Shinn Asuka

Genetic type





September 1st, C.E. 56








PLANT (Formerly Orb Union)




Red Coat


YFX-M56S Core Splendor, ZGMF-X56S Impulse Gundam, ZGMF-X42R Destiny Gundam

Shinn Asuka is the primary protagonist, an eighteen-year-old test pilot in ZAFT. Hot-headed and impulsive, he is the pilot of the ZGMF-X56S Impulse Gundam, then later the ZGMF-X42R Destiny Gundam. He is assigned to the new ZAFT battleship Minerva. Originally born in the Orb Union, he lost his family during the Alliance attack on Orb and subsequently emigrated to the PLANTs. Shinn's high scores at ZAFT's military academy earned him the right to wear the élite uniform of a ZAFT Red. Though he has never actually seen battle, as he experiences actual combat his fighting abilities continue to grow. He harbors a deep hatred for the Earth Alliance, and for the Orb Union which allowed his family to be sacrificed for the sake of its precious ideals.


In his youth, Shinn was a cheerful, energetic boy, who spent much of his time playing with his younger sister. However, he has become jaded and more withdrawn as a result of what happened to him during the First Junius War. Shinn is impulsive, hot-headed and somewhat arrogant, which often puts him at odds with his superiors. He is also short-tempered, and harbors an intense hatred of both the Alliance and Orb - especially the Athha family, whom he blames for the death of his parents and younger sister.

At the same time, Shinn is a kind and gentle young man, though this aspect of his personality is very seldom seen. Having suffered himself, he chooses to fight in order to prevent others from suffering as he has. Nowhere is Shinn's kind nature more apparent than in his interactions with Stella Loussier, whose life he saves on multiple occasions, and with whom he falls deeply in love. He is therefore highly protective of his friends, especially Lunamaria and Rey, whom he has known since he arrived in the PLANTs, and even moreso of Stella. After Rey is seemingly killed by the same mobile suit that killed his family, he becomes still more angered, driven by a desire for revenge for the death of his best friend.

Despite initial tensions between them, he comes to deeply respect fellow pilot Athrun Zala, and eventually comes to see the older pilot as a friend and mentor. He similarly respects the somewhat older Heine Westenfluss during the latter's brief tenure onboard the Minerva.

Skills & Capabilities

Shinn is a ZAFT Red Coat, a graduate in the top percentile of his class at ZAFT's military academy. He is a well-trained pilot and highly capable in coordinated attack situations. He works well as a team with his fellow pilots Lunamaria and Rey.

Shinn's specialty is high-speed, high-mobility combat at close- to medium-range. He is also reasonably skilled in long-range artillery, allowing him to take full advantage of the versatile nature of his machine. Despite being essentially a rookie, Shinn is among the top three most highly-skilled pilots onboard the Minerva, able to fight nearly on par with the much more experienced Yzak Joule and Athrun Zala. However unlike them, he initially has significant difficulties in dealing with remote weapons such as the Gunbarrels of the TSX-MA24F Chaos.

As he gains experience in battle, Shinn develops the ability to enter 'SEED mode', exponentially boosting his abilities, and his skills continue to grow, until he is able to fight on nearly equal terms with even Kira Yamato's legendary Freedom.


Shinn Asuka was born in Orb, and much of his life was spent in peace in that country. He attended school, where he did reasonably well, though even in those days he had a stubborn streak that sometimes landed him into trouble. His greatest joy was spending time with his younger sister Mayu, three years his junior. Like his parents, Shinn believed in the ideals of Orb, and was largely unconcerned by the goings-on outside the borders of their little nation, trusting in their leader, Uzumi Nara Athha, to keep them safe.

Then on June 15th, C.E. 71, everything changed when the Atlantic Federation attacked. Onogoro was abandoned and an evacuation ordered. Led by their parents, Shinn and Mayu fled, heading down towards the coast, where Orb ships were waiting to take on evacuating civilians. As they were running, Mayu's cellphone fell from her purse, and Shinn leapt down the bank to retrieve it. As he did so, a stray shot from the Freedom struck the hillside above. Shinn was thrown off his feet and tumbled down the cliff. Mayu was killed, and so were both their parents.

An Orb officer saw what happened. He took Shinn in, comforting him as best he could as the ships fled their nation. Later, Shinn learned that Uzumi Nara Athha and his cabinet had destroyed the mass driver, killing themselves and essentially, as Shinn saw it, abandoning Orb to the Alliance. Shinn had nothing left except his sister's phone and the photographs it contained.

The evacuees were taken to the nearby Equatorial Union, which had remained neutral like Orb, and hitherto been disregarded by the Alliance. Shinn remained for some months until, in September, he made his way, with assistance from the officer who'd taken him in, to the PLANTs, where he immediately sought to join ZAFT, enlisting in the country's military academy.

At the Academy, Shinn distinguished himself as a vicious fighter and showed enormous potential as a pilot. However, his hot-headed and impulsive nature led him to frequently come into conflict with his instructors. His experiences had left him jaded, bitter, and with a burning hatred of the Athhas as well as the Alliance, both of whom he held responsible for what had happened to him. In spite of this, he graduated second in his entire class at the Academy, earning the prestigious Red Coat. His best friend in those days was Rey Za Burrel, who was in his class, and whose cool, collected demeanor tended to balance out Shinn's more choleric temper. Rey was first in his class at the Academy, and the third student in their class was Lunamaria Hawke, also a friend of both Shinn and Rey.

By this time the First Junius War had long since ended, and the New Millennium Project was underway. Shinn, Luna, and Rey were all three assigned to the new battleship Minerva, and Shinn was made the test pilot for the prototype Impulse Gundam. Shortly thereafter, the Minerva was ordered to launch to participate in an operation to halt the fall of Junius Seven to Earth. This is caused by a rogue ZAFT force that supports the late Patrick Zala. The Minerva pilots kill the terrorists, but only partly succeed in their demolition efforts, hindered by the arrival of an unknown ship and several new prototypes including a mobile armor and two mobile suits. A multinational memorial delegation, which had been intending to visit the ruins and were attacked by the terrorists, is also saved by the Minerva. During re-entry, Shinn saves Alex Dino, the sole surviving pilot from the delegation's escort whose heavily damaged mobile suit was in danger of being destroyed.

The ship then makes its way to Orb for repairs, during which time Shinn butts heads with Alex, a.k.a. Athrun Zala, and Cagalli Yula Athha several times. While the Minerva is being repaired, Shinn visits a memorial dedicated to the people who had lost their lives in the invasion, which has been erected in the place where his family died. There, he meets and speaks to Kira Yamato, recounting the story of his family's death and unaware of the latter's identity. Its repairs completed, the Minerva leaves several days later and is attacked by an Alliance fleet including an enormous mobile armor. Though the ship is damaged, Shinn succeeds in disabling, then destroying the mobile armor, demonstrating the ability to enter SEED mode for the first time, and goes on to decimate the Alliance fleet. From that point, the Minerva makes its way to Carpentaria.

At Carpentaria, Shinn is surprised to see that Athrun has returned, as a ZAFT pilot, a member of the FAITH Special Forces, and the pilot of the new ZGMF-X23S Saviour Gundam, and moreover that Athrun is now in command of the ship's mobile suit teams. As the Minerva crosses the Indian Ocean on their way to the Black Sea, they are attacked by Phantom Pain, and Shinn discovers that they were building a base using enslaved civilians. When Alliance forces open fire on the fleeing civilians, an enraged Shinn turns his weapons on the Alliance Forces and obliterates the base. Athrun confronts Shinn over his actions, and Shinn reluctantly, begrudgingly admits that Athrun was correct. Over time, an uneasy mentor-relationship begins to grow between Shinn and Athrun. The latter later assigns Shinn the most critical role in their attack on an Alliance outpost in the Gulnahan Ravine.

The Minerva subsequently stops in the port town of Bandirma, where meets chairman Gilbert Durandal, who tells Shinn and the others about the secret society Logos, a secretive organization that Durandal says sponsors Blue Cosmis and is behind the war. The following day, Shinn meets Stella, whom he saves from drowning after she falls off a cliff into the water. 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, and Shinn promises to Stella that he will see her again. But unbeknownst to Shinn, Stella was a pilot in the Alliance's Phantom Pain unit, and when Stella returns to the ship, her memories of Shinn are erased.

As the Minerva leaves Bandirma, they are attacked in the Dardanelles by the same ship that had already attacked in the Indian Ocean, reinforced this time by an Orb fleet including the Takemikazuchi. During this battle, the Archangel intervenes, causing severe damage to the Minerva and killing a number of crew members, and Shinn's best friend and teammate Rey is killed. The fleet withdraws, and the badly-damaged Minerva is forced to return to port for repairs.

While the ship is being repaired, Shinn and Athrun are dispatched to investigate a nearby Alliance facility, which they discover is the laboratory where Blue Cosmos created the "Extended humans", pharmacologically enhanced and brainwashed living weapons, treated as "biological CPUs" for mobile suits and used against Coordinators. Enraged at what he sees, Shinn is then horrified when he realizes that Stella, the girl he met, is one such Extended. When the Gaia arrives at the facility, he and Athrun cooperate to defeat the enemy unit and capture its pilot - Stella. Shinn takes her back to the ship, where she is placed in the infirmary.

The repaired Minerva soon once again finds itself attacked by the joint Orb/Alliance fleet. This time however, and in spite of the Archangel's intervention, The Minerva and its mobile suit teams inflict severe damage to the fleet, with Shinn himself damaging a number of their ships. The Orb fleet withdraws, this time for good. However, Athrun is defeated by Kira and severely injured, angering Shinn, who becomes determined to defeat the Freedom.

Soon afterwards, Shinn returns a dying Stella to the Jones, extracting from Dr. Megan Kinney, one of the doctors in charge of caring for the Extendeds, and unit commander Lukas O'Donnell a promise to keep her away from the battlefield.

He would face the Freedom again in Hamburg, during attempts to stop the rampaging GFAS-X1 Destroy. A horrified Shinn learns from Lukas O'Donnell, the enemy commander, that Stella is at the Destroy's controls. Enraged, he attacks the Chaos, but soon turns his attention to the Destroy as he attempts to get through to her, to get her to stop. He is initially successful, however she panics at the sight of the Freedom Gundam, which deals the Destroy a crippling blow. Shinn attacked the Freedom, preventing Kira from finishing off the Destroy, but the critically-damaged mobile armor falls, and Stella is near-fatally injured. Escorted by Eurasian Federation mobile suits, Shinn takes Stella to Wilhelmshaven Naval Base, where he entrusts Stella to the care of Dr. Kinney.

Determined to destroy the Freedom once and for all, Shinn obtains assistance from Heine Westenfluss and, using what he was able to deduce from a comment Athrun made, the two devise a strategy to counter Kira's fighting style. Soon afterwards, ZAFT initiates Operation: Angel Down. During this operation, the Minerva engages the Archangel while Shinn duels the Freedom. Taking advantage of the Impulse's modular construction and using the strategy he and Heine devised, Shinn succeeds in destroying the Freedom, even as the Archangel itself is dealt a fatal blow by the Minerva.

After the success of the operation, the Minerva turns back to Gibraltar. Shinn is confronted by an angry and grieving Athrun, who punches him. Later, the two speak again, and Shinn recounts to Athrun the story of how his family was killed by the Freedom in Orb. Realizing the parallels between his own grief at the death of Rey and Athrun's grief over the apparent death of Kira, his own best friend, Shinn then apologizes, and the two men reconcile.

The following months are spent on training for all of the Minerva's pilots, during which Shinn's skills continue to improve, and soon he is assigned a new mobile suit instead of the Impulse: The most advanced mobile suits ZAFT has ever produced to date, the ZGMF-X42R Destiny Gundam.

Some months later, the Minerva is dispatched at the head of an enormous fleet to link up with Alliance reinforcements at Portsmouth in order to launch an attack on Heaven's Base. Arriving there, Shinn is reunited with Stella, whom he learns has been nearly completely cured. Shortly thereafter, Stella, unwilling to be separated from him, joins him aboard the Minerva. 

Shinn and the Destiny Gundam would distinguish themselves in the attack on Heaven's Base, as well as the attack on Orb, before the Minerva returns to space following the firing of the superweapon Requiem at the PLANTs. There, he is reunited with a badly-scarred but still living Rey, who now pilots the ZGMF-X66R Legend Gundam, sister unit to his own Destiny. The two would fight together during the First Battle of Daedalus, following which the Minerva returns to the PLANTs, while Rey remains with the ZAFT fleet at Daedalus. Unfortunately, Shinn would be forced to face his former best friend in battle during the Second Battle of Daedalus, which would end with the destruction of both the Legend and Destiny, and Rey's death.

Following the war, Shinn and Stella retire together to a small house on Junius Three, though both are present, alongside Athrun, in Orb for the signing of the treaty ending the war.