Shinn Asuka in Gundam SEED Destiny

Shinn Asuka is a fictional character in the Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny anime series. Shinn is the first protagonist introduced, but later conflict pits him against the established protagonists of the original Mobile Suit Gundam SEED. Thus, he serves in both the "hero" and "villain" roles at different points of the story.

In the Anime Grand Prix popularity polls for favorite male characters, Shinn reached 6th place in 2004 [1] dropping to 7th place in 2005 [2], and 12th place in 2006.[3]

Background Edit

Shinn lives with his parents and his younger sister in the neutral country of Orb, but the Earth Alliance attacks Orb on June 15. Only Shinn survives when his family is caught in a crossfire between the GAT-X131 Calamity and the ZGMF-X10A Freedom mobile suits Shinn watches in horror of the death of his family and cries in anguish, though it is not clear whether the Calamity or the Freedom was responsible for the explosion that kills Shinn's family. Shinn blames Orb’s rulers, the Athhas, for his family’s deaths, Orb soldier Captain Todaka then takes care of Shinn and later sends him to the PLANTs, where he joins ZAFT and graduates as one of the top students in his class as a "ZAFT Red".

After graduation, Shinn is assigned to pilot ZAFT's ZGMF-X56S Impulse, and is stationed aboard the battleship Minerva under the command of Talia Gladys along with former military academy classmates and friends Rey Za Burrel, Vino Dupre, Lunamaria Hawke, Meyrin Hawke, and Yolant Kent.

Gundam SEED DestinyEdit

Theft at Armory OneEdit

The Extended pilots of the Earth Alliance's special forces team, Phantom Pain - Sting Oakley, Stella Loussier, and Auel Neider - infiltrate Armory One and steal three ZAFT prototype mobile suits, the ZGMF-X24S Chaos, ZGMF-X88S Gaia, and ZGMF-X31S Abyss.

At first, Shinn fights them single-handedly with his ZGMF-X56S Impulse, but the three Extendeds overpower him until Athrun Zala intervenes with a ZGMF-1000 ZAKU Warrior, saving Shinn. Athrun then withdraws because Cagalli Yula Athha, who he is protecting, incurs a head injury during the fight. Rey Za Burrel assists Shinn as he tries to recover the stolen mobile suits, but the Extendeds retreat outside the colony and back to the Mirage Colloid-cloaked Earth Alliance battleship Girty Lue. Neo Roanoke provides cover for the Extendeds, fighting both Shinn and Rey with his TS-MA4F Exus.

Junius Seven Colony DropEdit

Eventually, Shinn and Rey are ordered to fall back to the Minerva. On board, Shinn is shocked to learn that Athrun had saved him from the Extendeds. He also is irritated to learn that Cagalli is on board as well, for he blames his family's deaths on her father, Uzumi Nara Athha, and he shows this readily in Cagalli's presence.

The Minerva is ordered to aid the Joule Team with the demolition of Junius Seven, which is on a collision course with Earth. This is caused by a rogue ZAFT force that supports the late Patrick Zala. The Minerva pilots, the Joule team, and Athrun kill the terrorists and drive off the Extendeds, but only partly succeed in their demolition efforts. During re-entry, Shinn saves Athrun, whose heavily damaged mobile suit was in danger of being destroyed.

Ambush at OrbEdit

After returning Cagalli and Athrun to Orb, the Minerva is station at Orb for repairs during this time Shinn goes to visit the place where his familiy died at Orb's memorial he then meets Kira Yamato and Lacus Clyne without knowing who they are.

The Minerva then leaves quickly because Orb is about to join the Earth Alliance Forces. Yuna Roma Seiran and his father plan to offer them to the Earth Alliance fleet waiting outside Orb territory, and Yuna deploys the Orb fleet to prevent the Minerva from reentering Orb. Shinn is shocked by this and is nearly killed in the battle but activates his SEED mode for the first time and destroys much of the Earth Alliance fleet, including the massive mobile armor YMAF-X6BD Zamza-Zah.

Fight over the Indian Ocean and the Battle of GulnahanEdit

En route to the Black Sea, the Minerva is joined by Athrun Zala in his ZGMF-X23S Saviour. Athrun has reenlisted into ZAFT as a member of FAITH, which irritates Shinn. As they fly over the Indian Ocean, they are attacked by Phantom Pain again. While fighting the Gaia, Shinn discovers that the Earth Alliance is forcing civilians to work on their secret military base. Earth Alliance soldiers fire on civilians who are trying to escape and Shinn goes into a rampage, killing Earth Alliance soldiers and freeing the civilians instead of following orders. Afterwards, Athrun reprimands him with a slap in the face for disobeying orders.

Later, Athrun assigns the key part in breaking through an Earth Alliance fortification at the Battle of Gulnahan to Shinn. When the Minerva arrives at Diocuia, Shinn meets chairman Gilbert Durandal, who awards him the Order of the Nebula medal and tells Shinn about the secret society Logos an organization that Durandal says is behind war.

Meeting Stella Loussier and the FreedomEdit

While stationed in Diocuia, Shinn saves Stella from drowning after she falls from a cliff into the water. Stella becomes frantic when Shinn yells at her for being careless, asking her "Did you want to die?!" To calm her, Shinn swears to protect her. They are stuck at the bottom of the cliff until a ZAFT boat arrives to rescue them. They become closer, but when Stella returns to Phantom Pain, her memories of Shinn are erased.Following the addition of Heine Westenfluss and his ZGMF-X2000 GOUF Ignited, the Minerva is attacked by Phantom Pain and the Orb fleet commanded by Yuna Roma Seiran. The ZGMF-X10A Freedom, piloted by Kira Yamato, and the Archangel intervenes. Kira damages the Impulse, the GOUF, and other mobile suits. Heine and his crippled GOUF are sliced in half by the Gaia when he unknowingly moves between it and the Freedom. Heine's death angers Shinn.

Discovery at Lodonia and reunion with StellaEdit

The Minerva is sent to investigate the Extendeds facility in Lodonia, the place where the Extendeds are created and trained. Shinn becomes even more angry with the Earth Alliance's Blue Cosmos leaders, asking how can they say tampering with genes is wrong when they do things like this.

Stella attacks by herself, but she is defeated by Shinn and Athrun and becomes a prisoner on the Minerva. Shinn is shocked when he learns that Stella is the Gaia's pilot and one of the Earth Alliance's Extendeds. While tied to a bed due to her violent behavior, she cries out for Neo, and Shinn again attempts to calm her, though she does not recall who he is. When waking up again, tired and less aggressive, she sees Shinn and recognizes him this time, indicating the erasing of her memory was not completely successful.

Battle of CreteEdit

The Minerva heads for Gibraltar, but they are intercepted again by Phantom Pain and the Orb fleet commanded by Yuna Roma Seiran and Captain Todaka.

Shinn goes into SEED mode and destroys the Abyss, killing its pilot, Auel, and decimates the Orb mobile suit force. Shinn then directly engages the Orb fleet, sinking several ships. Captain Todaka, who helped Shinn, is killed when Shinn attacks the Orb carrier Takemikazuchi.

Afterward, Shinn overhears his commander's discussion which concludes that the Extended prisoner Stella will die without the right medical treatment, and her body will be transported to a ZAFT science facility for dissection and testing to study the Extended program. Horrified, Shinn decides to return Stella to the Earth Alliance, and does so with Rey's help. Both are confined as punishment and could have been executed, but are released on Gilbert Durandal's orders.

Battle of BerlinEdit

Stella is designated as the pilot of the transformable mobile armour GFAS-X1 Destroy, and goes on a rampage leveling several cities in Western Eurasia - former Eurasian Federation territories that have sided with ZAFT - as an object lesson. She is intercepted by ZAFT over the city of Berlin, but Berlin is heavily damaged and ZAFT forces there are obliterated. Soon after, the Archangel and its mobile suits arrive and battle the Destroy, much to the surprise of the Minerva, which arrives shortly afterwards.

Kira in the Freedom engages the Destroy and is joined by Shinn in the Impulse. When Shinn cuts open the Destroy's cockpit, Neo communicates that Stella is the pilot. Shinn's feelings stop him from finishing the Destroy, and Stella's feelings for Shinn cause her to stop fighting, too. But when the Freedom approaches, Stella panics and prepares to fire the Destroy's chest beam cannons. Kira stabs his beam saber through the Destroy's cannons, causing a chain reaction that destroys the giant mobile armour and mortally wounds Stella. Stella tells Shinn that she loves him and dies in his arms, and Shinn cries out in anguish.

Operation Angel DownEdit

After Shinn lays Stella's corpse to rest in a lake, he becomes intent on destroying the Freedom to avenge Stella. Shinn admits to Rey that the Freedom is perhaps the strongest mobile suit in existence and its pilot is exceptional and practices computerized battle simulations between his Impulse and the Freedom.

During this period of time the Chairman Durandal presents a speech around the entire world about the organization Logos and claims that by destroying them the war will end, and Shinn easily agrees, later when the Minerva is ordered to subdue the Archangel in the mission code-named "Operation Angel Down", Shinn gets his opportunity for revenge. Using a strategy devised by himself and Rey after analyzing battle footage, Shinn takes advantage of Kira's habit of disabling enemy mobile suits and uses his Impulse's ability to replace damaged parts to defeat the Freedom. Afterwards, Shinn is shown with tears in his eyes for being able to avenge Stella's death. Unknown to Shinn, Kira survives the ordeal.

When Shinn returns to the Minerva after destroying the Freedom, his comrades cheer him. Shinn tells Athrun that he defeated Freedom and killed its pilot, avenging Stella’s death and Athrun’s defeat. Furious by Shinn’s rejoicing at the apparent death of Kira, Athrun punches Shinn in the face. Athrun adds that Shinn killed Kira but Kira never wanted to kill him. Rey counters that destroying Freedom and the Archangel was a direct order from ZAFT's headquarters, that all of them including Athrun were obligated to obey.

Athrun's DefectionEdit

PLANT Supreme Council Chairman Gilbert Durandal presents Shinn and Athrun with ZAFT's two newest mobile suits the ZGMF-X666S Legend and the ZGMF-X42S Destiny. Durandal later confers with Rey and concludes Athrun will no longer work with them after the apparent death of Kira, and decides to frame Athrun. He sends soldiers to detain Athrun, but Meer Campbell warns him. Athrun subdues the soldiers and flees ZAFT's Gibraltar military base with the help of Meyrin Hawke in a stolen ZGMF-2000 GOUF Ignited mobile suit.

Durandal sends Rey and Shinn to hunt down Athrun. Rey tells Shinn that Athrun is a defector working for Logos and that Meyrin is an accomplice, not a hostage. When Rey and Shinn catch up with Athrun, Rey starts to fight Athrun. Shinn initially tries to persuade Athrun to return to ZAFT. Athrun refuses and tries to persuade Shinn not to fight, or to at least let Meyrin go. Shinn accuses Athrun of betraying their trust and stabs Athrun's GOUF Ignited with his anti-ship sword, causing it to crash into the ocean and explode.

Unknown to Shinn and Rey, Ledonir Kisaka rescues Athrun and Meyrin. Shinn is shown to be sad and conflicted, believing he killed Athrun and Meyrin. He apologizes to Lunamaria and cries with her, though he feels his action was necessary to achieve the Chairman's goal of peace.

Battle of Heaven's Base - Operation RagnarökEdit

After some comforting by Chairman Durandal, Shinn prepares for the assault against Logos' Heaven's Base Headquarters in Iceland. In the Minerva mobile suit hangar just prior to "Operation Ragnarok", he encourages Lunamaria about her first sortie with the Impulse, and they console each other about Athrun and Meyrin's deaths. Both blame Logos for the apparent betrayal by Athrun and Meyrin. Shinn kisses Lunamaria and promises to protect her.

Shinn enters the battle and goes into SEED mode. With the help from Rey in the Legend and Lunamaria in the Impulse, Logo's five Destroy units are destroyed. Heaven's Base surrenders and both Talia (Minerva's captain) and Arthur Trine (Minerva's executive officer) are impressed by Shinn's battle skills. Chairman Durandal is obviously pleased by Shinn's victory.

ZAFT's invasion of Orb - Operation FuryEdit

ZAFT forces occupy Heaven's Base, arresting many Logos members. However, when Shinn learns that Lord Djibril escaped, and is rumored to be hiding in Orb, he becomes furious and vows to hunt Djibril down no matter what.

Shinn has nightmares about Stella's suffering, his fights against the Freedom, the killing of Athrun and Meyrin, and the battles against Logos. Rey tells Shinn that he did the right thing because they were all ZAFT's enemies. PLANT Supreme Council awards a second Nebula Medal to Shinn for his performance in Operation Ragnarok and Supreme Council Chairman Durandal appoints both Shinn and Rey to FAITH. After confirmation that the Seirans (the rulers of Orb at the time) are providing sanctuary to Lord Djibril, ZAFT initiates "Operation Fury", a full-scale assault on Orb in order to capture Lord Djibril.

Exercising his FAITH powers, Shinn launches alone from Minerva in his Destiny and faces Cagalli in the ORB-01 Akatsuki. Shinn attacks the Akatsuki, but Kira arrives in the ZGMF-X20A Strike Freedom and protects Cagalli. Shocked and enraged that Kira has survived, Shinn attacks the Strike Freedom. The two engage in extended battle until Rey orders Shinn to return to the Minerva to resupply and recharge. After this, Shinn and Rey launch to face the Strike Freedom together.

Athrun arrives in the ZGMF-X19A Infinite Justice. Shinn is surprised that Athrun survived their last encounter. Athrun demands that Shinn stop attacking Orb and questions the motives of the war. Believing that Athrun is a traitor, Shinn goes into SEED mode and the two fight. Minerva Captain Gladys orders the retreat of all ZAFT forces, including Shinn and Rey.

Cagalli's broadcast from Orb is interrupted by Meer (speaking as Lacus Clyne). But then Meer is interrupted by the real Lacus, leaving the crew of the Minerva confused. Shinn asks Rey for his opinion. Rey replies the enemy is using another "Lacus Clyne" as a psychological weapon. Rey then discusses Athrun's survival with Shinn. Lunamaria wonders if her sister Meyrin survived as well and Rey stats that she is likely on the Archangel. This conversation upsets Shinn.

Battle of DaedalusEdit

Later Lord Djibril unleashes Requiem and destroyed some of the PLANTs, both Shinn and Rey blame Kira and Athrun for their interference, Rey in particular blames Lunamaria for her failure to shoot down Djibril however Shinn quickly defends her.

The Minerva is ordered to attack the Requiem and the Daedalus base. Shinn is concerned for Lunamaria's safety for she as been givin the position to destroy the Requiem's controls but she convinces him to believe in her. Shinn in the Destiny and Rey in the Legend act as decoys and cripple the defenses of the lunar stronghold. Lunamaria in the Impulse destroys the Requiem's firing controls and Rey kills Lord Djibril. Afterwards their comrades cheer them and Shinn and Lunamaria embrace.

With the last remnants of Blue Cosmos/Logos eliminated, Chairman Durandal unveils his ultimate solution to war - "the Destiny Plan". Chairman Durandal as an expert geneticist will act as the overseer and assign roles to individuals according to their genetic makeup. Everyone will then be governed by their genetic "destiny" and not by their individuality. According to Chairman Durandal, the ultimate goal is to make wars obsolete.

Battle of MessiahEdit

For the Destiny Plan to become a reality, Chairman Durandal has to defeat any nation with the capability and the resolve to challenge him. Before the battle, Durandal calls Shinn and Rey to meet in person at his mobile fortress Messiah. When they arrive, Durandal tells Shinn about his goals and that the ones they are fighting now are remnants of Logos, however Durandal is lying to Shinn when the ones they are fighting are actual Orb forces. Shinn hesitates about putting his full support behind the Destiny Plan. After some convincing arguments from Rey, Shinn agrees. After all the pain Shinn has endured and wanting an end to the war, the Destiny Plan is the only answer to humanity's problems that makes sense to him.

A battle starts near the location of the Requiem cannon on the Moon. Lunamaria in the Impulse tries unsuccessfully to stop Athrun in his Infinite Justice. Seeing Athrun fighting Lunamaria, an enraged Shinn attacks Athrun, then goes into SEED mode. Lunamaria interposes herself between the two, trying to stop the fight. Athrun goes into SEED mode as well, saves Lunamaria from Shinn, and cripples the Destiny, which crashes onto the Moon's surface.

While he is unconscious, Shinn has a vision of Stella. When he awakes with Lunamaria holding and watching over him, he then starts to cry with Lunamaria. He and Lunamaria then watch the Requiem explode and the Messiah crash into the moon.


At the end of Gundam SEED Destiny "Final Plus", Athrun rescues Shinn and Lunamaria with his Infinite Justice. Later, Shinn is seen paying tribute to his deceased family at the memorial in Orb. Also present are Athrun, Meyrin and Lunamaria. There he expresses his conflicted emotions for his homeland Orb, he encounters Kira, who is accompanied by Lacus. Athrun introduces Kira to Shinn as the pilot of Freedom. Shinn is stunned; he had previously encountered Kira at the memorial several months earlier. Kira makes an overture to Shinn to make peace with him, indicating he does not have any grudges against him. Kira asks Shinn to join him and Athrun to fight for humanity's peace, a crying Shinn accepts Kira's offer. Afterwards Shinn and Lunamaria smile at each other and leave together.

In Gundam SEED Destiny: Special Edition, Shinn is seen along with Lunamaria, Kira, Athrun, Meyrin, and the three ZGMF-XX09T DOM Trooper pilots going to meet with Lacus - who is accompanied by Yzak Joule, Dearka Elsman, Shiho Hahnenfuss, and Arthur Trine - before she enters the PLANT Supreme Council chambers. Shinn is not wearing the FAITH pin insignia in this scene.

Gundam SEED Destiny: The EdgeEdit

In Gundam SEED Destiny: The Edge, Shinn's relationship with Athrun is expanded. Although it is still a love-hate relationship, he is more respectful to Athrun at times. During the Junius Seven colony drop, when Cagalli unintentionally hurts Athrun's feelings, Shinn reminds her that one of the terrorists had invoked the ideals of Patrick Zala as their reason for carrying out the drop. He then says that Athrun is too pitiful if Cagalli comforts him with mere empty words.Athrun also has a somewhat greater role acting as his mentor, reminding him before the Battle of Gulnahan that he is ZAFT's trump card. Athrun also scolds him when he throws tantrums at the briefing.

Other appearances Edit

Shinn is a pilot in the Game Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 2 with Destiny Gundam as a playable mobile suit. If Shinn is teamed up with Kamille Bidan the protagonist from Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam, the two will develop a friendship as both believe that when people truly understand each other war will no longer exist.

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