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Manga / Mobile Suit Gundam École du Ciel

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Mobile Suit Gundam École du Ciel (Tenku no Gakko) note  is a manga series written and illustrated by Haruhiko Mikimoto, starting publication sometime in 2002. One of its most notable characteristics is that it is only the second Gundam story to have a female protagonist. (Gundam 0080 has a female Gundam pilot, but she's not the main character. The first is Tiel's Impulse, in which the main protagonist is a 14 year old girl.)

The story starts just as the events of Gundam 0083 concludes and the Titans are formed amidst apparent hostilities between Earthnoids and Spacenoids. Enter our heroine — Asuna Elmarit — enrolling into the distinguished military academy "Ecole du Ciel", training to become a mobile suit pilot. Of course, that's not what she really wants to do but she may not have a choice in the matter as the Titans have taken an interest in her due to her father's research - who has been missing since the One Year War.

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Contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Continuity Nod: Aside from the Titans, there are references to Anaheim Electronics and when the timeline crosses into Zeta Gundam, there is a passing reference to the Gundam Mk-II theft that starts that series as well as a snippet of Char Quattro's Dakar speech.
  • Crossover: The timeline crosses a little bit into Zeta Gundam.
  • Fantastic Racism: Asuna faces a lot of hostility in the short snippet where she enrolls into "Ecole Du Ciel" due to being from Zeon.
  • Fragile Speedster: Mecha designer Yoshinori Sayama describes the Le Cygne as a "Kunoichi Gundam". It can't tank shots well, but has exceptional mobility.
  • Geo Effects: Asuna pilots really well in space. On Earth or in a colony, however, she's not so good.
  • Gratuitous French: The titular Ecole du Ciel, plus the GM Canard, the Le Cygne and the Gemeaux mobile suits. Justified by the Ecole du Ciel being located in Canada.
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  • Hostage for MacGuffin: At one point, the Titans take Asuna's mother hostage and demand Asuna in exchange.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me / Shield Bash: Due to the Le Cygne being a Fragile Speedster, it is equipped with a large, robust shield as a compensation for its poor defenses. It also has multiple verniers installed on it, so not only it adds to the Gundam's overall mobility, it also allows the shield to be used for tearing enemy mobile suits to shreds. Asuna first showcased the offensive use of the Le Cygne's shield when she used it to tear the head and limbs of Erisia's Gaplant.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: "Happy Birthday to You" seems to be playing as Marie's pirates are being decimated.

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