ORB-01 Akatsuki Gundam
|Developed from||GAT-X105 Strike Gundam|
|First Seen||74 C.E.|
|Known Pilots||Cagalli Yula Athha|
|Head Height||18.74 meters61.483 ft |
|Max Weight||87.82 metric tons ("Oowashi")
|Standard Weight||69.6 metric tons|
|Power-plant||Ultracompact Nuclear Fisson Reactor|
|Pilot Accommodations||Pilot only, Cockpit in Torso|
The ORB-01 Akatsuki Gundam (literally meaning "Dawn" or "Daybreak") is a Mobile Suit in the series Gundam SEED Destiny. The Akatsuki Gundam Oowashi was piloted once by Cagalli Yula Athha and the Akatsuki Gundam Shiranui was piloted by Mu La Flaga.
Technology & Combat Characteristics
When not using any of its backpacks, the Akatsuki Gundamis equipped with a Type 73J2 prototype twin beam saber (also called a beam naginata) for close combat, the standard head-mounted CIWS, a arm-mounted shield for defense and a Type 72D5 "Hyakurai" beam rifle, comparable to other models of beam rifles. The beam naginata is capable of being mounted as a bayonet on the beam rifle.
Perhaps its most remarkable feature is its gold frame, known as the Yata-no-Kagami. In reality, the gold plating of the mobile suit is actually made up of millions of mirrors with a special beam-deflecting coating, making the mobile suit virtually impervious to beam attacks. Despite this, its vulnerability to melee and physical weapons remained equal to that of any other mobile suit.
"Oowashi" Sky Pack
On Earth, the Akatsuki Gundam can be equipped with an aerial backpack known as Oowashi, granting the Akatsuki flight capabilities. This backpack mounts two Type 73F modified high-energy beam cannons. Similar to the Justice's Fatum-00, the Oowashi sky pack is capable of separating from the mobile suit and transforming into a separate fighter aircraft.
"Shiranui" Space Pack
Should it needed to be brought in space, the Akatsuki Gundam can be equipped with the "Shiranui" backpack, which is equipped with a system similar to the DRAGOON system; the Shiranui contains seven remote beam turrets, which each mount a beam cannon as well as beam shield emitters that can provide full defense in a limited area, of around 1-2 ships' size.
- Guided Mobile Beam Turret System
- M531R remote control unit
- Mounted on the "Shiranui" Space Pack are seven remote weapons each equipped with a beam cannon, two beam guns and a beam shield emitter.
- Model-71 defense shield
- MSM5D 12.5mm CIWS
- A head-mounted weapon system designed for missile interception and suppressive fire.
- Type-72D5 "Hyakurai" Beam Rifle
- Type-73J2 Prototype Twin Beam Saber
- A double bladed beam saber similar to the sabers form when the Freedom combines its sabres.
- Type 73F modified high-energy beam cannon
- Two beam cannons mounted on the "Oowashi" Sky Pack
- Operating System
- The Akatsuki utilizes a customised version of the General Unilateral Neuro-link Dispersive Autonomic Maneuver operating system, the operating system used on the GAT-X series. This operating system was created by Kira Yamato when the Archangel landed to Orb after its defection from the Earth Alliance. He devised this system to make Natural pilots combat well using a mobile suit, making them fare well against Coordinator pilots.
- "Yata-no-Kagami" Anti-Beam Reflection System
- While mostly similar to other mobile suits, the Akatsuki Gundam nevertheless features a unique piece of technology. The entire body of the suit (and its backpacks) is covered with a specialized mirror coating called "Yata no Kagami", which is capable of deflecting beam fire or reflecting shots back to their source. Due to this coating, it is able to block beam weapons and is even able to block shots fired from a Positron Blaster Cannon. Despite this strength, the armor provides no protection against attacks from a beam saber, since Shinn Asuka was able to cut off one of the Akatsuki's arms with his beam boomerang.
- In episode 50 of Gundam Seed Destiny, Mu also used Akatsuki's "Yata-no-Kagami" Anti-Beam Reflection to penetrate Requiem's Positron Deflector to destroy Requiem in order to prevent the destruction of Orb.
Before his death, fearing that the Orb Union will face another war, Uzumi Nara Athha commissioned the creation of the ORB-01 Akatsuki Gundam. Its existence remained a secret as per Uzumi's orders, only to be used as the nation's last line of defense, or if Cagalli is in dire need of additional power (though according to his voice-recorded will, Uzumi hoped that the day that the mobile suit's hangar will be opened would never come).
Second Battle of Orb
The Akatsuki Gundam is first piloted by Cagalli Yula Athha. Using the Oowashi pack, she piloted this mobile suit to defend Orb against a ZAFT attack in CE 74, after being informed of its existence by Ledonir Kisaka. Cagalli assumes command of the Orb military, and uses the Akatsuki Gundam to try and defend Orb against ZAFT's forces, but was soon confronted by ZAFT's top ace, ZGMF-X42S Destiny Gundam pilot Shinn Asuka. While Shinn's beam attacks only backfire, he easily outperforms her by using melee attacks, giving minor damage to the gold mobile suit. When the battle headed to space, the Akatsuki Gundam is repaired and with Cagalli's orders, she lent to Mu La Flaga, while Cagalli remained behind in Orb to take charge of her country. While the mobile suit is in his possession, La Flaga used the Shiranui pack for the remaining moments of the war.
Intervention at Copernicus
While the Archangel is docked at the lunar city of Copernicus, Mu La Flaga uses the Oowashi Akatsuki to intervene in the defense of several crew members while they are trying to rescue Meer Campbell. Despite Akatsuki Gundam's presence, Meer is hit by a bullet intended for Lacus Clyne and is killed.
The Final Battle
- The name Akatsuki means "dawn" in Japanese; it also bears the meaning of "beginning". Morgenroete, the company that built Akatsuki, means "dawn" in German. The kanji of "Akatsuki" is engraved on the right shoulder of ORB-01 Akatsuki Gundam as well. "ORB-01 ALBA" is also engraved on the left side of the Akatsuki's head. Alba means "dawn" in Italian, in reference to the unit's name.
- "Yata no Kagami" is named for a legendary mirror that is one of the Three Sacred Treasures of Japan.
- Cagalli's insert song for Phases 24 of Mobile Suit Gundam SEED was Akatsuki no Kuruma, or Wheels of Dawn.
- Cagalli's insert song for Phase 40 of Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny was Honoo no Tobira, or Doors of Flames, possibly in reference to Cagalli's name of kagaribi, a watch fire or a bon fire.
- The beam naginata does not actually function like a true Japanese [] weapon; the name only refers to the shape of the weapon and it is a reference to a similar weapon used by the MS-14 Gelgoog in Mobile Suit Gundam.
- It is speculated by some fans that the Akatsuki Gundam is equiped with a Neutron Jammer Cancellor, as the Shiranui Pack uses what can be considered a full fledged DRAGOON System. The power requirements of the system would mean that a nucluear power source was needed to keep the suit and the pods from running out of energy quickly during combat.
- The Akatsuki Gundam is reminiscent of the MSN-00100 Hyaku Shiki from Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam, which also had a reflective gold coloration related to beam-resistant armor. The Akatsuki Gundam (with the Shiranui backpack system) is also reminiscent of the RX-93 Nu Gundam from Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack, which had fin funnels which could be used as a beam shield. The armaments of the two are also similar. The Hyaku Shiki also however, sported vertically pointed wing binder's very reminicent of Akatsuki Gundam Shiranui.
- Cagalli gave the Akatsuki Gundam to Mu La Flaga after using it for a single battle, making it the fastest handed-down Gundam mobile suit ever. In Super Robot Wars K and Super Robot Wars L, Cagalli even directly hand it over to Mu La Flaga in the same scenario in which she rode it for the first time.
- In Super Robot Wars K and Super Robot Wars L, Akatsuki Gundam will automatically wear its designated striker packs depends on the terrain of the current scenario. In atmosphere based scenario, it will use the Oowashi pack; while in space based scenario, it will use the Shiranui pack.