Flay Allster (フレイ・アルスター Furei Arusutā?) is a character that appears in the anime Mobile Suit Gundam SEED. During the First Alliance-PLANT War, she was among the civilian volunteers aboard the Archangel along with her then fiancé, Sai Argyle.
Personality & Character
Flay is the daughter of the Atlantic Federation's Vice Foreign Minister George Allster, Sai Argyle's arranged fiancée, and a technical college student at the space colony Heliopolis. She's shown to be an attractive and popular girl within the colony and (prior to the events of the series) presents herself as a carefree person with a "spoiled princess" personality. Unfortunately, her personality will dramatically and negatively fluctuate from her continued exposure to the war between the Earth Alliance and ZAFT.
Flay was never a fan of Coordinators and felt uneasy around them; the war and the attack on Heliopolis would further drive that anxiety to racism as she feared the Coordinators as monsters. During her stay aboard the Archangel, she at times freaked out in the presence of a Coordinator, even going as far as exaggerating a situation to convince others that Coordinators are bad. While not part of Blue Cosmos, she's a self-admitted sympathizer of their ideals that genetic engineering to enhance humanity is wrong. Her personality further deteriorated after the death of her father, radicalizing her dislike towards Coordinators into hate/racism and vowing vengeance.
Though she became mentally and emotionally fragile, Flay retained clarity over her vendetta against the Coordinators. Using her romantic ties with Kira Yamato, she manipulated him to fight against his fellow Coordinators. After time passed though, her feelings towards Kira were indicated to have become genuine, to the point that Flay began to regret her actions. After reaching the Earth Alliance's base JOSH-A, Flay officially became recognized as a true soldier of the Alliance: her tenure, however, was short-lived as the base was attacked and was captured by Rau Le Creuset, who had later taken her in as a guest. After regaining her emotional sanity and grasping a better perspective of the conflict, she matured and realized her actions had lasting consequences upon the people she affected; she redeemed herself by alerting the Archangel of an imminent attack by the Dominion. At Jachin Due, Flay's development was shown when she was disturbed by Blue Cosmos leader Muruta Azrael's comments about how he wanted to exterminate all Coordinators, and positively thought of Kira, Le Creuset, and Yzak (showing that she had overcome her bigotry).
Skills & Abilities
Flay is naturally talented in the emotional and psychological manipulation of people. She's capable of extending her emotional insecurities onto others, inciting public unrest amongst her peers; she's also capable of using her womanly charms to emotionally manipulate people to do her bidding. After she was converted into a military officer for the Alliance, she was trained in the basics of sidearms, but she has a very basic level of training, lacking any serious military skills due to the expedient need for officers rushed into the front-line. In later parts of the series, she was able to work as a temporary communications officer on the Dominion.
Flay lived on Orb's space colony Heliopolis with her fiancé, Sai Argyle, although the marriage was arranged by their parents. On January 25, CE 71, Flay received a letter from Sai. When, ZAFT invaded Heliopolis, its populace was prompted to seek shelter in the lifeboats and Flay was separated from her friends for the duration of the attack.
Eventually, the colony gave way and imploded, causing the lifeboats to eject. However, the lifeboat Flay boarded had malfunctioned and was floating adrift in space. Kira Yamato, who was piloting the mobile suit Sword Strike Gundam, retrieved it and brought it onto the Archangel. As she was helped out of the boat, she noticed Kira and leaped toward him. At first, she presumed she was on a ZAFT ship due to the presence of the Strike, but Kira assured her that they were aboard an Earth Alliance vessel and that their friends are already on board.
After evading ZAFT's Le Creuset Team several times, the Archangel began to run low on supplies, requiring the ship to reluctantly salvage from the wreckage of Junius 7. During the sweep, Kira found a life pod, which he brought on board. The pod door opened in the hanger, with a pink-haired girl and a little spherical robot called Haro inside. The girl introduced herself as Lacus Clyne, a famous singer and the daughter of the current PLANT Supreme Council chairman, Siegel Clyne. Flay later refused to even bring food to Lacus' quarters, afraid that she might get hurt. Miriallia Haw pointed out that Kira was nearby, also a Coordinator; Flay defended that he's different but doesn't trust Lacus, thinking she was from ZAFT. Lacus comes in, correcting her that ZAFT was the military force and that she was actually from the PLANTs. Lacus tried to befriend Flay but was rebuffed, refusing to have anything to do with a Coordinator. As Lacus was escorted back to her room, Kuzzey Buskirk asks if she was with Blue Cosmos; Flay denied it, but explained that she "doesn't dis-agree" with their doctrine that Coordinators aren't natural.
The Archangel proceeded to rendezvous with an escort from the 8th fleet, much to the excitement of Flay, who found out her father was on board one of the cruisers and was eager to reunite with him. However, ZAFT launched an attack on the escort ships, which, shortly thereafter, manically enticed Flay into dragging Lacus to the bridge and threatening to kill her unless ZAFT called off their attack. Unfortunately, the warning came too late as Flay observed the last escort ship being destroyed and her father killed aboard it. Flay blamed Kira for not protecting her father, claiming he was secretly loyal to his fellow Coordinators. She later found out that Kira had been friends with the pilot of the Aegis Gundam (one of the mobile suits that had attacked her father's ship), which may have contributed to her hatred.
Flay decided to enlist in the Earth Alliance when the Archangel rendezvoused with the rest of the 8th Fleet. During the rendezvous, the Le Creuset Team attacked, with Kira nowhere to be found. She attempted to suit up and pilot the Strike Gundam herself, but not before Kira returned, dissuading her from doing so and vowing to protect everyone. 'Moved' by the actions, she kisses Kira and allowed him to do so. However, when the battle went south and Kira was rendered catatonic from re-entry, she decided to take advantage of Kira's state to manipulate him. These actions lead her to break up with Sai, leading Sai to suffer and attempt to show up Kira. She was present during all their battles enroute to JOSH-A. When the Archangel docked at Orb, and the young crew was able to be reunited with their parents, Flay snapped at Kira for trying to pity her, which convinces Kira to end their relationship then.
Shortly after the Archangel left Orb for Alaska, Flay tried to have a talk with Kira, who gently said they could do so once he returned from the current battle. After Kira fought Athrun Zala and couldn't be located, he was labeled "MIA" and everyone on the ship then believed he was dead. Distraught, Flay approached Sai for comfort, telling him that her feelings for Kira were never real. Sai, however, claimed that she was deluding herself. Later, after docking at JOSH-A, she was promoted and transferred to another ship. However, during ZAFT's Operation Spitbreak, she attempted to find her way back to the Archangel, but was abducted by ZAFT commander Rau Le Creuset. This began an eye-opening experience for Flay, who was treated less like a prisoner and began to respect Coordinators.
Later on, during a fight between the Dominion and the Archangel, Rau decided to release Flay to the Dominion. First, Muruta Azrael thought it was a trap, but was dissuaded from this when Flay stated she had the key to ending the war. Azrael ordered Natarle Badgiruel to capture Flay's pod. Kira tried to stop the GAT-X131 Calamity Gundam from taking her to the Dominion, but he was ambushed by both the GAT-X370 Raider Gundam and the GAT-X252 Forbidden Gundam. After Flay was taken into the Dominion, she realized that Kira was the pilot of the ZGMF-X10A Freedom Gundam - the MS she saw when she heard his voice over the radio. And there she reunited with her new superior, Natarle.
Following the Battle of Mendel, Flay joined the crew of the Dominion, becoming the ship's communications officer. Aboard the Dominion's bridge, Flay bore witness to the EA's Peacemaker Taskforce firing nuclear missiles at the space fortress Boaz. After the destruction of Boaz, Flay confided with Natarle that she didn't want to see any more battles, to which Natarle replied to just "stay in her room" because "they're going to see more battles". Flay refused to cower away from the violence like she did previously, and told Natarle she wanted to see Kira and the Archangel, to which she said that there's only a slim chance of seeing them.
During the Second Battle of Jachin Due, Flay tried to contact the Archangel when Azrael pointed a gun at her, threatening to execute those who disobey his order of eliminating all Coordinators, which frightened her. Natarle stood up to Azrael, who was more concerned with the destruction of the PLANTs than GENESIS, and ordered her and the rest of the crew to evacuate the Dominion. As they fled the ship's destruction, Flay told the crew to get to the Archangel.
Flay's shuttle was destroyed by a blast from Rau Le Creuset's ZGMF-X13A Providence, thus ending the young woman's life shockingly right in front of the eyes of Kira Yamato, who had been trying to save her at the time. Afterwards, a scene was shown that illustrated what Flay could have said to Kira, expressing her deep regrets with sincere apologies, and assuring him with great comfort that her true feelings would protect him, referencing what she said at the beginning of their relationship. Feeling that he failed again, Kira goes into SEED mode and goes off to avenge Flay by defeating Le Creuset.
- Flay was friendly to Kira, who had a crush on her, until she learned that he was a Coordinator. Flay initially blamed Kira for her father's death due to him being a Coordinator, and made rude remarks about Coordinators both in and out of his presence. Taking advantage of his kindness and feelings for her, Flay comforted him after he was distraught from Heliopolis civilians being killed in front of him. This resulted in the two having sex and starting a relationship. Kira became more aggressive in battle to protect Flay and more willing to kill fellow Coordinators, while Flay pretended to love him in hopes that he would kill all Coordinators he fought and eventually be killed in battle. During her manipulation of Kira, she emphasized that her "feelings" would protect him. She became jealous when he spent time talking to Cagalli Yula Athha on Earth and tried to show off her relationship with Kira. She expresses true concern for Kira in the following battles. While the Archangel docked in Orb, Kira broke off their relationship, which resulted in her running off in tears. Flay tried to approach Kira to talk and possibly apologize for her behavior, but her attempts are cut short by Kira being called to fight ZAFT.
- Upon Kira's presumed death, Flay was devastated and initially in denial, asking Kuzzey where Kira was despite receiving an answer. Conversing with Sai afterwards made her realize that she truly loved Kira. She then spent much of her time on the Archangel with Birdy, Kira's robotic bird. When she was released by Le Creuset and retrieved by Earth Alliance forces, she was overjoyed to learn that Kira was alive and wanted to rescue her. After Earth Alliance ships under Azrael launched nuclear missiles, she resolved to endure the massive bloodshed that was to come so that she could reunite and have a proper talk with Kira. Upon finally reuniting with Kira, she cried tears of happiness, but was cut short by Le Creuset opening fire on her shuttle. Her last words in the series of what she could have said to Kira were that her true feelings would protect him, acknowledging that despite their early interactions, she did come to truly love him.
- Sai was Flay's fiance as arranged by their parents. After Flay's father was killed, her mental state became unstable. Recognizing that Kira, Sai's friend, was the only one who could protect the Archangel, Flay realized that she could use Kira to kill the other Coordinators, and broke off her engagement to focus on Kira. Sai eventually approach her to talk about their past conversations, which culminated in Flay running to Kira and admitting that she slept with him. Sai felt betrayed by both Kira and Flay, and began to feel inferior to Kira. When Kira is presumed dead, Sai does not take advantage of Flay to resume their relationship and tells her that even though she may not have had feelings for Kira initially, she truly fell in love with Kira due to his kindness. At the end of SEED, Sai is shown to have a civilian job, with pictures of his friends on a wall, along with a picture of just himself and Flay in happier times.
- Flay was convinced that Le Creuset truly disliked the war and desired peace, unaware of his true intentions. She was taken aback by his comments about how nobody was born a soldier. Believing that Le Creuset had a way to end the war, she accepted taking a "key to ending the war" to Earth Alliance forces, not knowing she was actually taking schematics that included ZAFT's N-Jammer Canceller, which in Muruta Azrael's hands, escalated the war to one of extermination. During Azrael's rant about how all Coordinators must be killed, Le Creuset was one of the Coordinators Flay thought of positively, along with Kira and Yzak. Ironically, despite her respect towards him, this was not reciprocated, as Le Creuset mercilessly fired at her shuttle as it headed towards the Archangel, killing her.
Notes & Trivia
- She has a Scottish surname.
- Coincidentally, Houko Kuwashima, voices both Flay Allster in Gundam SEED and Stella Loussier in Gundam SEED Destiny, who share similar fates and appear in their spiritual forms to calm and comfort their love interests at the end of the series.
- In the early draft of Gundam SEED, Flay was supposed to be Strike Rouge's pilot and used by Earth Alliance for propaganda. This is referenced in SD Gundam G Generation DS's Rival Route where she does indeed join the party as a pilot and the Strike Rouge as her initial suit.
- In the same game it's possible to save her, adding an ID command to the Archangel that prevents a battle encounter, though letting her die may enhance Kira's SEED hyper mode.
- In the game Super Robot Wars W for the Nintendo DS, Flay is saved from death much earlier on, when the protagonists intercept Flay (placed in a remote-controlled GINN) before she is picked up by the Dominion while carrying the N-Jammer Canceller data. In fact, the original TV scenario of being recovered by the Dominion results in a game over. Ironically, the Earth Alliance develops fermion missiles, an arguably worse weapon, using technology from Tekkaman Blade.
- Flay and Soma Peries/Marie Parfacy also share the same voice actress in the English dub.
- Her role on the Archangel is similar to Fraw Bow's role on White Base. They were both in charge of household duties on the ship, instead of combat. They were in the middle of a love triangle between two friends, that caused one to develop an inferiority complex. With Flay the triangle is between her, Kira and Sai, while Fraw's triangle was between, her, Amuro and Hayato. In personality she was more similar to Katejina Loos.
- In Mobile Suit Gundam Extreme VS, Flay appears as a cameo for Kira's EX Burst for the Freedom.
- Even though Flay says she's not a member of Blue Cosmos in the anime, but a sympathizer toward their ideals, the Gundam SEED story mode in Dynasty Warriors Gundam Reborn says she is a member of Blue Cosmos, inheriting her father's prejudice towards Coordinators.
- Mobile Suit Gundam SEED PHASE-01, False Peace
- Mobile Suit Gundam SEED PHASE-04, Silent Run
- Mobile Suit Gundam SEED PHASE-07, The Scar of Space
- Mobile Suit Gundam SEED PHASE-08, The Songstress of The Enemy Forces
- Mobile Suit Gundam SEED PHASE-09, The Fading Light
- Mobile Suit Gundam SEED PHASE-10, Crossroads
- Mobile Suit Gundam SEED PHASE-11, The Awakening Sword
- Mobile Suit Gundam SEED PHASE-13, Stars Falling in Space
- Mobile Suit Gundam SEED PHASE-15, The Respective Solitudes
- Mobile Suit Gundam SEED PHASE-16, Burning Sandstorm
- Mobile Suit Gundam SEED PHASE-28, Kira
- Mobile Suit Gundam SEED PHASE-30, Flashing Blades
- Mobile Suit Gundam SEED PHASE-31, Grieving Skies
- Mobile Suit Gundam SEED PHASE-33, Gathering Darkness
- Mobile Suit Gundam SEED PHASE-35, The Descending Sword
- Mobile Suit Gundam SEED PHASE-37, Divine Thunder
- Mobile Suit Gundam SEED PHASE-40, Into the Dawn Skies
- Mobile Suit Gundam SEED PHASE-41, Trembling World
- Mobile Suit Gundam SEED PHASE-46, A Place for the Soul
- Mobile Suit Gundam SEED PHASE-47, The Nightmare Reborn
- Mobile Suit Gundam SEED PHASE-49, The Final Light
- Mobile Suit Gundam SEED PHASE-50, To a Future that Never Ends