The Type-00 Takemikazuchi (Japanese name: 00式 武御雷) is a high-performance 3rd generation Tactical Surface Fighter of the Empire of Japan, produced for the Imperial Royal Guard, and is the means to which the Royal Guard can continue to hold their position of superiority over the rank-and-file, as well as to allow them to take the lead in battles as befitting their status as nobility.
Intended by the Royal Guard to replace the aging Type-82 Zuikaku, the Type-00 is by far the strongest unit fielded by the Japanese, with a heavy emphasis placed on close-quarters combat and superior maneuverability. Greatly surpassing the Type-94 Shiranui in performance, the Type-00 is matched only by a select few other TSFs, and as befitting of a close-quarters unit, is a highly resilient machine.
Various parts of the Type-00 have been weaponized for close-quarters contact, including its head crest, fingertips, legs, and the inclusion of bladed weapons mounted in its arms, a design similarity shared by Soviet and European TSFs. Its feet structure is different from previous Japanese TSFs, utilizing a new zygodactyly design that retains the sole spikes of the Type-94 and Type-97 Fubuki in each toe.
Development of the Type-00 begun in 1991, when the Royal Guard issued a demand for a replacement to the Type-82 to prevent their combat power from falling behind that of the IJA/MDF, which was at that time developing the TSF-X that would later become the Type-94 Shiranui. In 1992, the Asuka Program was launched as the Royal Guard started development of their own TSF type; much of the TSF-X's internal frame design was re-used to reduce the time spent on research, with the main focus being on improving the close-quarters combat capability of the new TSF by incorporating super-carbon weaponry into its frame. Concerns about the new TSF's usability, maintainability, and costs were quashed by the Royal Guard, on the basis that their pilots were of an elite group, and their operations were focused on the defense of the Japanese mainland, making logistics support a far smaller concern.
The first prototypes, the Type-98X series, were completed in 1998, and plans were drafted and set into motion for the mass-production of the various Type-00 variants; this continued through the BETA Invasion of Japan in 1998 and Operation Lucifer in 1999, until 2000, when the Type-00 entered actual deployment.
The Imperial Army had also considered adopting the Type-00, but the high cost per machine and slow production rate forced them to abandon the plan in favor of keeping the older Type-94; at average, only 30 Type-00s can be produced a year. The Type-00 series also have very specific maintenance requirements, and even the least of their components are expensive and hard to procure in acceptable numbers. However, this is offset by the quality of its construction, which allows the Type-00 to operate for longer periods of time with a shorter and/or tighter maintenance schedule.
The Type-00 has seen little use outside of Royal Guard operations due to their exclusive nature; excluding very special cases, normal pilots are unable to pilot a Type-00, as the Royal Guard do not procure these units for any other branch of the Imperial Japanese military.
Several variants of the Type-00 exist, and their type can be determined by their eye-catching color schemes. While the colors may seem flamboyant, all camouflage schemes so far have failed to work on the BETA, and the bright colors of the Type-00 series serve as important rank-based visual cues for allied pilots and commanders during the hectic nature of close-quarters combat.
Because of the low procurement rate of the Type-00, most if not all of the units produced are assigned to the 16th Guard Battalion, and the various Independent Guard Flights of the Regent Houses. At least one known Type-00F was also granted to the Royal Guard's White Fang Squadron as TSFs for use in weapons development and testing.
Most of the combat seen by the Type-00 during major engagements, such as the 12/5 Incident, Operation 21st, and the Defence of Yokohama Base, would be on Japanese soil. It was not until Operation Ouka and later that Type-00s were deployed to battles overseas.
Further information on every variant's known instances of deployment can be found under their section.
The designation given to all Type-00 prototypes, the Type-98X is likewise split into four variants; the Type-98XR, Type-98XF, Type-98XA, and Type-98XC.
In response to a request by Takatsukasa Kyoko, and upon the orders of the Shogun during the Defense of Kyoto in 1998, one unit of each type, initially bound for transfer to the rear lines, were sortied in a rescue operation to find and retrieve 2nd Lieutenants Takamura Yui, Yamashiro Kazusa, and Noto Izumi, when their dire situation was made known to Royal Guard command. Kyoko herself located Yui in the end, when she, in the Type-98XR, found and destroyed a swarm of Tank-class BETA with only a Type-74 PB Blade and a Type-87 Assault Cannon to secure the area for Yui's rescue.
The deployment of the prototypes not only proved the Type-98's capability for melee and close-ranged combat, but also served as a source of morale for the hard-pressed Japanese troops, when news of its deployment was made known.
The Type-00R, usually colored purple or blue, is a machine crafted for the exclusive use of the Shogun and the five Regent Houses serving under the Shogun's command, with the highest possible performance of the Type-00 series. Purple is used only for the Shogun him/herself, while blue denotes a relation to the Regent Houses; thus, the Type-00R can be considered the base variant of the Type-00 series.
Compared to the Shogun's Type-00R, the blue Type-00R represents the actual variant, which uses a small number of common parts with other variants of the Type-00 series to reduce already sky-high manufacturing costs.
Unlike the other Type-00 variants, the Type-00R's multiple sensors are hidden by black-tinted covers, leaving two transparent portions that easily give the TSF the appearance of having two "eyes."
One purple Type-00R was delivered to the UN's Yokohama Base in 2001, as a gift from the Shogun to Mitsurugi Meiya, then a cadet and trainee pilot stationed there. As the Shogun's personal TSF, that particular Type-00R was tuned for maximum combat effectiveness, and even included a biometric identification unit to prevent unauthorized boarding; it could be truly considered a customized unit in every aspect. However, it did not see actual combat action until Operation Ouka, where it was piloted by Mitsurugi Meiya.At least two Type-00Rs in blue were known to have seen operation; one was used by Takatsukasa Kyoko of the Regent House of Takatsukasa, commanding the 3rd Guard Battalion during a skirmish in Miho Bay on May 26th, 2000; it was later destroyed in combat. Another was fielded by Ikaruga Takatsugu from the Regent House of Ikaruga, who used it to great effect during Operation 21st as a commander of the 16th Guard Battalion.
While the Shogun's Type-00R was delivered to Yokohama Base, the untimely deactivation of Alternative IV resulted in none of the events in Alternative happening. What became of that Type-00R currently remains unknown.During the JFK Hive Operation, Ikaruga Takatsugu piloted his Type-00R for the duration of the operation, which equipped with a competed version of the EML-99X Electromagnetic Induction Launcher (referred to in the story only as "the railgun").
The Type-00F, a variant painted in red or yellow, is used by distinguished commanders, fudai (inner vassal) nobles, or bodyguards for royalty in the Type-00R. The parts used in the Type-00F are less exclusive than the Type-00R for ease of repair and production, resulting in a technically inferior TSF compared to the Type-00R.
Most Royal Guard pilots assigned a Type-00F are fudai, hereditary vassals of the Shogunate, who pilot the yellow variant of the Type-00F. The rest are assigned to security units connected to the five regent houses of the Shogunate, colored red. Members of the security unit have absolute command authority when the decisions involve their noble protectees, and they enjoy certain privileges of being direct servants of the five regent houses, but they are not necessarily higher in rank or nobility than the fudai vassals.
The earliest known combat seen by the Type-00F would be piloted by fudai pilots serving alongside Takatsukasa Kyoko in the Miho Bay skirmish on May 26th, 2000.Lieutenant Takamura Yui, a Royal Guard pilot from the White Fang Squadron who was sent to Project PROMINENCE as a Japanese liaison, was assigned a yellow Type-00F as her personal machine sometime before she arrived on Yukon Base during the month of May, 2000. She initially used it to attack Yuuya Bridges in his Shiranui Second Phase 1 during one of the latter's test combat scenarios, after which the Type-00F did not see action again until the Yukon Base Incident.
Later on, during the Yukon Base Incident, Yui used her Type-00F to defeat terrorist F-16s and MiG-29s, and eventually defeated Major Christopher and his MiG-29OVT. She later used her Type-00F to engage BETA headed for the Red Shift line, and fought against the Su-37UB when the Scarlet Twins went berserk; the Type-00F suffered heavy damage in the ensuing combat, and was rendered combat-ineffective due to its Jump Units running out of fuel.Another prominent Type-00F pilot is Tsukyomi Mana, a bodyguard for the Shogun assigned to keep watch over Meiya; as the leader of the 19th Independent Guard Flight, she would use her Type-00F against insurgent forces during the 12/5 Incident, fight against BETA as part of the 16th Guard Battalion in Operation 21st, and participate again as the 19th Independent Guard Flight's commander during the Defence of Yokohama Base. Her machine was later passed on to Sakaki Chizuru for Operation Ouka, where it also served as a command unit for the remaining members of Special Task Force A-01.
In 2002, a Type-00F piloted by a fudai, Captain Fujiwara Kanae, leading the 1st Independent Northern Squadron, was deployed to Siberia under the command of the UN to test cold-weather modifications and performance capabilities of XM3-equipped TSFs. Improvements include a layer of coating protection applied to the main sensor systems to prevent damage to sensitive components, and to the joints and carbonic actuators to prevent them from losing their elasticity and flexibility in sub-zero temperatures. Heat-recycling components were also installed into the TSF's fuel and drive systems.Makabe Seijyurou, a Royal Guard pilot sent to Europe for training, was also eventually assigned his own red Type-00F at an unknown, later date, which he used to lead his assigned unit, the Wolf Battalion, from the front.
While Mana did bring her Type-00F with her to Yokohama Base, it was not used during her tenure there as the commander of the 19th Flight; what became of it remains unknown. On the 24th of December, 2005, a Type-00F operated by Tsukuyomi Maya participated in the 8th Border War between US/Japan and French/Canadian forces, arriving at the last moment to save Tatsunami Hibiki from being killed by radical French forces.A second red Type-00F, piloted by Makabe Sukerokurou, also participated in the JFK Hive Operation.
The white Type-00A is a variant fielded by officers from a tozama (outer vassal) samurai family, either serving under a higher commander or in charge of a smaller combat unit; their combat performance is another step down from the Type-00F for ease of repair and/or production.
Three units are known to be used by Ebisu Minagi, Kamiyo Tatsumi, and Tomoe Yukino, officers serving under Tsukuyomi Mana, during the 12/5 Incident, Operation 21st and the Defence of Yokohama Base, and were later passed on to Tamase Miki, Yoroi Mikoto, and Ayamine Kei during Operation Ouka. Four units, their pilots unnamed, were also part of Makabe Seijyurou's Wolf Battalion.
Although present at Yokohama Base as TSFs of the 19th Independent Flight, the Type-00As of Minagi, Tatsumi and Yukino did not see combat action during that time period. During the 8th Border War, Minagi, Tatsumi and Yukino returned as Royal Guard pilots, once again piloting their Type-00As.Several Type-00As were also seen during the JFK Hive Operation, under the command of Ikaruga Takatsugu.
The grey Type-00C is the last and lowest-performing Type-00 variant; it is designed with a simplified head sensor mast, and its mechanical joints experience a 30% drop in performance compared to the Type-00A, although they still have 20% higher engine output and 60% joint strength/durability increase over the Type-94.
Type-00C's are used by those inducted into the Imperial Guard, either through recommendation or on temporary loan from other branches, that are not from the nobility. These officers typically always serve as subordinates in the Royal Guard, regardless of their original rank and authority.
The Type-00C is used by normal pilots serving the Royal Guard; the 16th Guard Battalion, in particular, saw action during the 12/5 Incident, and later during Operation 21st as the rearguard for retreating forces.A group of Type-00Cs were later deployed as part of the 1st Independent Northern Squadron, and have been modified with cold-resistant systems and XM3 to explore the possibility of exporting the Type-00 for outsiders. Improvements to that batch of Type-00Cs include a layer of coating protection applied to the main sensor systems to prevent damage to sensitive components, and to the joints and carbonic actuators to prevent them from losing their elasticity and flexibility to sub-zero temperatures. Heat-recycling components were also installed into the TSFs' fuel and drive systems.
The Type-00C remains the main mass-production unit of the Royal Guard; one known unit was operated by Shirogane Takeru, and saw combat in Colorado, on the 1st of January, 2006, against French forces. Despite being inferior in terms of specifications to his Type-00A escorts, his skill and piloting techniques allow him to push his machine far past the performance of the ostensibly superior Type-00As.Takeru later participated in the JFK Hive Operation as well, where his Type-00C played a key role in allowing IJMDF pilot Tatsunami Hibiki to plant a S-11 SD-SYSTEM onto the Hive Reactor.
- Despite the Shogun's Type-00R being the "featured unit" of Muv-Luv Unlimited/Muv-Luv Alternative, and its appearance in a great deal of promotional material, its on-screen time in the visual novels, compared to the Fubuki and the Shiranui, is the least.
- Takemikazuchi (建御雷 or 武甕槌, "Brave-Awful-Possessing" or "Thunder-God") is a deity in Japanese mythology, considered the god of thunder and sword god. The deity's tales are told in the Kojiki literature collection of Japanese Shintoism and the deity is enshrined in the Kashima Shrine. According to legend, the deity was born from the blood that stained the sword used by Izanagi to kill Kagu-Tsuchi.
- The Type-00 has no aircraft in the real-world as its design basis. It is instead visually closer to several different mecha - the two that stand out the most are Unit 01 of Neon Genesis Evangelion fame and Detonator Orgun. The most striking similarities are the front horn and faceplate design for the former, and the design of the rear twin headfins, shoulder blocks and deployment method of its Retractable Daggers for the latter.
- Within the Muv-Luv fanbase, the Type-00, especially the R-variant, is considered one of the "Big Three" late-3th generation TSFs because of its power, alongside the F-22A Raptor and the Su-47 Berkut.
- Several fan nicknames for it include Takemi, Takemika, and Takemysushi. As of Episode 03 of The Day After there is also the Takerumikazuchi.
- The Type-00R Shogun variant made a cameo in Ayu-Mayu Gekijou when it crashed onto the middle of the street from out of nowhere; it caused Daikuuji Ayu to stop her car suddenly, resulting in a traffic pile-up accident.
- In the Muv-Luv Alternative Total Eclipse (Anime), most of the events that Yui's Type-00F went through remained the same, except that she did not fight Christopher even once. Later on, she would use her Type-00F to engage the Scarlet Twins in their Su-47 Berkut, in an attempt to prevent them from attacking Yuuya Bridges.