Unlike that honor these do not require a beheading…
With the passing of 2009 we thought that it was time to recognize those who showed individual competence during the course of the year. While it is the habit of many to judge series here we prefer to recognize the characters that made their shows a little bit better even as their series was weighted down by anchors that exceed the weight of Big Zam. While there are many who are worthy we decided to only bestow honors to those who gallantry we have borne witness to so while air dates may vary, they are just as deserving if not more so than some of the scum that crept forth from the dirt this year. After much deliberation and table pounding we have finalized the list for those exceptional few who made 2009 so much more bearable and outright enjoyable. These are but the first in a long list of names that have scrawled their names upon the pages of history with the blood of their enemies.
The Reinhard/Yang Wen-li Distinguished Service Cross
Origins: While Yang Wen-li and Reinhard have long since passed from this world there is still a need to give due recognition to exceptional commanders who rise above their respective series and demonstrate a superior grasp of strategy, operational art, and tactics that would have both Yang and Reinhard eager to recruit them into their personal staffs. Thus was created this award in the 35th Century (1982) to honor superb commanders of formations large and small who display tactical skill and outstanding leadership in times of great crisis.
Brigadier General Katie Colasour – To put it simply Katie was in the wrong series, at the wrong time, and on the fated to lose side. Surely she deserved better than to have her plans thwarted by pixie dust and havoc physics, but at least while she had screen time it felt like it was almost Macross with Patrick trying to show his undying love for her. Unlike most of the cast she had a fully functioning mind in stark contrast to her closest rival who was getting drunk and was refusing to put out for the booze she got. Still, for winning out in the end in life Katie is here by awarded the Reinhard/Yang Wen-li Distinguished Service Cross for conspicuous gallantry in the face of a plot armored foe, and for refusing to surrender in the face of unbeatable odds or worse join them in a idiotic Three Ships Alliance or something to that effect. She demonstrated competent tactical thinking despite having technical inferiority that only grew more disparate with time and managed her men well, under the most horrid of story conditions considering she was saddled with Andrei. On the behalf of mein Kaiser Reinhard-sama and The Honorable Fleet Admiral Wen-li have a wonderful honeymoon, General.
Lt. Arleen Nazon – Having been betrayed by the man who supposedly loved her Nazon was condemned as a criminal for the deed of one dirty Zeke. In her quest for revenge she turned her understrength platoon from a few mechanics to top class pilots that helped make Operation Odessa a resounding success. While often the first to be sent in as cannon fodder they adapted well under the command of Major “Giggles” Colmatta whose leadership is rather suspect. Having accepted that death was a distinct possibility she turned herself and her mild mannered mechanics into berserkers with exceptional cunning that got the better of many a Zeke. While the Zekes already had the data from her beloved RTX-440 that did not deter her in the least as she punched a hole right through Zeke lines to wreak havoc upon their artillery. For demonstrating superior leadership in leading her RTX-440 platoon under the most dire of combat conditions during Operation Odessa and having destroyed 13 Zakus, 6 Magella Attack Tanks, countless Zeke infantry, two Doms, one Gouf, and two Dabudes. Sadly this honor is a posthumous one as Arleen did not live to see the end of the war though her sacrifice and that of her unit resulted in a significant loss of Zeke heavy equipment and personnel.
Grand Duke Jouslain Tytania – The clear successor for the title of Grand Duke of the House of Tytania. Gifted diplomat, generous and kind leader to his fellows, and most dangerous enemy to his foes. He began his rise to distinction with swift political action to end the crisis caused by Ariabart’s unexpected defeat by rebels. Continuing on, he incorporated brilliant minds that were dismissed by his peers into a tight knit group that could act in all manners necessary to the conduct of politics and war. Lord Ariabart, a solid commander that was sneered at by his rivals for one unforeseeable defeat; Princess Lydia, viewed by others as merely a hostage to ensure her planet’s loyalty, but in fact a valuable social asset; and Lord Bal’ami, the son of a traitor who was held in the same contempt as his father by others was turned into a valued source of ideas and shows promise as a future commander and leader. All were brought under Lord Jouslain’s influence and protection, showing his vain and impulsive rivals that it takes a team to run an empire, not just a leader.
Oberstein Order of the Velvet Glove
Origins: Created to honor all those who work indirectly, get inside the heads of their enemies, and manipulate friends and foes alike for the greater good. These skilled men and women often go unrecognized by the nature of their work, but they are often of the highest importance to their causes, whether it be galactic empire management, yuri shipping, pursuit of True Love and Friendship, or many other worthy causes.
Tsumugi – Sometimes your own side needs a little manipulation to make the most of things, and Tsumugi used her gentle facade of an oujousama to quietly steer her friends towards The Yuri. Skillful and elegant, Tsumugi secretly worked to optimize the Light Music Club without ever betraying her intent. Innocent comments such as ‘I think that’s alright’ were used to take conversations in a definite shipping direction without suggesting Tsumugi as the initiator of such thoughts. And her ability to call upon vast resources helped bring the club together and provide them with the training-vacation time necessary to BE FRIENDLY. An outstanding manipulator and schemer if there ever was one, leading to her deserved nickname ‘the Machiavelli of Moe.’
Ayane Yano – One of the best analysists in modern shoujo intelligence, Ayane is currently leading a team that has scored several successes against Ume Kurumizawa and her war on True Love and Friendship. While Sawako is out on the front lines and Chizu itches to escalate the conflict, Yano has quietly worked behind the scenes supporting the effort. She was the first among personnel in the field to warn of the threat posed by the evil Vichy-tan, and the first to take action. Adept at gathering HUMINT, she scoured the area for both friendly and hostile witnesses to Kurumi’s actions to piece together a complete picture of her methods of attack. Her recent actions including [SPECIFICS REDACTED DUE TO SENSITIVE NATURE OF ONGOING OPERATIONS] have earned her this commendation and our gratitude.
Kana Minami – Good supervisors are just as invaluable as the higher profile field agents and analysts, and Kana Minami has demonstrated great skill in managing several covert operations. The continuing Operation Mako-Cakes has been her responsibility since its inception, and she has also overseen liaison efforts with Fujioka and Tomo as well as numerous shorter duration operations and actions during her years of service. To this day Operation Mako-cakes continues with its cover intact, despite extremely difficult situations that would have compromised Makoto’s identity many times over if it had not been for her quick thinking and intimate knowledge of those she handles.
Baron Ashura – Despite being the butt of a long string of jokes Baron Ashura nevertheless got the last laugh with a single act of subtle treachery that led to the demise of Dr. Hell and made all the efforts of the titular heroes all for naught. Baron Ashura was never the strongest and despite numerous attempts at defeating Mazinger Z he inevitably failed each and every time. He was made into a traitor to his own people by Dr. Hell but his love for Mycenae was so deep that he endured every disgrace and beating just to fool his enemies into underestimating him. He fooled the smartest woman in all of Mazinger Z into taking him in and deceived Koji into thinking that he was an ally while he waited for the time to strike back decisively. Baron Ashura not only made up for his past treachery but also brought about an invasion to avenge the loss of Mycenae when the heroes thought that they had finally triumphed. For treacherously ensuring that there will be a sequel, the person we least suspected, Baron Ashura, is hereby awarded the Velvet Glove for manipulating the heroes into destroying all that Zeus had fought and died for.
Roy Focker Cross
Origins: Following the heroic sacrifice of Roy Focker in defense of the SDF Macross on 30 November 2009, UN high command designed and began to award the Roy Focker Cross for service and sacrifice. Sometimes the cause of righteousness must be watered by the blood of brave men and women, and their supreme sacrifices are honored by this most somber of awards.
Prince Ali al-Sarshes – An ace pilot who also took the initiative in rallying forces to fight the terrorist group Celestial Being for many years, he made the ultimate sacrifice for the U.N. during the final battle of the war. He served when called in the service of several of the pre-Federation armies, both in and out of uniform, was instrumental in the destruction of 2/3 of the Gundam Throne forces, and without hesitation joined the forces of the Federation and A-LAWS when they were created. While stalking known Irish Republican Army terrorist Lyle ‘Lockon Stratos’ Dylandy, Ali al-Sarshes was killed by a chance shot, no man ever able to best him in honorable combat. Despite Celestial Being remnant claims to the contrary, his fatal wounds did not match the weapons signatures of any CB weapon used by Dylandy. He is survived by his sister Alphard al-Sarshes.
Kikiyo – A unit commander, superb markswoman, and healer for many years in the fight against Naraku, she ignored her wounds to save Miroku and take the fight to the hated Naraku despite the extreme personal risk. Waging her own personal war against the terrible foe for several years, she was the first to develop the Shikon Purification Strategy and brought others into her plan. Putting aside her rival’s lack of worthiness in both combat and love, she tirelessly worked to assist all who oppose Naraku, even when they did not understand the necessity of her methods. In the end she gave her remaining life force in the operation to purify the Shikon Jewel while Naraku was attempting to inhabit it. The war continues, but her sacrifice will never be forgotten.
Herman Yandell – The age of Zeke ascendancy was a hard one for the poor soldiers who made up the EFGF, they fought against a technically superior enemy that pushed them to their limits of endurance and courage. This long and bitter fight had caused numerous wounds on Lt. Yandell, both psychological and physical, unlike those pretty boy engineers in the Zeke wasted weapons program. Despite the personal hardships, his grief, and his endless nightmares Yandell never backed down from a fight. While the Type 61 was no match for the Zakus they faced, it did not stop Herman Yandell from taking the fight to the enemy and in his final moment of supreme triumph felled the White Ogre. Sadly his victory was cut short by a Zeke RPG team, while Yandell and his beloved Type 61 have gone into the mists of time, his name will forever remain on the honor roll of the honored dead who have gave all they had and more in the fight against the vile Zekes.
Arleen Nazon, Karppi, and Kuzuwayo – Operation Odessa was a hard fought campaign that cost many a Feddie his life to expel the hated Zeke invaders from the Earth, among them were three engineers who were betrayed and had the blame thrust upon them by a traitor they once called friend. Despite having years of work undone by a base act of treachery, and despite being relegated to becoming penal troops neither Nazon, Karppi, nor Kuzuwayo cowered in some jail cell to weep of the injustice that was inflicted upon them. Instead they sallied forth with all the courage they could muster to endure the insults and get back into the fight at a most important hour. None of them had any previous combat experience yet they rose to the challenge and met it tread first and built a fearsome reputation for getting the job done. The swathes of dead and dying Zekes was a testament to their righteous fury. But it was during their first mission with the 44th Independent Composite Brigade that they met a a tragic end, but their deaths were not in vain as they successfully annihilated an entire Zeke Battalion and their supporting heavy artillery in their last charge. Even when confronted by a traitor professing love and friendship they did not heed his lies and blew him straight to hell where all Zekes go when they die. For their tenacious efforts between the time of their sentencing to the their last charge they were granted amnesty and the Focker Cross for performing above and beyond the call of duty and making the supreme sacrifice under conditions that were harder than they needed to be.
Lieutenant Colonel Barack Ginin – The war against GN Terror cost many good men their lives, but one in particular stands out for his sins were few and his conduct noble through and through. Unlike the terrorists he did battle with, Ginin was never the one to moan every other episode about how Kataron had killed his wife in a terror attack, and maintained his composure in front of his subordinates including one very lost Louise. His loyalty was first and foremost to the men who served with him and despite Louise’s lackluster performance early on spared no effort in giving her praise when she did well and never failed to bail her out when the rookie got herself in trouble. While terrorists such as Klaus and Shirin are hailed as heroes for bombing civilians, Ginin was condemned as a criminal for merely killing members of a terrorist movement. While the quality of Ginin’s beloved Federation might have been less than that of the Federation that Yandell, MacKenzie, Nazon, Burning, Monsha, Sanders, Bate, Synapse, Adel, Amada, Joshua, and many others defended, his courage and bearing were equal. To set the record straight and to honor a man who made the supreme sacrifice so that his team might live and Katie’s operation might succeed it is with great pride and sorrow that we are to award the Focker Cross to one of the few true heroes of Gundam 00.