Well, it seems I have to reestablish this thread. Without further ado, here are my personal favorites, with some additions. Please note all characters introduced in SEED are judged only by their portrayal in SEED; massive Character Derailment for Destiny.
1. Kira Yamato. Arguably the Cosmic Era's greatest pilot, with his friend Athrun effectively his equal. Despite his unusual genemods, even for a Coordinator, he's a very down to Earth guy. I have no patience at all with people calling him a crybaby; it should be remembered that in every single case, his reaction is perfectly appropriate and very human. Nor is he a coward; he's from a neutral nation, and the little matter of his best friend being a ZAFT elite complicates things. He is also not a pacifist; anyone who believes otherwise needs to rewatch Jachin Due. He may be reluctant to kill, but when it becomes necessary, he does not hesitate.
And for heaven's sake, enough with comparing Kira to Amuro Ray! Both characters have their merits, and in point of fact, Amuro takes longer to mature than Kira does. Kira's over most of his angst (the principal exception being Athrun) in three weeks. Amuro, by contrast, at one point steals the Gundam to go off and sulk.
2. Athrun Zala. Kira's best friend, and an incredible pilot in his own right. Very straightforward, and as loyal a friend as one could ask for. My main gripe as far as SEED is concerned is his pairing; I've never liked Athrun/Cagalli.
3. Cagalli Yula Athha. My favorite female character. A bit on the hotheaded side, true, but has a good heart. A skilled pilot who sadly didn't get much opportunity. I've long thought making her and Kira siblings was a mistake; it comes off as a clumsy imitation of Luke and Leia of Star Wars fame. Cagalli and Kira connect better than just about anyone else I've seen in the series.
4. Murrue Ramius. My favorite Gundam ship captain to date. Maybe her humanistic side gets in the way at times, but she's a born leader, very gifted at inspiring her people.
5. Mu La Flaga. Resident comic relief, yet an ace pilot. Make the impossible possible indeed, including surviving an antimatter blast, one of the very few things I like about Destiny. Even if they did take way too long to give him his memories back.
6. Yzak Joule. I initially disliked him, mainly because of the shuttle incident, but I learned better. Hotshot pilot, too hot-tempered, to be sure. His performance at Jachin is simply amazing.
7. Dearka Elsman. Comes across as an arrogant jackass at first, but he gets better. Watching him come to the Archangel's aid at Orb was a delight, and his relationship with Miriallia had potential. I was very annoyed to see him in the background in Destiny, and in a ZAKU no less. He should've been in the Buster. And Mir shouldn't have dumped him.
8. Miriallia Haw. My favorite of the Heliopolis gang after Kira himself. A nice girl, but don't make her mad if you value your life.
9. Rau Le Creuset. My favorite masked character (followed very closely indeed by Zechs Merquise). I do not consider him truly evil. This is not to say I condone his actions, nor do I believe killing him was a mistake. I simply believe him to be one of the very few cases for the insanity defense; he has very strong physiological reasons.
10. Shinn Asuka. He's the biggest example aside from the returning characters of just how badly Destiny went awry. I admittedly find his attitude irritating, but he's not really a bad guy. More to the point, he had potential; my belief is that he should have followed Athrun's character arc from the first series. In other words, initially an antagonist, but eventually sees the light and defects with his new Gundam. Oh, and Stellar should have lived; Shinn's been through sheer hell. Give the kid a break. He deserves better than being Durandal's puppet for the bulk of the show.12/3/2010 #1
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