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The 08th Team
A rookie ensign newly assigned to the 08th Team, Shiro is idealistic but inexperienced. Doing his best to do what he thinks is right, his perceptions of what the right thing to do is shifts over the course of the series.
- Badass: In his first appearance he attacks a Zaku with a Ball. And wins. While his leadership skills need some work, his piloting skill is present from day one.
- Captain Smooth and Sergeant Rough: The Captain to Karen's Sergeant
- Ensign Newbie
- A Father to His Men: Eventually.
- The Hero
- The Leader: Type III, thought it takes him a while to grow into the role.
- Mecha-Mooks: His Gundam is one.
- Nobuyuki Hiyama
- Rousing Speech: Seems to give one before every mission.
- Took a Level In Badass
The 08th Team's most experienced pilot, she's the de facto leader prior to Shiro's arrival. With a cynical attitude and a no-nonsense demeanor, she's a capable soldier who gets the job done with a minimum of drama.
- Action Girl
- Amazonian Beauty
- Captain Smooth and Sergeant Rough: The Sergeant to Shiro's Captain.
- Corporal Punishment: Beats the crap out of Sanders, tosses wrenches at Eleadore, and generally reacts to anything approaching insubordination with violence.
- Dark-Skinned Redhead
- Determined Widow: It only comes up in one scene, but her husband was a doctor. It's unclear whether he was killed during the One Week Battle or at some point during the war.
- Groin Attack: Sacks Sanders for "not having any balls."
- The Lancer
- Mami Koyama
- Mecha-Mooks: Another mass-production Gundam.
- Sergeant Rock: Rides herd on the 08th Team (mostly Eleadore) when necessary. She throws a wrench at the guy for listening to music on duty at one point!
Terry Sanders Jr.
An experienced pilot, he's rescued by Shiro during a mission gone bad in the first episode, and ends up joining the 08th MS Team at the same time as Shiro does. Haunted by his previous experience in the war, it takes him some time to adjust to life in the 08th Team.
- Ambiguously Brown: Dark skin, dreads...there's a pretty good chance he's supposed to be black.
- The Big Guy: He's an experienced MS pilot, and his loyalty to Shiro is unquestionable, yet his anxieties about his new team keep him from assuming a command position, and he largely serves as their muscle.
- Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: Does this to Michel when the latter flips out on Shiro.
- Grim Reaper/Shinigami: Nicknamed this.
- Heroic Self-Deprecation: Initially he's very negative about his own abilities, largely due to the deaths of his previous teammates.
- I Owe You My Life: The source of his loyalty to Shiro.
- The Jinx: Has had two previous teams shot out from under him, and is terrified he'll do the same to the 08th, prompting him to try and resign at one point.
- Mecha-Mooks: Flies the same mass-production mobile suits as the rest of the squad.
- Scary Black Man: Presents this way but is actually pretty cool. In fact he's one of the more positive portrayals of black people in Japanese television (assuming that he's meant to be).
- Sole Survivor: And very bitter about it
- Survivor Guilt: His previous two teams were massacred. Terry is more than a little screwed up from this.
- Tessho Genda
The 08th Team's resident sensor tech, he accompianies the team into battle in the hovertruck, providing battlefield intel rather than fighting directly. He tends to be more interested in his fledgling music career than in being a good soldier, which tends to put him at odds with Karen. His frequent flirting probably doesn't help, either.
- Bridge Bunny: Well, the closest thing the 08th Team's got, anyway.
- Chivalrous Pervert
- Keiji Fujiwara
- The Smart Guy
- Waiting for a Break
A replacement sent to the 08th MS Team along with Shiro, Michel ends up working primarily as Eledore's goffer. Somewhat timid, he spends much of his time writing to his girlfriend. Not a particularly effective soldier, and he knows it painfully.
- Did Not Get the Girl: His girlfriend, Bebe, marries another guy much to his dismay.
- The Chick
- Hiro Yuki
- The Load
- New Meat
- Non-Action Guy
- Platonic Life Partners: Him and Kiki, to a degree.
- What the Hell, Hero?: To Shiro over his and Aina's relationship
Other Earth Federation
Lieutenant Colonel Kojima
The commanding officer of the Kojima Batallion, and thus the 08th MS Team's immediate superior. Somewhat out of favor with high command, he spends most of his time trying to keep things running rather than leading on the battlefield.
Captain Ethan Ryer
Kojima's superior, he shows up late in the series, during the Federation's offensive against Ginias. He considers the men under him resources rather than human beings; expendable as long as it gets the job done.
A Zeon test pilot and Ginias' little sister, she encounters Shiro in the first episode. When the resulting battle leaves them both stranded in space, they work together in order to get rescued. Her repeated encounters with Shiro shape the overall course of the story, gradually leading both of them to question their roles in the war.
- Action Girl
- Anti-Villain: She's evil solely due to her association with Zeon and her lunatic older brother.
- Blue Blood: Though not a case of Aristocrats Are Evil.
- Capulet Counterpart: For Shiro.
- Lady of War: A member of the Zeonic nobility, but also an experienced test pilot.
- Mad Scientist's Beautiful Daughter: Well, younger sister.
- Sibling Yin-Yang: With her Axe Crazy brother.
- Super Prototype: The monstrous Apsalus I, Apsalus II, and Apsalus III mobile armours, which she serves as the test pilot for.
- Wave Motion Gun: The Apsalus II and III's particle cannons.
- White-Haired Pretty Girl
- Yamato Nadeshiko: Subtly hinted, but she clearly demonstrates the virtues of the trope towards both Ginias and Shiro. Her being a test pilot also plays into the martial aspect of this trope, demonstrating duty to family. Also, Kikuko Inoue.
The head of the Apsalus project, Ginias is part nobleman, part scientist, and part military commander. Suffering from Soap Opera Disease, he's prone to neglecting his health, forcing Aina to watch out for him instead. He doesn't adjust well to the events taking place over the course of the series.
- Ax Crazy: Once he completely loses his mind, he starts killing his superiors and all his underlings in the Apsalus project so he can have it all to himself to go on a rampage with.
- Badass Bookworm: Becomes one when he loses his mind and climbs into the Apsalus III.
- Big Bad: Of the series, though not the war itself (that award goes to Gihren Zabi).
- Blond Guys Are Evil
- Blood From the Mouth: he opens episode 11 with this.
- Blue Eyes
- Broken Bird / Troubled but Cute: some interpretations, anyway.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Episode 11 seems to imply his childhood was neither healthy nor loving.
- Evil Genius
- Fan Nickname: the aforementioned Soap Opera Disease combined with his unfortunate character design has earned him the moniker "Space AIDS" in a few places.
- Hot Scientist: If effeminate biseinen are your thing, anyway.
- Insane Admiral: He holds the rank of Rear Admiral. He's out of his freaking mind.
- Ill Boy
- Kick the Dog: What he did to Yuri Kellarny
- Lean and Mean: Opens up episode 11 looking about as well fed as a whippet with an eating disorder, presumably because his obsession with completing the Apsalus has long since taken priority over silly things like eating and taking his meds.
- Mad Scientist
- Mommy Issues: and HOW.
- Not So Stoic
- Sanity Slippage
- Show Hayami
- Sibling Yin-Yang: With his remarkably sane sister.
- Sissy Villain
- Soap Opera Disease: While the condition is never mentioned by name, it's generally held by Fanon to be Wilson's Disease, a condition of abnormal copper metabolism that often presents with schizophrenia-like symptoms.
- Tragic Villain / Jerkass Woobie / Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Depending on your interpretation.
- Yandere or Cute and Psycho: Also depending on intepretation.
A soldier with ties to the Sahalin family, he is protective of Aina specifically. Tangling with the 08th Team on several occasions, the man is a force to be reckoned with on the battlefield.
- Anti-Villain to the point of being a Hero Antagonist.
- Ace Pilot
- Colonel Badass
- My Master, Right or Wrong
- Samurai: Norris hits the samurai themes as hard as possible without actually wearing medival armor and killing people with a katana.
- Old Retainer
A Zeon commander roughly equivalent to Ginias in rank, he's an actual battlefield commander as opposed to Ginias' R&D type. Thrown into conflict with Ginias when he becomes a threat to the Apsalus project by retreating to Ginias' base late in the series.
- A Father to His Men: Genuinely cares for his people
- The Brigadier
- Handsome Lech: Poor Aina
- Husky Russkie
- Reasonable Authority Figure
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The red to Ginias' blue.
A civilian girl living in the area where the show takes place, she is a member of the local guerilla forces that oppose both the Earth Federation and Zeon. Initially antagonistic, she eventually warms up to Shiro when it becomes clear that he actually cares about the wellbeing of the locals. She eventually invites herself onto the team, tagging along even when they range far from her home village.
- Chinami Nishimura
- The Heart
- Hopeless Suitor: To Shiro. Sorry little girl, Star-Crossed Lovers is in play. You don't have a chance.
- Naked First Impression: She was bathing in a river, then Shiro walked in.
- Plucky Girl
- La Résistance
- Sixth Ranger