|Please note that this is the Gundam Wiki's article on the character from original Mobile Suit Gundam.; if you are looking for the article on her respective counterpart or namesake from Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin manga then you should head to Sayla Mass (Origin).|
Sayla Mass (セイラ・マス Seira Masu?), born Artesia Som Deikun (アルテイシア・ソム・ダイクン Aruteishia Somu Daikun?), is one of the main characters of the Mobile Suit Gundam television series. A medical student and Char Aznable's younger sister, she served aboard White Base during the One Year War when the crew were unaware of her identity.
One Year War
During the One Year War, when the Zeon attacked Side 7, Sayla is evacuated onto the White Base with a large group of other refugees. She volunteered to search for other people in the colony before White Base departs and encounters a masked Char Aznable, discovering that he is really her brother Casval in disguise. He manages to escape from her, and thus Sayla goes along with the pilot of the Gundam, Amuro Ray, aboard the White Base, and become the ship's communication officer at first, as they take flight from Side 7 and en route to Earth, while they constantly try to fight off Zeon troops along the way, especially against Char Aznable, the Red Comet himself.
Once the White Base destroys Garma Zabi's fleet along with Garma himself, and as Ramba Ral keeps harassing the White Base in pursuit, Sayla believes that someone from Zeon might have some important information about her brother. Hence, she commandeers the Gundam from Amuro in her attempt to get closer with Zeon troops (on her pretense of proving herself a worthy pilot as much as Amuro), but instead, she gets hammered very badly under fire by Ramba Ral and his troops. Fortunately enough, Amuro arrives timely in the Guncannon to bail her out. Consequently, as a result of her reckless actions, Sayla faces 3 days solitary confinement as her penalty. Nevertheless, Bright Noa and the crew of the White Base recognize Sayla's skill as a pilot, so subsequently, Sayla becomes an alternate backup pilot of the Gundam, next to Amuro. Later, she becomes the pilot of Core Booster, and shows great promises throughout numerous battles, especially with her newfound Newtype skills. She and Amuro grow steadily close with each other as well, as they both keep facing countless battles alongside with each other.
When White Base was boarded by Ramba Ral and his troops, Sayla was piloting the RX-78-2 Gundam. After giving the controls to Amuro, Ramba recognized Sayla as Artesia, as he was Jimba's son. Sayla then remembered meeting Ramba as a child, but their reunion was cut short, when he was shot by Ryu Jose. Hence, Ramba then ordered an retreat, since Artesia was on board, and killed himself by exploding a grenade, while jumping into the Gundam's hand. Sayla is both shocked and saddened by his death. Likewise, she feels exactly the same way with the crew of White Base, as she watches some of her close comrades falling in battle one after another, especially Ryu Jose, Lieutenant Matilda Ajan, and Lieutenant Sleggar Law, as they each try to protect the White Base from deadly destruction and devastation. The death of Lieutenent Matilda Ajan is particularly hard for Sayla to accept, because she feels helpless and guilty for unable to save her life as a pilot.
Throughout the rest of the series, Sayla attempts to contact her brother. They encounter each other again in the Federation military headquarters of Jaburo, and he asks her to leave the Federation Forces, but she refuses. They meet again at the Texas Colony, where Char explains his true origins, and that he's joined the Zeon army to get close to the Zabi family in order kill each member to avenge their father. He wants Sayla to avoid war, so he sends her a briefcase full of gold bars intended to help her start a new life on Earth. Sayla soon admits and confesses to White Base captain Bright Noa that Char is actually her brother. In return, Sayla sincerely requests Bright to distribute the gold bars and share them with the crew of White Base, since she's become attached to them like a family by that time.
Sayla is almost killed by Char during a skirmish between his troops and the White Base prior to the Battle of A Baoa Qu, but he hesitates when he recognizes her as the pilot of the G-Fighter (Core Booster in the Movies), allowing Amuro Ray to cut off his Gelgoog's arm and nearly kill him, but his protege Lalah Sune takes the blow for him and dies from Amuro's piercing beam saber by accident. During the Battle of A Baoa Qu, Sayla crash-lands into A Baoa Qu and finds Amuro and Char, their Mobile Suits destroyed, fighting with swords in mortal combat. She intervenes and begs them both to stop. When he sees Sayla, Char is reminded that the Zabis are the real enemy, and he heads off to finish his revenge, telling his sister to leave with Amuro and have a good life with him. Sayla escapes the fortress alive, as does Amuro soon after.
Sayla has a brief cameo in Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam. She is shown listening by radio to Char's speech at the Federation Assembly in Dakar. At the end of A New Translation she is sunning herself by a pool when approached by Kai Shiden who thanks her for summoning him and tells her he has questions about Quattro Bajeena who at this point has recently become missing in action.
First Neo Zeon War
Sayla makes a surprise appearance in Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ as the person who saved Judau Ashta's younger sister, Leina. How she saved Leina is never revealed. In a brief conversation with her old captain Bright Noa, she is certain that her missing brother is alive somewhere, waiting on the sidelines for the right time to emerge again (foreshadowing the events of Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack). She remarks that his ambitions are dangerous and that his death may be the only solution for peace.
Relationship with Amuro (Novelization of Mobile Suit Gundam)
The novelization of Mobile Suit Gundam is even more obvious about a romance between Amuro and Sayla. Some time after they are both assigned to White Base, Amuro asks Sayla out to dinner. The two of them eat and chat, and discuss what it's like to be Newtypes. Later, Sayla visits Amuro in his quarters after-hours and the two of them share a night of love-making, thus starting a very intense romantic relationship between them. When Amuro is killed by Char's mobile suit forces at the end of the story, Amuro's mind takes one last moment to reach out to Sayla's and expresses his love for her, along with his regret at not being able to spend his life with her. Sayla returns the affection and later tells her brother that he killed the man she loved. At the end of the war, Sayla communicates to Amuro's consciousness, and he tells her that he is with her.
Notes & Trivia
- Sayla's noticeable absence in post-Mobile Suit Gundam productions, such as Z Gundam and Char's Counterattack, were largely due to the unavailability of her voice actress, Yō Inoue, at the time of production.
- In the English dub of the movie trilogy, she is given a Spanish accent.
- Seira Masuo, one of the modelers from the Hobby Japan magazine, is named after her.
- Although she doesn't appear in-game, it is mentioned that Sayla still acts as the pilot for the G-Fighter and the G-Bull for G-Parts Amuro in the Extreme Vs. series.