Graham Aker (グラハム・エーカー Gurahamu Ēkā?) is a fictional character of Mobile Suit Gundam 00. In the series, Graham is one of the main antagonists and the main rival to Setsuna F. Seiei. In Season 1, Graham is the ace pilot for the Union of Solar Energy and Free Nations, who later became the Captain of the Overflags Squadron fighting against the Gundams and Celestial Being, piloting the SVMS-01E Union Flag Graham Aker Custom and later the SVMS-01X Union Flag Custom II. He later returns in Season 2 as Mister Bushido (ミスター・ブシドー Misutā Bushidō?), an independent Licensed Captain working for the Earth Sphere Federation's Autonomous Peace-Keeping Force (A-Laws), piloting the GNX-704T/AC Ahead Sakigake and later the Flag derived GNX-U02X Masurao and GNX-Y901TW Susanowo. In A wakening of the Trailblazer, Graham leads the SolBraves Squadron and pilots the GNX-903VW Brave (Commander Test Type)
Personality & Character
Graham overall is a career soldier, always looking for the next challenge. Being one of the best MS pilots on Earth, he became bored with life as there was little to challenge his talents. After seeing the GN-001 Gundam Exia performed its first armed intervention, Graham was quickly taken by the mobile suit's superior power. He was later given his own squad, later known as the Overflags, which was in-charged with capturing and studying the Gundams for the Union. Graham immediately saw it as fate, dictated by the stars, to be able to be given a chance to fight Celestial Being.
Graham is a respectable man in all accounts. He is honourable, and his comrades looked up to him for his pure and good intentions. Despite his reputation being tarnished by an accident involving killing his superior, Graham did not let the misguided allegations keep him from setting his eyes forward and proving himself as a good soldier. He is a bit reckless, but he tries to be a team player and is never inconsiderate of his friends and comrades. He is a hopeless romantic and superstitious, believing in the idea of entwined fate and the way of the stars. He is honest and never holds back in expressing his thoughts and feelings. He even openly admitted to liking fighting on the battlefield, as it gives him the thrills when life and death are on the line.
At the beginning of Season 1, Graham viewed the Gundams as the perfect ideal of a mobile suit fighter. They possessed a humanoid frame, yet they exhibited strength and agility that no ordinary mobile suits could compete against. They were the most advanced mobile suits Graham had ever seen - the light they emitted adds to the out-of-the-world vibe they already assert. Despite describing them as walking contradictions, Graham viewed the Gundams as worthy adversaries and desired to fight them with the pride of a Flag Fighter. His friend Billy Katagiri even noted that Graham was in love.
However, Graham's admiration of the Gundam turned for the worse after the Taklamakan Capture Operation. Graham's pride was deeply wounded when his subordinates were killed during the surprise arrival of Gundam Thrones in Taklamakan. Adding salt to injury, his mentor Professor Ralph Eifman was assassinated shortly by the same group of Gundams and killed his close friend Howard Mason during the encounter. In front of Howard's grave, Graham vowed to defeat the Gundams using the Flag. He later refused to take part in UN Forces Operation Fallen Angels and ordered for his Flag to be fitted with a GN Drive Tau. Setting his sights on nothing but his vow, Graham's desire to fight the Gundams had ultimately turned into hatred and blind obsession.
During the Battle in Lagrange 1, Graham fought Setsuna F. Seiei using his SVMS-01X Union Flag Custom II. The fight ended with Graham decapitating Gundam Exia, albeit costing him burns throughout his body. Celestial Being ended up defeated, but Graham was not satisfied. Waiting for Celestial Being to return, Graham eventually delved into the code of Bushido to prepare himself for another battle with Setsuna. Graham discarded all, even his identity, to "purify" himself but kept his scars as a reminder of his disgrace. He was then known as Mister Bushido, a mask warrior whose ultimate purpose was to defeat the Gundams.
After Celestial Being's return in Season 2, Mr. Bushido was put into the A-Laws to fight the Gundams. He showed little interest in fighting with comrades and preferred to do things his own way. Deluded by his ideal victory, he once passed up a chance to destroy an incapacitated GN-0000 00 Gundam. Mr. Bushido eventually managed to challenge Setsuna into a proper duel at Eclipse in Lagrange 5, going toe-to-toe in Trans-Am showdown. However, Setsuna's skill and 00 Raiser's power proved superior against Mr. Bushido and GNX-Y901TW Susanowo. Mr. Bushido asked Setsuna to finish him off, but Setsuna instead told Graham to continue living and fighting for the future. Realizing his pursuit of a meaningless death, Graham eventually decided to discard the ways of Bushido and move on.
By A wakening of the Trailblazer, Graham returned to ESF Army, commanding the elite squadron, the SolBraves. During the ELS invasion, Graham and his team fought to ensure humanity's survival. It was by then that Graham had understood what he needed to fight for; to fight for the future despite the world's contradictions. During the battle, Graham risked his life so that Setsuna can commence dialogues with the ELS and create a mutual understanding between humanity and the alien life forms.
Skills & Abilities
Graham is one of the best pilots in Gundam 00. A left-handed pilot, he performed excellently in all forms of Mobile Suit combat, be it long range or melee combat. He also had a keen sense when it came to battle. He could read the situation easily and respond to it efficiently and accordingly. Due to his expertise in combat tactics, he could pull quick manoeuvres in the heat of battle and was capable of turning the tide of battle to his favour. The Gundam Meisters were at a loss for words during the early encounters as Graham was able to compensate for the Flag’s inferiority when fighting against the Gundams. He also exhibited an explosive energy and a reckless enthusiasm when fighting, giving him that expression of unpredictability and intimidation to the enemy.
As Mr. Bushido, Graham further honed his sense for battle. His body was also tougher and more resilient when experiencing huge G’s in high-speed combat. He limited himself to sword-style close combat when fighting in a Mobile Suit, but the same bravado he exhibits gave him an edge on other close combat specialists. After abandoning the way of Bushido, Graham also abandoned his restriction and opened himself again to wider range of combat.
The Flag’s mid-air transformation was named after Graham, termed as both “Graham Special” and “Graham Maneuver”, after he pulled off the maneuver perfectly during his first attempt.
Graham Aker was born on September 10, 2280 AD. According to one of 00 CD Dramas, Graham grew up as an orphan who had a fascination for flying the skies. Following his passion, Graham enlisted in the Union Army to become a pilot.
In AD 2302, Warrant Officer Graham Aker was transferred into Union USA 3rd Air Force Team and was put under the command of “living legend” Sleg Sletcher. Due to his confidence and cleverness, Graham was able to catch the attention of the superior officer, and the two quickly became close friends. At one point, Sleg even offered Graham to take his daughter's hand in marriage, but Graham declined. During their trainings, Graham was not able to defeat Sleg in simulated battles: all 46 of them.
In AD 2304, Second Lieutenant Graham was appointed as the test pilot of the Iris Corporation’s entry for the Union's mainstay mobile suit, the YMS-01A Union Flag. He awed the developers Billy Katagiri and Ralph Eifman for having pulled off a mid-air transformation without reading the manual; the maneuver was dubbed “Graham Special” and “Graham Maneuver” respectively. Graham's former superior, Sleg Sletcher, piloted the rival machine, Belfactory’s YMS-02 Union Blast, to Graham's shock; it was only later that Graham learned that his mentor accepted the offer to pay for his daughter's medical expenses. During the competition between the two units, Sleg, knowing the superiority of the Flag, attempted a suicide attack. However, Graham pulled off a Graham Special and cut off one of Blast’s wings. As a result, the Union Blast crashed down, killing Sleg in the process. The Flag won the competition as the Union's new mainstay, while Graham was promoted as First Lieutenant.
Despite gaining recognition as a top pilot due to the victory, Graham also was viewed in negative light, earning the title of "Superior Officer Killer". He was reinstated in MSWAD (Mobile Suit Warehouse and Development) and became one of their ace pilots. Regardless of the allegations, Graham added elements from Sleg’s coat of arms to his as a tribute to his fallen mentor.
Debut of Celestial Being
In AD 2307, Graham went to AEU African Military Base to see the demonstration of the AEU's new mobile suit, the AEU-09 AEU Enact, that was attended by various politicians and military dignitaries. There he joined his close colleague, MSWAD Tech Advisor Billy Katagiri, in watching the AEU's first solar-powered unit show off its capabilities. Billy commented to Graham how the unit was a complete rip-off of their SVMS-01 Union Flag.
During the demonstration, a mysterious mobile suit suddenly appeared from the sky to the testing ground. At first glance, Graham quickly noticed the strange green light coming out of the unit. The new Enact quickly engaged the intruder in battle, but was easily mutilated and defeated. Graham was so impressed by the intruder's capabilities that he immediately grabbed hold of a stranger's binoculars to examine it fully. And there he saw it; GUNDAM, the name etched on the forehead of the mobile suit. After the Gundam had left and the AEU's demonstration cut short by the incident, Graham and Billy talked in their SUV about the Gundam and the AEU's possible response. AEU's retaliation using mobile suits from Orbital Elevator confirmed suspicions that they have excessive mobile suits stationed there than what the treaties permitted. Graham concluded that the Gundam's appearance was a check and a warning against AEU's military expansion.
Later that night, they learned about the organization claiming to possess the Gundams. Celestial Being's founder Aeolia Schenberg announced to the world about their goal of eradicating war off the planet using the mobile weapon Gundams. As Graham drives through the darkness, he laughed at Celestial Being's hypocrisy. Despite this, he was completely mesmerized by the Gundam's mysterious and overwhelming power. Graham and Billy was later called back to report to headquarters about what they had witness at the AEU Military Testing Grounds.
Detour to Ceylon
As Graham and Billy flew back to Union territory, military reports came in about the Celestial Being's impending attack on Ceylon. The two talk about the conflict which has been happening in the region for centuries and how HRL's intervention had made the situation worse, plunging it to a state of anarchy. With the Gundams appearing in the conflict, Graham asked the captain of the ship to make an altered course for Ceylon and had his Flag prepped for launch.
Graham sighted the lone blue Gundam after its mission from Ceylon and immediately transformed his Flag mid-air to confront it. Upon meeting, the two units were immediately locked into sword confrontation. Graham introduced himself to the Gundam pilot,
|“||Nice to meet you Gundam... I'm Graham Aker. A man who is obsessed with everything you are! Who'd figure I'd have the opportunity to meet you? As a sentimental Virgo, I can't help but feel that this is destiny.||”|
He tried to overpower the Gundam, but it was able to push back the Flag. The Gundam swung its big GN Sword again to hack at the Flag, but Graham was able to dodge it. Flanking the Gundam, Graham decided to rip-off one of the Gundam's arms. However, it simply shoved off his Flag once again. Taking a distance from the Gundam, Graham then attempted to shoot it down, but Gundam Exia dodged all the attacks and chopped down his rifle with a beam saber, much to Graham's surprise. With most of his armaments destroyed, Graham begrudgingly decided to retreat, leaving the Gundam unscathed.
Back in the carrier, Graham expressed his remorse for losing his Flag's armaments, but Billy consoled him that the data they got from the Gundam were more than enough to make up for it. Graham also added how surprised he was to learn that the Gundam pilot was so young; the pilot seemed to express his emotions though the movements of his Gundam. Just then, the captain of the carrier reported that they had lost sight of the Gundam. With that, they continued their way to the MSWAD headquarters.
Anti-Celestial Being CampaignAt the Union MSWAD headquarters, Graham and Billy had a meeting with their commander and reported everything that had transpired during the Enact's demonstration. Billy suggested that it was worth their time to research about the Gundams. The commander agreed and handed to both Graham and Billy their new orders; since both of them had seen the Gundams, they were both transferred to an Anti-Gundam Investigative Task Force. Its formal name was yet to be decided, but with Professor Ralph Eifman as Head technologist, the commander knew how important this newly formed team actually is. Both Graham and Billy accepted the transfers.
As the two walked through the hallways, Billy asked if Graham had anticipated this to happen. Graham admitted he did not, but felt that fate was at work with the events that were unfolding.
Custom Flag Upgrade & Taribia
In one of the MSWAD hangars, Graham joined Billy in examining the data from his Flag pertaining its recent battle with the Gundam. They found out that the Gundam has six times the output of that of the Flag. Graham could not believe that despite the output, the Gundam was still so agile. The two hypothesized that the suit's performance is controlled by its mysterious particles. Just then, Professor Ralph Eifman joined in in their conversation and added that the particles might have also been used in its weaponry. He marveled Aeolia Schenberg for having developed something so advanced and suggested to capture a Gundam if possible. Graham agreed and, for that purpose, proposed for his Flag to be modified. Disregarding the pilot's safety, he asked for the work to be done in a week. At that same time, Graham received a call about a Gundam bombing a large plantation of narcotics in Taribia and prepared to move out, but he was stopped by Prof. Eifman, who supported the Gundam's action.
Later, Graham received his upgraded Flag unit, the SVMS-01E Union Flag Graham Aker Custom. In addition, they were joined in the task force by Warrant Officer Howard Mason and Master Sergeant Daryl Dodge, who were both transferred via Graham's recommendation. Around this time also, Taribia announced its intentions of seceding from the Union and claiming independent access to the solar energy generating system. With the Union orbital elevator in its close proximity, tensions rose between Taribia and the Union. Graham and his team were immediately put on standby in case Celestial Being intervened. Graham viewed this as an opportunity to test his new Flag.
As the Gundams arrived on the main cities in Taribia, they started attacking the Taribian mobile suit forces; they viewed Taribia's decision as a source of conflict. With the devastating turn of events, Taribia withdrew its decision and asked the Union to protect their forces from the Gundams' attacks. Union immediately responded with a counteroffensive. Graham happily obliged the orders as he chased after GN-001 Gundam Exia, which was then withdrawing to the Pacific. Having caught up to it, he transformed mid-air to engage the Gundam in close combat. The two mobile suits exchanged shots, which ultimately led up to Graham being the victor. Thrown off-balanced, the Exia plunged into the ocean and withdrew from the battle. The new Flag managed to stand against the Gundam, but Graham gave up pursuit, handing it over to the newly discovered underwater capabilities of the Gundams.
AEU & HRL Gundam Capture Attempts
In the midst of Celestial Being operations, the Republic of Moralia and the AEU formally announced a joint military exercise to strengthen their ties. Upon the news, Graham and Billy speculated that, aside from the needed benefits of the alliance, it was all done in an attempt to lure and capture the Gundams. The Anti-Gundam Investigative Task Force monitored the situation during the day of the exercise. With two of Gundams carrying new equipments, Graham thought that Celestial Being was being serious this time. The conflict lasted for less than 5 hours, ending with the AEU/Moralia alliance surrendering unconditionally. Despite the lost, Billy talked about how this will only strengthen the support for AEU's military expansion. Graham shared his opinion that Celestial Being might be waking the path to their own destruction, which Prof. Eifman agreed.
After the Moralian operation, a terrorist group, La Edenra, launched simultaneous attacks around the globe, seeking the disarmament of Celestial Being. Feeling restless by the turn of events, Graham launched with his Flag to search for any signs leading to La Edenra; he was accompanied by Howard and Daryl. They didn't to get any leads, but Celestial Being later was able to locate La Edenra's secret bases and dealt a heavy blow to the terrorist organization.
Months later, news of a failed Gundam capture attempt, which had been executed by the HRL, reached the Anti-Gundam Investigative Task Force. With the operation costing HRL more than 20 of their Tierens, Howard and Daryl were blown away by the Gundams' overwhelming power. However, Graham reminded them that power isn't the only thing that determines the winner in a fight.
Azadistan Civil War
With the impending civil war in the Kingdom of Azadistan, following the abduction of conservative leader, Rasa Massoud Rachmadi, the Union decided to send military aid to provide order and ease the tension in the country. The Anti-Gundam Investigative Task Force was one of the mobile suit squadrons sent; Graham and his fellow Flag pilots hoped to encounter a Gundam during the conflict.During the night patrol, Graham and his team noticed a fighting at the Solar Power Receiver Antenna Facility. They could not tell which side belongs to the traitors; ground mobile suits belonging to the Azadistan army were fighting amongst themselves. A Gundam also joined in the battle and attacked the ground forces from a far. Then suddenly, adding to the confusion, a cluster of missiles were launched from elsewhere, destroying the antenna facility. Graham immediately ordered Howard and Daryl to pursue the culprit who launched the missiles. He focused his sights on fighting the Gundam Dynames.
Dynames took the first shot at Graham's Flag. Graham dodged using the "Graham Special" maneuver and retaliated using his custom rifle; Dynames defended using its GN Shield. The Gundam continued shooting, but Graham kept his persistence, maneuvering and dodging his way towards it. As he reached close combat range, Graham threw a kick at Dynames; he attempted to follow through with a slash using the plasma sword, but Dynames blocked it using a beam saber. Being in toe-to-toe with the Gundam, Graham grew ecstatic. Then, Dynames pulled out its beam pistol, prompting Graham to pull back and block its close shots with the defense rod. Furious about the damage on his Flag, Graham rushed in towards the Gundam. As the two mobile suits were about to clash however, an emergency call came alerting the Union forces about the coup d'état forces heading towards the Azadistan capital. Graham's Flag stood in a stand-off against Gundam Dynames for a while until Graham finally decided to retreat and head to the capital with his Flag squadron.
Two days later, Graham escorted Billy to the site where the missile attack originated. While talking about possible links to the culprit, Graham noticed a young boy hiding behind the rocks from above. He called out the boy and asked him about the civil unrest in the country; he asked if the Union forces was a nuisance for stepping in. The boy tried to be objective, adding that more soldiers only mean that more people are going to die. Graham argued that the boy himself was also fighting; apparent by his stance, with his right hand hiding a pistol behind his back. The two exchanged glares, but Graham eventually let the boy off and decided to leave. He even slipped out that the one responsible for the missile attack was the stolen Enact from the PMC Trust.
Celestial Being later declared the successful rescue of Massoud Rachmadi. Graham and his Flag fighters were on standby as an unarmed Gundam Exia delivered the Rasa back to the Azadistan Palace. As the Gundam retreated, Howard and Daryl were adamant that they pursue the Gundam, but Graham objected against it to save face from being viewed villains by the whole world.
Taklamakan Capture Operation
Graham's team later got its official name, "Overflags", and received 12 new pilots, each of them aces of their previous squadrons. The Overflags also received new SVMS-01O Over Flags for its pilots to use. It was later revealed that the Overflags will take part of "Project G", which was the Three Blocs' joint operation focused on capturing the Gundams in Taklamakan. Overflag pilot, Joshua Edwards, expressed his doubts on Graham's position as a Squadron Commander due to Graham's questionable promotion in the past. However, Graham didn't pay any mind and vowed to clear his reputation on the battlefield.
Around the 15th hour of the operation, Graham and the Overflags got the permission to launch and to capture the Gundam Dynames. Graham led the squadron into formation, but Joshua went ahead of them and got himself shot down. With Joshua gone, Graham decided to rush in and subdue the Dynames himself. Skillfully evading Dynames' shots, Graham hit the Gundam with full force, knocking out its pilot inside. The Overflags had surrounded the fallen Gundam, only to be hit by red beams of light coming from the GNW-001 Gundam Throne Eins. With their formation broken, Graham ordered his team to retreat and called their flagship for reinforcements. However, the GNW-003 Gundam Throne Drei's GN Stealth Field cut off all the communications in the area. With the battlefield thrown into confusion by the new Gundams, the joint capture operation ended in failure.
Trinity MSWAD Attack
After the Taklamakan Operation, the Overflags returned home. Graham blamed himself for their failure and the lost of 3 of his subordinates, but Howard and Daryl consoled him that it couldn't be help with the appearance of the 3 new Gundams. It was then that they were alerted about the new Gundams heading towards the American MSWAD base.
At their arrival, the base was already destroyed to the ground. Graham learned from Billy about Professor Eifman's demise, and the news infuriated him to go on the offensive. As his squadron rained shots at GNW-002 Gundam Throne Zwei, Howard Mason broke away from formation and engaged the enemy in close quarters. Howard managed to push the Gundam, but it responded by skewering its remote control weapons into his Flag, killing him as a result. As the Gundams left from the scene, Graham gritted his teeth in anger with the deaths of his mentor and his friend, not knowing his hatred was slowly consuming his heart.
After the formal service, Graham and Daryl paid their respects in front of Howard's grave. Daryl told Graham about Howard's love for the Flag and admiration for Graham as a pilot. He revealed how happy Howard had been to become a Flag Fighter and to be able fly alongside with Graham. Graham couldn't help but smile reminiscing the late friend's memory. Acknowledging Howard's sentiments, Graham then stood up in salute, saying,
|“||Then, I will swear this to Howard Mason. I, Graham Aker, will use the Flag to defeat the Gundams!||”|
Vs Throne Eins
Graham's squadron was transferred to a Union base in Illinois after the destruction of the MSWAD base. While checking the mobile suit hanger, Graham found Billy working on tuning his Flag. Graham recommended that Billy shouldn't exert himself due to his injuries, but Billy insisted. They talked about the attack on the MSWAD Base; Billy thought that it was a ploy to assassinate Professor Eifman, who was on the verge of discovering the secrets behind the Gundam's power source. Graham suggested the existence of a spy, which Billy also thought as a possibility.
It was then an alarm went off to signal a Gundam attack on the Iris Corporation munition factory in Iowa. Despite Billy's warnings, Graham sortied alone. At the sight of Gundam Throne Eins, Graham quickly engaged it in close combat. After pulling a Graham Maneuver, he closed in to slash the enemy with his Plasma Sword, forcing the Gundam to draw out its beam saber. Not satisfied, Graham pushed the Gundam back and drew out another Plasma Sword. The enemy had barely managed to block the subsequent attack when Graham followed up by kicking the beam saber out of its hand. Before the Throne Eins could react, Graham quickly grabbed the hurled beam saber and cut off the Gundam's firing arm. The Gundam retreated with its defeat, but Graham didn't follow. He got some payback for Howard, but his body was internally damaged due to many Gs he had sustained. Clenching his hand with spitted blood, he was further infuriated by his weakness.
Operation Fallen Angels
The Union, AEU, and HRL had been brought down to their knees by the rampages done by the Team Trinity. However, with a stroke of fortune, Celestial Being traitor, Laguna Harvey, contacted the three blocs to collect 30 GN Drives in Antarctica, along with new mobile suits, the GNX-603T GN-X. With these in their hands, the world governments united their military might under the United Nations Forces and launched the "Operation Fallen Angels" to eliminate Celestial Being.
While checking on the deconstruction of the recently acquired GN beam saber, Graham learned from Billy about the acquisition of 30 GN Drives and new mobile suits. Graham was among the pilots considered to pilot the new UN Forces GN-Xs, but Graham declined the offer, in honor of his oath infront of Howard's grave. Billy and Daryl were surprised by Graham's decision, but Billy decided to help Graham by getting a GN Drive through his uncle's authority.
While Daryl joined the UN Forces, Graham remained in the Union Illinois base to wait for the completion of his new custom Flag, the SVMS-01X Union Flag Custom II.
Final Battle: Vs Exia
With the completion of his new Flag, Graham immediately headed towards Lagrange 1 to fight against the Gundams. Upon finding the GN-001 Gundam Exia, Graham quickly clashed swords with it, exclaiming how he had waited so long for this moment. He also declared in open line to avenge the deaths of Howard and Daryl using his GN Flag. The Gundam pilot, unknown to Graham as Setsuna F. Seiei, responded by opening his line, and Graham was surprised to see that the enemy was the same boy he had met back in Azadistan. As he cuts off an arm from Gundam Exia, Graham stated,
|“||It certainly seems that you and I were destined to cross paths all along! Indeed! We were destined to fight each other! I finally understand! It was your display of overwhelming power that stole my heart! That feeling I had... could only be called love! But if you go beyond love... it becomes hatred. Just as people turn on each other when they take religious faith too far!||”|
Cleaving off GN Flag's right leg, Setsuna asked why Graham was fighting if that was the case. Graham retorted it was ridiculous to ask such from a soldier; he tore out Exia's head with the beam saber. Cutting off GN Flag's head in return, Setsuna claimed that Graham had became twisted, but Graham retaliated and responded that it was the Gundams that had made him that way. As he dodged Exia's shots, Graham continued it was why he wanted to defeat the Gundams; all for his own and not of the world. Setsuna argued that Graham was also part of the world, which made Graham claim, if that was the case, that his will is the voice of the world. Setsuna disagreed, noting that Graham was just overreaching his ego; he prepared his GN Sword to cut Graham down. With his beam saber powered up, Graham accepted Setsuna's determination as a formal challenge. The GN Flag and Exia charged at each other, stabbing the other's lower right torso and upper left chest. Both mobile suits exploded as a result, causing a massive outburst of red and green particles. Before getting swallowed by the light, Graham expressed relieve to have avenged the deaths of his friends.
Aftermath: The Road to BushidoGraham appeared to have died in the duel, but he survived with huge scars on his body and on the right side of his face. On the other hand, the Gundam Exia was not recovered from the space sector. Graham kept his scar as a sign of shame, believing that Celestial Being was still out there, hiding in the shadows.
After his recovery, Graham later visited Homer Katagiri in his estate and asked the Union Commander to give him the appropriate power to fight in case Celestial Being returned. Through Katagiri's guidance, Graham immersed himself in the teachings of bushido, throwing everything he had away, even his identity, and obsessively incorporating his warrior code on his everyday lifestyle. He started wearing a samurai mask and robe; officers began calling him "Mister Bushido".
Return of Celestial Being
In 2312 AD, Mister Bushido was transferred into the newly created A-Laws and was given the special rank of a License Captain; a one-man army with special authority. It was not long later when Celestial Being made its return. Mister Bushido could not contain himself with the news; thanking the stars that his fate and the Gundam's were entwined once again.
Middle East Conflict
After knowing Celestial Being's whereabouts, Mister Bushido immediately went with Major Aber Rindt to the Middle East to have the chance to fight the Gundams. The A-Laws initially planned to sink Celestial Being ship CBS-74 Ptolemaios 2 underwater using the new GNMA-04B11 Trilobite, but the target was able to survive the assault, prompting the Gundams for a counterattack. Mister Bushido, in GNX-704T/AC Ahead Sakigake, was quick to intercept as the GN-0000 00 Gundam rushed towards the A-Laws flagship. While holding off the Gundam, he quickly realized that the pilot of the 00 Gundam was his rival Setsuna F. Seiei from 4 years ago. Mister Bushido was ecstatic with the opportunity to redeem his shame, but the Gundam, unfortunately, retreated after the appearance of Katharon on the scene.
Later, the A-Laws launched an attack on the Katharon Headquarters. Inevitably, Celestial Being intervened to protect Katharon. Mister Bushido had joined in to observe the operation, but decided to leave with the absence of 00 Gundam.
With the appearance of Ptolemy II on their observation satellites, the A-Laws decided to launched another operation against Celestial Being. Mister Bushido expressed his desire to fight the "double-equipped" Gundam and told the mobile suit teams to not intervene. They obliged to his request; during the battle, he faced the 00 Gundam alone in a sword fight. Mister Bushido was impressed with Setsuna's improved marksmanship, but was extremely disappointed with the enemy mobile suit's lackluster performance. He decided to finally cut down the 00, but it then retaliated under Trans-Am System. Mister Bushido was quickly overwhelmed, but in a yet another surprising turn, the 00 overloaded before it could finish his Ahead. Mister Bushido took out his remaining beam saber and pointed it at the disabled Gundam. However, he decided not to harm 00 and left; he wanted to defeat it in its prime shape. Squadron Leader Barack Zinin was dismayed by Mister Bushido's action; Mister Bushido simply chose to ignore him.
After facing Trans-Am in combat, Mister Bushido left his post to meet his old friend Billy Katagiri, who just became the A-Laws' Head of the Development. Billy was making a new mobile suit, and Mister Bushido wanted to pilot it and be made under his preference; to be the fastest machine and to have the strongest sword. Billy accepted his request, in a condition that Mister Bishido will destroy Celestial Being for him. When it was finished, Mister Bushido was amazed by how Billy had made it resemble the Flag. Christened as GNX-U02X Masurao, Billy had installed a special system that he had made out from Professor Eifman's notes about the GN Drives.With the news of the Africa Tower take over, Mister Bushido waited at the vicinity for the arrival of Celestial Being. There, he chanced upon the approaching GN-0000+GNR-010 00 Raiser and quickly charge at it using Masurao's dual GN Beam Sabers. Mister Bushido was happy to see his rival, but unfortunately, Setsuna F. Seiei was not interested in fighting him. Dismayed, Mister Bushido activated Masurao's own Trans-Am System, and began overwhelming the reluctant enemy with unrelenting attacks. 00 Raiser tried to fend off the assault, but eventually it could not keep up with Masurao's speed and power. As Mister Bushido pierced through 00 Raiser's GN Field, Setsuna finally responded with his own Trans-Am, to Mister Bushido's delight. The two were instantly engaged in a high speed combat; clashing swords and pushing away the other with force. As their swords locked, Mister Bushido proclaimed,
|“||I live for the sake of combat! Combat against Gundams! And I'll surpass even the Gundams! That's the only reason... I exist!||”|
Suddenly, a barrage of particle beams forced them to break off; the other Gundams and Ptolemy II had arrived to support the 00 Raiser. With his particles nearly spent, Mister Bushido decided to leave and demanded Setsuna to not forget him.
Duel at Eclipse
Celestial Being stopped their operations for 4 months after the tragic Break Pillar Incident. With their return, the A-Laws launched another attack operation against them in space. Mister Bushido simply observed during the battle, unimpressed by Setsuna's lack of passion for fighting.
Mister Bushido later got another mission from the higher-ups, asking him to inspect the abandoned colony, "Eclipse" in Lagrange 5. He was accompanied by Warrant Officer Louise Halevy and Lieutenant Andrei Smirnov. Arriving there in his new GNX-Y901TW Susanowo, Mister Bushido found the 00 Raiser and held it hostage before Setsuna F. Seiei, asking the Gundam Meister to grant him a proper duel. Setsuna, who recognized Graham from four years ago, was surprised about the sudden proposal and asked if Graham was that desperate to settle their score. Graham replied,
|“||Of course! You have sullied my skies... and robbed me of my brethren and mentor! Even the pride I felt as a Flag Fighter was shattered because of what you did! You and your Gundam! Indeed, these feelings have surpassed love and transcended hatred... This has become destiny!||”|
Noticing Setsuna's puzzled look, Graham reminded Setsuna that despite his obsession, it was the Gundams that had started it all with their armed interventions. Setsuna finally decided to comply with Graham's request; Graham told him to not hold back. As he put back his mask, Graham muttered it was his intention all along to walk this path of bloodshed. The 00 Raiser and Susanowo charged into fighting, clashing each other in sword combat.The two pilots were evenly matched. Setsuna was briefly distracted by the fight between the GNMA-0001V Regnant and GNW-003 Gundam Throne Drei, but Mister Bushido put on the pressure to push the former's senses back to their duel. As he fired Susanowo's Tri-Punisher, Mister Bushido exclaimed he lived for this very day; even if he was a mere puppet for the Innovators, he'll continue following his path of Bushido. With the match locked into a stalemate, the two pilots finally upped the stakes and activated their respective machine's Trans-Am System. The two machines clashed in a Trans-Am showdown, appearing as burning lights of teal and golden-orange wisps clashing at each other from a distance. A huge concentration of purified GN particles enveloped both pilots, sending their consciousness into the quantum ethereal plane.
As Graham became aware of what was happening, he wondered if he had attained Nirvana. Setsuna suddenly appeared to correct him, noting that they were in the place where the quanta had gathered. Graham was puzzled, but Setsuna continued to talk about Aeolia Schenberg's true goal; humanity's reformation. Graham wondered if that was the ultimate mystery that Setsuna had attained. He reminiscence back when he first decided to pursue the path of Bushido. Reflecting on his own twistedness, Graham came to understand that he could only attain his ultimate mystery if he fights Setsuna, who could do nothing but fight just like him, once again.
Returning to reality, Mister Bushido declared that these were for the sake of the ultimate victory. Setsuna was perplexed but Mister Bushido argued that there was obviously nothing more. Combining his GN Swords II for a double-blade staff, Setsuna retorted that there was more to it than that; a tomorrow that links to the future. Mister Bushido quickly parried the beam from 00 Raiser's staff and disarmed it in one swing. He subsequently went in for the killing blow, but Setsuna caught and destroyed Susanowo's blade, swiftly countering afterwards by stabbing both 00 Raiser's beam sabers into Susanowo's shoulders. Susanowo was ultimately decapitated, with the explosion destroying its mask revealing a Flag head. Susanowo's cockpit automatically opened, letting out an injured Mister Bushido.
As 00 Raiser pointed its beam saber at him, Mister Bushido cried out for Setsuna to finish him off and obtain victory. However, Setsuna refused to do so, deactivating 00 Raiser's Trans-Am and its beam sabers. Mister Bushido was astonished by this, but Setsuna declared,
|“||I... will live. I'll live and seize tomorrow! This is... my way of fighting. And you... must also fight to live.||”|
Setsuna shortly departed after from Eclipse. As Susanowo's remains floated in Lagrange 5, Mister Bushido contemplated committing a seppuku in accordance to his path of Bushido. However, Setsuna's parting words had certainly affected him.
Aftermath & Reformation
Nothing was shown of Mister Bushido after the duel in Lagrange 5. He was not present in the battle in Lagrange 2, where Celestial Being and its allies defeated the A-Laws and the Innovators. With the A-Laws' corruption and misgivings revealed to the world, the reformed ESF government ultimately dissolved the autonomous peacekeeping force. Graham, having given up his path of Bushido, was last shown visiting Billy in an undisclosed research lab.
The year is 2314 AD. Two years has passed since the defeat of the A-Laws and Innovators. Graham, as of this time, returned to ESF Forces and led a special squadron, the SolBraves; piloting the test unit GNX-Y903VW Brave.
Around this time, odd occurrences began happening in the Earth Sphere. The derelict Europa found its way back to Earth after being on Jovian airspace for 130 years. The ESF Forces in Celestial Being (mothership) destroyed the approaching ship through Captain Descartes Shaman and his GNMA-Y0002V Gadelaza. However, the fragments didn't burn up in the atmosphere during re-entry. Graham heard the investigation that Brigadier General Kati Mannequin had been pushing about the matter, and asked his friend Billy Katagiri to keep him updated. Attacks on potential Innovators soon followed, and they were attributed to the fragments from the destroyed Europa; a new alien species called the Extraterrestrial Living-metal Shape-shifter (ELS).
Intervention in Martian Airspace
With a huge ELS fleet from Jupiter coming to Earth in 95 days, the ESF sent out an envoy fleet to rendezvous with the approaching ELS at the Martian airspace. Graham and the SolBraves had been ordered to go after them as reinforcement, but when the team got there, the whole fleet was already decimated. The ones that remained, other than the ELS, were the Gundams, who were on the run from the ELS after Setsuna F. Seiei's failed dialogues with the alien lifeforms. Graham's team were quick to help, spreading out in the battlefield and covering fire for the Gundams. After the Gundams had retreated, the SolBraves then went on to eliminate the ELS; using bait-and-hit tactics, the squadron drew in the hostile ELS units and then simultaneously destroyed clusters of them after the other. After wiping out a group of ELS chasing a fellow SolBraves, Graham then used his Brave's Tri-Punisher to abruptly stop and wipe out the ELS that were trailing behind him. The remaining ELS eventually stopped attacking and enveloped themselves into a sphere-like formation. Graham and his team surrounded the ELS, but decided to withdraw after learning that Celestial Being had finally left the airspace.
The SolBraves later met with Celestial Being at their designated point and made a brief stay in CBS-74 Ptolemaios 2 Kai for resupplies. Graham went to see Setsuna's condition, who was in comatose after the previous ELS encounter. On the way, Graham marveled how Setsuna was seeking a path for understanding even with the ELS. Feldt Grace, who was there to watch over Setsuna, noticed Graham and asked who he was. Graham responded that he was just a man who had foolishly pursued to surpass the Gundams; he was mistaken and realized it was Setsuna that he needed to surpass. Graham added he regretted not being able to save Setsuna, just as he was not able to arrive in time to rescue his ESF forces allies. Just then, Graham received a call that more ELS had arrived on Jupiter. Graham and his team immediately returned to their mothership, the Artorious, after resupply to prepare for a huge battle against ELS.
Final Battle & Death
Several days later, the ELS planetoid reached the ESF Absolute Defense Line. While the Artorious traveled towards the location in Trans-Am, Graham briefed his team about upcoming battle. He warned them that they would be faced to risk their lives, but ordered them not to die. Upon their arrival, they saw that the situation had turned worse for the ESF forces. Graham told his team not to panic, but was shocked, and also thrilled, to see that their enemies were also using Gundam-type GNX-803T GN-XIV. The SolBraves blasted their way through the enemy line into the battlefield. However, one of them, Yagan Crow, was immediately caught and exploded in the crossfire. Graham gritted his teeth in anger for the early loss of one of his men, but was immediately brought back to his senses by the news that the ELS could also transform into assimilated ESF forces space cruisers. He and the remaining SolBraves joined the ESF forces in mopping-up the invading ELS.The battle continued to look bleak for the ESF forces. Even with the arrival of Celestial Being and the Gundams, the ELS still overwhelmed their combined forces. One more SolBraves pilot was killed as the ELS breached through the Absolute Defense Line. The situation was hopeless until the arrival of the 00 Qan(T) to launch another dialogue attempt with the ELS. Graham and the SolBraves joined the Gundams as the 00 Qan[T] made its way towards the ELS planetoid. Seeing Setsuna not fighting his way through the ELS, Graham called him on the comm:
|“||What are you hesitating for? It was you who told me to fight in order to live! Even if it's a contradiction, you must continue to exist! You said that is what it means to live!||”|
Graham and his remaining men then activated their Trans-Am System and cleared a path for 00 Qan[T]. Before parting, Graham told Setsuna to live and blaze a trail into the future.Setsuna pressed on as the SolBraves continued to fight near the ELS planetoid. Eventually, Graham's Brave was assimilated by an ELS GN-XIV. Noticing that Setsuna was having trouble penetrating the ELS planetoid's surface, Graham decided to overload his machine through Trans-Am to open a path. Aiming for the regenerating hole that the ELS had exposed for a defensive field, Graham yelled out:
|“||Young man! The pilot to the future! I, Graham Aker, will gladly take on this task! This... is not death! It's for humankind to live on!||”|
Graham's Brave slipped through the closing ELS surface and subsequently exploded to make an open hole into the inside. His sacrifice gave Setsuna the chance to enter the ELS superstructure and use the Quantum System to commence the dialogues with the ELS core, ceasing their attacks and bringing mutual understanding between ELS and Humanity.
Main article: Celestial Being
- Setsuna F. Seiei
- From the very beginning, Graham became obsessed with Gundam Exia because of its outstanding performance during Celestial Being's first intervention. From that point on, Graham made constant exertions to face Exia/Setsuna every time possible. Graham's obsession with Exia went so far that he self-described his feelings towards them as love.
- During the events of Season 2, Graham becomes obsessed with defeating Setsuna, seeing him as the person who destroyed his pride as a Flag Fighter. After dueling and losing to Setsuna at L5, Setsuna tells Graham that he must live on and fight to claim his own future instead of throwing his life away in defeat. Ironically, Graham never appeared to learn Setsuna's name (Hinted as Graham always calls Setsuna, Young Boy in Season 1 and Young Lad/ Man in Season 2)
Earth Sphere Federation
- Union of Solar Energy and Free Nations
- Billy Katagiri
- Billy and Graham were stationed together at MSWAD while Billy was the chief technical advisor. From their interactions with each other, it can be said that the two have been good friends for some time while maintaining a professional relationship. Billy has also personally tuned Graham's mobile suits, creating machines such as the GN Flag, the Masurao, and the Susanowo.
- Ralph Eifman
- Though they are not close, Professor Eifman personally tuned Graham's Flag to better fight the Gundams. Eifman's custom tuning then spread to a group of Flags known as the OverFlags.
- Sleg Sletcher
- Sleg was Graham's superior officer during his early days in the Union Army. On hard times, Sleg offered his daughter's hand in marriage to Graham, hoping that his payroll as an officer would lead her to a better life. Sleg was also a test pilot for Belfactory's Union Blast. Unfortunately, Sleg would commit suicide while piloting the Blast, giving Graham a promotion. It can be inferred that Sleg had a great deal of respect for Graham.
Notes & Trivia
- Graham shares many similarities with Zechs Merquise from Mobile Suit Gundam Wing. Both are excellent pilots, once wore masks, share the same rivalry with the main character, obsessed with fighting the gundams, and their final mobile suit are the combination from their previous mobile suits.
- Although he sworn to defeat Gundams with Flags only,he used an Ahead to confront 00 Gundam.
- If a player made Graham pilot a specific mobile suit in SD Gundam G Generation Wars, and performs an attack, Graham will announce the mobile suit's attack with a version with his name on it. Some of the example mobile suits are GF13-017NJII God Gundam and GNW-002 Gundam Throne Zwei, which attacks Graham calls out as "God Graham Finger" and "Graham Fangs", respectively.
- In crossover storyline of SD Gundam G Generation Wars, Graham only appeared as an enemy in Mobile Suit Gundam SEED and developed a rivalry against Kira Yamato's ZGMF-X10A Freedom.
- In Super Robot Wars Z2 Saisei-hen, Graham has a certain relationship with Code Geass' character, Kyoshiro Todoh. Graham even consider Todoh as someone who could be considered as the "Ultimate Samurai" in the game, despite Todoh was not portrayed as a person that could be considered superior in his original story. This relates to how various side materials revealing Graham's love of Japanese culture, even before season 1's end. In Hakai-hen, Graham speaks of Todoh with respect, calling him the last samurai, hoping to learn from him.
- Graham's zealous personality has been a subject of humor for some fans. A common practice is incorporating his lines in other media (videos and MADs), which is often tagged with "Graham Intervention". (グラハム介入, Graham kainyuu)
- Graham's Japanese voice actor, Yuiichi Nakamura, voices Alto Saotome, the protagonist of Macross Frontier. Coincidentally, both characters pilot transformable machines. Alto's Ace bonus in Super Robot Wars Z2 games references this as it "can transform after moving", basically a Graham Special. Yuiichi Nakmura also voiced Captain America, in the Japanese dub of Marvel Cinematic Universe films as well as two other Gundam characters; Nigel Garrett in Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn and Ricardo Fellini in Gundam Build Fighters.
- Graham appears as a DLC character in Dynasty Warriors Gundam 3 as Mister Bushido with the Susanowo as his Mobile Suit. If Graham uses a Combination SP Attack with Setsuna, both will reveal their star signs to each other. Graham as a Virgo, whose element is Earth coincides with his affiliation with the Earth Forces as well as his intense desire to fight for the planet.
- Graham Aker on Wikipedia
- Graham/Bushido on Gundam 00 Official (Japanese)
- Summary of Mobile Suit Gundam 00 CD Drama Special 2:Road to 2307 courtesy of LightningZERO of Animesuki forums.
- Summary of Mobile Suit Gundam 00 CD Drama Special 2:Road to 2307 by calubin_175 of Mechatalk forums.
- Rough Translation of Mobile Suit Gundam 00 CD Drama Special 2:Road to 2307 by kitsune-no-ame.
- Summary of Mobile Suit Gundam 00N Chapter 12 by E08 of Gundam 00 forums.