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This article is about the character from original Mobile Suit Gundam. For the character from the Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin manga series that serves as the origin of the name, see Char Aznable (Real).
Char Aznable (シャア・アズナブル Shaa Azunaburu?), born Casval Rem Deikun (キャスバル・レム・ダイクン Kyasubaru Remu Daikun?), is one of the main characters from the Universal Century timeline. He was the introduced as one of the antagonists of Mobile Suit Gundam and later becomes one of the protagonists of Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam. In his chronologically final appearance, Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack, he is the titular antagonist. He is also the main character of the flash back arc of the Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin manga and its OVA adaptation. Throughout his life, he is also known by the aliases Édouard Mass (エドワゥ・マス Edowa~u Masu?) and Quattro Bajeena (クワトロ・バジーナ Kuwatoro Bajīna?). In addition, he is given the nom de guerre of "The Red Comet (赤い彗星 Akai Suisei?)", for his performance at the Battle of Loum during the One Year War.
Personality & Character
When first introduced, Char is a young man of average height, with short wavy blond hair, and blue eyes. He is always seen dressed in his red Zeon uniform (red being his favorite color), and most of the time, wears either a Zeon commander helmet with goggles or a large pair of sunglasses to conceal his identity. By U.C. 0087, Char grows a few inches in height and also lets his hair grow to shoulder length, and in Char’s Counterattack his hair is shorter and combed back, and he no longer conceals his identity as Casval Rem Deikun. Char also has a small, diagonal scar between his eyes, received from Amuro Ray in their sword duel at A Baoa Qu.
Char’s personality is a mix of passion, charisma, pride, vengefulness, and charm. Perhaps his most dominant characteristic is his charisma which makes him a genuine leader. Char’s skill as a pilot combined with his charisma cause many people to respect and willingly follow his command, while instilling fear in his opponents. The other defining trait of Char’s personality is his tendency to hold deep grudges, seen most evident by his attitude towards the Zabi Family and Amuro Ray. Char’s desire for revenge is something that defines him for most of the series. His entire objective in Mobile Suit Gundam was killing every single last member of the Zabi Family in retaliation for killing his father. The other prime example was his rivalry with Amuro, which at first was one of soldiers on opposing sides but became one of deep animosity after Amuro unintentionally killed Lalah Sune, Char’s object of affection. This drove Char to temporarily forget about his vendetta against the Zabi Family and focus solely on killing Amuro, until Sayla Mass reminded him about his grudge against the former. Char's animosity with the two also revealed two other things about his character: his rivalry with Amuro highlighted Char’s pride as a soldier, as he repeatedly challenged Amuro with different mobile suits just for the satisfaction of defeating the young rookie pilot in battle, while with the Zabi's he showed that he could be very manipulative, having deceived them for years and influenced their battle plans without them ever questioning his loyalty.
By U.C. 0087, Char’s personality changes drastically; with his revenge fulfilled he focuses all of his attention on helping defeat the corrupt Titans and follow his father’s teachings of humanity needing to move into space if it wished to progress further. Throughout the series, Char demonstrates his passion for following his father’s legacy, even going against the people of Zeon, refusing to follow their ideology of overturning the Federation and going so far as to fight against their forces in the final battle.
The epitome of Char’s change is shown in episode 37 of the Zeta series when Char delivers his speech about the need for humans to leave the Earth, so that it could be restored to its natural state. This showed that Char truly does care about the Earth, and wants to help save it, also wanting what is best for humanity, touching upon the pointlessness of humans fighting amongst themselves. As an individual Char also improves from who he used to be; rather than share a rivalry with new protagonist Kamille Bidan, Char acts as his mentor and helps settle the boys tantrums, something the old Char would not have put up with. He also was able to let go of past grudges, as he willingly and cooperatively fought alongside his past enemies Bright Noa, Hayato Kobayashi, and even his archrival Amuro, with whom he could now even hold a conversation with and also take a smart remark from without fussing over it.
However, in Char’s Counterattack, Char changes his attitude once again, this time for the worst. After being exposed to the people of Earth, he realized it was not only the Titans, but a great deal of humanity that was corrupted, and as a result became disgusted with humanity and sought out to change their ways. This culminated in him dropping asteroids onto the Earth, in the hopes of causing a nuclear winter, making the Earth uninhabitable, thus forcing humans to migrate into space. Though appearing evil at first, Char still cares for the Earth and still wants best for humanity by following his father’s plan, only now he is more focused on the outcome rather than worrying about the process, including disregarding human lives. Char is also now more forceful, as he was willing to drop asteroids on the Earth despite it still having people who did not evacuate and was determined to crush anyone who opposed him.
One drastic difference in characterization was his attitude towards the lone survivor of the Zabi family. Whereas during the One Year War, where he was perfectly happy to set up the death of his "friend" Garma Zabi for no greater reason than the original sin of being member of the Zabi family, Char displayed untempered outrage over Haman's conditioning of Mineva Zabi, suggesting genuine care for the innocent girl.
Despite all these changes, one of Char's traits has remained constant, his love and protection for those close to him. This was seen in each series that he appeared in: In MSG, when he tried to convince his little sister Artesia (at that time known as Sayla Mass) to leave the White Base multiple times (even giving her a suitcase full of gold bars to support herself), in Zeta when he guides and fights alongside Kamille, and his mature relationship with Nanai in Char's Counterattack.
An interesting fact about Char’s character is his influence over women who are younger than him, which remains somewhat of a constant over the course of the series. This was seen at multiple times: his relationship with Lalah Sune (whose age is 17, and, according to Tomino's novel Secret Rendezvous: Amuro and Lalah, was discovered by Char working as a prostitute), and Haman Karn, who was 14, as detailed in the manga Portrait of a Young Comet - Char's Deleted Affair. Char also swayed the disillusioned Quess Paraya (13 years old according to Gundam Official Guide) during the events of the movie Char's Counterattack, where Quess latched onto Char after being rebuffed by Amuro Ray in hopes of learning from famous Newtypes. Char, while certainly caring for these women, doesn't really show signs of romantic interest to any of these females, except Lalah and a few others such as Natalie Bianchi and Nanai Miguel.
Overall, Char goes from fighting to avenge his father to fighting for the ideology of his father. Throughout, Char tries to protect those he cares for and destroy those against him.
Skills & Abilities
As a mobile suit pilot, Char excels in land, air, and space combat. He will exploit the disadvantages of his foe and use it to his advantage. Char is also able to bring out the full potential of a mobile suit, and is able to hold his ground against the technologically superior RX-78-2 Gundam with commander versions of the Zaku, Z'Gok, and Gelgoog. His days at the Zeon Space Defense Military Academy helped him hone his combat skills as a foot soldier, such as using firearms, detonating explosives, and fencing. His bold leadership which he is well known for also developed at the military academy. Albeit being an excellent pilot, Char's abilities as a Newtype are far less than those of his archrival Amuro Ray. Char's Newtype abilities only developed as a result of long term training. Char is also a cunning strategist and tactician, managing to outsmart many of his enemies, even when he is not piloting a mobile suit. Char, like his father, seems to be a natural born orator, as his passionate speech denouncing the Titans in Dakar pulled the Earth Federation's support towards the AEUG.
On the eve of Zeon Zum Deikun's speech, Casval couldn't rest as his oddly behaving father could not find the right words. His sister, Artesia, was frightened. When Zeon Deikun went up to give his speech in the Side 3 Diet house the next day, he collapsed just as he was about to start. Shortly thereafter, he died. Through Jimba Ral, the Deikun family learns that the Zabi family had poisoned Zeon over time and killed him off slowly, until he had a heart attack. The Zabi family seizes power in the Zeon Republic and makes it a principality, all the while making the public think that Zeon Deikun was killed by the Earth Federation to spark a revolution. Casval and his family and the Ral family know otherwise, and this event is what sparks Casval's deep hatred for the Zabi family. The Zabi family tries to hush Jimba Ral about the murder which forces him to flee with Casval and Artesia later on and they also try to intimidate Casval, but Casval had already made up his mind to never by intimidated by anyone, especially a Zabi.
Young Casval and his sister escaped to earth shortly after their father's death with the help of Jimba Ral (the father of Ramba Ral). They spent several years living a life of luxury as wards of the aristocratic Don Teabolo Mass, who gave them the surnames Édouard Mass and Sayla Mass and treated them as his own adopted children. During this time, Jimba Ral constantly reminded Casval of the Zabi family's betrayal of the Deikuns. Jimba Ral was also trying to organize a coup d'état on the Zabi family; however the Zabi's found out about it and sent assasins to kill everyone in the Teabolo house, including Casval and Artesia. After narrowly escaping the attempt on their lives (in which Jimba Ral died), they fled to Texas Colony. 
They lived for a time in a house set up by Texas Colony's chief manager Roger Aznable, still under Teabolo Mass's care. Soon they met Roger's son Char Aznable and discovered that he and Casval were nearly identical, except Casval had blue eyes while Char had brown. (Casval was also younger, being born in U.C. 0059, whereas the real Char Aznable was born in U.C. 0056. They were somehow of the same height, even though Char was older.) Eventually Char is taken in by Gihren Zabi's propaganda, and against his father's wishes sets off for officer training school. Casval decides to accompany him under the guise of looking out for his friend and leaves Artesia behind on Texas Colony, despite her cries for him not to leave.
0074Kycilia Zabi finds out that Casval is headed back to Side 3, and without consulting Gihren, orders Casval's death. Both near identical boys are booked to leave on the same flight, but an antique pistol and fake explosives are found in Char's bag (almost certainly planted by Casval). Not wanting to miss the entrance exam, Char readily accepts Casval's suggestion to swap clothes in the restroom. Char boards the ship under the name Édouard Mass, while Casval, under the name of Char Aznable is detained overnight. Shortly after departure, the ship explodes and kills everyone aboard (no doubt the work of Kycilia's henchmen). Édouard Mass is listed among the dead and Casval takes on the name "Char Aznable", enters the Zeon Military Academy and begins wearing sunglasses to hide his eye color (as it wouldn't match any of the real Char's IDs). Casval is only 15 when he enters the military academy, but being of the same height and image as the original Char Aznable, he is not really suspected of being anyone other than Char Aznable (Real) (who is supposed to be 18 at this time), except by Lino Fernandez, the original Char's old high school classmate, who notices a difference in "Char's" personality. Lino later discovers that this "Char Aznable" was Casval, but by then Garma takes Lino's place as Char's roommate. Lino Fernandez, whom is aware of his true identity presented him a pair of modified goggles to strengthen his disguise to prove his sign of loyalty towards the Deikun family. Char however pays no attention to his true intent, fearing that he may be a threat to his secret one day and planned his death during a riot led by Garma Zabi against a Federation camp at Side 3.
Due to his instigation of the Dawn Rebellion, Char was expelled from the Zeon Space Defense Military Academy and was discharged from service as a private. He went down to Manaus, Brazil on Earth and was hired by the company working on the consruction of what would become Jaburo base. There, he encountered Lalah Sune for the first time and formed a caring relationship as they protected each other and escaped to space together as a Manaus mafia and others were after Lalah for her newtype abilities. Having left Earth and with tensions high between the Earth Federation and Zeon, Char reenlists in the armed forces of the Principality of Zeon, still a private, and becomes a mobile suit pilot with Dozle Zabi's recommendation. He fights in the first ever engagement of mobile suits on the Moon as Zeon tried to prevent Dr. Minovsky from defecting to the Federation and begins gaining experience and rank from those battles and became a formidable mobile suit pilot by the beginning of the One Year War.
One Year War
Casval, now known as Char Aznable, first displayed his formidable piloting skills at the Battle of Loum, thus earning him his notorious nickname, "The Red Comet (赤い彗星のシャア Akai Suisei no Shā?)", amongst the Zeon forces.
Side 7Char showed great potential not only as a mobile suit pilot ace, but also as a tactician and charismatic commanding officer. After coming back from a routine mission, Char discovered the Pegasus-class assault carrier White Base on approach to Side 7. As Char was sent into the colony at Side 7 to investigate, he and his men discovered that the Federation had begun testing several prototype mobile suits. Against his orders, two of the men under his command began attacking the Federation research facility. However these same two pilots were later killed after a civilian boy named Amuro Ray took control of the Federation's new RX-78-2 Gundam mobile suit in desperation.
As Char was taking pictures of the RX-75-4 Guntank, he was held at gunpoint by his sister Sayla Mass. However, after revealing his face to her, he was able to kick the gun out of her hand and quickly escape. Although several of the prototype mobile suits were able to escape aboard the White Base, Char would return to his Musai cruiser and continue to pursue them. Char launched several attacks against the White Base while it was en route to Earth. It was here that Char would first encounter his soon-to-be rival, Amuro Ray.
Although Char easily outclassed the inexperienced Amuro, the sheer technological superiority of the Gundam prevented him from destroying either the mobile suit or the White Base. After several failed attempts to take out the White Base in space, Char daringly attacked it once more during atmospheric re-entry. Although the attack failed, it succeeded in diverting the White Base from its intended destination, forcing it into Zeon-controlled North America. In North America, Char joined up with Garma Zabi, commander of the Zeon forces in the area.
Char entered battle in his Zaku once more as the White Base attempted to flee North America via a path through Seattle. During the battle, Char was quick to notice that the White Base was sheltered in an old half-destroyed sports dome, and that the Gundam was intent on luring Garma's Gaw Attack fleet right into the assault carrier's intended barrage. Seeing his chance to finally exact revenge on the Zabi family, Char deliberately misinforms Garma of the White Base's location and leads him straight into the trap. White Base's near-endless and brutal attack on Garma's Gaw Fleet is swift and relentless, taking Garma completely by surprise. In these final moments, Char discretely contacts Garma and passionately confesses his treachery, laughing menacingly as Garma's Gaw crashes into the ground.
After Garma's death, Char was suspended from military service by Dozle Zabi for his supposed incompetence of defending Garma. However, as the war began to slowly shift into the favor of the Earth Federation, Char was pressed back into active duty once again at the behest of Kycilia Zabi. He was given command of Zeon's Mad Angler submarine squadron and was again sent out to destroy the White Base. After tracking the ship over the Atlantic Ocean, he discovered the White Base was docking at the Federation's military headquarters in Jaburo. After gathering all available forces in the area, Char personally led a large scale assault on the base using his MSM-07S Z'Gok Commander Type.
The battle still ended in failure as few mobile suits even made it into battle before being shot down by Jaburo's formidable defenses. Although Char personally made good progress into Jaburo, he was eventually forced to retreat when he again came face to face with Amuro Ray, whose piloting skills had considerably improved since their last battle. After the encounter, Char once again tried to inflict heavy damage upon Jaburo, this time by sneaking in and planting several explosives throughout the facility. His plans were again foiled by the crew of the White Base. However, in his retreat he again ran into his sister. Although he had little time to talk, he gave her a strong warning to leave the Federation before aborting his mission at Jaburo.
Later in the war, Char develops a relationship with the Newtype Lalah Sune, a girl he saved from an Indian brothel. Char also develops into a Newtype himself and subsequently forms psychic bonds with both Amuro and Lalah. Continuing his hunt for the White Base, Char boarded a Zanzibar-class mobile cruiser and tracked the White Base into orbit. He eventually followed the ship into the neutral territory of Side 6. Inside the colony he by chance encounters Amuro Ray in person for the first time. Amuro's car had become stuck in a ditch on the side of the road and Char and Lalah offered to help him out. Although Char and Amuro were both aware of each other's identities neither spoke openly about it. While Amuro was frightened by the encounter, Char did not attempt to harm Amuro in any way and allowed him to return to the White Base.
After the Battle of Solomon Char ventured from Side 6 to Side 5's Texas colony, where Colonel M'Quve had set a trap for the Gundam. Once inside Texas, Char was given a MS-14S Gelgoog Commander Type, which would finally allow him to fight on even grounds with the Gundam. However when the battle came, Char found himself outclassed by Amuro, whose skills and newtype abilities had now come to surpass his own. After the death of M'Quve and taking severe damage of his own, Char was forced to flee the battle with his life.
While leaving Texas Colony, Char notices Sayla driving a jeep while looking for Amuro. He then jumps into the jeep as it passes by and forces her to stop at gunpoint. Finally having chance to talk, he tells her his reasoning for joining the Zeon military: that he has done so in order to infiltrate the Zabi family and seek revenge for the death of his father. Char then tells Sayla that she needs to leave the White Base because he does not want her to get hurt, and that war "doesn't suit her". As Char leaves the colony he gives her a case filled with gold and tells her to live a peaceful life on Earth. Late in the war, as the Earth Federation fleets begin their advance on the Zeon homeland of Side 3, Char assists Lalah on numerous sorties against the Federation. During one battle, Lalah engages the Gundam with her MAN-08 Elmeth mobile armor. As the battle progresses, Char gets sent in to back her up. He then proceeds to fight the Gundam and nearly destroys Amuro's wingman piloting a G-Fighter (TV version only, the Core Booster was used in the movie version instead). However as he goes to strike down the fighter, he was halted by Lalah and gazes into the cockpit and notices that Sayla is the pilot. Realizing he is about to kill his own sister he quickly maneuvers out of the way only to have his mobile suit disarmed (in more ways than one) by the Gundam as a result.
As Amuro pulls out his Beam Saber he flies towards Char in order to deal the final blow. However, not wanting to see him killed, Lalah rams into Char with her Elmeth, knocking him out of the way. Although this saves him the beam saber hits Lalah's mobile armor instead of Char, killing her instantly. Returning to the Zeon fleet Char yells and cries over the death of his lover. Now having a deep hatred for Amuro, he vows to get revenge in the next battle.
A Baoa Qu
Before the Battle of A Baoa Qu, Char would receive the prototype MSN-02 Zeong. Char and Amuro's bitter rivalry comes its peak in Mobile Suit Gundam. They engage in an inconclusive mobile suit battle and then a sword duel after both lose their mobile suits. In the duel, Char manages to stab Amuro in the arm, while Amuro attempts to stab Char. Char's helmet protects him from the blow, leaving him with a facial scar. Sayla runs into the room and urges both men to stop. Char realizes he's been distracted by his rivalry with Amuro and refocuses on his true enemy - his vendetta on the Zabi family - and actually asks Amuro to join him.
An ensuing explosion knocks them apart but Char does rush off to save his sister. After being told by a dying Zeon soldier that Kycilia Zabi, the last surviving Zabi, is escaping, Char tells Sayla to "be a nice woman" and go back to Amuro, and takes off with a bazooka in his hands. He finds Kycilia's departing ship and salutes them ("Garma, I'm sending your sister to join you. Consider this my farewell gift.") before firing. This one final act of revenge results in the annihilation of the ship's bridge that gruesomely decapitates Kycilia in the process. He then disappears amidst the explosion.
At the end of the One Year War, Char went into Axis on board a Gwazine-class battleship after the Zeon lost the war, his goal of revenge achieved by a combination of his own actions, those of his rival Amuro, and infighting among the Zabis themselves. In Axis, Char is asked to lead the remaining Zeon soldiers, not knowing of what he did to the Zabis. Instead, he defers the leadership to Haman Karn, making her Regent of Mineva Lao Zabi in the process.
In his time there, Char heroically protects Axis in two major battles against the Earth Federation. He stays there until the end of U.C. 0082, when he gets back to Side 3 for a special mission to protect Haman Karn's inspection journey of Side 3. When they arrive at Zum City in U.C. 0083, he gets an invitation by George Miguel (Brother of Nanai) to join a paramilitary spacenoid organization within the Earth Federation Forces.
However, upon hearing of Mahajara Karn's fatal illness in late May 0083, Char and Haman both decide to return to Axis. Once they do, they're intercepted by the pro-war Axis faction that wishes to restart the conflict with the Earth Federation, led by one Colonel Enzo. A civil war breaks out, with Char and Haman eventually overcoming Enzo's forces. Unfortunately, Haman's father and the true political leader of Axis, Mahajara Karn, dies just shortly before the battle ends, and Haman now finds herself in charge of both Axis and Mineva. Shortly after the battle, the unexpected murder of Haman's formal tutor, Natalie Bianchi, (A murder which Haman Karn did not cause, but inadvertently allowed upon learning that Natalie was pregnant) who also engaged in the manga's titular affair with Char, causes Char to sink into a deep depression. After mourning over the loss of Natalie and his unborn child for roughly 2 months, he finally loses the motivation to remain on Axis. Tension between Char and Haman over Axis' role and the Zeon remnant's future lead Char to finally leave the asteroid permanently with over 600 other soldiers on October 29, 0083.
Having left Axis, Char returns to the Earth Sphere in September 0084 and infiltrates the Earth Federation Forces ranking with the alias "Quattro Bajeena". Almost immediately, he finds himself involved in conflicts against the Earth Federation's newly formed Titan Task Force, fighting and shooting down 2 enemy battleships within hours of acquiring his new identity. After meeting the Federation politician Blex Forer, Char joins a group of former Earth Federation Force's soldiers and eventually became a founding member of the Anti-Earth Union Group.
Char reappears in UC 0087 during Zeta Gundam, scantly disguised by replacing his mask with a pair of large sunglasses and using the alias "Quattro Bajeena". Originally returning to Earth as a spy for Axis, things are turned upside down with the subsequent creation and rise of the oppressive Titans, causing Char to re-evaluate his objectives as he chooses to assist in leading the AEUG.
This time, rather than serving as the rival of the new protagonist of the series, Kamille Bidan, Char serves as Kamille's mentor in the war against the Earth Federation's oppressive Titans military arm. Furthermore, Char becomes a trusted ally of his former adversaries in Mobile Suit Gundam: Amuro Ray, Hayato Kobayashi and Bright Noa. He serves under Bright Noa as leader of AEUG mobile suit forces.
Zeta Gundam prominently portrays Char's image as a charismatic hero who is always willing to stand up and fight for the freedom of spacenoids. His political speech in front of Federation Assembly in Dakar, which was broadcast throughout the Earth and the space colonies, is one of the most highlights in the UC Gundam timeline. It cements Char's total commitment toward space colonization and migration of humanity into space. It is also in that same speech that he publicly denounces the Titans claiming them to be barbaric and have no regard for the people they hurt; justified by the Titans attack on the Assembly itself, even though many key politicians of the Federation were still inside at the time.
Despite AEUG's victory in the Gryps War against the Titans, Char is defeated in the final battle by Haman Karn, leader of the emerging Axis (later Neo Zeon) faction and assumed dead. However, as the final credits roll, Char's badly damaged mobile suit floats by, its cockpit hatch mysteriously open implying it to be empty. Bright Noa remarks that he has a gut feeling that Char is simply watching from the sidelines and waiting for the right opportunity to return center stage in UC affairs.
Char does not appear in the sequel to Zeta Gundam, Mobile Suit Gundam Double Zeta. Yoshiyuki Tomino has stated officially that he had originally intended to feature Char in Double Zeta, but the plan was canceled when he was granted the go-ahead with the theatrical feature Char's Counterattack.
Second Neo Zeon WarAnother five years passed before Char returns in the movie Char's Counterattack, as the leader of the revived Neo Zeon faction. The opening scenes of the movie shows his intention to drop the massive asteroid base Axis into the Earth, forcing a dramatic increase in migration of its population into space, which he believes will force all of humanity to evolve into Newtypes. Only one thing stands in his way: the Earth Federation's elite Londo Bell task force, led by his former superior and ally Bright Noa, and the Londo Bell's top ace pilot, his old arch-rival Amuro Ray.
Both Char and Amuro pilot mobile suits equipped with an advanced Psycommu system known as a Psycoframe. Amuro's RX-93 ν Gundam was also installed with the system with the blueprints to the Psycoframe technology purposely provided to Anaheim Electronics by Char himself. This effectively sets the stage for the much-awaited showdown between the two rivals. In the final battle on Axis where Char is still soundly defeated by Amuro, both rivals' Psycoframes react to one another and overload causing them to both disappear without a trace which also causes the raw explosion of psychic energy to halt the asteroid's advance into Earth. Both Char and Amuro are considered MIA.
Note: in one of the novelizations, Beltorchika's Children, both characters are confirmed to be KIA. However, the official animated view held both characters to be MIA.
Third Neo Zeon War
Note: the following information is based on the Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn (OVA) animation. The Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn (Novel) novels depict a different sequence of events. For detailed information on Full Frontal's exploits, see Full Frontal.
During the events of Char's Counterattack, Char, like Amuro, experienced the psycoframe overload. Having nothing left to live for, Amuro presumably consented to moving on to the afterlife. Char's soul, however, was strangely split in two with half of Char consenting to moving on while the other half remained behind to eventually become Full Frontal. As a result, Char as Full Frontal is spiritually incomplete and no longer believes in humanity's collective future as newtypes.
Later, during the series' conclusion, Full Frontal is liberated by Lalah Sune's spirit. She informs Char that he's tired and has done enough. Full Frontal then abandons his physical body and spiritually becomes whole again, subsequently entrusting to Banagher the Laplace's Box and thus humanity's future. After Banagher and Riddhe leave, the spirits of a now-complete Char, Amuro, and Lalah briefly converse. Amuro asks Char if he agrees with Lalah. Char tells Amuro yes and to leave the rest to Banagher, Riddhe, and the younger generation. Together, the three newtype spirits then ascend to an unknown destination.
However, even this is not enough to stop Char from returning -albeit as a clone- in Gaia Gear, a Yoshiyuki Tomino-penned novel series set later in the Universal Century timeline. Afranche Char is a clone made by surviving Zeon remnants to lead them in an attempt to overthrow the Federation one last time, using the mighty Gaia-Gear man-machine suit.
Char's archrival since their fateful encounter during the One Year War. Char and Amuro had their first encounter during the latter's escape from Side 7 with the crew of the White Base, though they did not see each other's face as they were piloting their mobile suits at the time. From that battle onward, Char would repeatedly challenge Amuro whenever they encountered one another on the battlefield, as Char wanted to defeat the Gundam in battle. He would meet Amuro face to face for the first time at Side 6, and while it is implied Char knew who Amuro was, he let him go, wanting only to best the young man in the battlefield. Thus their rivalry was one of pride: both wanting to outdo the other. However, that would change after Amuro mistakingly kills Lalah, the object of both men's affection. From there, Char held a deep loathing of Amuro, and fought to kill him in the final battle at A Baoa Qu, though he stopped as he still had another matter to attend to.
In Zeta Gundam, Char and Amuro reunite after seven years, this time both on the same side. Char seemingly has let go of his hatred for Amuro, as he no longer displays any ill-will towards Amuro. The two were even able to hold a conversation and Char did not even react badly to Amuro's joke of the Zeon Family being made to be sacrifices, laughing instead. In the same series, both of them also compare how similar Kamille Bidan's relationship with Four Murasame was with their past relationship with Lalah and they express their common desire that Kamille should not go through the same trauma they had. Though Kamille's rival Jerid Messa ended up killing Four, both of them get their wish since Kamille doesn't believe in holding grudges. In the Special Edition version however, due to Four being killed off sooner, Char would never learn about her so his talk with Amuro regarding this similarity was cut as well.
In Char's Counterattack, Char reveals his true intentions towards Amuro: while he no longer hated him, Char still never forgave Amuro for what he did to Lalah, and thus his alternative reason for dropping asteroids onto Earth was because he knew Amuro would oppose him, and the two could finally settle their long rivalry. Char however wanted their final battle to be on even grounds and as such had the psycoframe technology leaked to Londo Bell/Amuro, in order have a fair fight. In all, Char's relationship to Amuro is one of eternal rivals, while capable of working together, they will always be against one another.
Sayla Mass, or more accurately Artesia Som Deikun, is the sister of Char Aznable. Unlike her brother who went adrift and changed his alias several times, Sayla retained her name given by her foster father, Don Teabolo Mass, and became a member of the Earth Federation. Char was shocked when he learned of this as she was to learn that he was the Red Comet. Char cares deeply about Sayla as a sister and tries at several points throughout the storyline of Mobile Suit Gundam to convince Sayla to leave the Earth Federation military to no success. Late in the story he even goes so far as to give her a case of gold bars telling her to use it to secure her future in civilian life, however despite even this dramatic display of concern she does not acquiesce, instead she chooses to inform Bright Noa of their relationship as siblings.
As Sayla is not placed directly in latter conflicts, Char did not have the same interactions with his sister. In Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam, Sayla is shown to have been listening to his speech in Dakar as he gave it live, thus implying that she still showed a concern and strong enough interest in the actions of her brother and that she likely knew of his plan to seize the assembly in advance.
When Char first senses Kamille's presence he thought that it may have been Amuro or Lalah. This is likely because of his underexposure to other Newtypes, something which had changed by the end of the Gryps Conflict. Char acts as a mentor to the young Kamille Bidan and Kamille does not doubt for a second that Quattro is Char Aznable once he gets clear enough indication.
Char placed much faith in the young Kamille, he helped him mature and evolve, offering sage advice that Kamille often ignored, but eventually began to consider. Likewise Char evolved by some of the invective and disapproving remarks made about him and his past. The two grew to strongly respect each other as comrades and pilots, though Char became aware that Kamille had evolved well beyond him as a Newtype.
Lalah Sune was a Newtype from the Flanagan Institute that Char took an interest in and chose to train on the battlefield. He takes some effort to stay together with her and have her watch over his battles from a distance until eventually he deploys to support her when she is in her Elmeth. As the story progresses it is revealed that the two have developed feelings for one another, despite the fact that Lalah and Amuro have a stronger connection as Newtypes than she and Char, this being likely both because of the nature of their Newtype resonance and the fact that Amuro is in fact a stronger Newtype than Char.
When Lalah dies protecting Char from Amuro's beam saber, he is filled with grief and his obessesion to defeat the Gundam also becomes a quest for revenge, despite that it was her and not Amuro's action that resulted in her death. Following her death both Amuro and Char remain focused on her memory and the remnants of her consciousness that still remain in space. Whereas Amuro is afraid to go into space for many years for fear of encountering her ghost, Char chooses to remain there. While he can sense her presence up until he encountered Kamille he always believed that any Newtype presence he felt in space to be either hers or Amuro's. In the end he was not haunted by her ghost, nor was he able to sense more than a glimmer of her presence in his time in space.
Zeon Zum Deikun was the father of Char Aznable, Casval Rem Deikun. Comments throughout the Universal Century series imply that Char had a deep respect for his father and it is clear that he could never forgive the Zabi family for his loss. Char is also shown to strongly believe in the philosophies of Zeon Deikun and this is evidenced by his interactions with Newtypes in Mobile Suit Gundam as well as his speech in Dakar and actions throughout Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam.
The Zabi FamilyChar's feelings towards the Zabi Family is one of deep hatred. As they were the ones responsible for the death of Char's beloved father, and also tried to kill both him and his sister, Char had always sought vengeance against them. He aligned himself with Zabi's and gained their trust for that sole purpose, and did not have any qualms about killing them. In Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam Char even goes as far as calling the Zabi's a great evil, with selfish ambitions; however there are two accounts were Char has shown some kindness or even liking towards the Zabi's. The first was with his long time friend Garma Zabi; even though Char led him to his death, Char did apologize to Garma in his final moments, noting that Garma had been a good friend and commenting on the misfortune of Garma's birth, implying Char would not have killed him had Garma not been a Zabi. Also when Char killed Kycilia Zabi, he said it would be a last present to Garma, reuniting him with his sister. The other, more significant case is Char's relationship with Mineva Lao Zabi, the only daughter of Dozle Zabi and last member of the Zabi Family. Despite her being the last Zabi as well as the daughter of Dozle, thereby embodying the pain the Zabi's caused Char, he has little to absolutely no ill-will towards her, even playing with the young child. In fact it is believed that Char was the one who freed Mineva from Haman Karn's grip at the end of the Gryps Conflict, which demonstrates he cares for her well being. Whether this is a last respect to Garma or following the belief of not holding children responsible for their parents actions is unknown, though Char could have been feigning sympathy as in Gundam Unicorn, Mineva mentions that if Full Frontal really was Char he would not hesitate to kill her, though Mineva could have been faking as she was being overheard by Frontal.
When Haman was young, and first discovering her new type powers in the midst of war, she latched on to Char for support and comfort. She looked up to him, and admired him, which is why she may have fallen in love with him so easily. Char did not make any attempt to push her away, even when he showed up in his room one night, crying and clothed in little more than bath robes. However, it should be made clear that he never developed the same level of feelings for her. The relationship was always a one sided one, nor did they ever actually date. Char respected Haman and felt her future was important for the remnants of Zeon and Axis, and that he should be her guardian, even risking his life for her, but he felt little more than that.
Eventually Char grew to distrust Haman, after seeing how her growing power began to change her, and after experiencing a personal tragedy on Axis, but Haman never forgot the feelings for him buried deep in her heart. In Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam, and Double Zeta, this shows when she tried repeatedly to bring him back to Zeon, and to her. But by this time her feeling for him have been twisted by rage, and he continues to harbour little more than distrust for her.
Char met Natalie on Axis in U.C. 0081 on the Axis base. Natalie was a lieutenant and a top computer technician on Axis. At first, Char did not seem to have much affection nor showed it towards Natalie. Natalie had always liked Char, but she also reserved most of her feelings for him. But as their relationship progressed, Char began getting closer to her and developing feelings for her and Natalie also began developing deep feelings for Char and expressing more outwardly her love for Char, partly because Captain Enzo Bernini assigned her a mission to seduce Char to try and persuade him to fight against the Federation. Although Char later on saw right through the mission Captain Enzo had assigned her, he did not feel any anger and rather felt even more in love with Natalie. Char really cared for Natalie and said to Natalie she gave him peace of mind and that he needed her by his side. She became pregnant with Char's child.
Natalie dies before she could give birth however, allowed to be killed by Haman Karn. Natalie's death was the main reason why Char left Axis for the AEUG.
Char originally met Nanai on an expedition to the Republic of Zeon for Axis in U.C. 0083. She was an assistant at the Newtype labs where Lalah Sune had undergone many tests, and performed some of those same tests on a young Haman Karn to test her potential. Nanai was only 16 at the time and clearly showed a great respect for Char and his veteran status.
Eventually a decade later, Char and Nanai again met sometime during or after the first Neo Zeon conflict. The exact details of how and why they came to date is not known, but Char accepted Nanai as his formal love interest, despite still being unable to move on from his former love of Lalah Sune. Nanai passionately loved and admired Char with all her heart, while Char would only partially return this affection. He cared for her on at least some level, but he was more focused on his objective of avenging Lalah and hurting Amuro than anything else at this time in his life.
Char's Archetype (Char Clones)
Char Aznable is also responsible for becoming a specific defined archetype for the Gundam series. Beyond simply a role those that followed the Char Archetype oftentimes wore a mask and often shared similar goals, hence spawning a series of what are commonly referred to as "Char Clones". This phrase is made ambiguous however by the fact that at least two literal clones of Char existed: Full Frontal and Afranche Char. "Char Clones" characters based off similar characteristics to Char, in Gundam. That character usually serves the same purpose as Char in the story, as the primary rival of either the main protagonist or a significant supporting character, sometimes also having blond hair and is usually shrouded in mystery and wears a mask or sunglasses, pilots red mobile suits and sometimes has an extremist plan in mind (For example some of these "Char Clones" tried to force the people on Earth to migrate into space just like Char had tried to do). It is also a common theme for the "Char Clone" to be related to the female lead in some way. Sometimes the "clone" is the father, brother, former lover, etc. of the female lead.
The term Char Clone is often used disparagingly, as if suggesting that the creative staff of the series lacked the creativity to come up with an original character and simply resorted to copying Char. It should be noted however that such characters usually end up moving away from their original base over the course of the respective series, developing into their own unique persona and roles, such that they can be easily separated and distinguished from Char.
Glemy Toto from Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ. Glemy bears a strong physical resemblance to Char, including the same hair and eye color. A great deal of Glemy's actions in ZZ also mirrors Char's actions throughout the series: he pilots a red mobile suit (the Bawoo), he forms and leads his own Neo Zeon, and he also uses a young newtype girl for his own gain (Glemy used Puru and Puru Two while Char used Quess Paraya). Glemy even had a self-proclaimed rivalry with protagonist Judau Ashta over both of their romantic interest in Roux Louka, though it was very short lived and comical.
Carozzo Ronah, the main antagonist from Gundam F91. Besides holding similarities to Char, Carozzo also has noticeably several traits based on Darth Vader of Star Wars fame, (who also inspired Char to a certain degree) such as (and not limited to) cybernetic enhancements which includes mechanically reinforced strength, a full mask that covers the entirety of his head along with a deep, mechanical voice, excessive height and build, and holding a subservient role to the resident "Emperor" of the Cosmo Babylonia, Meitzer Ronah. And similar to Vader being the father of Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa, Carozzo is also known to have had two children (also a son and a daughter), Dorel and Berah.
Anavel Gato from Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory. Gato earns his ace pilot status after being dubbed the "Nightmare of Solomon" for single handedly holding off an entire Federation Fleet during the Battle of Solomon similar to how Char became the "Red Comet" at the Battle of Loum. He also acts as the main rival to Kou Uraki, and they both share the same love interest, Nina Purpleton, similar to Char's and Amuro's interest to Lalah Sune. Gato also participated in Operation Stardust, feeling that the ideals of Zeon needed to revived in order to remove the corruption of the Earth Federation, similar to how Char felt Earth-born humans being corrupted in Char's Counterattack.
'Chronicle Asher, lead antagonist of Victory Gundam. Though he definitely functions as the resident Char of the series, Chronicle noticeably has variations of the usual traits: he has red hair instead of blond, his mask is made of fabric instead of metal (similar to Kycilia Zabi's veil), and he wears the latter as part of his pilot gear instead of to disguise his true identity. He also pilots red mobile suits off and on, but does not seem to prefer red as his personal color, and like Char he has a familial connection to the main antagonist government, in this case being the younger brother of the Zanscare Empire's Queen Maria Pia Armonia (and uncle to her daughter Shakti Kareen). In terms of personality however, he seems to hold more in common with Zeta Gundam's Jerid Messa than with Char, and his rivalry with protagonist Uso Ewin also seems to borrow more from the former's rivalry with Kamille Bidan.
Schwarz Bruder and Ulube Ishikawa from G Gundam. Schwarz was a staple masked character who's identity was hidden from the protagonist through most of the series. Schwarz also acted as a mentor to the protagonist, which could be a homage to Char's mentoring as Quattro Bajeena. In the case of Ulube, he could be considered the ultimate villain of the show and also donned a faceplate to hide a scar.
Master Asia from G Gundam, may be considered a Char clone, since he shared the same view as Char (from Char's Counterattack) that humans were polluting the Earth, and also took extreme measures to solve the problem. He was also a mentor and somewhat of a rival to the main protagonist, like Char was in Zeta and Mobile Suit Gundam respectively. Like Char, Master Asia also had four known aliases: Master Asia (his given name), The Undefeated of the East (epithet), The King of Hearts (before passing the title to Domon), and Shuji Kurosu (his alias from G Gundam: The 7th Fight).
Zechs Merquise, the 'Lightning Count' from Gundam Wing whose mobile suit Tallgeese is once described as "three times faster than an Aries". His life and role in the course of the series is essentially meant to be a retelling of Char's life, including a desire to retaliate for the death of his father and having a sister as the series' female lead, Relena Peacecraft. Zechs also mimicked Char's actions in attempting to create a nuclear winter via a colony drop in the name of fighting for the spacenoids. However these extreme actions were not truly for the spacenoids, but like Char were still motivated by a philosophy: 'Total Pacifism', in an attempt to show how truly pointless fighting was in order for humanity to better accept the ideal. Over the course of the series Zechs places more emphasis on being a pure warrior than a mere soldier, displaying more 'knightly' qualities such as challenging the protagonist to a duel and even allowing their escape when they were unable to fight back.
Lancerow Dawell and Jamil Neate from After War Gundam X. Prior to the series' events, Lancerow piloted the MAN-002 Febral, a mobile armor very similar in design to the Zeong, and he could be considered the "Char" to Jamil's "Amuro". Jamil's connection to Char would be his sunglasses, mysterious past, and mentor status to the series protagonist, much like Char in Zeta Gundam.
Harry Ord from ∀ Gundam. Harry sported sunglasses which, although quite eccentric, may be a reference to Char's Quattro Bajeena alias in Zeta Gundam. This is further accentuated by his custom gold-colored MRC-F20 SUMO. His personality is also a lot like Char's, only with no secretive agendas beyond serving as a Royal Guard of Queen Diana.
Rau Le Creuset, the main villain from Gundam SEED as well as the first "direct" Char clone in a Gundam series since Zechs Merquise. While obviously borrowing many of Char's character traits, including blond hair, mask, piloting mobile suits without a normal suit (initially) and "Newtype" senses, Rau is arguably a far more nefarious character than Char ever was. Whereas Char sought the preservation of humanity in outer space (before the events of CCA anyway), Rau only lived to destroy the human race in its entirety as revenge for his creation. On that, Rau also has a different background from usual Char-esque characters, in that he is a flawed and fanatical clone of a background character instead of being a direct representative of a philosophically influential family or government.
Athrun Zala in Gundam SEED was the de facto rival of protagonist Kira Yamato, and like Char’s rivalry with Amuro, Athrun and Kira’s rivalry intensified after Kira killed someone close to Athrun (i.e. Nicol Amalfi). However the two managed to reconcile their initial friendship whereas Char and Amuro remained enemies for the rest of their lives. In Gundam SEED Destiny Athrun temporarily takes on the alias “Alex Dino”, and adds a large pair of large sunglasses to his disguise, this being a reference to Char’s Quattro Bajeena phase. Also in Destiny Athrun becomes a mentor to protagonist Shinn Asuka, mirroring how in Zeta Char became Kamille’s mentor. Throughout both SEED and SEED Destiny Athrun mostly pilots red mobile suits, a signature trait of Char and some of his clones. His mobile suits would also have an offensive weapon located in their legs, which would enable him to use kick attacks as an allusion to Char's signature move.
Neo Roanoke, an initial antagonist in Gundam SEED Destiny, replaced Rau as the masked character shrouded in mystery. He acted in a similar manner to Char: being an excellent leader while also manipulating others, and having exceptional piloting skills. After being "redeemed" Neo acts as a supporter to Kira and Athrun, like Char was to Kamille and Amuro as Quattro Bajeena, the upper part of Neo's scar also slightly resembles Char's. Like Char, Neo also piloted a gold colored mobile suit, the ORB-01 Akatsuki.
Rey Za Burrel from Gundam SEED Destiny. Rey acted as a mentor and friend to protagonist Shinn Asuka, who shared similarities with Kamille Bidan, thus mirroring the Quattro-Kamille relationship Char portrayed in Zeta Gundam. Rey's relationship with Shinn also mirrors Char's relationship with Garma Zabi: both befriended the other at a military academy, and would go to manipulate their friends. Rey was also an extremist like Char; Rey's wanting to take away people's future for the sake of ending conflict mirrors Char's forcing humans into space to save the Earth in Char's Counterattack. Rey also had a deep loathing of Kira Yamato, who is similar to Amuro Ray, thus also mirroring the Char/Amuro rivalry. Like Rau, Rey is a genetic clone of Al Da Flaga and both share the same voice actor, Toshihiko Seki. Coincidentally, Toshihiko Seki would later voice the real Char Aznable from whom Édouard Mass would take the identity of in the Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin OVA.
Gilbert Durandal shares a similar version of Char's philosophy concerning the important role of genetics with his Destiny Plan just as Char attempted to drop Axis to force humanity to space to evolve to Newtypes, though it could be said Gilbert was legitimately dedicated to his goal whereas Char used the Axis drop merely as a cover for his true goal of settling things with Amuro. It is no surprise as they both share the same Japanese voice actor.
Hal Vizardt and Vladi Zarth from MS Saga (Gundam True Odyssey). Hal represents Char's "Quattro Bajeena" role, as Hal acts as a mentor/leader to the heroes on their missions and occasionally joins them. He wears a mask and pilots the Gelgoog Commander Type and the Sazabi, both of which are Char's personal mobile suits. Vladi represents Char's role in Char's Counterattack, as Vladi takes command of the "The Neo-Zarth Army" (a play on Neo Zeon) after the other villains defeat and tries to settle a problem caused by corrupted individuals. Vladi is also possibly the older brother of one of the heroes, Tremmie Zarth, mirroring Char's relationship with Sayla. Like Char (in the beginning) his identity is also hidden.
Ali Al-Saachez from Gundam 00. Ali acted as Setsuna F. Seiei's "mentor" by falsely making him believe that his guerilla actions meant utter devotion to God along with teaching him various guerilla tactics as a young child. Ali was also Setsuna's second rival after Graham Aker, and piloted red mobile suits similar to Char such as the Enact Custom (which was eventually painted red), Gundam Throne Zwei and Arche Gundam. In some of his battles against the protagonists Al-Saachez would mimick Char's signature kick against his opponent.
Graham Aker is a rival to the main protagonist of Gundam 00, Setsuna F. Seiei, and in the second season dons a mask as the top ace of the A-Laws faction called "Mr. Bushido". This is played as something of a parody of the Char Clone phenomenon, as the other A-Laws members are well aware of his true identity, and "Mr. Bushido" is a nickname (which Graham himself dislikes) rather than an alias. Graham's obsession with defeating Setsuna is also very similar to Char's antagonism towards Amuro. Also for the first season, Graham vowed to defeat the Gundams with a Flag like how Char fought Amuro using out-gunned mobile suits such as the Zaku. Most notably, both men were driven to fight their rivals on equal footing; in Graham's case, he spared Setsuna on at least one occasion due to the 00 malfunctioning. Char similarly had purposely leaked information on the Psycoframe so that Amuro would not be at a disadvantage when the two eventually fought later in the film's finale.
Full Frontal from Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn. A devote Char's fanatic who lead Neo Zeon after Char's disappearance. He is called "second coming of Char" and paints his personal MS red. Full Frontal is noted to have the same voice as Char Aznable and has similar facial features. It is later revealed that he is in fact a cyber-newtype, genetically altered to look like Char, with Char's memories implanted in him via the Psyco-frame, and as a result is the first canonical Char clone.
Zeheart Galette from Gundam AGE also fits the criteria as a Char clone; He pilots red mobile suit (xvm-zgc Zeydra) which possesses the same specs as Char's mobile suits, except for his first mobile xvv-xcr Zedas R, which is mixed painted, he also wears a mask, to suppress his abundant X-Rounder ability to prevent the same damage he caused to his Zedas R in a testing performance and being appointed as a field commander for his brilliant view and plan. Zeheart's friendship with Asemu Asuno mirrors Char's and Garma's relationship, when he would use Asemu to achieve his mission but still thinks of him as a good friend. He also shows the traits of being a Char when he meets the Gundam; being wanting to fight it, though he spares Asemu several times like Graham sparing Setsuna in Gundam 00.
Tatsuya Yuuki from Gundam Build Fighters is a rival of both main protagonists Reiji and Sei Iori. His battling style and mobile suit (MS-06R-AB Zaku Amazing) are similar to Char's own. Tatsuya taking the alias (Meijin Kawaguchi) and using a large pair of large sunglasses as a disguise mirrors Char's Quattro Bajeena.
Captain Mask from Gundam Reconguista in G is a friend of protagonist Bellri Zenam, but they end up on opposing sides of the conflict between the Pirate Corp and the Capital Army. He becomes obsessed with fighting the G-Self, in which Bellri is the pilot. He also dons a mask which serves as an augmented reality device designed to improve his piloting ability.
Lady Kawaguchi from Gundam Build Fighters Try is the successor to Tatsuya Yuuki's Kawaguchi alias, though her true identity is never revealed. She is also the first female Char clone to appear in a Gundam series.
McGillis Fareed from Mobile Suit Gundam IRON-BLOODED ORPHANS is a audit officer/inspector in the peacekeeping organization Gjallarhorn, though he grows increasingly dissatisfied with the corruption in the organization, so he joins forces with Tekkadan to reform the group. He develops a silent rivalry with Mikazuki Augus, pilot of the Gundam Barbatos, but nonetheless willing to work with Tekkadan in order to further his goal, and later dons a gold mask with a long white wig to make it easier to fight on Tekkadan's side. His friendship with Gaelio Bauduin also mirrors Char's and Garma's relationship, where he would manipulate Gaelio to achieve his goal before sending them to their death, even though he still thinks of him as a good friend. He also pilots a red mobile suit built for speed and mobility, similar to those piloted by Char. Lastly, he was involved in a relationship with Almiria Bauduin, similar to Char's relationships with women who are younger than him.
Japanese pop culture holds Char Aznable in very much the same way Western pop culture views science fiction icons Darth Vader and Mr. Spock. Even many people who do not watch anime at least know the name. Char Aznable has routinely placed in the top 10 lists of popular characters in both Gundam-specific and general-oriented fan magazines in Japan, such as Gundam Ace and Animage, typically ranking higher than the main character and his rival, Amuro Ray. In Gundam Ace, Char is consistently in the top 3 of the list, and held the number 1 spot for long periods of time, despite the fact that Gundam Ace tallies votes for Char's alter-ego Quattro Bajeena separately. In fact, Quattro also consistently ranks in the top 10.
On the popular Japanese bulletin board 2channel, the Gundam forums are named Char custom (シャア専用), and the anonymous placeholder for the name is changed to "3 times more anonymous" (通常の名無しさんの３倍), a reference to the "3 times faster than a normal Zaku" line from the original series. Char Custom itself refers to Char's tendency to highly customize standard Mobile Suits to his exact specifications and generally making the said units far more potent than normal. This usually involves him coloring his suits red, which led some people to go as far as to label anything red "Char-custom", and to make vague references to the "3 times more potent" line in the original Gundam series (e.g. A red pencil might write 3 times faster, or is 3 times more likely to break).
Bandai has capitalized on Char's popularity by licensing out his name to various products. There has been a Char-custom laptop, Char-custom Nintendo Gamecube, and a Char-custom motorbike helmet. All these products have a red satin finish, and have the goldleaf Zeon insignia or the emblem of Char's Neo Zeon emblazoned on them. A Char-custom Game Boy Advance SP was also created in Japan (with many sources claiming its battery will last 3 times as long as the normal GBA, or even that it will crash 3 times as much). On July 25, 2006, GE Consumer Finance released a Char Custom credit card, which receives three times as many bonus points per 1000 yen spent compared to their other Gundam-related credit cards . The release of sd gundam G generation 3ds had a special Char-custom 3ds bundle pack which included a special red 3ds with the zeon insignia with the shadows of Chars three "forms" and a quote saying "In war, to keep the upper hand, you have to think two or three moves ahead of the enemy. Char Aznable" along with a copy of the game and two ar cards the gundam age and a chars zaku.
If one looks at popular Japanese culture as well, one can see the impact the Red Comet has made even outside of Gundam. For instance, one may note the characters of Ken Masters of the Street Fighter series and of Zero of the Mega Man series of video games, both of whom are crimson clad blonds who play the role of the "second main character" or "rival" to the protagonist. Another example could be Seifer Almasy of Final Fantasy VIII. Although not clad in red, Seifer bears a striking resemblance to Char as he appears in Char's Counterattack and has a scar across his forehead, as a symbol of his rivarly against the protagonist, Squall Leonhart. In fact, the symbol of a "Red Rival" has become one of Japanese pop cultures' most widely used archetypes. Suggestions of Char's influence can be traced to Armored Core, in which, the ace pilot Nine Ball is known to sport red, and is the genre's mancing identity. Even Square-Enix, the role-playing game juggernaut, had a red-suited pilot figure in its mech RPG Xenogears in the form of the prince Bartholomew Fatima who himself was stripped from a seat of power and is almost an exact Char. Char is truly an iconic character to the Japanese.
Still, the character is also popular with many hardcore American Gundam fans. It is American fans of the character who have promoted and mocked the "cloning" of the popular character in later Gundam shows. In particular is the notion of calling characters that are similar to Char as "A Char". This is derived from the poorly-written English text in the letter Hayato Kobayashi receives from Kai Shiden in the original box set English dub of Zeta Gundam, which includes the statement "Captain Quattro, he is a CHAR_"
In a planned spaceflight for 2006, Soyuz TMA-9, a Japanese internet investor named Daisuke Enomoto had asked to dress up as Char Aznable. However, medical restrictions prevented him from participating in the flight.
An episode of the anime series School Rumble features an extended Gundam parody, most notably introducing a character named Harry McKenzie. Harry is modelled after Char, including his appearance (highly similar to Char's Quattro persona), sunglasses, penchant for wearing red, and ownership of a red motorcycle with the kanji "Hyaku" (from the MSN-00100 Hyaku Shiki). Harry is friends with Tougou Masakazu, who resembles a younger Anavel Gato and shares Gato's penchant for rousing speeches.
The second-season opening of the anime Genshiken is also a parody of Gundam, featuring the character Harunobu Madarame dressed in Char's uniform and helmet.
Char is also derived from two real-world figures: His red color for personal mecha and skills as a pilot are a definite reference to Manfred von Richthofen, the Red Baron, while his name was derived from the French popular singer Charles Aznavour.
In the manga Air Gear, the artist Oh! Great tends to draw various mobile suit heads as storm rider helmets, in one occasion showing Char's helmet worn during the One Year War on a background character.
In a sequence in episode 46 of Gintama, Umibouzu is seen talking to Char and then seen leading a Zeon rally alongside Char.
In the live-action Japanese adaptation of the popular shōjo manga Hana-Kimi, a character named Sekime Kyōgo is apparently dressed up as Char to help woo the girl who is the target of his affections. The cosplay ploy is a success as the girl is a Gundam fan and considers Char to be a really cool character.
In an episode of the anime Urusei Yatsura, the character Perm, is dressed as Char from the one year war in a costume party. There is also a character with a blue zaku mask.In Code Geass, Lelouch's masked alter ego, Zero was one of the earliest developed characters. Ichirō Ōkouchi wanted a mask to be included as a part of the series, because he felt that a mask was necessary for it to be a Sunrise show. Toyota also formed a new branch called Zeonic Toyota planning to issue a series of special cars, the first one being Char Aznable special Auris.
Notes & Trivia
- Char usually piloted red-painted (or, arguably pink-ish) mobile suits. An exception to this is the MSN-00100 Hyaku Shiki, which is painted in bright gold-yellow colors; Gundam MK-II, which is painted white and black; and the MSN-02 Zeong, which was painted in a lavender-gray color scheme.
- Char was never shown driving a car throughout his appearances within the anime.
- By the time of Zeta Gundam, Char has had four different names: his birth name Casval Rem Deikun, Édouard Mass - the name given to him when he whisked away to avoid being targeted by the Zabi family, Char Aznable - the name he'd bear for much of his life, and finally, Quattro Bajeena which is ostensibly his fourth alias (quattro is Italian for "4")
- Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 2, on a certain mission, there is what is believed to be an in-joke. When Char (based on his personality in Char's Counterattack) battles Athrun (in the Infinite Justice Gundam), Char will say to Athrun: "You must be an ace. I want you to fight with honor." Athrun will then reply: "Why would you think that I'm an ace?", to which Char will answer: "Only an ace would pilot a Mobile Suit of that color." This is probably due to the fact that both Char and Athrun seem to have a preference for red Mobile Suits. They also seem to prefer powerful melee-based Mobile Suits (as seen from Char's Zaku, Char's Gelgoog, Hyaku Shiki for Char and Justice/Infinite Justice for Athrun).
- In Mobile Suit Gundam 00 there is a feature used by the Gundams known as the Trans-Am System. When activated the Mobile Suits using it begin to glow red and are able to move three times faster than normal. The shift in color while in Trans-Am, as well as the tripled statistics, are a homage to Char Aznable and his Commander Zaku.
- At the same time, Char's English voice actor, Michael Kopsa also voiced Aeolia Schenberg in Mobile Suit Gundam 00; Michael's role as Aeolia marks his first role in a Gundam series after the originals, Aeolia's speech as heard in the first episode of Gundam 00, bears a resemblance to Char's speeches as heard in Char's Counterattack.
- In Zoids: New Century Zero, Naomi Fluegel also uses the alias "Red Comet". It is also mentioned in the second episode.
- In the PS2/PSP version of Gihren no Yabou (Threat of Axis V), Char is the commander of two scenarios. the first Char's Neo Zeon, which follows the event in Char's Counterattack. The second is Casval's Neo Zeon, which is a what if case set during the One Year War. Both factions have the primary focus on Newtype pilots and weapons. In Casval's Neo Zeon, you have access to Newtype pilots along with soldiers that have worked alongside him during the events of the Mobile Suit Gundam anime.
- In episode 2 of Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn, there's a sign on a building in Palau that says "Red Comet".
- Gundam creator Yoshiyuki Tomino publicly confirmed at Anime Expo New York 2002 that the name Char Aznable is inspired by French singer and songwriter Charles Aznavour (シャルル・アズナブール).
- In the Super Robot Wars game series, Char is usually depicted in his Quattro Bajeena persona when he's on the player's side and has rarely ever been depicted as Char Aznable with the heroes. In these games, he'll start out with the Hyaku Shiki and will move on to the Sazabi (which he has proclaimed in some games to be his favorite unit). At least two games that have used the original Gundam storyline have Sayla Mass leaving the hero's side and staying out of the fight once Char joins as Quattro, knowing who he is and that she's unwilling to fight alongside him.
- It is unwise to train and level up Quattro as he will switch roles to be an enemy as Char in the later scenarios in Super Robot Wars 64.
- Super Robot Wars D has a rare case of CCA-era Char as a playable character and during the events of the game, he finds new hope and redemption.
- Char's nickname "The Red Comet" might have been inspired by the legendary German World War I ace Manfred von Richtofen, AKA "The Red Baron". Both were famous pilots, they both fought against sides whose colors were red, white and blue and they both perfer to pilot red war machines.
- In the video game Gundam vs. Zeta Gundam, the game's U.C. Mode has a number of alternate stories devoted to Char, including one where both Lalah and Sayla perish during the one year war, resulting in Char performing the events of Char's Counterattack during the ZZ era. Another one has Lalah surviving the events that would lead to her death, allowing Amuro and Char to work together in full during the events of Zeta. Another scenario involves various OYW Zeon figures surviving and fleeing to Axis, with Char remaining with Zeon. This scenario has the strengthened Axis Zeon taking on the Titans, which has Kamille and Amuro in their ranks as there's no signs of the AEUG.
- In the same game, the Hyaku Shiki when played on the Zeon/Titans side is red.
- Char's tendency of being around younger women (Lalah, Haman during Char's deleted affair, Quess) has caused some fans to joke about him having a fetish despite his last love interest being of similar age.
- In the xxxholic manga series by CLAMP, a visual reference to the Red Comet title is made, with the character of Mokona depicted with an ornamental head piece similar to Sazabi, stating that he can drink 3 times as much, a reference to how the Red Comet attempted to increase his speed by 3 times the normal amount.
- Fittingly, Char is European-French for tank but also is Quebec-French for car.
- In Ore no Imouto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai, there is an otaku character nicknamed as Saori Bajeena, reference the alter ego of Char Aznable in Zeta Gundam, which may possibly be her favorite character.
- In the summer of 2013 the car company Toyota announced the release of a red Auris called "Zeonic Toyota" as a reference to Char.
- Many US fans even today wonder the full reasons for Char's change of heart from Zeta Gundam to Char's Counterattack, with some assuming that the ending events of Zeta Gundam and ZZ Gundam as the cause. (such as how Federation politicians were quick to go along with Haman.)
- This factor has been referenced in some SRW games, stating as long as Quattro has hope for humanity, he will never go down the path he did in CCA.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin Episode 1, Blue-Eyed Casval
- ↑ Mobile Suit Gundam Episode 1, Gundam Rising