|This article does not cite any references or sources. (December 2009)|
|Mobile Suit Gundam character|
|First appearance||Episode 2, (Destroy Gundam!) (MSG)|
|Created by||Yoshiyuki Tomino & Yasuhiko Yoshikazu (character design)|
|Voiced by||You Inoue (Japanese)
Alaina Burnett (English, MSG)
Olivia Bardeau (English, MSG I-III)
|Aliases||Artesia Som Deikun (real name)|
|Relatives||Zeon Zum Deikun (father)
Char Aznable (brother)
|Nationality||Republic of Zeon|
Sayla Mass (セイラ・マス Seira Masu ) (born Artesia Som Deikun (アルテイシア・ソム・ダイクン Aruteishia Somu Deikun )), is a fictional character from the Universal Century (UC) Gundam universe, first appearing in the groundbreaking 1979 43-episode anime series Mobile Suit Gundam. At the beginning of the Mobile Suit Gundam TV series, Sayla is a civilian of the incomplete single space colony of the Earth Federation's Side 7, who comes aboard the mobile suit carrier White Base along with other civilians including Amuro Ray, Fraw Bow, Hayato Kobayashi, Kai Shiden and Mirai Yashima.
Aboard White Base
Born Artesia Som Deikum, she is the younger sister of Casval Rem Deikun and the only daughter of Zeon Zum Deikun, the founder of the Republic of Zeon. Originally a medical student on Side 7, Sayla is almost immediately recruited as a soldier, and set to the task of watching over the civilian refugees. With the near total lack of experienced personnel to defend White Base (most original crew members were killed in the Principality of Zeon's attack on Side 7), Sayla first serves as acting captain Bright Noa's communications officer and later as a combat pilot.
Soon after joining the ship, she repeatedly looks for her "older brother Casval" (better known as Char Aznable, a Zeon ace pilot flamboyantly known as the "Red Comet"), and takes every opportunity to learn information about him and make contact. When Bright picks up a suspicious briefcase (later revealed to be full of gold bars) intended for Sayla late in the series, he confronts her and she admits her true identity as Artesia, asking Bright to distribute the gold to the ship's crew. Bright shows great sympathy for the amount of emotional distress she has secretly borne alone throughout the show.
During a battle against Zeon commander Ramba Ral, Sayla steals the Gundam to make contact with Char, and is heavily battered in combat against Ral's troops. Reaching the battle area with Guncannon, Amuro immediately rescues her from the assault. Though Sayla is disciplined for the incident, Bright and Mirai both recognize Sayla's latent abilities and she is assigned as Amuro's co-pilot with the G-Fighter (Core Booster in the movie).
During the battle at Solomon, Sayla senses her brother's presence and interferes in Char and Amuro's duel, and is almost killed by her brother. This indirectly results in the death of Lalah Sune, her brother's Newtype subordinate and romantic interest, at Amuro's hands.
During the battle of A Baoa Qu at the end of the original series, Sayla finds Char and Amuro dueling in a fierce sword fight. Worried over the safety of both of them, she breaks the two apart. A series of explosions then separates the three of them. Sayla returns to Char, who wishes to find and kill Amuro in vengeance for the loss of Lalah. But upon her reminder of his initial objective of vengeance upon the Zabi family, Char changes goals, telling Sayla "young Amuro is calling you", fondly informing her that she is an adult and instructing her to become "a good woman", before leaving to assassinate acting Zeon leader Kycilia Zabi. Sayla (through Amuro's telepathic guidance) escapes A Baoa Qu, and is reunited with the White Base crew.
In contrast to the television series, in the radically different version of director Yoshiyuki Tomino's novelization, Sayla becomes romantically and sexually involved with Amuro, even going so far as to ask him to kill her brother for the safety of the greater good; he refuses. However, Amuro is later killed in action, and telepathically sends the message to Sayla that she "made him a man," and wishes "he could take her with him"; she hears his voice while swimming in the Mediterranean Sea in the final scene, and knows that "Amuro is with her".
Because her voice actress, You Inoue, was on safari in Africa while Zeta Gundam was produced, Sayla only appeared in non-speaking cameos in this series. Amuro Ray was then intended to be romantically involved with fellow Karaba member Beltorchika Irma, but an offhand remark by Fraw Bow (roughly, "Are you still mooning about Sayla? You can't be stuck on her forever.") indicates that the two may have been involved at some point between series, perhaps as a reference to the novels. Sayla was later shown sitting outside a beachside villa in Episode 37, quietly listening to Char's speech at the Federation Assembly in Dakar on the news.
Sayla's silent cameo does not happen in the Zeta Gundam compilation movies, as Karaba's seizing of the Federation assembly and Char's Dakar speech is removed from the script. However, at the end of the movie, Sayla is seen relaxing on a leisure chair in her bathing suit, watching news updates and conversing with Kai Shiden, now a freelance journalist who has come to speak with her about her brother. Her voice is stock footage, due to You Inoue's death due to lung cancer in 2003, thus explaining why her role was not expanded. In Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ, Sayla showed up mid-way through the series with Judau Ashta's (presumed dead) younger sister, Leina. Within the last 3 episodes, she appears again, bringing Leina to see Bright Noa, where she passes him a letter from his family. She also asks Bright whether he's heard of Char, and commented that Char has distorted their father's ideal, implying Char's future action in the second Neo Zeon movement. She later takes Leina to a lunar spaceport to reunite with Judau, who is to join the Jupiter Energy Fleet. Finally, in Char's Counterattack, Sayla doesn't make a single appearance. However, in a flashback of the One Year War, Char comments that if his sister hadn't been there when he was fighting Amuro in space, Lalah Sune may have not been killed. Char also keeps a family photo of him and Sayla, which he often looks at in his private times. Sayla did not appear in the Dynasty Warriors: Gundam video games due to the death of her voice actress Yō Inoue in 2003, but she was mentioned in Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 2 to explain the reason for Kai Shiden's friendship mission. Frau Bow was used as a replacement for most of Sayla's role in these games.
In popular culture
In an episode of The World God Only Knows II, Keima Katsuragi is shown in the form of Sayla Mass along with many of Gundam characters in a dream sequence he has parodying the final episode of the original Mobile Suit Gundam series. The part which he is Sayla is a parody of her bath scene in the third film.