The soldier Flyvapnet


We've been walking across rocks and sand for six hours now. Combat patrols always move out in the dark here. I don't mind getting up in the middle of the night to prepare. I don't mind soldiering. It's what I want to do, to help end this stupid war. It's what I can do. I'm a good shot. I'm friends with nature and its terrain. I see things before the others and I like to think I'm helping them survive. I'm fit and durable, thank goodness.

They've tried killing me and have nearly succeeded on several occasions. They've killed my friends. It's the killing I mind, the wounding, all that blood and screaming, the soul preceding the body into the ground with a sigh. That's unless they're blown to bits right away. When we stop to camp, I check out my equipment first: my rifle first, then my body. It's always dirty. Everything's dirty by then. Sometimes I've blood all over me, but rarely is there a surplus of water. So I stay bloody and dirty a while longer.

My name's Yoko and I sweat. Ha! It's a good thing to sweat, sometimes. When there's a breeze the sweat helps cool me off. I don't like clothing all over me. It makes me feel constricted, confined, slow. The word "phobia" springs to mind. So I show lots of skin and I don't care what others think of it. They tell me I'm "a fine specimen of a woman." So be it. I'm a good soldier and the other good soldiers accept me as a peer, even though I'm a young woman they'd rather be screwing than soldiering with. They watch my back and I watch theirs. We're a team.

Logic and reason are my friends. They get me through the tight spots, when others panic. I don't panic, I survive. Panic out here and you're dead. Let your concentration slip even a bit and you're dead. The enemy isn't stupid. They're good soldiers, too. We try to kill one another. So much for logic and reason, eh? I don't know why they came here and began killing civilians, many civilians. Many. I wish they'd just go away and never come back. It's my job to encourage them to leave. I've encouraged too many of them already. Did they want to be here? I doubt it very much. You're a soldier and orders are orders.

If I was giving the orders, more of us would be alive today. I store those thoughts away for reflection later on. Sometimes the demons come when I'm asleep. They wake me up. They whisper, "We shall be with you always, even until the end of time." They've read the bible! I love reading books, good old-fashioned books with paper pages and hard covers. No chance for that out here, though. After the war, if I still exist after the war, I want to teach children. I want them to be safe, to learn, to learn how to learn. There's always a lot to learn. Most of what I've learned as a soldier I'd rather forget, but not until after the war.

My feet hurt. What's new? My joints ache. Sweat helps me remember where all the cuts and bruises are. I keep an inventory. I hope there won't be scars. I want to go to some beach after the war and be rubbed all over with oil. Oh, here comes my friend Ms Libido. Not now, honey. Maybe later, when we've camped. We should have already camped. We passed a good place an hour ago.

Walk, walk, walk. We'll be stopping soon, though. I hope. Over there, about two miles away, is a good place for concealment. "Take cover! Take cover!" I shout at the top of my lungs. I saw the flash, just a tiny, barely discernible flash, from that good place for concealment. We hug the ground. Here it comes. Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! It's rockets. Concussion, rocks, dirt, parts of rocks, maybe shrapnel -- it all hits me like a whirlwind from Hell. It hurts like hell, too. It'll be 30 seconds until the next barrage. Boulders, a bunch of big-ass boulders, 100 yards away to the left rear. "Boulders!" I shout and point at the same time. "Run! Go! Go! Go!" We run, we go. You can run very fast in combat, even as you can lay really flat.

At the boulders we find crevices, holes. We wait. They saw us run and won't waste more light artillery on this hard position. How come I was the one to shout commands? Well, we're all here, so who cares? It's time for an inventory. Rifle, fine, no damage. Body? Let's see. Blood, new blood here. Sharp pain there. "Sound off!" I shout. Nobody's hurt badly. We'll be here for a while and we have water. I'll climb to near the top and keep watch. Out here, we're soldiers. That's all. Maybe we'll go home tomorrow, one way or another.


Yoko Ritona is the lead female character in Gainax's 27-episode 2007 anime series Tengen Toppa Gurren-Lagann directed (for the most part) by Hiroyuki Imaishi, in the 2007-2008 manga series Tengen Toppa Gurren-Lagann illustrated by Kotaro Mori, in Konami's 2007 video games Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann Chōzetsu Hakkutsu ONLINE and NDS Tengen Toppa Gurren-Lagann, in the 2008 spin-off manga Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: Gurren Gakuen-hen illustrated by Kikkawa Kabao, in Hiroyuki Imaishi's 2008 feature film Gekijōban Tengen Toppa Guren Ragan [Guren Hen] and in Gainax's 2009 premium box set (book, compact disk, digital versatile disk) Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann Kirameki * Yoko BOX ~Pieces of Stars~ directed by Atsushi Nishigori.


Date Published
02/13/09 (Originally Created: 02/13/09)
Gurren Lagann Fan Words
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