Mecha Character Profile: Kazuki Makabe – Soukyuu no Fafner

Fafner is quite an interesting franchise, with its fan praising its intricate storytelling and production value, while unfamiliar people keep calling it a Seed clone due to the character’s design. However, there is one thing that anyone who watched Fafner can never deny – is that the character development in this series is one of the best in the genre. With Tow Ubutaka’s genius writing, he built up characters that seems absurd yet very realistic and relatable at the same time. And it shows the most in the main character of the series: the “chosen child” Kazuki Makabe.

I. Background:
– Kazuki Makabe (Japanese name 真壁 一騎) is the main character of Soukyuu no Fafner by Xebec Studio. He belongs to a generation of genetically engineered children specifically made to pilot Fafners – giant robots that are humanity’s only hope against the Festum invasion. He has a gentle nature and usually seems a bit detached, always going with the flow but still excel at everything he does. He is kind but socially awkward in a way due to his physical ability. He is also the son of Commander Makabe Fumihiko – the person in charge of Alvis at Tatsumiyajima. His mother Akane Makabe used to be a fighter pilot but was already gone when Kazuki was young.

– Kazuki was born in 2131, in the same year with many other 1st generation Fafner pilot such as Maya, Soushi, Shouko, etc… In 2146, his mother was assimilated by the Festum, and Kazuki only got his father left. Kazuki then spent his childhood at Tatsumiyajima in peace, unbeknown to the truth that Japan and the rest of the world has been lost to the Festum invasion. During his childhood, he and a group of friend found a radio. But the Festum was able to peeked into Kazuki’s mind and made him injure Soushi severely on his left eye. Soushi didn’t tell anybody the truth and Kazuki also didn’t and felt guilty about it for all these years. It was not until he became a Fafner pilot that he was able to talk to Soushi about it.

– On a peaceful day, Kazuki heard a siren all around the Island, disrupting the usual daily life of the occupants. Kazuki later was led to the Fafner hangar while not knowing what was happening. He reluctantly pilot the Fafner Mark Elf and defeated the Festum that was attacking the Island. After that battle, Alvis officially sent out pilot invitation to other kids his age who had the aptitude to become a pilot. Kazuki had no choice but to become one as he is quite literally the best pilot they have.

– Kazuki and other kids continued to pilot the Fafners to fight against the Festum. However, after a pilot lost her life in a battle after self-destructing the Fafner, Kazuki began to question his purpose as a pilot. When Soushi treated his friend’s death as just a number and criticized her for costing the Island a precious Fafner units, Kazuki snapped and decided to leave the Island with Yukie – a teacher and actually a spy from the UN Army. He was subsequently captured along with the Mark Elf.

– While in captivity, he was given the Fafner Mark Sein by the assimilated Akane Makabe. He used the Mark Sein to return to the Island and protect it from any Festum threat. By piloting the Fafner, he slowly lost his humanity after each battle, and due to the Mark Sein’s special property as a Salvator Unit, Kazuki’s assimilation process is quite different from the other Fafner models. At the end of Aggressor, he lost his sight. But he soon recovered during the events of Heaven and Earth.

– At the start of Exodus, the Mark Sein was sealed away, but due to an emergency, Kazuki and Soushi had to leave the island to rescue their fellow comrades. Kazuki once again awakened the Mark Sein and piloted it to fight against the Festum and protect his friends. At the end of Exodus, he received a blessing from a different Mir and fully forfeited his humanity.

– In The Beyond, Kazuki has passed down the Mark Sein to Miwa Hino, and piloted the Mark Zwei Kai Grimreaper instead. However, it was stolen by Maris and Kazuki switched to the Mark Zehn Kai Achilles before Salvatorising it into his ultimate machine: the Fafner Mark Alles. After the war with Benon, Kazuki and Kouyou left the island to travel the world.

II. Skills & Abilities:
– Kazuki is a gentle and kind boy, but he struggle to read people’s feelings and relate to them due to him being able to do things others cannot. He is also not very talkative, usually ending up agreeing with others when he want to avoid a lengthy debate. However, he is very sensitive when it comes to his closest friend Soushi and Maya. He lives with his father and their relationship was strained initially, but later on they have mellowed out.

– Kazuki possesses a superior physique compared to everyone else on the Island, including the adults. He could run a marathon without breaking a sweat, he can swim faster and further than anyone, he can hold his breath longer than a regular person, and of course, he is unmatched in hand-to-hand combat among his peers. He even defeated Sakura Kaname – a martial artist at his age – quite easily. His schoolmates used to place bets on who can defeat him, and so far none have ever succeeded.

– His piloting skills are exceptional, partly due to his physical prowess. The knowledge of how to pilot a Fafner was ingrained in his brain using Alvis deep sleep learning technology. It also applies to every other children on the Island without them knowing. He prefers to work alone in Lone Dog formation – instead of partnering up with a partner in a Twin Dog formation (which every other pilots do). This is so he can fight without worrying about protecting his partner. He can work in a team but usually when Soushi directs him to, and he tend to take on difficult opponents alone thanks to his superior skills and Fafner unit. In the Mark Sein and Mark Alles, he is pretty much a one-man army. He also prefer melee combat rather than ranged and his weapon of choice is the Luger Lance, although his marksmanship is also respectable.

– Kazuki also has higher endurance for assimilation thanks to his genetic engineering by Doctor Tomi. With the Mark Sein, he can easily counter-assimilate high class Festum and turn them into Nothingness instead. He can also reverse the assimilation process on an affected ally(s). When he use his power, green crystals tend to appear all throughout his unit and the scene as well. Kazuki can also amplify his shot from the Luger Lance with his power.

– As he keep piloting the Fafners, his existence is slowly being assimilated. After accepting Kurusu’s Mir blessing in Exodus, he crossed over the line to become more Festum than human. His physical being then has a time limit on it. If he uses the Fafner’s assimilation power too much, he will disintegrate and be reborn at Kurusu’s Mir side, while losing more and more of his humanity. His sense of smell, taste, etc…will be gradually taken away. It is a double-edged sword, however, after achieving the Mark Alles, his power has grown greater and he doesn’t face that issue anymore.

III. Gallery:

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