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Alfred Izuruha (アルフレッド・イズルハ Arufureddo Izuruha?), or simply Al (アル Aru?), is the protagonist of Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket.

Personality & Character

Al is an eleven-year-old boy who lives in Ribo, Side 6 with his parents. He is an average student and known for getting into mischief with his friends Chay and Telcott. His hobbies include photography and video recording. He is a very poor student, and is openly disinterested with improving his grades. A compulsive liar, Al will frequently fabricate facts or stories in order to make himself look better, or to prevent himself from getting in trouble.

Living in a neutral colony, Al developed a romantic view of warfare, and is fascinated by the conflict that raged outside his peaceful haven, especially the mighty mobile suits.[1]

He has a distant relationship with his father, who works for the Earth Federation and is often absent. His next-door neighbor is Christina Mackenzie, who is a big sister-like figure to him.

Al's personality takes a drastic change following the events of the OVA. Having been exposed to the horrors of war and having lost someone he genuinely cared for, he no longer relishes the idea of mobile suit combat or warfare.

History

As a naive young boy who lives in the Ribo colony of neutral Side 6, Al has little real idea about the war outside that is ravaging the Earth Sphere, and is fascinated by tales of mobile suit combats. He has a special interest in Zeon's Zaku mobile suits, which he regards as "cool". One day, Al meets a rookie Zeon pilot, Bernard "Bernie" Wiseman, whose Zaku is disabled and crashes after a short battle with Federation forces in the colony. Al develops a quick relationship with Bernie (who claims to be just 1 kill from becoming an ace) by exchanging photos he took of the Federation's suspicious cargo for Bernie's Zeon badge. After Bernie returns to Zeon Al makes frequent visits to Wiseman's Zaku, occasionally playing around in the cockpit.

Al quickly takes notice when Wiseman returns, now as a member of the Cyclops Team sent to dispose of the RX-78NT-1 Gundam "Alex" as part of Operation Rubicon. Al initially tries to tail the Cyclops Team's trucks, but he is hit by Gabriel Ramirez Garcia for his troubles. In response, Al tells the local police of the Cyclops Team's suspicious activities and goes to their factory. Once it becomes apparent that Garcia is about to shoot the officer, Al quickly hugs Bernie claiming that Wiseman was his "long lost brother". Annoyed, the officer leaves while the Cyclops Team's leader, Steiner Hardy, demands an explanation.

Upon being questioned, it is revealed that Al had originally taken the pictures of the Federation's project and that he wished to join the war. Steiner proceeds to give Al a badge to make him an honorary member before ordering Bernie to continue watching Al.

Later that night, Bernie is mistaken for a prowler by Christina Mackenzie, and Al covers for Bernie by lying that he was a stepbrother from one of his father's previous relationships. In the hopes of helping the team, Al and Bernie sneak into the Federation facility in order to take more pictures of the Alex.

With the Cyclops Team's MS-18E Kämpfer now complete, Operation Rubicon takes full swing as the unit is unleashed on the Federation forces while the rest of the Cyclops Team destroys the Alex from within. The entire operation goes awry, and Al witnesses first-hand the true nature and destruction of war as several civilians are caught in the crossfire. Visiting the Federation facility, Al is surprised to see a wounded Bernie carrying the dying Captain Steiner after their failure to destroy the Alex.

Thanks to Operation Rubicon's failure, Bernie confesses to Al that the colony will now face a nuclear strike unless the Alex is destroyed before Christmas Day. Ultimately, Bernie chooses to flee the colony, much to Al's anger as he shouts at Bernie for simply running away. After Bernie leaves, Al attempts to warn the local police of the impending attack but is met with deaf ears after his previous lie to the officer. While pondering over what to do, Al receives a surprise message from Bernie, having returned to defeat the Alex and avert the attack. Al helps Bernie repair his broken Zaku and set up booby traps for his impending battle. Before Bernie departs to fight the Alex, he passes a disc for Al with instructions to view it only if he is killed.

On the day of the battle, Al goes with his mother to pick up his father from the spaceport, only to be told that a nuclear-armed Zeon fleet aiming for Ribo has been successfully intercepted by the Federation forces. Al, realizing that Bernie no longer needed to risk the fight, rushes to the site and tries to stop Bernie from fighting Gundam Alex. He only arrives to witness Bernie already locked in combat with the Alex, and Al makes several vain attempts to catch Bernie's attention. The shell-shocked Al is horrified to see the Alex destroy the upper half of Bernie's Zaku, incinerating Bernie instantaneously. To further add insult to injury, he also sees that the Alex's wounded pilot was none other than Chris.

After the battle, Al plays the disk that Bernie left for him. Bernie tells him not to hate the Gundam pilot (Christina) or the Federation as they are merely fighting for what they believe in. Later, as he heads back to school, which was damaged during Christina and Bernie's fight, Al encounters Christina as she is getting ready to head back to Earth. When she asks Al to say goodbye to Bernie for her, Al chokes back tears and tells her that he'll be sorry as he missed her, keeping the tragic fate of Bernie to himself.

Later at the school, Al breaks down in tears while listening to his principal give a speech about the costs of war, which he realizes full well isn't cool, even though sometimes inevitable.

Trivia

  • Alfred's original Japanese voice actor, Daisuka Namikawa, was a child actor at the time of recording; because his voice deepened over the years, the role was recast with Kumiko Higa for future appearances. However, Namikawa would return to the franchise as the narrator for War in the Pocket scenarios in the SD Gundam G Generation game series.
  • Al, Bernie and Chris are all referenced by an identical group of characters during Gunpla Eve.

Gallery

References

  1. Simmons, Mark and Wright, Benjamin (2002) Animerica Gundam Official Guide (p.31)
Earth Federation Christina Mackenzie | Stuart | Richard Lumunba
Principality of Zeon Killing | Von Helsing | Charlie | Rugens | Carioca
Cyclops Team Bernard Wiseman | Steiner Hardy | Gabriel Ramirez Garcia | Mikhail Kaminsky | Andy Strauss
Civilians Alfred Izuruha | Chay | Telcott | Dolores Hayes | Mrs. Mackenzie | Mr. Mackenzie | Michiko Izuruha | Ems Izuruha
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