When anime series began to take center stage in the US, Cartoon Network began to air Gundam Wing. The broadcasters had no idea how big it would become. In less than a week, the show became the highest rated series on the network, which kick-started Gundam’s popularity in the US. Gundam Wing’s huge success in North America isn’t anything without its core Gundam pilots, including the main protagonist Heero Yuy.
As G-Team’s ace pilot, Heero is an accomplished Gundam pilot and has completed many successful missions. He’s able to withstand the ZERO system’s mental capacity and excels in other respective areas, making him one of the best Gundam main leads in the franchise.
Stoic and calculative, Heero doesn’t let his emotions get in the way. Outsiders may see him as heartless because of his tacitical behavior. However, outside of work, Heero is a very kind-hearted man.
He lives by his father’s philosophy: “The only way to live a good life is to act on your emotions.” Heero adopts this way of life and tries to live in the moment when he’s not working. However, occasionally his way of living in the moment can include maniacal laughs or rolling in the meadow and smiling before some buildings are blown up.
There are many things that we still don’t know about Heero. While the main show is long over, Heero’s checkered past and journey continues in a light novel series that takes place several decades after the main show.
Here are the 15 Things You Never Knew About Gundam Wing's Heero Yuy.
15 He’s Superhuman Thanks To Gene Manipulation
It’s implied that Dr. J was given liberties to enhance Heero’s genes so he could obtain skills necessary to become a “perfect soldier.” Apparently, the doctor went overboard-- Heero’s high endurance and superhuman abilities make him nearly invincible, providing fans with some of the craziest stunts that would make Tom Cruise’s Mission Impossible scenes look like a cakewalk.
He gets shot multiple times and still manages to survives, even when he was taken away by the Earth Alliance. He is able to escape after, and falls from a 50-floor military hospital, opening a parachute at the last possible minute, slamming against a cliff side.
He makes it out with only a broken leg, which he instantly realigns without flinching. On top of his crazy stunt escape, at one point he also self-destructs his Gundam while still inside, and yet again manages to survive. Heero sustains severe injuries, which take months to recover, but most people would have died from the blast.
In addition, he’s able to calculate and process huge amounts of data at an alarming rate, calculating the best strategic plan for every mission. Heero is no slouch when it comes to operations. The doctor made sure that Heero is the pilot who will ensure victory, and Heero always delivers.
14 His Gundam Received Zero Upgrades
Just to add more salt onto Gundam 01’s list of missed opportunities, Heero never gave his Gundam new upgrades. In fact, it’s the only suit that never received new power boosts or new attacks. (There was one time where heero stole parts from Duo Maxwell’s Gundam to repair his, so it somewhat counts as an upgrade, but that's pretty much it.)
Instead, Heero piloted the suit’s ancestor, Wing Zero-- the first Zero prototype before the five suits were created. The suit’s ancestor uses the ZERO system, linking the robot with the pilot to provide all probable outcomes to ensure victory.
It is proven to be the strongest Gundam out of the five because of the ZERO system, and is capable of battling even if 90% of the suit is completely damaged. However, due to the amount of data from the ZERO system, a number of pilots fell in battle because of the program placed too much stress on them.
Of course, Heero succeeded and used it in place of Wing Gundam, which was another reason why the Wing suit was shelved.
13 He Was Raised As A Contract Killer
Gundam Wing vaguely touched on Heero’s past. It wasn’t until in the manga and Frozen Teardrop that we learned about his childhood and that he was originally trained as an assassin by his father.
At a young age, Heero’s mother and stepfather were killed, and Odin Lowe, Heero’s real father, emerged from hiding to become his new caretaker. Both of his parents worked for OZ as contract killers, but Odin defected after he assassinated the real Heero Yuy.
To ensure Heero’s survival, Odin taught him military basics, and eventually, Heero became his right-hand subordinate. His father worked for the Colonies and aided a couple of assassination attempts for them. After Odin’s passing, Dr. J found Heero alone and offered him a chance to pilot a Gundam, which meant added additional training.
Combined with the previous training from his father, Heero became an accomplished child soldier and was able to carry out many missions at a young age. Throughout his missions, Heero was given a number of aliases before J officially gave him a name: Heero Yuy.
12 The Real Heero Yuy Was a Politician
The real Heero Yuy was a colonist politician who strongly believed in disarmament policies due to the United Earth Sphere Alliance’s (UESA) military control. Yuy also wanted colonial independence from UESA, which prompted the alliance to hire OZ contractor Odin to assassinate Yuy.
However, Yuy’s death sparked a rebellion, and the Sanc Kingdom, an ardent supporter of the peace-minded politician, was later sacked by the Alliance. Dr. J would name Odin’s son Heero Yuy in order to end the Alliance and free the colonies from Earth’s control.
The fake Heero Yuy never received a name, just like most of the Gundam pilots in the series. His parents never bothered to really give him a real name, only aliases during missions and while he was a part of the G Team crew.
Because of this, he's gained other nicknames, such as Perfect Soldier, Black Alpha, Zero One. The name itself plays a pivotal role in the series, though, and in a strange twist, the fake Heero Yuy would be the one who would help to bring a new era of peace.
11 He Is Also Called "Princess Aurora"
The moniker "Princess Aurora" came from Heero's cryogenic pod’s design, which depicts a princess with folded wings. During the Frozen Teardrop arc, the Preventers received an intelligence report that stated there was trouble brewing in Mars, which prompted them to awaken “Princess Aurora” (aka Heero Yuy) from cryogenic stasis.
The nickname is a direct reference to Sleeping Beauty– since a prince didn’t awaken from his slumber, Heero is referred to as a "princess." Heero is forced out of his sleep so that he can help the Preventers with an incoming crisis. His “prince” is none other than his significant other, Relena Peacecraft, whose cryo-freeze capsule is a sculpted prince who is holding a red rose.
“Little Prince” and “Princess Aurora” are some of the fairy tale motifs used in the novel-- Heero pilots a new mobile suit named “Snow White” and Duo Maxell Jr’s Gundam is called “Warlock.”
10 He Has Abandoned His Gundam Multiple Times
For a Gundam that is the face of the series, the suit’s screen time is very limited compared to the other main Gundams in the series. The main icon-- the mascot of the Gundam Wing series-- unfortunately, gets abandoned a lot, and part of the reason is due to Heero.
In the first episode, Heero is assigned to partake in Operation Meteor, but other ships manage to intercepted the carrier first. The carrier crash lands on Earth and is Heero left floating in the ocean. Not only does he leave his Gundam behind, he is also about to torpedo it away in order to prevent it from falling it into the wrong hands. (If he was able to do this then the show’s poster robot would have taken an early exit.)
While his Gundam is considered the best Gundam out of the five, the suit gets shelved, detonated twice, and destroyed multiple times in the span of 40 plus episodes. However, it did manage to survive a laser beam that disintegrated half of its body.
Because the suit gets destroyed up so many times, Heero's Gundam became the butt of many jokes. In Gundam Build Fighters, it gets blown up by Gyan and Tallgeese, who make a quick work of it in Brave Battle Warriors.
9 He Knows Lelouch vi Britannia
Although Lelouch vi Britannia is from Code Geass, he did meet Heero in Super Robot Wars, aka the mecha fan fiction video game. In Z2 Hakai-hen, Heero was the first person to discover that Zero is actually Lelouch vi Britannia. Heero managed to figure this out based on their previous encounters.
It’s not surprising, though, since Heero is a genius who is extremely focused on the tasks at hand, and thus not much gets by him. If he focuses his mind on uncovering a hero's identity, or completing a mission, then nothing can stop him. Heero kept this information to himself until Zero’s identity fell through.
Super Robot Wars combines different anime series together and offers an alternate plotline that fits into the crossover. It is an attempt to sell a game that brings old and new fans together, and hopefully, boost sales of the old mecha shows.
The games have been a huge hit in Japan. However, there have only been three English releases so far due to overseas copyright issues-- this is similar to other anime crossover games in Japan.
8 There Are Three Alternating Endings For Heero Yuy In Endless Waltz
Gundam Wing’s plot would continue on in OVA Endless Waltz, which served both as a sequel and prequel to the series. Endless Waltz had a manga and movie adaptation, and each respective body of work had its own way of retelling the story.
The movie stuck with the main OVA plot but added additional scenes and music cues into the film. Heero’s scenes are different in the OVA’s version and manga. In the manga, Heero serves as Relena’s bodyguard, while the OVA shows him watching over Relena before he walks into a sea of stars. The movietakes a completely different approach-- he is nowhere near Relena and, instead, is seen walking in a busy street. Here, his last words are "mission accomplished."
The other pilots also have different endings. However, both endings do point at the same direction. For example, Rowe returns back to the circus, but the OVA and film depict a scene of him arriving at the entrance of a tent, while the movie shows him performing on stage.
7 His Main Gundam Is based On The GF13-017NJII God Gundam
Originally, Gundam 01’s designe was mean to be Japanese, and not a Western design. This was during the show’s pre-production phase, and several drafts went through before they settled on a design similar to GF13-017NJII God Gundam. The team added in wings afterward and included a transformation ability. Both suits almost have the same weapon mechanics-- the Vulcan gun, beam sword, and machine cannon.
The crucial difference is their signature weapons, which provides them with their nicknames. Gundam 01 Wing’s buster rifle is capable of cutting through multiple enemies. It also has an equippable gundanium shield, made from an alloy metal that can only be produced in zero-gravity conditions in space. It’s shield also acts as a sheath for its sword. Additionally, 01 Wing has flight mode, hence its name: Gundam Wing.
God Gundam implemented a god slasher armament, which allows the suit to perform a number of god mode attacks. Two of the most prominent attacks-- God Finger attack and Rock-Breaking Sky-Shocking Fist-- combine the use of the god slasher.
6 His And Relena's Relationship is based on Sayla and Amuro
Heero and Relena’s relationship is very similar to Sayla and Amuro's romance. Both Relena and Sayla fled from their respective countries at a young age in order to avoid a conflict. Relena and Sayla also both have a long lost brother who has been working with the opposing side, both of whom wear metal masks so that they can conceal their identities.
The main protagonists would eventually face them on the battlefield. Sayla's brother is Char, a longtime favorite in the Gundam fan community and the character who started the "Char" archetype.
There are a few key differences between the two relationships, however. While Heero started out as a distant and serious soldier, he begins to regain his humanity as the series progresses with the help of his friends and Relena.
Amuro Ray, on the other hand, had his humanity intact and started out as a youthful lad who has the ability to become very close to others. For example, he sees other pilots as members of his family.
However, the ongoing war took a heavy toll on Amuro's mental stress, and eventually became distant from the rest of the crew. Eventually, Amuro matures and becomes a great leader, also developing a relationship with Sayla.
5 His Crazy Laugh Became A Famous Meme
When we’re first introduced to Heero, he’s is a not-so typical brooding protagonist who constantly threatens others-- telling them that he'll "kill" them-- and thus has trouble with communicating with others.
His first interaction with Relena included him ripping up her birthday party invitation and swearing that he would kill her. When he cuts down the first soldier in the series, he lets out a maniacal laugh, which has made many fans question whether he’s actually the protagonist... or a secretly branded traitor working for OZ.
It’s not just that episode either, he does this crazy laugh a couple more times throughout the series. Some fans speculate that it might be due to the writers trying to figure out his character. Or, perhaps it could be that life as a child soldier just really messed him up.
Either way, his evil laugh caught on as an internet meme and internet users began inserting his laughing image in other anime series. "Real 'Heero's Never Cry" was also created (as seen above), where all the other main Gundam protagonists can be seen crying, and Heero is just... well, laughing.
4 He And Setsuna Are Friendly Rivals In Super Robot Wars Z2 Hakai-hen
In Super Robot Wars, Heero and Setsuna become respected rivals in the game. In Hakai-hen, Heero compliments on Setsuna his skills as a Gundam pilot, saying that he has vastly improved, to which Setsuna replies that it is the highest praise, and continues his training as a pilot.
Although they’re from different universes, they do share some similar qualities. Like Heero, Setsuna is a stoic and was raised as a child soldier at a young age. He is an accomplished pilot in the Mobile Suit Gundam 00 series, and is able to pick out key people who disturb the balance of humanity.
However, there are a few key differences between the two. For example, Heero puts more focused on not letting his emotions get in the way in a mission, but believes it’s all right to express them outside of battles, whereas Setsuna doesn't believe this at all.
Setsuna also rarely shares screen time with his supposed love interest. He cares deeply for Marina Ismail-- another exiled princess who promotes diplomacy over war-- but it’s mostly because Marina’s voice reminds him of his mother. (The Japanese actor who portrayed Marina also voiced Setsuna’s mother.)
3 Frozen Teardrop Is A Continuation Of Heero's Adventures
Frozen Teardrop's story begins a few decades later, following the After Century timeline (AC). Sometime after the events of Endless Waltz, Heero was cryogenically frozen. He was eventually brought back to life for Operation Mythos, which involved an assassination attempt on Relena Peacecraft’s life.
Heero emerges out from his stasis, and is set to be a pilot once more. However, after a few missions, Heero fell back to sleep in his chamber, exhausted from piloting Snow White. Before they commenced Operation Mythos, though, he did meet the new Duo Maxwell and Chang Wufei, who worked with the Preventers.
Frozen Teardrop reviews all of the past events that played a pivotal role on the present situation. It explores Heero Yuy’s past and the Peacecraft family before and after the AC timeline. After the events in the novel, Heero and Relena reunite again and decided to finally settle down.
2 He Threatens People All The Time But Never Actually Kills Them
Heero often threatens those around him. However, when he says he’ll “kill you," he never actually means it. Sometimes it’s his way of saying “hello,” since his whole life was focused on missions, objectives, and liberating the Colonies from oppressive regimes which puts a lot of stress on him. It thus shouldn’t be taken as a serious threat.
Ironically, the people he tries to dispose of are the ones he saves. For example, Heero vows to kill Relena in their first formal conversation, which Relena doesn't take too well, at least until she learns that it is how he was brought up.
He saves her on multiple occasions, and even after she orders him to “kill her” in Frozen Teardrop, Heero refused. In the show, Heero also says that he’ll kill Zech Merquise, which he doesn't do out of respect for Relena’s wishes. He even considered killing his fellow pilot Duo Maxwell, when Duo was arrested by OZ. Instead, Heero decides to rescue Duo from OZ’s base.
After Endless Waltz, Heero retires from his duties and vows to never kill again and let the diplomats negotiate peace talks for the new era. Of course, he’s brought back to the front line again for Operation Mythos, but after that’s over, he finally retires after.
1 He Has A Soft Spot For Animals
One extremely popular image of Heero depicts him smiling down at a ferret that he’s holding. It’s one of the few moments where Heero looks genuinely happy, and that’s as much we’ll ever get from our stoic protagonist.
Before Operation Meteor, Heero’s mission was to set off explosives on an Alliance base in a colony. However, the blast killed a young girl and a dog. Heero buried the dog out of remorse. The head of the colony rebellion, Dekim Barton, saw this act of kindness a sign of weakness, prompting Dr. J to re-educate the boy so that he would no longer make such mistakes and become a perfect weapon.
Most of the time, Heero confides his emotions and never shows off his sensitive side. This is because he’s trained to be the next Gundam fighter and is thus focused on his mission. However, he does regain his some of his emotions as the series progresses, befriending fellow Gundam pilots and eventually falling in love with Relena Peacecraft.
When the Gundam pilots visit a circus, Heero is even seen smiling while playing fetch with two hounds.
Did you watch Gundam Wing? Can you think of any other interesting facts about Heero Yuy? Let us know in the comments!