Cagalli Yula Athha (カガリ・ユラ・アスハ, Kagari Yura Asuha) is the adopted daughter of Uzumi Nara Athha, Chief Representative and "Lion" of Orb Union. She is also Kira Yamato's twin sister, although neither sibling was aware of this until the Bloody Valentine War. Cagalli's birth name is Cagalli Hibiki. She is also well known for piloting the MBF-02 Strike Rouge during the First and Second Bloody Valentine Wars, though she would later pilot the ORB-01 Akatsuki, only once to fight against ZAFT in their invasion of Orb. She later gave it to Mu La Flaga.
According to an interview with Mitsuo Fukuda, her name is derived after the Japanese word kagaribi (a watch fire or a bonfire).
Personality & Character
Although raised as a princess in Orb and taught to be proper, sophisticated, and elegant; Cagalli is far from it, for she has been shown to be quite stubborn, rebellious, masculine, and often free spirited. Cagalli is also shown to dislike being called a princess and when someone calls her one she instantly tells them not to call her that again. Despite rebelling against both her father and her responsibilities as a princess, she is quite loyal to her country and more than willing to give up her life to save it. In Destiny, Cagalli becomes the leader of her country in place of her father. However she is shown to be reluctant in speaking against the pro-Alliance leaders of Orb and had trouble difficulty in handling situations when it involves her country's future. Eventually she discovers that she is a capable leader and both her people and herself regained their trust in her.
Skills & Abilities
As the ruling Princess of Orb, Cagalli is shown to have competent diplomacy skills when dealing with foreign policy. While fighting with the Desert Dawn in Egypt it is presumed that she is skilled in basic combat training and the usage of firearms. In MS combat, Cagali is seen as a decent mid-range combatant, but needed an AI program to assist her during her first sortie with the Strike Rouge. This is ironically in contrast to her lover Athrun Zala, who has a penchant for hand-to-hand MS combat. When Cagali enters SEED mode, her accuracy dramatically increases. However, she is unable to combat ace pilots. Ace pilots can beat Cagalli. She had to be rescue by Kira, Athrun, Yzak, and other ace pilots.
Cagalli is first seen, though not named, in episode 1 of Gundam SEED. After learning that her nation is aiding the Earth Alliance in secret, she travels to the Orb Union's Heliopolis space colony to see the evidence for herself. She meets Kira Yamato. As the ZAFT forces attacks the colony and Team Le Creuset raid the base, She runs in search of the mobile suits that was said to have been developed for the Earth Alliance by Morgenroete, Inc. at Heliopolis with Kira trailing after her in worry. When her fears are justified and she discovers that there really were new mobile suits built by Morgenroete she is upset by this, enough for her legs to cave in as she asks out loud how her father could betray them, Kira merely stands to the side, baffled at her outburst. Later as they run for cover, she is pushed by Kira into an evacuation shelter prior to the destruction of the colony.
With the Desert Dawn
Cagalli reappears in episode 15, as a member of the Desert Dawn resistance group in ZAFT-occupied Northern Africa. Though the group is led by Sahib Ashman, Cagalli is nicknamed the "Goddess of Victory" because of the strong role she plays within the group. She is accompanied by Ledonir Kisaka.
Cagalli reunites with Kira Yamato, now a pilot for the Archangel, a warship of the Earth Alliance Forces. At the Desert Dawn's frontline base, Mu La Flaga asks for the formal name of the "Goddess of Victory", and Sahib Ashman unwillingly replies with "Cagalli Yula."
After ZAFT BuCUEs under the command of Andrew Waltfeld destroy the town of Tassil, Cagalli and several other members of the Desert Dawn chase them. Outmatched, several resistance fighters, including Cagalli's friend Ahmed El-Fasi, are killed. Ledonir Kisaka manages to protect Cagalli until Kira arrives. She and Kira quarrel over her actions, ending with Kira slapping her across the face. Cagalli is later bequeathed a green stone by Ahmed, who had unrequited romantic feelings towards her.
In episode 19, Cagalli and Kira are sent to gather supplies, but are accidentally caught up in a Blue Cosmos attempt to assassinate one of their adversaries,General Andrew Waltfeld, nicknamed "the Desert Tiger". Andrew knocks Kira and Cagalli prone to protect them, and Kira keeps one of the terrorists from shooting Andrew throwing a gun at the terrorist and then kicking him.
Waltfeld brings Kira and Cagalli to his headquarters. Though they want to leave, he wants to thank them. Waltfeld's girlfriend Aisha takes Cagalli away to be cleaned up. Andrew has a conversation with Kira until Aisha brings in Cagalli in an elegant dress, much to the Cagalli's dismay. A humorous exchange between Kira and Cagalli is had after the formers states something about her being a girl. Both adults find their verbal battle a little humorous.
Andrew then reveals he knows Kira is with the Earth Alliance Forces. He points a gun at Kira and Cagalli and asks how the war will end, if it will be after all enemies are dead. He also says he does not know why Kira, a Coordinator, is fighting his own kind, but as long as he pilots the GAT-X105 Strike, they are enemies. Andrew then lets them go, since Kira has previously saved his life. In this encounter with Andrew, Cagalli learns Kira is a Coordinator.
In a battle between the ZAFT forces, lead by Andrew, and the Archangel with the aid of the Desert Dawn, seeing that they are outmatched in terms of numbers, Cagalli commandeers and pilots exceptionally the spare FX-550 Skygrasper. She is shot down but lands safely and the ZAFT forces retreat.
After the battle, the Archangel leaves Africa, heading for Orb. Cagalli and Ledonir accompany them. While traveling on the Indian Ocean, she comforts Kira, who is upset about the deaths of people he failed to protect, and Andrew, the first person he killed who he knew personally. Flay Allster, whom Kira seems to have a convoluted and complicated relationship with, is clearly jealous of Cagalli's closeness to Kira.
First encounter with Athrun Zala
Over the Indian Ocean, Cagalli chooses to pilot a Skygrasper once again, aiding the Archangel in battle against ZAFT forces. She finds a ZAFT transport ship and engages it in battle but is shot down, but not before shooting down the transport that just happened to be carrying Athrun Zala and his mobile suit.
Both end up being marooned on the same island, with Cagalli finding Athrun first. After being shooting at him resulting to an armed conflict between the two and and having to deal with the awkward position of confirming that she was, in fact, a girl, she is taken by Athrun as a prisoner. She has her wrists and ankles bound and had to watch from the sand below as Athrun throws her only weapon away, her gun. While trying to get to Athrun's mobile suit in her tied up stage, Cagalli accidentally ends up almost drowning in a small but deep puddle made by the rain where Athrun rescues her. An exchange of humorous banters is had between them that results in Athrun setting her free because she seemed like she couldn't be any serious threat to him. While waiting for retrieval, the two talk. Their viewpoints about the war clash, but they listen to each other with Athrun being the one to give up first knowing that it would get them nowhere. He falls asleep on her, giving Cagalli an opening to steal his gun that she eventually throws away, resulting to it misfiring with the bullet grazing Athrun's side. This eventually leads to a mutual truce between them and they exchange names. They later rescued by their respective forces. Neither tells anyone about what happened on the island.
In episode 25, the Archangel with Cagalli on-board, reaches Orb, though for political reasons the country claims the ship was driven off. When the Archangel enters Orb territory, she reveals that she is Cagalli Yula Athha, the daughter of the Orb Union's Chief Representative Uzumi Nara Athha. She is clearly upset with Orb's secret weapons development on Heliopolis and blames her father. She tries to help Kira by reuniting him with his family, but he refuses to see them. Cagalli's concern over Kira culminates in her embracing him just before he leaves Orb with theArchangel, telling him not to die and to come back to see her again. These actions clearly distress her father and his parents.
Second encounter with Athrun
In episode 31, Cagalli and Orb forces find Athrun lying unconscious on a beach after an intense battle that supposed to have killed Kira and his friend, Tolle Koenig.
Athrun regains consciousness on the Orb transport ship, where Cagalli points a gun at him and demands to know what happened to Kira. Athrun is upset about killing his friend, but justifies it by saying that Kira had killed several ZAFT comrades, including his friend Nicol Amalfi. Cagalli repeats her father's teachings, saying that killing for vengeance will never bring peace but simply more conflict. Both are reduced to tears.
Before releasing him back to ZAFT, Cagalli gives Athrun a red stone pendant sacred to Haumea (the goddess of fertility and childbirth worshipped in Orb), and says she does not want anybody else to die.
In episode 37, the Archangel returns to Orb after defecting from the Earth Alliance with Kira, now piloting the ZGMF-X10A Freedom, on board. Cagalli reacts very emotionally when she finds out Kira has survived and he recounts his side of the battle with Athrun.
Rise of the Three Ships Alliance
In episode 38, Muruta Azrael, leader of Blue Cosmos, directs an attack on Orb, trying to force the nation to concede to the Earth Alliance. Athrun joins the fight in the ZGMF-X09A Justice. He was originally ordered to retake or destroy the Freedom, but instead he helps Kira and the others stave off the Earth Alliance. After doing so, a tearful Cagalli runs up to Kira and Athrun as they meet face-to-face and hugs them both.
This reunion is ruined when the Earth Alliance attacks again. Cagalli's father, gives her a photograph of her and Kira when they were babies—in the arms of their birth mother, Via Hibiki—and tells her that although she is leaving her father, she will not be alone, for she will be with her brother.
Cagalli then takes off onboard the Kusanagi and watches in horror as her father and other Orb leaders sacrifice their lives detonating the Kaguya mass driver to prevent the Earth Alliance from capturing it.
In the final episodes of Gundam SEED, Cagalli pilots the MBF-02 Strike Rouge as a member of the Three Ships Alliance, which is trying to stop the genocidal intentions of the leaders of both sides, Patrick Zala and Muruta Azrael.
Cagalli meets Athrun again and both notice Athrun's fiancee, Lacus Clyne getting closer to his best friend Kira Yamato. At the same time, Athrun and Cagalli begin developing feelings for one another. This is first shown when Athrun gives Cagalli a hug and apologizes to her, in episode 43. Before the Second Battle of Jachin Due, Cagalli declares that she will not let Athrun or Kira (in her words "That guy who's probably my little brother") die and the two (Athrun and Cagalli) share a kiss.
During this final battle, Cagalli boards the ZAFT superweapon GENESIS with Athrun, arriving in the control center to find Athrun's father dying. Rather than follow his father's wish to use the weapon to destroy life on Earth, Athrun detonates his nuclear-powered Justice unit inside GENESIS, destroying it before it fired on Earth.
Cagalli follows Athrun and persuades him to vacate the Justice before it self-destructs, board the Strike Rouge and escape with her. Together, they find Kira floating in space not far from a heavily-damaged Freedom. With tears, they rescue Kira and recover the Freedom.
Although she is a Natural, Cagalli is also capable of going into SEED mode in battle like Kira and Athrun, as evidenced when she avenges the deaths of Astray pilots Asagi Caldwell and Juri Wu Nien. So far in the Cosmic Era, Cagalli is the only Natural to have gone into SEED mode.
Gundam SEED Destiny
Theft at Armory One and Junius Seven Colony Drop Cagalli reappears in episode 1 of Gundam SEED Destiny. She has taken her father's former position as Chief Representative of the Orb Union. Accompanied by Athrun Zala, she visits the new Armory One PLANT and meets PLANT Chairman Gilbert Durandal to discuss important matters. At the same time, three unknown individuals infiltrate and steal three new ZAFT mobile suits which triggers the Second Bloody Valentine War. Cagalli is injured and she and Athrun end up on board the new ZAFT battleship Minerva.
While they remain on board while the Minerva pursues and battles the thieves Cagalli meets Shinn Asuka, a refugee from Orb who is serving with ZAFT. Shinn openly expresses his anger at Cagalli and blames her father and his policies for the death of his family in the Bloody Valentine War. This is one of many difficult situations Cagalli is placed in as she has to struggle with her father Uzumi's legacy, her own coming of age, and her own goals and desires.
In episode 5, Athrun aids the Minerva and her mobile suit pilots in trying to stop terrorists from dropping the Junius Seven Colony on to the Earth. The Minerva and those on board land on Earth and proceed to Orb.
When they arrived at Orb, Yuna Roma Seiran (her fiancee at that time) quickly came to her and gave her a hug just showing Cagalli and the public his concern to her (but actually it is just only for show) and could be just to make Athrun jealous.
Cagalli and Athrun have little time together as she is busy with official duties. Athrun gives her a ring and they kiss, but he leaves for the PLANTs shortly afterwards to meet with Chairman Gilbert Durandal.
Orb joins the Earth Alliance
Even though Cagalli knew perfectly well what kind of nation the Atlantic Federation was, she was still manipulated by her fiancee Yuna Roma Seiran and his father, Unato Ema Seiran, to endorse an alliance between the Earth Alliance and Orb, and to go through with an arranged marriage to Yuna to finalize the agreement. Unable to contact Athrun, Cagalli sends his ring to her brother Kira Yamato along with a note explaining she will be marrying Yuna.
In episode 14, Kira kidnapped Cagalli from her wedding with his ZGMF-X10A Freedom and takes her to the Archangel. At first Cagalli is angry with Kira, but he reminds her about all things her father said. Upon realizing that she made a big mistake, Cagalli breaks down and cries in her brother's arms. She later assumes a bridge position, taking the communications role previously held by Miriallia Haw.
Battle of Dardanelles
The Archangel leaves Orb, which is now Earth Alliance territory, and hides underwater outside the Kingdom of Scandinavia until the Battle of Dardanelles, where Cagalli in her MBF-02 Strike Rouge desperately tries to reason with the Orb forces and stop them from attacking the Minerva. However, Yuna refused to acknowledge Cagalli out of fear that the Earth Alliance would attack Orb if they bowed out of this fight, claiming that she was either an imposter or she was being brainwashed, and ordered the Orb forces to open fire on her. Kira jumped in front of her with the Freedom and destroyed the incoming missiles. Cagalli continued to plead with the Orb units to stop fighting, but nobody acknowledged her because they took Yuna's word that she was an imposter. As Cagalli watches the fighting progress, she recalls a speech made by her father shortly before the Battle of Orb. Basically, her father repeated Orb's motto, "We will not attack another nation, we will not allow another nation to attack us, and we will not intervene in the conflicts of other nations." He elaborates on this and concludes his speech by saying that Orb will uphold these principles to the bitter end, and Cagalli weeps bitterly because she initially did not have the strength to follow her father's example when Yuna and the other Orb ministers were pushing to join the Earth Alliance.
Meeting with Athrun
After the battle, freelance photographer Miriallia Haw arranges a secret meeting between Cagalli and Kira with Athrun, who by this time has rejoined ZAFT. Lunamaria Hawke spies on them during this meeting under orders from Captain Talia Gladys.
Athrun and the others disagree strongly on many points. He tells Cagalli that if she wants Orb to stop fighting against ZAFT, she needs to return to Orb and get them to end their ties to the Earth Alliance. (Cagalli eventually chooses to do this.) In return, Athrun is told that Coordinators have attempted to assassinate the real Lacus Clyne, meaning that Kira and the others do not trust Chairman Durandal. However, Athrun retorts that Kira and the others are jumping to conclusions and they do not have enough evidence to make him doubt Durandal.
Battle of Crete
With some encouragement from Lacus, Cagalli tries to stop the Orb fleet from attacking the Minervaagain during the Battle of Crete. Although this also fails, much to her dismay, a few Orb soldiers under the orders of the late Captain Todaka defect and join the crew of the Archangel after the destruction of the Orb fleet. When the Archangel is pursued by the Minerva, Cagalli does not fight directly, but uses her mobile suit to retrieve the injured Kira Yamato after his mobile suit, the ZGMF-X10A Freedom, is destroyed by Shinn Asuka, using the ZGMF-X56S Impulse. Ledonir Kisaka, Cagalli's former bodyguard, brings Athrun Zala and Meyrin Hawke who have been injured attempting to escape from ZAFT, to the Archangel, where Cagalli helps watch over Athrun.
ZAFT's Invasion of Orb - Operation Fury
Later, the Archangel arrives at Orb, which is under attack by ZAFT and Earth Alliance forces seeking Lord Djibril, the leader of Logos. Cagalli receives the ORB-01 Akatsuki mobile suit that was constructed for her on the orders of the late Uzumi Nara Athha. (Kira has taken her Strike Rouge into space to protect Lacus and the Eternal.) Cagalli assumes leadership in Orb, orders the arrest of Yuna Roma Seiran, and with her new Mobile Suit, Cagalli leads a strong counter-attack against ZAFT. She is able to keep Shinn Asuka's Destiny at bay long enough for Kira's return in his new Strike Freedom along with the Infinite Justice (initially piloted by Lacus for its landing but soon brought into battle by the injured Athrun). Orb forces stop the ZAFT assault in the Second Battle of Onogoro and force ZAFT out of the area.
While Athrun, whose wounds have reopened recovers, tended to by Meyrin Hawke Cagalli presents a global television broadcast, opposing Chairman Durindal's Destiny Plan. Cagalli is interrupted when Meer Campbell pirates her broadcast. Shortly thereafter, the real Lacus reveals Gilbert Durandal's duplicity on global television.
Afterwards, Cagalli remains in Orb to tend to her responsibilities as Orb's leader, while the Archangel returns into space. Before they leave, Cagalli addresses the troops. Athrun is surprised to see she is no longer wearing the ring he had given her, and she leaves without speaking to him. Meanwhile, Cagalli tells Meyrin to take care of Athrun and leaves, crying. Cagalli also hands over the Akatsuki to Neo Roanoke to use in her stead. She spends the remainder of the series coordinating Orb and watching the Battle of Messiah, which ends the Second Bloody Valentine War.
In Gundam SEED Destiny "Final Plus", footage had been added to the scene in episode 45 where Cagalli had removed the ring Athrun gave her. The new footage shows Cagalli embracing her friends. Athrun Zala and she had hugged together before they leave Earth since she stays in Orb to attend to her duties.
- Before knowing her true identity, both Kira and Athrun had been rough to her (Kira slapped her in the desert while Athrun tried to kill her on their first meeting.).
- Despite the fact that she and Kira Yamato are twin siblings, she insists that Kira is her "little" brother. This is most likely due to his meek nature in the first series. It should be noted that Kira was taken from his mother's womb early in his development and placed into an artificial womb while Cagalli was born as a Natural in her mother's womb, so the two could literally have been born at the same exact time. Although technically, since Kira was removed earlier on from their mother's womb, it can also be said that he was born first.
- Her name, Cagalli, is named after Japanese word kagaribi (a watch fire or a bonfire).
- There are several references to "dawn" in groups/objects around her.
- Her love interest, Athrun Zala's first name means dawn or daybreak.
- The last mobile suit she pilots, the Akatsuki, means "dawn" in Japanese.
- The resistance group she joins is known as the "Desert Dawn'.
- The disastrous counterattack after the ZAFT attack on Tassil took place at dawn.
- The company that built the original 5 Gundams, Morgenroete, is based in Orb. "Morgenroete" is German for dawn.
- Also, she has links to the color red as well.
- The "Rouge" in the name of her first mobile suit means red in French.
- Her love interest, Athrun Zala, mostly pilots MSes which were either red or pink.
- Her image song is "Desert Rose"; roses are mostly known for being red.
- She and her VA, Naomi Shindō are at the center of a controversy as aspects of her characterization and relationship status with Athrun were said to be affected by Morosawa's dislike of Cagalli. The treatment was so bad Naomi swore off of voicing her in games, leading to among other things, Cagalli being unplayable in Super Robot Wars Z. However with the release of SD G Generation Overworld, it appears she has returned to voicing Cagalli in games.