Gundam Seed: Athrun Zala
Athrun Zala is a fictional character from the anime series Gundam SEED and Gundam SEED Destiny, set in the Cosmic Era (CE) timeline of the Gundam metaseries. He is the deuteragonist of both series but the protagonist in the special edition of the latter series.
Athrun Zala, along with five other notable mecha and pilots from the various Gundam series, were recognized in the second set of “Anime Heroes and Heroines” stamps, released in Japan in 2005. He was the most popular male character in the Animage Anime Grand Prix in 2004 and his voice actor Akira Ishida won as the most popular voice actor in that same year.
Athrun Zala is a Coordinator, and a member of the Rau Le Creuset ZAFT special forces team at the beginning of Gundam SEED. He is the son of Patrick Zala, a member of the PLANT Supreme Council.
In Gundam SEED and Gundam SEED Destiny, his friendship with Kira Yamato forms one of the main themes of the story.
Athrun was born in December City of the PLANTs on October 29, CE 55. In CE 61, Patrick Zala sends Athrun to attend a preparatory school in Copernicus City, located on the Moon. Here, he meets Kira Yamato and they become good friends. In CE 68, Patrick calls Athrun back from Copernicus City. Just before he leaves, Athrun builds a robotic pet bird, Birdy (Torii in the Japanese version), which he gives to Kira.
After returning to the PLANTs, Athrun finds that his father has arranged an engagement for him to PLANT pop idol Lacus Clyne. (According to the novelization of Gundam SEED, she is the first girl Athrun ever kissed. It is shown in episode 20 of Gundam SEED.) Athrun builds Haro, a pink ball-shaped robotic pet for her, which she likes very much – his response is to build her a large number of them, which she names based on their colors.
On February 21, CE 70, Athrun enrolls in the ZAFT military because of his mother’s death seven days earlier in the Bloody Valentine tragedy, which was caused by the Earth Alliance. Among the Le Creuset team members, he becomes friends with Nicol Amalfi and Rusty Mackenzie, and he is the only member whose views on Naturals differ from his parent’s (and with the most dramatic consequences).