|Gunzou Chihaya as seen in the anime|
|Japanese Name||千早 群像|
|Current occupation|| Captain of I-401,|
Leader of "Blue Steel"
|Previous occupations||Japanese National Maritime Institute of Technology student|
Gunzou Chihaya is the current captain of I-401 submarine and the main protagonist of the series. He's also one of the few people in the world that sees the possibility of the "Fleet of Fog" and humans coexisting (relatively) peacefully.
Gunzou Chihaya is a rather tall teenage male. While it's never directly confirmed, he's 17 or maybe 18 years old when the main events of the series take place. He has chin-length black hair and brownish eyes.
In anime, he is seen either in the Japanese Maritime Institute of Technology uniform or in a two-piece gray suit with red shirt and blue tie. In manga he is also often seen in more casual clothes - a T-shirt with the "Blue Steel" emblem and some jeans.
Truth to be said, Gunzou is still inexperienced and haughty, even if the last couple of years had forced him to grow up a lot. He may appear to be stoic and not prone to emotional outbursts, but that is actually due to him keeping himself under control. Certain events - especially if those are connected to the betrayal done by his father - may cause him to lose this self-control; then he may actually start destroying things around himself or even cry.
Gunzou, while a good tactician and captain, is a gambler and opportunist, often going for risky and flashy moves on the battlefield. Despite that, he's capable of analyzing the situations well and has a good intuition for when to and not to trust others, as was shown when I-402 gave him the coordinates for Milchkuh resupply vessel or when I-402 informed him about collecting Takao's core.
Gunzou values friendship a lot and is willing to go far for his friends, especially since there aren't that many of them. For example, when he was ordered to surrender I-401 and Iona, he simply stared down the man who gave him that ridiculous order without any fear, even though that man was the head of JSDF. In the end, he won, even if it might be more because of the Yokosuka being under the attack of "Fog" battleships.
For a long time, Gunzou harbored a crush on his childhood friend and, later, classmate Kotono Amaha. He is still unwilling to let these feelings go. It is not clear, what his reaction will be when he learns that supreme flagship Yamato is wearing her face. While he spends a lot of time around other females, Gunzou doesn't openly display romantic feelings towards any of them. Right now, Iona appears to be his closest friend and confidant.
FatherEditShouzou Chihaya is Gunzou's father. At one time he was a hero of Japan for successfully capturing a "Fleet of Fog" submarine, I-401. Gunzou seemed to be very close to his father and wanted to follow his example - namely, become a captain of some naval vessel. Shouzou had taught him the basics of what a man of the seas must know. Maybe because these two were so close, Saori was left alone in her interest in birds, and thus she thinks that boys are boring.
Gunzou was devastated when his father went missing while commanding I-401 in her maiden manned voyage. And he was even further devastated when years later it was revealed that his father had sided with the "Fleet of Fog" and now was the traitor of humanity. From that point onward, Gunzou made it one of his goals to corner his father and find the truth about what he was doing.
MotherEditSaori Chihaya is Gunzou's mother. She's an ornithologist who owns a large collection of living birds at Chihaya mansion in the Northern region. Because of Gunzou's interest in sea and ships, and Shouzou's devotion to his work, Saori came to a conclusion that "boys are boring"
Following the discovery of her husband's betrayal, Saori was placed under the house arrest at the Chihaya mansion. Officially for her safety, while the real reason for this house arrest is unknown. its been stated that he never calls or contacts her.
While under the house arrest, Saori acquired two 'daughters' she so wished for. One of them is heavy cruiser Takao, to whom she gave her blessing to become Gunzou's girlfriend, the other - Makie Osakabe, who was placed with her following the attack on Osakabe mansion.
It is implied in the anime that she commited suicide.
Childhood days (before 2046)EditNot much is known about Gunzou's early childhood aside from the fact that he was already interested in sea, ships and naval adventures. At that time he still had his father to teach him and guide him.
Gunzou was often seen visiting Yokosuka port in order to watch ships in the harbor, or to watch his father at work. Considering how close those two were, it must have devastated Gunzou a lot when his father went missing while commanding I-401 in her maiden manned voyage. Because at that time Shouzou Chihaya was considered MIA, Gunzou didn't have to deal with being a son of a traitor.
Gunzou's youth (before 2054)Edit
Despite losing his father to the seas, Gunzou still followed his dream of becoming a captain of some ship, thus, when the time came, he joined the Japanese Maritime Institute of Technology. Two of his childhood friends, Kotono Amaha and Sou Oribe, also joined the Institute. There, Gunzou made several new friends, including Maruri Hibiki, Iori Watanuki and Kyouhei Kashihara. Apparently, while at the Japanese Maritime Institute of Technology, Gunzou had developed a crush on Kotono.
Early in 2054 Shouzou Chihaya was discovered aboard of "Fleet of Fog" superbattleship Musashi. This also confirmed the theory that the man had betrayed the humanity and had sided with "Fog". Of course, being a son of the humanity's traitor was not easy for Gunzou, especially with his mother being placed under the house arrest, but he still continued.Still in 2054, the fire at Facility #4 happened, claiming lives of many students from the Japanese Maritime Institute of Technology, including one Kotono Amaha (though her body was never found). This seemed to have completely devastated Gunzou, so when he came across I-401, he took her invitation and they sailed away from Yokosuka. While this technically turned Gunzou into a humanity's traitor as well, he doesn't appear to care.
Formation of I-401's crew (2054 - 2056)Edit
While at First it was just him and Iona, soon other people started joining him inboard of I-401. Maruri Hibiki, a girl from Gunzou's class who had a crush on him, was the first one to join the crew. Then Iori Watanuki, Kyouhei Kashihara and Sou Oribe found them and also joined the crew.
Sometime in 2055, I-401 had her first major fight with the opponent being the flagship of the First Oriental Fleet, battleship Hyuuga. Gunzou managed to lead I-401 to the victory, and battleship Hyuuga was sunk. And since Hyuuga's Mental Model had sworn loyalty to Iona, Gunzou allowed her to remain with them. In the end, he placed her as the manager of the naval base at Iwo Jima, which he had claimed for himself earlier.
Following the battle with Hyuuga, Maruri Hibiki decided that she couldn't bear being inboard of I-401 anymore, and she left the crew. For some time, I-401 was without the sonar operator, but eight months before the beginning of the series, Shizuka Hodzumi - a girl with mysterious past - joined the crew and became the new sonar operator.For the whole time he was in possession of I-401, Gunzou was using her to perform various random jobs in order to earn money to live. These jobs could be anything from protecting some higher-up's daughter to preventing "Fleet of Fog" from destroying an SSTO with important information.
Protecting the SSTO earned Gunzou and I-401 enough reputation to be contacted by the Japanese Ministry of Defense directly. Assistant Secretary Kamikage Ryuujirou wanted Gunzou to transport the blueprints and the last prototype of the Vibration Warhead Torpedo across the Pacific ocean.
Interested in this job, Gunzou sails to Yokosuka port. On the way there, I-401 ran into heavy cruiser Takao, a part of the "Fleet of Fog"'s blockade around Japan. At first Gunzou tried to use the storm to avoid confrontation with Takao. When it became clear that the fight is unavoidable, Gunzou decided to use a risky strategy that involved using the loot from Hyuuga and some bluff, which was based on his knowledge that Takao had a Mental Model. The strategy worked and I-401 managed to clear her way towards Yokosuka. Not knowing this yet, Gunzou also attracted Takao's interest, which eventually resulted in the 'tsundere heavy cruiser' developing a crush on him.
Yokosuka port (2056)Edit
In Yokosuka, after a meeting with Kamikage Ryuujirou and Vice-Admiral Uragami (the officer in command of the Military Command's Naval Strategies Office) where the Vibration Warhead Torpedo was discussed, Gunzou is seen at the cemetery, where he visits the memorial to the victims of the Facility #4 fire. There, he brings some flowers to Kotono Amaha.
While leaving the cemetery, Gunzou and Vice-Admiral Uragami are confronted by the Japanese Military commander Ryoukan Kita. Gunzou was brought to a restaurant where the rest of I-401's crew (save for Iona) was already waiting for him. There, Ryoukan Kita asked Gunzou to surrender I-401, but Gunzou declined, saying that no captain will do that. He also said that I-401 is also a member of his crew and his friend and he would never ever sell her. It is not clear, what the end result of this confrontation would be, had the Yokosuka port not being attacked by the "Fleet of Fog" battleships Haruna and Kirishima. But because the port was under the attack, Ryoukan Kita gave in and allowed Gunzou to go, still the captain of I-401.Relaying his orders to Iona, Gunzou drew the battleships' attention away from destroying the port itself. However, because of how the port was built, I-401 couldn't escape it unnoticed - now that both Haruna and Kirishima were looking for her - and her reunion with her crew had to wait...
Meanwhile, the newest Japanese submarine Hakugei (3) was deployed. While she is classified as a "Fog" killer, she only had a single corrosive torpedo (given to them by Iona on Gunzou's orders). But Hakugei (3) managed to draw Haruna's and Kirishima's attention away from I-401, allowing her to escape the bay and collect her crew.
Since Hakugei (3) was not really equipped to fight the "Fleet of Fog" battleships, the submarine was quickly forced onto defensive and she suffered a considerable amount of damage. However, before Haruna and Kirishima could finish her, Gunzou and I-401 rejoined the fight, once again drawing the "Fleet of Fog" battleships' attention to themselves.
Of course, I-401 being a cruise submarine, was not really equipped to fight on equals against two battleships, especially when she is low on Corrosive Warhead Torpedoes and wasn't really repaired after her fight with Takao. But Gunzou had an idea, how I-401 and Hakugei (3) could defeat battleships Haruna and Kirishima. It was a risky plan, especially since it required I-401 to play a role of the battleship's joint-mode Super-Graviton Cannon's target but it worked and Hakugei (3) managed to blow both battleships up with corrosive torpedo they were given earlier.
First defeatEditFollowing the battle with battleships Haruna and Kirishima, once the immediate repairs to I-401 were done, Gunzou sets sails to his base at Iwo Jima, where he planned to re-stock on Corrosive Warhead Torpedoes; not to mention that I-401 required some repairs that no human base could provide.
On her way towards Iwo Jima base I-401 was attacked by U-2501 submarine. The fight was rather short and quite one-sided as I-401 was low on ammunition. In the end, the reincarnation of the German submarine managed to corner I-401 and forced them to surrender, but the captain of U-boat, decided that it was not the time to sink them, thus allowing Gunzou's and Iona's adventures to continue.
Formation of the "Blue Fleet"Edit
Arriving at Iwo Jima, Gunzou discovered that they weren't the only ones there. A certain heavy cruiser was also moored there, but since Hyuuga had let her in, Gunzou decided that disembarking was safe. Then Takao, after making a scene as she was woken up from her wet dreams, suddenly demanded him to surrender the Vibration Warhead Torpedo (not that he had it at that time). This was followed by Hyuuga attacking Takao, asking what the hell she was saying.In the end the situation was resolved and Takao was allowed to continue staying at the base. Hyuuga, who knew that the base will be abandoned and that she will become Iona's co-processor, also managed to talk her into joining them. A bit reluctantly as this would mean that she will be openly going against the "Fleet of Fog", Takao agreed; she even changed her own color scheme form red to blue.
Her first task was creating and managing the 'clones' of I-401's crew, as well as controlling the dummy of I-401, while the base was under the attack by Japanese special forces. The first part was also Gunzou's experiment at how good a Mental Model is at controlling nanomaterials.
Gunzou's plan worked and the team assaulting the base believed that they had killed him and I-401's crew and took control of I-401. Meanwhile the real I-401 slipped away and headed to rendezvous with Hakugei (3), while Takao stayed behind to control the dummy in order to create the illusion for Special Forces that they indeed were in possession of I-401.
Ready to cross PacificEditI-401 successfully rendezvoused with Hakugei (3), and Gunzou was finally entrusted with the documentation and the blueprits for the Vibration Warhead Torpedo he was supposed to deliver to USA.
While still inboard of Hakugei (3), Gunzou witnessed the formation of the pack between the "Scarlet Fleet" led by his father and United Kingdom. Of course, Gunzou was already in the know about his father having sided with the "Fleet of Fog", but this piece of news still unsettled him greatly.
Even more than that, he also received the signal that Takao was fighting against U-2501. He didn't like both alternatives to resolving the situation that were offered to him, and, instead, decided that will both save Takao and break through the "Fleet of Fog" blockade around Japan.While he was still too late to save Takao, Gunzou managed to snipe resupply vessel Milchkuh with I-401's new Super-Graviton Cannon and drove U-2501 away from those waters. However, I-402 was the one to collect Takao's core, about which she had informed Gunzou via Joint Tactical Network shared by all "Fleet of Fog" vessels.
Deciding that he can trust I-402 for now - according to him she simply had no reasons to deceive him - Gunzou decided that it was time for him to rejoin Hakugei (3) and begin their voyage across the Pacific ocean. However, those plans had to be revised really soon because Kongou chose to begin a hunt on I-401 with a massive fleet.In order to increase I-401's chances of making it through that opposition, Gunzou decided to follow a very daring plan: he and Hyuuga were to sneak away on a high-stealth shuttle submarine (Matsushima) and go to Bounomisaki, where the salvaged hull of battleship Hyuuga is located. Upon arriving there, Gunzou planned to have Hyuuga take over her old hull and return with it to I-401 in order to help I-401 with getting past the Kongou's fleet so that she will be able to safely rendezvous with Hakugei (3).
Hyuuga wasn't able to recover her entirely, however that didn't stop her from upgrading Matsushima and filling it to the brim with salvaged Corrosive Warhead Torpedoes. And she also installed the software necessary for Gunzou to control the Auxiliary Super-Graviton Cannon ships from there.
Once granted the ability to fire the Super-Graviton Cannon from just those ships, Gunzou then comes up with a plan that might stop Kongou's fleet's attacks. Namely, he intends to render that fleet into immobile by releasing great amounts of methane hydrates from the underwater deposit and, thus, forcing them to use the entire power of their engines to stay 'afloat'. Once that is achieved, he planned to destroy Kongou with the Super-Graviton Cannon. He however, underestimates the amount of munitions needed to achieve that. Thankfully for him, Yukikaze, who was silently keeping tabs on him, added some torpedoes of her own to ensure that this part of his plan works. As a result, Kongou was immobilized and is rendered vulnerable to attack.
Activating the Super-Graviton Cannon, it was revealed that Gunzou was actually aiming for Nachi rather than Kongou and heavily damages/sinks the former. Simultaneously, the corrosive warheads launched from the I-401 warplanes heavily/fatally damages the immobilized Kongou. Determined to take Gunzou with him, she continually fires what remains of her weaponry at the Matsushima. The damaged Matsushima sinks to the seafloor and Gunzou sends a seemingly final message to the I-401 crew, telling them to leave him and continue the mission, as well as telling Iona that she is now in charge of everything.
In her last ditch attempt to take Gunzou out, Kongou rams Matsushima with what was left from her bow, sending the lightly-armored submarine into the ocean depths. However, Akashi recovers Gunzou before he is actually killed and places him in stasis, eventually delivering him to the "Fleet of Fog"'s naval base at Hashirajima.
- Shouzou Chihaya - Gunzou's father. Originally a source of inspiration and the origin of love for the sea and ships. Following the man's betrayal, Gunzou just wants an explanation for his actions.
- Saori Chihaya - Gunzou's mother. Because his interests were sea and ships, Gunzou wasn't really that close to her. Likewise, she thinks that boys are boring and dreams of a daughter, which she found in Takao. And, later, in Makie Osakabe.
- Kotono Amaha - Gunzou's childhood friend and, later, his classmate and his crush. Even though she died in the Facility #4 fire, he is still unwilling to let her go.
- Sou Oribe - Another childhood friend of Gunzou, as well as his classmate from the Japanese Maritime Institute of Technology. Currently, he is I-401's first mate.
- Maruri Hibiki - Gunzou's classmate. She has a crush on Gunzou, but his heart, it seems, forever belongs to Kotono. Maruri was I-401's sonar operator, but left the crew following the battle with Hyuuga. They met again in Yokosuka port as she is now an expert on "Fleet of Fog" inboard of Hakugei (3).
- Iori Watanuki - Gunzou's classmate. Iori is in charge of I-401's engine, thus making her one of the most knowledgeable humans about the "Fleet of Fog"s technology. While she doesn't have a definite crush on Gunzou, she is still disappointed that doesn't seem to see her as a woman.
- Kyouhei Kashihara - Yet another classmate of Gunzou. He's in charge of I-401's weapons.
- Shizuka Hodzumi - The current sonar operator inboard of I-401.
- Iona - A dear friend of Gunzou's. He sees her as a living being and a member of his crew and will fight to protect her with all of his might. And Iona would do the same for him. It doesn't look like there are any romantic feelings between them, though.
- Hyuuga - Gunzou's first (well, second) experiment at humans and "Fleet of Fog" Mental Models co-existing peacefully. Hyuuga has a crush on Iona and sees Gunzou as an obstacle, but she is completely willing to work for him.
- Takao - Originally an enemy, but eventually she becomes his ally and his friend. He is willing to take great risks to protect her. Takao has a crush on him, but Gunzou seems to be either unaware or set on ignoring it.
|Blue Steel Characters|
|Fleet of Fog|