Bright Noah, in Gundam ZZ
Mobile Suit Gundam was the second Gundam series I ever saw. I won't get into the particulars, because that is for it's own entry. Anyway, around the fifth episode, I said, "Man, I really like that Bright guy." And that's when it began.
Most anime fans my age don't really get way I obsessed over this guy. Naturally, he couldn't be hot, because he was first drawn and created in the 1970s. And according to most anime fans these days, nothing good came out of the '70s. But this isn't an essay about that, nor should I be stereotyping.
While I admit that Bright is not bishounen (not to mention he's too old to be one), I think he's a well drawn character, ie, good looking. But I have other reasons for liking him as well.
We first meet Bright Noah in the first episode of Mobile Suit Gundam. He's only (supposed to be) 19 years old, and he's already an ensign in the Earth Federation Space Forces. With Bright starts the Gundam archetype of the captain - thrust into the role after the original captain dies, leaving him to control a motley crew, and keep the angst-ridden Gundam pilot in check.
To many casual viewers, Bright can be considered to violent. He is known for what many fans have nicknamed "the Bright Slap". Sometimes it's used as a verb, such as "I wish that someone would Bright Slap Shinn." Or, "Shinn deserves a Bright Slap". Perhaps Bright is a little to slap happy, but I see it as someone acting their age. Bright supposed to be 19, people. He has to act like an adult the rest of the time, but it makes since that his immunity sneaks out a bit. Bright is also sometimes considered stern and/or stoic, and therefore not as interesting as Amuro or Char.
However, I remain infatuated. Bright, in most elitist Gundam circles, is a fan favorite. And not just because of the slapping. He is considered by many to be the best captain in all of Gundam. Although he might not seem like it at first, up deep down, Bright's really a compassionate guy, trying to do the right thing.
It's impossible for me to mention Bright without mentioning Mirai Yashima. Part of the reason that was so interested in him was because of his relationship with the ship's second-in-command. I admit that I am a romantic at heart, and therefore am often more obsessed with the romance story lines than I am the political part of the plot. I will, however, leave this for another post, as I feel that Bright and Mirai are one of the top Gundam couples of all time.
As Zeta Gundam comes around, Bright has grown. Although he has mellowed some bit, he is still the kick-ass captain he was in the original series. He's nicknamed the Eternal Captain, because he never sustained any major injuries (nor dies) throughout the entire original UC saga. Also, he appears in Gundam ZZ, whereas Amuro and Char do not.
I realize that I am not painting a very clear picture as to why Bright Noah is awesome. That's because it is just too hard to pinpoint his awesomeness. Thus, I suggest that find out for yourself!