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I'll let you go this time but if I catch you doing this again, I'll track down you and all your relatives. Is that understood?
~ Sousuke threatening a boy harassing Kaname

Sgt. Sousuke Sagara is the main protagonist and anti-hero of the light novel and anime series Full Metal Panic!. He is an approximately 17 year old sergeant within the paramilitary counter-terrorist force, Mithril. He is a member of the SRT (Special Response Team) of the Western Pacific Battle Group "Tuatha de Danaan". His call sign is Urzu-7 and his ID number is B-3128, and he operates as team point-man as an Arm Slave specialist.

He is voiced by Tomokazu Seki in the Japanese version of the anime and Chris Patton in the English version, the latter of whom also voices Tatsuhiro Satou and Rentaro Satomi.

Overview

Sousuke Sagara is approximately sixteen to seventeen years old. A sergeant within the paramilitary counter-terrorist force, Mithril , he serves as a member of the SRT (Special Response Team) of the Western Pacific Battle Group "Tuatha de Danaan" and is assigned to the assault submarine of the same name. His commander is Captain Teletha Tessa Testarossa . His call sign is Urzu-7 and his ID number is B-3128. Serious and dedicated, he operates as team pointman as an Arm Slave specialist. Sousuke's ethnicity, nationality and date of birth are somewhat of a mystery. Within the novel universe he is of Japanese descent. Contrarily, in the manga, he is Afghan; having been born in Afghanistan and then, after a set of events, returned there and was raised there by General Majhid, a man he was meant to assassinate. In the anime, he is from Helmajistan, which is a fictional country that is meant to represent Afghanistan. His exact date of birth is also unknown, but assumed to be, and placed in his records as, July 7, 1984.

It is also important to note his name, as it is spelled on the helmet by Kalinin and is the name he goes by now, is not the name that was printed on the inside of his shirt as a child in the original Japanese content. The words printed there were 'Sousuke Sangal', which is the name of a place, not a person, making Japanese fans wonder if it is moreso the name of the place he and his mother were headed, or came from, and not his name. He has dark brown hair and dark grey eyes, as well as a small, visible cross-shaped scar on the left side of his chin. He is literate and fluent in English, Japanese and Persian. He can also speak some Russian as well as several local Afghan languages and dialects fluently. As a child, he was raised as a Muslim and soldier in Afghanistan, but, as a teenager, he does not follow strict interpretations of Sharia law like the people who raised him. This is because of his subterfuge, and not necessarily because of his belief system. In the 6th book, he is shown worrying more about Ramadan than Christmas, but his consideration is depicted on a partial combat basis ("It was a time when Soviet soldiers would lower their guard").

In his daily life, Sousuke is depicted as quite secularist. He is shown eating pork and his refusal of alcohol is made purely off of the fact that he clearly shows a genuine distaste for it. He is capable of reciting the Qur'an from memory, probably due to his childhood in a Muslim country, but finds classical Japanese literature, poetry and history extremely difficult to comprehend.

Appearance

Sousuke is a teenager of medium height with somewhat tan skin and brown hair and eyes. His hair has bangs that lead towards the right of his face and he is always shown with a serious face. He has an cross-shaped scar on the lower left part of his chin and a lean muscular build. He is considered somewhat handsome by many. He usually wears his school uniform which in the winter consists of black blazer and pants while his summer uniform is a white buttoned t-shirt and the same black pants.

Personality

Sousuke: It's not a problem.
Kaname:
Big problem!
~ Sousuke's (often futile) attempts to reassure others
Sousuke is very much a no-nonsense, "get the job done" kind of soldier. While he's by no means a sociopath, the only things that generally matter to him are completing his missions and protecting Kaname. He finds it difficult to understand other people's feelings, and tends to do very morally ambiguous things without much consideration for others, an example being when he threatens to come after a student harassing Kaname if he ever does it again, though he reveals afterwards that he was bluffing. He is also very quick to resort to violence, in a way making him even more short-tempered than Kaname, who often has to reign him in. Despite this, and the fact that he has no problems with killing someone if necessary, Sousuke generally prefers to use non-lethal force, even saying that peaceful solutions are the best solutions, though Kaname notes that he has a rather odd definition of 'peaceful'.

Having been trained to be a soldier since he was 2–3 years old, Sousuke is very poor when it comes to social interaction off the battlefield. He constantly causes many problems for Kaname due to his military nature, causing her to give him the nickname "Military Maniac". He does often attempt to reassure her by saying "Not a problem." but Kaname is rarely fooled by this and retorts more than once that "it's a big problem". He is also very bad at blending in with normal members of society due to his nature (i.e. following Kaname with stalker-like aspects and jumping off a train to follow her, and honestly expecting her to believe that such things are just a coincidence). He also has no understanding of romance; he thinks that "kissing" is a synonym for CPR, "flirting" means trapping girls in cages and holding them captive at gunpoint, and that a condom is for storing water. All in all, Sousuke is very much 'married to the job' to the point that he tells Kurz and Melissa that he has no plans for his life beyond following orders, something that greatly annoys the latter. That said, Sousuke does have hobbies that don't involve his military life, such as fishing, and even has a favourite spot that he frequently comes to to fish.

While Sousuke's awkwardness has a lot of comedic value, there is also a much darker side to it. Sosuke was only chosen as Kaname's bodyguard because he was the only candidate with the necessary combat skills who could fit into a high-school environment (anyone else would be in their late twenties at least), and treats life as an ongoing combat situation because that is what his entire life has been. He is also highly paranoid, to the point that he hates being touched unless it's by someone he really trusts; he reacts very violently when a barber tries to give him a haircut despite his frequent attempts to reassure himself, to the point that Kaname has to cut his hair instead.

Despite the fact that he is against saving villains, Sousuke bears no ill will towards the majority of his enemies and even grows to sympathise with a couple of them, most notably Leonard. However, there is one exception; Gauron. Gauron is without a doubt Sousuke's most hated enemy, partially due to killing his comrades in Afghanistan and partially for his extremely creepy obsession with him and refusal to leave him alone. Pretty much anything to do with Gauron, whether it be being the man or working with him, is enough to send Sousuke into an uncharacteristic rage, to the point that he had no problem killing his former comrade, Zaied, upon learning he was working with him. After Gauron's failed attempt to kill them both (by blowing up his own AS), Sousuke becomes so angry that he calls him a "shithead", much to the shock and/or amusement of everyone on the Tuatha de Danaan.

As one would expect from a soldier, Sousuke is generally very polite and respectful. However, he is often viewed as a jerk due to his frequent obliviousness and insensitivity towards other people's feelings, especially Kaname's. An example of this is when he states he's made mistake after mistake ever since meeting Kaname, causing her to believe that she's just a burden to him. He's chewed out for this by Kurz, who tells him that men like him are the ones that grow up to be "violent, abusive husbands." After this, Sousuke reassures Kaname, and from then on sees her as less of a responsibility and more like someone he genuinely wants to protect. His feelings for Kaname become undeniable when he punches his fist through a laptop with the message of his direct order to not contact her anymore, and only gives in when Wraith reminds him of his inability to adapt to Japanese society and how he's repeatedly put Kaname in danger, despite the fact that he's supposed to be her bodyguard.

Abilities

I'm not an amateur, Miss Chidori. In fact, I'm a specialist.
~ Sousuke before piloting a Savage
In addition to being a capable Arm Slave pilot, Sousuke is a specialist in Arm Slave operations and maintenance, improvised explosives, small arms, survival training, anti-armour combat, trap setting and camouflage. Additionally, he is proficient in logistics, demolitions, breach and forced entry, covert intrusion, and hand to hand combat. His background and experience as a guerrilla fighter, and later a mercenary soldier has made him much more sensitive and knowledgeable about tactics and methods more commonly used by guerrillas than government trained regulars.

Gallery

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