Flay Allster (フレイ・アルスター Furei Arusutā?) is a fictional character in the Cosmic Era, seen in Mobile Suit Gundam SEED. She is a civilian volunteer aboard the Archangel, and is the first love interest of Kira Yamato.
Personality & Character
Flay is the daughter of the Atlantic Federation's Vice Foreign Minister George Allster, Sai Argyle's arranged fiancé, and a technical college student upon the space colony Heliopolis. She's shown to be an attractive and popular girl within the colony and (prior to the events of the series) presents herself has a carefree person with a "spoiled princess" personality. Unfortunately, her personality will dramatically and negatively fluctuate from her continued exposure to the war between the Earth Alliance and ZAFT.
Flay was never a fan of Coordinators and felt uneasy around them; the war and the attack on Heliopolis would further drive that anxiety to racism as she feared the Coordinators like monsters. During her stay aboard the Archangel, she at times freaked out in the presence of a Coordinator, even going as far as exaggerating a situation to convince others that Coordinators are bad. While not part of Blue Cosmos, she's a self-admitted sympathizer of their ideals that genetic engineering to enhance humanity is wrong. Her personality further deteriorated after the death of her father, radicalizing her dislike towards Coordinators into hate/racism and vowing vengeance.
Thought she became mentally and emotionally fragile, Flay retained clarity over her vendetta against the Coordinators. Using her body and romantic ties with Kira Yamato, she manipulated him to fight against his fellow Coordinators. As time passed though, her feelings toward Kira were indicated to have become genuine, as she expressed concern for him. After reaching the Earth Alliance's base JOSH-A, Flay officially became recognized as a true soldier of the Alliance: her tenure, however, was short-lived as the base was attacked and was captured by Rau Le Creuset, who had later taken her in as a guest. After regaining her emotional sanity and grasping a better perspective of the conflict, she matured and realized her actions had lasting consequences upon the people she affected; she redeemed herself by alerting the Archangel of an imminent attack.
Skills & Abilities
Flay is naturally talented in emotional and psychological manipulation to people. She's capable of extending her emotional insecurities onto others, inciting public unrest amongst her peers; she's also capable of using her womanly charms to emotionally manipulate people to do her bidding. After she was converted into a military officer for the Alliance, she was trained in the basics of side arms, but she has a very basic level of training, lacking any serious military skills due to the expedient need for officers rushed into the front-line.
Flay is shown to be living on Orb's space colony Heliopolis at the beginning of the series. Her fiancé is Sai Argyle, though the marriage was arranged by their parents. On January 25, CE 71, Flay receives a letter from Sai. Suddenly, ZAFT launches an attack on the colony, prompting its populace to seek shelter in the lifeboats: Flay was separated from her friends for the duration of the attack. Eventually, the colony gave way and imploded, causing the lifeboats to eject. However, the lifeboat Flay boarded had malfunctioned and was floating adrift in space. Kira Yamato, who was piloting the mobile suit Strike, retrieved it and brought it onto the Archangel. As she was helped out of the boat, she notices Kira and leaps towards him. At first, she presumes she is on a ZAFT ship due to the presence of the Strike, but Kira assured her that they're aboard an Earth Alliance vessel and that their friends are already on board.
After evading ZAFT's Le Creuset Team several times, the Archangel began to run low on supplies, requiring the ship to reluctantly salvage from the wreckage of Junius 7. During the sweep, Kira finds a life pod, which he brings on board. The pod door opens in the hanger, with a pink-haired girl and a little spherical robot called Haro inside. The girl introduces herself as Lacus Clyne, a famous singer and the daughter of the current PLANT Supreme Council chairman, Siegel Clyne. Flay later refused to even bring food to Lacus' quarters, afraid that she might get hurt. Miriallia pointed out that Kira was nearby, also a Coordinator; Flay defends that he's different but doesn't trust Lacus, thinking she was from ZAFT. Lacus comes in, correcting her that ZAFT is the military force and that she is actually from the PLANTs. Lacus tries to befriend Flay but is rebuffed, refusing to have anything to do with a Coordinator. As Lacus is escorted back to her room, Kuzzey asks if she is with Blue Cosmos; Flay denies it, but explains she "doesn't dis-agree" with their doctrine that Coordinators aren't natural.
The Archangel rendezvoused with an escort from the 8th fleet: her father was on one of the cruisers. Flay was so excited to be reunited with him. However, ZAFT launched an attack on the escort ships, which, shortly thereafter, manically enticed Flay into dragging Lacus to the bridge and threatening to kill her unless ZAFT calls off their attack. Unfortunately, the warning came too late as Flay observed the last escort ship being destroyed - her father killed. Flay blamed Kira for not protecting her father, claiming he was secretly loyal to his fellow Coordinators.
Flay decided to enlist in the Earth Alliance when the Archangel rendezvoused with the rest of the 8th Fleet. During the rendezvous, the Le Creuset team attacked, with Kira was nowhere to be found. She attempted to suit up and pilot the Strike herself, but not before Kira returned, dissuading her from doing so and vowing to protect everyone. 'Moved' by the actions, she kisses Kira and allows him to do so. However, when the battle goes south and Kira is rendered catatonic over the battle, she decides to take advantage of Kira's state, seducing (including having sex with) and manipulating him. These actions would lead her to break up with Sai Argyle, leading Sai to suffer himself and attempt to show up Kira. She was present during all their battles en route to JOSH-A. When the Archangel docked at Orb, and the young crew was able to be reunited with their parents, Flay snapped at Kira for trying to pity her, which convinces Kira to end their relationship then.
After Kira fought Athrun, Kira couldn't be located, was labeled "MIA" and everyone on the ship then believed he was dead. Distraught, Flay approached Sai for comfort, telling him that her feelings for Kira were never really true. Sai, however, claimed that she was deluding herself. Later, after docking at JOSH-A, she was promoted and transferred to another ship. However, during ZAFT's Operation Spitbreak, she was abducted by ZAFT commander Rau Le Creuset, but was treated less like a prisoner and began to respect Coordinators.
Later on, during a fight between the Dominion and the Archangel, Rau decided to release Flay towards Dominion. First, Muruta Azrael thought it was a trap, but was disswayed from this when Flay stated she had the key to ending the war. Azrael ordered Natarle Badgiruel to capture Flay's pod. Kira tried to stop the Calamity from taking her to the Dominion, but he was ambushed by both the Raider and the Forbidden. After Flay was taken into the Dominion, she realized that Kira was the pilot of the Freedom - the MS she saw when she heard his voice over the radio. And there she reunited with her new superior, Natarle. She's served on the Dominion's bridge in some battles as a temporary communications officer.
After the destruction of Boaz, Flay confides with Natarle that she doesn't want to see anymore battles, to which Natarle replies to just "stay in her room" because "they're going to see more battles". Flay also tells Natarle she wants to see Kira and the Archangel, to which she said that there's only a slim chance of seeing them. During the Second Battle of Jachin Due, Flay tries to contact Kira and the Archangel when Azrael points a gun at her, threatening to execute those who disobey his order of eliminating all Coordinators, which frightens her. Natarle stands up to Azrael, who was more concerned with the destruction of the PLANTs than GENESIS, takes the bullet for Flay, and orders her and the rest of the crew to evacuate the Dominion. As they flee the ship's destruction, Flay tells the crew to get to the Archangel.
Flay's shuttle is destroyed by a laser blast from Rau Le Creuset's Providence Gundam, thus ending the young woman's life shockingly right in front of the eyes of Kira Yamato, who's been trying to save her at the time. However, her spirit appears to Kira, expressing her deep regrets with sincere apologies, and assures him with great comfort that her true feelings will protect him. Filled with deep anguish and rage, Kira goes into SEED mode and goes off to avenge Flay by killing off Le Creuset.
Gundam Seed Destiny
Although no longer alive, Flay's spirit lives on in Kira's heart and mind and provide him with a reason to oppose those who seek to create war and tyranny.
Notes and Trivias
- Gundam SEED's director, Mitsuo Fukuda states that Flay's ghost didn't actually appear. The scene was merely a way to illustrate what Flay could've said to Kira.
- Both incidentally and Coincidentally, Houku Kuwashima, voices both Flay Allster in Gundam SEED and Stella Loussier in Gundam SEED Destiny, who share similar fate and appear in their spitual form to calm and comfort their love interests respectively.
- In early draft of Gundam SEED, Flay was supposed to be Strike Rouge's pilot and used by Earth Alliance for propaganda. This is referenced in SD Gundam G Generation DS's Rival Route where she does indeed join the party as a pilot and the Strike Rouge as her initial suit.
- In the same game it's possible to save her, adding an ID command to the archangel that prevents a battle encounter, though letting her die may enhance Kira's SEED hyper mode.
- In the game Super Robot Wars W for the Nintendo DS, Flay is saved from death much earlier on, when the Neue Welltar (the unified team of mecha heroes including the Archangel group) intercept Flay (placed in a remote-controlled GINN) before she is picked up by the Dominion while carrying the N-Jammer Canceler data (in fact, the original TV scenario of being recovered by the Dominion results in a game over).
- The changed events of the series changes her character development, avoiding most if not all the negative changes.
- Flay's relationship with Kira can be compared to Sochie Heim's relationship with Rolan Cehack from Turn A Gundam.
- English voice actress Tabitha St. Germain who voice Flay Allster also voiced Shana from Shakugan no Shana. Flay and Lacus's English voice actresses, Tabitha St. Germain and Chantal Strand, play a similar love triangle relationship role with Shana and Kazumi Yoshida from Shakugan no Shana.
- Tabitha St. Germain also voiced Rarity and Princess Luna, among others, in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, which is much stranger considering that Maryke Hendrikse voiced Gilda the Griffin, Matt Hill voiced Soarin', Sam Vincent voiced Flim, and Chantal Strand voiced Diamond Tiara. Who in turn, those actors portrayed Lunamaria Hawke, Kira Yamato, Athrun Zala, and Lacus Clyne.
- Flay and Soma Peries/Marie Parfacy also share the same voice actress in the English dub.
- Her role on the Archangel is similar to Fraw Bow's role on White Base. They were both in charge of household duties on the ship, instead of combat. They were in the middle of a love triangle between two friends, that caused one to develop an inferiority complex. With Flay the triangle is between her, Kira and Sai, while Fraw's triangle was between, her, Amuro and Hayato. But in personality she was more similar to Katejina Loos.
- In Mobile SuitGundam Extreme VS, Flay appears as a Cameo for Kira's EX Burst for the Freedom.