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Narrator: Anyway, he must use this seizure-inducing machine to save the world! And/or space colonies.
Neo Roanoke: But to do so he has to get through me, the conflicted villain who also serves as his main rival. Also, I have a cool mask.
Rau Le Creuset: Hey, wait a second, you're just copying me.
Zechs Merquise: No, you're copying me.
Cronicle Asher: No, both of you are copying me.
Char Aznable: No, all of you are copying me!

A Char Clone is a character who is based on Char Aznable from the Gundam franchise, a Fountain of Expies. The Gundam series was (and is) wildly popular in Japan, with a cultural impact comparable to Star Trek or Doctor Who in the West. Char, an antagonist in the original Mobile Suit Gundam, became the most iconic character of the series, outpacing even the main characters and the Big Bad in popularity. Given the sheer number of characters that reference, homage, or flat out are Char with a different name, they eventually became known as Char clones.

A brief history of the original Char: in Mobile Suit Gundam, he was The Rival to the main character. A mysterious masked man with distinctive blond hair, he was an Ace Pilot called the Red Comet with a penchant for piloting Ace Custom mecha painted red (which was said to be three times as fast as its mundane counterpart, despite the only visual difference being its color). Over the course of the series, it is revealed that Char has a hidden agenda — avenging his father, who was allegedly assassinated by the series Big Bad — and that his estranged sister is part of the heroes' crew. The first indication of these goals came from leading Garma Zabi, who seemed to be a long time friend, into an enemy ambush where he was killed, and this was the start of him systematically targeting the Zabi family. In the sequel series, Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam, he joins the good guys under the Paper-Thin Disguise of "Quattro" to act as The Mentor for the new generation; his presence solidifies the twist in the series that the heroic Federation of the original series had turned into the villains. His final appearance comes in the appropriately-named Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack, where he's a villain again, attempting to drop a giant asteroid onto Earth for the good of mankind. His self-righteous campaign involved leaking new technology to the heroes in the belief that he needed a Worthy Opponent at the top of their game to make his actions justified.

Expect to see these traits in a Char clone:

Other than those universal aspects, these characters tend to fall into one of three aspects, which could be roughly aligned with the three works Char appeared in: Mobile Suit Gundam, Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam, and Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack. The bolded parts are mainly the defining role of that character. When two or more of these types of Char Clone appear in a story, they need not be the same character at different points in the timeline; it's perfectly acceptable to split up Char's three primary roles into multiple clones, and indeed this is what's more often done so as to help the clones distinguish themselves from the original.

Incidentally, Char himself is based off Manfred von Richthofen, the Red Baron (at least in terms of characterization). His visual design was based on Prince Sharkin of Raideen, while his name is a reference to famous French singer Charles Aznavour).

Char Clone is a character-specific subtrope of Fountain of Expies. Compare Stock Shōnen Rival, and Rei Ayanami Expy. As mentioned above, one of the typical traits of a Char Clone is having an estranged family member on the enemy side, which frequently leads to Prodigal Family situations. See also Red-plica Baron; Char being an expy of Richthofen makes this whole trope an expy of an expy of the original Red Baron.

Not to be confused with expies of Charmander, Charmeleon, and Charizard.


Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Aldnoah.Zero: Slaine Troyard is the blonde rival to The Hero. While initially lacking the typical skill and charisma characteristic, he does have traits similar to those of Harry Ord from ∀ Gundam — specifically, loyalty to the princess. Later, as the series progresses, he gradually becomes the Big Bad and only goes short of Vers becoming a full Zeon clone.
  • Attack on Titan: Reiner Braun is a highly talented, blond soldier who just so happens to be a psychologically damaged double agent. He takes the form of the gold and red Armored Titan.
  • Aura Battler Dunbine: Bern Bunnings is The Rival, uses a fake moniker, wears a mask, has extreme respect from his underlings, and grudging respect from his superiors.
  • Bakugan:
    • Spectra Phantom wears mostly red (including a mask), is blond, is The Rival, and is actually named Keith Fermin, the older brother of Mira Fermin. Also, Masquerade doesn't have a thing for red nor does he (err, she) have a younger sister, but he is mostly this trope.
    • Emperor Barodius and Dharakinoid in Gundalian Invaders are Chars of themselves in Mechtogan Surge, now Mag Mel and Razenoid. They've been so warped by evil, they've cast off their old identities.
  • Beyblade:
    • Bakuten Shoot Beyblade: Hitoshi Kinomiya wears a mask at the start while he goes by the name Jin of the Gale and later switches to shades during the final arc. He plays The Mentor to the protagonist, who is his little brother and has much darker hair than him, and later to the ostensibly strongest Blader of all. His Bit-Beast Metal Driger is basically an Ace Custom of the original Driger.
    • Metal Fight Beyblade: Phoenix wears red, a blond wig, and a silver mask. He has an unusual and very powerful Beyblade and is the protagonist's father, thought to be dead.
  • Berserk:
    • Griffith is the Big Bad, wears a cool silver helmet, has white hair, is an ace swordsman and The Rival to Guts, and acts as both the Dark Messiah and the Fallen Hero.
    • Samson Corbowitz is specifically mentioned to have armour three times thicker than normal and is a minor antagonist to Guts and Casca.
  • The Big O: Schwartzwald is a masked character with his own agenda, consistent rival to the lead, pilots three red mechs that are more maneuverable.
  • William Vangeance from Black Clover is the masked, white-haired captain of the highest-ranked Magic Knights squad. He serves a Foil to Yami, and betrays Julius when he reveals that he's been the host of Licht, and lets him fully take over his body when he cannot bear to choose between Julius and his old friend.
  • Boarding School Juliet: Played for Laughs with Chartreux Westia. Despite being the princess of the Principality of the West and being in love with Persia herself, she assists Romio in his relationship with Persia. She's even called Char as a nickname by almost every other character.
  • Brain Powerd:
    • Baron Maximilian is a political force with a mask.
    • Quincy İssa is Protaginst's Older Sister and also She Piloting Red Mecha
    • Johnathan Glen in a blond rival Ace Pilot.
  • Case Closed:
    • Shuuichi Akai is named after Char's voice actor, Shuuichi Ikeda (who incidentally also voices him), and Char's nick name "Akai Suisei" (The Red Comet). His fake name Dai Moroboshi is also a reference, as he gets called Dai-kun, which sounds exactly like "Deikun", and Moroboshi can mean "falling star", aka a comet. He always wears a knit cap and lately drives a red sports car. His Long-Lost Relative is his little sister Masumi Sera. She describes his martial arts skills as being "three times stronger than her".
    • Subaru Okiya is blond at least for his keyhole, drives a red car (white in some instances) with suicide doors, wears glasses and squints most of the time. His name is a reference as well as 'Okiya Subaru' (オキヤ スバル) is basically 'Casval' (キャスバル).
  • Code Geass:
    • Lelouch is the estranged son of nobility, works under a fake name and wears a mask, has a younger sister who doesn't realize who he is, seeks revenge for his mother's murder. Word of God indicates Lelouch was initially going to have white hair and thus would have looked the part even more. In fact, co-creator and head writer Ichiro Okouchi himself said that Zero was designed specifically to wear a mask because he felt that it wouldn't be a Sunrise show otherwise.
    • Kallen is an Ace Pilot with speedy red mecha and The Rival of Suzaku on the battlefield. Although her Guren relies more on power than speed, the opposite of Suzaku's Lancelot.
    • Schneizel shares Char's disgust for mankind and extremism for the best of the world, shares the same hair color scheme and serves as an Evil Mentor to Nina and Suzaku.
    • Code Geass: Akito the Exiled:
      • Shin Hyūga Shaing serves as the Big Bad with a noble but misguided goal of saving people from the cruelty of life by killing them.
      • Ashley Ashra is a Britannian ace who pilots an upgraded red Gloucester during the battle of Slonim and later pilots the latest version of the EU's Alexander knightmares, even having it painted red as well.
  • Cross Ange: Salamandinay is a DRAGON that rides the red Ryuushinki Enryugo (a Super Prototype of the Paramails that preceded it) and is very much not just a DRAGON princess, but their top Ace Pilot, being The Rival of Ange (which eventually became a friendly one), generally representing the more benevolent side of Char (as Quattro). And since Ange already took Char's hair color (Blond), Sala had to take the contrasting hair color (black hair). Her 'mask' was actually this trope being played around: Sala doesn't wear mask (her piloting head piece doesn't even cover her face), but for the first half of the series, she's only seen full face in the opening, her face was mostly shrouded in her debut episode until the last moment where she's only there to give cryptic small exposition. So the show went out of the way to allude that she's a Char-like rival while not giving her any masks, something that Sala complained at an episode preview, thinking that she's been fooled into thinking that she's actually an Advertised Extra (which she's not).

  • Eureka Seven AO: Parodied. In episode 20, Elena starts wearing a mask after defecting to the United States. Early in episode 21, she decides it's irritating to wear it and throws it away.
  • Fist of the North Star: Shin and Souther are blond, members of a rival martial arts school of the protagonist, and rely on speed rather than brute force in combat.
  • The Five Star Stories: Vralgo "Testarossa" Kentauri wears a mask while posing as the mercenary knight "Boowray Red". He only lasts a single story arc before his final battle with his own arch-rival, King Colus, comes to a mutually fatal conclusion similar to the original's. Interestingly, his and Colus' descendants become allies in a later story arc.
  • Fushigi Yuugi: Nakago is a Manipulative Bastard, who wishes to become a god so he can get revenge on the world. Oh, and he's blond and has a cool helmet, and also has a Villainous Crush on the male lead.
  • Future GPX Cyber Formula:
  • GaoGaiGar: Soldat J is blond, wears a face obscuring helmet, is rival to main character, is faster than the main character on foot and in his smaller mecha, and is incredibly popular.
  • GEAR Fighter Dendoh:
    • Altair is a masked bad guy, the brother of one of the main characters, and The Rival of the protagonists (though not by choice). He uses a palette-swap of Dendoh, the Knight Gear Ogre.
    • Vega is a mysterious mentor with blonde hair and a mask. She is secretly the mother of one of Dendoh's pilots and Altair's sister.
  • The Heroic Legend of Arslan: Silver Mask wears a silver mask to hide the burn on his face, a result from a tragic incident in his youth. He is introduced as a Dragon with an Agenda, then it is revealed that he is a Long-Lost Relative of Parsian's royal family, and he eventually becomes a member of Big Bad Ensemble. He is even voiced by Shūichi Ikeda in an OVA adaptation.
  • Lyrical Nanoha:
    • Fate is a blonde whose fighting style is geared for speed, and who later gets Super Modes that make her even faster (Sonic Form in A's and Shin Sonic Form in StrikerS). She starts out as Nanoha's rival in the original season (with Nanoha herself having Shout Outs to Gundam protagonist Amuro Ray), and afterwards becomes her closest ally. Unlike Nanoha whose Magic Staff is used almost exclusively to shoot beams, Fate's can also transform into various melee weapons. She has three nicknames: the "Ace of the Navy," "God of Speed," and "Golden Flash." She has an older brother among the good cast, though they weren't siblings before she was adopted by Chrono's mother.
    • Vita, the "Knight of the Iron Hammer" is a Fiery Redhead completely clad in red, with a fighting style heavily focused on melee. She serves as Nanoha's rival in A's; after her Heel–Face Turn, she is also one of the instructors of the Forwards in StrikerS. Somewhat of an indirect example, in that she also has a number of references to Kyosuke Nanbu of Super Robot Wars (who was himself inspired by Char).
    • Nove was initially designed to be Subaru's rival in StrikerS, but somehow they don't end up as such, though the former is still antagonistic towards the latter. She's a Fiery Redhead who is faster than Subaru thanks by having lighter rollerblades. She turns out to be the a genetic clone of Quint like Subaru and Ginga, being a biological younger sister to the latter two. After her Heel–Face Turn, she later becomes the trainer and Big Sister Mentor of Team Nakajima (Vivio, Einhard, Rio and Corona) in ViVid.
  • Macross:
    • Macross 7: Gepelnitch is a masked blonde and leads from aboard the red Varauta Flagship.
    • Macross Frontier: Brera Sterne has blond hair, pilots a red jet fighter/mecha, is the rival to the protagonist and secretly the brother of one of the female leads. Ironically, he has the same voice actor as Amuro clone, Kira Yamato from Mobile Suit Gundam SEED, and his Amuro counterpart in Alto gets a primarily red jet fighter down the line and his voice actor also plays a Char clone in Mobile Suit Gundam 00.
  • Martian Successor Nadesico: Nagare Akatsuki is a mysterious playboy pilot who serves as Akito's rival, and at times, even a sort of mentor figure. He pilots an upgraded Aestivalis mech and is secretly the chairman of Nergal, even going so far as to betray the Nadesico for his own gain at one point.
  • Metal Armor Dragonar: Meio Plato is the Ace Pilot rival with the nickname Blue Hawk. His character design resembles Char in Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack, his sister is a major character on the protagonists' side, and he has his own Ace Custom Metal Armor.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: Asuka Langley Soryuu wears red, pilots a red EVA unit, is The Rival to Shinji Ikari, and serves as the show's resident Ace Pilot. Her Rebuild counterpart takes this further, with her EVA unit having three forms and wearing an eyepatch as of 3.33.
  • Kray Forsight in Promare. He's blonde, dresses in white, pilots a powerful mech, and sports a Mask of Sanity as a Reasonable Authority Figure while concealing his Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist designs as the real Big Bad. Specifically he invokes Rau le Creuset.

  • Robot Romance Trilogy: (Combattler V, Voltes V, and Daimos): Garuda and his successors (Heinel and Richter) invert this, as the villain of each is a blonde antagonist —particularly their characterization, Noble Demon traits, and connection to the main pilots of the opposing team — would serve as the basis for Char Aznable and his subsequent iterations.note  Bonus points for Daimos for having his sister romantically involved with the hero.
  • Saint Seiya: When Phoenix Ikki is introduced, he wears a Cool Mask to compliment his white armor, leads an army of Ace Custom Saints, and is the Aloof Big Brother of Andromeda Shun.
  • Sands of Destruction: Yappi wears an Eyepatch of Power and red bandanna, voiced by Shūichi Ikeda. To top it off, he is a friend turned rival to another teddy bear Toppi, who is voiced by Tōru Furuya.
  • Str.A.In.: Strategic Armored Infantry: Ralph Werec is an Ace Pilot and brother of the main character, who betrayed his nation and become Dragon with an Agenda of the series Big Bad and ultimately betrays her to pursue his agenda. While officially the series is A Little Princess in space, has been described as "Mobile Suit Gundam starring Sayla". Actually, both Ralph and his main character sister Sara have elements of Char-cloning (though Sara's mech is pink...). Amusingly enough, Ralph looks 99% identical to Zechs Merquise, the biggest difference being a large scar over one eye.
  • Tenchi Muyo!:
  • Venus Wars: Kurtz, the leader of the Hound combat motorcycle corps, cheerfully admits most of his men are as expendable as his machines to his superiors. However, Kurtz eagerly manipulates rebellious protagonist Hiro to remain under his command by hook or by crook, because of the talent he sees in the youth. Beyond that, Kurtz is blond, wears either glasses or keeps his helmet's visor down, said to be gay, and voiced by Ikeda himself!
  • Yakitate!! Japan: "Meister" Kirisaki is a blond masked Ace Baker whose sister is a member of the supporting cast. He happens to be Azuma's mentor as well. The anime adaptation was eventually picked up by Sunrise.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!
    • Yu-Gi-Oh! GX: As Nightshroud of the Shadow Riders, Atticus Rhodes wears a mask very similar to Char and his other expies from Gundam. After his defeat, his identity as Alexis's long lost brother is revealed.
    • Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds: Aki Izayoi/Akiza Izinski exhibits similar traits as the Black Rose Witch. She is predominantly red, right from her appearance, her Black Rose Dragon, her D-Wheeler, and even wears a mask while assuming the Black Rose Witch alter-ego. Even better, she pulls a Heel–Face Turn in midway in the Dark Signers arc.
  • Zoids:
    • Zoids: New Century: Naomi Fluegel pilots an Ace Custom red Gunsniper and is even called the Red Comet in-universe. Her Leitmotif is titled "Here Comes the Red Comet!", a reference to the original Char's theme song, "Here Comes Char!".
    • Leon Tauros pilots a custom Red Blade Liger and is the older brother of Leena, one of the regulars.

    Comic Books 
  • Batman:
    • Red Hood is Batman's crime-fighting rival who comes off of as a Well-Intentioned Extremist due to his utter disdain for Batman's one rule. His deadlier fighting style and namesake Cool Helmet gives him a Char look.
    • Batman (James Tynion IV): This run introduces Ghost-Maker, another vigilante with more extreme methods than Bruce's. He and Bruce trained under the same teachers and developed a friendship that turned into a rivalry when Ghost-Maker learned Bruce was training to be a vigilante to avenge his parents as opposed to doing it for the art like Ghost-Maker was. However, while Ghost-Maker is often antagonistic and critical of Bruce, the two have a mutual respect for each other. Ghost-Maker may not have qualms about killing, but he's not stupid or unreasonable, and is willing to make compromises and restrain himself for Batman's sake. Ghost-Maker also wears a white mask.

    Fan Works 
  • Cross Ange The Knight Of Hilda: Aside from the canon example of Salamandinay, there's Dark, Embryo's vassal who has fair hair (white), a mysterious past, and is the arch-rival of the protagonist (Rio), representing the more villainous aspects of Char. He also has his own Ace Custom mecha in Baretta, which earned the title of "The Nightmare of Neo-Zion" from the previous Libertus. It's later revealed that he's a LITERAL clone created by Embryo.
  • Miraculous: The Phoenix Rises: The Nightmare King checks most of the boxes, as he has a red aesthetic, a Cool Mask, is an Enigmatic Minion of the Big Bad, has a Red Baron title, and has a mysterious rivalry with Morgan, the hero.

    Film 
  • RRR (2022): Rama Raju is an Indian officer serving the British Raj and their equivalent to Bheem in terms of combat capability (although when the two first meet, neither knows who the other is and they immediately become friends). Ram is also a Dragon with an Agenda whose goal is to capture Bheem so he can secure a promotion to Special Officer, in order to be in a position where he can steal a shipment of firearms to give to his village to fight back, and to kill the British governor and avenge his father. For bonus points, when Ram does become a Special Officer, he gets a red uniform.
  • Shin Kamen Rider: Ichiro Midorika, a.k.a. Chou Augment-01/Kamen Rider No. 0, is an Enigmatic Minion within the ranks of SHOCKER and the brother of Ruriko, the film's female lead. Ichiro also has a personal agenda through his plan to save all of humanity by transferring their souls (including those from SHOCKER, as revenge for his father and Ruriko's death) to the Habitat Realm, which mirrors Char's intention of migrating humanity into space through crashing the Axis asteroid on Earth. The prequel manga Nulla in mundo pax sincera: Shin Kamen Rider SHOCKER SIDE also shows that he previously wore a gold-colored prototype combat suit, a possible nod to Char's Hyaku-Shiki.

    Literature 

    Live-Action TV 
  • Kamen Rider:
    • Kamen Rider Double: Shroud, real name: Fumine Sonozaki, is an enigmatic masked woman in a Bandaged Face who's out for revenge against her husband Ryubee by playing the Evil Mentor to Ryu Terui and Philip, her son, so her revenge plot would be set into motion. She also played on both sides by providing Gaia Memories to both Isaka and the Old Dopant to further her agendas and possessed a red-colored Shroud Magnum and the Bomb Memory in her arsenal.
    • Kamen Rider Gaim: Kaito Kumon/Kamen Rider Baron is the red-colored rival to the title protagonist. He starts out as an Anti-Hero, then joins Kouta's alliance because of bigger threats like Yggdrasill Corporation and the Overlord Inves' invasion on Earth and becomes Lord Baron and effectively the final opponent Kouta needs to defeat before he can liberate the world.
    • Kamen Rider Saber: The Shindai siblings of the Southern Base have elements of this:
      • The younger sister, Reika Shindai/Kamen Rider Sabela, is introduced early in the series as a mysterious messenger who instigates the infighting between Touma and the Northern Base swordsmen during the second half of the series and transforming into her red-colored Rider form. When Isaac reveals his true colors, she and her brother would ultimately pull a Heel–Face Turn and sides with Touma and company. In the Girls Remix mini-series, Reika would serve as the de-facto leader and Cool Big Sis archetype to the eponymous team of heroines in their battle against Black Satan.
      • The older brother, Ryoga Shindai/Kamen Rider Durendal, is introduced in the third arc of the series, in his debut episode, taking on Rintaro/Kamen Rider Blades without breaking a sweat making him the closest to being the rival to the said Rider due to their respective allegiances. Like his sister, he pulls a Heel–Face Turn once Isaac reveals his true colors.
    • Kamen Rider Outsiders: Zein is of the Char's Counterattack variety. Zein is a mysterious artificial intelligence that poses as a Benevolent A.I. seeking to study all of humanity's positive traits, when in reality it seeks to subjugate humanity because of their capacity for evil. It's goal of using the Deadly Game Kamen Rider Chronicle to trick humanity into self-destruction is an allegory of Char's attempt of dropping the Axis asteroid on Earth to force mankind to migrate into space.
  • Power Rangers:
    • Power Rangers in Space: Astronema is the no-nonsense Dragon-in-Chief to Dark Specter. Her hair color undergoes a variety of changes throughout the show but it is ultimately revealed that she is a natural blonde. She is also revealed to be Karone, the Red Ranger Andros's little sister who was abducted by Darkonda. Karone pulls a Heel–Face Turn upon discovering the truth but is Brainwashed into being evil again. This is ultimately undone in the season finale.
    • Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue: Ryan Mitchell has blonde hair and is the long-lost brother of one of the Rangers, Dana Mitchell. He was presumed dead when Dana was a child but was in fact abducted by the demons who raised him to believe his family had abandoned him, causing him to hate humanity. After learning the truth, he pulls a Heel–Face Turn and sides with the Rangers.
    • Power Rangers Ninja Storm: The Thunder Rangers have elements of this. They are rivals to the Wind Rangers and are working with the villains. However, it is revealed that their true grievance is with the Wind Rangers' mentor Kanoi Watanabe whom they believe murdered their parents and they have no true loyalty to the villains. Once they discover the truth behind their parents' death, they pull a Heel–Face Turn.
  • Ultraman Orb: Jugglus Juggler's only goal is to surpass his heroic rival as a revenge for not being the chosen of Ultraman Orb's light. His status as a villain borders on the role of Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work to even saving Gai's lover Natasha from what he believed to be his own fault and eventually redeeming himself by saving the Earth from Magata no Orochi. Aside from surviving the fight, he returns in Ultraman Z by going undercover as Shota Hebikura in a Badass Crew team serving as The Captain and Big Brother Mentor to that show's hero, Haruki Natsukawa. However, he still acts on his own agenda, but also prioritizes the safety of STORAGE members, as seen when Gillvalis appears.
  • Voltes V: Legacy: Prince Zardoz.note  He is the prince of the Boazanian empire, and one of the powerful threats the Voltes Team must face. And being Hrothgar's firstborn son, he's also the Armstrong brothers' estranged older brother.

    Tabletop Games 

    Video Games 
  • Ace Combat:
    • Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War features a pretty close match in Larry Foulke aka "Solo Wing Pixy", who combines attributes of a Zeta- and CCA-style Char. He's blonde, famous for a prior incident, and associated with a plane with a distinctive red-colored wing. He starts off as The Mentor to the protagonist (who, while having some cred before the game starts, is a total unknown compared to Pixy), but after losing faith in his reasons for fighting the eponymous war, turns on them, disappearing for most of the game before resurfacing at the finale as the Big Bad.
    • To a lesser extent is Yellow 13 of Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies, who is primarily a classic MSG Char. Blond hair, known mainly by a color-themed nickname, and heavily associated with a high-performance jet painted in that same color, he starts out with the protagonist as a sort of Unknown Rival who only piques his interest at first by showing the potential to be very good. Said protagonist even cements his status as an actual rival to him by accidentally (or rather unknowingly) killing a woman close to him, specifically Yellow 4. This in turn makes Mobius One something of an Amuro expy, in that at the end of the game he becomes the leader of his own squadron a la Londo Bell, is the only protagonist in the series known to remain in the military after his introductory game, and proves himself both in the Arcade Mode of Ace Combat 5 and the VR missions of Ace Combat 7 to be better than that entire squadron on his own.
    • Another minor example of an MSG-style clone is in Ace Combat 2 with the Z.O.E. planes. While they have no physical attributes to share with Char, being that at least in the remake they're an A.I., they do share the predilection towards increasingly-higher-spec, all-red aircraft (eventually, similar to Char's Zeong, getting one of the series' first two unique "superfighters"), and they essentially force their way into being The Rival by being not only the sole recurring named enemy in the game, but also the single most aggressive one, always seeking you out from the beginning of a mission instead of waiting for you to get close on your own — acknowledging the rivalry and shooting them down every time they show up is even required to get the best ending. At the end of the game they start to take on some minor CCA trappings, taking command of the defenses around the rebellion's last fortress, which is particularly pronounced in the remake, where a much bigger deal is made about their presence, and shooting them down there is an actual objective rather than being optional.
  • Toyo Momochi from Action Taimanin checks all three boxes. He's the Arch-Enemy to one of the protagonists not just Asagi Igawa, but also Kotaro Fuuma and has an estrange daughter who happens to be a Taimanin herself, and was Asagi's mentor before becoming disillusioned with the current state of the world as a result of the Nomad acting as Shadow Dictators to some world governments, he instigates a global Zombie Apocalypse in a similar vein to Char's attempt of dropping the Axis asteroid on Earth to force humans into migrating into space. He also attempts to expose the Nomad's evils to the world which could lead into an all-out war between humanity and demonkind until there would be no survivors on either side, an allusion to Char's Day of Dakar speech in Zeta Gundam exposing the Titans and the corruption within the Earth Federation, although Astaroth is the one who does the deed instead.
  • Armored Core has Nineball/Hustler One, the highest ranking person in the arena. His AC is red and is better than you in every way. This is mostly because he's an AI, and when he reveals this, he gets an Ace Custom. He is so iconic in the Armored Core fanbase that every game after his initial appearance either uses him for The Cameo or has an Expy of him. His character design is also a nod to the idea, bearing a bit of a resemblance to Char's Quattro identity. Presumably to keep the truth about him hidden from folks who bought the artbook before playing through the game.
  • Yasha from Asura's Wrath has a bit of this going for him, with a cool personality, a mask of sorts and overall has more speed, skill and precision based combat to be a counterpart for Asura's raw power and strength. The color scheme is blue instead of red, to compliment him being the Blue Oni to Asura's Red Oni. Durga, Asura's (dead) wife, is his sister, making him Asura's brother-in-law.
  • Gai, the Big Bad of Bangai-O, has a few of these traits. He pilots a robot similar to the title one (with red wings added onto it, for good measure), not only sharing the same abilities, but also able to activate temporary invincibility at will. He is also somewhat calmer than Riki. On top of all that, the ending reveals Gai to be the long-lost brother of Ban, Riki's father. Which makes him Riki's uncle!
  • BlazBlue: Relius Clover fights with a red robot who is really Carl Clover's mother, wears a mask that resembles The Phantom of the Opera, is blond, is The Rival to his son Carl, is co-Dragon to the Imperator Librarius (alongside Hazama/Terumi). Chronophantasma took this even further by having a Palette Swap of his that's a reference to the original.
  • Bomberman 64 and its sequel: Regulus is The Rival to the titular hero, uses a fake name and is an Enigmatic Minion in the sequel, even killing one of his own allies and going against the Big Bad, and is always seen wearing his Cool Mask.
  • Daemon X Machina has Crimson Lord, the top ace of the Bullet Works faction. His Arsenal is a very powerful and distinctively red machine, and he's driven by his own hidden agendas. He's even voiced by Shūichi Ikeda with a rival voiced by Tōru Furuya.
  • Final Fantasy has a few, despite mecha never being the primary focus.
    • Nero tol Scaeva of Final Fantasy XIV has aspects of both an original MSG and Zeta-era Char. He starts off as a high-ranking member of The Empire, associated with the color red (even his Magitek armor is all-red), and his characterization is as The Rival, albeit an unknown one, and to Cid nan Garlond as an engineer rather than the player character as a warrior. After the end of the 2.0 storyline, he defects from the Empire, joining Cid at Garlond Ironworks, wearing the same outfit as the other employees, though colored red and with the addition of Cool Shades.
    • Ravus Nox Fleuret from Final Fantasy XV also embodies many of the original Char's traits, despite never piloting any sort of mecha: blond hair, lost a parent to the villains, joins the villains' side to further his own agenda, holds a high rank in their military, and has a sister on the heroes' side; he also had a hood/mask covering his face in early material, but it was dropped in the final product. To take it one step further, his being a former prince parallels fellow Char Clone Milliardo Peacecraft/Zechs Merquise.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon & the Blade of Light and Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem: Camus is a blond-haired, highly skilled anti-villain. In the third game, Sirius, a masked, blond-haired, highly-skilled knight who you have totally never met before joins your party. Sounds familiar? Notably, Camus himself has spawned many clones that the fandom call the "Camus archetype" (although only Eldigan and Ares are direct Char clones, even though neither of them wear masks). They typically fall under "My Country, Right or Wrong", and sadly are usually killed off. The archetypes are largely distinct in that they tend to be based on Camus's personality, and he doesn't actually have much in common with Char personality-wise, being a goodhearted and loyal Noble Top Enforcer rather than a treacherous manipulator—far more similar to Ramba Ral than Char.
    • Fire Emblem: Awakening:
      • "Marth". Mask? Check. Mysterious? Check. Better version of the hero's weapon? Check. Related to a major character? She's the main lord Chrom's daughter from the future.
      • From the same game: Gerome. Another mysterious, masked character, who is related to Cherche by way of Kid from the Future; she's not as important as Chrom, but Cherche does have some mild plot significance. It's even possible for Gerome to have blond hair.
    • Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia: The Masked Knight, a masked (duh) individual with mysterious motives who repeatedly saves Celica from danger, and is later revealed to be her presumed-dead brother Conrad.
    • Fire Emblem: Three Houses:
      • The Flame Emperor, the Disc-One Final Boss of the game's academy phase, who conceals their face with a helmet and a ceramic mask, seeking to destroy the Church of Seiros. Their true identity is actually Edelgard, the protagonist of the Black Eagles route, who seeks to overthrow the crests and systems that govern Fodlan put in place by the church in a violent revolution. Even after their identity is revealed, they still fit the mold of a Char Clone, switching from a MSG-Type to a CCA-Type.
      • Jeritza, a highly skilled, masked, blond-haired teacher at Garreg Mach who is secretly the brother of Mercedes and is the true identity of the Death Knight.
  • Hornet from Hollow Knight has a white mask that contrasts with her black body, wears a red cloak, uses a combat style that emphasizes speed and precision and is a lot more complex than previous enemies had been using, appears to be attacking knights for reasons that aren't immediately clear, and eventually turns out to be the protagonist's older half sister. If you're on the path to the Golden Ending, she'll stop attacking and will provide occasional advice and help.
  • There aren't any mechs in Heroes of Mana but General Baxilios still has the look, being a blonde and masked woman in her 20's heading the army of Pedda to conquer the rest of Fa'Diel and power the mysterious Mirrors of Esina in each kingdom. She was also once an item with Yurchael before miscarrying their baby and becoming Anise's Brainwashed and Crazy puppet.
  • The King of Fighters: Ash Crimson is an odd example of this archetype in that he embodies the traits of all three variations of Char at once. He wears red, sports platinum-blond hair, essentially upstages the entire collective cast at every turn (no, really), and schemes to steal the powers of the Three Sacred Treasures (Kyo, Iori, and Chizuru; he succeeds in depowering the latter two). He's set up as a Hidden Agenda Villain Protagonist, but is shown to be a Well-Intentioned Extremist, working to counter-act his time-hopping Identical Ancestor in order to keep his best friend/older sister figure/rival Elisabeth safe.
  • Kirby: Meta Knight is the eponymous hero's rival, mentor, Aloof Ally, and one-time Well-Intentioned Extremist. He wears a mask, commands a Cool Faceship, and fights with techniques similar to Kirby's Sword and Wing abilities. The Dramatic Unmask is parodied; whenever Meta Knight is beaten, his mask comes off and he's revealed to look like a blue Palette Swap of Kirby before he bashfully teleports away.
  • The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel has Crow Armbrust, the rival to The Hero Rean. Crow is a more skilled pilot than Rean who he trounces almost every time he fights until Rean builds enough experience to actually beat him. He's the leader of a terrorist group out to assassinate the chancellor for inadvertently killing his grandfather, and does wear a mask when he's assuming the disguise "C". He also dispenses advice to Rean so he does have some of Char's "Quattro Bajeena" persona. For bonus points: Crow has pale-white hair and has the Red Baron title of Azure Chevalier, indicating the color of his Divine Knight, and briefly gains an eyes-covering mask in the third game, altough by that point he's more Brainwashed and Crazy than anything else.
  • Mecha Ace, a digital Gamebook, features a rival Ace Pilot named Commandant Camille Hawkins, complete with blond hair, Cool Mask, Ace Custom mech, and Red Baron status. Biggest difference is a blue colour scheme instead of red... and potentially a Gender Flip (the player can optionally select NPC genders).
  • In Megadimension Neptunia VII, a character that appears in the Lowee storyline known as Azna=Leb (he even goes so far as to paraphrase a rather infamous line from the series — "Y-you hit me! Even my own father never hit me! H-How dare you punch my face... with a fist even!" — when Blanc strikes him in anger at the end of the storyline too).
  • Mega Man:
    • Mega Man (Classic): It wouldn't be much of a stretch at all to assume Proto Man was a Char (or more specifically, a Quattro). Cool Shades and a helmet that hides his identity, is a red robot with considerable speed and agility advantages over Mega Man, has a not-initially-disclosed relation to a main character (and as an Aloof Big Brother no less), sometimes an enemy, sometimes an ally, and usually set up as a rival or mentor as the plot requires (and sometimes both). It's also worth noting that Keiji Inafune gave him the very distinctive boat-tailed Gelgoog riot shield that tapers to a point at both ends.
    • Mega Man X:
      • According to Inafune, Zero was inspired by Char.
      • Dynamo of X5 is also built up as such, particularly the old-fashioned MSG-style rival (although he's more of a Friendly Enemy in demeanor). He wears black instead of red, but otherwise exhibits most of the traits associated with Char clones. He has the white hair, a visor on his helmet that covers his eyes, and is even said to have skills equaling or perhaps surpassing that of a Special A Class Hunter. note  He's also responsible for carrying out the part of Sigma's plan that involves a CCA-esque Colony Drop. Despite possessing abilities similar to X and Zero's combined skillset, however, his threat level diminishes throughout X5, as he's soundly defeated by X/Zero twice and retreats each time, not even showing up for the final stages unlike other Sigma-affiliated baddies. By the time of X6, Dynamo is considered little more than a nuisance by the Maverick Hunters; that being said, he's still smart enough to know when to call it quits.
    • Mega Man Battle Network:
      • The cold, aloof, and extremely skilled NetNavi ProtoMan.EXE (along with his equally cold, aloof, and extremely skilled operator Chaud) who ticks off a lot of marks on the Char Clone checklist: wearing red, wearing a helmet with a face-concealing mask, long light-colored hair, extreme combat competence, a rivalry with the primary-colored protagonist, and a notable pride in his abilities. He also happens to hit several points for Char's Mobile Suits as well, most notably with his swordsmanship (Char was a more melee-focused combatant as compared to Amuro) and the single backwards-facing crest reminiscent of a Zeon commander antenna, such as the one found on Char's various Zeon-type suits. He retains the original Proto Man's shield, sharing its boat-tailed shape with that of the Gelgoog's shield. He is also noted to be extremely fast in combat, in the same way that Char's Zaku was reportedly three times faster than the stock model.
      • Zero.EXE, who is featured as the antagonist of the first half of Network Transmission, shares his red color scheme and his swordsmanship with his namesake, thereby also emulating Char. In a slight twist, since ProtoMan.EXE is already a Composite Character of the original Proto Man and Zero, Zero.EXE bears more of a resemblance to various Mobile Suits (such as...) than his X series counterpart, making him look more inhuman and menacing in the process. His first and foremost trait calls Char's Counterattack to mind, though Zero follows Dr. Wily's plan to destroy the Net with the Zero Virus for the sake of mankind as opposed to spearheading it himself. This, along with his Tragic Villain status (being a virus created solely for the purpose of wreaking havoc and expecting to be deleted by MegaMan for this very reason), instead leads to Zero being spared and reborn as a genuine NetNavi—provided the player makes the right choices.
  • Gray Fox of Metal Gear hits different points in the series. In Metal Gear, he was The Mentor to Snake, at least in dialogue. In Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, he upgrades to The Rival, albeit ones who are completely impersonal with each other - they fight not because they have any animosity, but simply because they're on opposite sides and respect each other too much to not test themselves. In Metal Gear Solid, he's a mix of classic Char (he fights Snake several times, but has a different agenda from FOXHOUND despite technically being part of them, and his sister is part of Snake's support team) and Quattro (he still acts as a mentor to Snake, calling him under the alias "Deepthroat" to warn him of danger several times).
  • Ninja Gaiden III: The Regent is an Enigmatic Minion who wears a white mask and red robe. He is also shown to have blonde hair when unmasked.
  • Persona 5 has its primary human antagonist, Masayoshi Shido. He's a mix of all three types with his Shadow wearing a very similar style of mask (0079), riding around on a very golden embodiment of human slavery (Zeta), and his motivations being to helm the world for the sake of "exceptional" people like himself (Char's Counterattack). He's also got the same voice actor as Char, Shūichi Ikeda, in Japanese, and the voice actor of Char's closest clone Full Frontal, Keith Silverstein, in English. The trope also splits with Akechi inheriting his color scheme and vengeance for family affairs and Joker taking on his mentor role for Shinya Oda.
  • Pokémon Scarlet and Violet gives us a pokemon based on the trope with Charcadet, a small, humanoid fire-type that resembles a young soldier in red with an elaborate helmet and mask, which can evolve into either the larger red humanoid Armarouge, gaining elaborate golden shoulder armor, giving it a passing resemblance to both Char's Zaku and the Hyakku Shiki, or the purple Ceruledge, who uses hand-mounted energy weapons not unlike the Zeong (though Laser Blades rather than Finger Firearms). Its evolved forms gain either psychic or ghost as a secondary typing, referencing Char's developing Newtype powers in the later part of the series, and perhaps his tormented relationship with the ghost of Lalah Sune in the final act. What really drives home the fact that it's a deliberate Shout-Out to Gundam, however, is the fact that Charcadet's shiny version is identical to the normal one apart from having blue eyes, a reference to Casval and the real Char Aznable in Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin's flashback arc.
  • Rance: Rick Addison is a patriotic masked blond bishonen clad in red armor who is considered to be the greatest warrior in his nation, and serves as the Worthy Opponent to the main character. Knowing the series, however, he's most likely intended to be a parody.
  • Resident Evil has Albert Wesker, although of course it's not a mecha series. He is blond, with Cool Shades, and is a Dark Messiah and for much of the series a Hidden Agenda Villain, who has a rivalry with protagonist Chris Redfield. He's mostly a Char's Counterattack version of the character, especially in Resident Evil 5 where he wants to kill the majority of the world's population (by bombing them with Uroboros from a plane: not quite an asteroid, but as close as this series gets), leaving only a few "superior" people alive, which he describes as "saving" the world. However, in the first game, he has a few traits from Zeta, as he is a leader and mentor to the protagonists (although he's actually an evil double agent).
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Frost Ace's entry discusses that he put on his mask in order to exact unspecified vengeance, and his mask is modeled after the original. It's where the "Ace" in his name comes from, as he's never actually shown piloting anything.
  • In Sierra Ops, the charismatic Martian Admiral that leads the Ares Confederation has silver hair and wears a mask with a red visor that conceals the upper half of his face. Whether he has a Red Baron title or pilots an Ace Custom Exoframe remains to be seen, but he’s leading his people into a war against Earth as of Episode I, setting him up as the Char’s Counterattack type.
  • Skies of Arcadia: The oddly-named Ramirez starts out as a lowly vice-admiral in the Valuan Empire, carrying out the orders of seditious Galcian. In due course he is promoted to full admiral and commits a few war crimes of his own, including the sinking of the Little Jack, the shelling of Nasir, and the destruction of Crescent Isle. He is a space-dwelling Silvite, the first agent who was sent to reactivate the lost continent of Soltis and extinguish all life on the surface. The irony is that he and his replacement, Fina, apparently did not know about the Elders' plans for genocide; but Galcian took Ramirez under his wing and, in the process, learned about Soltis and its potential as a world-conquering weapon. Anyway, Ramirez shares more than a little in common with SoA's hero Vyse: a swordsman and sailor with an incurable wanderlust. Ramirez spent too much time amid Galcian's people, which confirms the Silvites' belief that man is beyond saving; Fina accidentally drifted to Vyse's hometown of Pirate Isle. The difference is one of circumstance.
  • In Steambot Chronicles, Elder the White Phantom is the reigning trotmobile champion, with a trotmobile that is way more powerful than anything else in the game. He wears a white mask to hide his identity. He is also the leader of the Bloody Mantis, the terrorist organization that is trying to destroy modern society, and a former member of the band you joined, whose little brother was also a band member before he was killed.
  • Street Fighter:
    • Ken Masters has blonde hair and a red gi to contrast with Ryu's brown hair and white gi; Yoshiki Okamoto has stated Ryu's opposite was purposely given a Char look.
    • Vega/Balrog/Claw probably qualifies as well. Blond hair, Cool Mask. More towards the Big Bad end of the scale.
  • Doujin game Super Cosplay War Ultra has Masa, who cosplays as the Red Comet and uses Char's voice clips (his theme song is also Char's theme from one of the Super Robot Wars games). He also fits the Ace Custom trope by being a more powerful version of one of the standard Mook types that cosplay as Zakus (the mobile suit type from which the Red Comet was derived from).
  • Super Robot Wars:
  • Tech Romancer: Shadow Red is based on Char, to the point of being voiced by Shūichi Ikeda.
  • Xenogears: Bart is an exiled nobleman's son and pilots a red Ace Custom mecha, though he substitutes an Eyepatch of Power for Cool Shades.
  • Zone of the Enders features the main rival pilot Viola Gyune piloting red LEV mechs.

    Visual Novels 

    Webcomics 
  • Operator: Just about the only named enemy character is blond-haired Humongous Mecha ace Jaeger, who incidentally wears red and seems to exist purely to fight the main character one-on-one.
  • Paranatural: Mr. Spender is a shady, morally gray blond mentor figure who always wears sunglasses. Most definitely a Zeta Char Clone.

    Web Video 
  • Hoshino Charlotte (better known as "Hoshino Char") is a Virtual Youtuber who follows this motif, with references to Char and Gundam in general that extend to calling her cat Casvalnote  and claiming that she can use the bathroom three times faster than normal. Naturally, her design includes blonde hair and red clothing. She doesn't have a mask, but she does sometimes wear a pair of Quattro-style shades (usually to invoke the "I came here to laugh at you" meme). Ironically she has also echoed Char's habit of switching sides, having quit her VTuber agency (while retaining her character) and later joined another.
  • YouTube commentator ItsAGundam has a digital avatar that looks like Char Anzable with a tan and black hair (he's American/Italian living in New York City). He took his name from his hobby of building Gundam model kits, and uses a soundbyte of Enemy Chatter from one of the shows (some poor schmuck yelling "IT'S A GUNDAAAM!") as his intro.

    Western Animation 
  • Megas XLR: Evil Coop from the show's finale. His Mecha #14 had a strong resemblance to Char's Sazabi, while his army resemble Zakus (and of course, as Coop, he's blond).
  • Young Justice: Jade Nguyen aka Cheshire is an assassin who wears a mask with red markings. She is the sister to one of the heroes, Artemis Crock aka Tigress. While Cheshire is a villain, she is not without her sympathetic traits, namely her love for her sister, her daughter and her husband. She has even helped the heroes on occasion.

Alternative Title(s): He Is A Char

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