Follow TV Tropes


Characters / Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny ZAFT

Go To

All spoilers for Mobile Suit Gundam SEED will be left unmarked.

    open/close all folders 

Crew of the Minerva

    Shinn Asuka 

Main mecha: ZGMF-X56S Impulse Gundam, ZGMF-X42S Destiny Gundam

Voiced by: Kenichi Suzumura (Japanese); Matthew Erickson [Ocean dub], Aaron Phillips [NYAV Post dub] (English)
"Do you want to start another one?! Another war?!"

The series' initial protagonist. His family was killed attempting to flee when the Earth Alliance invaded Orb during the First Bloody Valentine War; he became a refugee and ended up in the PLANTs. He blames Orb (and the Athha family in particular) for their deaths, and carries a lot of hatred for both. He joined ZAFT and became a Redcoat alongside Rey Za Burrel and Lunamaria Hawke as the pilot of the Impulse, the Minerva's flagship Gundam.

Shinn has a problem with authority figures in general; he tends to lash out at his immediate superiors and resents being given orders. Due to this, he relies heavily on his peers for support; Rey acts as his moral compass, while Lunamaria eventually provides him with much-needed emotional support.

He pilots the ZGMF-X56S Impulse, a Combining Mecha with three Silhouette Packs which specialize in one combat aspect, and then the ZGMF-X42S Destiny, an all-around Gundam that proves to be one of the most powerful in the show.

  • Acceptable Political Targets: Shinn invokes this with anyone affiliated with Orb or the Earth Alliance as he blames both for the death of his family.
  • Accidental Pervert: Accidentally grabs Stella's chest in their first meeting.
  • The Ace: He starts to get this treatment following his victory over the Freedom and is even dubbed a "Super Ace" by the ZAFT military. However, Shinn may be closer to being a Broken Ace as many of his victories for ZAFT was more a result of Shinn's immense amount of rage and hate for war and conflict rather than belief in his ideals or from a clear sense of resolve.
  • Ace Pilot: Swiftly reaches this status, becoming one of ZAFT's highest-scoring aces of the Second Bloody Valentine War.
  • Act of True Love: He faced the death penalty and the end of his career with ZAFT for breaking Stella out of the Minerva and returning her to Phantom Pain, and did it anyway because he thought it might save her life.
  • All Your Powers Combined: The Destiny basically rolls all of the individual combat specializations of the three Silhouette Packs (or more visually, the three original Striker Packs) into one multi-purpose mobile suit.
  • Anti-Hero: He's not a bad kid, he just has a lot of issues, which consistently derail his attempts at being heroic.
  • Anti-Villain: One of the best examples in the Gundam franchise. No one does all the wrong things for all the right reasons like he does. He starts out as an antiheroic protagonist, shifts to an antagonistic, but not necessarily villainous figure once the perspective flip goes down, and then moves up to Well-Intentioned Extremist who unknowingly Became Their Own Antithesis during the show's last act.
  • Astral Projection: Semi-standard for a Gundam show. He has a couple with Stella. At the end she tells him that he gave her a yesterday, and because of that she understands tomorrow; that's she's happy because of it, and she'll see him then.
  • Attack! Attack! Attack!: When Shinn becomes particularly enraged (which in turn usually drives him into SEED mode). Deconstructed as Shinn gradually undergoes Sanity Slippage and increasingly lapses into uncontrollable rage. Shinn can singlehandedly mow through hordes of grunt mobile suits and even a few Destroys, but against experienced pilots like Kira and Athrun he becomes more and more predictable, especially later on.
  • Attack Drone: The Silhouette Flyer, though its purpose is to provide tactical support for Shinn by delivering the Silhouette Packs before or during battle, rather than actually engaging in combat along side the Impulse.
  • The Atoner: Implied at the end of Final Plus. More for what he became during the war rather than what he did.
  • Bash Brothers: With Rey, after acquiring the Destiny and the Legend, respectively; Shinn usually fights head-on, while Rey provides support. Often, the main reason Kira and Athrun is able to gain the upper hand against Shinn is because the two are separated.
  • Battle Boomerang: The Sword Impulse and the Destiny both possess two beam boomerangs to be thrown.
  • Became Their Own Antithesis: This is a major theme with Shinn; he basically wanted to become strong because out of a desire to prevent tragedies like the one that took his family. However, Rey and Durandal's manipulations and his own inability to deal with his anger and bitterness gradually turn him into the kind of person that caused those tragedies in the first place. And he doesn't even realize it. He's called out on it during the final battle, which causes him to have a breakdown.
    Shinn: It's not the same! IT'S NOT!
  • The Berserker: Shinn is a very headstrong and very emotional young pilot, and as such, during battle he rushes headlong at his enemies (often without much regard for his own safety), relying on sheer aggression to win fights. As the series progresses and Shinn's mental stability degrades it arguably becomes a weakness when forced to fight equally skilled opponents like Kira and Athrun and he's still doing things like reckless, mad charges with his BFS, to the point that by his final duel with Athrun he's taken a massive mental nose-dive and loses the ability to tell between friend and foe.
  • BFG: The Blast Impulse and Destiny are equipped with powerful beam cannons.
  • BFS: The anti-ship swords, large physical blades with a beam generator across its length, is Shinn's preferred weapon of choice in combat. He is first shown dual-wielding them with the Sword Impulse; he would later switch to using just one with the Force Impulse and the Destiny.
  • Bigger Stick: The Destiny is superior to any mech the Earth Forces have, and allows Shinn to run rampant for a while. It thus comes as a rather nasty shock to him when the equally powerful Strike Freedom and Infinite Justice arrive on the battlefield.
  • Black-and-White Insanity: He's not insane per se, but his obsessive belief in Black-and-White Morality is certainly unhealthy, and is portrayed that way. Shinn's biggest problem is his inability to see anything in shades of grey. He and his friends are right, everyone else is wrong, and away we go. The root cause of this is his mess of anger issues; he gets wound up too damn fast and lets his feelings cloud his judgment.
  • Blade on a Stick: The Blast Impulse is equipped with two beam javelins.
  • Blinded by Rage: Shinn's SEED factor is always triggered by rage and he admits to feeling only a subconscious amount of control and awareness when it activates. This trope comes into full effect during the final battle when in his mad desperation to kill Athrun, Lunamaria gets between them hoping her presence will get the out-of-control Shinn to stop. She was wrong, but she was thankfully saved by Athrun.
  • Break the Haughty: Compare his attitude after disobeying orders to return Stella to Neo to that after her death an episode later. And there's his reactions once Kira and Athrun make their comeback and demolish his unchecked belief in his own superiority.
  • The Brute: Shinn really wouldn't know what "subtle" means even if it slapped him in the face. He's far from stupid, but favors brute force over anything else, and only resorts to tactics when he absolutely has to, making him the Brute to the Chairman's Big Bad and Rey's Dragon, post-perspective flip.
  • Catchphrase: "You don't know anything!" tends to be the first thing he'll say to anyone he disagrees with — without realizing that while he knows certain things and despite everything he's been through, there's still a lot he doesn't. His image song is called "Primal Innocence" for a reason.
  • Character Development: Gets the most of any character in the series, almost all of it negative. He starts out as a relatively sympathetic Jerk with a Heart of Gold with anger and depression issues. But as the series progresses his personality conflict with Athrun, war-trauma, stress from his relationship with Stella, and inability to see beyond moral absolutes slowly eat away at his sanity. He becomes increasingly convinced of his own self-righteousness, even as he grows more unstable by the minute, and has to rely on Rey to justify his actions and Lunamaria to keep him from being completely consumed by rage. Stella's death and Athrun's defection finally break him, leaving him more susceptible to Rey and Durandal's manipulations than ever. When he loses his Sympathetic P.O.V., he is eventually shown the way the Archangel crew sees him: an Anti-Villain with lots of issues. It's not until the very end of the series when he realizes exactly how badly he's been acting all this time.
  • Close-Range Combatant: Subverted; while Shinn certainly favors close-range combat, his skills are flexible enough that he can effectively pilot the Impulse and its diverse Silhouette Packs as well as the Destiny and its versatile weapon set. This tendency really comes to bite him in the ass whenever he decides to fully embrace close combat over versatility in his fights against Athrun and the Infinite Justice. As the latter suit is a true Multi-Melee Master with a more experienced pilot that also specializes in melee combat, Shinn plays right into its strengths rather than playing to the Destiny's strengths, resulting in him losing both fights.
  • Combat Pragmatist: When he's actually using his head in a fight Shinn's shown to be remarkably resourceful and has a good grasp of combat tactics. He makes good use of his equipment (such as Impulse's Silhouette packs), and can be surprisingly creative at times by coming up with unconventional uses for the resources at his disposal. note  Above all else he's driven, and willing to do whatever it takes to beat his opponents. Add access to SEED mode and it can make him a very dangerous opponent. However, Shinn's volatile personality (and ego) prevent him from making full use of this, and goes out the window once he gets the "Destiny".
  • Combining Mecha: His Impulse is composed of three parts — Core Splendor, Chest Flyer and Leg Flyer, as well as the Silhouette Packs that change its combat capability.
  • Corporal Punishment: Shinn gets punched by Athrun twice — after disobeying orders, and after apparently killing Kira. Bragging about killing someone's best friend to their face is neither intelligent nor kind, Shinn. Of course, it backfires in that it basically just convinces Shinn that Athrun hates him.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Shinn develops a bad case of tunnel vision late in the series, favouring going up close to kill his enemies in any machine he pilots rather than fully utilising their features, especially in the Destiny. Kira and Athrun exploit this by taking advantage of his close-combat tendencies to deprive him of his Arondight Sword mid-combat and/or use everything on their own Gundams to wreck the Destiny.
  • Cynicism Catalyst: Most of his character can be traced back to his family's — and in particular his little sister Mayu's — death.
  • Dark Is Evil: Major antagonist suits in Gundam SEED employ a downplayed version of this, wearing slightly darker shades of the iconic Gundam red, white, and blue (the white is replaced with grey, for instance). The Destiny, the suit Shinn gets after losing his Sympathetic P.O.V., is no exception.
  • Dash Attack: His signature attack, and favorite tactic, is to Bonzai charge his opponent with his BFS (sometimes with the blade held in front of him like a skewer).
  • Death Glare: To the Hibiki siblings; Cagalli for daring to preach her father's and nation's ideals that failed to protect his family, and Kira (actually more towards the Freedom) for his constant interference and dominance on the battlefield. Also just about anyone that somehow draws Shinn's ire, which among the simplest tasks in this series.
  • Death Wail: Twice. When his family was killed and when Stella dies in his arms.
  • Decoy Protagonist: We follow Shinn for the first half of the series, learning to sympathize with him and his point of view. Then Durandal is outed as the villain, the POV shifts, and Kira and Athrun become the protagonists.
  • Defeating the Undefeatable: How ZAFT and Shinn himself view his mid-season takedown of the Freedom.
  • Deflector Shield: Unlike the previous Gundam units, the Impulse is equipped with a shield enhanced with a beam deflecting forcefield, allowing it to bounce beam shots and defend against powerful attacks that mundane shields cannot effectively block. When Shinn feels like being creative, he often takes advantage of this by throwing the shield at the opponent and firing his beam rifle at it for a trick-shot.
  • Detachment Combat: In his battle with the Freedom, Shinn has a moment of particular ingenuity when he separates the Impulse at the waist to dodges a potentially decisive strike from the Freedom, allowing Shinn to deal a crippling blow to it in turn.
  • Drunk with Power: Shinn's relationship with his machine(s) is not a healthy one. He starts out as a Combat Pragmatist who utilises his machines' versatility to defeat his foes. Unfortunately, his personality and huge ego got the better of him and when he receives the Destiny, he basically opts to go up close to any enemy he sees to brutally finish them off rather than put his new machine's versatile Lightning Bruiser purposes to full use.
  • Emo Teen: He's often accused of this by the fanbase and he certainly is very angsty. Then again, he has reasons for it and no one around him is helping him get over it.
  • Face Palm Of Doom: The Destiny has the "Palma Fiocina" palm beam cannon. Deconstructed somewhat in that the cannons don't have to be fired at point-blank range - the fact that Shinn never thinks to use it any other way (except once in the rerelease) says a lot about his mental state.
  • Flaw Exploitation: Hoo boy, he's a real case of giving out and receiving this trope...
    • He exploits Kira's need to not kill anybody during their mid-season showdown; he then tries to target his cockpit.
    • It's subtle, but Rey and the Chairman exploit Shinn's own insecurities to keep him on their side.
    • Kira himself actually pulls this back at Shinn later; during the their confrontation in Orb, Kira seems to pick up on Shinn's preference of just wildly charging and slashing at him with his BFS and uses this knowledge to effectively deprive Shinn of his favorite weapon.
    • Completely used against him in his fights with Athrun in the Infinite Justice. The Destiny is meant to be a versatile Lightning Bruiser and its gear reflects this; however, Shinn can get too caught up in using his sword, to the point of ignoring the suits other features, especially when he's riled up. Athrun knows this and uses it to his advantage in the same way as Kira by removing it from Shinn's arsenal.
  • Flawed Prototype: Possibly. The Destiny was the first unit to be equiped with a Hyper-Deuterion Engine, a hybrid of the nuclear reactor/N-Jammer Canceler and Deuterion Beam Energy Transfer System. In theory, this ment that the Destiny would have a near limitless fuel supply like the the Freedom, but also a higher power output. In practice, not so much. While powerful, the Destiny wasn't as fast or strong as avertised, and it ran out of fuel during Shinn's fight aginst the Strike Freedom. Why this happened is never explained.
  • Freak Out: Late into the series, Shinn's issues are so out of control that Rey and Durandal's "guidance" is the only thing keeping him from having a breakdown. But when Durandal's good image starts to fall apart, so does Shinn. Things finally come to a head in the final battle when he engages in a duel with Athrun and the Infinite Justice... a fight that starts taking a real toll on his Gundam, and his sanity. The final nail comes when Athrun begins chewing him out for his hypocrisy and need to destroy. In a mad fit he tries to charge the Justice with one of the Destiny's palm cannonsnote  and is so far gone that when Luna jumps in an attempt to break up the fight, he nearly attacks her instead. When that happens Athrun realizes the time for sentiment is over. A few seconds later the ''Destiny'', now missing most of it's limbs, is sent careening into the surface of the moon with an unconscious Shinn still on board.
  • Freudian Excuse: His family died in front of him, he's never gotten any help for it, his superior officer is a Shell-Shocked Veteran with No Social Skills and his Only Friend is a Manipulative Bastard who doesn't want him to get better.
  • Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse: A few characters point out Shinn's not the only person who lost people he cared about in the ongoing wars, and that it doesn't justify his every bad mood and decision.
  • Freudian Trio: Completely deconstructed. Shinn is the Id, Luna is the Ego, and Athrun/Rey is the Superego, but Luna spends the first three-fourths of the show completely focused on Athrun and dismissing Shinn, and the last quarter competing with Rey for Shinn's time and attention — and Luna still never once sides with him against Athrun or Rey about anything.
  • Friend Versus Lover: Rey is less than thrilled when he appears to be getting closer to Luna. Luna doesn't do much fighting back though.
  • Genius Bruiser: Shinn's violent, aggressive, and favors a fighting style that's based all around brute force. At the same time, he's far from stupid, and demonstrates a knack for tactics and improvisation that can be surprising to his allies and enemies both.
  • Good Is Not Nice: ...Hoo boy. Shinn means well, but between his trauma and his general attitude he's not really capable of being nice about it (though he does Pet the Dog with Rey, Stella, and Luna), and even his attempts at winning people over frequently backfire; see some of his interactions with Athrun.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: It's not hard to make Shinn lose his temper. The number of times he devolves into a berserk rage is actually a little disturbing.
  • Heartbroken Badass: Shinn is a damaged set of goods, and his pain fuels his rage in combat, letting him take on the likes of Athrun or Kira.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Whatever one thinks of his motivations or whether he was right or not, he ends up on Kira, Athrun, and Lacus's side at the end of Final Plus, after Kira, whom he met earlier at the very same place — a memorial to the victims of the OMNI invasion that killed his family — shook his hands and said that he's willing to forgive him and even invites him to fight alongside him.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: Shinn is a versatile pilot that can effectively wield most MS weapons, but his favorites are definitely large anti-ship swords.
  • Heroic BSoD: Although whether he's "heroic" by the time it happens, or if he ever truly was, is arguable. When the Infinite Justice appears at Orb and Athrun contacts Shinn, the latter completely freezes up in disbelief - to the point that even fighting Kira is forgotten about. When he does finally regain cognition, the only thing he can do is mumble in shock that he'd already killed Athrun.
  • Heroic Wannabe: One of his subtler flaws. Shinn desperately wants to be a champion to those being subjugated by oppressive powers (i.e. the Earth Alliance), probably most evident during the battle in the Indian Ocean where he disobeyed orders to free some civilians trapped in the Earth Forces base. Shinn also craved recognition for his "heroism" as shown when he indulged in the applause and veneration he was given by the Gulnahan villagers following his liberation of their settlement from the Earth Forces. It's ultimately how Durandal secures Shinn's loyalty - Durandal does nothing but praise and awards Shinn for his skills and "heroism", making Shinn feel like The Paragon he wanted to be. At the end of the day though, Shinn's a genuinely good kid and means well, but he's far too screwed up to ever be The Hero.
  • Hero with an F in Good: God knows he tries, but he just can't seem to get anything right. He seems to realize this, as well, which only adds to his frustration.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Rey; even closer than the ZAFT example of the previous war. A rare undivided Gundam example.
  • Hot-Blooded: To a degree that reaches deconstruction. He's utterly determined to stop war from happening and is highly emotional while doing so but those emotion eventually get the better of him and cloud his judgement.
  • Hypocrite: A major aspect of Shinn's character is he contradicts himself... a lot.
    • He bawls Cagalli out for Orb's actions during the last war, claiming (not unfairly) that Orb's attempt to stick to it's neutrality lead to a lot of people getting killed, his family among them. Then, when Orb sides with The Earth Alliance to keep from being invaded again, he gets pissed off and calls them hypocrites, even though that was essentially what he was advocating to Cagalli.
    • He's outraged by what the Earth Forces have done to Stella, and is enraged when Kira—who had no other options available—cuts her down in the middle of a fight, going so far as to try and get revenge on him for it. He himself does the exact same thing to Auel and Sting (who he is fully aware are Extended) without batting an eye. note 
    • He also got his start with his family dying in a war. What does he do? Fight in wars. Especially bad once his side invades the country that his family died in, essentially making a cycle of pain.
  • I Let Gwen Stacy Die: Mayu was already this; then Stella bites the dust as well.
  • Ignored Epiphany: There are several moments throughout the series, especially towards the tail end, where Shinn begins to doubt the path he's on. Doubts that really kick in after the unveiling of the Destiny Plan and when he finds out that Durandal has ordered the Requiem to be used. However, he still decides to put his faith in both Durandal and Rey, which sadly lead him to his fateful final duel with Athrun...
  • Innocently Insensitive:
    • He called Cagalli out on how Orb's actions led to the death of his family, but as Athrun later points outnote  Cagalli lost family too.
    • In episode 35, he out and out brags about about shooting down Kira. To Athrun... Kira's closest friend, who had also done the same thing once. To make things worse, he claims it as "revenge", not just for himself due to Kira's defeat and accidental killing of Stella, but also for Athrun due to Kira disabling the Savior several episodes prior. Needless to say, it doesn't end the way he expects, as Athrun punches him out for it.
  • Immigrant Patriotism: Played with. Despite being born in Orb, he's one of ZAFT's most loyal soldiers. We never see him waving a flag or claiming PLANT is a better place, though. He's certainly angry at Orb, but too traumatized and disinterested to become very enthusiastic. In the last two CD dramas, it's revealed Shinn has returned to Orb and enlisted in their military.
  • It Only Works Once: Shinn gets hit hard with this trope near the end.
    • When Kira makes his comeback; he takes a much more aggressive approach in dealing with Shinn, so that the little hothead can't use the same tactic that he used in their last fight when Shinn destroyed the Freedom. Not that he need have bothered, as Shinn doesn't even try to use the tactic.
    • Worse still, Shinn gets stuck in a rut and keeps trying the same tactics over and over again (particularly charging attacks) even after his opponents develop counters. Athrun manages to get him with the same trick at least 3 times.
  • It's All About Me: Played with. He's perfectly capable of instantly acknowledging and caring what people like Stella, Rey, and Lunamaria have been through, but isn't able to do this with Athrun, Cagalli or anything related to Orb, due to his anger and massive unresolved loss and trauma.
  • Javelin Thrower: The Blast Impulse has a pair of beam javelins for close combat but can be thrown like traditional javelins, which Shinn makes use of to kill Auel and destroy the Abyss.
  • Jack-of-All-Trades: Personal preferences aside, Shinn is this skill-wise. Both the Impulse and the Destiny are geared to be versatile machines that emphasized combat adaptability. Alas, while Shinn can be pretty damn creative when actually using everything available in his arsenal, his emotional hang-ups means that he tends to favor just charging in guns-blazing or swords-swinging to slaughter his enemies up close, especially near the end of the show.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Despite his anger and depression issues, he does care about his friends.
  • Kubrick Stare: Towards Kira/Freedom, particularly after Stella's death.
  • Lack of Empathy: Zig-zagged. Shinn is ruled by his emotions and often forgets or outright refuses to acknowledge those of others, especially if they're someone associated with the Earth Alliance or most especially Orb. If someone else's troubles don't resonate with Shinn's own tragedies and personal conflicts, Shinn will have a hard time feeling any sympathy or consideration.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: His biggest weak spot in combat. Shinn's temperament often gets the better of him during fights, meaning his Hot Bloodedness actually undermines his performance. Impulsive and reckless to a fault, he often runs off into the think of things without a clear strategy, or giving much consideration to his allies at all. And like most berserkers, he lacks what you would call "restraint"; he puts all of his energy into offense at the expense of everything else (at most using quick dodges or blocks), and never retreats from an opponent even when it would be prudent to do so. This puts a lot of strain on his machine and its energy/ammo reserves and makes long, drawn out engagements very dangerous for him, especially since the more frustrated and angry he gets, the more mistakes he makes. During the battle over Orb, he's forced to retreat midway through his fight with the Strike Freedom because he nearly ran out of fuelnote . What's worse, he didn't notice; Rey had to call him out on it and more-or-less wrench his arm to get him to come back (if he hadn't, it's likely that Shinn would have kept fighting until the Destiny dropped out of the sky). Later he loses an arm when he tries to rush the Infinite Justice. This eventually leads to his defeat in the finale. After losing his other close-combat weapons, he tries to rush Athrun using the palm beam cannon on Destiny's hand, only to get bashed aside with the Justice's shield. Even though he has two beam shields generators in both of his hands, Shinn is too shocked to even defend himself, and the Destiny gets cut to pieces.
  • Lightning Bruiser: The Destiny. Designed to be an all-purpose mobile suit, it has a BFS, beam sabers that double as beam boomerangs, palm beam cannons, and a BFG, as well as the "Voiture Lumière" system, which allows it to grow wings of light to move at very high speeds and create afterimages in its paths, allowing it to disorient enemies who are trying to aim at it.
  • Mecha Expansion Pack: The Impulse's Silhouette Packs — Force (flight), Sword (melee) and Blast (long-range).
  • The Mentally Ill: A milder example than many in this franchise, but Shinn is still in desperate need of emotional and mental counselling for his PTSD and anger management issues.
  • Mid-Season Upgrade: The Destiny, which is vastly more powerful than the Impulse.
  • Military Maverick: Displays no respect for the chain of command, and frequently disobeys orders, yet is allowed to get away with it due to his skill.
  • Mirrored Confrontation Shot: During his final attack on Sting Oakley's Destroy, the two of them do this. It's a pretty good demonstration of how bad Shinn's Sanity Slippage has gotten, when he and the Extended could use each other for shaving mirrors.
  • Mood-Swinger: Like you would not believe. He shifts from almost catatonically depressed to berserker rage to cheerful and back at a frightening rate. Gets worse as he suffers his Sanity Slippage.
  • Moral Myopia: Shinn has a lot of trouble understanding or sympathizing with the actions of anyone outside his small group of friends. When a ZAFT pilot is killed, it's the actions of an EA monster. When an EA pilot is killed, even if it's just some poor bastard doing his job, it's heroism. This is especially obvious with regards to the Extended—it isn't okay for Kira to kill Stella, whom Shinn was in love with, but his own take downs of Auel and Sting (whom he very clearly recognizes) were entirely necessary. He finally grows out of it at the very end of the series.
  • Multiform Balance: The Impulse's Silhouette Packs. Force Impulse has great mobility and standard weaponry, Sword sacrifices said mobility for close combat might with a pair of beam boomerangs and Big Freaking Swords, and Blast trades said speed for heavy firepower, with missiles, railguns and a pair of beam cannons.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: He has this reaction after attacking Lunamaria during the final battle (and, to a lesser extent, coming to his senses about his behavior during the series as a whole).
  • Mythology Gag: Not funny at all, but Shinn loses his entire family in an explosion in the exact same way as Frau Bow in the very first episode of Gundam — accidentally, inadvertently surviving by having jumped a highway guardrail in a battle to go after something seen as important. It's what inspires a boy to pilot a mobile suit...
  • Never My Fault: A golden example of this is his blaming the Freedom for killing Stella, as Kira was the one to strike the final blow. However, Shinn cannot or refuses to acknowledge the fact that Stella was on a rampage (having already obliterated thousands of civilians and half of Berlin) and that it was the Earth Alliance that put Stella in the Destroy. Going even further, it was Shinn who returned Stella to Neo, a complete stranger and his enemy, with the only "assurance" being a (empty) promise that Stella will never again be forced to fight.
  • No Social Skills: Shinn is bitter, brusque, and cranky, likely due to PTSD. Rey and Lunamaria are his only real friends, and even with Luna, a good deal of their relationship is a back-and-forth belittling of each other.
  • Oh, Crap!: His reaction to seeing the Strike Freedom at Orb and recognizing from its movements that it's the same pilot as the original.
  • One-Man Army: He all but singlehandedly wins the war for ZAFT, especially once he gets the Destiny.
  • Only Friend: He's Rey Za Burrel's and given his rocky relationship with Lunamaria, Rey is his. Except for gaining Luna's support very late in the show, they're basically all each other has. They're even described in official art as "alone together".
  • Parental Abandonment: His mom, dad, and sister were all killed in the previous war.
  • Pet the Dog: With his friends in need.
    • He goes from screaming at Stella for being an idiot to vowing to protect her in about two seconds, while she's still a complete stranger, after he realizes how traumatized she is.
    • Aside from breaking every rule imaginable trying to keep her safe, all the time he spends with her in the infirmary when she's sick, weak, and bewildered — and very happy to see him — reinforces how much kindness he has.
    • Odd beginning aside, his relationship with Luna is generally very gentle, sweet, and has both of them coming off as better people than they were for most of the show.
    • And Rey. Not only does Shinn manage to pay sufficient attention to both his troubled new girlfriend and his clingy, anxious Only Friend, he sits by Rey's bed, too, when he needs him, and publicly states their thoughts and feelings are in accord after having a Psychic Powers moment at Messiah. And Rey smiles.
  • Playing the Victim Card: Plays this a lot as justification for his attitude and self-righteousness, seeming to forget that others have also lost loved ones in the previous war. He also extends this card to other people: Stella was a Tyke Bomb and Slave Mook who was made to kill many people, and while Shinn does acknowledge the horror of her "employment" and desperately tries to get her somewhere where neither she nor other people will die, for him, Stella is seen as nothing but a helpless victim, and anyone who wants to bring harm to her is an unforgivable monster.
  • The Power of Hate: Thoroughly deconstructed. Most of his life since the day he lost his family has been defined by his hate. He hates the Earth Alliance for attacking Orb, yet hates Orb just as much for failing to protect his family. His true dream is to protect others and keep anyone else from experiencing the same sort of horrors, which isn't powered by hate at all — but he comes to believe it means wholeheartedly ending war (something he hates) forever, and is so desperate to make it happen that he, consciously or otherwise, hates anyone or anything that threatens that dream, which eventually becomes in his view anything that opposes ZAFT and the chairman.
  • Protagonist Journey to Villain: Though toyed with in that he becomes not the Big Bad or The Dragon, but an Anti Villainous Brute.
  • Punny Name:
    • As the ostensible protagonist with a Meaningful Name, Asuka was the era in Japanese history following the Yamato period.
    • And when compared to Shinji Ikarinote  and Asuka Langley Soryu/Shikinami of the Neon Genesis Evangelion franchise.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: He has dull, red eyes that makes his gaze very striking.
  • Red Is Heroic: Downplayed as Shinn is more of an Anti-Hero, but nonetheless Shinn genuinely wants to protect innocent people from suffering what he went through. Unfortunately his anger and naivety let's Rey and Durandal play him like a punk and while not a complete Face–Heel Turn, by the fourth act Shinn no longer distinguishes between actually protecting what he loves and simply killing what he hates.
  • Red Is Violent: Shinn can be an absolute animal on the battlefield, and while he isn't associated with red Gundams like Athrun, red is a fairly prominent color to Shinn's character; red coat pilot, red eyes, and before he acquired the Destiny, every battle beforehand when he goes SEED mode he utilizes the Impulse's red-colored Sword Silhouette and proceeds to slaughter every enemy that's a mook or not protected by plot armor.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The red to Rey's blue, especially being more Hot-Blooded than the soft-spoken and calmer Rey.
  • Redemption Demotion: The OVA's credits and the HD Remaster's last episode show him missing his FAITH badge, implying he was demoted.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Some see his relationship with Stella as romantic. Others believe that she's a substitute for his deceased sister, Mayu.
  • Rescue Romance: If you interpret his relationship with Stella as a romantic one. He not only saves her from drowning during their first meeting, he later prevents her from dying on the Minerva by returning her to Neo.
  • Revenge Before Reason: He's trying to kill Kira for defeating an enemy that he himself was fighting. Rational thought was not involved in this decision. Especially considering that even if Shinn could have successfully talked Stella down before Kira killed her, Stella would likely have died anyway from a repeat situation of being drug-starved in ZAFT custody the same as before. As for his personal war against the EA, as has been pointed out numerous times here, Shinn's actions aren't solving anything.
  • Revenge Myopia: He makes it very clear when he goes after the Freedom that he sees it as a way of paying Kira back for Stella. One could argue that revenge on the EA was what motivated him to sign on with ZAFT in the first place.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Not only is this arguably his default state in battle, but his rage is actually the trigger for his SEED mode - though unlike Kira and Athrun, his is more uncontrollable. It doesn't help that he seems to have a convenient reason (be it real or imagined) for him to hate everyone aside from his own team; he wants payback against the EA for causing the renewed war, he blames Orb and it's policies for causing them to be invaded and result in his family's deaths, he holds the Archangel and Kira responsible for the attacks on his comrades and later the death of Stella, then again when Athrun joins them after he and Meyrin were nearly killed by Shinn.
  • Rummage Sale Reject: Off duty, Shinn more or less dresses like a closet explosion, randomly mixing and matching scarves, sleeveless shirts, you name it. This outfit was actually based on something T.M.Revolution wore at one point. There's a fine line between looking like a homeless guy and looking like a J-Rocker.
  • Sanity Has Advantages: So many advantages, he actually fares better against Kira in a Mobile Suit inferior to his (Impulse vs. Freedom) than when they are in machines that are technological matches for each other (Destiny vs. Strike Freedom). The difference is that in the first match, Shinn still had enough mental health to spend a long time carefully studying Kira's fighting style and developing counters to it. As his issues get worse however, he starts fighting with nothing but rage, and stops using any strategy more complex than "get close to the enemy and hack him to bits". This makes it very easy for Kira to counter everything Shinn throws at him, in an ironic reversal of their previous fight. It's worse when he goes up against Athrun (A defensive/counterattack expert) and the Infinite Justice (Heavy-Armored Melee unit). Athrun was also severely injured at the time, too.
  • Sanity Slippage: His mental health takes a dramatic turn for the worse over the course of the series. He hits the pinnacle of this when he battles Athrun for the last time where Athrun's words of reason headbutt all of Rey and Durandal's manipulation that he turns into a screaming berserker. It's not until the epilogue that he even starts to recover.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Shinn has a strong penchant for this and it's definitely a deconstruction — Shinn liberally disregards rules and orders no matter how direct, and always feels his punishment is undeserved or unwarranted because he made what he believed to be the more moral decision.
    • During the Indian Ocean battle he breaks off combat to level an Earth Alliance base and free civilians being used as slave labor. When Athrun then administers Corporal Punishment, Shinn responds with this trope. And gets slapped again.
    • Basically everything to do with Stella. He brings her on to the Minerva hoping she can be treated for her injuries (Talia points out it's not the wisest thing to do since she's also an unrestrained enemy combatant), then he breaks her back out of the ship to return her to Phantom Pain when it looks like she'll either die or be used as propaganda or an experiment by ZAFT. Even Rey has no problem with the latter and majorly assists him.
    • His breakdown over the last arc after Stella's death partly comes from subverting this and deciding he must obey the Chairman to accomplish his goals for peace, but even then he needs Rey's personal and moral framing of the issues to keep going.
  • Screaming Warrior: Usually while hacking things to bits with his BFS.
  • Second Love: Lunamaria, after they each lose their respective first choices (if his relationship with Stella is interpreted as romantic).
  • Shadow Archetype: Shinn is what Athrun would've become had he chosen loyalty over conscience in the later half of the show. There's also some parallels to how Kira could have become if during the first half of the series he'd chosen emotion over reason or allowed himself to obsess over the past.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Shinn's an interesting example in that his PTSD stems from his experiences as a civilian during the First Bloody Valentine War, with the trauma he experienced when his family died serving as the core of his characterisation. None of this is helped, of course, by his time as a soldier in the Second Bloody Valentine War, which only contributes further to his Sanity Slippage.
  • Shout-Out: His Red Is Violent nature, name, and partnership with Rey are all seen as references to Neon Genesis Evangelion, with the 'Rei' and 'Asuka' names themselves being a reference to Brave Raideen.
  • Skilled, but Naive: It would be hard to find anyone in this show who's more badass than Shinn. It would also be hard to find anyone who's more gullible or easy to manipulate.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Justified. Shinn is very, very good, and the fact that his opponents tend to hold back, or suffer mental breakdowns makes him seem even better. It would be impossible, however, for anybody to be as good as Shinn himself thinks he is by the end—which leads to some very harsh lessons.
  • Smug Super: Crosses into this when he's released after being imprisoned because he let Stella go, he pretty much brags to Athrun his superiors are on his side due to the amount of skill he has. It gets worse after he destroys the Freedom. Thus it's quite the nasty shock for him when Athrun cripples the Destiny in the battle over Orb. (Probably would have been worse for Shinn had he known that Athrun was still recovering from the injuries he'd received during his flight from ZAFT)
  • Speed Echoes: The Destiny's Wings of Light have Mirage Colloid incorporated in them, which when they "light up", allows the Gundam it leaves a trail of afterimages as Shinn charges his enemies. This helps Shinn better combat remote drone weapons.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: A possible interpretation of his relationship with Stella. It certainly ends tragically enough.
  • Super Mode: Like Kira, Athrun, and Cagalli, Shinn has access to SEED mode, entering it in almost every battle he participates in. Unlike Athrun and Kira, who are able to activate theirs at will in Destiny, Shinn's is entirely rage driven and thus he loses himself to it more easily.
  • Survivor Guilt: Shinn's clearly suffering from a bad case of this in regards to his family; the situation with Stella only makes it worse.
  • Sympathetic P.O.V.: Though he starts the series as the viewpoint character, he eventually loses it — first to Athrun, and then to Kira.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: One of the few people to express any sympathy for the Extended. Not that this stops him from cutting down two of them without a second thought...
  • Tautological Templar: Shinn gradually starts slipping into this by the last quarter of the series. With Durandal successfully swaying the public that he was their Messiah, Shinn starts to think (or at least forces himself to think) that every action ZAFT takes by default is righteous/noble. Including obliterating his home country off the face of the planet.
  • There Are No Therapists: Kira and Athrun's lives would have been a lot easier had someone taken the terminally depressed kid who just watched his entire family die to see a shrink. Or at least anger-management. Then again, Durandal needs him to be that screwed up because it makes him easier to control.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Shinn threw one of the Sword Impulse's BFSs when he was taking on the Gaia, Abyss, and Chaos at the beginning of the series.
    • Subverted later with the Destiny, as it has two beam boomerangs that can alter its beam length to become beam sabers, but he always throws them in the former mode.
  • To Be Lawful or Good: Faces this a few times, and as the show goes on, his Good decisions (freeing imprisoned laborers, moving heaven and earth for Stella) turn Lawful after deciding to execute Athrun and Meyrin.
  • Tragic Hero: He's a sympathetic but very flawed individual who makes some bad choices (as seen by the other entries on this page). Yet it's hard to actually fault him for his actions at the same time, as he's naive and smack dab in the middle of a situation he barely understands. The people around him were also a factor; Durandal and Rey were just using him, Athrun failed to be a good mentor, and Luna (bless her heart) was in over her head. Regardless of how you spin it, Shinn's story is not a happy one. He starts out with noble intentions, but his inability to grow past his flaws ultimately made him no different than the people he hated. And he came very damn close to becoming a full on case near the end, when in a moment of blind rage and insanity, he nearly kills Luna. Thankfully, Athrun intercepted the attack.
  • A Tragedy of Impulsiveness: When Athrun defects and is escaping Gribraltar with Meyrin in a stolen GOUF Ignited, Shinn is unable to reason why Athrun would betray ZAFT and soon his rage overtakes him. After he seemingly killed Athrun and Meyrin in a maddened fury, he could only weep in silence for what he had done.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Mayu's cellphone, which he uses to periodically listen to her voicemail greeting (i.e. her voice).
  • Tragic Mistake: Makes a few of these, though it's not till rather late on that he sees most of them as this:
    • Returning Stella to Neo Roanoke and Phantom Pain was this for Shinn. It's hard to fault him for it. He took pity on someone and tried to save her life, but it blew up into a cruel and tragic mess. Neo lied when he promised Shinn that Stella wouldn't have to fight anymore. Instead he threw her into the Destroy and sent her on a rampage.
    • Happens again in the end of the series when he nearly goes through Luna to attack Athrun, having lost all control of himself. This is what finally snaps him out of his self-righteousness and realize that he'd become just another killer the same as what he'd claimed to hate, driven to tears upon realizing he'd not only nearly helped enact a mass genocide but nearly killed someone he cared about just because she was in his way.
    • By the time of the epilogue, he seems to view not just his nearly killing Athurn and Meyrin as this, but even admitting he doesn't know whether his original hatred of Orb was justified or not anymore.
  • Unstoppable Rage: His best weapon in a fight, but it's also a deconstruction. He increasingly slips into bouts of this as his experiences in the war slowly gnaw into his sanity. This becomes something of a problem for him in the latter half of the series, as his urge to charge in blindly lets him cut through countless mooks, but screws him in combat against fellow aces like Athrun and Kira, who are much more composed.
    • Eventually, this is Played for Drama. Shinn just can't let go of his anger. He feels like it's the only thing he's got left and he clings to it, even though becomes harder to really justify it as the series goes on. It's not that he can't see shades of grey, but rather that he just doesn't want to admit it because it would mean giving up the one feeling that has kept him going.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Subverted. After the Destiny Plan is revealed, Shinn (like the rest of humanity) is stunned, but when Rey points out that "you knew it would be something like this, right?" for their long-discussed Well-Intentioned Extremist goal of changing things, Shinn starts to adjust. When he's later asked if he believes the same things as Rey (which turn out not to necessarily be everything the Chairman does), he says he does.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: The enraged berserker and the kid we see playing with his sister in the flashbacks don't really have a lot in common.
  • Walking Armory: While all major Gundams by the end of the series carried a relatively balanced set of armaments, the Destiny in particular possessed at least one one weapon suited for nearly any type of engagement — it had two beam swords (which double as beam boomerangs) and a physical sword for close combat, a beam rifle for mid-range, and a beam cannon for long-range.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: He wants to get rid of wars and child experimentation and keep other people from experiencing the same sort of pain he already has. He's willing to become a soldier himself and destroy anything (including friends or misgivings) if he thinks it will ultimately further this goal.
  • With Us or Against Us: Starts expressing this kind of attitude as the war progresses. The scary part is that he doesn't realize that he's doing this.
    • This is ultimately rooted in his Black-and-White Morality way of thinking (see Black-and-White Insanity above); Shinn is so utterly convinced that ZAFT and Durandal is flawlessly just and righteous that, in his eyes, any other factions in the world that doesn't submit to or support Durandal's regime is either ignorant or evil.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: The boy either needs a vacation, a psychiatrist, a goddamn hug or all three. Instead, he's turned into a weapon to be manipulated.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Shinn makes a pretty determined effort to kill Cagalli when she confronts him in the Akatsuki (although it's not known if he actually knew the pilot was Cagalli or even female). He also tries to go through Luna when she gets in the way during his final confrontation with Athrun (though this leads to a My God, What Have I Done? moment soon afterwards).
  • Wrecked Weapon: Happens several times in the final episodes at the hands of Kira in the Strike Freedom and later Athrun in the Infinite Justice. And each time it happens, Shinn is left with a look of stunned disbelief.

    Lunamaria Hawke 

Main mecha: ZGMF-1000 ZAKU Warrior (red), ZGMF-X56S Impulse Gundam

Voiced by: Maaya Sakamoto (Japanese); Maryke Hendrikse [Ocean dub], Alyson Leigh Rosenfeld [NYAV Post dub] (English)
"I'm fine! I got defeated splendidly, though."

One of the Minerva trio of ZAFT Redcoats. She apparently comes from a totally normal background and family life, compared to the other two. "Luna" is cheerful and outgoing, and a "people person", which balances out her friend Shinn's frequently-wrathful disposition and their friend Rey's nigh-disturbing calmness. On the other hand, she can be a bit petty, insensitive, or oblivious, especially to subtle things or pessimistic emotions. Her younger sister, Meyrin, is one of the Minerva's Bridge Bunnies.

She is the pilot of a red ZGMF-1000 ZAKU Warrior and later inherits the Impulse after her ZAKU gets trashed and Shinn upgrades to the Destiny.

  • Ace Custom: Her ZAKU Warrior is a standard Mook unit, except painted red.
  • Ace Pilot: Decorated, even, though overshadowed by Can't Catch Up. While not as over-the-top badass as the other main characters, Luna holds her own against Gundams and the Extended, despite piloting a ZAKU for most of the series.
  • Badass Adorable: Sweet ray of sunshine, she is.
  • BFG: On her ZAKU Gunner. How big? The stock and part of the barrel are both collapsible when the weapon is not in use, and even then, the weapon is as long as the ZAKU is tall. Also later on the Blast Impulse which has two.
  • BFS: On the Impulse. She actually seems better with it than she was with her ZAKU's BFG.
  • Boyish Short Hair: The shortest of any of the female characters in CE.
  • Break the Cutie: With absolutely no warning, she's informed her two best friends have executed her little sister and the man she's been idolizing together, for treason. And she ends up wailing in Shinn's arms due to shared grief and trauma, anyway. Ow.
  • Can't Catch Up: Lampshaded from the very beginning, when the engine of her ZAKU blows midair as she and Rey are racing to Shinn's aid, and it isn't helped by the fact that she's stuck in an inferior mobile suit throughout the show. By the end, Rey and Shinn have been given a promotion and are more or less shutting her out of any and all serious discussions. She carries on with relatively good grace nonetheless, but it's quite clear that it's frustrating her as she can't really discuss anything with Shinn without Rey becoming a Crazy Jealous Guy.
  • Celeb Crush: On Athrun. She seems a tad disappointed when she actually meets him. Whether her feelings for Athrun were truly romantic (she thought he was engaged, after all) or just very enthusiastic subordinate Hero Worship is another question.
  • Character Development: It starts with Break the Cutie, and is tied to developing maturing feelings and sensitivity due to grieving and developing a much closer, more romantic relationship with Shinn.
  • The Chick: Among the ZAFT pilots.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl:
    • Subverted. When "Lacus" (Meer) both isn't very polite to her and apparently spent the night with her "fiance", Luna's idolized Commander Zala, Luna temporarily gets quite bitchy to Athrun in response; it's the opposite of clingy.
    • After she hooks up with Shinn, she finds herself constantly fighting a losing battle with the Crazy Jealous Guy Rey. Subverted again from her end as she deals with it fairly maturely and gracefully and isn't clingy even when she has plenty of reason to be jealous.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Receiving end. Even after getting her own Gundam, Athrun was just leagues above Lunamaria in both skill and experience.
  • Custom Uniform of Sexy: Her uniform consists of a shortened ZAFT redcoat on top and a pink miniskirt with thigh-high socks on bottom.
  • Dark Chick: Retains her position post-perspective flip. As a fairly classic Chick in what's otherwise a Five-Man Band she ends up filling this position.
  • Foreshadowing: In episode 7, Luna was lousy shot during her target practice sessions at a shooting range. Guess what happens when she tries to shoot down Djibril's shuttle?
  • Freudian Trio: Deconstructed. Shinn is the Id, Luna the Ego, and Athrun/Rey the Superego — but Luna spends the first three-fourths of the show completely focused on and siding with Athrun and the last quarter competing with Rey for Shinn's time and attention; she never once sides with Shinn against Athrun or Rey about anything. The trio/quartet are a very broken version of this.
  • Friend Versus Lover: Since Rey was arguably her friend as well, when her relationship with Shinn changed in the wake of her sister's apparent death, this got awkward. She endured, and is eventually shown to have regained or retained his respect.
  • Genki Girl: At first, she's cheerful and energetic, and fawns shamelessly over Athrun. Later on... less so.
  • Heroic BSoD: Two:
    • She suffers her first one when she is informed that Athrun turned traitor and somehow coerced Meyrin to jump ship with him, which resulted in Shinn having to (seemingly) execute them both as they tried to escape. Lunamaria is in complete disbelief and despair, and her decision to forgive Shinn and undergo a Relationship Upgrade with him may or may not simply be her attempt to escape the truth.
    • Later, she appears to suffer a second of these during Shinn and Athrun's final battle, openly shocked and horrified upon seeing how compromised Shinn's mental state is and watching frozen from the sidelines as he's eventually driven into a corner by Athrun. Even when she does finally snap out of it, it's to try and stop Shinn's rampage - which nearly gets her killed - and then make sure Shinn is alright after he's defeated, her will to fight having been completely broken.
  • Hero-Worshipper: Of Athrun, at least at first. He strongly discouraged this though, as he made it clear that his experience in the last war is not to be glamorized. Nevertheless, she persisted in believing and acting like he could do no wrong, right up until he disappeared with her sister at Gibraltar.
  • Idiot Hair: It's a Mythology Gag, in her case.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: A rare heroic case. Unlike most examples of this, Lunamaria is specifically shown to have some difficulty being an accurate shot (not just when she's aiming at an enemy), despite having managed to be a top academy graduate and elite pilot. Her most infamous display of this trait is when she failed to shoot down a shuttle Djibril was escaping on (which had horrific consequences, considering he then destroyed six of the PLANTs), to the point where it's exaggerated or parodied in spinoff works.note 
  • It's All About Me: Downplayed, but Luna's unimaginative tendencies are fairly consistent. She continually underestimates Shinn until shock and grief force her to re-evaluate, she accepts the unlikely explanation of her sister and Athrun being LOGOS spies because she seemingly can't manage any other way while shocked and grieving, and she has a big moment of this by never even noticing Meyrin liked Athrun, too.
  • Just Following Orders: She tells Shinn (and herself) this as rationalization for following through with the order to kill Athrun and Meyrin.
  • Long-Range Fighter: At first. Even before she and Rey were stuck on the Minerva's upper decks to serve as fire support for Shinn, Luna always sortied with the Gunner Wizard Pack for her ZAKU Warrior, despite it being a poor matchup against Stella and her fast-moving Gaia. Fully averts this after she acquires the Impulse.
  • Mid-Season Upgrade: The Impulse may be an older Gundam (relatively-speaking, as it was the mascot Gundam for the first half of the show), but it's a huge cut above her ZAKU.
  • Morality Pet: In the final battle, Meyrin screams at her that she's wrong, she can't tell who the real Lacus is, and she needs to stop fighting. All of that combined with the shock of hearing Meyrin really is alive pushes her out of combat. Unfortunately, when she tries to convince Shinn of the same thing, he almost kills her.
  • Ms. Fanservice: There's no other explanation for her uniform — Shiho Hahnenfuss wears the standard redcoat outfit and Riika Sheder in Astray wears Proper Tights with a Skirt. Highlighted with her inevitable Panty Shot in the HD Remaster. The fact that Luna wears the standard redcoat uniform at the very end of the compilation movies seems to acknowledge this.
  • Multiform Balance: The Impulse, which finally gave her a chance to show that she earned that red uniform.
  • My Country, Right or Wrong: Lunamaria had valid reasons to question her sister and Athrun apparently being executed for spying for LOGOS, given that she eavesdropped on Athrun's meeting with Kira, Cagalli and Miriallia and there wasn't a single thing said that would even hint at disloyalty. Furthermore, her highly-skeptical CO, who had ordered the surveillance, came to the exact same conclusion and told her the matter was closed. Instead of questioning the Durandal-issued explanation, however, Luna immediately chose to accept it to cope with the shock and grief of Athrun's desertion and his and Meyrin's "death" at Shinn's hands.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Her red ZAKU doesn't have Char Aznable's famous command antenna. Her head does.
    • Luna missing several shots against Djibril's shuttle was a nod to an episode of Zeta Gundam, where Char failed to shoot down Jamitov's shuttle.
  • No Sympathy: Despite knowing Shinn's entire family was killed and supposedly being his friend, Luna doesn't have much for him, constantly calling him immature and preferring Athrun. Eventually subverted in the last quarter, where she gains quite a bit of understanding after thinking Meyrin's been killed.
  • Oh, Crap!: Has two of these moments, both during the final battle. The first is when Athrun's Justice easily overpowers her Impulse and slices off it's arm, left reeling as she realizes how badly outmatched she is. The second is when she tries and fails to stop Shinn's berserk rampage, only able to stare back in shock upon realizing he can't tell friend from foe anymore and is about to tear right through her - and it's only because of Athrun saving her that he doesn't.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Inverted. Shinn is the only one who calls her "Luna".
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: Being a ZAFT red ace, Luna's a perfectly competent if not exceptional pilot, capable of holding her own with Stella's Gaia using only a ZAKU Warrior. Unfortunately for her, she's on the same team as far-more-skilled Shinn and Rey, and ends up going up against even-more-skilled Neo/Mu and Athrun in the final battle.
  • Relationship Upgrade: She and Shinn go from being friends who bicker and aren't very focused on each other to having a romantic relationship and supporting each other emotionally.
  • Second Love: Shinn, after they each lose their respective first choices.
  • Shorttank: While undoubtedly attractive, Luna isn't nearly as feminine as other female cast members.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: With Meyrin. Whether it's attitude, hairstyle, uniform, job, or relationship with Athrun, pretty much everything about her and her sister is different. The only thing they seem to agree on is that Shinn is immature and Athrun seems impressive, especially by comparison.
  • There Are No Therapists: If there were, Luna might not have decided that clinging to Shinn and My Country, Right or Wrong were the only ways she had of coping with her sister's and idol's suspicious "deaths". Of course, given that there was never any help for her teammates and since the Chairman's entire goal is for no one to question anything, it's not surprising the trope continues to be played straight.
  • Third Act Stupidity: Given her spying mission on Athrun, you'd think she would be suspicious of there actually being two Lacuses or that there might be some foul play going on on ZAFT's part. She proceeds to do nothing with this information for the rest of the series, even when it is globally revealed that there were two Lacus Clynes (though it seems to color her attitude somewhat). Perhaps most glaringly is how she accepted that Athrun and Meyrin were agents of LOGOS, despite all evidence to the contrary.
  • Token Good Teammate: Of the redcoats post-perspective flip. It's not that her teammates are truly evil, but Luna's the only one who manages to keep her sense of perspective and avoid going totally over the line.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: The Boyish Short Hair Action Girl to Meyrin's and Meer's girly girls.

    Rey Za Burrel 

Main mecha: ZGMF-1001/M Blaze ZAKU Phantom (white), ZGMF-X666S Legend Gundam

Voiced by: Toshihiko Seki, Houko Kuwashima (young) (Japanese); Kirby Morrow, Lisa Ann Beley (young) [Ocean dub], Kevin T. Collins, Michael Sinterniklaas (young) [NYAV Post dub] (English)
"Whatever kind of life it is — we want to keep on living, if we can."

The third of the Minerva's pilot trio. He is calm, stoic, and firmly loyal to Durandal — as well as a mentor to Shinn, providing some much-needed stability to offset Shinn's volatile emotions. When the others are confused, questioning, or doubtful, it's Rey who brings them back to focus on their mission. He also displays a penetrating intelligence and grasp of both tactics and strategy, which makes him a useful supporter and consultant for both Shinn and the Chairman.

He pilots a white ZGMF-1001/M Blaze ZAKU Phantom, performing the same function as Lunamaria (standing atop the Minerva and providing fire support). Eventually he gets his own Gundam — the ZGMF-X666S Legend — and begins to demonstrate exactly what he is capable of; he and Shinn provide most of the muscle for ZAFT in the later battles.

  • Ace Pilot: Like his brother before him, he is a sniper who keeps his distance and picking off enemies one at a time. At least until he gets the Legend, with which he can Beam Spam like both the Freedom and Providence from the previous series.
  • Ace Custom: His first suit, the Blaze ZAKU Phantom, a Mecha-Mook painted white.
  • Act of True Love: Rey didn't have to help Shinn get Stella off the Minerva or go to the same physical lengths, although Shinn probably wouldn't have made it if he didn't. In a complicated situation Rey sized up easily with the page quote, it is explicitly clear that Durandal and ulterior motives had nothing to do with it, and that Rey seemingly thought Shinn was doing the right thing, and apparently wanted his Only Friend not to face the consequences by himself. He has no complaint when they're then both stuck in the brig facing execution for days. It's a subtle Foreshadowing that he values Shinn more than anything, including what turns out to be Durandal and the Destiny Plan.
  • Affably Evil: Rey is a loyal friend and effective subordinate, so long as you're on his side. However, he's also a badly damaged Manipulative Bastard who thinks that humans are scum and wants to install a One World Order based on genetic determinism, and is willing to cross any lines to get there.
  • Anti-Villain: Rey honestly thinks he's making the world a better place, but his methods are ruthless, he tends to be unforgiving and he's not shy about shooting people to do it. At one point he tells Shinn that he won't accomplish anything by being too kind.
  • Arch-Enemy: Considers Kira as his enemy, as revealed near the end.
  • Avenging the Villain: Given his intense focus on destroying Kira, who killed Le Creuset and represents everything Rau loathed, this likely plays a role in Rey's motivations.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: After being noticeably brusque and irritable with Lunamaria and clingy with Shinn for the entire last quarter, he finally tells Shinn just before the final battle that Lunamaria "is strong. Trust her more." And he even smiles while he does it. It's not only a Pet the Dog moment in a very dark and chaotic couple of episodes, it's a nice reminder that the three of them are still friends.
  • Bash Brothers: With Shinn. They make a formidable and frightening team wielding the Destiny and Legend on the battlefield.
  • Be Yourself: How Kira rebukes him when trying to play mind-games with him by pretending to be Rau.
    Kira: That life you are living is your own! Not his!
  • Beam Spam: The Legend has a total of 26 beam guns across its ten DRAGOON units, and it can fire them while they're still docked, allowing it to achieve this trope in Earth as well as in space.
  • Beware the Quiet Ones: Rey is one of the quietest and most-mannered characters for the first part of the show... and one of the most violent, ruthless, and lethal after that, including being the one who shoots the Big Bad.
  • BFG: Legend's beam rifle is longer and larger than a typical firearm for a MS (though not as massive as the Providence's shoulder-mounted beam rifle/bazooka).
  • Bigger Stick: Although understated, the Legend is among the best Gundams in the entire storyline, on par with the Destiny, Strike Freedom and Infinite Justice. Although on paper it doesn't seem to be anything impressive (it even has less Beam Spam than Providence), it is much faster, has better offensive and defensive options, and can use its heavier firepower even in Earth. Two of its Attack Drones are capable of close range engagement as well, and when combined with the drone's speed the Legend is a nightmare for most mobile suits specializing in close combat. Even Athrun in his Infinite Justice avoids a one-to-one confrontation with the Legend.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Appears to be a rational, likeable young man. Is actually a bitter Manipulative Bastard with plans for a genetic determinist utopia.
  • Broken Pedestal: Convinced by Kira's words that he is his own person and not a second Rau Le Creuset, Rey is the one who shoots Durandal, in the very end.
  • Char Clone: A blonde Ace Pilot and a faithful disciple of Durandal's (he himself a Char Clone) warped views on humanity.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Rey practices at the firing range frequently. Ultimately, he's the one who takes Durandal down with one shot.
  • Clones Are People, Too: Kira Yamato eventually convinces him of this, which leads to his Villainous Breakdown.
  • Cloning Blues: Unsurprisingly (given his blond hair, blue eyes, voice actor, and oddly constructed last name), Rey is a clone of Al Da Flaga, and believes that it's his job to be a better version of Le Creuset.
  • Conflicting Loyalties:
    • Foreshadowed in a Bilingual Bonus when he and Shinn go to meet Durandal for the final time at Messiah. Rey ostensibly addresses Durandal, but uses ore to refer to himself instead of watashinote , which means he's actually talking to Shinn, who visibly notices. In the end, Rey picks "his [Shinn's] tomorrow", not Gil's.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: Rey is not happy when anyone or anything tries to get between him and Shinn, his Only Friendnote . The fact it makes him Not So Stoic suggests it's understandably pretty personal, not just political or philosophical.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Rey has a complete breakdown trying to infiltrate the abandoned Lodonia facility, because Rau apparently rescued him as a small kid from a place that was quite similar — and that's the only thing we know about his history, other than his being a Flaga clone, having no parents, and then losing Rau at the end of the prior war. He's pretty serene about it, but still doesn't go into most details.
  • Dark Is Evil: Downplayed. In his case, it's the Legend Gundam that wears these colors.
  • Deflector Shield: The Legend is equipped with a pair of beam shield generators, just like the Destiny.
  • Double Weapon: Equipped with two beam javelins (really just ordinary beam sabers) in the Legend's legs, although Rey only seems to use them as a combined doubled-ended beam saber rather than Dual Wielding.
  • The Dragon: He operates subtly as Durandal's, enforcing his will aboard the Minerva, and acting as his primary physical defense.
  • Drone Deployer: Being the Providence's successor, the Legend also has the DRAGOON System. Eight of them are equipped with 2 standard beam guns; the other two are larger and are equipped with 5 beam cannons and 4 beam spikes, the former being powerful enough to tear through gigantic mobile armors and the latter can penetrate their Deflector Shields (which is weak against close range beam weapons such as beam sabers). Unlike the Providence, they can also be used while attached to the Legend's backpack as well as after deployment, allowing it to be more consistent with its Beam Spam.
  • Evil Mentor: Can be considered one to Shinn. Rey keeps Shinn in line, is his greatest advisor and provides him with nearly all of his emotional stability and support, but he's also using his friend to his and Durandal's own ends, ensuring that Shinn's actions match the agenda they ostensibly share. Worse yet, he can't fix any of Shinn's underlying emotional issues, which only leaves the kid more screwed up than he started out, while simultaneously feeding him a With Us or Against Us attitude.
  • The Evils of Free Will: Shares the Chairman's belief that free will is what ultimately leads to suffering, and thinks that if everyone has their path in life laid out for them in advance the world will be a better place.
  • Foil: To Rau Le Creuset. Both are by-products of very cruel experimentation (Rau being the bribed clone of a Narcissist and Rey being a prisoner and likely experimented on as a small child with no identity whatsoever), they take pills for their wellbeing, and they pilot Ace Custom mobile suits before upgrading to Gundams with Attack Drones. However, while Rau wants to cause all of mankind to exterminate themselves, Rey desires a better future, even if it means putting everyone into a twisted kind of peace. Rau manipulated many folks to achieve his goals, including his higher-ups and their enemies while Rey is subjugated to Durandal, sharing his ideals. Finally, Rau is defeated by Kira and decimated by the GENESIS while still believing humans were a self-destructing species, while Rey is only defeated by Kira in their final sortie and subconsciously agrees with Kira's views by shooting Durandal before dying in the Big Bad's Collapsing Lair.
  • Freak Out: He has one at the Extended lab, foreshadowing both his clone status and his eventual Villainous Breakdown.
  • Freudian Excuse: Rey's "childhood" consisted of being a clone with no family and essentially no identity, surviving as a prisoner or a lab experiment for a significant period of time. That he was able to grow and function and stay as composed as he does speaks volumes for his Determinator status — and possibly his Newtype one.
  • Freudian Trio: Deconstructed. Shinn is the Id, Luna the Ego, and Rey the Superego, sharing the role in the group with Athrun. However, for most of the show Luna consistently focuses on Athrun, leaving Shinn with Rey, then ends up competing with Rey for Shinn's time and attention — and still never once sides with Shinn against him, or with Rey against Shinn, for that matter.
  • Friend Versus Lover: Rey gets downright bitchy when Shinn starts getting closer to Lunamaria, and does his best to shut her out of the decision making process, given that Luna could express doubts about the Destiny Plan, which Rey needs Shinn to believe in. Also, Shinn's the Only Friend Rey has.
  • Gender Flip:
    • Of Sayla Mass from Mobile Suit Gundam, given his role as The Quiet One, keen intelligence, blond beauty, strict demeanor, sharp tongue, Dark and Troubled Past, and problematic, masked older sibling who's abandoned him.
    • He's also a calm, stoic clone with a white color scheme who hangs around Shinn Asuka. Many comparisons have been made with Rei Ayanami of Neon Genesis Evangelion.
  • Gray Is Useless: Subverted. The Legend is still mainly gray with Phase Shift activated — and a highly useful mobile suit.
  • Hero Worship: Of Durandal.
    Rey: (to Athrun and Meyrin) I won't forgive you for betraying Gil!
    Rey: (after shooting Durandal) Gil! I'm sorry!
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: From target practice and discovering crimes against humanity, to sharing a room to plotting combat tactics, to freeing Stella and getting thrown in the brig, to bringing humanity to the brink of a One World Order, Shinn and Rey are always together.
  • Hidden Depths: As shown in episode 15 and 29, he has a long-held fondness for playing the piano, at which he's quite skilled.
  • Icy Blue Eyes: Of the cool and unflinching variety.
  • Identical Stranger: As a child he's shown to look almost exactly like a younger Stella Loussier and is voiced in the original by Houko Kuwashima, who plays both her and Flay Allster, Rau's other Rescue Introduction. Given their similar backgrounds and roles in Shinn's life, it's probably not coincidental.
  • Ignored Enamored Underling: Rey is Durandal's most fervent supporter and has known him for years, shown by a head pat when he was smaller, but Durandal only allows an ecstatic Rey to hug him when Talia is watching, and doesn't return the affection in kind.
  • Irony: In an effort to keep Shinn loyal to Durandal, he does his best to stop Shinn from listening to anyone else. Yet ultimately, he ends up being swayed by Kira's words, and shoots Durandal.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: He vaporizes Djibril by firing through the bridge of his battleship while the latter is trying to escape from yet another losing battle. Also doubles as a Mythology Gag.
  • The Last Dance: Much like Rau Le Creuset, drugs stave off the Clone Degeneration to some degree, yet he tells Shinn he'll die shortly. This clearly factors into his desire to see the Destiny Plan implemented soon.
  • Left for Dead: In the finale, Kira and Athrun (in later versions) are forced to leave Rey behind on the Messiah as it goes down in flames.
  • Light Is Not Good: Blond hair, blue eyes, white mobile suit and pilot get the idea by now.
  • Lightning Bruiser: The Legend is much faster than the Providence, fast enough to fight toe-to-toe with the Strike Freedom, and has absolutely no issues avoiding the latter's own Beam Spam.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: He acts as the voice of reason for Shinn both on and off the Battlefield. Deconstructed in that Rey actively encourages this to keep Shinn under his sway- something that proves to be a mistake. Rey makes a tactical error in the final battle when he orders Shinn to go on alone, apparently not grasping that without his presence Shinn would start to fall apart. Shinn also appears to function as his, given their Only Friends mutuality.
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy: Look at him. He's got blonde hair reaching to his shoulders and he's pretty handsome.
  • Manipulative Bastard: He has Shinn wrapped around his little finger for the entire series, maintains control over the Minerva through his role as The Political Officer, and almost drives Kira into a Heroic BSoD during the final battle by revealing his Cloning Blues. Both Justified and Subverted because he believes he needs to be his even more manipulative "brother" Rau; a view fostered onto him by Durandal. However, Kira rebuffs his arguments, showing that Rey is not the same Rau, and that he himself had been manipulated.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Rey is an obvious reference to Amuro Ray, the franchise's first Gundam pilot and Arch-Enemy of Char Aznable (who was voiced by Durandal's Shūichi Ikeda).
    • It also means "king" in Spanish, considering this show's Chess Motifs ...and how the end turns out.
  • Mid-Season Upgrade: Gains the Legend Gundam as the series approaches its final arc; this new machine proves to be far more powerful than his ZAKU Phantom.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • His Meaningful Name, as in legendary Amuro Ray, The Hero, as well as his "White Kid" nickname. 'Za Burrel' appears to have the same katakana as the obscure MSG-retelling novel "For The Barrel".
    • As a Gender Flip of Sayla Mass from the original series, Rey has a great deal of loyalty and affection for Gilbert Durandal, whose seiyuu voiced her Aloof Big Brother — with the exact same voice.
    • Well, everyone was wondering who'd get the bazooka to the head in a show featuring Shuichi Ikeda and Mami Koyama...
    • And notable with all the other ones, Rey's forehead wounded and bleeding at the end, referencing the end of the series.
  • Not So Stoic: During his Freak Out at Lodonia, and his Villainous Breakdown at the end.
  • Number of the Beast: ZGMF-X666S Legend.
  • Only Friend: Shinn and Rey are one another's for most of the show. There's official art describing them as "alone together". Given that Rau is dead and Durandal is a pathological Narcissist, it exponentially increases Shinn's importance to Rey.
  • Only Sane Man: Double Subverted. Rey appears to be the rational one in the Minerva's crew, but he's actually the single most damaged person on the ship... which doesn't actually negate the fact he's got pretty decent advice for Shinn and Luna a lot of the time.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Any time Rey is not stoic, quiet and perfectly composed, something major is going on. Yelling while both attempting to shoot Athrun and Meyrin and later trying to get Lunamaria to let him be alone with Shinn are two of the major examples.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: As with Lunamaria, Rey pilots a ZAKU (and mainly tasked with fire support) for most of the series, leaving Shinn and Athrun to receive most of the spotlight in their flight-capable Gundams. He breaks out of this later when he becomes the pilot of the Legend.
  • Pet the Dog: His conversation with Shinn before the final battle. He gently asks if Shinn's all right, reassures him Lunamaria is fine, then makes a major switch from his earlier behavior and tells him she's strong and he should trust her more. He even manages to smile, while Shinn himself isn't too happy. Finally, he tells Shinn Shinn's going to save Orb. Given the Downer Ending the two of them subsequently had, they still had one last very sincere True Companions moment.
  • The Philosopher: Very much in the same vein as Lacus, Durandal, and Le Creuset, he spends a lot of time brooding about life, meaning, nature and actions.
  • The Political Officer: Very quietly plays this role on the Minerva, ensuring that Luna, Shinn, and the rest of the crew stay loyal to the Chairman.
  • Prophecy Twist: Rey's effective Last Words to Shinn, which, given how winning the final battle and allowing Durandal to use the Requiem on Orb would not qualify, may mean Rey knew they would have to lose... and was fine with it as a better thing for Shinn.
    Rey: You're going to save that country. (smile)
  • The Quiet One: As befitting a Gender Flip of Sayla from Mobile Suit Gundam, Rey doesn't waste his words.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Rey gives a blisteringly withering one to Athrun after the latter punches Shinn for taking down the Freedom, icily pointing out that Shinn was Just Following Orders (ostensibly reasonable and legit ones in this case) and reminding Athrun of what actual military responsibilities are. It's so striking, Athrun has a flashback of Lacus verbally eviscerating him two years ago in a similar manner.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Blue to Shinn's Red. Just look at their eyes.
  • Rescue Introduction: With Rau, who found an imprisoned and much smaller Rey years ago and saved him.
  • The Reveal: A rather subdued one, when Shinn (and the viewers) see him taking some of Rau Le Creuset's trademark little pills, and he casually remarks that he suffers from short telomeres due to being a clone.
  • The Smart Guy: Shinn and Luna's battlefield advisor by default. Shinn's life coach, also by default. Rey speaks very intelligently and constantly tries to explain things to everyone else, usually because he's questioned about it.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: With Rau. Rau’s a flamboyant and dramatic masked white coat with wavy hair and more Heroic Build who admires Lacus, works alone, and doesn’t bother telling Patrick Zala he betrayed him; Rey’s a quiet, businesslike redcoat, with straight hair, a delicate build, and no mask. He hero-worships Durandal, always cooperates, shows extensive loyalty to his friends and comrades, and cries profusely and apologizes after shooting Durandal. Contrast their responses to Athrun over his Kira issues — Rau is initially extremely sympathetic and tells Athrun he can’t make him shoot his friend even if Athrun is a soldier and Kira is an enemy; Rey finally gives him a "Reason You Suck" Speech and points out that Kira is an enemy (again) and Athrun seems to have lost all grasp of what being a soldier is.
  • The Stoic: Always calm, always controlled.
  • Straw Nihilist: Subverted. While Rey has a very negative view of humanity, he consciously rejects Rau-style Omnicidal Mania, believing instead that Utopia Justifies the Means. Further cemented in the finale, when the realization that he can be his own person and make his own choices — rather than blindly following the path set out before him by others — leads him to betray the Destiny Plan and shoot Durandal.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: He's the only person other than Shinn to expresses some sympathy for Stella's situation. He also has some sympathy for Le Creuset, whom he regards as a rescuer, as well as a brother/other incarnation of himself.
  • Toxic Friend Influence: Zigzagged. Despite caring for him, defending him, and even depending on him, Rey is not necessarily the best influence on Shinn. While the friendship is quite real, Rey wants to use Shinn to further their ideal world since he can't do it himself due to his short lifespan. He goes to great lengths to keep Shinn dependent on him, such as having Athrun framed for treason, and being a Crazy Jealous Guy where Shinn and Luna are concerned. All the while remaining unaware (or indifferent) to Shinn's failing psyche. In the end, though, he compliments Lunamaria and tells Shinn to trust her, and ultimately shoots Durandal with the excuse that it was for Shinn's sake.
  • Undying Loyalty:
    • Ultimately subverted. For most of the show, Rey's loyalty to Durandal is his signature trait. However, this loyalty is based more on a childish affection after a horrific ordeal and a belief Durandal will change the world, ignoring the fact that he has no place in Durandal's schemes other than as a substitute for Rau or Athrun, and when his Arch-Enemy Kira points out that he can, in fact, choose to be whomever he wants, Rey finally snaps.
    • Played straight, however, with Shinn, whom he always backs — even freeing Stella when Durandal wanted her as a propaganda specimen, at the potential cost of his own life and Shinn's — and ultimately chooses over Durandal.
  • Unknown Rival: To Kira. Once he reveals his Cloning Blues, however, he immediately has Kira's attention.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: If Durandal's flashbacks are any indicator.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: Why Rey is loyal to Durandal; he honestly believes that Durandal's world will be a better one, regardless of how many bodies are used to line the foundations.
  • Villainous Breakdown: An utterly epic one, during the final battle. Kira convinces him that clone or not, he is his own person who has to make his own decisions. Rey takes this rather hard. By the end, he's crying for his "mother" in Talia's arms as Messiah Base caves in on them.
  • Villainous Friendship: Had one with Durandal and Le Creuset. He has one with Shinn as well, though Shinn's hardly evil.
  • Visionary Villain: Shares Durandal's vision of a changed and apparently peaceful future for all humanity.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Having seen what his "other self" already tried to do as well as what human fears, greed, and violence managed to do to children like himself and Stella, and even to his Only Friend Shinn, Rey is convinced that something has to change, and backs Durandal as the most likely way of accomplishing it.
  • When He Smiles: His smile isn't seen much due to his stoicism, but it's positively angelic.
  • With Us or Against Us: The show's main proponent of this attitude.
  • Zen Survivor: Probably the clearest example in the series, if not CE. Rey's eerie calm, cryptic remarks, idiosyncratic morality and enigmatic behavior are all ways of dealing with the Dehumanization and majorly traumatic nature of his Dark and Troubled Past.

    Athrun Zala 

Main mecha: ZGMF-X23S Saviour Gundam, ZGMF-X19A Infinite Justice Gundam

Voiced by: Akira Ishida (Japanese), Samuel Vincent (English original series dub), Chris Hackney (English HD Remaster dub)
"My name... my name is Athrun Zala. I am the son of Patrick Zala, the man who fanned the flames of war and poisoned the whole world with his hatred. I believed what my father said. I fought in the war, I killed the enemy, I fought my best friend... and even when I realized how wrong he was, I couldn't stop him and I lost everything."

The true main protagonist of the series. A veteran of the first Bloody Valentine War, and an old friend (and enemy) of Kira Yamato's. He rejoins ZAFT when war breaks out once again and is assigned to the Minerva. His accomplishments and fame earn him the adoration of much of the crew, apart from the surly Shinn. He initially opposes his old friends on the Archangel, citing their actions as doing nothing but making the conflict worse.

He pilots the ZGMF-X23S Saviour while aboard the Minerva, a Transforming Mecha just like the Aegis from Mobile Suit Gundam SEED, and eventually obtains the ZGMF-X19A Infinite Justice, a melee-oriented Gundam and the Justice's spiritual successor.

  • The Ace: The Minerva's crew treat him like this, but see Broken Ace, below for how he feels about it.
  • Ace Pilot: Though his record is overshadowed by Kira, and later Shinn, Athrun is probably the most skilled and experienced pilot on the show; excelling in close-combat and battlefield tactics. During combat, he keeps a close eye on the overall tactical situation, issuing orders and engaging key (or difficult) targets to keep the pressure off his allies. He's the only pilot that was able to go one-on-one with Kira's Freedom at first, and did so with the less advanced Savior while not in SEED mode. In the two times he faces against the Destiny, Athrun can handle everything that Shinn throws at him, and then starts destroying weapons when the latter's hotheadedness gets the better of him. And while Shinn was in SEED mode for most of the fight, Athrun wasn't. He didn't activate it until the very end in order to shield Luna from a berserk Shinn, after which he basically wrecks the Destiny into pieces.
  • Aesop Amnesia: After Lacus confronts him with a To Be Lawful or Good decision two years ago, he chooses to listen to his conscience, rejected a "My Country, Right or Wrong" mentality, and tried to bring about genuine peace. By the beginning of Destiny, he seems to have forgotten all that, signs up with ZAFT again, and has to undergo the whole process a second time. Admittedly, this was probably deliberate on the part of the writers; a major theme of Destiny is how easy it is to repeat the mistakes of the past. Athrun's deeply conflicted feelings about the role he played in the last war (particularly issues regarding his late father) allowed Durandal to manipulate him into fighting on his behalf. It worked for a while, but coming into conflict with Kira caused Athrun to realize he was going down the same path again.
  • The Aloner: Deconstructed. His friendship with Kira makes them nigh unstoppable. Likewise, his relationship with Cagalli gives his life a purpose beyond battle. And Lacus can give him the clarity to see things from an outside perspective. However Athrun has begun to believe he has to do things on his own, even if it means he has to push Kira, Cagalli and Lacus away. This is also why he can't function well as Shinn's mentor, since he's far too caught in his own problems to truly try and understand Shinn's. Part of his Character Development is overcoming this. This is even symbolized by his status as a FAITH Member, as he now gets what he wants, full autonomy to do as he sees fit without anyone being able to tell him (aside from Durandal) he can't do it... yet it ultimately is a meaningless status, as he can't truly affect any kind of change in himself or the war in this way.
  • The Atoner: This goes hand in hand with his loner tendencies, but Athrun's uncertainties begin in full once he encounters the remnants of his father's regime, who then drop Junius Seven on Earth to finish what Patrick started. Athrun's attempts to make up for this, by himself, are what lead him into Durandal's trap.
  • Big Brother Mentor: He tries to be this for Shinn, but Shinn's not really interested, and Athrun doesn't have the people skills to pull it off. The two do still manage to develop a relationship however, one which is strong enough for Shinn to be fairly distressed after Athrun's "betrayal". Athrun, in turn, continually attempts to talk sense into Shinn about the wrongness of Durandal's plans for the remainder of the series, up through their final fight in the last episode.
  • Break Them by Talking: Twice towards Shinn near the end series. First time they meet, he goes the Kirk Summation route. The second time he's not so nice.
  • Broken Ace: He doesn't live up to his own standards, fails to mentor others, and is very conflicted about what's right.
  • Broken Base: In-universe example. Athrun's a controversial figure in his (former) home country, wildly regarded as one of the best pilots ZAFT ever produced, but is also technically a traitor.
  • Broken Pedestal: To Lunamaria and the other ZAFT soldiers who idealize him. They were expecting a legendary Ace Pilot. They got, well, Athrun. The end of Final Plus indicates that he's reconciled with both Shinn and Luna, but the hero worship remains gone. Not that Athrun ever cared for such praise anyhow.
  • Brought Down to Badass: Suffering from this for a little over half of the series. Though he was capable of using SEED mode at will by the end of the first series, he has since lost that ability. He still remains a highly skilled pilot and field commander, retaining all of the experience he gained during the first war. This makes it so that even without the ability to access SEED Mode at will he is still one of the best fighters around. By the end of the series however, he regains the ability to access SEED mode whenever he wants.
  • Char Clone: Of the Quatro Bajeena variety (he even wears large black shades at several points and briefly adopts a pseudonym: 'Alex Dino'). Athrun tries (and fails) to be a good mentor to the other pilots aboard the Minerva. Ironically, he doesn't start to get remotely better at this until after he's defected back to his old crew and friends from SEED.
  • Character Development: Starts out the series as a Broken Ace and a Shell-Shocked Veteran trying to find out what his purpose in life is, as he didn't find any true closure at the end of SEED. This leads him to try and find his own path again, by himself, going against his and Kira's promise to try and find the answer together. This unfortunately leads him to become a pawn of Durandal's and forgetting completely what he had learned previously, bringing him right back into conflict with Kira. By the second half of the series, he does reaffirm that he should be fighting on Kira's and Orb's side, and regains his lost confidence, complete with being able to activate SEED mode at will. While it seems like the exact realization he had last time, it actually is more about Athrun realizing that, by himself all he can do is repeat the same mistakes. And that focusing on his own issues just cuts him off from people who can keep him from doing so. Realizing this also allows him to finally make a true connection with Shinn, as he now puts his own issues aside in order to get through to him, even if he can't pull his punches.
  • Chick Magnet: Despite (or because of) being somewhat stilted and awkward, women throw themselves at Athrun.
  • Close-Range Combatant: Like Shinn, it's subverted, as Athrun is quite versatile in all forms of combat with no real preference, but many of his most impressive feats occur when he busts out his beam sabers.
  • Combining Mecha: As Justice's successor, the Infinite Justice is comprised of two units - the core mecha, and a glider unit that can serve as either a backpack or a remote-controlled mount. While it retains the two beam cannons from the Justice's design, its shape is more streamlined and is equipped with beam blades instead of machine guns. This makes its ramming attack much more lethal, and although Athrun doesn't risk using it against dangerous enemies like the Destiny and Legend, it is very effective against slow moving targets like battleships, allowing to Athrun to later sink the Minerva by simply deploying its backpack to ram straight through its main thrusters.
  • Corporal Punishment: Administers it to Shinn a few times. It doesn't take.
  • The Cynic: His attitude towards the entire war. Shinn and Luna's idealism in particular seem to grate on him.
  • Cynical Mentor: Vaciliates between being this and a more traditional Big Brother Mentor to Shinn. It doesn't really work.
  • Deal with the Devil: Chairman Durandal offered him a role and a purpose with ZAFT, the chance to Set Right What Once Went Wrong, and even the freedom to follow his conscience. He lied about the last one. Big time.
  • Death Glare: Athrun glares darkly at Shinn after he apparently kills Kira and happily told him that he got revenge for both of them.
  • Deflector Shield: The Infinite Justice, but unlike the Strike Freedom, Destiny and Legend, it only carries a single solid shield that is equipped with an additional beam shield generator to defend itself.
  • Determinator: Though he tends to waver when he's uncertain of himself, once he makes up his mind he's nigh-unstoppable. See Freedom vs. Saviour for the former and Infinite Justice vs. Destiny, when Athrun enters the Battle of Orb and takes on Shinn while still wounded for the latter.
  • Double Weapon: Just like with the Justice, Athrun always combines the beam sabers of Infinite Justice into a double-bladed beam saber.
  • Drone Deployer: As the successor to the Justice, the Infinite Justice also can deploy its subflight unit to operate as a remote fighter.
  • Dual Wielding: While he definitely prefers the more practical 'sword-and-shield' approach, Athrun has dabbled in this on at least one occasion with both the Savior and Infinite Justice.
    • During the Battle of Lohengrin Gate, Athrun used both the Savior's beam sabers in its Literal Disarming of the Gells-Ghe.
    • The Infinite Justice's beam boomerang can be used as a shield-mounted beam saber, which Athrun is able to wield simultaneously with its beam Double Weapon, effectively being able to triple-wield (not accounting the beam blades on the shin areas). Athrun effectively uses all five blades to disarm the Destiny in the final battle.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: A rare protagonist example; even though he'd been growing increasingly distant, it was a huge blow to the crew of the Minerva when he aparently turns traitor (not that he had much choice in the regard)
  • Failed a Spot Check: Stays at the medical bay with Neo for several episodes because they are both injured, assuming the entire time that Neo is Mu La Flaga. Which he is, but Athrun somehow completely forgot that Mu apparently died at the end of the first series, just assuming that Mu somehow got injured during a fight or something. When he calls him Mu, Neo vehemently denies it, which finally prompts Athrun to remember Mu's Heroic Sacrifice. He is understandably shocked and confused. To his credit, Athrun had bigger things on his plate to consider.
  • Flaw Exploitation: Athrun takes advantage of Shinn's tendency to favor Attack! Attack! Attack! over other tactics when angry, as the Destiny isn't geared towards melee combat exclusively like the Infinite Justice is. As such, his tactics involve riling Shinn up so that he won't be thinking about using the Destiny's other weapons as effectively as he might have if his head was on straight.
  • Foil: To Shinn, with his burnt out apathy contrasting Shinn's rage and idealism. Shinn reminds Athrun of himself during the First Bloody Valentine War. Given that he's not real proud of his actions during that war, it explains why he's so tough on Shinn. The greatest difference between them ultimately lies in what makes both of them so similar; while Athrun is cynical and Shinn is idealistic, they are both devoted soldiers who feel that they need to be a part of a chain of command to fight for peace, which ZAFT and Durandal handily provide.
  • The Gloves Come Off: Occurs in the final battle when Shinn tries to kill Luna in a moment of berserk rage. For most of the battle, Athrun had been sticking to the defensive, as he really didn't want to fight either Shinn or Luna. But when the previously mentioned spoiler happens, his restraint breaks and the fight ends VERY quickly especially since the Destiny had lost most of it's close-range options.
  • He Knows Too Much: When Rey and Durandal realize that Athrun may be on to ZAFT for their potential involvement in Lacus' assassination attempt, they decide to frame him for treason.
  • The Hero: While Shinn is The Protagonist of the first half and Kira takes over in the second, Athrun is ultimately the overall main character of the sequel.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: Athrun's opinion of himself and ZAFT's hero-worship of him do not exactly match up. Durandal exploits this in order to induce the Aesop Amnesia mentioned above.
  • Hypocrite: Early on he slaps Shinn for disobeying orders to save people. When Shinn seemingly kills Kira later, Athrun gets pissed off at him, despite the fact that taking Kira down was an order from above, meaning Shinn was doing exactly what Athrun told him to do. In fairness, Shinn had made it clear earlier that he wanted to kill Kira as revenge for Stella and Athrun didn't get confrontational until Shinn said that that revenge extends to Athrun's loss against Kira as well. Rey calls him out for this in his "The Reason You Suck" Speech, which seems to help Athrun realize he had been repeating the same mistakes from the previous war.
  • Implied Love Interest: It's impossible to tell what his relationship with the heroic and self-effacing Meyrin is supposed to be. He does say I Owe You My Life... but not to her, and they do bond over being awkward and nervous... but only in an audio drama. The fact that the status of his relationship with Cagalli is also never clarified makes everything about as clear as mud.
  • Knight in Sour Armour: Some things never change. Athrun is absolutely dedicated to doing the right thing. That doesn't mean he'll be anything approaching cheerful or optimistic about it.
  • Knightly Sword and Shield: Athrun always wields the Infinite Justice's double-ended beam saber and shield in close quarters combat and Miriallia has even once referred to Athrun as a knight. The original name of the Infinite Justice was even going to be "Knight Justice".
  • Lack of Empathy: Zig-zagged. Athrun absolutely has empathy, but he tends to get so caught up in his own uncertainties that he ends being unable to empathetically connect with either Cagalli or Shinn during the first part of the war. It isn't until Kira flat out tells him to his face that he can't see that and being unable to convince Shinn to listen to him about Durandal during his escape for him to truly realize this. At that point, he strives to do much better with both.
  • The Lancer: To Kira, when they finally end up on the same side again.
  • Law of Chromatic Superiority: Subverted. Athrun's lone red Gundam is the least useful of any of his machines.
  • Lightning Bruiser: In the Infinite Justice. It's fast enough to keep pace with the Destiny, and carries enough melee weapons to make an NRA member cry.
  • Meaningful Echo: A few times when Athrun is mulling re-enlisting in ZAFT.
    • Yzak tells him if he has the power and ability, he should be using it, similarly to what Mu said to Kira in the first series. The problem is, neither Kira piloting in OMNI nor Athrun rejoining ZAFT was where either was meant to be.
    • Durandal mentions to Athrun "the things we can do, the things we ought to do", echoing Cagalli's words to Athrun late in the prior show. The problem here is he very tellingly left out Cagalli's "the things we want to do", given his championing of The Evils of Free Will.
  • Mid-Season Upgrade: The Infinite Justice he gained from Lacus proves to be far superior in power and capability than the Saviour Gundam he piloted back in ZAFT.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Considering his Chick Magnet status, yes.
  • Multi-Melee Master: Athrun takes this to new levels of insanity with his Infinite Justice by having two combinable beam sabers, beam blades on its wings and lower legs, and a shield sporting a beam boomerang that double as a beam saber, a beam shield generator, and a rocket anchor that he never actually uses (except once in HD Remaster). To top it off he uses its beam shield as a makeshift melee weapon.
  • Mythology Gag: His "Alex Dino" disguise wearing Cool Shades is an obvious reference to Char Aznable's Quattro Bajeena persona in Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam. And the one who revealed his identity? Gilbert Durandal, who shares the same voice as Quattro/Char himself!
  • No Social Skills: Athrun's cynical outlook and inability to relate to the younger generation of pilots more or less sabotage his relationships with the entirety of the Minerva's crew.
  • Not Helping Your Case: Played for Drama. Athrun really did rejoin ZAFT with the sincerest and best of intentions, and was given apparent free rein to do as he liked. However, he is a former defector. The fact that he continues to prioritize Kira and the Archangel over Shinn, ZAFT, and the Minerva crew to the point of irrationally punching Shinn for carrying out a mission just makes it easier for Durandal and Rey to decide that he's completely useless and untrustworthy, and needs to be confined. Athrun then attacking more ZAFT personnel, being assisted by an Inside Job from Meyrin, and stealing a GOUF to escape make it very simple for both him and her to be dismissed as traitors and given immediate death sentences.
  • Older and Wiser: Though in a subversion, his experience and advice doesn't really make much of a difference. If anything, they create a bigger gap between himself and the more idealistic Shinn.
  • Ramming Always Works: Instead of machine guns, the Infinite Justice's subflight unit is armed with five beam blades that allow it to easily pierce through large battleships. This is how Athrun downs the Minerva during the Battle of Messiah.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • He gives a rather abbreviated but very deep-cutting one to Shinn Asuka in the final battle, lambasting him for taking part in what's effectively attempted genocide on Orb purely because of his own selfish inability to let go of his angst and hate. He then further goes on to imply the reason Shinn can't allow his anger to fade is because he himself has become someone who lives off of the hate and death of war, the very same as the people he claimed to despise - that since Shinn doesn't know anything else except pain and how to cause it, he pathologically needs to think himself on the "right" side so that he can always have a way to justify continuing his hate. To say Shinn doesn't react well to this assessment is a gross understatement, but in doing so only proves Athrun right as his mad desperation to kill him nearly resulted in Shinn killing Luna instead, forcing Athrun to finally go on the offense and cut the Destiny down to save Luna.
    • He's earlier on the receiving end of a similarly abbreviated and deep-cutting one after punching Shinn from Rey, who re-outlines for Athrun just what serving as a soldier means, and even manages to call up a memory for Athrun of the Breaking Speech he received two years earlier from Lacus. Unfortunately, Rey's hints that Athrun should again just leave ZAFT if he dislikes it so aren't taken, and by the time Athrun does reach that conclusion, he ends up being shot at and shot down himself, as well as almost getting Meyrin killed.
  • Red Is Heroic: Subverted. Despite a new purple pilot suit, neither the red ZAFT uniform Athrun gets back nor the red mobile suit Durandal gives him prove the slightest bit effective. It's getting a new fuchsia Justice model that truly allows him to fight.
  • Reluctant Warrior: Athrun still doesn't want to fight, but unlike Kira he doesn't go out of his way to avoid killing when he does fight.
  • Roundhouse Kick: His Signature Move with the Infinite Justice, made more effective due to the cutting beams built into its legs. Though they're more of quick sweep kicks instead of the flashy kind usually seen in fiction.
  • Secret-Keeper: For Meer. She confesses her role as Lacus's Body Double, and he doesn't spill the beans about it.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Athrun tries this by re-enlisting in ZAFT. To say it does not work would be an understatement. He ends up having to flee, again.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Not a full on example, but he's definitely got some aspects of this trope. May or may not explain his Aesop Amnesia, as he struggles to come to terms with his actions in the previous war.
    • It does explain his initial reluctance to becoming involved with the military in any capacity, instead opting to become a civilian bodyguard by Cagalli's side.
    • He's not impressed, much less flattered, by the Hero Worship he gets from the Hawke sisters, and actively discourages Lunamaria to not make himself out as a war hero.
  • Spell My Name with an S: An odd example: The Saviour, its official (Anglophone) name, is frequently rendered as Saber in Japanese sources, as the official name and the katakana used for it are at odds with each other. Specifically, it's not possible to get "Saviour" out of the katakana as the katakana lacks an "i" syllable. There's also the usual thing with "Savior" vs "Saviour"
  • The Stoic: Though Kira now outdoes him in this respect.
  • Stranger in a Familiar Land: As Athrun learns when he tries to be someone in ZAFT again. He really does not fit in, start to finish.
  • Super Mode: SEED mode again. He's the only pilot to have never lost in SEED Mode.
    • Back in Gundam Seed, Athrun could activate this mode at will. However he's since lost the ability to do this due to his internal conflicts interfering with his focus. Once he obtains the Infinite Justice, he no longer has any difficulty activating it, signifying that he's finally found some clarity in his purpose.
  • Supporting Protagonist: For both Shinn and Kira.
  • Transforming Mecha: The Saviour, which converts into a jet-like mobile armor.
  • Wacky Marriage Proposal: Downplayed. Emblematic of his poor people skills, he just shoves a ring on Cagalli's finger, without saying anything loving.note  Startled, she even protests that this is not how you do it, but laughs and kisses him, anyway, with the ring becoming a symbol of their troubled relationship.
  • Would Hit a Girl: As Lunamaria can attest.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: After the Freedom is destroyed, Rey and Durandal decide that he's become too uncooperative and make plans to confine him. However, Meer overhears their plans and tips him off before they can arrest him, and he busts out of the base due to Meyrin's help (though he's forced to bring her along with him after Rey spots them in the MS hanger). Rey then convinces Shinn Athrun really has turned traitor, and the Destiny ends up shooting down the spare GOUF they had used to escape. Fortunately, they're picked up by the Archangel shortly afterwards.
  • Zen Survivor: He's a cynical Shell-Shocked Veteran, and pretty bad at mentoring in general. Played with in that he does attempt to speak very honestly to Shinn at least once, but Shinn just can't absorb "power means you're the one now making others cry", and Athrun's lack of people skills and preoccupation with Kira means he can't build enough rapport with Shinn for it to sink in.

    Meyrin Hawke 

Voiced by: Fumiko Orikasa (Japanese); Nicole Bouma [Ocean dub], Christine Marie Cabanos [NYAV Post dub] (English)

A Bridge Bunny on board the Minerva, and Lunamaria's little sister. Shy around people she doesn't know well, Meyrin is an important part of the bridge crew as the one in charge of communications, yet frequently gets overshadowed by her more outgoing older sister. Like Lunamaria, Meyrin also admires Athrun.

  • Action Girl: Meyrin may not pilot anything, but she's still a competent getaway driver for Athrun and later an emergency bodyguard for Lacus, completely consistent with being a graduate of the ZAFT academy.
  • Act of True Love: She betrayed ZAFT, threw away her old life, and came very close to being killed herself, all in a snap decision to help a desperate Athrun.
  • Adrenaline Makeover: She wore Girlish Pigtails until her defection, after which she let her hair loose. Subverted later: in the final episodes, she wore her ZAFT uniform, complete with bridge cover, and her hair up in pigtails again.
  • Bridge Bunny: She's the Minerva's former CIC officer on its bridge crew and one of the show's side characters.
  • Celeb Crush: On Athrun Zala. Unlike her sister, she's able to accept him for who he is, rather than who she expected.
  • Communications Officer: Her job on the Minerva and later on the Eternal. In charge of everything incoming and outgoing, also issues Talia's alerts and oversees the pilots' launches and communicates with them in their mobile suits.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Gets a huge one when she ends up engineering Athrun's escape from Gibraltar and then having to go with him — after which she pretty much goes back to being quiet in the background again, and doesn't say or do anything important until the last episode.
  • Defecting for Love: Unlike Athrun's trumped-up charges, Meyrin actually did betray ZAFT several times while helping him, when she could have just let him try to escape. Athrun even asked her why, initially, and – still in shock – she said she didn't know. Cagalli remarked it must be this, but it's equally likely Meyrin just wanted to do the right thing. Given what we see of Athrun and Meyrin's relationship, if it ''is'' this, it's not overtly romantic.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Deliberately Invoked via Modesty Towel in order to delay some soldiers. She wasn't even naked underneath the towel!
  • Foil:
    • To Flay Allster. They're both redheaded Bridge Bunnies who are very concerned with their appearance, take their clothes off for plot-important reasons, wear nearly the same uniform and end up clinging to a ZAFT officer after a heroic, side-switching rescue. However, where Flay was a Broken Bird Spoiled Brat and Manipulative Bitch Evil Redhead using Kira and hoping he would die for part of SEED, Meyrin is a genuinely Nice Girl who spontaneously and selflessly saved Athrun using her wits, her tech skills, and her body.
    • Also to Cagalli: They both saved Athrun and display reckless tendencies. But where loud, brash Bifauxnen Cagalli fought Athrun at gunpoint and ended up getting The Big Damn Kiss, then later chose to separate from him several times, gentle, feminine Shrinking Violet Meyrin was constantly on (and later at) Athrun's side and part of an apparent Chastity Couple.
  • Girl Next Door: As opposed to high-status near-princesses Cagalli or Lacus or her own flashy, skirt-wearing Action Girl sister, Meyrin is this. She even gets an image song with Miriallia to emphasize it.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Downplayed. Meyrin demonstrates some jealousy of Lunamaria's looks, but it's a minor aspect of her character.
  • Hero-Worshipper: Has a serious hero-crush on Athrun. In a twist, she may actually be the more heroic one.
  • Implied Love Interest: With Athrun, but given the status of his on-off relationship with Cagalli, no one is sure how platonic or romantic the two of them are.
  • Inside Job: Meyrin busts out her computer skills to create a distraction inside the Gibraltar database for Athrun's escape.
  • Nice Girl: She's friendly to everyone on the Minerva, especially her sister, mobile suit pilot Lunamaria, though she feels she's not as great as her older sister. It's just that she's rather shy around others.
  • Plucky Girl: When under pressure, she can be pretty resourceful.
  • She Knows Too Much: Gets caught by Rey when helping Athrun sneak into the MS hangar bay, forcing Athrun to take her with him lest she gets tried for treason alongside him.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Red coat, green coat. Mobile suit pilot, bridge crew. Short hair, long hair. Custom Uniform of Sexy, standard one. Brash, confident, chatty; shy, nervous, hides behind people. Hangs all over Athrun... hangs all over Athrun (but actually ends up with him... maybe). Meyrin and Lunamaria are very different people, in spite of (or because of) only eleven months between them.
  • Significant Wardrobe Shift: Subverted. Like Athrun, Meyrin ends up wearing the same red Morgenroete jacket both he and Cagalli wore in the last series when they ended up falling for each other... but she ultimately goes back to her ZAFT uniform and old hairdo, and we really have no idea how she and Athrun feel about each other.
  • Token Good Teammate: Downplayed, but everybody else on the Minerva stays loyal to Durandal. Meyrin helps Athrun escape injustice, defects herself, and ends up working for Lacus.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: The girly girl to Luna's tomboy. Also Cagalli's.
  • Two Guys and a Girl: Makes up a secondary trio by hanging out with the young Minerva mechanics Yolan Kent and Vino Dupre. Vino later seems absolutely shattered after she's apparently executed, while Yolan tells him not to mention her anymore.
  • The Unfavorite: Seems to consider herself this. She shows occasional bouts of jealousy over Luna's popularity (for example, trying on Luna's pink miniskirt while Luna was in the shower — and becoming annoyed when it doesn't fit).

    Talia Gladys 

Voiced by: Mami Koyama (Japanese); Venus Terzo [Ocean dub], Valerie Arem [NYAV Post dub] (English)

"War is a part of politics, in which the whole picture cannot be read."

Captain of the Minerva and Shinn's commanding officer. Tries very hard to be a fair commander, despite an increasing amount of stress and strain. Later revealed to be an old flame of Durandal's, she remains loyal to ZAFT and PLANT while her doubts continue to escalate.

  • Arranged Marriage: Talia demonstrates some of the problems with PLANT's system of these. She dutifully broke up with Gilbert Durandal to enter a Bureaucratically Arranged Marriage (as she said, "following the rules") so that she could have children, and while she does have a son, William, she appears to have cared almost nothing for his father, even after being widowed. Durandal resigned himself to it but never got over it. His present relationship with Talia is troubled, and his cynicism and obsession with destiny, including the Destiny Plan itself may stem directly from the break-up.
  • Authority in Name Only: She battles the Chairman's increasing subversion of her authority right till the end, but with little real success. Vacillates between anger and resignation towards the end.
  • Benevolent Boss: She's variously temperamental, professional, or introverted, but Talia cares very much about every single one of her subordinates.
  • Broken Bird: Her history with Durandal left her one of the more jaded and resigned of the cast, especially where he's concerned.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Downplayed, but she stares at Arthur multiple times in the last part of the show without ever telling him anything or having any kind of conversation or resolution.
  • Casting Gag: Koyama's role as Kycilia Zabi in Mobile Suit Gundam left the fandom wondering how she would interact with Ikeda's Durandal here. Although Rey killed Djibril with a bazooka to the face this time, there's a mini comic illustration of Talia doing it to Durandal.
  • The Captain: She serves as the Minerva's captain.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: The original scene between her, Head-Turning Beauty Murrue and Arthur has her firmly shoving Arthur out of Murrue's way when he's done nothing more than smile politely. To make it funnier, Talia's not even looking at him. She's also really unimpressed by his enthusiasm at Meer's concert. See Tsundere.
  • Commissar Cap: Part of the standard ZAFT captain's uniform.
  • Cool Ship: The Minerva. It's named after the Roman goddess of defensive warfare AND wisdom! - which only serves to make an already cool winged ship more awesome still.
  • Foil: To both Murrue and Natarle Badgiruel, with Talia's sharpness and stricter approach contrasting Murrue's original naivete, and her anger and skepticism contrasting Natarle's unquestioning loyalty and unemotionalism, and Murrue's current idealism. In a Call-Back, Talia also ends up trying to take out a non-military boss she can no longer stand, in the end. Acknowledged by Talia herself when she expresses the wish for Murrue to meet her young son, someday.
  • Freudian Slip: In the original, she does refer to Arthur once the way a wife usually does to her husband. Japanese fandom noticed the Ship Tease.
  • The Good Captain: Talia runs her outfit with precision, intelligence, and wry humor, cares deeply about every last person in her charge and their safety, and valiantly tries to always do right with her independent authority, even if it doesn't align with demands from HQ. In the end she finally tries to independently stop Durandal for the murderous autocrat he's become.
  • I Choose to Stay: At the end of the series, she opts to stay with the dying Durandal and Rey as Messiah collapses on itself.
  • Improbable Age: She's a flagship captain who's just twenty-nine. Justified as her boss is only thirty-four, but she does remark on how young her crew is.
  • Ironic Name: The Greek name "Thalia" is either the Muse of Comedy or the Grace of Plenty. Aside from some of her interactions with Arthur, not much is funny about her or her story, and she was notably lacking in screentime and Character Development.note  Although her name gets far more appropriate if you consider the identically spelled-and-pronounced Talia al Ghul...
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: While the entire world is confused over which Lacus is real, she points out that Lacus has no authority over ZAFT or the PLANTs due to her position as a rogue third party, so she doesn't bother pressing the issue.
  • Lady and Knight: With Arthur. Normally the standard Bright Lady and White Knight, but given the show's moral carousel as well as their standard outfits, it's also possible to view them as a Dark Lady and Black Knight like their inspirations, Koyama's former role and Casting Gag Kycilia Zabi and M'Quve from Mobile Suit Gundam.
  • Like an Old Married Couple: Arthur's constantly at her side and she has a mix of affection and annoyance for him, so they come off as this.
  • Meaningful Appearance: Her gray eyes match her Cool Ship. Appropriate - as in "gray-eyed Athena".
  • Modesty Bedsheet: She uses it after her one time with Durandal.
  • New Old Flame: To Durandal. Almost instantly begins turning to an Old Flame Fizzle, due to his ever-increasing callousness and her responsive disgust.
  • Parental Substitute: Becomes this to Rey at the very end, in the most tragic way possible.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: She's tough and firm but generally fair and sympathetic; again, a good balance between Murrue and Natarle.
  • The Reveal: In succession, she and Chairman Durandal are lovers, at least for one early episode, were romantically involved more than a decade ago, and she is a mother with a young son from the marriage she chose over him. Additionally, while the series doesn't clarify the state of Talia's marriage at all, the post-series audio dramas make her a Widow Woman from prior to the start of GSD, though unusually for this trope, she never thinks about her unnamed husband once.
  • The Rival: She and the Minerva are very much the morally ambiguous counterparts to Murrue and the Archangel faction.
  • Ship Tease: With Arthur. Even the fact that she calls him "Arthur" implies more of a degree of familiarity than strict professionalism (not that their relationship is terribly professional to begin with).
  • The Skeptic: Is there an order of any kind from HQ? Talia will be questioning it, and what's behind it. Professionally, she simply tends to ask "why" more often than not. (Whether this is a good or unfortunate thing for a highly-placed military officer might be another in-show example of nature vs. role.)
  • Sleeping with the Boss: Although otherwise normally highly professional, Talia does this at least once onscreen with Durandal while he's the Chairman, continuing with CE's Gundam-groundbreaking of showing people sleeping together. It's not depicted as romantic , it doesn't happen again, it's never even referred to by either of them, and for more than twenty episodes, it has no context. Turns out it was a very abrupt way of showing they were Old Flames and that their relationship is troubled and distant. Far more of the Old Flame Fizzle is shown during the show.
  • Stay in the Kitchen: We get to hear an older white (and white-coat) male ZAFT officer complain at one point about how things are "Gladys'" fault because she's a woman.
  • Subordinate Excuse: Would just as soon NOT be in this position with the Chairman.
  • Team Mom: She tries, but she isn't really emotionally equipped for it, the Chairman's overarching and arbitrary authority means hers is being constantly subverted, and her crew's problems are just too much for her to handle.
  • To Be Lawful or Good: Zigzagged; ostensibly lawful yet unhesitatingly skeptical through the entire show, she refused to invade Orb, and Durandal's use of the Requiem on friendly forces may have been her final justification for setting out to kill him on her own.
  • Tsundere: Talia is shown multiple times to have affection for and be very possessive of Arthur. Whether it's romantic and extends to Subordinate Excuse or not, for a few reasons (like her boss or being his boss), she can't express it normally and it comes out as her being very critical of him (or shoving or yanking him). It extends to the post-show audio dramas, where Arthur (who adores her and does express that), says "She probably didn't like me at all." That might be grief and trauma talking, but she's still a tsundere.
  • Two First Names: A rare feminine example. Appropriate if you believe that Gladys is related to gladius — Latin for sword.

    Arthur Trine 

Voiced by: Hiroki Takahashi (Japanese); Jonathan Holmes [Ocean dub], Robbie Daymond [NYAV Post dub] (English)

"I believe what the Chairman says about getting along with the Naturals, but if someone doesn't get shot, this war is never going to end."

Talia's second-in-command, Arthur is a likeable and competent, if remarkably panicky executive officer. Totally loyal to Captain Gladys, he has a good rapport with Shinn and the other pilots.

  • Accent Adaptation: He has no accent in the original, but in the first English dub (likely due to his name, quirky personality, etc.) he gains a British-Australian one (and loses his Catchphrase).
  • Black Comedy Burst: "And if they all decided to turn on us, that'd be the end of Gibraltar! Ahahaha..." (Given his ''other'' specialty, Talia might have been right in getting mad here.)
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Arthur's goofy and inexperienced but is never shown to be less than competent at his job. Justified, in that ZAFT is a militia.
  • The Cassandra: "Impulse can beat the Freedom"? "If someone doesn't get shot, this war is never going to end"? "Hey, maybe it's NOT a good idea to go after The Chosen Many on the Archangel"? This is his non-Plucky Comic Relief role. Arthur tends to be rather startlingly accurate when he predicts something, but for various reasons, he's not terribly effective at getting taken seriously.
  • Catchphrase: In Japanese. EHHH??
  • Commissar Cap: Part of the standard uniform.
  • Cowardly Lion: Arthur is nervy, jumpy, and prone to freaking out, yet he's a perfectly capable officer, sticks by The Captain's side to the end, and adapts remarkably well to the Minerva's increasingly crazy plans.
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: In the Remaster, Talia yanks him by the ear for daring to ogle the Head-Turning Beauty Murrue.
  • Endearingly Dorky: Fanboying Shinn and the Impulse; bouncing at Meer's concert; gaping up against the glass of the bridge window; clapping two beats too long at an assembly, glancing at Talia, and stopping... Even Talia smiles and Freudian Slips about Arthur's enthusiasm, occasionally.
  • Ensign Newbie: Unlike his boss, Arthur is not a veteran. Fortunately, he's the Number Two, not The Captain, and acquits himself fairly well.
  • First-Name Basis: Talia addresses him this way, and it's noticeable because ZAFT is more of a Last-Name Basis kind of place.
  • Flanderization: On the one hand, Arthur was never going to be a typical military character — Takahashi says he was asked to audition with the line "Looking lovely as usual, Captain!". However, he was introduced with some very stern-looking lineart, and his serious and questioning behavior still takes up most of his time for the first several episodes. Then the goofy moments get increasingly more focus. He is still shown doing perfectly normal executive officer things, but the former are all anybody remembers, to the point where many people think he's incompetent or wonder why or how he has his job, despite being a Bunny-Ears Lawyer.
  • Lady and Knight: With Talia. Whether it's bright or dark or both is open to interpretation. Given how she's played by the seiyuu who played Kycilia Zabi in the original series, Arthur has a few resemblances to her underling M'Quve — notably his hair and his fervent loyalty.
  • Like an Old Married Couple: His relationship with Talia, and it's very much played for all the comedy inherent.
  • Likes Older Women: Very mildly, but Talia's three years older.
  • Mildly Military: He gets called by his first name, yelled at by his boss, and his personality makes him seem like he's not much of a soldier, but he does know what he's doing and can get strict about it.
  • Nice Guy: Arthur is a rarity in this show—hell, in this franchise—an unambiguously affable guy.
  • Non-Action Guy: Subverted. He may not pilot a mobile suit, but he's the first officer of a battleship.
  • Number Two: To Talia, though it's downplayed because she's so capable as The Captain and Athrun's presence starts messing with the Minerva chain of command. He has Undying Loyalty to her, though.
  • Officer and a Gentleman: He may be periodically goofy, but Arthur's nothing but devoted and chivalrous.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: In a universe that's as much of a Crapsack World as the Cosmic Era, Arthur embodies this.
  • Ship Tease: With Talia, who else?
  • The Skeptic: Not as much as Talia, but he frequently questions the logic of her decisions, especially in the first part of the show. Since she is one, she's pretty benevolent about explaining everything to him.
  • Subordinate Excuse: Played with. Arthur is so happy being around Talia that he's pretty much Oblivious to Love and can't pick up her frustrated Tsundere signals that she seemingly likes him in a slightly different way. According to side materials, it's not a crush on his end. He's utterly devoted to her and she's his favorite person "but it's not the same". Courtly Love, if anything, given the allusions
  • Undying Loyalty: To Talia. "She probably didn't like me at all... but I liked her." In the audio dramas, after she goes MIA at Messiah's collapse, he tells her son Will that he wants to be his guardian.
  • Unknown Rival: For Athrun, as top officer on the Minerva; he dislikes his presence on the ship from the get-go, but Arthur never says anything about it — it's the middle of a war and Athrun has far bigger issues.
  • You Are in Command Now: Twice. Briefly, after Talia is too emotionally exhausted, following the events of Athrun's desertion, then when she leaves the crew in his hands at the end, apologizing to him and asking him to look after everyone. Salute.

    Yolan Kent and Vino Dupre 

Yolan voiced by: Tomokazu Sugita (Japanese); Michael Coleman [Ocean dub], Ogie Banks [NYAV Post dub] (English)

Vino voiced by: Hisafumi Oda (Japanese); Reece Thompson [Ocean dub], Spike Spencer [NYAV Post dub] (English)

Two technicians stationed aboard the Minerva and close friends with Meyrin and the Minerva's ace pilots.

  • Buxom Is Better: They think so; they're quite happy that "Lacus" (Meer) is now openly flaunting her generous proportions.
  • The Engineer: They're mobile suit technicians.
  • Let Us Never Speak of This Again: When Vino expressed his conflicted feelings about Meyrin's "execution", Yolan hushed his friend and told him to never bring it up again and to basically forget that Meyrin ever existed.
  • Those Two Guys: They're rarely ever seen apart.

ZAFT-affiliates and other members

    Gilbert Durandal 

Voiced by: Shūichi Ikeda (Japanese); Ted Cole [Ocean dub], Keith Silverstein [NYAV Post dub] (English)
"Power is necessary because there will always be conflict."

Durandal, the new PLANT Supreme Council Chairman, is a supposed moderate who believes Naturals and Coordinators can live in peace. He is a mentor figure towards the crew of the Minerva, and often talks about his plans for a better tomorrow. He also seems to be a bit of a fatalist and rarely explains anything directly, keeping his motives unclear for much of the series. By the end it is revealed that he seeks to impose a genetic determinist dictatorship over humanity in an effort at preventing any more apocalyptic wars.

  • Ambiguous Situation: How much of the events throughout the show Durandal is truly responsible for, or at least had a hand in. The ZAFT terrorists that caused the fall of Junius 7 all had their data completely erased, Lacus' assassination attempt (by Coordinators) occurs concurrently with the debut of his Lacus, Meer Campbell, and he is shown to have been aware of the existence of the Destroy and the Requiem prior to their destructive unveilings. Did he actually orchestrate the dropping of the space colony and the first attempt on Lacus? Did he allow for the Earth Alliance's WMD to be used so he can further sway the people to the side of ZAFT and the PLANTs? Who knows?
    • Durandal essentially admits to the attempt on Lacus's life in Episode 48 in the original Japanese version, although it's not an iron-clad incrimination.
      Durandal: Now, this time, you shall disappear, Lacus Clyne.
  • Ambition Is Evil: Durandal uses the page quote to Cagalli in the first episode as his excuse for amassing and maintaining military power, but even as he aims to make all conflict disappear, he has absolutely no intention of relinquishing an ironfisted grip on people's lives and fates. There's also the fact that the more military and political clout he takes hold of, the more he leans to Murder Is the Best Solution rather than even attempting his earlier polite facade again.
  • Artistic License – Biology: There are a few problems with Durandal's reasoning, to say the least. Science knows right now that even people with identical DNA do not express it identically — not in appearance, health, personality, interests, or anything else. For someone who's as much of an acclaimed genetics expert as Durandal to make that kind of a fundamental error is... both bizarre and hand waved.
    • Then there's Meer. The guy set up the lynchpin and major supporter of his plans not only on a lie, but as their potential downfall seeing as how her hugely successful role as "Lacus" had nothing to do with genetics.
  • As Long as There Is Evil: A variant. He invokes this to Kira, word-for-word that without him and his Destiny plan, mankind will continue to wage wars.
    Gilbert: If you shoot me now, this world will once again return to darkness and chaos. I'm telling you the truth.
    Kira: You may be right. But we have the ability to choose not to let that happen. Because we live in a world where choices are allowed.
    Gilbert: But no one ever makes that choice. People forget and repeat the same mistakes. They say that they won't allow it to happen again! That the world won't end up like this! But who can say that with certainty?! Nobody can say so with certainty. Certainly not you, nor that young lady. Because nobody really knows what lies ahead.
  • Bad Boss:
    • To Athrun. He lies to him to get him to rejoin ZAFT, then later tries to have him and Meyrin murdered.
    • Also to Talia, whose authority he constantly overrides to the point where his gross dictatorial crimes lead her to try and stop him.
  • Big Bad: Durandal is The Man Behind the Man to many of the worst tragedies in the show, the final antagonist to be faced and is implied to be behind much of the incompetent Djibril's success for his own gain.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Durandal spends much of the show seeking the destruction of Lord Djibril, Blue Cosmos leader, and his only real rival for position of most powerful man in the world. He wins out, having Djibril killed off just before the end of the series.
  • Broken Ace: He's a successful doctor and lawyer turned politician, a Manipulative Bastard seen as Messianic Archetype by much of the world, a Well-Intentioned Extremist whose plans just might work, and a Villain with Good Publicity poised to gain everything. Whatever angle one looks at him from, Durandal has got it all. And he is deeply, deeply depressed, frustrated over his rocky relationship with Talia, unable to see any good in the world, and coping very badly with his inability to control it all.
  • Broken Pedestal: To Athrun and the ZAFT pilots who defect to Terminal. They initially saw him as a reasonable leader who knew what needed to be done to establish peace. When he proved to be very controlling and manipulative, and even willing to sacrifice his own troops for his ends, they basically decided to get out while they still could.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: It's only after he has Meyrin and Athrun executed for treason that he remembers she 'had' "an older sister": highly-ranked, completely faithful, and that he's had dinner with. His casual actions have now apparently ruined her life, and he doesn't even recall her name. Also a perfect illustration of the way he can't be bothered remembering you unless you serve a purpose for him.
  • The Chessmaster: Durandal is really good at getting people to do things that benefit him.
  • Char Clone: He channels Char Aznable's extremism to a more sane (but no less sinister) level than his friend Rau Le Creuset, as well as serving as a relatively-benevolent mentor for his army. Not to mention he's voiced by Shūichi Ikeda and in the NYAV dub, Keith Silverstein.
  • Chess Motifs: The guy loves 'em, frequently playing with a chess set.
  • Control Freak: Durandal simply cannot abide unpredictability, to the point of it being his Fatal Flaw. It's responsible for most of his Villain Ball moments, and for the totalitarian nightmare of the Destiny Plan.
  • Create Your Own Hero: He went ahead with making his Lacus Clyne, Meer Campbell, a public figure, even after the assassination attempt on Lacus failed, or at least before confirming that the actual Lacus was dead. During the unveiling of the Destiny Plan, Kira lampshades that had the assassination attempt not happened, he, Lacus, and the Archangel crew might have never gotten involved (Meer's impersonation notwithstanding) and may have even supported Durandal's regime.
  • Dark Messiah: Plays himself off as something approaching a prophet, addressing the world on behalf of fate. Most of ZAFT, and a sizeable portion of the rest of the world ends up buying into it, with many people the Earth Sphere over believing that Durandal can do no wrong.
  • Deal with the Devil: Considering his specialty is "I'll fix all your problems while you do something for me—I mean, 'for the greater good'", it's not surprising. He makes ones with Meer, Athrun, Shinn and proposes one with humanity in the form of the Destiny Plan.
  • Dead Person Conversation: With Rau Le Creuset.
  • Didn't See That Coming: Lacus interrupting Meer's interruption of Cagalli's first worldwide broadcast since being "kidnapped" by Kira. Of course, he's quick to work around on this, but his shocked expression (if just for a moment) clearly showed that Lacus caught him off-guard.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Right off the bat, he calls Cagalli "Princess", instead of her preferred (and proper) title of "Chief Representative Athha". When Cagalli says "can you stop?" he responds "of course, Representative Athha"... and then goes right back to doing it. It's remarkably effective at showing his utter inability to view people as anything other than his pre-assigned roles, or take into account another person's wishes, and his general asshole tendencies, as well as neatly subverting the "nice and thoughtful guy" image he takes such care to project.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: He is clearly appalled and outraged at seeing the destruction of six of the PLANT colonies by the Requiem weapon at the hands of Djibril, which killed over a million of Durandal's fellow Coordinators. It's one of the few times where there is visible anger on his face. However, this is later subverted, as he subsequently had no hesitation using the weapon on his own troops.
    • Averted in the Remaster, where he calmly looks at a shocked ZAFT official before expressing his anger.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: During his standoff with Kira, Gilbert is unable to process the fact that humanity can still learn from their follies in spite of their worst qualities, and when he asks Kira what he will do again should the world be plunged into chaos, the latter simply responds that he's ready for everything.
  • Evil Genius: Mainly in his Manipulative Bastard abilities, such as getting most of humanity to buy what he's selling.
  • Evil Mentor: To Rey, who thinks he has to relive Rau's miserable life.
  • The Evils of Free Will: Durandal never flat-out states that he thinks free will is a bad thing, but given his generally fatalistic demeanour, and what the Destiny Plan contains, it's obvious that he thinks that allowing people to make their own decisions is a bad thing.
  • Evil Versus Evil: With Djibril, his rival for the title of Big Bad. Djibril is more evil but Durandal is more competent and manages to outmaneuver him.
  • The Fatalist: With all his talk about destiny and how things that happened were "meant to be" he definitely gives off this vibe.
  • Fatal Flaw: His need to maintain control over everyone, coupled with his inability to understand that there is good in people in spite of their worst traits. Gilbert believes that there would be no wars if mankind is stripped off of their ability to make decisions for themselves and only he should be making their decisions for them. This mindset alienates everyone he cares about not only Talia, but even Rey, who was reeling from his battle with Kira after the latter calls him out for pretending to be someone he's not, compelled him to shoot Gil.
  • Faux Affably Evil: If he needs you to do something for him, Durandal can be pleasant and sympathetic, although not without obvious Jerkass cracks in the façade. If you don't listen to him or get in his way, Murder Is the Best Solution.
  • Final Boss: After Djibril is killed, Durandal becomes the final threat for the heroes.
  • Foil: Both he and Rau Le Creuset are extremely accomplished Manipulative Bastard Chessmasters who believe that Humans Are Bastards. They have different ideas as to what should be done about it. Rau believed he should help accelerate humanity's self-destruction while Durandal seeks to create a society completely ruled by genetic determinism that, in his eyes, would prevent conflict.
  • Gender Flip: He presents himself as a saint to various "poor unfortunate souls", transforms Meer in accordance with her dream, then steals her voice and Lacus's for his own use. Meer may be the Hans Christian Andersen version of The Little Mermaid, but Durandal borrows a lot from Ursula, even down to a tentacle-like black mass of hair. He also plays the sea witch in a SEED Character Theater picture drama.
  • General Failure: After Lacus blindsides him, Durandal becomes more blatant in his methods in an attempt to keep a grip on his power, and in doing so destroys his good reputation.
  • Glorious Leader: Durandal's a charismatic leader with a cult of personality and a radical vision for the future, who swept into office promising reform, hiding his real agenda.
  • Good Eyes, Evil Eyes: Has narrow, serpentine eyes.
  • Graceful Loser: At the end when he is fatally shot by Rey. Beaten and rendered helpless, he gives up and accepts Rey's reasoning and Talia's presence.
    Durandal: (chuckles) Give me a break...
    • Subverted with Talia, he's seemingly this with regards to her initially breaking up with him more than a decade ago. In reality, rather than work on their relationship, he continues to sulk and dwell on the breakup to the present day. It's even likely it played a large part in the Destiny Plan, and possibly the entire second war.
  • Hobbes Was Right: What he believes and his Destiny Plan entails. Basically he thinks people are too selfish and chaotic to do anything but wage war against each other and the only way to prevent that is the iron fisted genetic determinism of the Destiny Plan.
  • Humans Are Bastards: Shares Le Creuset's belief that people are inherently selfish, uncaring beings. The difference is that he wants to do something about it.
  • Ignored Enamored Underling: He's fine with using Rey's childlike Hero Worship of him or keen strategic mind or letting himself be hugged to show Talia how loved he is, but he never reciprocates with anything similar or genuine.
  • Improbable Age: He's a doctor, lawyer and the de-facto leader of an entire nation at the ripe age of thirty-four.
  • Informed Ability: He's mentioned as a noted biologist and geneticist. Not only does he demonstrate none of it, he makes modern-day secondary or even elementary school-level errors in his master plans.
  • Is This Thing Still On?: Variation, and a rare dramatic example. When everything starts going to heck in the final battle, Durandal tries to regain control of the situation by firing the Messiah's main cannon at the Eternal and the Archangel through his own ships. However, the order somehow got out onto the main channels, many of which were still being used by ZAFT soldiers like Yzak who switched sides at the start of the fight. Yzak immediately warned Eternal and Archangel and their allies, who got out of the way just in time, while the poor schmucks on Durandal's side got vaporized.
  • It's All About Me: Standard for a Narcissist, but not only does Durandal even view his close relationships with little affection and as chess pieces for his own pursuits, it's entirely possible that the Destiny Plan and entire second war are due to never getting over the fact Talia was once able to choose something other than him.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: In the backstory. It actually helped to screw him up even more than he already was. Subverted in the current story, where he's perfectly happy to keep her life in constant danger in front-line combat because it suits his purposes.
  • Jerkass: He's a smug, vain, manipulative Control Freak who shows almost no regard even for the people who are most devoted to him and/or his plans while simultaneously demanding the approval of the entire world. And this is before he busts out the giant WMDs.
  • Karmic Death: He's shot by an illegal product of the lab where he used to work because he didn't bother to recognize Rey's individuality or value as a person, and Kira Yamato did. Also a Mythology Gag to anyone who has ever seen the UC series, considering how a "white kid" named Rey shoots a guy with Char Aznable's voice.
  • Knight Templar: His desire to control the destiny of humanity as a Well-Intentioned Extremist is driven by his narcissism, misanthropy, and angst over his failed relationship with Gladys, making it clear that he's Secretly Selfish. At the same time, his narcissism and misanthropy cause him to believe that humanity will destroy themselves without his guidance. Even when he's cornered and his beliefs are rebutted by Kira, he has deluded himself into thinking he has the moral high ground...which is likely a major reason why he never sought the advice of moral compass Lacus Clyne at all.
  • Lack of Empathy: He can fake it pretty well when it suits his purposes, but at the end of the day, he's not really interested in, or affected by, anyone else's feelings. Arguably hurts him just as much as his need for control.
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy: He's a tall, handsome man with a long black mass of hair, but 34 is a bit long in the tooth to be a Pretty Boy.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Durandal is certainly the driving force behind many events in the series. Exactly how much he's responsible for is still debated by fans. Contested events range from the Armoury One Raid, the Break the World Incident, and the assassination attempt on Lacus to the formation of Logos itself.
  • Manipulative Bastard: He takes advantage of the various fears and insecurities of about half the cast, seemingly most of the population of PLANT, and eventually many people worldwide, aided by the charisma and unfailing support of "Lacus".
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: The natural consequence of being an extreme Control Freak in charge of an entire, highly militarised nation. Durandal is disturbingly willing to respond to either dissent or the threat of dissent with lethal force, culminating with his plan to sort humanity into a rigid genetic caste system kept in line with superweapons on a hair trigger.
  • Narcissist: Durandal desires the approval of others while actually caring very little about them, their wishes, or their needs. He's a textbook case, as well as a spiritual successor to the Mendel colony narcissist of the last show, Al Da Fllaga.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: In a show that Expys Auschwitz at Lodonia, and has Meer Campbell working with him identified solely by a giant gold star, with her worth determined only by whether she has a job and can be useful, Durandal also exhibits his mastery of propaganda, image, and outright "Big Lies", as well as his ultimate "go along with my pseudoscientific master plan for humanity or die" attitude.
  • New Era Speech: When he reveals the Destiny Plan, declaring it would prevent war from happening among humanity.
  • Non-Action Big Bad: When he's not giving speeches, Durandal is behind a desk, leaving the fighting to everyone else. His lack of interest in any kind of fight extends beyond the war, and informs his general worldview.
    "I don't want to fight. I just want to win."
  • Parental Substitute: Subverted. He appears to be this to Rey, but his total contribution apparently consists of a head pat, giving him drugs, using him as a prop to make a point to Talia, and giving him massive identity and self-esteem issues by ignoring him for Athrun and conflating him with his dead older brother.
  • The Philosopher: Like Le Creuset and Lacus, Durandal spends a lot of time contemplating the life, the universe, and everything.
  • President Evil: Of the legally elected variety. He's a Faux Affably Evil Dark Messiah, a Jerkass Narcissist, and the PLANT Supreme Council's new chairman, who intends to lead humanity to his own definition of "peace" even if it costs them their free will.
  • Putting on the Reich: It's not immediately apparent, but dye his trenchcoat and jackboots black, and voila! (His willingness to murder anyone who doesn't fit in with his master plan also helps.)
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Subverted. Shinn believes the Chairman is one—he always listens to him, wants to make the world a better place, etc., etc., but it's all an act, designed to get Shinn on his side.
  • Replacement Goldfish: One of his specialities and entirely to suit his needs. Notably, Meer for Lacus, and Rey for Rau, and also for Athrun. Arguably, Shinn for Kira, and Athrun for Athrun, wanting the Athrun of the last show. Sadly and perhaps tragically unable to find one for Talia.
  • The Reveal: Happens slowly, but here goes — he's playing on Shinn's emotional fragility through the emotional fragility of Rey, on Athrun's emotional fragility through his Daddy Issues, is conning the world with both his charm and the support of Lacus... er, Meer, was an acquaintance of Rau and debated humanity's flaws with him at length, was once seemingly in love with Talia but can't get over the fact she left him for something she wanted more, and intends to Take Over the World and impose a Social Darwinist utopia. God help you if you get in his way.
  • Sleeping with the Boss: Not only does Durandal sleep with one of his highest-ranked ZAFT personnel, he also continues to call her "Talia" publicly, when "Captain" would be more appropriate.
  • Smart People Play Chess: The most manipulative man in the show and a brilliant chessmaster.
  • Social Darwinist: A different type than normal for the trope; he believes that people are genetically suited to certain roles, and therefore society should use genetic analysis to assign people their "proper" place in life. Kira, Lacus, and the ''Archangel'' crew call bullshit.
  • The Sociopath: Believe it or not, Gilbert checks all the of boxes: He is able to put a convincing and gentlemanly veneer to earn the sympathy of the masses. But underneath it all, Gil is also too emotionally detached, preventing him from making meaningful and lasting relationships, has an inflated ego, thoroughly manipulative coupled with his need to control the lives of people to keep them in line, and is incapable of understanding the idea mankind can still change for the better in spite of their worst qualities.
  • Straw Nihilist: He has a deeply cynical view of humanity and free will, not unlike Rau Le Creuset. His Destiny Plan involves using genetic determinism to decide the roles of each and every person living in order to prevent free will from causing people's differing ideas from causing any more wars.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: Along with Mu La Flaga and Rey, he's the only person in-series to express any sympathy for previous Big Bad, Rau Le Creuset.
  • Take Over the World: He's got more complicated reasons than most megalomaniacs, but his plan still requires this in order to work.
  • Tall, Dark, and Handsome: Durandal is a little taller than the people constantly surrounding him, has long black hair, and is widely viewed as attractive.
  • Übermensch: Seeks to completely change the world and impose his own vision of morality upon it.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: Believes that by creating a society where people's lives are determined for them at birth he will end all conflict and usher in a perfect world. To that end he's willing to manipulate everyone he meets, utterly destroy Shinn mentally, assassinate/arrest political opponents, and threaten countries that refuse with a Wave-Motion Gun.
  • Villain Ball: Whilst he's generally the most competent of the show's Big Bad Ensemble by far, he has a bad habit of antagonising dangerous people well before he needs to. Examples include attempting to assassinate Lacus Clyne, turning his war with the Earth Alliance into a chaotic Mêlée à Trois, and trying to pull a You Have Outlived Your Usefulness on Athrun when he showed the slightest sign of hesitation in his loyalty (something that he had previously claimed he would grant some leeway on), driving him to defect to the Orb/Lacus alliance and severely jeopardising the Destiny Plan.
  • Villain in a White Suit: Under his fancy colored coat, Durandal wears a white outfit meant to evoke Paptimus Scirocco from Zeta Gundam.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: He convinces most of the world that he is their saviour.
  • Villainous Breakdown: After Lacus and the Archangel continue to interfere in his plans, Durandal gradually loses all sense of Faux Affably Evil restraint he'd shown over the course of the series.
  • Villainous Friendship: He was well-acquainted with the previous Big Bad, Rau Le Creuset, providing him with his signature drugs and being a chess and debate partner. Given Rau is either firmly in his memories or appearing to him as an actual apparition, they apparently have some Unfinished Business...
  • Visionary Villain: Picture a future without violence or the struggle for self-actualisation. That's the one that Durandal sees.
  • With Us or Against Us: People who don't support the Chairman's utopian goals are not long for this world. Take President Joseph Copeland of the Atlantic Federation. Copeland expresses neither support nor opposition for the Destiny Plan, but simply tries to establish contact with Chairman Durandal to negotiate. Durandal refuses to entertain Copeland's request for a discussion, and uses the convenient pretext and rebuilt Requiem to destroy the Federation's base, killing Copeland and wiping out most of the Alliance's fighting force.

    Meer Campbell 

Voiced by: Rie Tanaka (Japanese); Chantal Strand [Ocean dub, speaking], Jillian Michaels [Ocean dub, singing], Stephanie Sheh [NYAV Post dub] (English)
"I am Lacus Clyne. I'm Lacus! I'd rather be her!"

An ordinary PLANT civilian and huge fan of Lacus Clyne, 17 year old Meer is chosen to get plastic surgery and replace Lacus after she goes into hiatus, as she shares her idol's abilities and voice. While she appears naive and somewhat less than brilliant, it's uncertain how much of this is real, how much is part of her flawed impersonation of Lacus, and how much is self-serving to either deny responsibility for her actions, protect herself from others, see where this whole act will take her, or a mix of all of the above. As the series progresses, she becomes less and less sure of herself and her role.

  • Anti-Villain: She explains to Athrun that she knows what she's doing is wrong, but still does it because she wants to continue being Lacus instead of a nobody like Meer Campbell.
    "Miss Lacus is so beautiful, so kind, so adored! [...] But me? I'm not needed by anyone."
  • Ascended Fangirl: And one who got the chance to become her idol! It... doesn't turn out well.
  • Becoming the Mask: Zig-Zagged; Meer seems to have initially thought that she'd be Lacus's proxy until she comes out of "retirement" (because Lacus will obviously support the Chairman), then realizes she'll have to "be" Lacus permanently but understands she's not really Lacus (especially once she — and the rest of the world — found out that the real Lacus would have none of Durandal's schemes), then as her mental state deteriorates, she starts to convince herself that she's literally become Lacus, but in the end she meets the real Lacus and prioritizes her over herself, even Taking the Bullet for her.
  • Broken Bird: To say this young woman is a mess, mentally and emotionally speaking, is an Understatement.
  • Celeb Crush: On Athrun Zala, a war hero and principled defector whom she, along with the general public, still believes is Lacus' fiance. Athrun is uncomfortable, yet never bothers explaining anything even close to the truth.
  • Deal with the Devil: She got to be her idol and have fortune, fame, beauty, and a purpose to boot. Too bad it was offered by a guy with extremely sinister motives for the human race.
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: This is really the root of her (and a lot of the eventual world's) problems. She believes she's totally unneeded and can't figure out her own destiny, so letting someone else give her a destiny mimicking someone as beautiful and beloved as Lacus (for national security reasons, no less) seems to be a solution.
  • Dress-Coded for Your Convenience: While her stage costume is based on Lacus's first outfit in SEED, Lacus's iconic hairclip is almost the only thing Durandal didn't feel the need to replicate. Meer's is a giant gold star. Given how this is the only thing to identify her while she works for A Nazi by Any Other Name, it has deeply and deliberately unsettling implications.
  • Flat Character: Deliberately. Other than her true name, we don't know a single thing about Meer that doesn't have to do with her "Durandal's fake Lacus with Gag Boobs" impersonation until she dies and we hear from her diary.
  • Glamorous Wartime Singer: Invoked on her with a vengeance. A big part of her role is posing as Lacus and singing with the troops to offer them solace.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: When Lacus is again marked for death, Meer willingly takes the assassin's last bullet and dies protecting her.
  • Hotter and Sexier: What she did to Lacus' "sweet and pure" image. Her outfits show a lot more skin and her versions of Lacus' songs are faster and flirtier. Also, compare her Girl Next Door past self to her current one.
  • "I Am" Song: "Emotion" is basically the story of her character, and is the only song she sings that isn't a remix of Lacus's. In it she sings about how she used to be incredibly lonely, when one day someone knocked on her door and gave her everything she wanted, and how she refuses to go back to the way she was before.
  • Idol Singer: Her looks may be faked via plastic surgery, but she is a genuinely talented singer and her angelic voice is for real, and that's why she was chosen for the role. In fact, her flashbacks show her being recruited through what looks like a singing audition.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: Overlapping with I Just Want to Be Loved. Meer believed she was an unneeded nobody and revels in the adoration she gets playing Lacus, along with a chance to be "useful".
  • Light Feminine and Dark Feminine: Played with. Meer may be Ms. Fanservice and one of the Big Bad’s million pawns, but she’s sweet, energetic, innocent and literally goes wishing for peace, calming angry mobs and starting crowd chants about L-O-V-E! Lacus, meanwhile, the former embodiment of Light Feminine, is now dressed in black, playing spymistress, building some weapons, urging people to fight and generally trying to be more cunning and effective than said Big Bad.
  • Meaningful Name: Her name has two meanings: first, it means "lake" in Dutch, which symbolizes her as Lacus's (whose name also means "lake", this time in Latin) doppelganger. Second, her name plays on the word "mirror", to symbolize her as Lacus's Body Double. Her last name, Campbell, is also Scottish, like Lacus's last name, Clyne.
  • The Mentally Disturbed: Gets pushed right into this with the friendly manipulations and Gaslighting of Durandal and company, who continue to refer to her as "Lacus" long after their cover's blown by "that other Lacus".
  • Ms. Fanservice: Pretty? Yes. Busty? Yes. With revealing wardrobe? Yes. Bubbly and cheerful, at least on the outside? Yes... Invoked by Durandal, both to gain an audience and also to get "Lacus" to be seen as merely eye-candy. She also subverts Nipple and Dimed in Remaster with a now-transparent nightie, which also provides several scenes where her breasts appear even larger than they first did.
  • Preferable Impersonator: Meer is wildly popular and people love her energetic, flashy style. Lacus herself brings this up in the relevant CD drama, pointing out "people seem to prefer this sort of arrangement" versus her own more subdued performances.
  • Propaganda Machine: Durandal made her appear to be Lacus, in order to gain Lacus's "voice" and 100% Adoration Rating as support and sanction for his own plans in PLANT and Earthsphere-wide. It's heavily implied the real Lacus was either nowhere near malleable enough for him, or he didn't feel up to convincing her and couldn't chance her turning him down.
  • Redemption Equals Death: She wasn't exactly evil, but did go with Durandal's plans so she dies in a heroic fashion.
  • Robot Buddy: One of the other visible ways to distinguish her from Lacus: her red Haro, nicknamed "Mr. Red" (a color none of Lacus's flock had) and speaking English (which none of Lacus's did). The color is both Law of Chromatic Superiority and part of the show's overall Char Aznable Mythology Gag (considering who provided it to her).
  • Sanity Slippage: She eventually seems to believe — or at least tries really hard to convince herself — that she really is Lacus.
  • Showgirl Skirt: Her costume has one. Appropriate, since she is a major performing sensation in addition to being Ms. Fanservice.
  • Stepford Smiler:
    • She's all smiles and energy on the outside, but the reality is, she's a young woman who valued herself little enough to try and become someone else.
    • She certainly ends up as this once she believes she's no longer needed, again, but Meer genuinely believed in the Chairman and that what she was doing would provide a better future for everyone. Also, there's nary a teenage girl with poor self-esteem who wouldn't accept the amazing, life-changing deal she was offered.
  • Stripperiffic: Her costume was deliberately designed to be revealing and the opposite of what the real Lacus would wear. Literally. At least with regards to Lacus's iconic white-and-purple outfit in SEED, she has shoulder "epaulets" where Lacus's were bare, bare arms where Lacus had sleeves, gloves where Lacus had bare hands, naked hips where Lacus had multiple skirts, etc. It's also skintight and leaves her chest free to flaunt its buoyancy. Played with in that the real Lacus also had some rather daring stage outfits that managed to make not a dent in her Incorruptible Pure Pureness — part of how Meer got away with it!
  • Surgical Impersonation: While her singing voice really is that good, she looked nothing like Lacus at first. She had plastic surgery performed to become a Body Double. A photo she gives Lacus shows what she actually looked like: black-haired, freckled, and overall somewhat plain.
  • Taking the Bullet: She shields Lacus from an assassin sent with her by Durandal, who apparently has had intel that Lacus, Kira, Athrun and Meyrin are taking a break in Copernicus.
  • Villainous Breakdown: In the last couple of episodes, for a certain definition of "villain", she has an identity crisis. After unwittingly putting herself on the opposite side of her idol and constantly faced with veiled threats by her bodyguards, she started thinking that she herself is Lacus Clyne.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Her self esteem is so low that she deeply wants to be noticed and loved, especially by her beloved/hated "Lady Lacus".
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Tries to pull this on Lacus upon their encounter, saying she has been helping people while Lacus was staying out of sight, ignoring the world's problems (unaware that she's been busy unraveling Durandal's Destiny Plan). Lacus manages to calm her down, and even is this close to convincing her to pull a complete Heel–Face Turn, but Meer dies soon afterwards.
  • You Are Already Checked In: When Lacus is in the process of stealing her ride back to space, a rare example of the second person being the impostor. She's not too pleased, but exceptionally not to hear Lacus called "the real one".
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Athrun implies that death awaits her if she continues to be Durandal's Lacus Clyne. Eventually he won't have any use for any Lacus.

    Yzak Joule 

Main mecha: ZGMF-1001/K Slash ZAKU Phantom (blue), ZGMF-2000 GOUF Ignited (white)

Voiced by: Tomokazu Seki (Japanese); Michael Adamthwaite [Ocean dub], Daman Mills [NYAV Post dub] (English)
"Dearka and me? We probably should have died a long time ago."

A member of the Le Creuset Team along with Athrun and Dearka in the first Bloody Valentine war, he was the only member of the team to remain loyal to ZAFT throughout the conflict. Now commanding his own forces as a Whitecoat, he does his best to defend the PLANTs without repeating the mistakes of his past. A relatively minor character in most of Destiny, he spends most of the series Out of Focus.

  • Ace Custom: He pilots a custom-colored blue Slash ZAKU Phantom. Then there's his white GOUF Ignited which he pilots at the second war's last moments.
  • Ace Pilot: One of the best pilots of the previous war, he makes ace again in this one.
  • The Atoner: Not a full-fledged example, but he's definitely trying to make up for his mistakes from the last war two years ago. He and other young soldiers were tried for war crimes committed during that war, with Yzak charged for shooting down a ship of fleeing civilians that he mistook for fleeing soldiers. Gilbert Durandal spoke in his defense, arguing to the tribunal that the soldiers' mistakes during the war were due to their youthfulness while fighting a war that adults began. Yzak was thus acquitted by the jury along with Dearka, and remained in the military to make a positive difference for all his fallen comrades as well as all the people of the PLANTs, if his quote above isn't evidence enough.
  • Big Damn Heroes: He and Dearka do this a couple of times, the most notable being their last minute Heel–Face Turn and attack on the Requiem.
  • Blade on a Stick: On his ZAKU.
  • Character Development: Compare the suicidally hot-blooded Yzak of SEED to the much more mature Yzak of Destiny.
  • Close-Range Combatant: Both his Slash ZAKU Phantom and GOUF Ignited are geared towards close quarters combat.
  • Commanding Coolness: It's "Commander Joule" now.
  • Demoted to Extra: Receives much less screentime in Destiny than he did in SEED.
  • Gatling Good: Again, on his ZAKU with its "Hydra" Gatling Beam Cannon.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Insulting Clyne's faction while coming to their rescue. Dearka had to stop him speaking, because they were mistaking him for an enemy.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Dearka.
  • Hot-Blooded: At least this time he does think things through more than he used to.
  • Meaningful Echo: In Destiny, Yzak argues that Athrun should come back to the PLANTs and rejoin the military, saying "You have the ability. Why not put it to use?" These are the same words that Earth Alliance soldier Mu La Flaga said to Kira Yamato when trying to convince the latter to pilot a mobile suit in order to defend the lives of his friends.
  • Military Brat: His mother, Ezalia, was a member of the PLANT supreme council. "Was" being the keyword there; Ezalia and the rest of Chairman Zala's power base were arrested at the end of the last war. Yzak himself has been trying to keep her at arms length since then.
  • Older and Wiser: One of the best examples between SEED and Destiny.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: He has a very sound judgment befitting of a commander.
  • Redemption Promotion: Since returning to ZAFT he's achieved the rank of "commander", which, with ZAFT being a loosely-organized militia, means he's more or less an admiral.
  • Spanner in the Works: Leads a sizeable chunk of the ZAFT fleet over to Lacus during the finale.
  • Those Two Guys: Him and Dearka to Athrun with his loud retorts and Dearka's snark.
  • Two Guys and a Girl: The Joule Team's command roster consists of himself, Dearka, and Shiho.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: His Character Development turned him into this with Athrun, often sounding rude while still ensuring his wellbeing overall. "Athrun, you bastard, what are you doing here?!" seems to have become his standard greeting.
  • Whip It Good: His GOUF has a heat whip.

    Dearka Elsman 

Main mecha: ZGMF-1000/A1 Gunner ZAKU Warrior (green - original series, black - HD Remaster), ZGMF-1001/M Blaze ZAKU Phantom (black)

Voiced by: Akira Sasanuma (Japanese); Brad Swaile [Ocean dub], Johnny Yong Bosch [NYAV Post dub] (English)

Another veteran of the Le Creuset Team, he defected to the Three Ships Alliance near the end of the first Bloody Valentine war. Though accepted back into ZAFT, he was stripped of his red coat, and now acts as Yzak's Number Two. Like Yzak, he's only a minor character in Destiny, remaining mostly Out of Focus.

  • Ace Custom: He pilots a black Blaze ZAKU Phantom as the second war was reaching its last moments. He also goes out in a black Gunner ZAKU Warrior in the Remaster.
  • Ace Pilot: One of the best pilots of the first war, he earns the title again here.
  • BFG: He uses the Gunner model for his ZAKU, which matches his experience with the BFG-wielding Buster in Mobile Suit Gundam SEED.
  • Big Damn Heroes: His and Yzak's Heel–Face Turn and attack on the Requiem.
  • The Consigliere: Dearka's common sense does a lot to tone down Yzak's Hot Bloodedness. Yzak needs it.
  • Demoted to Extra: Receives much less screentime in Destiny than he did in SEED. In the literal sense, he had went from a ZAFT red elite to a common green-garbed foot soldier.
  • Deadpan Snarker: It seems that the two years after the first war have not changed his knack for serious sarcastic remarks.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Yzak, his superior in the latter's mobile suit squadron. They even go about Like an Old Married Couple.
  • The Lancer: He is officially Yzak's Number Two now.
  • Long-Range Fighter: His experience with piloting the Buster in the last series carried over to his preference for equipping his mobile suits for long-range artillery support.
  • Military Brat: His father was a ranking officer.
  • Offscreen Breakup: With Miriallia, before the series began.
  • Older and Wiser: He's two years older and wiser about the horrors of war, even getting appalled by the Requiem cannon's destructive capabilities to the point of wanting to destroy it. During the final battle of the Requiem cannon, he prompts Yzak to lead his team over to Lacus to destroy said cannon.
  • Redemption Demotion: Due to his defection in the previous war, he was demoted from a Redcoat to a mere Greencoat. This is mitigated by his status as Yzak's Number Two, which means he effectively holds a much higher rank than he previously did. The credits for Final Plus and the HD Remaster's final episode feature him in a black uniform, implying he got promoted after the war's end.
  • Ship Sinking: Miriallia dumped him before GSD began.
  • Spanner in the Works: Convinces Yzak to pull the above-mentioned Heel–Face Turn.
  • Tall, Dark, and Snarky: He's slightly taller than Yzak, is dark brown and carries a lot of deadpan snark in his speech.
  • Those Two Guys: Him and Yzak to Athrun due to their occasional knack for verbal comical banter with Dearka's snark and Yzak's loud retorts.
  • Two Guys and a Girl: He, Yzak, and Shiho are the folks calling the shots in Yzak's team.

    Heine Westenfluss 

Main mecha: ZGMF-1001/M Blaze ZAKU Phantom (orange), ZGMF-2000 GOUF Ignited (orange)

Voiced by: Takanori Nishikawa (Japanese); Brian Dobson [Ocean dub], Michael Sinterniklaas [NYAV Post dub]
"This is no ZAKU, pal! NO ZAKU!"

A ZAFT Redcoat and member of FAITH, he's assigned to the Minerva partway through the war. A survivor of the First Bloody Valentine conflict, he maintains a more optimistic attitude than Athrun, and tries his best to balance his fellow veteran's cynicism, while making friends with Shinn, Rey and the rest of the crew. He pilots a Blaze ZAKU Phantom, and then a ZGMF-X200 GOUF Ignited.

  • The Ace: Treated as such by the Minerva's crew; unlike Athrun he seems to enjoy his status.
  • Ace Custom: His bright orange ZAKU Phantom and later GOUF Ignited, which matches his pilot suit and his hair.
  • Ace Pilot: His piloting skills are actually on par with Athrun.
  • Badass Boast: "This is no ZAKU, pal! NO ZAKU!"
  • Command Roster: Subverted. He disapproves of ZAFT soldiers being identified with titles and believes everyone is equal which says a lot from a member of FAITH.
  • Commanding Coolness: Although he prefers not to be called commander.
  • First-Name Basis: With the Minerva pilots he insists they call him by his first name and encourages everyone to be as open with each other as well.
  • Foil: Serves as one to the more conflicted Athrun, being totally loyal to ZAFT and the Chairman and convinced of the righteousness of the war. Needless to say, Shinn wishes Athrun was more like him.
  • Good Is Not Soft: The friendliest ZAFT soldier towards his comrades, but still a soldier that won't hesitate to strike down his enemies.
  • It Gets Easier: He thinks so.
  • Mauve Shirt: This loyal, friendly, cool and highly competent mobile suit pilot with a great sense of pride gets involved in a battle when the Minerva gets attacked by the Earth Forces and Phantom Pain during which, Kira and the Archangel arrive. He engages Stella first and later Kira...only for the former to kill him.
  • My Country, Right or Wrong: Heine's all about being a good soldier, which makes him a fair bit like Athrun was in the previous war.
  • Nice Guy: Introduces himself to the Minerva pilots and is completely outgoing and friendly attempting to raise the morale of his fellow pilots.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: His character is based on T.M Revolution, who provided his voice in the Japanese version.
  • Sacrificial Lamb: He's brought in, seems to be a badass, is established as a Foil to Athrun, makes friends with Shinn and dies a few episodes later.
  • Shout-Out: He gives Ramba Ral's "No ZAKU" line while piloting a GOUF.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: We only see him for five episodes and learn too little about him (especially his personality) over that period before he's bisected by Stella.
  • Whip It Good: One of his GOUF's main weapons is a heat whip.

    Shiho Hahnenfuss 

Voice Actor: Makiko Ohmoto (Japanese); Annika Odegard [video game] (English)

A ZAFT Redcoat and a member of the Joule Team, she joined Yzak during the Battle of Jachin Due at the conclusion of SEED. She continues to serve under him in Destiny. She never really interacts with the rest of the cast, and has no dialoguenote , but can often be seen by Yzak's side. Despite her apparent non-role, she has quite a devoted fanbase, and has more major roles in side materials.

  • Ace Pilot: She has a red uniform. On top of that, other materials reveal that she went head-to-head with the OMNI Ace Pilot "Sakura Burst" and fought her to a draw during the Battle of Jachin Due.
  • The Cameo: What her role in the anime is reduced to.
  • Former Regime Personnel: Left ZAFT after the first war to fight in South America. She was later rehired by Yzak.
  • New Meat: Was introduced this way in SEED as a new pilot serving in Yzak's unit.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Subverted. Like Heine above, she is a tribute to a Japanese celebrity, in this case Nami Tamaki. However, Tamaki turned down the role, so Shiho's role in the story was rendered almost nonexistent. Ironically, fans suspect that this saved the character's life (given what happened to Heine).
    • Not to mention the fact that the other character voiced by a singer in the first series also died a brutal death after just a few episodes (Andy's girlfriend Aisha was voiced by Vivian Hsu, who sang the 2nd opening for SEED), which lends even stronger credence to the theory that Shiho's continued well-being just might be the result of her being The Voiceless.
  • Red Baron: Yzak gave her the nickname "Housenka" ("Balsam", or "Touch-Me-Not", in English) as a result of her fighting ability. She uses the image of the plant as her personal symbol.
  • Subordinate Excuse: The fans see this as her reason for joining the Joule Team.
  • Two Guys and a Girl: The Girl to Yzak and Dearka's Two Guys.
  • The Voiceless: In the anime, she has no lines.