and perhaps even more importantly, a keen eye for human talent. His nigh-unfaltering confidence, personal charisma, and refusal to cater to those with noble lineage garner him a significant power base among common soldiers and dissatisfied nobles alike. He has also earned himself quite a few enemies among in the more conservative nobility for these very qualities, but he is in many ways protected both by his military reputation and the Kaiser's favor.
When Reinhard took to the field personally, it was aboard the white battleship, Brunhilde.
- The Ace: The youngest, greatest and last fleet admiral of the Goldenbaum dynasty.
- Agent Peacock: More subtle than most examples. He is the only Fleet Admiral to wear different kinds of cloaks. Guys like Rudolf, Muckenberger and Reuenthal stick to one cape, but Reinhard has at least 6 throughout the series.
- Aloof Leader, Affable Subordinate: The aloof leader to Kircheis' affable subordinate. Reinhard oozes charisma, but his presence alone intimidates people and as a result people tend to admire him from a distance.
- Ambiguously Bi: On the one hand, early on in the series Reinhard shows no interest in pursuing women and is only shown to care about two people: his sister Annerose, and his childhood companion Siegfried Kircheis, with whom he shares a very intense and intimately personal bond. Even if there's no sexual attraction, it's clearly at least a romantic friendship of some kind. After Kircheis's death he appears to grow fond of his young aide Emil von Seele as well, possibly as a sort of Replacement Goldfish. On the other hand, later on Reinhard does conceive a child with Hildegard von Mariendorf, whom he eventually marries, so it isn't as if he's incapable of finding women attractive. In the books, some speculate that Reinhard may even be essentially a Celibate Hero; he simply has a much greater passion for war and conquest than he does for sex and romance.
- Animal Motifs: Lions, fitting for a ruler. His banner is a golden lion on a red field. When he becomes Kaiser and grows his hair out even further, it even somewhat looks like a lion's mane. To add to that his dynasty is called Goldenlowe (Golden Lion).
- Antagonist in Mourning: He does not take Yang Wen-li's death well.
- Anti-Hero: Is the closest thing to a hero this series has, but he is no saint. He glorifies war, can't find any peace in well...peace, is haunted by Kircheis' death up until the end of the series, once executes kids above 10 years old and is responsible for countless deaths. That being said, he also reforms the empire for the betterment of the people, is generous and grateful to the people who help him, courageous, a benevolent ruler and has countless other virtues that lead him to improving billions of lives for the better. (One of the biggest points of contention for many of the more virtuous FPA members, though, is that his empire is still an empire, and that's why the likes of Yang, Bucock etc. oppose him to the bitter end.)
- Asskicking Equals Authority: He seems to believe this.
- Badass Boast: Spoken to a group of hesitant mutineers holding him at gunpoint.Reinhard: Shoot me! There is only one Reinhard von Lohengramm, and there is only one man whose name will be remembered for killing me. Who wants to be that man?
- Big Brother Instinct: In this case, little brother instinct. Endanger or harm his sister in any way and Reinhard will make you pay with your life.
- High Admiral Ovlesser at one point starts tossing one insult after another Reinhard's way. He insults Reinhard's accomplishments, his background, his character and capabilities. None of these do anything. Then he brings up Annerose and an enraged Reinhard orders Reuenthal and Mittermeyer to drag the vulgar bastard in front of him.
- Bishounen: The guy's actually famous for his looks in-universe.
- Blood Knight: "A sword has no reason to exist except as a sword."
- Byronic Hero: A charismatic, larger than life character who displays arrogance and pride.
- The Call Knows Where You Live: He is definitely not a Reluctant Warrior, but he was content with a simple life until his sister was taken away to be the Emperor's concubine and his father did nothing to prevent that.
- The Chains of Commanding: Not in the same way as Yang, but he mourns the deaths of several admirals under him, especially Kircheis and it does eat at him.
- Character Development: Probably undergoes the most personal changes out of all the characters.
- Character Tics: Later in the series, Reinhard develops a habit of clutching a medallion (actually a locket containing a lock of Kircheis's hair) during key moments.
- The Chessmaster: He employs arguably the best one as his Chief of Military affairs, but Reinhard himself is a brilliant one as well. It's how he ends up disposing of political obstacles, crippling enemy fleets, gathering more power and conquering planets.
- Death Seeker: In the second half of the story, Hilde starts suspecting that this is a good part of the reason why he's so obsessed with chasing down Yang Wen-li.
- The Emperor: Aspires to topple the Goldenbaum dynasty and reunite humanity under a rejuvenated, meritocratic New Empire. He manages to do just that, but dies before he can see the fruits of his labor fully mature.
- Enfant Terrible: When he was a child, Kircheis had to stop him from beating a bully to death. Apparently it wasn't the first time, just the first time Kircheis didn't show up in time to stop Reinhard before he could make the bully bleed...
- Expository Hairstyle Change: Grows his hair out after becoming emperor.
- Fatal Flaw: If Yang's fatal flaw is his ideals, Reinhard's fatal flaw would be pride. At a certain point Reuenthal and Mittermeyer offer to take on Yang for him, but Reinhard declines as he feels like he has to take on Yang himself.
- Another one is internal politics. Reinhard understands the military, economics, foreign policy, diplomacy and administration just fine, but he often seems unaware of the clashes within his administration. This is partially what leads to Heydrich Lang creating problems, which leads to further intrigue and Reuenthal's rebellion.
- Flaw Exploitation: Reinhard's pride was seized by Yang in hope of defeating Reinhard once and for all. Unfortunately, Yang did not expect Hilda.
- Foil: Reinhard and Yang are polar opposites, yet have quite a lot in common. Reinhard is a very ambitious, though rather morally ambiguous person who seeks power to make his dreams a reality while Yang is a morally strong individual, yet has no ambition whatsoever. Both of them strongly believe in different philosophies and forms of government (democracy for Yang, monarchy for Reinhard). Both of them despise a certain kind of people (Reinhard hates those who believe that they are owed respect and power simply because of their genes, Yang hates those who hide in safety and yet glorify war and patriotism). Both of them suffer from a Fatal Flaw (Pride for Reinhard, idealism for Yang) that were exploited during the series. Both of them are brilliant tacticians, strategists and military leaders, though Reinhard is a Blood Knight who has no qualms about using violence while Yang is a Martial Pacifist who dislikes war and violence. Reinhard fits the Byronic Hero archetype (arrogance, pride, willingness to use and glorify violence, bloodthirsty in the earlier episodes) while Yang is more the Ideal Hero (humble, caring, strong morality, abhors violence and war). Both of them are aware of the corruption in their respective nations, though while Reinhard actively works to reform the Empire's society and conquer the galaxy, Yang does little to nothing to reform the Alliance due to his unwillingness to disobey his superiors.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: Began life as the son of an Impoverished Patrician in the lower ranks of the Imperial nobility. After his father sold his sister to the Kaiser, he embarked on a secret quest for revenge that saw him swiftly climb his way up the ranks to become one of the Empire's most skilled and feared admirals. He eventually overthrows the Goldenbaum dynasty and has himself crowned Kaiser.
- Galactic Conqueror: Aspires to unite humanity under a single banner in the name of progress. About midway through the series, he succeeds... mostly.
- Happily Married: With Hilda. They're really quite happy together.
- The Hero Dies: At the end of the series, he dies from an undiscovered disease.
- Heroic BSoD: Happens twice; once after Kircheis' death, and again when a would-be assassin calls him out for his willingness to sacrifice Westerland.
- Hot-Blooded: It's rather unusual that he manages to be both this and extremely conniving.
- Hyper-Competent Sidekick: Reinhard surrounds himself with these by gathering the most talented men in the Empire. Though Reinhard is incredibly competent in all fields, it could be argued that he has subordinates that excel him in the field they are working for (except warfare, though Reuenthal and especially Kircheis may be equal). For example, Hilda is a smarter politician than him. Reinhard relying on their superior abilities is what makes him such a supreme leader.
- I Did What I Had to Do: This was Reinhard's excuse to Kircheis about his inaction regarding Westerland. After which he never made excuses for his decisions again.
- Impoverished Patrician: Reinhard comes from a noble background, but by the time he was born, his family had fallen on hard times.
- Immediate Self-Contradiction: Reinhard makes a poetic remark how unlike a storm, he won't go into pointless rage. When Hilda suggest that Annerose could be targeted by kidnappers, he immediatelly screams torture and death to anyone who dares.
- Internal Reformist: One of the three main reasons he wanted to climb the ranks of military. The first was to get his sister back, the second to kill the Kaiser, the third was to transform the Empire by instituting a government where leaders are appointed on the basis of merit and not class privilege. He already starts off as a rebellious entity when he takes Reuenthal and Mittermeyer into his service, leading to a lower noble and a commoner making it all the way to vice admiral, but as soon as he becomes fleet admiral he adds several commoners to his admirality and later on 1 more lower noble. This in a system where the higher ranks tend to go to high nobles and commoners have a snowball's chance in hell of becoming a vice admiral.
- Irony: The High Nobility considers him nothing more than a lowborn peasant who has no business being among the elites of the nobility. The whole point of nobility in real life was that they were the warriors who would defend the common people in exchange for subservience. In other words Reinhard is what an actual noble is supposed to be and the High Nobility are the pretenders.
- Lonely at the Top: He achieves his goals, but his best friend is dead, his sister is not talking to him, and he never got to truly have his final clash with Yang. Eventually gets better as he gets closer to Hilda and Emil.
- Meaningful Name: In German, the name Reinhard means mighty, brave and strong judgement. All aspects that fit him to a t.
- Meaningful Rename: When Reinhard (still known as von Musel) is 18 years old, Kaiser Friedrich IV tells his prime minister that he plans to bestow the countship of Lohengramm on the young rear admiral when he becomes 20. The Lohengramm name came from a family that earned it's prestige through military accomplishment and was instrumental in taking down arguably the most evil emperor in the history of the Empire. For that act, Admiral Konrad Heinz von Lohengramm was made Fleet admiral, then given a position as a military chief of staff, followed by cabinet positions and the title of Marquis. Reinhard's path reads like a more extreme version of Konrad's.
- Mirror Character: To Rudolf Von Goldenbaum. Reinhard is often compared to him and they do have some things in common. Both rose up through the social ranks with their military achievements first, then using that reputation to achieve political power and creating imperial dynasties. Reinhard often claims that he doesn't want to become like Rudolf, but it could be argued that had it not been for Kircheis, Oberstein and Hilda constantly reminding him of his duties to the people, he would have become exactly the same.
- Missing Mom: Reinhard's mother was killed by a reckless driver, throwing herself in its path in order to get Reinhard and Annerose to safety. Since the driver was a high noble, he was never prosecuted, even though he was clearly at fault.
- Modest Royalty: Even before becoming Kaiser, as a duke he shuts down most parts of the Imperial Palace and orders that celebrations be less extravagant, as they are tacky and a waste of the people's money.
- My Greatest Failure: Failing to prevent the Westerland Massacre. Sure, Oberstein got him to hesitate and lied about the timing so when he tried, the ships were too late, but he still considers himself guilty, and never gets over it.
- It's more on the point in the novels where there was no manipulation by Oberstein, Reinhard made the decision not to intervene by himself.
- Nepotism: In his early career, he was hounded by rumors that he was a "petticoat admiral" who only got promoted because his sister happened to catch the Kaiser's eye. Given how rampant and blatant nepotism was among the high nobility, and how it was one of the things he held them in contempt for, the sheer hypocrisy of these accusations rankled him immensely.
- Nerves of Steel: Reinhard is a very confident man and is rarely, if ever scared of other people.
- No Challenge Equals No Satisfaction: Has a deep-seated hunger for challenges to overcome and fights to win, both in military and state affairs, and he doesn't appreciate victory that he doesn't feel he's earned for himself.
- No Historical Figures Were Harmed:
- Could be seen as a stand-in for Frederick the Great, the King of Prussia (1712-1786). Military and tactical genius? Check. Talented politician? Check. Childhood companion who was both best and only friend? Check. Witnessing said friend's death at a young age before coronation? Check. Affectionate older sister? Check. Frugal in regards to personal affairs but lavish in warfare? Check. Sexually ambiguous? Check. Loner? Check. Wore nothing but military uniforms through entire lifetime? Check. Saved by a miracle during a battle? Check.
- Also, of Alexander the Great. Ascended to military power at a very young age, began many social and economic reforms, conquered all they saw before them, and both died at a young age.
- Likewise, of Napoleon Bonaparte. Given that he embarked on risky campaigns, sought for reforms, becoming Emperor himself and even daring dissident soldiers to shoot him, much like Napoleon did.
- Count Franz von Mariendorf (Hildegarde's father) compares Reinhard to Charles XII of Sweden and without knowing it, he was foreshadowing Reinhard's fate. A military genius who passed away in his 30s, wasn't much for carnal interactions and while talented in one area was largely deficient in another (in this case, the count talked about Reinhard sharing his feelings). 30s aside, it describes Reinhard to a T. To add to that, Charles' army fell because he got wounded. Reinhard ended up giving the Iserlohn Republic a draw, even though he could have won, because his own body failed him. Had he stayed healthy, he would have annihilated Iserlohn's military.
- Not So Invincible After All: He ends up dying of a congenital disease.
- The Protagonist: Reinhard's ambitions to rule the galaxy and bring change to the entirety of the Galactic Empire are the main driving forces of the story.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: The Empire's soldiers are this in general, but Reinhard takes the cake. When Yang has his victory over Reinhard secured, but suddenly surrenders, Reinhard is pissed that Yang doesn't kill him.
- A Real Man Is a Killer: This belief is one of his few real character flaws, but its existence — and its manifestation in the belief that conflict or combat are the only means of determining a belief's worth — have galactic-scale consequences.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: He consistently tries to be one, though he progressively becomes better at it by the time he becomes Emperor.
- Rule of Symbolism: His early cloak◊ offers two counts of this in regards to Rudolf. Whereas the other prominent fleet admirals wear their cloaks where the front is completely exposed, Reinhard wears it where the front is partially, assymetrically covered. The color he picks for his cloak is white. The color of the uniform Rudolf wore when he was a fleet commander was white and when he wore a cloak as emperor (and was making sweeping changes, similar to Reinhard as prime minister) he wore it the way Reinhard did after he became a fleet admiral. It serves as a symbolic reminder that for all of his intentions, Reinhard is always in danger of becoming similar to Rudolf.
- Germanic-naming aside, the Galactic Empire is based on Imperial China. In Imperial China it was forbidden for anybody but the Imperial family to wear yellow. Although there are plenty of other blondes in the series(such as Mittermeyer and Evangeline), Reinhard and Annerose are the only ones who have bright yellow hair.
- So What Do We Do Now?: He falls into a state of ennui after becoming Emperor and defeating the Free Planets Alliance. He's never really satisfied unless he has a Worthy Opponent to test his wits.
- The Starscream: To Friedrich. Reinhard deeply hated him for having taken his sister as a concubine, although this link to the royalty gave him the necessary clout to rise high in the ranks. When the Kaiser dies of natural causes, Reinhard seethes, stating that he had hoped to kill the man with his own hands one day.
- Took a Level in Kindness: Bloodthirsty, ruthless, and exploitative in the first few seasons, he eventually calms down, shows mercy to his enemies, and starts dealing with his subjects as human beings instead of expendable human resources. Bittenfeld and Reuenthal wonder if this is Badass Decay.
- Tragic Keepsake: Wears a locket with a lock of Kircheis's hair around his neck constantly after Kircheis's death.
- Tragic Bromance: Shares a close personal bond with Siegfried Kircheis. The latter dies at the end of the first season while protecting Reinhard from assassins.
- Übermensch: A surprisingly sympathetic and fallible example.
- The Unfettered: Reinhard will get his sister back and take over the galaxy no matter what it takes.
- Unknown Rival: To Yang Wen-li. Yang has an immense respect for Reinhard's abilities but has no idea that Reinhard takes their encounters so personally.
- Victory Is Boring: After his conquest of the Free Planets Alliance, he falls into a state of ennui, wondering if he's truly cut out for pursuits other than war. When he gets another opportunity to fight Yang Wen-li afterward, he throws himself into the campaign with renewed fervor.
- Villain Protagonist: This is one of the major possible perspectives on the man, especially if you are (like many Anglophone viewers especially) inclined to take Yang and the Alliance's side on the conflict. Ultimately, it's what the story is about: this is a story of how a war-weary democracy saw a chance to end its long conflict and "destroy" its longtime opponent, but the way this was done only resulted in the entire country being obliterated. However, by the end, the majority of the Alliance heroes are dead, including the Alliance protagonist; therefore, the story focuses on and is told through the lens of Reinhard, because just as important to the story of the FPA's destruction is the story and background of the guy doing the destructing on the other side, and why he's able to succeed where others failed.
- Warrior Prince: A minor aristocrat from an impoverished house who manages to climb his way up the ranks of the Imperial military. He eventually seizes the throne himself by force.
- Workaholic: Is at one point the Space Fleet Commander, Chief of High Command, Minister of Military Affairs and Prime Minister of the Galactic Empire all at once.
- Worthy Opponent: While Yang doesn't get nearly as worked up over their apparent rivalry as Reinhard does, he clearly holds Reinhard in high regard as a dangerous opponent worth taking seriously. He also expresses admiration for Reinhard's ability to inspire loyalty, admitting that had Yang been born an Imperial himself he likely would have been swayed to Reinhard's cause himself.
- Young Conqueror: He's already a renowned admiral by the time he reaches 20, and he conquers Fezzan and the Free Planets Alliance soon afterward. Like Alexander the Great, he dies young after essentially conquering the known world.
High Admiral Siegfried Kircheis
If Reinhard von Lohengramm was the light that would lead the Empire into a new age, then Siegfried Kircheis would have to be the shadow that followed directly behind. Kircheis and Reinhard became close friends at a young age, and even then, Reinhard insisted on calling him by his surname Kircheis because he felt that Siegfried was too common a name for such an extraordinary person. Kircheis adored both Reinhard and Annerose, so much so that when Annerose was taken away and Reinhard swore to rescue her and asked for his assistance, Kircheis promised to follow and help him in any way he could. He joined military school and rose quickly through the ranks alongside Reinhard. Along the way he made another promise, this time to Annerose — to protect Reinhard and guide him on his way to power.
Even though Kircheis' talents rival those of Reinhard himself, Kircheis does not share in his ambition, drive, and charisma. He is deeply devoted toward his friend, and possesses a wisdom, composure, and sense of morality that Reinhard occasionally lacks. Reinhard fully recognizes his friend's talents and depends heavily on Kircheis' advice and direction, if only in private.
As a military commander, Kircheis is as kind and benevolent as he is brilliant, often demonstrating his preference for avoiding as much bloodshed as possible. He directs his forces aboard the red flagship, appropriately named Barbarossa.
- The Ace: A military genius capable of making Yang sweat, expert marksman, good enough in combat to go toe-to-toe with Schenkopp, balls of steel... All while also being incredibly kind and acting as Reinhard's conscience. Quite deliberate considering he dies very early on and everyone spends the rest of the entire story mourning his death.
- Adaptational Personality Change: The OVA version of Kircheis is very warm, friendly, approachable and unassuming. He even uses Keigo with military men of a lower rank. His DNT version severily downplays these aspects, to the point where you forget he has them. He is still very friendly to Yang and Julian (outside of off course Reinhard and Annerose), but that's about it.
- Almighty Janitor: Starts off as a simple Captain. He quickly gets the opportunity to show what he's capable and a little over a year later he is a High Admiral.
- Aloof Leader, Affable Subordinate: The affable subordinate to Reinhard's aloof leader. Kircheis is more down-to-earth and approachable than his boss/best friend and as a result he can diffuse tensions quite easily.
- Animal Motif: A dog. In the animated short Teikoku Momotarou he's the dog to Reinhard's Momotarou, and can only say "Yes, Reinhard/Annerose-sama!"
- Beware the Nice Ones: The nicest, most humble and deadliest of Reinhard's admirals.
- Don't harm innocent people, else he will have you executed.
- In the Silver-White Valley prequels, a treacherous subordinate decides to not just attack Reinhard, but also to insult Annerose. Reinhard turns to Kircheis and asks him what he should do with the soldier. Kircheis basically tells him to kill the bastard, just for talking shit about Annerose. He doesn't even mention the murder attempt.
- The Confidant: One of the few people Reinhard has ever truly opened up to.
- The Conscience: He is this for Reinhard. Possibly for the audience as well.
- The Consigliere: Reinhard's most notable advisor on combat matters. The influence he wields is incredible. Even after death.
- Dead Guy Junior: Reinhard names his son Alexander Siegfried von Lohengramm.
- Fiery Redhead: Completely inverted. Kircheis hates killing and is very slow to anger, occasionally being the only one who can calm Reinhard down.
- Good Is Not Dumb: Many in the Imperial military circles tend to overlook Kircheis' political and military importance for his gentle nature and total submission to Reinhard. Unfortunately for them, Kircheis is a brilliant and observant man in his own right. Out of all of Reinhard's admirals, Kircheis' political insight is second only to Oberstein's.
- Good Is Not Soft: As with Good Is Not Dumb above. Just because he's usually the kinder, gentler Foil to Reinhard's haughty ambitions doesn't mean he's incapable of killing when he has to.
- The Heart: His presence early on helps to humanize Reinhard and to remind him that toppling the Goldenbaums has a higher purpose than just a personal vendetta.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Dies while protecting Reinhard from a Lippstadt League assassin sent to kill him under false pretenses.
- Hunk: Kircheis is over 6 feet in both the OVA and Die Neue These, but he is gigantic in the Fujisaki Manga.
- Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Kircheis is known to all as an honest, upright, and incorruptible officer and a gentleman. His devotion to Reinhard's cause is unquestioned.
- Keigo: As opposed to Reinhard who rarely uses keigo and when he does he's mostly sarcastic about it (unless he's talking to Annerose), Kircheis habitually uses it with everyone, even with people who are way below him in rank. It emphasizes his humble, unassuming personality.
- Large and in Charge: Kircheis is Reinhard's highest-ranked admiral (at the time of his death) and at 6'3 he rivals Kempf for the title of Reinhard's tallest.
- Living Emotional Crutch: His positive, idealistic, and comforting presence helps to calm Reinhard's inner turmoil. This almost crosses over into Spirit Advisor territory after his death, though we don't have any evidence of these appearances being anything more than the product of Reinhard's memories and imagination.
- The Lost Lenore: For Annerose. Turns out the romantic interest was mutual.
- Mirror Character: He dislikes Paul von Oberstein and has many philosophical differences with him, but they share more than a few similarities.
- Neither of them are truly warriors, in the sense that they don't care for military glory or meaningless battle, unlike most of the other admirals.
- They are Reinhard's principal advisors.
- They both achieve great gains under Reinhard. They each start off as Captains and within about 18 months go up 5 ranks to High Admiral. To add to that, they are unique in that they each get double promotions twice over. Kircheis from Captain to rear admiral and then from vice admiral to High Admiral. Oberstein from Commodore to Vice and from Vice to High Admiral.
- They each start off as the lowest-ranking flag officer of Reinhard's admirality. Kircheis as the only rear-admiral among vice-admirals and Oberstein as a commodore among vice-admirals.
- They each remind Reinhard that his job is to do what is best for the people and they are the only admirals willing and unafraid to call him out on his flaws.
- In the OVA and 2 of the mangas, they are the only Admirals who actually do something when Ansbach attacks. Oberstein survives, Kircheis does not.
- Morality Chain: For Reinhard. When he dies, Reinhard becomes colder and more ruthless. DNT also makes it clear that he seeks to fight Yang and the FPA to fill the void left by Kircheis and to a lesser extent Annerose.
- No Historical Figures Were Harmed: Jean Lannes was Napoleon's favourite marshal, a personal friend, the only one allowed to address him in informal fashion, was used as (among other things) a diplomat, given a detached wing to command, was renowned for his heroism and daring even in comparison to the other marshals and his death caused Napoleon to break down crying. Sounds familiar.
- Number Two: He acts as Reinhard's second in command. Oberstein has a problem with it.
- Our Ghosts Are Different: Even though Kircheis' spirit doesn't manifest itself in any sort of supernatural way, his very lack of presence is in itself profoundly haunting. Him appearing in Reinhard's dream even leads to a truce between Reinhard and Yang!
- Precocious Crush: He has been smitten with Reinhard's sister Annerose since he was very young.
- Present Absence: The phrase "If only Kircheis was still alive." is uttered by multiple characters several times over the course of the story and every implication is made that Reinhard wouldn't have had nearly as much trouble if Kircheis hadn't died.
- Rank Up: Notable in that he might have the most insane rate of ranking up of all. At Astarte, he is a captain. About a year later, he is a high admiral. That is 5 ranks within a year.
- Sacrificial Lion: Dies right before the end of the first season despite being established as a major character in his own right.
- Subordinate Excuse: He's way more than happy to serve Reinhard for this reason.
- Too Good for This Sinful Earth: A rare adult and male example, both in the narrative and in-universe. Kircheis's death defending Reinhard from assassins is both exalted as an example of true loyalty and lamented as a sign of the perversity of the universe. In a meta sense, Kircheis even seems to come across as part of the price Reinhard pays for his ruthlessness in dealing with Westerland.
- Tragic Bromance: With Reinhard. He ends up Taking the Bullet for Reinhard twice in one incident, which kills him.
- Underestimating Badassery: In overture to a New War, the Military chiefs decide to leave Reinhard without the commanders of his wings (Reuenthal and Mittermeyer), his chief of Staff (Mecklinger) and even the captain (Steinmetz). They don't even spare Kircheis a thought, but part of the reason Reinhard can crush the Alliance at Astarte, is because Kircheis knows exactly what Reinhard wants and can thus write up orders very quickly, which leads to the expedition fleet quickly smashing two fleets. Simply put, they took away Reinhard's commanders, minus arguably the most important one of all.
- Reuenthal admits that when he first saw Reinhard in the flesh that he knew the blonde rear admiral was formidable, but he figured that Kircheis was nothing special. Later on he admitted that he was very, very wrong on the latter.
- In DNT, Bittenfeld wonders why a guy like Kircheis gets an imperial order and Lutz wonders why Reinhard would associate himself with Kircheis. After Kircheis takes care of the Castrop rebellion in 10 days, both of them are in awe.
- Undying Loyalty: To Reinhard. It began when Annerose told him to look after her brother for her, but Kircheis also grew to develop a close bond with Reinhard himself as well.
- Walking Spoiler: It's really hard to discuss the series without revealing that he dies a little under a quarter of the way through, given the profound impact this has on the subsequent plot.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Unlike a true subordinate, he has no qualms whatsoever on calling Reinhard out for unwise or immoral decisions. The fact that Reinhard is perfectly willing to be directly influenced by Kircheis makes it clear that, in their minds, they are on equal terms.
Fleet Admiral Oskar von Reuenthal
The man with the Bewitching Eyes, Oskar von Reuenthal, was an exceptionally talented and capable individual, almost as much as Reinhard, and reasonably popular among the lower classes and the common soldiers. When he was born, his mother attempted to kill him (by gouging out his brown eye) because he was a constant reminder of her infidelity but could not bring herself to do it and killed herself instead. His father always held him responsible for that and began drinking heavily while telling him that it would have been better if he had never been born. Eventually circumstances lead to him joining the military where he met Wolfgang Mittermeyer and the two became fast friends, fighting together as common soldiers, then in the Panzergrenadiers, and finally in fleet actions as commanders where their exceptional coordination earned them the title of Twin Stars of the Empire.
Reuenthal's continued service and his friendship with Mittermeyer lead him into the service of Reinhard von Lohengramm where his achievements allowed him to rise to the rank of Fleet Admiral and later, to Governor-General of Neueland. Although he was never able to truly match wits with Yang Wen-li, Reuenthal was still highly capable and proved instrumental in recapturing Iserlohn Fortress for the Empire. In the end it was his pride that caused his downfall, though even in disgrace he still remained loyal to the Lohengramm Dynasty.
Reuenthal's preferred command ship was the Tristan, an Ace Custom with less firepower but a greater sensor range and speed.
- Abusive Parents: His mother tried to kill him shortly after his birth when she saw his Mismatched Eyes (thinking it was proof of her infidelity), but was caught in the act and took her own life instead. After this incident, his father turned to drink and bluntly told Oskar to his face that he wished he had never been born.
- Adaptational Nice Guy: When Kempf dies in the books, Reuenthal basically says "serves him right for being incompetent". The OVA version doesn't say this.
- Anti-Hero: He's openly ambitious and misogynistic, but he's also intensely loyal to his one true friend and A Father to His Men with a strong (if somewhat warped) sense of honor, and he has one hell of a Freudian Excuse. Most of the drama in his character arc comes from seeing whether or not he can overcome his inner demons and find true peace.
- And Then What?: An ambitious man, he strives to achieve as much as he can... but what happens when he seems to have succeeded?
- Animal Motif: Eagle. Together with Mittermeyer's wolf, they're the eagle and the wolf who guard Valhalla in Norse Mythology.
- Badass Baritone: The OVA version. Not a surprise, considering he's voiced by Norio Wakamoto.
- Berserk Button: Is utterly disgusted by the concept of inherited power.
- Better to Die than Be Killed: Part of the reason he chooses to refuse the treatment that could save his life is even if he does survive, he would certainly have been dishonorably executed later for treason.
- Bishounen: Aristocratic, very handsome and having mysterous mismatched eyes, he's acknowledged in-universe as a very attractive man with female admirers ranging from teenage girls to middle-aged women. When he showed up to Mittermeyer's wedding Mittermeyer's father was worried Evangeline would find him more attractive than Mittermeyer.
- Blood Knight:As much as Reinhard himself. This ends up putting them on opposing sides.
- Brainy Brunette: He is a brunette, Mittermeyer's tactical equal and Reinhard's best admiral in terms of operational planning and strategizing, which is why he is appointed Chief of High Command and later on governor-general of Neue Land.
- Broken Ace: Reuenthal is brilliant, loyal, and highly competent- but many of his personal decisions indicate a trainwreck of a psyche. The fact that he's doomed to be second best to Reinhard von Lohengramm only makes things worse.
- Byronic Hero: He's an intensely proud man who feels driven to strive for greatness and live according to his nature without compromise, even if it kills him.
- The Casanova: Infamous in-universe as a womanizer who keeps getting into affairs with women then abandoning them after a short time. However, it's not him who seeks out these relationships, it's the women who approach him despite his bad reputation.
- During Mittermeyer's wedding, all the young women (minus Eva herself) start to blush once Reuenthal comes walking in to kiss Eva's hand.
- The Chessmaster: How he wins battles. He doesn't use lightning-fast maneuvres like Mittermeyer, but outthinks them and methodically ties them in knots.
- Cold Ham: He rarely raises his voice, but his melodramatic speaking style means that he rarely has to in the first place.
- Dark and Troubled Past: He was literally unwanted from birth. His mom tried to kill him the minute she saw his heterochromatic eyes. Afterwards she killed herself instead. After that his alcoholic father would repeatedly tell him "I wish you were never born".
- Deadpan Snarker: So deadpan that no one seems to realize when he's joking except Mittermeyer. It doesn't help that his witticisms revolve around things like misogyny, self-destruction and high treason. Often elicits Dude, Not Funny! responses from those around him.
- Death Seeker: Increasingly so in the second half of the story.
- Deconstructed Character Archetype: Reuenthal is a deconstruction of the Anti-Hero and the Broken Ace. In most stories we see the Anti-Hero grow up, slay his enemy and then the story ends. In the case of Reuenthal, we see what happens to that person after he achieves his goal. Reuenthal swore to help Reinhard achieve his goals of becoming the Kaiser and the most powerful man in the universe, but Reuenthal himself just wasn't built for a quieter life or, indeed, a long one. Once Reinhard is seated on the throne, all of the qualities that made Reuenthal immensely successful in life, start to put the newly-minted, blue-cloaked Fleet Admiral on the path to ruin.
- Destructive Romance: His relationship with Elfriede von Kohlrausch starts off ominously enough, with him catching her in his home trying to kill him and talking her into his bed apparently just for the hell of it. It ends with her entrusting their infant son to Wolfgang Mittermeyer(though after affectionately wiping Reuenthal's sweat-covererd forehead). Given how screwed up the entire relationship is and how little love both sides have for one another, calling it a "romance" at all is perhaps overly generous.
- Determinator: Once he made up his mind to rebel there's no stopping him. It's pointed out numerous times how easy it would've been to avoid tragedy, but Reuenthal has refused every single chance he got — leading to the suspicion that he regarded the rebellion as a grandiose form of suicide.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: His ambition is often compared to that of an alcoholic's inability to quit drinking. It doesn't matter how often he fights and what he achieves, he is never fulfilled or satisfied and this emptiness within is one of the main reasons for his downfall.
- In the first manga adaptation by Michihara Katsumi he gets a very fitting line: "I don't want to die - that's why I'm always looking for a reason to live."
- Dramatic Irony: Reuenthal wanted to become the most powerful man in the universe. The only thing he had to do to achieve that goal, was stay loyal. Reinhard died within a year after Reuenthal's rebellion. Had he stayed loyal, he would have been the commander of a fleet 50.000 strong, with political power over multiple planets. In effect, he would have had a mix of direct political and military power that nobody could match, not even Hildegard.
- Duality Motif: His mismatched eyes (one brown eye, the other blue) hint at both his sordid parentage and the inner conflict between his loyalties and ambitions.
- Even Evil Has Standards: While whether Reuenthal is not evil per se, he's definitely one of the more morally dark characters in the show. Nevertheless, even after his rebellion, he kills Trunicht himself when the latter admits that he's perfectly willing to pander to, manipulate, and ultimately destroy Kaiser Reinhard to save himself as he had already done to the Free Planets Alliance.
- Eye Motifs: His heterochromia stands symbolic for his inner conflicts. He wants to be loyal and rebel, be a good friend and meet that friend across the battlefield, live recklessly and meticulously. Yeah, the man's a trainwreck, alright.
- Foil: To his best friend, Wolfgang Mittermeyer. Reuenthal is a relatively cold brunette, a womanizer, comes from nobility, had a pretty awful childhood, takes a methodical approach to combat, never marries and manages to conceive a child. He ends up dead before the end of the series.
- To Reinhard himself. Both are ambitious men, low-class nobles and military geniuses with a not-so-great family past (involving an alcoholic dad) who confide in only their more down-to-earth best friends who also serve as their conscience and are prone to favoritism (Reinhard with Kircheis, Reuenthal with Bergengrun). The difference is that while Reinhard had Annerose to at least have a female positive effect on him, Reuenthal had nobody good around him, plus a hateful mother to boot and it ended up making him a misogynist on top of his other issues, whereas Reinhard for all HIS issues is more than willing to bring capable women like Hildegard into his inner circle. They each end up becoming a Death Seeker when they're separated from their best friends. When Reuenthal heads to Reinhard for help in saving Mittermeyer and makes it clear that he will do whatever it takes to do so, Reinhard looks at Kircheis and then stares back at Reuenthal. He realizes that he is essentially looking at himself.
- Freudian Excuse: Most of his issues with women stem from the fact that his mother hated him and tried to kill him as a child. He even compares Elfriede to his mother.
- He-Man Woman Hater: Although he's more of a run-of-the-mill misogynist. When Hilda is given a position on the level of a Vice Admiral, Mittermeyer is delighted, whereas Reuenthal is displeased.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: He's fatally wounded in his final battle when falling debris spears him clean through.
- In Vino Veritas: Reuenthal says some pretty self-incriminating things under the influence that he probably wouldn't otherwise. Luckily it's usually only Mittermeyer who listens to them.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: It's significant that for all his misogynistic, womanizing ways, Reuenthal never tries to take undue advantage of or has an unkind word to say about Wolfgang and Eva Mittermeyer, hinting that he doesn't want to spoil true happiness for those who have genuinely found it and are content with it. He even trusts them to care for and raise his illegitimate son as though it were their own, giving the Mittermeyers the child they've always wanted and his son the stable, loving environment he himself was denied as a child.
- Like Mother Like Son: Reuenthal's mom was a proud, sexually promiscuous woman who eventually went mad and killed herself. Guess what becomes of Reuenthal.
- His father loved his alcohol and had a tendency to say crazy things when drunk. Sounds familiar.
- Major Injury Underreaction: Gets a spear through the torso. It eventually killed him, but didn't stop him from deadpan snarking about it and going about his business almost as if there was nothing wrong with him.Reuenthal (to his officers): Stop panicking. It's me who is wounded, not you.
- Master of All: Is mentioned by Mecklinger to be the most balanced admiral between Reuenthal himself, Reinhard, Yang and Mittermeyer. As we learn during his rebellion he is just as good at putting up unbreakable defensive lines as he is on inflicting a monstrous amount of damage, almost forcing the Black Lancers to retreat and coming very close to killing Wahlen. He is not quite as sound defensively as Yang or as strong offensively as Mittermeyer and Reinhard, but he is great at both.
- Meaningful Name: "Reuenthal" can be, rather appropriately, translated as "Valley of regrets" (in German "reuen" means "to regret" and "thal" in place names means valley). His flagship's designation is "Tristan" which is related to the French word "triste" meaning "sad".
- Reuenthal also has some curious parallels with his flagship's namesake, the classic Tragic Hero Tristan.
- In Wagner's Tristan and Isolde when the main characters first meet, Isolde tries to kill him in revenge for her fiancé, but in the end she can't do it. Later on she tries to kill him again with poison that turns out to be a love potion making them fall in love. Compare this with Reuenthal's relationship with Elfriede who tries to kill him out of vengeance for her family, but in the end she never follows through with it, and they develop a rather twisted relationship.
- In the opera Tristan then proceeds to betray his liege lord (by continuing his relationship with Isolde), without offering any justification for his actions or pleading for mercy. Similarly, Reuenthal betrays Reinhard even though he knows he's being set up, and refuses to beg for mercy.
- In other versions of the story, Tristan then marries another Isolde, Isolde of the White Hands. Reuenthal at least once remarks on Elfriede's beautiful white hands (noting that they're just like his mother's).
- In most versions of the story Tristan is fatally wounded by a poisoned lance, but tries to stay alive until Isolde's arrival, only to die of grief when he thinks Isolde is not coming. Reuenthal is fatally wounded by a long, suspiciously lance-like ceramic shard. He tries to hang on so he can see Mittermeyer for one last time, but in the end dies before Mittermeyer arrives.
- Reuenthal also has some curious parallels with his flagship's namesake, the classic Tragic Hero Tristan.
- Nerves of Steel: The steeliest of Reinhard's admirals (well, outside of Kircheis). The only time he really loses his cool and is shaken◊ is when he gets a report in that Mittermeyer has died. Luckily it turns out to be false. Fighting against the combined might of Mittermeyer, Wahlen, Bittenfeld and Mecklinger on the other hand? No big deal. Fighting an armoured Walter Von Schonkopf while not being armoured himself? Cool. Getting a spike through a lung and dying painfully? Eh, it's all good. While in unimaginable pain from a fatal wound, he is handing out precise and calm orders like usual.
- No Historical Figures Were Harmed: Shares similarities with Joachim Murat and Louis-Nicolas Davout.
- Like Murat he is a dashing womanizer who ends up getting a ton of extra military and political power because his emperor favors him one way or the other. Both men ended up turning against their emperors.
- Like Davout he hails from a minor nobility and is known for his iron discipline, competence in all areas and for not making mistakes.
- Nobility Marries Money: His mom had a distinguished name, but no money. His dad was rich, but barely qualified as a noble. The marriage was a disaster because both parties only cared about what the other could do for them, rather than doing right by eachother.
- Noble Demon: Cunning and ruthless, yet he generally refrains from taking advantage of the genuinely innocent and absolutely despises those who take the Evil Is Petty approach.
- Not So Stoic: He rarely ever loses his composure, but he's visibly shaken when he hears that Mittermeyer has been killed in action. (Fortunately it turns out to be misinformation.)
- Overshadowed by Awesome: Discussed by the narrator with regards to him he would have been a brilliant ruler of his own right if not for the fact that he was born in the same era as Reinhard von Lohengramm.
- Love at First Punch: More like "Intense And Possibly Sadomasochistic and Maybe Even Incestuous Sexual/Emotional Interest At First Assassination Attempt"; he tries to seduce a woman who tried to kill him. This goes about as well as can be expected.
- The Paragon Always Rebels: The Fleet Admiral who was at that point Reinhard's most brilliant vassal (being a great tactician, strategist and statesman), ended up rebelling against him. Reuenthal took millions of soldiers with him.
- The Peter Principle: Averted and mentioned as a plot-point. Merkatz mentions that one of the things that makes Reuenthal so dangerous, is that the more authority he gets, the more competent he seems to become.
- Pride: Like a true Tragic Hero, this proves to be the character flaw he struggles the most with. It's mentioned numerous times that Reinhard is the only person he's ever willingly bent a knee for and accepted as his superior.
- Properly Paranoid: Of Oberstein, Truniht, Lang, and the Ministry of Internal Security, all of whom he believes are conspiring against him. He's right.
- Psychotic Smirk: On occasion. Inverted rather disconcertingly that he only does it when he's in the one in trouble.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Played With, in that the two have more depth than usual examples. Reuenthal is the Blue to Mittermeyer's Red. Reuenthal is more cold and calculating in his work, but also more reckless in his private life. Mittermeyer is more likely to get mad, but if you actually manage to get Reuenthal angry, he is far scarier. Reuenthal is cleverer, but Mittermeyer is wiser. Mittermeyer is more likely to beat you up, but Reuenthal is more likely to actually kill you. Mittermeyer is more passionate, but Reuenthal more ambitious. Mittermeyer is traditionally heroic, while Reuenthal is an Anti-Hero, but at the same time, Reuenthal is more likely to actually slay the dragons.
- Satanic Archetype: Downplayed and subtle, but it's there, only in this case "God" is not his father, but his military superior. Reuenthal's arch mirrors many of the stories of the Devil. He was the very first admiral to pledge loyalty to Reinhard, being a rear admiral at the time, mirroring Lucifer often being the first son. He is charming, highly capable and charismatic, but his pride and lust for power constantly has him leaning towards rebellion. He is at that point in the story the admiral that Reinhard favours the most, what with giving him the power over all the former Alliance territories, plus 50,000 warships, which effectively means he is the second-most powerful man in the Empire. He is also called Reinhard's most brilliant admiral and when it's time to put him down, Reinhard sends the classically heroic Mittermeyer, who effectively plays the Archangel Michael role, being the Space Fleet commander and Reinhard's chief ass-kicker. Another aspect of the story is that Reinhard would gladly take Reuenthal back, if only Reuenthal would explain his actions and talk things out between them, but Reuenthal is simply far too prideful.
- The Starscream: Somewhat. He is loyal to Reinhard, but also highly ambitious on his own. Reuenthal himself lampshades this every single chance he gets. Ironically, his eventual doomed rebellion only comes about when his hand is forced by other scheming factions in the Imperial government, not by his own conscious decision.
- Strong Family Resemblance: Reuenthal is just a masculine version of his mother, down to having the same haircut.
- Tall, Dark, and Snarky
- Tempting Fate: After Yang dies and Julian becomes the new military leader, Reuenthal says that the Republic will crumble from within. Instead that was the start of Reinhard's Empire taking heavy hits due to internal politics and schemes. High Admiral Cornelius Lutz died due to an assassination plot against Reinhard, Reuenthal gets set up as a traitor leading to his death, Oberstein kicks the bucket at the end of the series and Mittermeyer is the only Fleet Admiral left.
- Then Let Me Be Evil: His final break with Reinhard comes about through circumstances beyond his control, but the animosity he feels for fellow subordinate Oberstein and his own pride keep him from trying to mend the breach.
- Tragic Bromance: With Mittermeyer. The last days of his life are spent knowing they're going to have to face one another in battle. Reuenthal loses the battle and his life, but his only real regret is that Mittermeyer couldn't arrive in time to hear his last words.
- Tragic Hero: Reuenthal has many admirable qualities that lead him to great success and all of them lead to his downfall. He is a born warrior, but he can't find any happiness or contentment in peace. He is ambitious and like a compulsion he has to keep climbing higher and higher. He is a Chick Magnet who embraces danger head-on and it leads to him having an affair with a woman whose greatuncle he killed (and who swears that she will be around to see him die). He is prideful, which means that he would not be happy with being accused of a crime he didn't commit and that he and Oberstein could never see eye to eye. He is a loyal and wonderful friend, but emotionally he falls out of balance once he is separated from his 2 closest ones. He is charismatic and the result is that tens of millions end up dying fighting their own countrymen, out of loyalty to him. Tristan, indeed.
- Verbal Tic: A deep, slow "Oh".
Fleet Admiral Wolfgang Mittermeyer
A commander best known for his efficient and fast movements in space combat, Mittermeyer earned the nickname Gale Wolf even before entering Reinhard's service. The man Reinhard most often put in command of the vanguard. He was born to a commoner family and although his father wanted him to take up a profession, he decided to enter the military instead where he climbed through the ranks with hard work and determination. Mittermeyer came to know Reinhard von Lohengramm after he executed a noble-born subordinate under his command for raping a civilian. To make things worse, the man was a relative of Duke Braunschweig, the most powerful of the high nobles and so he was scheduled to be tortured and then executed. Reuenthal appealed to Reinhard on his behalf and he agreed to intervene in order to save Mittermeyer's life. From then on the four of them — Reinhard, Kircheis, Reuenthal and Mittermeyer — became comrades in arms and eventually became the most powerful men in the Empire.
Mittermeyer had a loving, devoted wife named Evangeline, arguably one of the brightest spots in a series that became increasingly sad as time went on. The only sad part was that they could not have children. He also became extremely concerned for Reuenthal as he saw his vices catching up with him little by little.
His flagship was of a similar design to the Tristan, an Ace Custom built for speed and a greater effective firing range. Its designation was the Beowulf.
- Animal Motif: A wolf. It's a play on not just his own name, but his epithet "The Gale Wolf" and the Norse symbolism of the Wolf and the eagle (Reuenthal).
- Beware the Honest Ones: As at least one subordinate with powerful family connections found out.
- And some others as well, who were executed in public for robbery and rape. Their superiors appealed to Mittermeyer to save them, but his only reply was that he's not going back on his word.
- Reuenthal makes his decision to rebel knowing from the outset that his friendship with Mittermeyer would take a backseat to his integrity, and that they will almost certainly fight to the death.
- Beware the Nice Ones: He is one of the nicest characters in the show, but he has executed his own men for robbery and rape of civilians. He also snaps spectacularly when he finds out that his friend Reuenthal was framed and comes very close to murdering Heydrich Lang in cold blood for it.
- The Confidant: Mittermeyer is the only person Reuenthal confides in.
- Foil: To his best friend, Oskar von Reuenthal. Mittermeyer is a blonde Nice Guy, Happily Married, a commoner, had a loving childhood, is known for his lightning-fast maneuvers, while he and his wife are unable to have children. He is alive and well by the end of the series.
- Gut Feeling: Mittermeyer is a very intuitive judge of characters and situations; a talent which enables him to always act swiftly and rightly, though not always cleverly.
- Happily Married: To the love of his life, who's also a distant relative. They were each others' first love, and while their inability to have children casts a slight shadow on their happiness as a family it puts no strain on their love for one another.
- Irony: Mittermeyer is the admiral that is most protective of women. His best friend is a heartless womanizer and a misogynist.
- Last-Second Chance: He offers it to Reuenthal.
- Lightning Bruiser: Mittermeyer is Reinhard's best offensive admiral. He uses lightning fast strikes, excellent maneuverabily and brilliant tactical ability to inflict unspeakable amounts of damage. For this reason he is eventually made Chief of the Space Fleet. He is capable of both landing and taking a punch.
- Living Emotional Crutch: To Reuenthal. He seems to be the only person keeping Reuenthal's head straight. Every time Reuenthal talks about gainig more power for himself or doing something reckless, Mittermeyer talks him out of it and it works. Until Reuenthal ends up framed and on the other side of the galaxy.
- Knight in Shining Armor: Famous on all sides for his battle prowess and his upstanding character.
- Morality Chain: The strong bond of friendship he shares with Oskar von Reuenthal is perhaps the only thing keeping the latter from walking down the path of self-destruction. It's notable that Reuenthal's rebellion only occurs after the two have been kept out of close contact by their respective duties for some time.
- My Significance Sense Is Tingling: A side effect of his intuition.
- Nice Guy: He's loyal to his comrades, a proud and faithful husband and father, and generally congenial and open-handed off the battlefield. But he's far from boring — he's also an intelligent and immensely capable soldier, commander and leader. In this sense he's probably the most balanced character in the main cast on the Empire side.
- No Historical Figures Were Harmed: It may just be a coincidence, but his lightning fast, aggressive maneuvers, reputation as foremost a tactician, honorable personality, frontline leadership and animal-based nickname are reminiscent of Erwin Rommel.
- OOC Is Serious Business: Doesn't get mad often, but when he gets mad, you know it's because some serious shit went down.
- Pintsized Powerhouse: He is the shortest of Reinhard's admirals, but at the same time he is one of their biggest ass-kickers and the Chief of the Space Fleet.
- Please Spare Him, My Liege!: Pleaded to Reinhard to give Reuenthal another chance, offering to return all his accolades as exchange. Sadly, it was more complicated than that.
- Red Baron: Is known as "The Gale Wolf" because of his swift attacks.
- Red Is Heroic: Of the Twin Pillars of Reinhard's admiralty, Mittermeyer with his red cape is closer in personality to a passionate Ideal Hero, contrasting with the cold, pragmatic, morally conflicted Reuenthal, who wears a blue cape.
- Red Ones Go Faster: The OVA version of Mittermeyer is associated with the color red (red trim on his flagship and a red cloak as a fleet admiral), and he has a reputation as Reinhard's lightning-fast "Gale Wolf." His flagship is explicitly built to be fast and agile.
- Reports of My Death Were Greatly Exaggerated: During the eleventh battle of Iserlohn, it is reported that his flagship was hit and he died at the front. Only the first part of this turns out to be true.
- Sadistic Choice: Take down his best friend himself, or step aside to let his Kaiser do it?
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: The rules he breaks tend to be more societal than legal, however.
- Self-Made Man: Mittermeyer's swift rise to admiral before the series proper begins was all the more unusual because he was born a commoner. Under Reinhard, he becomes one of the most powerful men in the galaxy. (His underlings muse that under the old regime he may have never gotten so far, due to his commoner background.)
- Shipper on Deck: Appears to be this for Reinhard and Hilda; in Episode 58, when everyone's going on about marriage, he mentions to his wife that he feels that Hildegard is the only woman deserving of being Reinhard's consort, and that a child the two had would be bound to be brilliant.
- Skyward Scream: Unleashes a loud, upward and pained "Reuenthal!" when he finds out his best friend declared a rebellion agains the Empire.
- The Women Are Safe with Us: He's known to have an especially strong hatred for violence against women, and he's willing to execute his own men for rape.
- Tragic Bromance: With Reuenthal. Despite their friendship, Mittermeyer goes into battle knowing the entire affair can only end with one of them coming out alive. After Reuenthal's death and giving a final tribute to his friend, he weeps for him openly on the bridge of his flagship.
- Undying Loyalty: To Reinhard. Part of the reason he accepts Reinhard's order to defeat Reuenthal, is because he knew that if Reinhard killed one of his most trustworthy retairners, it could cause political upheaval that could undermine him.
Fleet Admiral Paul von Oberstein
Originally assigned to Iserlohn Fortress, Oberstein was a deeply unsettling man who wanted nothing more than to destroy the Goldenbaum Dynasty and all of its descendants. He was born with a birth defect that left him blind and had to have his eyes replaced with cybernetics. Oberstein was grateful to have been born under the current regime, as he would have been put to death under the Inferior Genes Exclusion Law in Kaiser Rudolph's day, but nonetheless believed that any government that was capable of passing such laws was not worthy of his support. After surviving the battle for Iserlohn, he returned to Odin to offer his services to Reinhard and became one of his top advisers.
What set Oberstein apart from the Twin Pillars Reuenthal and Mittermeyer was his utterly ruthless personality. He would not blanch from any task that needed to be done to ensure the security of Reinhard's power and continued to perform his duties flawlessly even though it made him unpopular with the rest of the admirals. Many of the officers felt that Oberstein's decisions had indirectly caused Kircheis' downfall. Because he kept mostly to himself, no one truly knew if he was directing all of this antipathy away from Reinhard intentionally or he simply did not care.
- Adaptation Dye-Job: In the original novels he had dark hair, extremely pale skin and light brown eyes.
- His Die Neue These look is back to brown eyes, with dark hair.
- Ambiguous Disorder: He is bound to be somewhere on the autistic spectrum.
- Ambiguously Evil: His highest concern is ultimately the greatest good for the greatest number, but he's not averse to putting fundamentally good and decent men through hell or killing them outright if that's what it takes. While there's nothing directly tying him to the two biggest murders in the series, those of Siegfried Kircheis and Yang Wen-li, some fans speculate that, at the very least, he knew what was going to happen and stood by and did nothing to stop them.
- Animal Motifs: Snakes. Not only is he compared to a snake by other high admirals (Bittenfeld especially), but he has the sneaky, coldblooded aspects down pat. He is often referred to as venomous and unfeeling.
- Badass Bureaucrat: This becomes his job halfway through the series, as Chief of military affairs. He is really good at it. Even before that, he is a staff officer who steps in front of an assassin's rocket launcher to protect Reinhard.
- Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work: After basically purchasing his life from Imperial High Command, Reinhard makes it clear that it's Oberstein's job to deal with the darker, less heroic aspects off the battlefield, such as political and imperial court struggles. He expects Oberstein to use unending deceit and murder if necessary to get the job done.
- The Chessmaster: He is probably the most formidable one in the story.
- Chessmaster Sidekick: Despite being terrifyingly ruthless and competent, Oberstein has little in the way of personal ambition. He's content to remain in the shadows as long as he deems those in the limelight are worth his respect.
- The Consigliere: A picture-perfect example. He is Reinhard's principal advisor and he tells Reinhard what he needs to hear, not just what he wants. Other admirals fear Reinhard's wrath, but not Oberstein. It's one of the main reasons he rises through the ranks as quickly as he does.
- Consummate Professional: He never lets personal relationships get in the way of his duty, though this is in part due to him being a very reserved man to begin with.
- Crazy-Prepared: When the Terrarists destroyed most of the Empire's data in the Navigation Centre, the data was easily restored since it was already backed up by Oberstein the previous year.
- Creepy Monotone: Oberstein never raises his voice or emotes when he speaks.
- The Creon: He prefers to operate from the sidelines under Reinhard's aegis, as he realizes he doesn't have the charisma to be a respected leader himself.
- Electronic Eyes: This is a necessary augmentation to overcome his congenital blindness.
- Enigmatic Minion: He says that everything he does is "for the good of the Empire." It's hard to believe that anyone with his power and means might not have more personal motives, but at the same time, we never see anything that really contradicts his stated motive.
- Everyone Has Standards: Even he considers brainwashing to be too tasteless, especially for someone like Ovlesser. Besides, a good old Paranoia Gambit takes much less effort to pull off.
- Evil Chancellor: Is not an actual chancellor or premier, but he is a fleet admiral who is also part of Reinhard's cabinet. Combine that with a reputation for scheming coupled with power moves and the result is that people in and outside of the empire end up talking about him like he is this. Indeed, he actually has more influence in the empire than the premier before Reinhard, Liechtenlade, ever had. When Reinhard orders an expedition from Phezzan to the Free Planets Alliance territories, he hands over civil affairs to Oberstein and the Chief of Civil Engineering, further enforcing that Oberstein is this trope in practice, if not on paper.
- Evil Virtues: Even if you subscribe to the idea that he is evil, you have to admit that he is also resourceful, brave, responsible, selfless, diligent, honest and patient.
- Face Death with Dignity: At the end of Legend of Galactic Heroes, Oberstein knows that his wound from the terrorist attack is fatal, so he refuses to be hospitalized in his final moments.
- Foil: A clear one to Kircheis.
- Kircheis is a warrior, Oberstein is a bureacrat.
- Kircheis is affable, whereas Oberstein is cold.
- Kircheis is upfront, Oberstein's a schemer.
- Kircheis is the youngest of Reinhard's original flag officers. When Oberstein joins up, he is the oldest.
- Reinhard loves Kircheis, whereas he doesn't like Oberstein.
- The admirals speak fondly of Kircheis, they speak ill of Oberstein.
- Kircheis dies early on., Oberstein doesn't die until the end of the series.
- Kircheis is compassionate, Oberstein is a utilitarian.
- Honest Advisor: Oberstein is quite blunt and Reinhard does not like him, yet has this to say about him."Ive never once liked Oberstein as a person. But when I think back, it seems Ive followed his advice the most. Its because that mans arguments are so right that they leave no room for debate."
- Hyper-Competent Sidekick: Reinhard von Lohemgramm may be a brilliant and ambitious fleet commander, but his personal sense of honor and lack of interest in most civilian affairs give him certain blindspots. Oberstein, a ruthless schemer, covers those weaknesses quite well.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Despite being rather immoral and dishonorable, most of his advice and actions are the quickest way to get the job done. Even his advice that indirectly caused Kircheis' death was originally meant to suppress favoritism. Episodes 89 (him giving an explanation for his decision-making while Reinhard, Hildegard, Lutz and Kesler look on in utter horror) and 103 (chewing out three high admirals on their lust for glory) are fantastic examples of Oberstein's cold and calculating thinking.
- Major Injury Underreaction: Good lord, the wound he has after the Terraists bomb his room and he lies dying is ghastly. Oberstein? He's as calm as ever.
- Mirror Character: His lack of friends aside, he is in many ways a dark mirror of Yang Wen-li.
- He is introduced to us as a strategic advisor to a pig-headed admiral and that admiral not listening causes disaster.
- He quickly achieves one rank after another once he is released from that admiral. He is a captain when he meets Reinhard, a commodore once he enters his service, a vice admiral during the Lippstadt Rebellion (skipping rear admiral) and a high admiral afterwards (skipping admiral). He jumps from Captain to Fleet Admiral in the space of 3 years, with months to spare. The only other guy to accomplish that is his boss.
- Has a great understanding of war and it's politics (moreso than any admiral, save for perhaps Yang himself), but is nonetheless not a warrior at heart, unlike other admirals.
- Neither really gives a damn about fame or glory and see themselves as protectors of the people, rather than as conquerors.
- Both men are far more socially awkward than the people they work with.
- Both can be cold and calculating. It's easy to forget but Yang (rightly) advised his commanding officer to abandon a fleet encompassing over a million soldiers, because that fleet would be destroyed before they could do anything.
- Both believe that government should work in the best interest of the people, not for the ones holding power.
- Neither of them believe they are suited to be the man at the top and don't have a very high view of themselves.
- They're the only admirals known to have pets. We constantly see Yang (and Julian's) cat, while we often hear about Oberstein's dog.
- They both die due to Terraist assassinations and they both die alone, in a sense. Oberstein had people at his side, but they didn't actually know him. Reinhard and his main admirals weren't there when he died.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Has this reaction when his advice causes Kircheis' death, as while they don't really get along he recognized his valor and importance.
- Necessarily Evil: Which he pretty much admits himself.
- The Needs of the Many: At his core, this is what Oberstein is all about. He will sacrifice a million to save a billion without batting an eye. He will also sacrifice himself to ensure the survival of Reinhard's dynasty.
- No Historical Figures Were Harmed:
- Like Talleyrand, Oberstein is loyal to his vision of what the empire could and should be, rather than a ruler. Both men would prefer that their emperor would work to consolidate his gains rather than head off to war. The difference is that Oberstein never works to undermine Reinhard (despite what some Imperial admirals think), whereas Talleyrand did try it with Napoleon.
- The fans call him Cyborg Machiavelli for a reason. Reinhard even compares his thinking to that of Machiavelli.
- The guy is in many ways what Maximilian Robespierre would have been like had he been reined in....Toa degree. Their ruthlessness and utter commitment to their ideal of government is comparable, but Robespierre was famed for his intensely charismatic oratory, whereas Oberstein... isn't. (And of course, more superficially, Robespierre was a dedicated republican, while Oberstein clearly prefers Enlightened Despotism.)
- Shares similarities with Marshal Louis-Alexandre Berthier, one of Napoleon's most renowned commanders. Berthier was Napoleon's chief of staff and later Minister of War and not renowned as a battle commander, but could execute the emperor's commands to the minutest detail. Berthier supported Napoleon's coup, but also worked against policies that he didn't agree with.
- Non-Action Guy: Oberstein is a very skilled administrator, but he is no warrior and doesn't lead any fleets.
- No Social Skills: Perhaps best demonstrated by the one time he interrupted a wedding — and Reinhard's own, no less — to bring Reinhard's attention to some pressing matter of state. Time and place much?
- It's possible he did it on purpose, to remind Reinhard once more that government business must always precede everything else.
- Not Good with People: It's telling that the only time we hear about Oberstein being warm and friendly, it's when it concerns his dog.
- Pet the Dog: In a rather literal application of the trope, Oberstein takes an old stray dog into his home for no reason other than simple humanity. As Bittenfeld remarks: "So people hate him, but dogs like him? I guess dogs tend to get along."
- Poisonous Friend: Played with. His modus operandi certainly fits, his loyalty to Reinhard as to the key figure in his plan is indisputable, but no sane person would call him Reinhard's friend (or anyone's).
- Pragmatic Villainy: His methods are often reprehensible, but they work, and they often cost less time and effort in the long run to implement. He even accepts the responsibility for them himself, so as to deflect the criticism from falling on Reinhard and derailing his vision of a galactic system built on order and merit.
- Psycho Sidekick: Reinhard Doesn't like Oberstein, but keeps him around for this.
- The Quiet One: Not to Eisenach levels, but Oberstein still doesn't talk much.
- Red Right Hand: His bionic eyes have a way of creeping people out. It doesn't help that his original blindness came from a genetic condition, which in the Empire is still seen as a mark of inferiority; Oberstein himself has noted that, in the bad old days of Kaiser Rudolf, he'd probably have been killed outright under the Inferior Genes Exclusion Act.
- Rule of Symbolism: His fleet admiral cloak is gray, fitting as you can never quite tell where Oberstein stands on the moral spectrum.
- The Spock: He places a premium on acting logically and not being swayed by emotional appeals. Next to the rest of Reinhard's admirals, this makes him appear especially ruthless.
- The Spymaster: In an official capacity, his duties as a staff officer include gathering intelligence on the enemy and making sense of the reports. Unofficially, while he never acts as head of a security agency, he keeps his ear close to the ground on any matters that involve subterfuge... including taking actions to dispose of rebellious admirals if he deems it necessary.
- The Stoic: He keeps his emotions hidden from those around him.
- This Is Unforgivable!: He's the one who allowed the Westerland Massacre. As expected, it shattered the morale of the Lippstadt League's troops, firmly swung the public opinion against them and shortened the Imperial Civil War, but at the price of letting the League nuke two million people, with the very act of using nuclear weapons against a world being considered unforgivable.
- Totalitarian Utilitarian: He's unapologetically ruthless about destroying anyone who could pose a real threat to Reinhard or his vision within the Empire, even if only hypothetically, but he justifies this on the basis that it ultimately saves lives in the bigger picture. At one point, in an uncharacteristic display of exasperation, he outright declares that he finds the other admirals' willingness to sacrifice their men's lives at the drop of a hat simply to satisfy their honor as wasteful and pointless.
- The Unfettered: There are very few means he won't consider when eliminating a threat — and most of those he won't are more a matter of Pragmatic Villainy than any sort of ingrained revulsion.
- Verbal Tic: Take a shot every time he says "desu ne" and make sure you call an ambulance.
- Vicariously Ambitious: Oberstein has precious little in the way of personal ambition, but he works to support and elevate Reinhard because he sees him as the Empire's best chance for a strong, enlightened despot.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: His goal is to replace the Goldenbaum Dynasty with one that will not produce monsters as rulers, and unite Mankind under a powerful but just government. His methods are amoral and dishonorable at best.
- The Extremist Was Right: His methods work, as shown multiple times, starting from that time he overstretched the supply lines of the Alliance Liberation Fleet (and exposing a large chunk of their transport fleet to a devastating attack) by taking all the food from the planets in its path (as soon as the overstretched supply lines were cut off, the invasion collapsed).
- What a Senseless Waste of Human Life: Chews out Reinhard's admirals and even Reinhard himself (though not to his face) for wasting human lives for the sake of glory.
- Zero-Approval Gambit: It is suggested that Oberstein takes on the role of an dirtyhanded schemer so Reinhard can remain a popular, heroic figure. This may also have been to relieve tension between some of Reinhard's highest subordinates by giving them someone to hate. (And hate him they do, especially Bittenfeld and Mittermeyer.)
Kaiserin Hildegard von Lohengramm
Uncommon for the daughter of an old noble family, Hilda took a keen interest in politics and statecraft from a young age and distanced herself from the social maneuverings of the other ladies at court. As the rest of the family prepared to support Duke Braunschweig in the Lippstadt Rebellion, she intervened and bartered with Reinhard von Lohengramm for protection of their holdings in exchange for switching sides. When Reinhard rose to power he appointed her as his personal secretary and she served in this capacity through most of the war. Fräulein Mariendorf was not only an efficient worker but astute in both politics and strategy, often advising the regent and later Kaiser in an informal capacity. She would not hesitate to intervene if she thought it was in his best interests and more than once, she was able to save Reinhard from certain defeat by outmaneuvering her opponents in the political arena while he was fixated on the battle in front of him. Throughout the series she tried to convince him to focus on consolidating his power rather than chasing after Yang Wen-li but was very rarely able to dissuade him.
Though officially only Reinhard's consort, she became sole regent of the Empire after his death and remained so until Alexander came of age. She was also instrumental in instituting democratic reform within the Empire and pushing it along the path to becoming a constitutional monarchy.
- Brutal Honesty: She's not afraid to confront Reinhard with uncomfortable truths that he doesn't necessarily want to face, though she does learn to tone down the bluntness a little after one incident where she crosses a line by being a little too frank.
- Combat Pragmatist: Though she's rarely involved in military matters, when she does offer her advice, Reinhard comments that her plans can be just as underhanded as Oberstein's.
- Daddy's Girl: She's very close to her father, who lets her pursue her interest in politics.
- Dirty Business: Her solution of winning the war consist of her exploiting Yang's moral conviction and good hearted nature, turning it all against him by putting him in a situation in which he will have to either betray everything he stands for, or lose the war. She fully acknowledges that it is a despicable thing to do, but necessary for winning the war and saving Reinhard's life.
- Flaw Exploitation: Mariendorf takes advantage of Yang's inflexible ideals in order to win the war.
- Good Is Not Soft: She's kind and affectionate, but beneath the surface can be as cold and calculating as Oberstein.
- Happily Married: With Reinhard. They're quite fond of eachother.
- The Heart: She urges Reinhard to show mercy to his opponents and to pay more attention to his subjects' well-being. Doesn't mean that she's naive or unwilling to take the necessary actions.
- Heroic BSoD: Suffers a minor one when her sickly cousin turns out to be involved in a plot to assassinate Reinhard.
- The High Queen: At the end of the series after Reinhard's death. He gives her all the power, allowing her to make the decision to bypass their son and move on to democracy if the boy isn't fit to rule. The narrator informs us that she does bring the Empire to prosperity and is instrumental in building a constitutional monarchy.
- Honest Advisor: She always tries to guide Reinhard to do what is right/most practical rather than follows his will.
- Hot Consort: Several characters remark upon her beauty, but this is not really played up.
- This is played up more in the novels, where Reinhard is intrigued by her combination of good looks and political savvy from their first meeting onward.
- Hyper-Competent Sidekick: She favours the strategy that instead of trying to be proficient at everything, it's more efficient to find experts to work for you. And she herself is one to Reinhard when it comes to politics.
- Iron Lady: Downplayed. She's a tough negotiator and a shrewd politician, and she has the knowledge and skills to back her words up with concrete results. That being said, even when honest, she is still overall a kind person. She doesn't insult people, but rather offers Constructive Criticism.
- Mirror Character: To Oberstein, at least in term of what they think Reinhard should do. They both want to steer Reinhard from military conquest to concentrate on governing. And Reinhard comments that her tactics can be just as ruthless as Oberstein's.
- More Deadly Than the Male: Her tactics to defeat the Free Planets Alliance is more efficient than Reinhard's and ultimately it is her who brings decisive victory to Empire side.
- Motherly Side Plait: Wears her hair like this after giving birth.
- Power Hair: Her typical hairstyle, as befitting an Iron Lady.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: She comes from among the handful of noble houses that actually uphold the ideal of Noblesse Oblige, and her actions show it. By the end of the series, she becomes Kaiserin-Regent.
- Silk Hiding Steel: It doesn't take long for Reinhard (and viewers) to realize that Mariendorf is one of the boldest and most intelligent characters in the entire show. She correctly deduced that Reinhard would lose the Battle of Vermillion and his life, if alternative measures were not taken. The plan to take Heinessen to force the Alliance to surrender was hers, Mittermeyer and Reuenthal just carried it out. Reinhard couldn't bring the Alliance to it's knees, his future wife could.
- Sleeping with the Boss: While serving as Reinhard's executive secretary, she ends up sleeping with him. 9 months later, Alexander is born.
- The Smurfette Principle: The only woman in Reinhard's group.
- Squee!: An unusual example. It pleases her greatly that her father allows her to handle their family affiliation during the Lohengramm faction vs Goldenbaum old nobles conflict, as she's very interested in politics and thus she can observe an interesting age and interesting people.
- Women Are Wiser: Mariendorf is much more practical than the glory-seeking and stubborn men who surround her.
Grand Duchess Annerose von Grünewald
Originally Annerose von Müsel, she was Reinhard's older sister, the one thing he cherished more than anything else in the world, and the entire reason for his quest to overthrow the Goldenbaum Dynasty. Her beauty had captured the attention of Kaiser Friedrich IV and he made her one of the Imperial consorts with the title of Countess von Grünewald, much to the envy of other ladies at court. Through it all she never lost her kindness and consideration for those around her even when they were plotting to stab her in the back. She charged Kircheis with standing by Reinhard and protecting him always, a task that he was only too happy to accept.
Needless to say, her withdrawal from Reinhard's life had a considerable impact on him and he would later remark that his triumphant ascension to the throne was made hollow and bitter because the two people he cared for the most were not around to share it with him. It would be a long time before they would see each other again.
- Distressed Damsel: A long-term case, in that she spends most of the early series trapped in the Imperial Palace. On the other hand, when an assassin comes in to kill a pregnant Hilda, Annerose's reaction is to protect Hilda and kill the assailant with a small statue. She's Reinhard's sister, alright.
- Gilded Cage: As the Kaiser's beloved concubine, she has access to almost anything she could ask for — except the freedom to live her own life.
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: She has golden hair, and is one of the kindest, most forgiving people in the whole galaxy.
- Hermit Guru: A rare female example.
- Hidden Depths: She's not exactly as fragile as she appears to be.
- Living Memory: She sees herself as this.
- Modest Royalty: Even moreso than her brother. She could have whichever vast mansion she wanted, instead she asked Reinhard to find her a small house somewhere.
- My Greatest Failure: She knows it was at her behest that Kircheis became Reinhard's most loyal follower, and so blames herself for his death.
- Parental Substitute: Takes care of young Konrad von Modell after the boy lost the rest of his family. She also served as the closest thing to a parental figure that Reinhard had, as their mother was nowhere to be found and their father was a neglectful drunk.
- Proper Lady: Kind and compassionate and wholesome; she'd fit right into the imperial court if the others were not jealous of her position.
- Small Role, Big Impact: She was just a timid woman who just wanted to be left alone, and didn't have much time on screen. However, her being taken by Kaiser Friedrich IV as his consort was what both enraged her younger brother Reinhard into seeking more power for himself in order to save her and jump started his military career. Ultimately resulting in the fall of the Goldenbaum Dynasty, the destruction of the Free Planet Alliance, the rise of the Lohengramm Dynasty, and the unification of humanity. Hilda outright referred to her as the mother of the Neue Reich in her inner monolog, and said that history would have been very different if she was never born at all.
- Starcrossed Lovers: Kircheis was in love with her and in episode 26, Reinhard asks her if she was in love with him. 103 confirms that she was.
High Admiral Neidhardt Müller
The youngest of Reinhard's admirals (besides Kircheis). At the Battle of Vermillion his tenacious defence of Reinhard earned him the nickname "Iron Wall Mueller". From then on his fleet was charged with the final line of defence, protecting Reinhard whenever he took to the field. In all other theaters of war, Müller proved to be a capable Admiral and commanded respect that was second only to the three Fleet Admirals themselves.
Although he suffered defeat at the hands of Yang Wen-li, he saw the miracle-worker more as a rival and always itched for another opportunity to try and defeat him. During a lull in the fighting, he was even able to go to Iserlohn and pay respects as the Kaiser's unofficial envoy.
Müller's command ship was the Lübeck until after Vermillion, where it was destroyed. Afterwards he was promoted to high admiral, alongside the other admirals and he was given the Percival to commemorate his new title. Reinhard offered him a promotion to Fleet Admiral after Müller helped save him from assassins, but he turned it down, believing that the fallen Lutz was the real hero.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Overall he is among the kindest, friendliest admirals, but when a doctor says they can't do anything for Reinhard's health until they research his disease, Müller is ready to rip the medical team's heads off.
- Big Damn Heroes: When Reinhard was about to be obliterated by Yang in the Battle of Vermillion, Müller came charging in and created a wall between the two armadas, saving Reinhard's life. He does this again later on in the Battle of the Corridor. Iron Wall, indeed.
- Cool Ship: His second flagship, the Percival had very smooth lines and was the most advanced ship in the Imperial Navy at the time of its commissioning.
- The Determinator: At Vermilion Yang's ships shot down his flagship from under him three times. He found another every time, and continued fighting.
- Friendly Enemy: Acts like this towards Yang Wen-li when the latter boards the Brünhilde and towards Julian when paying respect at Yang Wen-li's funeral in Iserlohn. Not bad for the man who had taken an oath in Odin's name to kill Yang Wen-li after Admiral Kempff's death. He also stands out among the admirals in that he is often chosen by Reinhard as representative in diplomatic work with the Republicans.
- Humble Hero: Very humble, he even calls Julian "Herr Mintz", long before Julian attains his supreme commander rank.
- Jack-of-All-Stats: What he starts off as, being an all-around solid combat admiral, but not particularly great at anything.
- Master of All: What he becomes around halfway into the series. It's not so much that he learns from his own mistakes, because he barely makes any. Rather he learns from the mistakes of his colleagues (Kempf in particular) and his humility allows him to see things rationally. All of this ends up giving Yang quite a bit of headaches. He ends up becoming Reinhard's best admiral after Mittermeyer and Reuenthal. Learning from experience can go a long way.
- Meaningful Name: The name of his ship is Percival, which is inspired by a story of a knight who embodies not just heroism, but also compassion and humility, a perfect description for Müller himself.
- Nice Guy: Rivals Kircheis for sheer kindness. He treats enemies who surrender with respect as well.
- Please Spare Him, My Liege!: Tried to plead for Reuenthal when Reinhard promised to do anything he asked. Unfortunately, that was the one thing Reinhard could not do.
- Rule of Symbolism: The admiral most similar to Kircheis ends up getting the Siegfried Kircheis battle honor medal.
- He is always standing next to Mittermeyer, with Reuenthal on the other side. In a sense he is the noble friend, whereas Reuenthal is the troubled friend with occasionally evil ways. Being one year younger than Mittermeyer, whereas Reuenthal is one year older adds to it.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Played With. He is considered one of the Empire's greatest stars, has an experimental ship with a unique design, uses plain tactics rather than specializing in anything, is very protective of Reinhard (even more so than the other admirals), is humble, kind, the youngest of Reinhard's admirals and the guy Reinhard tends to send on diplomatic missions. All things that used to describe Kircheis. It's Played With because he was already part of Reinhard's admirality when Kircheis was still alive, but he doesn't become a prominent character until after Kircheis' death. Matter of fact, he goes from barely saying anything to suddenly being talkative afterwards. To add to that, he basically takes Kircheis place among the trinity of Reinhard's most competent fleet commanders(Kircheis, Reuenthal, Mittermeyer).
- Took a Level in Badass: Starts out as a relative unknown and after the Battle of Vermillion gains a serious reputation that lasts the rest of the series. When offering to relinquish his position as Space Fleet commander to get Reuenthal back, Mittermeyer recommends Müller as his replacement.
- Underestimating Badassery: In the first half of the series, he is constantly overlooked. Kempf often ignores his advice and just calls him a brat, rear admiral Sombart and vice admiral Thurneysen think he only got his admiral rank due to war causing chaos in the ranks and Yang doesn't consider him a factor at Vermillion until the very moment Müller appears to pull off a Big Damn Heroes.
High Admiral Fritz Josef Bittenfeld
Bittenfeld was always infamous for his temper and desire to be in the thick of battle. His fleet, the Black Lancers, inherited these traits and earned considerable renown for their fast, devastating charges. Though his timely intervention turned the tide of battle for Reinhard on more than one occasion, Bittenfeld was as much a liability as an asset. He was the most aggressive of even the offense-minded Admirals and easy to bait into traps. Even when the noose was closed around him he still believed he could break through. Nonetheless, Bittenfeld was still a capable commander and knew to retreat when the situation could still be salvaged.
His ship of choice was the all-black Königstiger, emphasizing speed and firepower above all else.
- Adaptation Name Change: He is named "Wittenfeld" in the novels and that is the intended spelling, but is named "Bittenfeld" in all English translation of adaptations, stemming from a spelling error in the OVA.
- Actually, the intended spelling remains unknown (unless we have a Word of God for it). Both Wittenfeld and Bittenfeld are spelled the same in Japanese (with the first letter ビ, bi), and both are existing German surnames. The Gineipaedia has his name as "Bittenfeld".
- Animal Motif: He has 2. Bittenfeld and his fleet are compared to wild boars quite frequently, but the man himself is clearly meant to resemble a tiger: orange hair, golden eyes, muscular build, brave and vicious in battle. And the official Momotarou parody cartoon portrays him as a tiger.
- Attack! Attack! Attack!: His default strategy in space combat, and that of the Black Lancers. To quote Attenborough, even the pretense of running away from him becomes a matter of life and death. That being said, he is also known for losing the most ships and troops among Reinhard's admirals. For Bittenfeld to truly be effective, he needs somebody to give him orders, which is why Reinhard tends to use him in a support role, rather than placing him in command of a wing.
- Badass Baritone: Has a deep, booming voice in Die Neue These.
- Boisterous Bruiser: Loves space battles and commands his forces with barely contained glee. He's also one of the few admirals to always stand on the bridge, not sit in a commander's chair, because it gives him more space to make broad and expressive gestures.
- Born Lucky: His recklessness leads to his fleet suffering more losses than any other over the course of the series and he suffers plenty of defeats.....yet Bittenfeld himself (and his flagship) is never so much as scratched and he makes it to the end of the series, alive and well. The man simply has the devil's luck.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: He's not an idiot by any means, but he's so aggressive you can be forgiven if you mistake him for an idiot. But when there's someone telling him when and where to attack he will break through any opposition.
- Crippling Overspecialization: He is really good at quick charges and assault, but in a longer, tactical battle, he is doomed. This is why he can't match up to Mittermeyer as an offensive commander. Simple put, he is good at charging and little else.
- Determinator: Just days after losing half his fleet to Yang, he went on to inflict critical damage to cripple Yang's fleet in the battle of Iserlohn Corridor.
- Dumbass Has a Point: Played with. He's not actually dumb by any means, but damned if he doesn't make everyone forget sometimes. It just makes it a little shocking every time he expresses a valuable (i.e. sensible) opinion or does something sensible in combat. In fact, he'd probably be one of the smartest admirals in the series if it weren't for his out-of-control aggression. In episode 28, he mentions that Reuenthal and Mittermeyer should lead the operation to take out Iserlohn with Geiersburg Fortress, instead of Kempf and Mueller. On another occasion he advocates taking Heinessen to force Yang Wen-li to surrender, an option that Yang would have been able to do nothing about. The other admirals dismiss it as unworkable...but this is largely the option Hilda takes to save Reinhard from being blasted to space dust at the Battle of Vermilion. The difference being that Hilda demanded their surrender, whereas Bittenfeld wanted to destroy it, which would have martyr'd the alliance and given Yang the political advantages necessary to revive it.
- Fiery Redhead: His temper is as fiery as his hair; notably, he was one of the very few characters in the show to drop an Atomic F-Bomb (or what counts for one in Japanese).
- Frontline General: Even more so than the other admirals because he always personally leads the charge with his flagship.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: It doesn't take much to make him lose his temper.
- Hidden Depths: While he's rather blunt and doesn't seem to be much of a thinker at a first glance, he can make surprisingly deep and thoughtful observations, see the quote. See also Dumbass Has a Point.
- Honor Before Reason: He won't even hear about vile and dishonest ways of waging war, even if they are effective — one of the reasons why he hates Oberstein so much.
- Hot-Blooded: Aggressive, impatient and easily provoked. Oberstein uses this once to provoke Bittenfeld into physically attacking him and places him under arrest for assaulting a superior officer.
- In the Blood: In his own words, a fierce temper and a penchant for melodrama seem to run strong in the Bittenfeld line.
- Large Ham: Very expressive and loud. Bittenfeld will make his presence known as often as he can.
- Leeroy Jenkins: Unusually, for a Leeroy, he is capable of recognizing when he has been outmaneuvered and retreating. Well, eventually at least.
- No Historical Figures Were Harmed: If Reinhard's admirals are Napoleon's Marshals, then Bittenfeld is Michel Ney. A charismatic, daring and aggressive commander whose boldness unfortunately caused quite a bit of problems for him.
- Plucky Comic Relief: Closest to one in the show on the Imperial side.Theres a tradition in the Bittenfeld family! When you praise someone, you do it loudly; when you denounce someone, you do it even louder!
- Red Baron: Not him as an individual, but his fleet. Whereas other fleets simply have the name of their commander, his is always called The Black Lancers.
- Spanner in the Works: Singlehandedly ruined Yang's plans by killing Edwin Fischer in the battle of Iserlohn Corridor.
- Too Dumb to Live: Averted. He even becomes more restrained with time, surprising his enemies by not falling for obvious traps and he eventually lives. Which is quite surprising in a series like this. Yoshiki Tanaka notes that he did plan to kill Bittenfeld off, but somehow he kept surviving. We did mention the man's devil's luck, didn't we?
High Admiral Adalbert von Fahrenheit
A coolheaded admiral who shared Bittenfeld's preference for offensive tactics. Farenheit originally fought on the side of the nobles during the Lippstadt Rebellion. He shared Merkatz's opinions of the nobles but, unlike his superior, he did not flee when the war ended. He received a pardon from Reinhard and was promoted to the rank of admiral when the regent recognised his skills. He clashed with Merkatz on several occasions during the war with the Free Planets Alliance.
His flagship was the Asgrimm, the only ship shown to possess a Wave-Motion Gun.
- Blood Knight: He may not act like one, but he certainly enjoys a good fight. This is the reason his fleet is one of the best at charges, only behind the Black Lancers.
- Face Death with Dignity: After a brief reminiscence of his life, he orders the last survivor of his crew, a young boy, to evacuate quickly and to live on, and dies on the burning bridge.
- Foil: To Merkatz. Notice how they both deal with Braunschweig's stupidity and what they do afterwards. Merkatz acts like the obedient soldier and just says "he's a noble, he can't help it" whenever Braunschweig does something utterly idiotic and after the war he remains loyal the Goldenbaum dynasty, corrupt nobility and evil practices be damned. Fahrenheit tells Braunschweig You're Insane! to his face and joins up with Reinhard at the first opportunity, working to make things better for lower nobility and commoners.
- HeelFace Turn: Surrenders to Reinhard at the end of the Lippstadt Rebellion. Reinhard gives him a pardon and a place in his admirality.
- Ignored Expert: The only admiral in the Lippstadt league (other than Merkatz himself) who was worth his salt as a military professional. Braunschweig ignores his warning not to leave the fortress for a final battle and disaster ensues.
- Only in It for the Money: A low-ranking and impoverished nobleman, Fahrenheit joined the military simply to eke out a living.
- Only Sane Employee: Like Merkatz, he's one of the few officers in the Lippstadt Rebellion with common sense and actual tactical knowledge. Hence his survival after all the other nobles fail.
High Admiral Ernest Mecklinger
Also known as the Artist Admiral, Mecklinger was a well-known patron of the arts even during the last days of the Goldenbaum Dynasty and was known to have composed many of his own works, even winning prizes for his paintings and piano playing. Mecklinger was Reinhard's Chief of Staff, before becoming a vice admiral in Reinhard's admirality. He did not take to the field as often as the other admirals but was always picked by Reinhard to manage the Empire's supply lines during long campaigns.
- Boring Yet Practical: His job of managing the supply lines.
- Badass Baritone: Has a VERY deep voice, the deepest out of all of Reinhard's admirals.
- Beware the Nice Ones: While normally the most even-tempered of the admirals, he basically tells a doctor to thoroughly investigate the Kaiser's illness or there will be consequences.
- When he finds out that a treacherous admiral withheld information from his superior and indulged in schemes that helped to start a rebellion which lead to the death of millions, Mecklinger makes it known that he is PISSED, afterwhich that admiral is taken away, probably to be executed.
- Cultured Warrior: And it shows. On more than one occasion he supervised the recovery of looted artwork.
- Nice Guy: Very personable and one of the least enthusiastic for battles among the admirals. That being said, as the quote shows, he still does like a fight now and then.
- Officer and a Gentleman
- The Philosopher: Of Reinhard's faction. He sometimes pondered about the future not unlike Yang did and it is mentioned that he recorded the events of his time.
- Porn Stache: Of the "paragon of manliness" sort; Legend of Galactic Heroes was first conceived during the style's heyday, and Mecklinger's 'stache was meant to be a visual shorthand for his Cultured Warrior status.
- Renaissance Man: He's accomplished not only as an admiral, but also as a painter, a pianist and a poet, and another character even compared him to Leonardo da Vinci (to his credit, Mecklinger didn't consider himself on Leonardo's level). Even as a soldier he's capable in two very different fields: organizing the supply lines and directing the battles (even if he's better at the former).
- His flagship is named Kvasir, after the Norse deity of knowledge and poetry.
High Admiral Ernst von Eisenach
Stoic admiral famous for being almost completely silent. Distinguished himself via rearguard duty, diversion operations and land battle support. Commanded through hand signals.
- Badass Fingersnap: Some of the gestures he uses to communicate involve this. It's Played for Laughs in one scene, where the narrator reveals that he gets a double dose of coffee each morning on one campaign because one of his orderlies mixes up the gestures and Eisenach is too proud to break silence to correct him.
- Beware the Quiet Ones: He is quiet and well-liked by his fellow admirals, but especially ruthless towards his enemies. Is ultimately the one who kills Merkatz via an especially vicious order. The order in question? "Deploy the fleet in a fan formation between 6 and 9 o'clock and fire on the ships that run away from the Black Lancers."
- Bunny-Ears Admiral: Is one of the best admirals in the Imperial navy, despite the fact that he communicates almost entirely through hand gestures.
- Cold Ham: Manages to be a dramatic presence in any scene he's in despite the fact that he so rarely speaks. The one word he says over the course of the entire series is so apropos for the situation that everyone else in the room is stunned into silence from shock.
- Elective Mute: To the extent where almost everyone of his fellow high-ranking colleagues were shocked when he finally muttered a word late in the series. It was even lampshaded by the narrator, who helpfully provided the time and date of that occurrence. His flagship is named after the Norse god Vidar, Odin's son who was famous for never speaking.
- Mittermeyer could not help but to wonder how he managed to communicate with his family.
- Nerves of Steel: Has a reputation for being practically unflappable.
- OOC Is Serious Business: Aside from the one line he gets on camera, during one battle the narrator mentions off-handedly that he had to break his silence to whisper a command to retreat, since he didn't have a gesture for it.
High Admiral Cornelius Lutz
Commanded the Iserlohn garrison fleet until the Yang fleet recaptured the station. Was injured and hospitalised during a terrorist attack on Phezzan. Volunteered to stay behind to delay attackers during the attempt on Reinhard's life on Urvashi and was killed by them.
- Adaptation Dye-Job: In the original series he had brown hair, but in Neue These he has pale blond hair.
- Florence Nightingale Effect: He fell in love and proposed to a nurse named Klara who attended him after the terrorist bombing in Phezzan.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Gave his life to save Reinhard and Müller.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: He actually helped Reinhard in getting the hang of conventional firearms long before Reinhard rose through the imperial ranks.
- And during his final stand, he shoots dead almost all the attackers with deadly accuracy, right until he was blinded by a lucky shot.
- More Hero Than Thou: Pulls seniority on Müller to be the one who gets left behind on Urvashi.
- Technicolor Eyes: He has purple eyes which even change shade when he's excited or anticipating something.
- Tempting Fate: "There's no way i'll die before that Oberstein". He dies 18 episodes before Oberstein, though not because of him.
- Those Two Guys: Downplayed, but he is this with Wahlen. They are often paired together and The fact that early on they almost look like◊ twins◊ and that their ships look almost identical adds to it.
- You Don't Look Like You: Die Neue These redesigned pretty much all of the admirals, but Lutz got changed the most◊, with not just different hair and skin colours, but he also looks much younger(at the start of the story, he is supposed to be in his early 30s).
- You Shall Not Pass!: Stayed behind during the attack on Uruvashi to fight off Reinhard's assailants and allow him a chance to escape. He died in the ensuing firefight, but he took a few enemies down with him.
Admiral Karl Gustav Kempf
Overall commander of the Imperial fleet during the first attempt to recapture Iserlohn. He commanded both the flagship Jotunheim and Geiersburg Fortress. He died when that same fortress was destroyed.
- Ace Pilot: While far from Poplin's level, during the Sixth Battle of Iserlohn he shot down two Spartanians and survived a scratch to his fighter.
- A Death in the Limelight: Unfortunately, the episodes where we get to know him better, are precisely the ones that lead up to his death.
- Family Man: Had a devoted wife and two young sons who adored him. Lead to a Tear Jerker when it fell on Mecklinger to deliver the bad news of Kempf's demise.
- Fatal Flaw: Is ultimately insecure about not being at the level of Reuenthal and Mittermeyer (both High Admirals at the time). Rather than simply smashing Geiersburg Fortress into Iserlohn, he wants to use it as his personal base. He doesn't listen to Müller's information stating that Yang is not in Iserlohn. He is too focused on what he could personally earn from the operation, rather than on it's actual succesful completion.
- Meaningful Name: The largest of the admirals, his flagship is named Jotunheim, after the Norse homeworld of the giants.
- Younger Than They Look: He looked rather old for being only 36. His Neue These counterpart looks fittingly younger.
High Admiral Helmut Rennenkampf
Reinhard's former superior. Appointed Imperial representative to the FPA after the Treaty of Ba'alat. Was captured by the Rosenritters in conjunction with them breaking Yang out of jail.
- Badass Mustache: Has an impressive one, even thicker than Mecklinger's.
- Crippling Overspecialization: Merkatz mentions that while he's an excellent fleet commander, outside of that, he really isn't good at anything else. As a result when he becomes consul, he ends up making boneheaded decisions.
- Didn't Think This Through: Even if he had succeeded in getting Yang to Odin or having Yang executed, Reinhard would have just severily punished him for it, as he would have been enraged at the dishonorable way Yang would be treated. In Reinhard's mind, killing off political schemers is one thing, but ignoble murder of a respected warrior is another.
- Driven to Suicide: Hangs himself in his cell after allowing himself to be captured during Yang's escape from Heinessen.
- General Ripper: Is so convinced that Yang must be up to something that he accepts extremely suspect evidence as irrefutable confirmation that he is.
- The Peter Principle: Much like Lobos for the Alliance, Rennenkampf falls victim to this trope, going from a competent and respected fleet commander to a disastrously ineffectual administrator who's unable to adapt to the demands of his new task.
High Admiral August Samuel Wahlen
Commanded the expedition against the Terraist headquarters on Earth after their first attempt on Reinhard's life. His left arm had to be amputated after a cultist stabbed him with a poisoned blade.
- Artificial Limbs: His amputated arm is replaced with a cybernetic prosthetic. Later in the series it's injured again, giving him the opportunity to make a rather dry quip about the whole thing.
- Badass Baritone: Both in the original series and in Neue These, he has a very deep voice.
- Enemy Mine: He was not aware of them being on the opposite side but Julian and co. helped him in his mission against the Terraists.
- Hollywood Genetics: He is a redhead, but both of his parents are blonde.
- My Greatest Failure: Regrets not thoroughly wiping out the Terraists after the survivors killed Silberberch and Yang.
- Nerves of Steel: Gets his artificial arm torn by a direct hit of an enemy gun and makes a calm remark, see the quote. He also stopped the unrest between Bittenfeld's and Oberstein's men just by parking his armored car between them and giving a Death Glare.
High Admiral Ulrich Kesler
Originally a military lawyer, Reinhard appointed him Superintendent of the Military Police, which in the Empire also functioned as a general State Sec service. Credited with reforming this corrupt and oppressive organisation and generally improving the Imperial Justice system. Risked his own life in order to rescue Hildegard and Annerose during the Terraist attack on the Imperial residence.
- Always Lawful Good: Stopped Mittermeyer from personally murdering Lang for what happened to Reuenthal because justice only comes with law. He is not kidding, once Lang confesses to his crimes and Kesler has all the information he needs, the High Admiral has Lang executed.
- Big Damn Heroes: really, was it necessary for the superintendent of police to personally break into a burning building?
- Commissar Cap: One of the few admirals who actually wears one by virtue of being the new head of the Military Police.
- Good Is Not Soft: While he's most of the time a lawful and genuinely nice person, he and his men are not above using questionable methods such as torture when interrogating dangerous suspects.
- Meaningful Name: Not him, but his flagship. Forseti was the norse god of justice.
- Meet Cute: How he met Marika, his future wife.
High Admiral Karl Robert Steinmetz
First captain of the Brünhild, later promoted to admiral. Was killed shortly after Fahrenheit in the Battle of the Corridor, the final battle commanded by Yang.
- Badass Beard: Has a goatee plus a mustache.
- Celibate Hero: Played With. He has a girlfriend, but swore he would not marry her until Reinhard married someone first.
- Heroic Sacrifice: At the battle of the Corridor, Yang was about to blast away at Reinhard, so Steinmetz intercepted it with his fleet, leading to his death.
- Out of Focus: He's the least prominent of all of Reinhard's admirals.
Admiral Alfred Grillparzer
A former member of the Rennenkampf fleet and later Admiral of the Eistia.
- Didn't Think This Through: As Mecklinger points out, he could have achieved a promotion in due time, but instead he concealed information that could potentially absolve Reuenthal so he could have the glory of betraying and putting down a traitor. Not only Knappstein gets killed in battle and he's forced to fight for his life, when he does betray Reuenthal, he figuratively shoots him in the back, marking himself as a coward. In his short-sighted desire for glory and recognition, millions of soldiers lost their lives, his reputation is tarnished beyond repair, the empire lost one of its most competent admirals and he will almost assuredly be executed for treason.
- General Failure: Is overall a pretty lousy fleet commander. We see him lead a fleet in 2 battles and he looks like a fool in both.
- Glory Hound: Wanted nothing more than stand out and gain military achievements, so he and another reckless admiral were sent as vanguard during the Battle of Marr-Adetta. This desire for glory is what made him frame Reuenthal for conspiring against the Kaiser.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Framed Reuenthal and was the one who fatally shot him, but once interrogated by Mecklinger, he's found guilty of mutiny, murder and concealing evidence, meaning he will be stripped of his admiralty and probably get executed.
- Small Role, Big Impact: He was sent to Urvashi to investigate the plot to assassinate Reinhard where Reuenthal was the main suspect. Hoping to fan the flames of war and gain military achievements, he concealed evidence of Reuenthal's innocence. Reuenthal, frustrated with constant false accusations, eventually rebelled.
- Underestimating Badassery: He and Knappstein thought Bewcock was nothing more than an old man, only for that same old man to inflict the heaviest casualties to their fleets during the Battle of Mar-Adetta.
- Ungrateful Bastard: Reuenthal saves his life in battle, yet Grillparzer still betrayed him.
Duke Otho von Braunschweig
A Duke who strongly believes in the eugenics propaganda of the Galactic Empire. Married to one of the Kaiser's daughters, Braunschweig is an ambitious man who would do anything to get his family on the imperial throne. Despite a massive ego, Braunschweig is a very inept commander and makes many poor military decisions, even against the concerns of his advisors.
- Adaptational Ugliness: The OVA version of Braunschweig is the sort of classically handsome statesman that you'd see in a piece of celebratory artwork. The DNT version is plain bordering on ugly, with blunt, brutish features and a layer of middle-aged fat befitting the Corrupt Politician he is.
- Arc Villain: While always a thorn in Reinhard's side, Braunschweig becomes this during the Lippstadt League, leading the forces of the rebellion in defiance of the newly selected Kaiser and has to be stopped by Reinhard and his fleet directly
- Aristocrats Are Evil: He's the most powerful of the Imperial High Nobles, and a prime example of their collective arrogance, greed, callousness, and (ultimately) utter impotence.
- Bad Boss: When a single noble survives a fortress defense battle, the mere suspect of treason leads the monstrous duke to have the man executed.
- Big Bad Wannabe: Braunschweig fancies himself a cunning mastermind with eyes on being the de facto leader of the Empire. In reality he's an idiot in well beyond his depth and after failing to assassinate Reinhard, is forced to retreat where his constant poor tactical decisions lead him to a swift loss, with even Reinhard's followers saying with dismay they miss facing challenging opponents like Yang.
- Can't Take Criticism: Braunschweig is utterly incapable of taking criticism as anything but an attempt at undermining him. As the Lippstadt Rebellion progresses, he gradually alienates the few subordinates both honest and intelligent enough to confront him over the flaws in his plans, increasingly isolating himself in an echo chamber of flatterers and sycophants. Ultimately this is why he lost the war, as he had plenty of smart and competent underlings who could have steered him to victory (Ansbach, Ferner, Streit, Merkatz and Fahrenheit among others), but he refused to listen to them.
- Dirty Coward: Braunschweig demands his soldiers fight to their last ounce of strength and condemns anyone who does anything less as a traitor. Despite his rhetoric, he still has the gall to flee himself when the going gets tough and when he's caught and "persuaded" to commit suicide, he dies with a look of terror on his face as he struggles to break free and run.
- Early-Bird Cameo: In Die Neue These, Braunschweig, Flegel and Littenheim are in the audience◊ when Reinhard is promoted to fleet admiral, but we're not formally introduced to them until Seiran.
- Enemy Mine: Before Kaiser Friedrich's death, Braunschweig and Littenheim were rivals, each trying to manuever their respective daughters as the next Kaiserin. When Reinhard and Lichtenlade proclaimed Erwin Josef as Kaiser, the two men made common cause and formed the Lippstadt League.
- Fat Bastard: Downplayed. He's not that fat in Die Neue These, but he's got a fleshy enough face to stand out from most of the rest of the cast, emphasising his role as a bloated aristocratic parasite.
- Foil: To Reinhard. Both are fleet admirals, but Braunschweig comes from an extremely distinguished family and got all of his power from his birth. He is an older man, knows nothing about warfare, never listens to his advisors and to top it all off a brunette. Reinhard comes from a very minor family, is a military genius, had to claw and fight to get what he has, is very young, listens to his advisors and is blonde. After the civil war, Reinhard is in danger of taking over some of Braunschweig's bad habits, such as considering the lives of some subordinates as expendable, but because he not only surrounds himself with good people, but also makes good use of their advice, he stays on the right path.
- General Failure: Braunschweig ignores a Arthur von Streit's advice to have Reinhard assassinated, instead wishing to face the tactical genius in battle head on. He sends out an utter moron with 50,000 ships (a third of all their military strength) simply because he feels that man is a nuisance. Later, he orders a planet nuked in response to an uprising, which causes him to lose a massive amount of favour amongst his followers. Afterwards he decides to order a last attack on Reinhard's fleet, rather than keeping his men in their impregnable fortress. If Marquis Littenheim didn't exist, this guy would be by far the most incompetent commander in the series.
- Hate Sink: He treats his underlings more like cattle than actual human beings. He constantly undermines the man he appoints as supreme commander of his forces. He gets that man to join his cause by threatening his daughter. He nukes his own people, causing millions of deaths. He sends others (read:millions of soldiers) out to fight and die in hopeless battles while staying comfortably in a fortress. This man absolutely deserved to die.
- Hypocrite: After the Lippstadt Rebellion starts to unravel, he gives an impassioned yet ineffectual speech denouncing anyone who would run away from the coming battle as a Dirty Coward — then immediately makes an aside comment to one of his aides revealing he's made an escape shuttle ready for himself.
- Also, see Irony.
- Irony: Believes in Eugenics, but his link to the Goldenbaum dynasty is a wife and daughter carrying a hereditary disease.
- Lack of Empathy: Throws waves of his men at the enemy with little strategy beyond overwhelming the opposition and cares nothing for those killed in the ensuing conflict.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: Buys into the imperial eugenics policies and despises commoners, viewing them like cattle.
- Smug Snake: Despite being severely lacking in intelligence, Braunchsweig is convinced that his noble blood makes him inherently superior to others, actually believing in his own stupid decisions.
- Stupid Evil: Unable to conceive of any threat to what he believes to be his own impervious power, Braunschweig orders one of his own territory's planets nuked in response to a rebellion, despite his own soldiers pointing out the detrimental consequences of doing so. After ignoring their suggestions, Braunschweig quickly finds himself losing allies to both abandonment and suicide out of sheer disgust and swiftly loses his fight against Lohengramm.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: While he technically puts aside his feud with Marquis Littenheim to deal with Reinhard, the two can't stand each other's presence, and go out of their way to sabotage each other. This makes it easier for Reinhard to defeat them separately.
- Undignified Death: Fully deserving of it Braunschweig gets the worst one in the series. After trying to steel himself and commit suicide by poisoned wine to avoid capture and execution, he finds himself unable to take his life and has to be held down and have the drink forced down his throat: murdered by his own servants to publicly save his honor. The humiliation doesn't even stop there as his corpse is disembowelled and stuffed with a rocket launcher for Ansbach to try and kill Reinhard with, splashed with blood when the assassination attempt fails and then ejected into space by Reinhard's men for fear there could be a bomb in his coffin. A truly satisfying Humiliation Conga.
- Ungrateful Bastard: He leaves Merkatz in charge of holding Geiersburg Fortress, while he himself leads a fleet to fight Reinhard. Reinhard's forces proceed to curbstomp Braunschweig's fleet. It looks like Braunschweig is doomed, but then Merkatz comes in and saves the day. Does Braunschweig thank him for saving his worthless life? No. He screams at Merkatz, demanding an explanation for why he didn't come to the rescue sooner. Despite the fact that Merkatz was instructed to stay behind.
A young Baron and Brauschweig's nephew. An unpleasant, elitist man, Flegel bears an intense grudge against Reinhard for constantly stopping the crimes that Flegel believes are his right to commit as a High Noble.
- Adaptation Distillation: The DNT series doesn't cover his attempt to have Annerose assassinated and instead he stays on the sidelines until the confederated aristocrats rebellion where he acts as his uncle's right-hand.
- Arch-Enemy: He sees himself as this to Reinhard, and thinks the feeling has to be mutual. Truthfully, Reinhard barely regards him as annoyance, only notable for his attempt on Annerose's life.
- Aristocrats Are Evil: Like most of the High Nobles he's a complete asshole who believes he can abuse and kill common folk as he pleases. Like Braunschweig he also takes it further by making sure millions are killed for rebelling against food shortages caused by the Lippstadt League in the first place.
- Bad Boss: When his attempt to have Annarose killed and disgraced fails he ensures his own safety by seeing his co-conspirator killed and orders the deaths of all the thugs he hired to assist him.
- Defiant to the End: Subverted. While Flegel tries to die defiantly charging into single combat against one of Reinhard's admirals, he subordinates promptly shoot him when he tries to kill his aide for refusing his insane order. As Flegel dies unable to comprehend the betrayal of "mere commoners" he expires in pain with a horror-stricken expression on his face, mechanically muttering praise to the Empire.
- Dirty Coward: Flegel talks a big game about wanting to die a glorious death when he's in control but when Mittenmeyer beats him in fair combat he tries to order him shot dead and when he's fatally wounded by his subordinates dies horrified in shock, losing it in situations where he's not in complete control.
- The Dragon: Just as ruthlessly elitist as his uncle Braunschweig, Flegel takes to acting as his mouth piece and moves to order the execution of any who question the former.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: Fully buys into the Goldenbaum's eugenics and believes commoners to be physically and mentally inferior to men like himself.
- Revenge by Proxy: Flegel's hatred of Reinhard is so great that he concocts a nasty scheme to get Reinhard's sister Annerose killed and disgraced in the public eye, specifically just to hit Reinhard where it hurts.
- Royal Brat: As the nephew of Braunschweig, he is a spoiled, sociopathic little creep who views anyone not of noble standing as beneath his notice and at the mercy of his whims.
- Smug Snake: Believes himself a dashing war hero and thanks to his ego falls for obvious traps Reinhard lays for him, eventually leading to his fleet being drawn out and annihilated while he can just scream in rage.
- Stupid Evil: Like uncle, like nephew: Flegel takes to ensuring his uncle's ordered nuking of Westerland is carried out and can't comprehend that the mass population of the Galactic Empire might think ill of their faction for committing a war crime.
- Undignified Death: After demanding his men die in "glorious" combat with him and trying to shoot his aide for refusign his order, Flegel's other men promptly fatally shoot him. Instead of going out like a war hero he dies with a twisted expression of horror on his face at the betrayal and the men of the ship ignore his order to flee the pointless war.
High Admiral Ovlesser
- Adaptational Dye-Job: In Die Neue These he has green hair, while in the original series he was an Evil Redhead.
- Axe-Crazy: As pointed out by Reuental, the man was born to beat people to death. He even wields a battle-axe.
- Beard of Evil: A full beard in the original and a more stylized goatee in Die Neue These, but remains a beast on the battlefield.
- Blood Knight: Relishes in the possibility of cutting people with his battle axe.
- Boom, Headshot!: This is how Ansbach finishes him off.
- The Brute: Has this role in the Lippstadt League.
- Defiant to the End: As he lays bleeding out, he keeps throwing soldiers with his bare hands while yelling he's innocent.
- Dumb Muscle: He might be an utter beast in hand-to-hand combat, but is easily lured into a trap by Reuental and Mittermyer.
- Even Evil Has Standards: He might be a brute and dismissive of others, but he clearly would never betray his comrades.
- Evil Is Bigger: The man is huge. Taller than Kircheis and broader than Kempf.
- Facial Markings: Has a scar on his face. He refuses to get rid of it, even though he easily could.
- Meaningful Name: Ovlesser sounds like of lesser, denoting to a lower nobility, character, personality, or intellect.
- Old Soldier: He is nearing 50 at Reinhard's Fleet Admiral ceremony and slaughters enemy soldiers left and right during the civil war.
- Unwitting Pawn: Of Oberstein and of Reinhard by proxy; by sparing his life and sending back to Geiesberg, Braunschweig, in his paranoia has him executed for treason, sowing seeds of mistrust between the nobles.
Friedrich von Goldenbaum IV
The antepenultimate Kaiser of the Goldenbaum dynasty, is considered by everyone, even himself, to be a mediocre and off hands sovereign whose chief concerns seem to be his gardening and consorts.
- Anticlimax Boss: Despite being the object of Reinhard's hatred for much of the first part of the series, he unexpectedly dies of a heart attack not long after the Battle of Amritsar.
- Create Your Own Hero: Reinhard would not have set out on his quest to overthrow the Goldenbaum dynasty, had he not taken Annerose to be his concubine. A discussion with Lichtenlade shows that he invoked this trope so he could create the man who would save the Empire by ending the dynasty that plagued it for many years.
- The Cycle of Empires: Can be quite philosophical about it, when Lichtenlade counsels hims to curb Reinhard's rapid rise through the ranks, he meditates that the Goldenbaum dynasty has not existed for the whole of human history, nor that it should be eternal. His only care at this point is that if the Goldenbaum dynasty must come to an end, then let it be a magnificent one.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: It's not outright stated, but this is almost certainly the case. He pretends to be an ignorant, useless old man, but he was the first noble to figure out just how talented and dangerous Reinhard really was. He also had one of the longest reigns in Imperial history, as he was smart enough not to play favorites with Braunschweig and Littenheim, while never naming a successor after his son Ludwig's death.
- Stopped Caring: He can see the corruption and decadence that plagues his dynasty, but does nothing to stop it. He even knows that Reinhard is gunning for him, but continues to promote him and grant him more and more power.
- Unexpected Successor: Was one, he originally had two older brothers who were ahead of him in the line of succession, only for his eldest brother to be framed for treason by his second brother who was later killed when this was discovered. Infact, while still a prince he became so indebted a random shopkeeper lent him 22,000 marks out of pity on the proviso that it be repaid 20 times over should he come to the throne, and was surprised when he recieved his repayment of 440,000 marks.
Kaiser Rudolf von Goldenbaum
Founder and first ruler of the Galactic Empire. Starting his career as an officer in the Galactic Federation Armada, Goldenbaum was able to use his status and popularity as a military hero to pursue a highly successful political career, becoming the first (and, as history would later reveal, only) man to hold the offices of President and Prime Minister of the Galactic Federation simultaneously. This concentration of power in the hands of one man set the stage for an increasingly authoritarian regime, with Goldenbaum first proclaiming himself President for Life, then abolishing the Galactic Federation altogether and proclaiming himself the first Kaiser of the new Galactic Empire.
As Kaiser, Rudolf's reign was incredibly brutal, persecuting both political dissidents and ordinary citizens engaged in proscribed activities and lifestyles through the use of summary punishments, a secret police, and a heavy-handed court system. To support his rule and maintain order he delegated power to a network of trusted and exceptionally talented subordinates who would go on to form the core of the Empire's nobility. His most infamous piece of legislation was the Inferior Genes Exclusion Act, designed to "purify" the Empire by weeding out the poor, the physically and mentally handicapped, and other persons he considered inconvenient; its enforcement killed billions.
Rudolf's legacy would cast a long shadow, setting the stage for the conflict between his Galactic Empire and the Free Planets Alliance founded by political dissidents fleeing from Goldenbaum rule.
- The Ace: Graduated first in his class at the naval academy. The deadliest naval commander of his age. A genius politician and extremely effective ruler. None of which meant he was benevolent.
- Adaptational Ugliness: While Rudolf was depicted as a fairly handsome man in the OVA's, his Neue These appearance gives more of a feral look to showcase his brutality as he rises to power.
- Ambition Is Evil: He embodies exactly what Reinhard and Yang absolutely cannot become. Assured of his own capability to guide all of humanity on the "right" path, Rudolf ensured he gained so much power he could run the galaxy as a complete tyrant, purging the human race of any traits he saw as undesirable, promoting those that matched his own close-minded views and wracking up a death toll in the billions in the process.
- Awesomeness by Analysis: Applied in an Evil Genius-like way though it may have been Rudolf was known for his debating abilities and when he caught even superior officers for betraying one of what he called the "four vices" of humanity, was noted for having unassailable logic that caused all of his opponents to fold.
- The Chessmaster: Monstrous man and horrific bigot that he may have been, Rudolf was intelligent and knew who to make deals with and which supporters to surround himself with to gain the leverage he needed to take over the galaxy. Unfortunately blessed with foresight as well, Rudolf was able to fortify his legacy by empowering the High Noble class he created and the resources he saw they received allowed them to swiftly crush the attempted rebellion after his death.
- Culture Police: He was highly socially conservative, and many of his policies aimed at cracking down on "unhealthy" lifestyles and personal activities.
- Dramatic Irony: His "law of the jungle" speech talks about how weak people lead to society losing it's vitality. Cue 500 years later and he is accurately describing most of the high nobility. Compounding the irony, the man who most fits Rudolf's ideal in the setting's present is Reinhard von Lohengramm, who is actively working to undermine Rudolf's legacy and establish a more meritocratic regime.
- Egocentrically Religious: The only time he mentions religion it's to justify his power to implement the infamous Inferior Genes Exclusion Act and when questioned uses his authority to outright disolve the parliment.
- Final Solution: Through his diabolical Inferior Genes Exclusion Act, through his right-hand man Ernst Falstrong, oversaw those he deemed unfit to live by his own bigoted views executed, with roughly four billion dead and a drastic decline in future populations thanks to mass sterilization.
- Founder of the Kingdom: Created the Galactic Empire and its ruling Goldenbaum dynasty.
- Glorious Leader: Rose to power on promises to reform the Galactic Federation's corrupt bureaucracy. Once he had absolute power, however, he became a brutal tyrant.
- A God Am I: Rudolf believes himself a "superior human" who literally holds the divine right to decide who lives and dies, even writing actual policy to enforce his insane delusion.
- Heteronormative Crusader: Decried "homosexuality" as a "vice" of humanity and is stated to have slaughtered them out of horrific prejudice believing they corrupted his society.
- Hiding Behind Religion: While his denomination is never mentioned during his "Law of the Jungle" speech in reference to implementing the Inferior Genes Exclusion Act Rudolf makes reference to his "holy" duty to protect humanity from "inferior" persons.
- Irony: Rudolf was succeeded by his grandson through his eldest daughter, as his only son was rumored to suffer from congenital defects — a harsh blow for a ruler so committed to genetic purity through eugenics.
- Karma Houdini: He never ended up paying for any of his deeds and brutalities. The closest thing to punishment you could come up with, is that he didn't have any sons, but the throne went to his grandson anyway.
- Kill the Poor: Believed poverty was a symptom of genetic unfitness, and the unfit deserved to be weeded out through "the law of the jungle."
- Knight Templar: Adamantly despises leisure activities and lifestyles he deems unhealthy and is so ardent about weeding them out he's willing to order arrests, torture, lobotomies and even executions to ensure his vision for the world isn't corrupted.
- Large and in Charge: As one might have expected of a self-centered Social Darwinist, Rudolf himself had an impressive figure, being in good shape and standing at 6'5" and nearly 220 lbs. Tellingly, he was even nicknamed the "Steel Wall".
- Loophole Abuse: Before Rudolf von Goldenbaum, no one had ever been both President and Prime Minister of the Galactic Federation at the same time due to the sheer amount of power this would have placed in the hands of one person. However, the prohibition was only customary, not legal — hence why he was able to get away with it in the first place.
- Master Race: Rudolf is heavily implied to hold this view out of narcissistic self obsession. After determining that there were superior and inferior humans as per his judgement, he went out creating the High Nobles—revered as genetically superior people in the Goldenbaum Dynasty—who shared his characteristics for ancestry and appearence.
- Meaningful Name: A double whammy.
- He is an Adolf Hitler rip-off with "dolf" in his name.
- His last name translates to "Golden Tree" and the Empire sprouted from him.
- Narcissist: A notable facet of his bigotry. Rudolf clearly viewed himself as a genius commander and leader and the pinnacle of humanity. Even the objects of both his purges and creation of High Nobles come back to himself: he was a straight, white, Germanic, physically fit and successful in a socioeconomic sense. Anyone running contrary to this found themselves at best put into a lower caste; at worst in a forced labor camp, sterilized or outright executed without trial. Those aligning with his characteristics suddenly found themselves at the top of society, enjoying the privilege of wealth and even being allowed to torment their "lowers" as per Rudolf's design.
- A Nazi by Any Other Name: He's an autocrat with a German name committed to enforcing brutal policies in the name of genetic purity, and his rise to power explicitly mirrors that of Adolf Hitler.
- Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist: The most charitable interpretation of his actions. Rudolf believed the four vices of humanity were "alcohol, drugs, gambling and homosexuality". He clamped down on lifestyles incorporating any of these and as he gained more power ordered increasingly draconian policies, beginning a conquest to eradicate anything he personally didn't like from humanity.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: Rudolf's views of a strong race of people are those of Caucasian ethnicity with Germanic names, as the historians stated. Additionally he's stated to have "slaughtered homosexuals", believing they were a vice of humanity, had the poor and disabled killed or sterilized and can be inferred to have crafted a very sexist society as well as per his favor for male heirs ruling.
- Posthumous Character: He's been dead for five centuries by the time the series starts, but his legacy lives on to this day. Both Yang and Reinhard are explicitly compared to Rudolf: Reinhard uses Rudolf's rise to power as a model for his own but abhors the society he created, while Yang is viewed with suspicion by the political elite of the Free Planets Alliance because he's an immensely talented and popular war hero like Rudolf was.
- Predecessor Villain: Founded the Empire which Yang Wen-li fights against, and also established the system of nobility that Reinhard seeks to overthrow.
- Shadow Archetype: To both Reinhard and Yang.
- To Reinhard, as he was a military genius who used that reputation to take political power from the establishment. In Reinhard's case he took it from the high nobles. In Rudolf's he took it from the republicans. Both make sweeping reforms (Rudolf takes power away from the people, Reinhard gives that power back) and start Imperial dynasties. Yet for all of his benevolent intentions, Reinhard often sacrifices millions of lives for military glory and ego, much like Rudolf did.
- To Yang, who is also a military genius hailed as a hero by the people (who push him to attain political power), but he tries to stay as far away from becoming Rudolf as possible. Yang wants nothing to do with politics and power, even when men like Schonkopf wishes he would. Yang had the opportunity to wipe Reinhard out, but chose to stick to his republican beliefs, winning be damned. That being said, Yang's son and widow basically inherit power from him.
- The Social Darwinist: The Inferior Genes Exclusion Act goes without saying, but even before that he was reversing the Galactic Federation's social welfare policies on the grounds that they provided too much support for the "unfit."
- Villainous Legacy: Nearly every aspect of the ongoing conflict can be traced back to something Rudolf created or did. The Free Planets Alliance was founded by a band of persecuted dissidents who ultimately fled the Empire due to his tyrannical policies, and Reinhard's efforts to reform the Empire are checked at every turn by the aristocracy he set up to rule the Empire(So Reinhard systematically gets rid of them). The chief exception to this is the Terraist conspiracy, which has even deeper roots.
- Villain with Good Publicity: While he did have critics, Rudolf's popularity for keeping humanity safe during his time on the frontier lead to him winning election after election by landslides. This ironically democratic support is exactly what allowed him to become the fascist monster who would force all mankind to submit to his rule.
- Would Hit a Girl: When a mistress gave birth to his son and the boy was born with a congenital defect, he had her killed.
The Free Planets Alliance
Fleet Admiral Yang Wen-li
Originally a simple student who wanted to be a historian, Yang Wen-li eventually joined the military to pay off his debts and rose through the ranks to become a Commodore. At this point he was already known as the Hero of El Facil after his superior organizational skills helped avert a major crisis on that planet. After the Battle of Astarte, in which he saves the Alliance fleet from utter destruction at the hands of Reinhard von Lohengramm, and the capture of Iserlohn Fortress he becomes known as Miracle Yang and every battle afterwards served only to increase his fame. Unlike Reinhard he is a more subdued man who dislikes having accolades heaped upon him and would rather retire to live a comfortable life on as big a pension as he can accumulate through distinguished service. However, circumstances throw him time and time again into the war where he proves to be a greater strategist than even Reinhard.
Yang's most glaring flaw is his lack of political acumen. He makes no secret of the fact that he despises both politicians and the military, and his ever-increasing tally of successes only serves to make people in power nervous. Several attempts are made on his life, which he manages to survive but which leave him in a much more precarious position or force him to act before he's ready. Yet, for every disaster, he is able to rally his forces and lead them to an even greater victory than before. Yang Wen-li earns the respect of both his peers and his enemies as a miracle worker and a magician.
Yang Wen-li has commanded several ships in battle. The most iconic are the battleship Hyperion and the cruiser Leda II.
- 100% Adoration Rating: Yang is a true hero of the Alliance and proves this repeatedly, and was told multiple times he could get full political power if he only asked. Even the emperial admirals respect him and Reinhard considers pulling a We Can Rule Together. The only people that don't support him are the politicians, and even they have to admit the situation would get worse without him.
- 13 Is Unlucky: He commands the 13th fleet. The twist being that it's unlucky for Reinhard, not for Yang. Well, until episode 82.
- Adaptation Dye-Job: Dark blue hair in the OVA, dark gray in Neue These.
- Adaptational Personality Change: His Die Neue version severily cuts down on the Bunny-Ears Lawyer part of his personality. The result is a more serious Yang.
- Anyone Can Die: If there is a character that can illustrate this trope, it's Yang. With him dying with an entire season left to go before the series ends.
- Author Avatar: Partially. Yoshiki Tanaka is an avid fan of Chinese history. Yang is Chinese and originally wanted to be a historian.
- Badass Unintentional: He never intended to join the military, instead, he only signed up because the only way that he could afford a post-secondary education was by attending the navy academy. Even then, his first choice was the military history department, and he only took up officer training after the history department was dissolved. And in the battle in which he first made his name, he only got put into his position because his commanding officer ran away.
- Big Good: He ended up becoming one for not only the Alliance, but also Republicanism and representation government in general.
- Brilliant, but Lazy: Yang Wen-Li loves napping, drinking tea and studying history, but he constantly finds himself in situations that require his tactical and strategic insights.
- Broken Ace: The youngest, greatest and last fleet admiral of the Free Planets Alliance. Unlike Reinhard, though, Yang may have the mind for war, but not necessarily the heart for it and it takes its toll on him.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Yang's eclectic command style and quasi-anarchist political views make him an embarrassment in the upper echelons of the Alliance's political establishment, but his tactical genius makes him a valuable commander, and his popularity makes him difficult to move against overtly — which, unfortunately, only serves to make him more dangerous in their eyes.
- The Cassandra: If only if the people in charge of the Alliance government listens to Yang, then perhaps things would have turned out better for them. Namely, his prediction that an invasion of Imperial territory will be a horrible idea due to the Alliance lacking the logistics capacity to support such an endeavor, and later, that due to the debacle of the attempted invasion, the Alliance government is in danger of being overthrown by a military coup. Finally, he foresaw that instead of once again laying siege to Iserlohn, the Empire will instead invade though the Fezzan Corridor.
- The Chains of Commanding: See Drowning My Sorrows. The deaths of Fleet Admiral Bewcock and Dwight Greenhill hit him hard as well.
- Character Filibuster: Quite often Yang will launch into long, detailed lectures and rants about war, history, and politics. Justified slightly in that he actually is a historian at heart and puts a lot of thought into his opinions and writes them down in various essays. Later he begins to point out contradictions and hypocrisies in his views, and eventually bluntly admits that his beliefs are likely biased and frequently expresses doubts about having done the right thing. Doesn't stop him from filibustering, though.
- Character Tics: Please decide whether your hat looks better on your head or off it, Yang.
- Children Raise You: In some respects, Julian is more of a caretaker for Yang than the other way around.
- Combat Pragmatist: Yang doesn't really care about little things like honor or conventional strategy as much as ending things decisively with the least amount of people dead.
- He was once asked about the best path to win a battle. His answer: get a numerical superiority of six-to-one and make sure your forces are fully equipped and the commander's orders are clear.
- Deconstructed Character Archetype:
- Of A Father to His Men and Martial Pacifist. In a less cynical universe, Yang's devotion towards the ideals of democracy, his humanitarian tendencies, and the way that he cares deeply about the wellbeing of those under under his command will make him the best example of an Officer and a Gentleman, the Ideal Hero in a Military Science Fiction. However, his refusal to make moral compromises even in the face of incompetent political leadership resulted in him losing the war and the destruction of the Alliance. Also, his humanitarian tendencies means that every casualty on both sides at the end of every battle weighs heavily on him, resulting him having to resort to become an alcoholic just to deal with the sheer amount of emotional stress and guilt.
- Interestingly for a skilled military commander with a Chinese name and an interest in history, this serves to illustrate Sun Tzu's ideas of a perfect general, showing what happens when an otherwise exceptional general lacks the will to disobey his leaders, even in pursuit of what is arguably the best interests of the Alliance.
- He is also a deconstruction of the Brilliant, but Lazy and Humble Hero tropes. Yang shows no political ambitions whatsoever. While he enjoys 100% Adoration Rating from both the Alliance's civilian population and those serving under his command due to his legendary tactical genius, he never actually uses it to his advantage even when it is clear to everyone that he will make a much better political leader than those currently in power. And at the end of the day, all he really wants from life is to be able to retire with a large pension and live out the rest of his days writing political treatise while reading history books all day in peace. However, his unintentional status as both a symbol of the democratic ideals and as a war hero who has never been defeated in battle means that those in the position of power will simply never leave him alone, as he is just too much of a threat as long as he is alive.
- Deuteragonist: The second-most important person the show revolves around. Yang is immensely prominent, but slightly less so than Reinhard, whose ambitions also happen to shape the story. The fact that Reinhard makes it to the end of the series probably helps too.
- Dirty Business: As a pacifist at heart, Yang is never shown to be excited or happy about his tactics actually working, since he understands that every victory means that thousands of lives are lost on the other side.
- Distressed Dude: He keeps getting imprisoned by his own government, to the consternation of the subordinates who have to save him.
- The Dreaded: The Imperial admirals always believe he is up to some trick, which often leads to them being unusually timid. Notably he is the only admiral that Kircheis feared. He told Reinhard that Yang possessed an air of singular prudence. He was 100% correct.
- Drowning My Sorrows: While his drinking is usually played for laughs, it becomes clear as the series goes on that he drinks so much to cope with the incredible stress his responsibilities put him under. The deaths of the people under him weighs on him heavily.
- Dying Alone: Bleeds out while fleeing from Terraist assassins and looking for aid. Julian finds his body just moments too late.
- Famed in Story: Enemies and allies alike attribute Yang with almost godlike abilities. He really is brilliant, but his subordinates are almost never mentioned. His reliance on their talents to pull of his schemes is just as important to their success as his own ability to think outside the box.
- Fatal Flaw:
Chen: "Yang Wen-li has many shortcomings, but he has one virtue that no one can possibly criticize. That is, he honestly believes in the principle that a democracys military exists solely for the purpose of protecting the lives of its citizens, and that he has acted upon that principle on more than one occasion."Bewcock: "If Yang were to ever be defeated, it wouldnt be by the great genius of Kaiser Reinhard. Itll be by his adherence to his own ideals."
- Yang is a strong advocate in Republicanism, and simply refuses to violate its democratic principles by either setting himself up as the military dictator for the Alliance, or disobeying a direct order from its majority-elected officals. He is also a pacifist at heart, and always seeks to minimize casualties on both sides whenever possible. This ends up costing him the entire war.
- This exchange about Yang between Trung Yu Chen and Alexandre Bewcock sums it up perfectly:
- In a chillingly literal example, his lack of skill in personal combat ends up getting him killed.
- The Fettered: He is a firm believer in the democratic political system and the republican form of government. This conviction ended up costing him the war at the end.
- Four Is Death: His birthday is April 4th. Naturally, he does not survive the series.
- Functional Addict: Although we never see him drunk, Yang drinks a little bit just about all the time. It's to the point that people who live with him express their concern about it, and it's mentioned that his consumption is on the rise.
- Good Is Not Soft: While he is perhaps one of the most morally upstanding and easy-going characters on the show, he is still a navy admiral. And each battle that he fights in routinely results in the death of tens of thousands of casualties on both sides. The very first thing we see him do as an officer, is to advise his superior to abandon a losing fleet.
- Guile Hero: Most of Yang's victories come through subterfuge, trickery, and a dash of lateral thinking that exploits loopholes in standard military doctrine. He's so good at it that people call him "Yang the Magician."
- Happily Married: With Frederica, even if it only lasted a short while.
- Heroic Self-Deprecation: As a pacifist at heart, he deeply resents the fact that by doing his job he is both sending and costing thousands of man to die every battle. As a result, the reason why he didn't originally pursue a relationship with Frederica was because he believes that he doesn't deserve family happiness after creating so much widows and orphans throughout his career.
- Heroic Neutral: Yang is devoted to the underlying ideals of democracy and individual freedom, but he gives absolutely zero fucks about government. When the nation he serves ceases to be his benefactor, he's quick to abandon it.
- Honor Before Reason: When he was order to stand down and seize all hostilities by the Alliance government during the Battle of Vermilion, he obeyed it since as a soldier, he must respect the orders of the country's democratically elected leaders... While he was literally SECONDS away from destroying Reinhard's flagship, ending the war in a total Alliance victory.
- Humble Hero: He doesn't like taking credit for his victories, and generally doesn't care much for the titles given to him by others.
- Inspirational Martyr: He ended up becoming one. The Iserlohn Republic is basically founded in his name. His widow becomes the political leader, while his adopted son leads the military.
- Living Legend: Earns the nickname "Yang the Magician" because he seems to be able to pull plans for victorious battles in the face of nigh-impossible odds out of his hat. Like most other aspects of his reputation, he's rather uncomfortable with it because he thinks he really doesn't deserve that much credit for it.
- Meaningful Name: One of his two flagships is called "Ulysses", the Latin version of Odysseus. Odysseus came up with the plan of the Trojan Horse, which lead to the sacking of Troy. Yang is the one who ends up capturing the supposedly impregnable Iserlohn Fortress.....twice.
- Messy Hair: A hint as to his generally lax attitude towards anything not involving either studying history or ensuring his men's safety.
- Military Maverick: It may come as a surprise to some that he almost failed his training at the military academy, as he had generally low marks in most courses not involving military history or strategic theory. As a commander, his command style is very informal and idiosyncratic, to the point that Yang Fleet sometimes feels more like a big extended family or a fraternity house than a military unit.
- Mirror Character: Like Reinhard, Yang's talents lie in warfare, command and having a keen eye for scouting talent in others (Reinhard with the young commanding officers turned admirals, Yang with the Rosenritter), but both also ended up with women who are far better at the political game than they are and both had widows and sons who basically inherited poltical and military power from them.
- Nice Guy: Polite, generally soft-spoken, cares deeply for the man under his command, and has a strong moral backbone.
- Nerves of Steel: Yang may be troubled by many things, but very little actually fazes him.
- Non-Action Guy: He is not much for combat, but put him in a command seat and he will send Imperial admirals running.
- No Badass to His Valet: The soldiers he surrounds himself with respect him greatly, but they will also bust his balls, though in a friendly way. This goes double for his ward Julian, whose admiration for Yang the Magician is tempered a little by having to deal with Yang the Lazy Slob on a daily basis.
- No Historical Figures Were Harmed: He shares similarities with belizarius and Cincinnatus, but his biggest influence is easily the Korean admiral Yi Sun-sin. Yi was an admiral who went undefeated throughout his life and believed in serving his country, rather than taking power for himself and was continuously hamstrung by his political superiors, leading to countless problems.
- Not a Morning Person: Requires Julian to wake him up every single morning.
- Not So Similar: For all their similar traits on the surface, there is one key difference in their attitudes: Reinhard relishes combat and leaps at the chance to gain glory, while Yang abhors war and fights mainly with the hope of bringing a quick end to the war so that he and those under his command can go home in peace.
- Obstructive Bureaucrat: A frequent victim of this, often preventing him from seizing a great victory and, in one occasion, destroying Reinhard's flagship with him on it.
- Omniscient Hero: Deconstructed in that being fully aware of all possible consequences of his actions just makes him incredibly indecisive when it comes to taking initiative.
- Only in It for the Money: He often says that the main reason he fights is to secure his livelihood after retirement. How much of this is true is up to debate.
- Order Versus Chaos: Yang is chaos to Reinhard's order. In that he not only supports republican democracy and believes in the ideals of personal freedom, but was also at one point accused of having anarchist tendencies when he expressed the view that while people require societies in order to live, they do not require nations to govern them.
- The Philosopher: He often writes and monologs about the nature of war, government, and politics when with those that he trust in private. He even waxes poetic about alcohol at one point, in part to justify his own drinking habits.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gives one to the Alliance Inquiry committee. It almost ends with his resignation — but before it comes to that, the committee cancels the hearing because the Empire is invading again, meaning they need his talents once again.
- Reluctant Ruler: He's not particularly fond of being a leader and it's not until several episodes later that he begins begrudgingly entertaining the notion of leading the Alliance remnants against the Empire. However, he's assassinated before anything comes of it.
- Reluctant Warrior: He never meant to become a career soldier in the first place — the FPA military academy was just the cheapest way to get an education. He expounds at length about how he believes that war is a Dirty Business, and every death, whether of an ally or enemy, weighs on his conscience heavily.
- Replacement Goldfish: In a roundabout way, he becomes this to Reinhard after Kircheis' death. Reinhard, at this point the Empire's incumbent prime minister, reflects on his friend's grave that the place he held in his heart will only be filled by a great friend or a great enemy.
- Ship Tease: With Jessica, before she died.
- The Slacker: Off the clock, he's notoriously lazy, to the point that he can barely last a few days without Julian around before his quarters start looking like a college fratboy's dorm. At one point, he says that if he weren't in the military, he'd spend all day reading history and drinking tea.
- Smart People Play Chess: Subverted — despite his genius on the battlefield, Yang actually seems to suck a little at the game. This may be because he can't "break the rules" on the chessboard the way he can in real life.
- The Strategist: A brilliant military strategist capable of achieving victory after victory in the face of seemingly long odds.
- 10-Minute Retirement: He tried to retire and live a peaceful life with Frederica. It lasted less than three months before he was forced into action again.
- The Trickster: Most of Yang's plans work by identifying and exploiting psychological blind spots in his opponent's thinking to keep them off-balance. He's also an unabashed anarchist and political iconoclast, which lands him in hot water with his own government more than once.
- Worthy Opponent: Reinhard calls him this to his face. When he dies, Reihnhard's admirals pay tribute to him. It's notable that when Müller pays respect to the fallen admiral, he does not salute him, but he bows. The only other person he bows to is Reinhard himself.
- Xanatos Speed Chess: Plays the military version of this frequently.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: It's not always easy to see, but his hair is dark blue, not black.
Sub-Lieutenant Julian Mintz
Julian was an orphan who was introduced to Yang Wen-li by his old friend Alex Caselnes. Yang adopted Julian as his ward and ensured that he got as good an upbringing and education as he could provide. From very early on, Julian felt that he was indebted to Yang in ways that he could not repay and became a soldier in order to make himself useful, despite his guardian's wishes. Eventually, Yang came to accept that Julian had become something he never wanted for the boy but still strived to end the fighting as quickly as possible. Julian studied everything he could learn about strategy, fighting, and leadership, becoming a popular mascot for the garrison at Iserlohn but eventually he proved himself to be every bit as capable as his teachers, uncovering plots by the Earth Cult and anticipating even Reinhard von Lohengramm's strategies. He was eventually chosen to succeed Yang Wen-li as the military leader of the Iserlohn garrison.
- Adorably Precocious Child: His role at the start of the series.
- An Axe to Grind: When he fights alongside the Rosen Ritter he wields the trademark battle-axe.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Give Julian an axe and a reason to hold a grudge, and you'll see what this means.
- The Caretaker: Of Yang, ironically enough.
- The Confidant: The person Yang confides in the most. Later on he shares this spot with Frederica.
- Character Development: His maturity beyond his age increasingly becomes very apparent as time passes.
- Chef of Iron: His skill in the kitchen is at least as formidable as that on the battlefield.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: In a sense, he goes from a young schoolboy learning about the world to one of the most talented and lethal characters in the series.
- Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death!: A democratic republican should never kneel to an autocratic ruler !
- Good Is Not Nice: Despite his unfailing politeness and often sweet exterior, Julian is also shown to be extremely insecure, and he can be surprisingly uptight, cynical, and mean. Also, while he's quick to extend mercy to those who ask for it, he feels absolutely no guilt about killing his enemies in battle.
- Happily Adopted: You would be too, if your father figure was Yang Wen-li.
- Heroes Want Redheads: Leads Iserlohn's military during the final season and he ends up dating Katerose.
- Kindhearted Cat Lover: He has a cat that he brought with him when he first went to live with Yang.
- Neat Freak: The first thing that he did upon moving into Yang's house was to tidy up the entire place. In his defence, that house was a dumpster.
- Parental Abandonment: Mintz is a war orphan who ended up as Yang's ward.
- Plucky Middie: After he enlists in the Alliance military, he proves to be both resourceful and audacious.
- Post-Victory Collapse: Promptly passes out after fighting his way to get a personal audience with Reinhard.
- Punny Name: A subtle and possibly coincidental example. Julian's surname (Mintz/Minci) combined with his military rank (Lieutenant, or Chui) form "Mintzu chui", which sounds fairly similar to the Japanese words for democracy, or "Minshu shugi"(民主主義). Since he pledges to continue fighting for democracy and against autocratic rule at the end of the series, the pun works whether it was intended or not.
- Underestimating Badassery: Due his young age, many didn't take him seriously. But, as Rubinsky pointed out, Reinhard had already made a name for himself at the same age Julian was appointed to serve of Fezzan.
- Unstoppable Rage: Flies into one of these after Yang is assassinated.
- Warrior Prince: Sure, he is not actually a noble, but the primary reason he was made commander-in-chief of the Iserlohn Republic was because his adopted father was its previous supreme commander. He is not a prince in name, but he is one in practice.
- Wise Beyond Their Years: Even as a boy in Yang's care, he rather precociously takes control of the household's management. His subsequent military career under Yang's wing allows him to hone his talents to nearly equal Yang's own.
- You Are in Command Now: Julian is given full military authority in Iserlohn after Yang's death. Partially subverted in that, while he does have ultimate say in military matters, his main purpose is to be a figurehead under the guidance of the few who elected him.
Lieutenant Commander Frederica Greenhill
After personally witnessing Yang's pivotal role in the Miracle of El Facil, Greenhill was inspired to follow her father's footsteps and join the military. She graduated as the Salutatorian of her class and was assigned to Information Analysis before Cazelnes transferred her to the 13th Fleet as Yang's adjutant, much to her delight.
- Ascended Fanboy: Fangirl technically, but exact same principle. She joined the military due to witnessing Yang's role in the Miracle of El Facil. Working close to Yang and eventually marrying him is obviously a dream come true.
- Break the Cutie: By having her father and eventually, her superior officer/husband die ignoble deaths.
- Broken Pedestal: Her father, upon betraying the democratic principles that the Alliance was founded upon by staging a military coup.
- The Confidant: Serves as Yang's most trusted advisor when Julian is not around.
- Conveniently Timed Attack from Behind; How she managed to save Yang from being executed when he was in prison, with literally seconds to spare.
- Daddy's Girl: Was very close to her father and was hit hard emotionally when he staged a military coup and ended up dying as a result.
- Determined Widow: After Yang's death, she became the head of the government council for the self-proclaimed Iserlohn Republic.
- Happily Married: With Yang, even though it only lasted for a short time before he was killed.
- Hyper-Competent Sidekick: As noted by Yang, he needs her around to do all the paper work and operate the machinery for him. She's also a crack shot, unlike the rather un-martial Yang.
- Knight in Sour Armor: She eventually became the political representative for the Iserlohn Republic, the last bastion of democracy left in the galaxy. But she admits that if given the choice, she would rather preferred if democracy had died instead of Yang.
- Last Girl Wins: Counting the prequels, she is the last significant female character Yang meets and they end up marrying.
- One-Note Cook: Sandwiches, when she asked Yang about her cooking, her sandwiches was the only dish he could think of that he actually liked.
- Photographic Memory: Reportedly has one.
- Single Woman Seeks Good Man: She is drawn to Yang's nobility and is not fond of soldiers who only care about glory. When Yang surrenders to the Empire in the name of guarding Republicanism and the will of the people, Frederica makes it known that she is more in love with him than ever.
- Silk Hiding Steel: She served in the navy in a non-combat role as the 13th Fleet's adjutant, and later, tried to settle down with Yang as a peaceful housewife. However, as demonstrated by the raid of the Alliance prison to save Yang from execution, she is more than capable and willing to kill in order to save the lives of those that she cares about.
- In episode 6 of the 2018 series, the so-far demure, attractive and bubbly Frederica easily takes down a Rosenritter grunt who was hitting on her instead of showing the proper respect to her Admiral.
- The Call Knows Where You Live: She tried to peacefully settle down the Yang as a housewife after the defeat of the Alliance. However, the Imperial Imperial Consul viewed Yang as too much of a threat and had him arrested, with the intention of killing him. Forcing her to abandon her peaceful life and join the resistance.
- The Squadette: There are other female Alliance soldiers, but until Katerose comes up, Frederica is the only notable female one.
- Through His Stomach: She first met Yang when she was only 14 years old, and offered him a cup of coffee. And throughout the war she is often seen bringing his meals to him. They eventually get married at the end of the first war.
- Violently Protective Girlfriend: Her response to the Alliance arresting Yang from their home was to abandon her life as a retired happy housewife and launch an armed raid of the prision where he was held.
- You Are in Command Now: After Yang's death, Frederica becomes the de facto public face of Iserlohn's resistance.
Vice Admiral Alexander Cazelnes
One of Yang's closest friends, Cazelnes is a staff and logistics officer (which gives him more power than one might expect at first glance). A family man through and through, he is frequently trying to get Yang settled down.
- Big Brother Mentor: His relationship to Yang strongly resembles that of a caring, older brother.
- Desk Jockey: His skills in logistics management are highly valued by Yang, who invited him to manage the day-to-day operations of Iserlohn Fortress after its capture.
- Happily Married: He and his wife Hortense are very happy with each other.
- Nerves of Steel: His wife even lampshades it.
- Non-Action Snarker: Is not a combat commander (usually), but he can snark with the best of them.
- The Scapegoat: He's one of these after the disastrous Battle of Amritsar.
- Shipper on Deck: He's implied to be one, playing an active role in introducing Frederica to Yang.
- And platonically shipped Julian with Yang, basically forcing the kid on him without consulting him first.
- For quite a while, he and Yang both tried to do this for Julian and the Cazelnes' elder daughter, Charlotte (in an Arranged Marriage sort of way, since Charlotte is a child throughout the series, and Julian was a minor too initially). This tapers off, though, after Karin arrives on the scene.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Yang. He rips into Yang frequently, but it's always in good fun.
Vice Admiral Dusty Attenborough
Attenborough knew Yang Wen-li since their days in the Officer Cadet School, though they were each assigned to different fleets. Not much is known about his background but he rose quickly through the ranks and was promoted to a flag officer at an even younger age than Yang, and goes on to become the youngest admiral in Alliance history. He is a romantic at heart, casting his lot with Yang and his group out of foppery and whim, as he calls it, but this does not dull his edge in battle. Attenborough keeps a book of memoirs that he hopes to publish after the war is over.
- Cannot Keep a Secret: It doesn't take long for him to reveal the identity of Schönkopf's daughter to the rest of the cast.
- Christmas Cake: A rare male version: He gets a lot of flack from Poplin over turning 30.
- Defensive Feint Trap: Does this so often it basically becomes his signature tactic. Justified in that he's almost always gravely outnumbered.
- It Amused Me: A rare heroic version. He follows Yang into revolt out of "foppery and whim," and his favorite words in the universe are "So what?", which he claims to be a universal Armor-Piercing Question.
- Overshadowed by Awesome: He is an absolutely brilliant admiral who could go toe-to-toe with any of the Imperial admirals......but his boss is the most brilliant military mind in the entire series, so it's easy to forget.
- Rebellious Spirit: In Spiral Labyrinth, he expressed dislike for military regulations and being commanded by incompetent superiors, which he kind of inherited from his journalist father.
- Replacement Goldfish: For Poplin, after Konev's death.
- Those Two Guys: He and Poplin account for about 80% of the comic relief on Alliance-focused episodes.
Vice Admiral Walter von Schönkopf
An expatriate who defected from the Empire along with his family, Schönkopf served in the Alliance army as the commander of a unit of elite close combat specialists known as the Knights of the Rose or the Rosenritter. He first gained Yang Wen-li's attention when he and a group of his subordinates publically disciplined an officer for misconduct towards civilians and they were eventually instrumental in taking key points and installations from the Empire. With Schönkopf at their head, they have carved out such a bloody reputation that most soldiers on either side shuddered at the prospect of having to face them in combat. As one of Yang's most loyal subordinates, he had always believed that Yang should take power by force and set himself up as a benevolent governor, a course of action that Yang consistently opposed. In the past, Schönkopf had a reputation as a womanizer and fathered at least one illegitimate child.
- A Good Way to Die: He dies with a warm smile, after serving with honor under Yang, helping Julian reach Reinhard, taking an axe to the back, killing several Imperial soldiers and remembering Katerose's mother.
- An Axe to Grind: Hand-to-hand combat in the universe is usually fought with axes, and Schönkopf excels at hand-to-hand combat.
- Badass Baritone: The English dub of his Die Neue These version has a deep voice bordering on Basso Profundo, courtesy of Christopher Sabat.
- Badass Crew: He's the leader of the Rosenritter, one of the deadliest and most audacious units of Space Marines in existence.
- Blood Knight: He enjoys a good fight, but he doesn't glorify soldiers "dying for the cause" like the Imperials do.
- Defector from Decadence: How he, the Rosenritter and the other Imperial exiles view themselves in general.
- The Dreaded: Schönkopf is notorious amongst both armies as one of the most badass and dangerous people you could face on the battlefield. He's even been ambushed by enemy troops, only for them to turn tail and run away when they realize just WHO they just ambushed.
- Ethical Slut: He thinks he is. His illegitimate daughter disagrees.
- Face Death with Dignity: After being fatally injured during the boarding of the Brunhild, he calmly sits down and dies after finally remembering the name of Katerose's mother.
- Foil: As a noble-born, charismatic, Blood Knight ladies man who has a romantic view of war, inspires great loyalty, father's an illegitimate child and is himself loyal to a man rather than an ideology or even a nation, he is essentially what Reuenthal would be if Reuenthal got himself lots and lots of therapy.
- Four-Star Badass: Fights on the front lines right alongside his men. He's rather good at it.
- Frontline General: As much as possible, he leads his men into battle from the front and often engages in close-quarters combat.
- Hidden Depths: He's shown to be rather quick to grasp political machinations. Not to mention his own resentment of the Alliance's double standards.
- Honor Before Reason: After a fashion. He clearly resents the Alliance's farce of a democracy. But he and his fellow exiles would rather have that than go back to the Empire.
- Lady Macbeth: When the FPA high council is deposed by a military coup d'état, he encourages Yang to sit back and let the usurpers liquidate the old regime's corrupt politicians before rushing in to save the day. Yang declines and tells Schönkopf not to share such dangerous ideas with anyone else, but one's left with the impression that Yang's aversion is rooted more in his personal ethics than any actual criticism of the ploy.
- Mystical 108: The episode he dies in. 108 is symbolic for the amount of temptations a person faces and Schönkopf (an Ethical Slut), naturally died thinking about a woman, Katerose's mother in fact.
- Not in This for Your Revolution: He claims not to care about the Free Planets Alliance and has no strong feelings on its core values; in fact, some of his counsel goes against them. It's his personal loyalty to Yang, whom Schönkopf believes is destined for greatness, that keeps him around.
- Poisonous Friend: Schönkopf is personally loyal to Yang, but he's also one of the most strident advocates of ignoring or defying the Alliance's civilian leadership when their orders seem short-sighted or politically motivated, something Yang himself is very reluctant to do.
- Pragmatic Hero: Loyal and brave, but amoral and ruthless, and not above using the Empire's sort of tactics.
- Purple Prose: Often has one of the more flowery styles of speech.
- Rated M for Manly: By his own account, he's killed hundreds of men with his bare hands and bedded nearly as many women, and he takes pride in both accomplishments. He might be exaggerating, but from what we see, it's probably not by much.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gives one of these to João Rebelo just before taking him into custody, when Rebelo constantly made excuses for his plans to execute Yang.
- Secret Test of Character: His tendency to encourage if not outright challenge Yang to take the reins of power himself can be interpreted as this.
- Space Marine: What his Rosenritter basically amount to. Both the Alliance and Empire have armoured grenadiers, but the Rosenritter take the cake. They're the elite ground troops in the Alliance navy and charged with among other things infiltration, fortress defense and siege warfare. They are portrayed as by far the best ground troops in the entire series.
Fleet Admiral Sidney Sithole
The former headmaster of the Free Planets Alliance Officer Academy, Sithole was the Joint Operations Headquarters Chief and saw Yang's potential early on. He appointed Yang as the fleet commander in an operation to take Iserlohn Fortress, which was an amazing success. After the devastating loss at The Battle of Amritsar, Sithole took full responsibility and retired from the military, though not before reminding Yang how important he was to the future of The Alliance.
- Badass Bureaucrat: His job as Joint Operations Headquarters Chief. He appoints commanders for operations, keeps the brass off the soldiers' backs and makes sure that proper procedures are being followed. Problem is that he has to share control of the military with Lobos and foolish politicians task him with an impossible goal to bolster their falling poll numbers.
- Cool Old Guy: Similar to Bewcock, he is a stern, but caring mentor to Yang and guys like Attenborough and Cazellnes like him too.
- Foil: A clear one to the other Fleet Admiral, Lassalle Lobos. Sithole was a reasonable, hard-working, wise man, whereas Lobos was equal parts idiot and jerk. Lobbos couldn't be bothered to be aware of how much his soldiers suffered due to an atrocious operational plan, that seemingly every admiral not named Lobbos saw was utter trash. The result was the disastrous Battle of Amritsar and both Sithole and Lobos retiring. The latter was good for the military, as Bewcock took his place, but losing Sithole caused further problems for the armed forces.
- The Mentor: Even moreso than Bewcock. Not only did he actually teach at Officer school, but he often reminds Yang of the dangers of having people like Falke becoming more powerful, Yang not being aware of his importance to the Alliance and taking responsibility not just for Yang himself but all the people who wish to follow him. Indeed, Yang took command of the 13th fleet and Iserlohn fortress later on, because of Sithole.
- My Greatest Failure: In his own words.Sithole: I passed on to other people the responsibilies that I should have held and I became a spectator. Because of that, many who took on those responsibilities died. I regret it deeply. This time I around, I will not run away from my responsibilities.
- Scary Black Man: He's actually a pretty cool guy, but he can be intimidating and commanding, as fits his positions.
- Small Role, Big Impact: He doesn't appear much throughout the series, but Sithole is the man who constantly reminded Yang why he was important to the Alliance and if it weren't for him, Yang would have retired from the Alliance navy much earlier than expected, which would have been a nightmare for the military. Things also start going to hell for the Alliance after he retires, for multiple reasons.
Fleet Admiral Lassalle Lobos
- Fat Bastard: His overweight feature, massive ego, and general lack of military acumen tend to emphasize this trope.
- Foil: Compared to Sithole's competant and hardworking nature, Lobos' incompetance and uncaring nature along with his strings of military failure tend to put the two as stark contrast.
- General Failure: His three notable credentials are Sixth Invasion of Iserlohn, Fourth Battle of Tiamat, and the Invasion into Empire; all of which were not only failures but also had examples of his poor conduct. To add to that, he places a glory-seeking nutjob like Willem Holland in charge of the overall battle plan for the Third Battle of Tiamat and it leads to yet another defeat.
- Insane Admiral: He does many stupid things, but his approach to the invasion into the Galactic Empire (an expedition encompassing 30,000,000 Alliance troops) takes the cake. He has a delusional nutjob of a commodore formulate a plan that doesn't take supply lines into consideration and is so vague that every admiral in the room (not named Lobos) is baffled at its stupidity. He ignores the warnings of Cazelnes that he can't account for logistics of such a vast expedition and Yang's warnings not to underestimate Reinhard (who at that point has already murdered multiple Alliance Admirals). When the invasion fleets are running low on supplies, he tells Cazelnes to ask Heinessen for new supplies. That supply fleet gets destroyed by Kircheis. Does Lobos tell the fleets to retreat to Iserlohn? Nope. Reinhard sends in his admirals to rain all kinds of hell on the Invasion fleets. Of the 8 fleets, 3 are completely wiped out, 1 loses 70%, another 50% (also losing their top admirals in the process)and 2 more lose 30%, with only Yang's fleet being mostly unscathed. At this point you'd think this idiot would pull them back to Iserlohn. No, he tells these battered and depleted fleets to head for Amritsar for a decisive battle. Another fleet is destroyed and only Yang and Bewcock end up coming home in one piece. All in all the Alliance loses a monstrous 20,000,000 soldiers, for a gross loss of 70%. The result is that the balance of the war shifts heavily to the imperial side, especially after Reinhard seizes power.
- The Neidermeyer: Out of all commanders in Free Planets Alliance, he is by far the most callous towards his subordinating soldiers. This makes it much of a problem due to his constant military blunders.
- The Peter Principle: Implied to be a victim of this. Before reaching his current post, he was considered unimaginative, yet competent enough; as commander of the Alliance's Space Fleet, he's clearly out of his depth.
- Took a Level in Dumbass: He used to be a competant officer until he reached his forties.
Commodore Andrew Falk
- Ambiguous Disorder: Suffering from temporary blindness thanks to hysteria when faced with failure is something that most likely would have barred him from military service had it been known beforehand.
- Armchair Military: Loves giving impossible orders from the safety of Iserlohn fortress, but as soon as Admiral Bewcock dares him to come to the front lines, he folds faster than a cheap suit.
- Glory Hound: More than most since he jumps the Chain of Command and tried to launch a plan to invade the Empire despite being a Commodore, an officer that is not part of the top brass.
- Hate Sink: Next to Lobos himself, probably the most hated character in the Free Planets Alliance. He violates military regulation to propose a plan that most talented officers saw was poorly thought out. When the Alliance fails, he attacks said officers, despite seeing how his plan fell apart. And after the Alliance falls, he blames Yang Wen-li for the fall of the Alliance and tries to kill him for it, only to get killed by the Terraists who used him.
- Karmic Death: Gets killed by officers of his country and the Terraists who used him.
- The Neidermeyer: The guy lives by this trope.
- Never My Fault: Attacks his superior officers, blaming them for the failed invasion, including Yang Wen-li though he was manipulated by the Terraists at the time. And this is despite seeing himself that the whole mess was due to his lack of oversight.
- Sanity Slippage: His sanity takes a nosedive the moment he suffers from temporary blindness.
- Small Name, Big Ego: He likes to prance around as if he's the greatest strategist the Alliance has ever seen, but he's merely a Commodore that's only good at talking without substance, and whose plan only got implemented because Fleet Admiral Lobos was dumb enough to believe it would work.
Admiral Dwight Greenhill
The chief of staff for Space Fleet commander Lassalle Lobos. Greenhill was something of a father-figure to Yang and the actual father to Frederica Greenhill. A caring and capable officer, he nonetheless led a military coup that subjugated Heinesen under martial law.
- Broken Pedestal: Becomes this for Yang and Frederica when they learn that he's sided with the military junta in their coup attempt, as it's a betrayal of the democratic ideals he supposedly fights for.
- Gone Horribly Wrong: After his coup fails and he's killed, the corrupt politicians like Trunicht and his cronies end up gaining free reign thanks to the distrust of the public towards the military, and that helps precipitate the fall of the Alliance. It also leads to the loss of yet another fleet, so the Alliance military is in worse shape than ever.
- The Paragon Always Rebels: When he rebelled, he was one of the 5 highest ranking officers in the Alliance (the others being Bewcock, Yang, Kyubersly and Dawson), with a splendid reputation for both his military service and character. Naturally, nobody expected him to lead millions of soldiers in revolt.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: He's one of the few in the higher echelons of command to recognize Yang's talents early on, as well as the fact that the civilian leaders of the Free Planets Alliance care more about scoring political points than securing the long-term interests of the Alliance as a whole. Unfortunately, that last one leads him to make some compromising decisions.
- Token Good Teammate: Publicly, Greenhill's reputation lends the junta some much-needed credibility. Privately, he has doubts about the motives of some of the other members and mostly joined the coup so that he could use his clout to serve as a moderating influence. When he learns that the coup was orchestrated with Reinhard's backing to keep the Alliance from interfering in the Empire's own civil war, he's shocked and horrified that Arthur Lynch would stoop to such treasonous collaboration.
- Unwitting Pawn: Manipulated by Lynch with the backing of Reinhard to put the Alliance in conflict so they couldn't take advantage of their own civil war. He's horrified when he realizes the truth.
A cowardly former Rear Admiral of the Free Planets Alliance, Arthur Lynch faced capture at the hands of Imperial forces and hatred from his Alliance allies after he abandoned his position at El Facil years ago. Now given new drive by Reinhard von Lohengramm, Lynch seeks to bring about as much chaos within the Alliance as possible.
- The Alcoholic: Drowns his self-pity in alcohol, being seen almost always with a bottle by his side.
- Dirty Coward: For as much as he may hate being seen as one, Lynch is most remembered by the Alliance for his cowardly actions during the Battle of El Facil, in which he abandoned millions of innocent civilians, including his own troops, to die so as to save himself. He does eventually accept his status as a self-serving coward, and causes even more problems for the Alliance.
- Manipulative Bastard: Expertly put Reinhard's coup scheme into action, manipulating Dwight Greenhill and the NSMC into pulling a hostile takeover of Heinessen and other Alliance worlds, all while making them believe it was their own idea.
- The Man Behind the Man: Is this, to a point, in regards to the NSMC. Though he holds no official position of power in the organization, he's an outside advisor who pulls their strings into kick-starting their violent coup.
- The Mole: Accepts freedom from Imperial internment in exchange for serving as a double agent inside the Alliance, something Lynch is all too eager to do out of spite.
- Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist: Pushes the noble Dwight Greenhill into enacting a plan to usurp the vile ruling council of the Alliance. Lynch however care for no purpose save disgracing other officers and only intends to stir up conflict as part of Reinhard's plan.
- Small Role, Big Impact: Lynch only appears properly in three episodes, and spends much of his time in those episodes out of focus. Despite this, he was not only indirectly the reason Yang Wen-li became a war hero when the latter had to save millions after Lynch abandoned them, but he also is the true mastermind behind the NSMC's revolution and takeover of Heinessen.
High Admiral Willibald Joachim von Merkatz
Originally an Admiral in the Empire, Merkatz was one of the few major commanders who sided with the high nobles during the Lippstadt Rebellion. He was appointed supreme commander of their combined fleets by Duke Braunschweig but was repeatedly marginalised by the constant demands and disunity among the rebels. Eventually his advice was ignored completely and the rebellion was put down. Merkatz himself escaped and defected to the Free Planets Alliance where he placed himself under the command of Yang Wen-li and continued to fight in the wars that followed. In the aftermath of the war between the Empire and the Alliance, he was charged with putting together a clandestine fleet and waging a guerrilla war against the occupying forces.
Merkatz enjoyed a certain comradeship with Adalbert von Fahrenheit, but they eventually found themselves on different sides of the war.
- A Good Way to Die: He fought under the Yang's banner for years with pride and dies fighting against Reinhard von Lohengramm's fleet. With a smile he asks his aide, Bernard Schneider, not to bring him back, as this is a great way to go.
- Almighty Janitor: It's mentioned multiple times that Merkatz should have been an Imperial Fleet Admiral by the start of the series, but his unadaptable character held him back.
- Antagonist in Mourning: He mourns Fahrenheit's death, even though they're on opposing sides.
- Authority in Name Only: When he became Supreme Commander for the Lippstadt League. Partially due to egos of the nobles, but also because Merkatz refused to argue with them.
- Cool Old Guy: One of the few members of the old Imperial admiralty that almost everyone respects due to his skills and moral character. He also looks a little like Charles Bronson.
- Defector from Decadence: Defects to the Alliance in the aftermath of the Lippstadt Rebellion and helps form the military core of an Imperial government-in-exile opposed to Reinhard's New Empire.
- Fatal Flaw: The man is a textbook, rock-solid commander and can send guys like Reuenthal and Mittermeyer running, but at the same time he is unadaptable and sometimes quite predictable. The result is that Eisenach correctly calculates his moves and delivers a killing blow to Merkatz.
- Ignored Expert: In the Lippstadt League: he was the only commander who had any chance against the likes of Reinhard and Kircheis and could have given them a run for their money, but the nobles constantly ignored his orders and plans and went out on their own to get killed.
- We Have Your Daughter: How Duke Braunschwieg got him to join the Lippstadt League in the first place.
- Interrupted Suicide: Considers taking his own life after the failure of the Lippstadt Rebellion, but his aide Schneider manages to talk him out of it.
- Noble Bigot: Downplayed, but Merkatz admits to himself (just before the outbreak of the civil war) that he never gave much thought to the suffering of the lower ranking soldiers or the commoners under the rule of the corrupt high nobility. Later on he also wants the restoration of the Goldenbaum dynasty, knowing fully well that this would strip away the rights that the common people acquired under Reinhard's enlightened rule.
- Number Two: The closest you will come to Yang having a second-in-command. When he joins up with Yang's fleet, the Alliance decides to acknowledge him as the equivalent of a Vice Admiral, in a time when Yang's commanders are Rear Admirals at the highest. Even after men like Schönkopf and Attenborough are promoted to Vice Admiral, they still tend to defer to Merkatz' advice.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: He's one of the handful of high-ranking officials among the old guard who actually did their duty admirably and competently.
- Space Fighter: His trademark is the exceptional use of them.
- Still Wearing the Old Colors: Even after he defects to the Alliance, he and his adjustant still wear the Goldembaum-era Imperial uniform.
- Took a Level in Badass: Merkatz admits later on in the series that he was afraid of failure until he was almost 60. He starts getting out of this mindset after joining Yang and he scores very impressive victories afterwards.
- Undying Loyalty: To the Goldenbaum dynasty even if he is aware of its problems and to Yang Wen-li to a certain extent.
Wing Commander Olivier Poplin
An ace pilot of the Alliance's Spartanian Fighter Corps, Poplin was eventually appointed as chief of the Aerial Defence Corps stationed in Iserlohn Fortress after its capture and remained with the Yang Fleet ever since. Outside the battlefield, he is often seen providing comic relief, be it his snarky banter with Konev and later Attenborough, or his alleged competitions with Schönkopf in being The Casanova.
- Ace Pilot: He's one of the Alliance's best Spartanian pilots.
- Body-Count Competition: He and Konev before every battle bet on which of them will get the most kills. After Konev is KIA, he continues to keep score, and near the end of the show, he's well into the hundreds.
- Big Brother Mentor: He tries to be one, at least, for both Julian and Karin. It's implied he is this for most of the young pilots and trainees in the Spartanians as well.
- Chivalrous Pervert: He's a womanizer, but he's just looking for a little fun.
- Drowning My Sorrows: Lets just say that he does not take the news of Yang's death well.
- For Happiness: Takes the view that life is short, so any time you aren't spending by doing something you enjoy is time wasted.
- Plucky Comic Relief: His antics and humorous commentaries on events often provide a breather from the deadly-serious drama of the plot.
- Those Two Guys: At first with his fellow colleague Ivan Konev, then later with Attenborough.
Vice Admiral Murai
The Chief of Staff for Yang's 13th Fleet, Murai has a reputation of being a strict disciplinarian and is equally feared and respected by the members of the 13th Fleet. When Attenborough and Poplin heard that he is returning to the fleet after the re-capture of Iserlohn Fortress, Poplin even began to hum Chopin's Funeral March!
- Comically Serious: His stonefaced, serious demeanour in the face of ridiculous situations can make many scenes extra hilarious.
- Commander Contrarian: Saw his role of Chief of Staff as such, since his superior is talented enough to not require a staff officer. Therefore he restricts himself to playing the devil's advocate and provides common-sense arguments against Yang's command decisions.
- Consummate Professional: Murai is well-known for being a stickler for military order even before he joined the Yang Fleet.
- Only One Name: We never do learn what his first name is. Funny enough, his name is just "Murai" on official reports.
- Put on a Bus: Retires from military service after Yang's death in order to purge out the half-hearted members of the Iserlohn Republic.
- You Don't Look Like You: His Neue These counterpart looks completely different.◊
Vice Admiral Edwin Fischer
The Vice Fleet Commander of the 13th Fleet, Fischer is renowned for his ability to execute perfect fleet manoeuvres and is thus highly valued by Yang, who requires his talents to allow the 13th Fleet to realise his brilliant tactics in the actual battlefield. This also meant that he rarely commands a separate fleet by himself, unlike Attenborough.
He's killed in action during the Battle of the Corridor, which severely hindered Yang's Fleet's ability to continue the battle now that their main fleet movements specialist was gone.
- Boring Yet Practical: His talents in fleet deployment are not flashy at all, but are essential for the success of Yang's "magic". That being said....
- Simple, yet Awesome: There are times when The 13th Fleet pulls off some mindboggling maneuvers. When you see them, keep in mind that it's this man who actually makes them happen.
- Number Two: At first. He's Vice Fleet Commander of the 13th Fleet, but it's easy to forget it, as several of Yang's officers are more prominent. As time goes on the Number Two role seems to go more towards Merkatz.
- Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: What happens to your fleet when the guy in charge of it's movements is killed in action during episode 81? Your fleet gets crippled, that's what.
Rear Admiral Fyodor Patolichev
The Vice Chief of Staff of the 13th Fleet, Patolichev is often seen together with Murai and Fischer.
- The Big Guy: Physically, he's very much a big bear of a man.
- Big Guy Fatality Syndrome: And he dies during the same ambush that takes Yang's life trying to protect him.
- Gentle Giant: When he's not in the thick of combat, he's usually quite friendly and cheerful, with a dry but whimsical sense of humor.
Corporal Katerose von Kreuzer
The result of one of Walter von Schönkopf's many dalliances in his younger years. At the age of sixteen, she became a fighter pilot in Yang's fleet.
- Ace Pilot: She has great potential according to Poplin. This is not an Informed Ability, as she ends up doing a lot of damage as an Alliance fighter pilot.
- Big Damn Kiss: With Julian in episode 108.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: Kind of. She was at first rather hostile and aggressive towards Julian, but eventually she softens up towards him.
- Fiery Redhead: However much she may deny it, she certainly inherited her father's aggressive temperament.
- Heroic Bastard: Her parents weren't married and she is a hero through and through.
- Revenge: What she wanted on her father, at least at first, for abandoning her. Their relationship got better over time.
- Tsundere: Towards Julian. They end up together by the end of the series.
A junior officer in the Alliance navy, Louis Mashengo's main claim to fame is as the only black man among the main cast in the entire series. He was shown to be a serious and reliable worker, having been assigned as a bodyguard for both Ensign Frederica Greenhill and Lieutenant Julian Mintz while they worked in enemy territory. He also joined Julian on his journey to Earth to investigate the true nature of the Earth Cult.
- Catchphrase: "You can't fight fate."
- Heroic Sacrifice: Shields Julian with his body and takes several laser blasts in the back for his trouble.
- The Quiet One: Doesn't say much.
- The Reliable One: He's called this by Frederica, and shows his reliability throughout the show up until his death.
- Token Minority: One of only two prominent black men in the show.
Initially a supporter of the National Salvation Military Council, Baghdash was dispatched to the 13th Fleet to assassinate Yang Wen-li and provide the Fleet with false intelligence and decided to switch loyalties once his plans were exposed and he realised that the coup d'état was doomed to fail. An expert in intelligence warfare, he is often tasked to gather intelligence or conduct subterfuge operations, such as executing the initial phase of the Yang Fleet's re-capture of Iserlohn Fortress.
- Fake Defector: The National Salvation Military Council tasked him as such, with the mission to assassinate Yang, thereby crippling the 13th Fleet. It did not work.
- HeelFace Turn: An exceedingly pragmatic one following the 11th Fleet's destruction (and, surprisingly, a genuine one, as Bagdash remains loyal to Yang and company for the remainder of the series).
- Only One Name: He doesn't appear have a family name
- Refuge in Audacity: He executes the trope with such ability that anyone who can makes sense of his scam is declared insane in advance.
Fleet Admiral Alexandre Bewcock
Commander of the Free Planets Alliance's 5th Fleet, Bewcock is notable for already having a long and distinguished career when the series begins. Unlike most fleet commanders, Bewcock began his career as an enlisted soldier, slowly and gradually working his way up the ranks over many years. He is also a close friend and mentor of Yang Wen-li, and one of Yang's few allies and advocates in the upper ranks of the Alliance's military establishment.
- Cool Old Guy: He's clearly earned every ounce of respect he got from his friends and subordinates.
- Defiant to the End: In his last battle against Reinhard, he refuses an offer of surrender even though he's clearly been defeated, as he'd rather die while remaining loyal to his ideals.
- Face Death with Dignity: A very dignified ending. Bewcock and his crew have a toast to democracy as Reinhard finishes the battle.
- A Father to His Men: Bewcock cares deeply for the men he commands. It's one reason why he gets along so well with Yang.
- Foil: Is compared to Merkatz multiple times. Both are immensely crafty admirals with ridiculous amounts of expeience, who will help out Yang regardless of the political higher-ups.
- Ignored Expert: The Alliance defeat at the Third Battle of Tiamat was caused by Willem Hollande ignoring his advice.
- Interrupted Suicide: Contemplates taking his own life after the Battle of Rantemario, in which his fleet was nearly destroyed in a Delaying Action. Fortunately, his second-in-command has the foresight to unload his pistol and talk him down.
- Old Soldier: He's spent over forty years in the FPA Navy, climbing from a humble gunner all the way up to Fleet Admiral. He may not have the native cunning of someone like Reinhard von Lohengramm, but his experience gives him enough of an edge to force even Reinhard to work for his victories.
- Taught by Experience: Bewcock never went to officer school. Everything he knows he learned from hands-on experience.
- Up Through the Ranks: Where most officers are commissioned through the FPA's Military Academy, Bewcock earned a field commission. It hindered his career progress in the past, since he didn't have the benefits that came with the patronage networks an Academy student could take advantage of, but time and battlefield incompetence slowly weeded out most of those who stood in his way.
- Worthy Opponent: Held off Reinhard's fleet of 100,000 ships with a fleet of 20,000. Once Reinhard secures the victory, he orders that every soldier salutes Bewcock. Later on when executing several treacherous soldiers, Reinhard thinks fondly of Bewcock and performs a libation for the fallen admiral.
- You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!: In Die Neue These episode 11, when he finds out that Commander-in-chief Lobos is unavailable during an invasion because he is asleep. There is also some clear Enraged by Idiocy going on there.
- Young Future Famous People: Gets a cameo in Spiral Labyrinth as a gunner in Fifth Fleet, the same fleet he would eventually command.
Admiral Bruce Ashbey
Legendary Alliance admiral who dealt the Empire one of it's most brutal defeats in it's history. His flagship was the Hard Luck. Leader of the 730 Maffia, a group composed of Alliance Military Academy classmates who each ended up becoming Alliance military heroes.
- Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: In his case it involves using battleships, rather than Kung-fu, but he was great at naval battles and he took every opportunity he had to rub it in the Imperials' faces.
- Foil: His profile somewhat reads like an anti-Yang. Yang is humble, Ashbey was audacious and somewhat of an egotist. Yang respected his enemies, Ashbey ridiculed them. Yang felt bad about killing opposing soldiers, Ashbey loved it. Yang was more defensive, Ashbey favoured an offensive approach. Yang is blue-haired, Ashbey a redhead. Yang was more of a strategist, Ashbey favoured tactics (hence his choice to enlarge the space fleet, rather than building a fortress in the Iserlohn corridor). Yang is devoted to one woman, Ashbey had affairs. Yang was open to other people's thoughts, whereas Ashbey didn't allow the other admirals to question his orders. Yang changed the strategic course of the war multiple times, Ashbey for all of his talents never did. the list goes on and on. On that note....
- Ashbey's affairs aside, he sounds a lot like Reinhard. Both men were offensive-minded tactician obsessed with fleet battle victories and echewed more decisive strategies (Ashbey said no to the fortress, Reinhard said no to Hildegard's Heinessen plan). Ashbey felt like he had to win battle after battle, while Reinhard was obsessed with beating Yang. Both men were charismatic with a flair for the dramatic and didn't allow their subordinates to question their orders. To add to that, Ashbey had designs on going into politics after he became a fleet admiral. The 730 Maffia basically stopped being a thing after Ashbey died and this may very well be what could have happened to the Imperials had Yang given Reinhard the killing blow.
- For Want of a Nail: After all of his successes, the Alliance brass asks him what he would rather have, a fortress in the Iserlohn area or a larger space fleet. Ashbey chose the latter. Had he chosen the former, millions of Alliance soldiers might not have faced the wrath of the Thor Hammer.
- Fiery Redhead: He sometimes let his temper get the best of him and it could lead to the 730 Maffia resenting him.
- Irony: Compare him with Yang. Ashbey was a glory-hound, hell-bent on becoming the youngest Fleet Admiral in history, but died before it could happen. Yang cared nothing for glory and wanted to resign after becoming a rear admiral and just live off his pension, yet he ended up becoming the youngest Fleet Admiral in Alliance history.
- Meaningful Name: His flagship was the Hard Luck, he ends up dying due to a piece of shrapnel.
- Posthumous Character: He's long dead in the series's time frame, with his story largely being told through flashbacks as Yang investigates the circumstances of his death.
- Shadow Archetype: Take Reinhard, put him in the Alliance and have him lose control over his ego. Ashbey was brilliant, ambitious and charismatic, but he was also shortsighted, overly egotistic (which lead to a TON of friction between him and his subordinates) and far too reckless with other people's lives. For all of his flaws, Reinhard would never take credit away from his subordinates or put them into overly harsh conditions.
Last Landesherr of Phezzan. Went underground when the Empire invaded and annexed his planet and worked with the Terraists to subvert the Imperial cause until his capture and subsequent demise from a brain tumor.
- Ambiguously Brown: His skin tone is darker than the imperial citizens, but lighter than black men like Sithole and Machengo.
- Bald of Evil: Well, he is amoral and ruthless, as well as completely bald.
- Death Seeker: Brain tumor aside, having his illegitimate son killed filled him with so much regret that he became this. Later on he asks if Dominique would be willing to give him another child. Dominique's reply is "so you can kill him too?", but when she leaves the room, Rubinsky replies to himself "No, so he can kill me".
- Dragon with an Agenda: The Terra Church use him to spread their influence through the universe, but it's clear he'd get rid of them at first opportunity.
- Everyone Has Standards: Though he nominally serves the interests of the Earth Cult, even he finds the notion of the sort of all-encompassing theocracy envisioned by the Terraists to be abhorrent.
- It's All About Me: In the end, his true allegiance is to himself. Nonetheless, he does a good job Playing Both Sides to his and Phezzan's benefit.
- Nerves of Steel: He can stay calm and relaxed even with a gun pointed at him. That being said...
- Not So Stoic: The gun in question was pointed at him by his illegitimate son, Rupert. After that son is gunned down by his bodyguards, Rubinsky is clearly shaken by Rupert's death.
- Offing the Offspring: Killed his illegitimate son Rupert Kesserling since he tried to overthrow Rubinsky.
- Playing Both Sides: His entire game plan is focused around playing the various factions against one another to ensure that every other power continues to consider Phezzan essential to the Balance of Power, thus allowing the planet to preserve its autonomy.
- Red Baron: "Black Fox of Phezzan"
- Suicide Attack: After a fashion: he had rigged several powerful bombs in the center of Heinessenpolis to explode the minute an implant in his skull no longer could detect his brainwaves. Already dying from a brain tumor, he deliberately unplugged his life support machine, hoping to catch Reinhard in the blast. He failed, but the damage to the city was considerable and the death toll in the thousands.
- War for Fun and Profit: In contrast to the Earth Cult, that have greater plans for each side of the conflict, the only thing he cares about is Phezzan's economic stability and how to exploit the both nationss Forever War for more income.
A Phezzani singer and dancer who was the long-time companion of the former Fezzani governor-general, Adrian Rubinsky.
- Adaptational Curves: Her Neue These version◊ is notably bustier.
- Adaptational Personality Change: The OVA version is just cold overall, but her Neue These counterpart is far more expressive, even if she can be just as calculating.
- Beauty Mark: On the left side of her mouth. Her Neue These design has it on right side instead.
- Call It Karma: She tells Rubinsky his brain tumor is probably a curse caused by killing his son and aiding the Terraists.
- The Confidant: She serves as this for Rubinsky.
- Everyone Has Standards: While she's not a particularly moral person, Dominique shows displeasure after aiding Rubisnky in killing his own son by keeping tabs on Rupert Kesserling.
- Everything's Sexier in French: Well, she has a french-sounding name and provides most of the scarce fan service on the show.
- Ms. Fanservice: She provides some eye-candy in a series were there is almost none.
- Only Friend: She seems to be the only person Rubinsky really trusts.
- Peek-a-Bangs: Her hair is always covering her right eye. Subverted with her Neue These version, where both eyes are uncovered.
- Pet the Dog: While she doesn't care much about Elfriede, she at least motivates her to take care of her child.
- The Stoic: She never loses her calm tone, which contrasts with her flamboyant way of dressing.
The secretary of Adrian Rubinsky and also his illegitemate son.
- Arc Villain: He is The Man Behind the Man behind multiple incidents on both the Alliance's and Empire's sides during the second season.
- Ambition Is Evil: Was the second most powerful person in Phezzan and would really like to be the first as soon as possible.
- Bastard Bastard: Is the result of one of Rubinsky's affairs, who doesn't really care about his outside of his talent in politics. He turned into a pretty cruel man.
- Big Bad Wannabe: Thought he could take Rubinsky's place with the right cards and then move even higher. Too bad, Rubinsky had even better cards.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: He and Rubinsky have staged a long chain of events that would eventually lead to the Empire's full invasion on the Alliance. As soon as he decides he doesn't need his father anymore, he is shot by Rubinsky's security, and besides a discussion with Dominique, he or his family dynamics are never mentioned again.
- Might Makes Right: A firm believer that those who have more power are the victors.
- Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: Told Dominique his plan to overthrow the Terraists and Rubinsky, and was looking for any weaknesses... whom she tells about it right away.
- The Starscream: To both the Rubinsky and the Terraists.
- We Can Rule Together: Tries to pull a Terraist bishop Degsby to his side by making him the ruler of Earth, while also drugging and filming him for blackmail. While the bishop isn't a good guy either, he only laughs at the proposal.
Chairman Job Trunicht
Truniht was the Chairman of the Free Planets Alliance's High Council for much of the series and was generally a very slimy person. His defining characteristic, as commented on by many characters over the course of the series, was his utter shamelessness. Trunicht was willing to do whatever it took to maintain his position and privileges, and did not truly believe in the concept of democracy if it didn't serve his interests.
While he was Chairman he retained the services of a vigilante group called the Patriotic Knights Corps and was also shown to have strong ties to the Earth Cult.
- Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Trunicht is revealed to have very little pride and has no depths to which he will not sink in order to ensure his own survival and position: If he must go down on his knees and beg to survive, then that is what he will do. Even Reinhard is disgusted by it, but is forced to keep him alive out of pragmatism.
- Asshole Victim: If it was anybody else, we would be horrified at an unarmed civilian getting gunned down in cold blood without trial by an Imperial officer, but it's Truniht so it's okay.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: This man will sell out anything and anyone in order to save his own hide. Luckily Reuenthal provided the universe a great service before dying himself.
- Jerkass Has a Point:
- Early on, he opposes a plan to invade Imperial space from the recently captured Iserlohn, bringing as justification the fact that, with the strain of economy and shortage of manpower, they simply can't afford to escalate things further. Yang, Greenhill and others can see he's only doing it to preserve and even increase his power (as he's only the Defense Secretary at this time), but have to admit his official reasons are right.
- Also early on, he mentions that he has no great love for a democratic system that would allow a self-serving opportunist like himself a clear shot at power that can be easily exploited and abused. You do almost have to admire his candor... Almost.
- Karmic Death: Is shot by Oskar von Reuenthal in his office after taking his shameless selfishness one step too far. Reuenthal may have just fought a losing rebellion against Kaiser Reinhard, but he does not take kindly to hearing Truniht slandering Reinhard with his "feces-stained tongue."
- Manipulative Bastard: His M.O. All he does is more or less for his own personal gain and power.
- Never My Fault: When Mittermeyer and Reuenthal attack Heinessen in order to demand the Free Planets Alliance' surrender, he blames Yang for it, as Yang destroyed the Artemis Necklace (despite the fact that Yang saved his miserable life by doing so). Bewcock points out that Yang warned them countless times that relying on hardware was a terrible idea and that it was corrupt politicians and opportunistic admirals who allowed the situation to become nigh-unsalvageable.
- He also shows this in a mix with straw hypocrite. Yes, the democratic system was what allowed him to rise to power... except he ignores the fact that he was given power in the first place because others believed in him, and he was the one who used it for his own, corrupt desires. Essentially, he blames democracy for giving an opportunist like him a chance to be a manipulative asshole, instead of realizing he could very well have been a benevolent leader but simply chooses not to.
- The Quisling: Shamelessly accepts a role in the Imperial occupation force's administration after the collapse of the Free Planets Alliance.
- Sleazy Politician: He's a flatterer and a demagogue whose only consistent agenda is gaining and keeping power. As a minister (and later the leader) of the Free Planets Alliance, he uses passionate appeals to patriotism to gain public support while crushing dissent through his secret ties to paramilitary fanatics, all the while using the power and influence he gains purely for his own selfish gratification. He's no less sleazy once he defects to the Empire, similarly exploiting and aggravating the feuds among the Imperial military's higher ranks in hopes of profiting from the chaos.
- Smug Snake: Trunicht practically revels in his role as a slippery, deceptively charming, manipulative backstabber who only looks after his own self-interest, and he has a water rat's instinctive ability to know when to abandon a sinking ship. The only one able to best him in the end is Oskar von Reuenthal, who has no qualms with just shooting the guy when Trunicht comes by to gloat about it in the aftermath of Reuenthal's failed rebellion.
- The Sociopath: He's aware that nearly everything he does is borderline unethical at best and a blatant abuse of his position at worst. He just doesn't care; he looks after himself, and himself alone.
- Straw Hypocrite:
- As the above quote exemplifies, though the writers refrained from using him to make a point.
- One main facet of Truniht's character was how completely unabashed he was about his goals; namely personal power and comfort by any means. He provides a Character Filibuster early on in the series essentially outlining how messed up the Free Planet Alliance's "democracy" is by letting someone like him into power in the first place.
- Ungrateful Bastard: See Never My Fault.
- Villain with Good Publicity: Trunicht is a popular leader of the Alliance with enough public support to stay in power. However, he changes his ideals whenever it's convinient for elections and has a private terrorist group to take care of anyone who openly protests.
The Earth Cult, The Terraist Church
- "Terra is my mother. Terra in my hands."
A popular religion in both the Empire and the Free Planets Alliance. As its name implies, the base of Terraism is on our very own Planet Earth which largely declined in influence after a rebellion by the colonies and the establishment of the Goldenbaum Dynasty. The doctrine and beliefs are not touched upon during the series itself but we know that the leading bishops wanted to reestablish Earth as the centre of galactic civilisation and many ordinary people worked hard to make the pilgrimage back to the cradle of humanity. Originally just a minor inconvenience, they began to make their influence felt when Reinhard moved to crush the Free Planets Alliance once and for all, and masterminded many of the assassinations and events that drove the plot forward towards the end of the series.
In addition to assassination, the Earth Cult had connections to many people in positions of power which it exploited regularly. Its members were not above the use of brainwashing and drug addiction, and in a pinch, the many pilgrims who lived in their complex in the Himalayas served as an instant army of fanatics. Needless to say, the series did not have many nice things to say about their religion.
- Ancient Conspiracy: Their hands have been involved in a number of Imperial and Alliance affairs for generations. Which in the end failed.
- Bomb-Throwing Anarchists: Their favorite method is to set explosives and make as many casualties as possible, then use unrest to start riots. If a high-ranking officer gets killed as well, even better for them.
- Create Your Own Hero: They are indirectly responsible for Yang's and Reinhard's climb in ranks, but later use it to their advantage. Then the advantage stops as both of them get powerful and savvy enough to notice when they are manipulated.
- Does Not Like Shoes: When they're not using disguises, the cultists wear nothing but Black Cloak even when attacking soliders.
- Fantastic Drug: Thyoxin is the Church's to-go method to brainwash/punish/reward their followers.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: The Cult seeks to make Earth the very heart of human civilization once again. And for a short while it did, but not as it intended following Reinhard's campaign to purge the Cult.
- Insignificant Blue Planet: Ever since the rebellion of the Sirius Republic, Earth has been a galactic backwater, almost enirely uninhabited and forgotten. The Earth Cult are attempting to restore its former glory by any means possible.
- Meaningful Name: "Terraism" is only one consonant shy of "terrorism." Guess what their M.O. is.
- Oddly Small Organization: The temple on Earth and a couple of branch offices is all they have. While their influence is far and wide, a few raids by the Empire and they are completely wiped out.
- The Omniscient Council of Vagueness: Their higher-ranking members are portrayed as a crowd of cloacked figures, monitoring the situation in the galaxy in a dark cave or room.
- Path of Inspiration: The Cult plays this up as being the salvation for all mankind. Not to mention that it gives its leaders a network of fanatics and useful idiots at their beck and call.
- Redshirt Army: Common cultists die in droves when facing against a properly trained army, although they usually manage to take at least a few enemies with them.
- Vestigial Empire: The Earth Cult used to be a real power player, but by the time of the story, Truniht and Rubinsky are using them, not the other way around.
- Big Bad: He is the de-facto leader of the Terraist Church, the secret masters of Phezzan, and desires both the Alliance and the Empire to be gone entirely, masterminding the war between them and going behind even his own master's back to do so. Almost every opposition Yang and Reinhard faces, including each other, is either directly sponsored by the church and their associates, or ended up where they are by the church's design, and he solidifies himself as this when the Grand Bishop dies and he fully takes over via a Puppet King.
- Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist: Unlike the rest of the cult, he only pretends to care about their cause of making Earth prosperous and populated once again, but he's just in it for power. This is particularly demonstrated in one scene where he preaches purity, only to enjoy a bottle of whisky when no one's looking.
- Obviously Evil: In case you couldn't tell the archbishop of a terrorist cult is bad news, his name is De Villie and he's even nastier than one would expect.
- Sinister Minister: He's the Archbishop of a church that serves as the Ancient Conspiracy behind the war, and masterminds every misfortune for the sake of power.