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Amuro Ray
Mobile Suit Gundam character
Amuro Ray.jpg

Gundam pilot Amuro Ray in 0079 U.C.
First appearance Episode 1, Gundam Rising (MSG)
Voiced by Toru Furuya (Japanese)
Brad Swaile (English, MSG and MSG-CC)
Michael Lindsay (English, MSG I-III)
Matthew Erickson (English, MSG-Z)
Profile
Aliases White Devil [MSG]
White Unicorn [MSG-Z]
Age 15 [MSG]
23 [MSG-Z]
29 [MSG-CC]
Nationality Earth Federation
Known relatives Tem Ray (Father, Deceased[1])
Kamaria Ray (Mother)
unborn child (only in the CCA novelization: "Beltorchika's Children". Mothered by Beltorchika Irma)
Military History
Allegiance Earth Federation [MSG]
Karaba [MSG-Z]
Londo Bell [MSG-CC]

Amuro Ray (アムロ・レイ Amuro Rei?) is a fictional character from the anime series Mobile Suit Gundam and its sequels, Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam and Char's Counterattack, voiced by Tōru Furuya (Japanese), Brad Swaile (English dub of the original TV series and Char's Counterattack), Michael Lindsay (English dub of Movies I-III) and Matthew Erickson (English dub of Zeta Gundam).

Contents

Fictional character background

Amuro is the hero of the anime series Mobile Suit Gundam. He is the son of Tem Ray, the project leader for the Earth Federation's Project V, which produces the prototype mobile suits Gundam, Guncannon, and Guntank to combat the Principality of Zeon's Zaku. At the beginning of the Mobile Suit Gundam TV series, Amuro is merely a 15-year-old civilian, along with his friends Fraw Bow and Hayato Kobayashi, living in Side 7, one of the few space colonies untouched by the One Year War at the time. Amuro is a talented amateur mechanic, which would be called an Otaku nowadays[2], and as a hobby designed the basketball-sized talking robot Haro.

Born on Earth in Prince Rupert[3], Amuro's early childhood was spent on the planet with his parents, Tem and Kamaria Ray, until Amuro's father was called up by the EFSF to do weapon research under the guise of colony construction. Though Amuro's father wanted his mother to come with them, she declined (it was implied that she was having an affair at the time). When Amuro reunites with his mother during the One Year War there is some animosity between them, as Kamaria could not tolerate her son taking part in the violence of a military life.

Once Amuro and his father made it to space, Tem was often not home for long periods of time. Amuro became a social misfit and kept to himself, spending most of his time at home building and repairing gadgets. His neighbor Fraw Bow took it upon herself to take care of him. This trend continued into the One Year War period.

Mobile Suit Gundam series

One Year War

When Char Aznable sent a group of Zeon mobile suits in a reconnaissance mission on Side 7 (with the purpose of gathering information on the Project V), one of the new recruits from the squad decided to attack the colony. Amuro ended up piloting the Gundam to defend his home. Using his intuition and reading the manual, Amuro manages to start up the Gundam and defeat the two attacking Zaku mobile suits. Unfortunately, due to his lack of experience, Amuro also blew a huge hole in the colony cylinder, nearly destroying Side 7 in the process.

Seeing his potential, Bright Noa assigned the reluctant Amuro to the Gundam and repeatedly sent the boy out against Zeon forces. It is here in Earth orbit that Amuro first goes into personal battle against Char. Still being a novice, Amuro fared poorly and missed every shot he fired, but still managed to fend off Char's attack.

When White Base finally landed on Earth, Amuro's relationships with the rest of the crew deteriorate as he begin improving his piloting skills, as his introvert but sometimes arrogant attitude causes him to desert the ship after overhearing Bright Noa discussing with Mirai Yashima about replacing Amuro from piloting Gundam. Amuro abandoned the crew with the Gundam, but after finding out about Ramba Ral's attempted attack on White Base, he rushes back to his friends and helps resolve the situation.

During the Operation Odessa, the elite Zeon mobile suit team Black Tri-Stars was dispatched to attack the White Base. Amuro's Gundam eventually destroyed the Black Tri-Stars, but Matilda Ajan (who was the target of Amuro's secret admiration and affection) was killed when one of the Doms smashed her Medea transport aircraft. This had a significant effect on Amuro's psychological self as he realizes that he's not the only one affected by the war. By the beginning of the third of the Gundam compilation movies, Amuro is a seasoned and skilled pilot, and a reliable member of the White Base's crew.

Like his rival Char Aznable, Amuro got his own nickname during the One Year War: the White Devil (白い悪魔 Shiroi Akuma?). He was given this moniker after defeating 14 Rick Doms in the Battle of Solomon.

Amuro and Char Aznable faced off several times during the course of the One Year War, but it was not until when Lalah Sune was killed during one of their battles that this rivalry turned into a fierce hatred of one another. Amuro deeply regretted his accidental killing of Lalah, and blamed Char deeply for dragging her into the conflict. This hatred culminates in the battle of A Baoa Qu where Amuro and Char destroyed each other's mobile suit through fierce fighting, and then continued fighting with side arms and eventually a bloody sword duel. The fight eventually stopped when Sayla Mass rushed into the room, but not before the two stabbed each other (Amuro in the arm and Char through his helmet, resulting in what subsequently became his trademark forehead scar).

Amuro is the first known Newtype pilot in the Earth Federation due to his piloting of the RX-78-2 Gundam and the televising of one of his battles in Side 6 space, where he shoots down 9 Rick Doms in a matter of merely 3 minutes.

Zeta Gundam

Amuro was placed under house arrest shortly after the war due to the government's mistrust of Newtypes. While he lived in a luxurious mansion (possibly paid for by either royalties from patenting his Haro design as popular toys, his parent's inheritance as noted by Emma Sheen, or abundant war pensions for his military service) and was officially free to come and go as he pleased, Amuro's house servants were actually government agents assigned to keep track of his movements. Amuro worked as a trainer/adviser in the Cheyenne Mobile Suit Academy up until the time of the Gryps Conflict. He suffered from chronic combat fatigue, as commented by Emma Sheen and Beltorchika Irma, likely from his traumatic experience during the One Year War and the sense of guilt over killing Lalah Sune.

During the Gryps Conflict, a pregnant Fraw Bow, with her three adopted children, came to visit Amuro. They managed to re-ignite Amuro's fighting spirit and helped him escape from his government handlers. After joining the Karaba (AEUG's earth-bound ally), Amuro became a key figure within the group, leading several crucial missions, including the attack on the Titans' base in Mount Kilimanjaro and the seizing of Federation's Congress Building in Dakar. He later went to space to fight the Neo Zeon (which was mentioned by Hayato Kobayashi, but not depicted, in Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ). After the first Neo Zeon movement, Amuro joins the Earth Federation's Londo Bell group led by Bright Noa, and served as the combat squad commander.

Char's Counterattack

During the second Neo-Zeon movement, Amuro is assigned to the battleship Ra Cailum, Londo Bell's flagship, as the leader of the ship's mobile suit squads. Amuro initially pilots the RGZ-91 Re-GZ, but despite managing to hold his fight against the funnel-equipped Char and Gyunei altogether (and critically damaging Gyunei's Jagd Doga), Amuro was unable to stop Neo-Zeon dropping Luna V on the Federation's Lhasa headquarter. Traveling to the Moon, Anaheim Electronics soon delivers to him the RX-93 Nu Gundam, a highly advanced mobile suit largely designed by Amuro himself. Still not having been promoted past the rank of Lieutenant, it is widely believed that his relatively low status in the Earth Federation is a sign of the government's continued mistrust in Newtypes.

At Battle of Axis, after defeating Char's MSN-04 Sazabi in the duel and capturing Char's escape pod, Amuro attempted to single-handedly stop the asteroid from colliding with Earth by pushing it with his Nu Gundam. His action inspired other mobile suits to join in, even Neo-Zeon soldiers. Although he eventually succeeded, the act overloaded Nu Gundam's psychoframe construct. The fates of both Amuro and Char were never revealed in the film, though the novelization of Char's Counterattack confirms both as KIA.

Relationships

Relationship with Lalah

Amuro first met the artificial Newtype girl on the lakeside of Side 6, and immediately developed a bonding. He later sensed Lalah Sune's Newtype ability when fighting Char's Gelgoog in Side 5's Texas Colony, and came back to White Base in an abnormally different mood. Their encounter ended tragically when Amuro accidentally killed Lalah when she flew in and blocked Amuro's critical strike towards Char with her Elmeth mobile armor.

Amuro and Lalah's relationship is most likely a platonic one. Being an emerging Newtype, Amuro often felt lonely and struggled to achieve real understanding from his fellow crews. Lalah, also a Newtype, was the first person Amuro could truly relate himself to. As a result, Amuro hated Char deeply for sending Lalah into war. He often reminisced over Lalah's death, feeling guilty to the point he refused to return to space in the fear of seeing Lalah's ghost. After he finally got over his guilt, they on occasions had spiritual conversations, which left a personality influence and disrupted Amuro's relationships with other female admirers such as Beltorchika Irma, Chan Agi and Quess Paraya. Amuro apparently is the only individual who has such a profound bonding to Lalah, as Char is never shown to have such level of spiritual connection in the TV series or the movie.

Relationship with Sayla

Though not explicitly stated in the series, it is implied that Amuro develops a close relationship with fellow crew member Sayla Mass. Both have been thrust into the One Year War and both come to learn that they are Newtypes. At the end of the series, Amuro and Sayla discover that they have the ability to communicate telepathically to each other. When Amuro and Char engage in vengeful combat at A Baoa Qu, Sayla openly shouts for them not to continue fighting, worried that either or both of them will be killed.

The novelization of Mobile Suit Gundam is even more obvious about a romance between Amuro and Sayla. Some time after they are both assigned to White Base, Amuro asks Sayla out to dinner. The two of them eat and chat, and discuss what it's like to be Newtypes. Later, Sayla visits Amuro in his quarters after-hours and the two of them have sex, thus starting a very intense relationship between them. When Amuro is killed by Char's mobile suit forces at the end of the story, Amuro's mind takes one last moment to reach out to Sayla's and expresses his love for her, along with his regret at not being able to spend his life with her. Sayla returns the affection and later tells her brother that he killed the man she loved. At the end of the war, Sayla communicates to Amuro's consciousness, and he tells her that he is with her.

Cultural significance

Although Amuro is not as popular a character as his rival Char Aznable,[4] he is just as well-known and is synonymous with Gundam as a whole in many ways. Amuro's exploits between the One Year War and the Gryps conflict are largely a mystery, as are his general exploits during the Gryps Conflict and first Neo Zeon movement while going on many missions for the Karaba behind the scenes of Zeta Gundam and ZZ Gundam.

Although Amuro had no role in the OVA series Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket, the mobile suit RX-78 Gundam NT-1 was designed to replace his increasingly inefficient RX-78-2.[5]

His exploits during these times, similarly to Char's unknown exploits, are enthusiastically explored by fans and artists alike. The 2001 CGI short Green Divers, shows that Amuro fought in his own Zeta Gundam, marked by his signature "A" logo and painted in pure white with patches of bluish purple (arguably his signature custom colors akin to Char's red and pink) during the later stages of the Gryps Conflict and presumably during the first Neo Zeon movement.

Amuro also is said to have piloted an MSZ-006A1, the prototype in the Z Plus series mobile suits, but this was supposedly a marketing scheme by Anaheim Electronics to push sales of the MS line. Amuro piloting his own Zeta Gundam (especially in Episode 9 of Gundam Evolve) helps prove this, although one never knows. It is possible that he may have piloted a Z Plus during the first Neo Zeon movement, as it is never officially stated where he was or what he did during that particular time. This is an example of Amuro's very strong presence in the Gundam mythos, as equally present an entity as his rival Char.

An EFSF military outfit was once used on a poster to encourage Japanese people to vote, and News articles refer it as the Amuro style election poster, since the actor used is a stunt actor used in place of the voice actor of Amuro Ray.[6]

Amuro Ray, was recognized as a culturally significant subject by the nation of Japan on October 23, 2000, with the inclusion of the suit and of the main pilot on two stamps in the 20th Century Stamp Series[7].

Amuro, along with five other notable mecha and pilots from the various Gundam series, were recognized in the second set of "Anime Heroes and Heroines" stamps, released in Japan in 2005[8].

Other media

Amuro Ray and Gundam are both playable characters from the start in Dynasty Warriors: Gundam and Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 2 with Nu Gundam playable from the start as well.

Amuro is considered one of the stalwarts of the Super Robot Wars series of video games, despite not appearing in all of the incarnations of the series. He is seen as the archetype of the Real Robot pilot, a reluctant hero thrust into war at the controls of a powerful prototype weapon. As a result, he is ranked along with Kouji Kabuto and Ryouma Nagare as the premiers of their respective archetypes (Amuro representing Real Robots, Kouji representing Super Robots and Ryouma representing Transforming/Combining Robots). In fact, most of his appearances in the more recent SRW games featuring U.C. timeline Gundam has him being revered and respected by other anime characters as a legendary pilot and soldier.

In games which include both Amuro and Evangelion, Misato Katsuragi often has a crush on Amuro (this is a seiyuu in-joke, common in many of the games, referring to their seiyuus' role as Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Kamen).

References

  1. ^ According to Tem Ray's profile in Gundam Musou/Dynasty Warriors: Gundam, he met an "unceremonious end", suggesting that he did die from his fall down a flight of stairs.
  2. ^ Otona no Gundam (Adult's Gundam), Character profile, P. 108
  3. ^ Dynasty Warriors Gundam 2, file 1 of Personal History, "Born in Prince Rupert, West Coast of North America"
  4. ^ Otona no Gundam (Adult's Gundam), P. 242, The popularity of Gundam that lasted for over a quarter century is not from protagonists like Amuro and Kamille, it is from Char Aznable, sometimes an arch-enemy blocking in front of the protagonist, and sometimes a teacher fighting along with them. ISBN 978-4-8222-6317-1
  5. ^ Gundam Officials
  6. ^ Gizmodo Japan, You are all heroes
  7. ^ Japan Philatelic Society Foundation, The 20th Century Stamp Series 15
  8. ^ Japan Philatelic Society Foundation, Animation Hero and Heroine Series II "Gundam"







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