Fraw Kobayashi (フラウ・コバヤシ Furau Kobayashi?) formerly known as Fraw Bow (フラウ・ボゥ Furau Bōu?) prior to her marriage to Hayato Kobayashi, is a key character from the Universal Century (UC) Gundam universe, first appearing in the groundbreaking 43-episode 1979 anime series Mobile Suit Gundam.
At the beginning of the first episode of Mobile Suit Gundam, we see her arriving at Amuro's house in their home colony of Side 7 on the morning of September 18, UC 0079. Fraw is fifteen, Amuro's close friend, and devoted to his welfare to such an extent that their neighbor and classmate Hayato Kobayashi, with a crush on Fraw, refers to her as his "best friend," and is envious and resentful of him.
One Year War
With Amuro's parents separated and his father Dr. Tem Ray frequently away on business for the Earth Federation's Project V, Fraw takes it upon herself to make sure that the perhaps charitably-described "engineering nerd" or "mecha otaku" eats, sleeps, bathes, lives in some degree of cleanliness, and, when we first see her, follows military evacuation orders.
Fraw eventually manages to alert Amuro to the ongoing evacuation and the need to leave, but when the colony is attacked by Zeon's Zaku II mobile suits, she loses her mother and grandfather -- the rest of her family -- in an explosion. Indeed, she only survives because she had been chasing Amuro as it happened to make sure he was all right.
With this pivotal and catalytic moment in the story, things change forever. Seeing Fraw prostrate with grief and shock, Amuro literally forces her to run for her life -- then, deeply angered and moved by witnessing her in such pain, decides to retaliate by jumping into the Federation Forces' experimental RX-78-2 "Gundam" mobile suit.
Amazingly, Amuro succeeds at MS combat despite having only the Gundam's manual in his lap, and they both escape Side 7, along with other civilians from the colony, aboard the Earth Federation Space Forces (EFSF) ship White Base.Fraw and Amuro become crewmembers of White Base, along with Hayato and other Side 7 civilians Mirai Yashima, Sayla Mass, Kai Shiden, and Ryu Jose, along with the children Katz Hawin, Letz Cofan, and Kikka Kitamoto. Under the leadership of officer candidate Bright Noa, the ad hoc crew not only survives, but, with Amuro's growing skill as a pilot, becomes a serious threat to the Zeon forces and a crucial part of the last three months of the One Year War.
At first, Fraw stuck with Amuro, attempting to help out her childhood friend whenever possible. However, as Amuro's fights continued and he ended up becoming attracted to other women, such as Matilda Ajan and Lalah Sune, she found herself drifting apart from Amuro. However, she found comfort in fellow MS pilot Hayato, who had laid out his insecurities before her.
In the novelization, Fraw didn't stay on White Base, but on Luna 2, taking care of Katz, Letz and Kikka. Before they separated, Fraw and Amuro admitted their feelings, but were rarely able to keep in contact. As the war drew to a close, she came to the realization that Amuro may have forgotten about her, but she wanted him to come back alive. Precipitating the events of A Baoa Qu, Fraw is stricken with a horrible illness and, during that time, her own apparent Newtype abilities awaken and she talks to Amuro one last time after he dies. In the end, she ends up living alone, with custody of Katz, Letz and Kikka.
After the events of the original Gundam, Fraw married Hayato, became pregnant with his child, and adopted Katz, Letz, and Kikka. During Zeta Gundam Katz is killed in the Battle of Gryps, and though she does not appear in Gundam ZZ she was tragically widowed when Hayato was killed during the Colony Drop on Dublin.
The Zeta Gundam movie compilation trilogy presents an alternate ending in the place of the television sequel Double Zeta (Gundam ZZ), however Hayato does not appear at the end of the movie.
In Other Media
Fraw is a Supporting character to the White Base in Amuro Ray's Official mode missions in Dynasty Warriors: Gundam.
Fraw is the only major character in Mobile Suit Gundam to be frequently called by her full name, though she is also addressed in a more typical manner by first name only.
(from Sanjuro Hanabatake, Histoire d'Bow)
Like Sayla, Ryu, and Bright, Fraw's given name is highly unusual, though not extraordinarily unusual for Yoshiyuki Tomino considering his penchant for naming his non-Japanese characters strangely, at least in the ears of non-native speakers of Japanese. (See Aura Battler Dunbine). Indeed, when Mobile Suit Gundam was released in Italy, the character was one who had her name changed (from "Fraw Bow" to simply "Mirka"), along with Amuro, Mirai, and others.
Tomino has stated Fraw is of German ethnic descent, and although the name seems oddest if primarily viewed as the title "Mrs.", it should also be taken into consideration that in German, Fraw is used to refer to a mature woman, as opposed to an immature girl, and not solely as a representation of marital status.