Any commander who names their ship Lili Marleen is already a winner in my book.
Given the rather insipid amounts of anime not meant for a crazy militantly religious zealot this season I have been taking a merry crusade down the old back log and browsing through the archives while painting madly in order to have less models in boxes. During one such revisiting crusade I came upon Gundam 0083 though a series overview at this point is pretty much moot since 0083 is considered one of the weaker links in the UC saga (G-Savior did not exist any reference to it having existed is a lie). Nevertheless even the least of the UC series is better than some of the other Gundam series made…mostly because while Kou was a whiny punk, Gato was an ass, and Nina was a bitch, there was an ensemble of supporting characters that made it much more tolerable, like South Burning, Monsha, Captain Synapse, Mora and her crew, and most notably Cima Garahau. Besides when was the last time you saw grunt suits continuously taking names and kicking serious ass? Minor characters in anime are a vital ingredient in any series, it never hurts to have a good amount of back up and if the mains don’t hold up they might at least make the series tolerable.
It seems that time was not kind to Cima.
Sad to say that what Cima really looked like and how she was portrayed in 0083 showed much disparity.
Lady Cima does not tolerate jokes about her age…
I think that minor characters should be to the mains what artillery units are to frontline forces. Powerful enough to help hammer awe into the audience, but they should not be relied upon to carry a series. The latter usually indicates that the writers have failed at some level. Other than that I am not sure about what specifics should go into a minor character since they should still be unique in their own right, and add a unique point of view to the events of the story without being a nuisance. I do however know an example of what a minor character should be, Cima Garahau.
Cima could bullshit very well.
To show her utter disdain of Gato and Delaz Cima had a fan and sat on tiger skin of an animal she personally strangled.
Cima also fucked up her share of enemy pilots as well, and in suits that weren’t Gundams or Mobile Armors.
Cima Garahau made Gundam 0083 much more enjoyable because she added some insight into the attitudes of the Zeon forces in the wake of the One Year War. While Char had already turned his back on the Principality before, Cima was a former grunt who had her life ruined by those who commanded her. Whereas Delaz and Gato were deluded with the ideals of Zeon cloaked in a veneer of false pride and nobility Cima and her crew were reduced to outcasts due to some of the decisions of the Zeon big wigs who Gato and Delaz served and idealized. Cima and her crew unwittingly committed a war crime after their superiors lied to them about the nature of their mission, and from then on they were criminals after gassing a colony. To add insult to injury the big bad Zeon death ray was built using their home colony as the basis for the space laser. The laser was a huge non-factor in the war and did little to avert defeat at the hands of Federation. Labeled as criminals and made homeless by their social superiors like Gato and Delaz, Cima and her crew were forced into piracy because it was the only way they could survive. Hunted by the Federation and shunned by the remnants of Zeon the bitter years hardened Cima to the point that she felt no loyalty to the old cause which robbed her of everything and deceived her into doing things that continued to haunt her dreams.
Cima was the mayfly of space, Zeon took from her everything, her home, her honor, and her youth.
As you can see the scowl wasn’t permanent.
Oh boy some one is going to get some harisen…
The chivalric nature of both Gato and Delaz basically hid their ugly nature behind a fair façade. They were not above using nukes and colony drops to attain their goals attacking both military and civilian targets. They sought to revive a war that they had already lost and were insisting upon more death and more destruction so that the old Principality could be resurrected along the lines the Gihren (arguably the worst of the Zeon heirs) had envisioned. Their blind devotion to their cause made both of them believe that it was impossible for other former Zeon soldiers to betray them and be unwilling to fight for the old cause once more. Both Delaz and Gato experienced the war from a more distant and clean perspective, one was an ace from the palace guard and the other an old man who remained safely on a bridge while grunts like Cima did all the hard work. They suffered probably the least in the One Year War because they still had their pride and a place to flee to, sure the lost friends and family, but Cima and her men lost that and more. Cima and her men had nothing once the war was over and only had a life of being fugitives to look forward to. It was this social disparity that added a new dynamic to the formerly monolithic entity that was Zeon, while Char was probably doing his own thing, defeat allowed the differences between the big wigs and the grunts still nominally Zeon to differentiate themselves.
Meeting with Delaz and listen to the old bint talks was extremely taxing.
Gato and Delaz actually accomplishing their goals?
Cima wore her ugliness in the open, while her character design left much to be desired underneath it all was an old soldier who had come to hate the old cause and the lies that surrounded it. Delaz and Gato were not fighting for freedom they were fighting for the old order and restarting a war that they had lost. Grunts like Cima fought as hard as they could, the Zeon defeat was not due to poor soldiery, but by daft decisions by the higher ups who doomed efforts on the ground. Nevertheless Cima was devious and smart enough to use Operation Stardust as a means to rid the universe of the same liars and cheats that made her a criminal and made things worse for the colonies. On the surface Delaz and Gato were being some what noble their cause was already lost and its true horror only hidden by the fact that their victims would be faceless masses. Cima not only set her sights on killing Delaz personally but also warned the Federation about the colony drop and thus, perhaps unintentionally, tried to save the lives of civilians who Gato and Delaz were targeting. She wanted her revenge to be the death blow to all those part of the Zeon Old Guard who had brought nothing of benefit to the colonies they were supposedly fighting for. Cima tried to do the right thing and her failure due largely in part to the Albion’s continued hostility towards her fleet. She died tragically despite being one of first to realize just how stupid Delaz and Gato were and how no sane person would want anything to do with the old Principality.
Delaz’s success only led to the creation of the Titans and did little to revive the old spirit of Zeon. Not even Haman and her Axis Zeon movement enjoyed the support of the spacenoids who became disillusioned with the lies of the old Zeon hegemony. Only Char was able to rally the old base for one final push against the Federation. So in the end Cima’s actions were vindicated. She saw through the old lies of the Principality and fought against those who tried to revive the lost cause. While she was motivated more by a personal grudge than any sense of duty to protect those who could not protect themselves, she did add to the richness of the Universal Century continuity by putting a face on the poor Zeon rank and file that were abused by the aristocratic leaders of Zeon and Neo-Zeon movements. Gato and Delaz represented the lies and horror of Zeon while Cima represented the poor abused grunt who wanted nothing to do with the old cause. Nevertheless the chivalric nature of both Delaz and Gato gave them a better reputation than Cima because it was Cima who was willing to do the right thing even if the right thing involved betraying the same people who had betrayed her scant years before. For Cima there was no more glory and honor to be found in war only death and vengeance, which is a message about real war rather than the ideal of war.
That is why I think Cima is a good example of a minor character she was unlike anyone else in her series and added a view point that was unique and later expanded upon with subsequent UC Gundam series.