The Trails series is easily my favorite game series. It has an expansive world and a wide cast of characters that manage to have a hold on my heart over the course of so many games. Ever since I started the series, I’ve been addicted. With my recently beating The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV, I’ve caught up to the localized parts of the series, so I thought it would be fitting to make a top list.
I had a hard time deciding what would be a good number for this top list. Ultimately, I came to the conclusion that a top 15 would be a good amount, as I could reasonably talk at length for this many characters.
Keep in mind that this list is my list, my favorites. If you have different favorites, make your own list or reply with some of yours in the comments. And don’t take the exact number too seriously, as it’s hard to rank characters I really like.
Major Spoiler Warning! This post will contain spoilers up to Trails of Cold Steel IV, the most recent game in English. If you haven’t played everything up until this point, you will likely get spoiled.
Number 15: Sharon Kreuger
I’ve liked Sharon ever since her introduction as the Reinford family’s maid. I really liked her mischievous personality. She served Alisa and the members of Class VII, and embarrassed Alisa in the process. She also tends to tease Alisa a lot when it comes to matters such as love.
The story initially presents her as someone that’s perfect. She can handle any task. She’s both athletic and smart. She seems to exude confidence and doesn’t worry much about anything. But this is done to mask her past as an assassin and an enforcer for Ouroboros.
She struggles between her identity as a maid of the Reinford family and her identity as an assassin. She feels a sense of obligation for killing Franz, which is why she is loyal enough to betray Alisa at the request of Irina when Franz comes back. But ultimately her love and devotion to the Reinford family is what wins her over.
I think she is also a great example of one of Trails’ main themes: found family. The Reinford Family is her family, and her character arc is one of realizing they’re her true family. She isn’t a part of their family because of any obligation, but because she loves them.
I wanna also mention voice acting for each character, since voices do partially play a role in how much I like a character, and Mela Lee was a perfect fit for Sharon, getting the loyal maid schtick down perfectly. You could really tell she was having run teasing Alisa.
Number 14: Ash Carbide
Ash at first seems like a edgelord type of character who’s trying very hard to be cool, and he really is to some extent. But under that tough exterior is someone who’s been struggling his whole life. He was one of the few survivors of the tragedy of Hamel. His adoptive mother passed away. And he has a curse in his left eye that’s been causing him pain his whole life.
Over the course of the game, you can clearly tell he is starting to soften up due to the influence of Class VII. He may act like he’s too cool for all that friendship crap, but it’s obvious the sentimental stuff gets to him. CS4 has him making up for shooting the emperor and learning to love and accept himself because of his friends
He may have been one of the three survivors of Hamel, but the fact that he survived is a miracle and he should treasure the life he’s been given.
I also need to mention how good his English voice acting was. Ash was the first character I’ve ever heard voiced by Austin Lee Matthews, but after hearing him in this game, I really wanna hear him in other games, as well as anime.
Number 13: Rean Schwarzer
When you follow a protagonist like Rean for four freaking games, it’s hard to not like him. There is so much to his character throughout the games. Early on he’s self-conscious due to his status as a fake noble. He’s also concerned about his ogre power, which causes him to lose control.
In CS2, he carries the burden of being Valimar’s awakener and the desire to bring Crow back to class VII. Then Crow dies and he finds out Osborne is his real father.
Then throughout CS3, he has to bear the burden and guilt of being the government’s lapdog and having him participate in the takeover of Crossbell and the Northern War.
And throughout CS4, he has to bear the burden of being the Sacrifice that caused the great twilight, causing him to literally go berserk and lose his sense of self.
What allowed Rean to overcome all of this is the bonds he made with his friends. I know friendship can be a pretty corny theme, but it works so well in the Trails series. Rean is the center of Class VII. His leadership and compassion for others is what allowed him to make such intimate connections with the whole cast.
That compassion being reciprocated is what allowed him to overcome each and every struggle. This is made most apparent when he is broken out of the Black Workshop due to the hearts of everyone reaching him. It allowed him to accept himself for who he is, and eased the burden of responsibility he feels towards Erebonia. It also granted him a faith in humanity that allowed him to even overcome the curse of Ishmelga.
I can’t forget to mention his English voice actor, Sean Chiplock. He voiced him for all four games, and you could really feel how Rean has grown and matured throughout the games through his voice.
Number 12: Tio Plato
Up next is Tio Tot. She’s the youngest member of the SSS. She’s a master at orbal technology. She spends most of the game being snarky and rarely showing her emotions and letting people into her heart.
Later on, we find out she was a victim of the DG Cult, which caused to her be hypersensitive to stimuli. But in exchange, it made her a genius with some special powers. Due to the effects of the cult, she was ostracized by her parents and those around her, so she joined the Epstein Foundation.
Over time, she starts to open up to the SSS, and comes to realize they are her new family. She also starts to become more emotive, with her banter with the rest of the cast. By the time of Cold Steel games, she’s also become more confident, working for the Epstein Foundation Crossbell branch. She may have been forced to suffer due to the cult, but she was able to turn her special characteristics into something positive, and use both her genius and her heightened senses to help out her comrades when they were in need.
Other things I find endearing about Tio is her love for Mishy, the Crossbell mascot, and her one-sided rivalry with Jona. It’s cute seeing her get passionate over Mishy. It’s makes you realize that despite her intelligence, she’s still just a kid. It’s also really funny watching her continue to outclass Jona in technical prowess, and even consistently destroys him in Pom.
Considering she wasn’t a main character in the Cold Steel games, she doesn’t get as much screen time as the rest of the cast, but I still managed to like her English performance from Kayli Mills, which is pretty cute.
Number 11: Joshua Bright
It’s only natural I be a huge fan of Joshua, considering my name is also Joshua. But I’m not as awesome as Joshua Bright unfortunately.
He’s introduced as a level-headed pretty boy who’s a very strong fighting with amazing intuition, which he uses to protect Estelle in their journeys. But there is always the sense that he’s hiding something, which he was.
It’s through him that Ouroboros was revealed. He was also revealed to be a victim in the tragedy of Hamel, which lead to a war and the death of his loved ones. When he regains his memories, he goes through a depressive phase, believing he has no place with someone like Estelle, but at the same time, refuses to side with an organization like Ouroboros, and tries to take them out all on his own.
He feels an immense guilt over acting as an unknowing spy for Ouroboros and for all of the people he killed as an enforcer. It was only because of Estelle that he was able to break out of the fear and guilt holding him down.
The way their relationship is executed makes the Sky games so compelling, and made Joshua one of it’s most compelling characters. It was a combination of found family and love that was able to pull him out of the darkness and realize it was worth living a fulfilling life with the ones he cares for.
He’s also voiced by Johnny Yong Bosch in the dub, who I was so glad to see return to have fully voiced dialogue in CS4. He’s one of my favorite English voice actors, so it’s a given I would like his voice.
Number 10: Lloyd Bannings
Lloyd is the next protagonist to make it onto the list. He’s the protagonist of the Crossbell games, and he’s a damn good one. He’s the centerpiece for the SSS, being a police officer with a strong sense of justice and amazing deductive skills. He’s very attentive to the concerns of others.
In our current political climate, police have a very bad rep, and for good reason. A character like Lloyd helps examine what justice is and the role police should play in society. Unlike the rest of the police force in Crossbell, the SSS isn’t corrupt or a complete joke. They act as a community based effort to solve issues for the people they serve.
The various issues throughout the game challenge Lloyd’s views of justice. He wants to live up to his brother, who was killed, but the events surrounding Crossbell, challenges his ideals in complex ways. The political situation has Crossbell in a sticky situation, which even causes Lloyd to go against the military force after Crossbell declares independence.
While independence for Crossbell is one of his main goals, he believes the way Dieter went about is was wrong, turning Crossbell into a fascist police state, limiting everyone’s freedoms. Even after the defeat of Dieter, his views are challenged again by Ian who wants to use the Azure Tree to change the fate of the world in a way that benefits Crossbell.
Lloyd ultimately determines that true justice isn’t erasing the past, but embracing it and using what they learned to create a better future with their own hands. The struggles they’ve been through define who they are as people and made them stronger as a result, so he doesn’t need an almighty being to bring about true justice. This is the culmination of motif for the Crossbell arc, overcoming barriers. Humanity has the power to overcome barriers and create true justice.
Even after the annexation of Crossbell, he still manages to resist to get Crossbell’s independence back, even being labeled as a criminal by the government. This goes to show how he’s taken what he’s learned over his journey and continues to apply it in spite of all the struggles.
In CS2 and CS4, he was voiced in English by Robbie Daymond, one of my favorite English voice actors. He was a perfect fit for the character, having a cheerful and personable sounding voice for him. Even though the Crossbell games aren’t voiced in English, I read the dialogue with his voice in mind.
Number 9: Agate Crosner
Male tsundere characters are underrated. Agate is a bracer who’s always trying to act tough, to give the impression that he’s strong and cool. He used to be a part of a group of delinquents, but then became a bracer to better himself. But he acted as a loner to avoid getting others hurt due to his weakness.
This is due to the tragedy that happened in Ravenue, that caused his little sister to be killed. He starts to change on his journeys with the cast of Sky, specifically because of Tita, who he sees as a replacement for his sister. This is another example of the Trails series’ use of found family, allowing Agate to grow to rely more on others.
Over time, that tough exterior starts to fade away, and it’s clear how much he mellows out throughout the games. He starts to have the persona of a mentor. In Sky the 3rd, he trains the former delinquents he used to be in a group with to become bracers, showing how reliable of a leader he’s become. He’s also a guide and a model for other bracers such as Fie.
He also becomes somewhat of a caretaker for Tita, filling in the hole left by her parents who are frequently away. He even accompanies her to Erebonia to keep her safe.
As you can clearly tell by the fact that I also have Ash on my list, tough guys mellowing out over the course of the story is something I like, and it made Agate one of my favorite characters in the Sky games.
I was initially disappointed hearing that Agate’s English voice was replaced in the Cold Steel games, with Ben Pronsky taking over for Bryce Papenbrook, but I eventually got over it and began to appreciate his deep, gruff voice. It fits with how he’s matured over the course of the series. And he kinda just sounds badass.
Number 8: Alisa Reinford
Alisa seems to get a lot of hate in the Trails community, but honestly, I think that made me appreciate her more. When people have ridiculous reasons for hating someone, it compels me to wanna refute them, and in doing so, I gain a greater appreciation for the character. It’s why characters I do analysis posts on end up being characters I like more than before.
The little accident at the beginning of the game soured people with her being presented as a tsundere. But compared to many anime and video game tsundere characters, she is quite tame. She is a genuinely kind person, but has trouble expressing herself to others. She can be cute and endearing, as she is frequently teased by Sharon.
What truly makes her a compelling characters is her family issues. She comes from the Reinford group, a company that makes technology that is used all across Erebonia. After her father’s death, her mother got absorbed by her business and began to neglect Alisa, and she also had trouble making friends.
Over the course of her field studies, she begins to understand the ramifications of what the Reinford group is doing all over the country, and decides she wants to work for them and make it a respectable company one day. She greatly matures over CS1 and CS2 and ends up at a high position in the company on her own merits, striving to turn in into a company that can have a positive impact on people’s lives.
She’s forced into another struggle when her mother and Sharon both side with the Gnomes, and she finds out her father is alive as the villain Black Alberich. Despite the complications with her family, she still feels they are very important to her, and strives to bring them back, and to prevent the Reinford group from going in the wrong direction with the mass production of weapons.
She’s able to succeed in getting through to her family, even Black Alberich. She was also able to help Sharon understand the importance of family and that their bond is more important than any duty. She truly considers Sharon to be her family despite her actions.
I think what really helped me like her characters so much is just how much she grew over the Cold Steel games. She greatly matures, and is able to become a strong and capable woman on her own merits, through hard work and idealism. She’s intelligent and has great leadership qualities. She’s also very emotionally strong, having to endure many hardships related to her family, but still come out satisfied in the end due to her perseverance and her realization on how important it is to reach out towards the ones you love.
Another thing that’s been commonly criticized is her English voice acting, but I thought Rachel Hirschfeld did a great job. Her voice suits her and shows maturity throughout the games. It’s also a really unique voice, and I would love to hear her more
(Also, as an aside, I really think she would look good in glasses. It would suit her character and it would be a fair trade off for Emma ditching the glasses. Come on Falcom. Don’t be COWARDS!)
Number 7: Kloe Rinz (Klaudia von Auslese)
Kloe is a kind and timid girl who went to Jenis Royal Academy and helped out with the orphanage nearby She’s attentive towards the concerns of others, sometimes putting them before herself.
Her real identity is that of a princess of Liberl. She went to the academy to try to live life like a normal girl. This is because she is self-conscious about being a princess, and majors in social studies in preparation for becoming the next queen.
She doesn’t feel confident about her ability to become a princess and found it hard to socialize with others. Through her relationships with others at the academy, she becomes more open and sociable.
She also eventually gains the confidence to become the Kingdom’s future queen. Over the course of the Sky games, you can see how she’s grown to be more confident and capable. Over time she proves that she’s more than capable to lead, not just because it’s her duty but because she cares for the people of Liberl.
She ends up taking over important duties such as being an ambassador to Crossbell during the trade conference, or for Operation Mille Mirage, showing just how far she’s come since the beginning of the game.
Her voice actress is Christina Valenzuela, who is one of my favorites. I was very happy to see her return in CS4 as her voice suits the characters perfectly.
Number 6: Laura S. Arseid
Laura is easily one of the coolest characters in the Trails series. She comes from a family of swordsmen who once fought alongside Lianne in the past. Her cool and calm personality and strong physique causes her to be popular with the girls, although she is self-conscious about not being girly enough due to her passion for the sword.
Due to the archaic nature of her home town, she can seem overly formal and old-fashioned in her speech. It’s also likely why she’s so serious. This also causes her to be pretty bad with technology, breaking appliances, and having trouble sending messages over the orbal net.
She’s generally very respectable and is good at keeping her composure, but her honorable and chivalrous way of thinking about battle causes her to have animosity towards Fie, but over time grows to realize how childish that made her. This is just one step in her growth as a swordswoman.
Her desire to become stronger in battle is one of her most defining characteristics. She’s always looking for challenging foes to face. Her dedication has lead her to be very perceptive, understanding Rean’s sword style and being able to recognize his weakness.
She does come to realize there are other ways to become a better swordswoman than just training to fight. She learns more about the world in her field studies and learns to rely on Class VII. She also travels around Erebonia in CS3 to find more ways to train.
Like I mentioned before, there was also the part of her overcoming her own prejudices towards Fie. There is also the fact that she joined the swimming club, realizing that in order to become a truly great swordswoman, she needs to improve herself as a person, and swimming was just one way to do that.
She aspired to be like Lianne Sandlot, and was able to prove the fruits of her experience in her battle with her during the rivalries.
It’s cool to see a character so dedicated to improve in her craft. Over the course of the games, she was able to have be rooting for her. She also has one of the coolest designs in the series.
I really enjoyed the English voice performance from Marisha Ray. She nailed that calm composure that Laura has and made her sound so cool, while also having a soothing tone to her voice.
Number 5: Crow Armbrust
Crow was a really interesting character. He is initially presented as a slacker who doesn’t play by the rules and likes to gamble. The only things he seems to take seriously is what’s fun for him, despite actually being quite clever.
But it turns out he is the terrorist C who’s be messing up stuff all over Erebonia. His goal was to take revenge on Osborne for annexing Jurai. His character arc is a prime example of the trope that revenge makes you hollow. Crow really is a sad and pathetic character in CS1 and CS2. His desire for revenge was the only purpose he had in life, and he was fully prepared to die for it.
The main reason he helps out the Noble Alliance is that he feels responsible for the Civil War, since he killed Osborne, so he wants to put an end to it. When one’s purpose has been fulfilled, you need to find another one. This was all he had left. Unfortunately, he dies knowing that Osborne was still alive and that his efforts had been for nothing.
This is the problem with revenge. He had friends in Class VII that he could rely on, but he denied those relationships for the sake of his purpose, and lost what could truly give meaning to his life.
He is given another chance though, as his status as an Awakener allowed him to be an immortal. Once he gets his memories back, he decides he no longer wants to work for the Black Workshop and helps Rean escape.
After reuniting his Class VII, he realizes his mistakes, and that he truly does cherish his relationships with Class VII, and that denying those relationships would leave his life hollow and meaningless. Because of this, he uses the time he has left as the Azure Awakener to help out Rean with ending the Great Twilight. I also really like the motif of the 50 mira coin, and having to pay back the interest. Paying his debts is the way he gave what little time he thought he had left meaning.
I’m glad he got a happy ending, because he was finally starting to realize the value of life and forming bonds with others. He might have started out a pathetic character, but there was still redemption for him.
His voice actor, Scott Whyte, I hadn’t heard of until Cold Steel, but he did an amazing job. He had the perfect voice for a laid-back guy like him.
Number 4: Emma Millstein
Emma is a character that continually grew on me over the course of the series. There is so much to her character that by the end of the Cold Steel games, she ranked up in my favorites.
She’s introduced as a shy and kind girl who’s very intelligent. She has a one-sided rivalry with Machias when it comes to academics and she’s willing to help Fie with her studies.
One of the biggest twists is that she’s actually a witch sent to watch over the old schoolhouse and guide Rean to be an awakener. She feels guilt over hiding this from everyone and her status as a witch, which also feeling inferior to her sister Vita gave her serious self-esteem issues. She also struggles to live up to the duty assigned to her as a witch of the Hexen Clan.
By the time of CS3, she’s become a very capable wandering witch who’s become proficient in many forms of magic. She’s able to form barriers, teleport, and even help Rean with his condition. She was also searching for Vita to learn more about the truth of what’s going on and to overcome her inferiority complex.
By CS4, she’s able to overcome these mental barriers, and ditched the glasses (unfortunate, I liked them) to signify her growth. She’s also more open and willing to speak her mind more clearly. And her magic abilities were more than instrumental in getting Class VII through many challenging trials.
At the beginning of the Cold Steel arc, she was a weak-willed girl with serious self-esteem issues, but by the end of CS4, she managed to become a confident and capable witch due to the time she spent with the rest of Class VII.
I do have to mention that I absolutely love her design and she’s easily one of the most gorgeous characters in the series. She’s not normally the type of character I would say such a thing about, as I much prefer cool and boyish types, but Emma’s design somehow managed to be an exception.
I also need to note Rena Strober’s English voice acting for her because she did a great job. She had some of the most notable growth through her voice in the series. You could tell that the character was becoming more confident with each game with how she was voiced. In CS1, when she did her “It’s my turn” battle dialogue, she sounded like she was nervous about her turn being next, like she didn’t want to be next. But by CS2, her battle dialogue makes her sound more confident about her being next to attack. It’s a minor detail but little touches like this add to the whole and helps to sell her character growth.
Number 3: Fie Claussell
I came into Cold Steel expecting to like Fie and I was not disappointed. She starts out as a lazy girl who’s always taking naps and doesn’t do well in her studies. She’s generally not very emotive and keeps to herself. It’s then revealed that she used to be a jaeger, nicknamed Sylphid, but then was taken in by Sara to join class VII after the boss of Zephyr died.
At first she has animosity with Laura, but eventually they both get over their petty prejudices.
She does slowly start to become more emotive throughout the games, due to her interactions with Class VII. By CS2, instead of being expressionless, she’s more snarky and sarcastic, often throwing out funny lines to tease the other characters.
Eventually games throw in another aspect to her character, Zephyr, her old jaeger corps. Her old friends were working for the Noble Alliance, and as someone who is not longer a jaeger, but a member of Class VII, she struggles in accepting that her old family is now her enemy.
She ends up confronting them again in CS3 only to find out the boss Rutger was revived as an awakener. By this point, she was left the life of a jaeger and became a bracer, who’s methods and goals are essentially the opposite. Despite being in more honorable work, she still struggles having to realize that her former family is now her enemy, but has to come to terms with the fact that her old family wanted to get her away from the dangerous and dirty life as a jaeger.
I think her life with Zephyr is interesting to contrast with the Red Constellation corps. Fie was raised out of love and concern for her future, ultimately leading her towards becoming a bracer and making connection with everyone in Class VII. Fie contrasts with Shirley who was raised by a family that glorified battle and the dirty work of a jaeger, that Shirley ended up a psychopath obsessed with battles and killing.
I mentioned before that found family is a major theme in Trails. Both Zephyr and Class VII are good examples of this, as she was adopted in Zephyr, and became a close friend with everyone in Class VII. She wanted to confront her family and by CS4, is finally able to thank Rutger and call him her father, but she’s also able to come to terms with it, realizing that Class VII is her new family.
She was able to find a new family, a purpose in life, and was able to grow into a strong and capable woman all because of the experiences she had with Class VII. And what more could a father want than for her daughter to grow into a strong woman like Fie did.
I also really love her design. It’s so cool and gives off the impression of speed and agility. I especially like her CS2 design.
Cassandra Lee Morris is not only one of my favorite English voice actresses, but like I mentioned in the previous entry, Fie is another character that shows growth through her voice. She becomes noticeably more emotive throughout the games. In CS1, her “It’s my turn” battle dialogue sounded monotone, like she was still in the laser-focused mission mindset of a jaeger. But in CS2, her battle dialogue sounds more emotive, and gives off a more confident, even cocky impression, like she’s ready to show off her abilities and kick some ass.
Number 2: Juna Crawford
Juna really impressed me really fast, and I knew that she would end up one of my favorite characters in the series. She’s a prideful, spunky, and energetic Crossbellan who’s also a huge fangirl of the SSS. She doesn’t support the annexation of Crossbell, and protesting it caused her to get sent to Thors Branch Campus to make up for the credits she lost as punishment.
Juna is a character who shows immense growth over the course of CS3 and CS4. She starts out prejudiced towards Erebonians because they took over Crossbell, but then realizes that’s wrong and the people are Erebonia are humans just like her. It shows how it’s good to have pride towards one’s country, but this shouldn’t make you hateful or prejudiced. She realizes Erebonians have their own issues, and grows to care about her friends there just as much as she does Crossbell. Once she gets over that barrier, she ends up being one of the friendliest members of Class VII.
She’s initially pretty hostile towards Rean, but that’s because she’s too embarrassed to thank him for saving her family, feeling a sense of cognitive dissonance that the one who saved them was from Erebonia. But all she really wants to do is thank him.
She’s easily one of the most sociable and easy to get along with characters in the game. She’s not afraid to speak her mind, and she’s not one for formalities. She treats everyone like they are of equal status, and feels no pressure meeting with people of a higher position of power. Her lack of a filter and disregard for social status is one of her most endearing qualities.
She is the most leaderlike member of the New Class VII, often taking point in situations in which Rean is not around. She’s also pretty forceful about keeping watch on Rean to make sure he doesn’t do anything to get himself hurt.
She does has a moment where she gets really depressed when the gravity of the situation in Crossbell due to Rufus and Ouroboros finally kicks in, but once she overcomes it, she starts to grow into a really competent leader and motivational force for Class VII.
In CS4, she becomes the driving force behind the group. She motivates everyone to get off their asses so they can save Rean. She manages to take the initiative all throughout Act 1 of the game. Even when Rean comes back and becomes the protagonist again, Juna still has many opportunities to take the spotlight, frequently giving motivational speeches, taking the initiative, and acting like a leader.
She has many amazing moments throughout the games. Some of my favorites include the scene on Orchis Tower, the part where she motivates Class VII to save Rean, and the part where she calls out Ouroboros for not making sense, and managing to extract information out of them.
I love when characters earn the praise given to them by other characters, and Juna is a great example of one. She’s described as the one that connects Class VII to the rest of the world. Her devotion to her friends, straightforward attitude, and compassion for those she cares about makes her a great person to motivate the rest of Class VII to do what they can to make the world a better place. She easily had some of the most fulfilling and satisfying character growth in the entire series, so it’s no surprise she’s one of my favorite characters.
I also wanna mention how much I really like her design. Especially her outfit in CS4, which looks so cool.
I need to give attention to her English voice acting, because it is so damn good. Erika Harlacher is already great, but Juna is by far my favorite performance of hers, and my favorite performance in the entire series. She perfectly captures Juna’s spunk, and gets down all of the emotional scenes perfectly. Her speeches are also amazing, and her voice work only makes these scenes even more motivating. Her battle dialogue is also some of the best. You can just feel that confidence and spunk in her battle dialogue, like her “Nope!” when she dodges an attack or her “Would ya look at that” in her victory dialogue.
Number 1: Gilbert Stein
Of course, my number one is the beautiful and perfect Gilbert Stein. There is nobody more elegant and amazing than Gilbert. All shall bow down to the great Gilbert Stein.
Okay, I’m just joking, onto the real number 1.
Number 1: Estelle Bright
Of course my number 1 is Bestelle. Seeing her funny one-liners on social media is what got me into the series in the first place. I knew from the very start I would be a big fan of her, but there is so much more to her than her amazing dialogue.
At the beginning of Trails in the Sky, she’s a brash, hot-headed tomboy who loves bugs, fishing, and sports shoes. Her mother died when she was a child. Joshua joined her life when she was eleven, and her father is frequently away doing bracer work. Taking after her father, she becomes a bracer at a young age alongside Joshua as they travel Liberl to learn more about the place the live and mature to become more responsible and level-headed.
This journey really does help develop Estelle into a fantastic character. She mellows out considerably in SC and becomes a much more capable bracer, being able to think ahead, and doesn’t have to rely on Joshua to bail her out at every opportunity.
I said before that I like when characters earn the praise they receive from others, and Estelle is another great example of that. She’s always noted to shine like the sun, but it isn’t just said to make her seem good. She actually proves this throughout the games.
I actually wrote an analysis on the themes of Trails in the Sky SC, where I explained how Estelle fully embodies her beliefs. She believes that humans are strong and can learn from their struggles to create a better world for themselves, without the need for some superbeing to control them. Her beliefs are complete grounded in reality, as she recognizes the struggles of humanity through her journey throughout the games, and through the actions taken by those closest to her. The scene where she talks to Weissmann and dismantles his arguments like it was the most obvious thing in the world was one of the highlights of the series, showing her resolve and her optimistic worldview.
She exemplifies this strength throughout SC, where she is able to bring Joshua back from his depressive state, and in Sky the 3rd, where she’s able to get Renne to warm up to her. It’s her kindness, compassion, empathy, and hope that shines through for people.
Humans can learn from their mistakes, and because of her radiance, she’s able to bring out the best in people. She perfectly encapsulates what it means to be a bracer, and what it means to be a human. It’s people like her who are needed to create a brighter future.
Her influence doesn’t just stop at the Sky games, as she makes an important appearance in the Crossbell games, helping out with the cult and even fighting a freaking Aion. She also assists with the events in CS4. It’s clear at this point how much her influence has spread to others.
Another aspect of her character I loved was her relationship with Joshua. Easily one of my favorite romances in media. I love how their relationship progressed. When Joshua was in his darkest moments, it was her acceptance and love for him that was able to save him from himself.
I’m a huge fan of tomboy characters, and this is no secret. So when you combine my favorite character archetype with a character who’s so charming, has an amazing character design (especially in CS4), and also has amazing character growth to back it up, it’s easy to see why she isn’t just my favorite Trails character, but also one of my favorite characters of all time. There was never a moment I wasn’t excited to see Estelle, even when she wasn’t the protagonist.
I finally want to note her English voice acting. She was voiced by Stephanie Sheh. It was cool to her the return to CS4 like other Sky voice actresses, and while I wasn’t sure just based on her Sky voice clips, I definitely felt that the voice suited her from how she sounded in CS4.
This post far exceeded my longest blog post over, at over 6K words. I think it’s only fitting considering this is my favorite game franchise with a cast of characters I love so dearly. If I was to make this list any longer, it might even hit 10K words. But I’m not trying to write a novel, and I don’t think anyone wants to read one lol.
If you made it all the way to the end, thanks for reading. I freaking love this franchise and I can’t wait for more games to come out.