Kira Yamato (キラ・ヤマト, Kira Yamato?) is a fictional character in the Gundam universe. He is the main protagonist of the anime series Mobile Suit Gundam SEED and an important character in Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny.
Kira has done well on popularity polls in Anime Grand Prix. He came in first place in 2002 and 2005. Kira, along with five other notable mecha and pilots from the various Gundam series, were recognized in the second set of "Anime Heroes and Heroines" stamps, released in Japan in 2005.
Kira is a first-generation Coordinator. At the beginning of Gundam SEED, Kira lives on the neutral space colony Heliopolis to avoid the Bloody Valentine War. An expert in computer science, he assists with research and development at the Heliopolis technical college he attended. In both Gundam SEED and Gundam SEED Destiny, his friendship with Athrun Zala forms one of the main themes of the story.
Kira's true parents were Ulen and Via Hibiki, geneticists who are both deceased. He is an Ultimate Coordinator; his fetus was artificially developed outside his mother's womb, and all his genetic enhancements are exactly as they were intended to be. He is the only fetus to be successfully developed using the apparatus. At some time in the future, he is adopted by Caridad Yamato and Haruma Yamato. While growing up, as a child, he became best friends with Athrun Zala who gave him his robotic pet Birdie, before leaving.
Kira was at first a timid and cowardly person. He is very kind and helps those in need whenever he can. When the war struck, he took intuitive to protect the Archangel and it's passengers. Afterwards, due to Flay's manipulation, Kira becomes aggressive when defending the archangel to the point where he could kill a person. After Kira felt hatred towards Athrun for killing Tolle Koenig, he begins to question his motive for fighting. He later realizes killing would never end the hatred for war, and changes his fighting method to disarming opponents.
While lacking any true form of military training, Kira's fighting prowess has developed much as the series progresses. In the original Gundam SEED seriese, Kira is shown to be inexperienced with handguns, preferring not to use them. He even has to be reminded by Mu to remove the safety on his gun in episode 44 while in pursuit of Rau on Mendel station. He is shown as a skilled unarmed fighter, however, and is extremely effective with his mobile suit's artillery. In Gundam Seed Destiny, his handgun skills improve dramatically as seen in the second assassination attempt on Lacus Clyne. His implied status as a person with high spatial awareness ability also has an impact on his fighting abilities.