No, She's Too Strong!
Gundam Ep. 2: Say Goodbye to Side 7
In this episode: Space-Okinawa, society has a short memory, was childhood ever sacred?, nuclear allegory, fancy uniforms, and mutually assured Gundams.
You can read more about the Battle of Okinawa in these pages. While estimates of the number of Tekketsu Kinnotai boys (middle-school aged conscripts) vary, we are going with the 1,780 local Okinawan estimate given by their Peace Museum.
Wikipedia has a good overview of the use of child soldiers in WWII generally, including the fact that the International Criminal Court did not make use of child soldiers a war crime until 1998 (and they define "child" as "under the age of fifteen years."
Did you know the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the United States and Japan "has lasted longer than any other alliance between two great powers since the 1648 Peace of Westphalia"?
The essay I mention, that discusses anime portrayals of childhood, is: Ito, Mizuko. “Migrating Media: Anime Media and the Childhood Imagination.” Designing Modern Childhoods: History, Space, and the Material Culture of Children, by Marta Gutman and Ning De Coninck-Smith, Rutgers University Press, 2008, p. 301.
These Prussian uniforms are reminiscent of the uniforms on Zeon's rank-and-file, while all Zeon soldiers, including the officers, wear helms inspired by the coal-scuttle-shaped helmets of the German Empire circa WWI.
Char's uniform is more specific, harkening back to the uniforms of Prussian cavalry officers circa 1868. Note in particular the collar (like the Zeon uniforms it is a stand-up style, in red with gold detailing), the similarly decorated cuffs, the epaulets, and the single-breasted tunic-style jacket. While none of these features is unique to Prussian cavalry officers or Zeon, the combination of all of them in one uniform is quite rare.
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