Ramba Ral

Ramba Ral

Infobox animanga character
name = Ramba Ral
series = Mobile Suit Gundam

caption = Ramba Ral in Mobile Suit Gundam
first = Episode 12, The Threat of Zeon
last = Episode 20, Hand-to-Hand Combat
creator =
voiced by = Masashi Hirose (Japanese)
John Payne (English, MSG)
Michael McConnohie (English, MSG I-III)
alias = Blue Giant
Great Blue Star
age = 35
born = UC 0044
death =
nationality = Principality of Zeon
relatives = Jimba Ral (Father)
divider = yes
aux1 name = Allegiance
aux1 = Principality of Zeon
aux2 name = Rank
aux2 = Lieutenant
aux3 name = Mobile weapons
aux3 = MS-05 Zaku I
YMS-07B Gouf

nihongo|Lieutenant Ramba Ral|ランバ・ラル|Ranba Raru was a character in the classic anime TV series Mobile Suit Gundam.


Ramba Ral was the son of Jimba Ral, longtime friend of Zeon Zum Deikun. After the assassination of Zeon Zum Deikun, Deikun's two children, Casval and Artesia, came to live with the Ral family. In order to protect them, the Ral family later sent them to live on Earth under the names Edward and Sayla Mass.

Ramba Ral joined the Zeon military in Universal Century 0064. He quickly made himself known as a great tactician, and a master of guerilla warfare. Ramba Ral first made a name for himself as an ace pilot in the Zeon mobile suit forces during the Battle of Loum where his impressive combat abilities and blue Zaku I earned him the nickname nihongo|"Blue Giant"|青き巨星|Aoki Kyosei. Ramba Ral is also sometimes referred to as the "Great Blue Star" or the "Blue Nova".

Ramba Ral stayed in space for the majority of the One Year War, however after the death of Garma Zabi during the pursuit of the Federation assault carrier "White Base" Ramba Ral is assigned to lead a Special Pursuit Force and is sent down to Earth on a "Zanzibar" mobile cruiser. Ramba Ral is ordered to avenge the death of Garma Zabi, and is given a new prototype ground-type mobile suit, the Gouf, to do the job with.

Soon after arriving on Earth, Ramba Ral decides to have a reconnaissance in force and attacks the "White Base" on an island in the North Pacific. Soon after gauging the attack strength of the warship and the Gundam Ramba Ral retreats. The sheer power of Ramba Ral and his Gouf leave Gundam pilot Amuro Ray terrified.

Traveling in a "Gallop"-class land battleship, Ramba Ral continues to harass the "White Base" as it jouneys across the vast deserts of Central Asia. During the second attack on the "White Base", Ramba Ral's wingmate Akos is killed, and Cozun is captured when his Zaku II is disabled and taken back on board the "White Base" by Amuro Ray piloting the Guncannon. When Cozun escapes from "White Base's" brig he contacts Ramba Ral and Ramba again attacks the "White Base" in his Gouf to conduct a rescue. However, Cozun is killed before he can safely escape and Ramba Ral's Gouf is disabled by the Gundam, forcing Ramba Ral to retreat.

Not soon afterwards Ramba Ral meets Amuro Ray again (but did not recognise Amuro), who had deserted the "White Base" with the Gundam after dispute with the captain Bright Noa, and Fraw Bow (who came to drag Amuro back) in a small cafe in the desert town of Sodon. After recognizing Fraw Bow as a Federation soldier, Ramba Ral decides to release her and assigns his men to follow her back to the "White Base". When Ramba Ral's forces pinpoint "White Base"'s location they launch a surprise attack. Amuro sees the Zeon mobilizing to launch their attack and he decides to come back with the Gundam for rescue. Amuro attacks Ramba Ral's Gouf and the two slash each others cockpits open, the two of them realizing that they had just met each other in the cafe. Amuro is able to destroy the Gouf, but Ramba Ral is able to escape by leaping out of the gash in the cockpit hatch and swinging out of the way of the explosion on a grappling hook he had attached to the Gundam's arm.

Following his defeat Ramba Ral is contacted by Dozle Zabi and told to contact M'Quve to receive support. However M'Quve refuses to supply Ramba Ral with the new Dom mobile suits he was instructed to give him. Realizing he is alone, Ramba decides that it is his duty as a soldier to do whatever he can to carry out his mission. While the "Gallop" and a Zaku II distract the "White Base's" mobile suits Ramba Ral and several of his soldiers attack the "White Base" in close-quarter hand-to-hand combat and successfully invade the ship. Onboard the ship Ramba Ral finds Sayla Mass and immediately recognizes her as Artesia Zum Deikun, and he tells her that he was a servant of her father. As Ramba Ral lets his guard down by talking he is shot by Ryu Jose, whom he also wounded. Wounded, Ramba Ral retreats into the "White Base"'s secondary bridge and locks himself in. Captain Bright orders Amuro to destroy the secondary bridge, and Amuro tears a hole in the wall. Realizing he is trapped, Ramba Ral arms a grenade and leaps out of the hole, exploding in the Gundam's hand.

Ramba Ral was killed in action on the 05th of November, Universal Century 0079.

Character appraisal

Ramba Ral was an excellent example of how tragic war could be, as well as how infighting among Zeon factions proved to be an even more crippling handicap than the Gundam's superior fighting ability. Had M'Quve handed the new Doms to him, there is a good chance Ral could've put up a great fight against the "White Base" and the Gundam. This is evidenced by the damage Ral was able to inflict on the Gundam, despite the Gouf being inferior to it.

Ral was essentially a soldier who did his job, even though he knew his chances of surviving, let alone succeeding, were next to none. Sayla's memories of him were apparently happy ones, and his death hit both her and Amuro hard.

His attitude is almost reminisceint of the German World War II commander Erwin Rommel, since he used tactics that were similarly used by the "Desert Fox".

Ramba Ral in Other Media

In the strategy game Gihren's Greed, if playing on the Zeon side players have the option to overrule M'Quve and send Ral the new Doms. In the Playstation 2 version of Gihren's Greed, Ral succeeds with the help of the Doms and captures not only the "White Base", but the Guncannon and Guntank as well. However, the Gundam still manages to escape. In other versions of Gihren's Greed, should Ral be killed in action the Zeon forces have the option to hold a state funeral for him, similar to the one held for Garma Zabi.

On the other hand, in the PS1/Sega Saturn version of this same game, should Ramba Ral survive the war, he will ultimately defect to Char Aznable's Neo Zeon, along with his crew, given his family's relations to Zeon Deikun.

Ral's famous line "This is no Zaku, boy! No Zaku!" can also be heard in the game. In addition, should he survive his battles with the Gundam, Ral can be given a Dom, a Gelgoog and a Gyan, all painted in his trademark blue.

When piloting a Gouf: "This is not a Zaku! Not a Zaku!"

When piloting his customised Dom: "This is not a Gouf! Not a Gouf!"

When piloting either his customised Gelgoog/Gyan: "This is not a Dom! Not a Dom!"

This line can also be heard in Gundam Seed Destiny when Heine is fighting Stella with his Gouf.

On another note, if Ral and Char encounter each other on the battlefield, Ral seems to have no trouble recognising him as Casval Rem Deikun, the child his father rescued. Char asks him to keep this secret to himself, to which the old soldier dutifully agrees. Uncharacteristically, Char apologises for asking (he often uses fairly insulting language when dealing with others, but is noticeably polite with Ral).

In Yoshiyuki Tomino's Gundam Trilogy novels, Ramba's character is radically different. Instead of being a mobile suit pilot he works as a secret service agent under Zeon dictator Gihren Zabi. His feelings toward Char are also much more ambivalent & it is hinted at that he resented his father for paying so much attention to another man's children. Perhaps the most radical departure from his portrayal in the anime, however is the fact that he apparently survives past the conclusion of the series.

Much like fellow Zeon ace Char, Ramba has become a sort of character archetype in Gundam & giant robot anime in general - the "friendly villain" that would easily be a friend of the protagonist if they weren't destined to fight on opposite sides of a war. His influence can be seen in similar Gundam characters Gentle Chapman of Mobile Fighter G Gundam, Andrew Waltfeld of Mobile Suit Gundam SEED, and Heine Westenfluss of Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny.

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