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"I want a Knightmare that is capable of taking on the Lancelot and its pilot. Therefore, it must have the power and a sword capable of taking on Suzaku Kururugi straight on..."
―General Kyoshiro Tohdoh

The Type-04 Zangetsu is the custom high-end ace level knightmare frame of the United Federation of Nation's Black Knights. It had originally had been designed for the sole use of General Kiyoshiro Tohdoh, the Field Commander of the Black Knights but after the formation of the United Federation of Nations several more units would be produced for the use of the remaining two Holy Swords: Shogo Asahina and Nagisa Chiba along with other ace pilots of the Black Knights. Further units would be produced later on after the end of the Second Black Rebellion.

Appearance[]

The Type-04 Zangetsu is basically the successor of the Type-03F Gekka, therefore, looks quite similar to the earlier machine just with some expanded features similar to that of the Type-02 Guren Mark II. The two new units of this machine look quite similar to the original unit retaining the black colors of Kiyoshiro Tohdoh while the new unit's hair extensions are colored silver instead of red to make the new units different from the original which is copied by the new units produced after the Liberation of Japan.

Design[]

The overall design of the Zangetsu is at its heart almost a direct copy of the Type-02 Guren Mark-II with some influences from the Gekka like the head. It possesses a similar inner-frame to that of the Guren with the same amount of sakuradite laced through the frame as the Guren. It also uses the same Mark Nine Yggdrasil Drive used by the post-First Black Rebellion refitted Guren. This makes the Zangetsu on par with the Guren Mark-II and the refitted Z-01E Lancelot of Knight of Seven Suzaku Kururugi. It could even stand up against its sort-of cousin the XT-409 Shen Hu piloted by Li Xingke. For other Knightmares of the Seventh and Eighth Generation, it is better than RPI-212A Vincent Commander and on par with the latecomer MBF-M12 Lancer while is vastly superior over that of the RPI-212B Vincent Ward and the MBF-M11 Javelin.

Like the Akatsuki and the Shen Hu the Zangetsu can be equipped with a Type-F2D Air Glide Wing System allowing the Knightmare to fly through the sky. It is later equipped with a Type-F3A Advanced Air Glide Wing System which provides better speed and aerial maneuverability after the study of the Energy Wing System on the refitted Type-02/F1Z Guren S.E.I.T.E.N. Eight Elements Type. Both of these backpacks can be equipped with a pair of Type-07A1 Rocket Pods.

For weapons, the Zangetsu is equipped with a pair of "Hien Souga Type-II" Slash Harkens built into the chest of the Knightmare while a pair of Type-04A1 20mm Machine Guns is mounted in the shoulders. For close combat it is equipped with a Type-01A2 Katen Yaibatou Type-II Sword or for Tohdoh's unit is equipped with the Type-01A1/T "Seidoutou" Brake Sword. It can also be equipped with the same arm-mounted weapons of the rest of the Black Knights Knightmare units for more long-range combat.

Armaments[]

Fixed Weapons[]

Type-04A2 "Hien Souga Type-II" Slash Harken

A major change from the older Gekka and the new Akatsuki Knightmares is that Zengetsu adds a second "Hien Souga" Series Slash Harken to the design on the opposite side of the chest. This was mainly due to General Tohdoh's request the Knightmare be able to find against Knight of Seven Suzaku Kururugi and his Lancelot Knightmare which often uses its four equipped Slash Harkens in an offensive matter.

Type-04A1 20mm Machine Guns

Unlike the basic Akatsuki and its Command Type Variant the Zangetsu sports a second common fixed weapon in a pair of Type-04A1 20mm Machine Guns built into the shoulders of the unit. These weapons are basically smaller and stripped down versions of the older Type-10/AR1 20mm Assault Rifles used by the outdated Burai. This weapon gives the Zangetsu more options in combat outside of its standard arm-mounted weapons. A barrage from these weapons is often enough to heavily damage and even destroy an enemy Knightmare if given the chance. They can also be used to help shoot down enemy missiles or rockets before they could hit the Zangetsu. However, one major issue with these guns is that they have limited ammo and cannot be reloaded while in the field, unlike standard handheld assault rifles.

Type-01A2 "Katen Yaibatou Type-II" Sword

When more models of this design were built before the start of the Liberation of Japan by the newly formed United Federation of Nations the older "Katen Yaibatou Type-II" Sword in use by the Akatsuki Command Type would be used as its standard close-range combat weapon instead of the superior "Seidotou" Rocket Sword.

Type-01A4 "Seidotou" Rocket Sword

Unlike the other new Knightmares of the Black Knights, the new Zangetsu is equipped with the Type-01A4 "Seidotou" instead of the "Katen Yaibatou" Series Sword which had originally been tested on Tohdoh's customized Type-03T Gekka during the First Battle of the Toyko Settlement. It sports a single "Hien Souga Type-I" Slash Harken built into the pommel of the blade while several thrusters have been added to the back of the blade allowing for more powerful swings of the blade. While a few other of the newly built models sport this weapon, mainly those of the remaining Holy Swords, they mainly use the same Type-01A2 "Katen Yaibatou Type-II" Sword of the Akatsuki Command Type.

Optional Arm-Mounted Weapons[]

Type-05A2 20mm Double-Barreled Arm Mounted Gun

A new larger version of the earlier Arm-Mounted Guns used by the Guren Mk-II and the Gekka which sports Duel-Barrels instead of a single barrel of the earlier types. This makes it easier to destroy enemy Knightmares but as a result, it also runs through ammo faster. Can be mounted on either the right or left arm of the Akatsuki depending on pilot preference. However, unlike the Type-05A1 Gun, this Gun cannot be mounted on both arms due to the weight of the weapon.

Type-05A1 25mm Single-Barrel Mounted Gun

A mass produced counterpart to the earlier single-barrel arm mounted guns on the Guren Mk-II and Gekka which are produced as a more powerful, less ammo intensive version of the Type-05A2 Arm-Mounted Gun. Can be mounted on either arm of the Akatsuki or even mounted on both arms if needed.

Type-06A1 90mm Heavy Arm Mounted Bazooka

One of the handful of new weapons developed for the use of the Akatsuki and is basically a Japanese version of the Britannian produced KMF-W9A Heavy Bazooka just able to be mounted on the arm just like other weapons of the Akatsuki. The Zangetsu would rarely if ever use this weapon and would instead use rockets for a heavy assault weapon. Still, some later Zangetsu pilots would use this weapon when it was required for anti-ship assault missions.

Type-07A2 Three-Shot Missile Launcher

The second of the new weapons designed for the use of the Akatsuki and is a simple arm mounted three-tube missile launcher. The Zangetsu uses this weapon on its off-hand though it is quite rare only when more long-range weapons are needed by its pilot. Instead, the first Zangetsu would often use the larger, heavier Type-07A3 12-Tube Missile Launcher with radiant wave rockets equipped. Still, some Zangetsu pilots outside of the Holy Swords would use this lighter and simple to use launcher in combat when it was required.

System Features[]

Type-2A3 "Kou Kisou Kudourin" Landspinner Propulsion System

A similar system to Type-2A1 System first used by the Guren Mark-01 and later improved in the Guren Mark-02 which would be carried over to the Type-03 Gekka. This version is tuned down for mass production and to work in conjunction with the Type-F2D Air Glide Wing System.

Type-E3A Mono-Eye Sensor Camera

A more high-tuned version of the Type-E2A Sensor Camera equipped to the Akatsuki and its Variants. It possesses a more advanced sensor unit and a more powerful camera. It can be focused more easily and zoom-in quite more easily than the standard Type-E2A.

Type-F2D Air Glide Wing System

Like the Akatsuki and its Variants, the Zangetsu was designed from the start to be able to be equipped with the Type-F2D Air Glide Wing System to allow it to fly in combat. The Air Glide Wing System equipped to the Zangetsu doesn't sport any major difference from those equipped to an Akatsuki.

Type-F3A Advanced Air Glide Wing System

A new flight system developed by the Chawla Design Group after studying the new Energy Wings Flight System developed by the Britannian Camelot Design Bureau. It gives any Knightmare equipped with it quite superior flight capabilities over that of the basic Air Glide Wing System, though not as much as the Energy Wings themselves. It is for this reason that these units are often equipped on the Zangetsu with its more powerful Yggdrasil Drive than the basic Akatsuki. These units become standard on all of the Zangetsu Knightmares during the course of the Third Great War between the Holy Empire of Britannia and the United Federation of Nations.

Type-8X Radiant Wave Shielding System

Unlike the Akatsuki Command Type, the Zangetsu is equipped with not one Type-8X Radiant Wave Shielding Emitter but three, with one built into the head of the unit just like the Command Type, and the other two built into the forearms of the unit. This gives the Zangetsu far more overall protection than the Command Type and once again drawn from General Tohdoh's request for a Knightmare capable of standing up against Knight of Seven Suzaku Kururugi and his Lancelot Knightmare.

Notable Pilots and Units[]

Unit One - General Kyoshiro Tohdoh[]

The original unit produced and is the personal Knightmare of General Kyoshiro Tohdoh. It would be used by the General during the Black Knights operation in the Chinese Federation and later would be used during the Second Battle of Tokyo Settlement. Following that battle and the Black Knight betrayal of Zero Tohdoh would continue to use this unit as leader of the Holy Sword Knightmare Squadron after his demotion back to Lieutenant Colonel.

Unit Two - Captain Shogo Asahina[]

The first of the new units produced around the formation of the United Federation of Nations in preparation for the Liberation of Japan. There is little difference between this unit and the original Zangetsu outside of the different colored hair-like extensions on the head of the unit being silver instead of red and being painted in dark blue. This unit is heavily damaged by the detonation of the F.L.E.I.J.A Warhead and would be scrapped for parts. Captain Asahina would eventually receive Zangetsu Unit Nine to replace this unit.

Unit Three - Captain Nagisa Chiba[]

Like Unit Two, Unit Three bears little difference between the original Zangetsu and itself outside of its color. It would be used quite successfully during the Second Battle of Tokyo Settlement where it would be reasonable for destroying one of the Glaston Knight Gareths, and a pair of ace-piloted Vincent Command Types. After the end of the battle and during the Betrayal of Zero it would be launched alongside General Tohdoh's Unit One to prevent Zero from escaping the ship. However, it would quickly be disabled by Rai Adonis in the Type-0/0 Shinkiro and a pair of Akatsuki Command Types piloted by members of Zero's Private Guard Unit. Later it would be repaired and be returned to Captain Chiba to use later on.

Unit Four - Major Rai Adonis[]

When Zero's Private Guard Unit was formed out of the remains of the Zero Squad at the formation of the United Federation of Nations. Major Rai Adonis the new commander of the unit would receive Zangetsu Unit Four to replace his damaged Akatsuki Command Type. Unlike the other units newly produced this unit has been equipped with a Type-10/S2 Radiant Wave Lance and its shoulder-mounted machine guns have been replaced with a pair of Rocket Launchers able to fire Radiant Wave Rockets. It is also painted in a black and silver scheme like the rest of the Guard Unit. It was heavily damaged and lost during the final moments of the Second Battle of Tokyo Settlement as it tried to save Zero from Knight of Ten Luciano Bradley. Luckily Major Adonis managed to eject before the loss of his unit and would later pilot his master's Type-0/0 Shinkiro when Zero was betrayed by several high-ranking members of the Black Knights.

Unit Five - Major Mikazuki Araba[]

With the capture of Captain Kallen Kozuki and her Guren Mark-II Flight-Enabled Type by Knight of Seven Suzaku Kururugi in China, the senior officers of the Black Knights and Zero himself would make the decision to form new ace-level units to counter the increasing amount of Britannian aces being thrown at them. One such unit would be Tora Squadron which would sport several veteran pilots from the former Japanese Liberation Front. The lead unit of this unit would Zangetsu Unit Five piloted by Tora's commander Major Mikazuki Araba. It sported no new changes to the design outside of using a pair of customized tonto-sized "Katen Yaibatou" Series Swords due to Major Araba's close-combat style. Unit Four would take part in the Second Battle of Port Yokosuka alongside the rest of its unit where it would end up destroying an entire squadron of Vincent Wards by itself and a pair of Vincent Command Types during the course of the battle. It would along with the rest of its remaining unit retreat from the battle after the F.L.E.I.J.A Warhead went off at Tokyo.

Unit Six - Test Pilot Shanti Chawla/Zi Dien[]

The sixth Zangetsu Unit was built but soon taken over by the Chawla Design Group as a unit to test out new ideas and equipment before introduction to the rest of the Black Knights. In this role is was piloted by test pilot Shanti Chawla, younger sister to the Chawla Design Group leader Rakshakata Chawla. It would be the first unit to test out the new advanced Type-F3A Flight Unit. It was only taken in combat once in its entire career and that was when the Red Dragon Unit a unit of Enuch-General loyalist Chinese Knightmare Pilots attacked Horai Island a few days after the end of the Second Black Rebellion in captured Sutherlands. In this battle, it would be piloted by former Peace Mark aligned Terrorist Zi Dien who had returned to China after it joined the United Federation of Nations. The veteran Chinese-born knightmare pilot easily managed to destroy the Red Dragons and their captured Sutherlands. For this act of valor newly commissioned Captain Zi Dien would be given Zangetsu Unit Eight and become the leader of a new Chinese Knightmare unit, the Black Tigers. Meanwhile, Unit Six would continue to serve as a test unit for the Chawla Design Group well into the Third Great War. As a test unit, it was painted in a white and orange color scheme similar to the original roll-out colors of the Type-05 Akatsuki.

Unit Seven - Major Sergei Smirnov[]

When the former EU member-state Russia joined the newly forming United Federation of Nations after both Chinese and Japanese units of the Black Knights helped to push back the Britannian Invasion Force from Russian soil. It was decided by Black Knight High Command to allow the former Russian State Army Forces to assemble an elite Knightmare Unit to be assigned to the Order of the Black Knights. This would end up becoming the Chubu Squadron under the command of veteran Major Sergei Smirnov, known as the Wild Bear of Russia. Zangetsu Unit Seven would then handed over to the command Major Smirnov who would have a more standard cockpit block installed and pair of shashka inspired "Katen Yaibatou" Type swords equipped for close range combat. Major Smirnov is one of the few Zangetsu pilots to use the hefty Type-06A1 Bazooka which is often said a result of his time piloting Panzer II "Hummel" Knightmare Frames.

Unit Eight - Captain Zi Dien[]

After his valorous defense of Horai Island when the Red Dragon Enuch-General Loyalist Knightmare Unit attacked the pseudo-capital of the United Federation of Nations Zi Dien would receive a commission as a Captain in the Black Knights and go-ahead to form his own unit of Chinese Knightmare Pilots. He was also given Zangetsu Unit Eight which he had Chawla Design Group thoroughly modify to his standards. The first of which was a redesigned head that greatly resembled his briefly owned custom Gekka unit from his final days as a Peace Mark Terrorist and a pair of dao inspired "Katen Yaibatou" Type swords. He also had four smaller axe-like weapons added to the design which can be used as both handheld weapons or thrown weapons. All told the new Zangetsu Unit would be quite an interesting design and would serve Zi Dien well when he fought in the Third Great War alongside his Black Tiger Squadron.

Unit Nine - Lieutenant Shogo Asahina[]

After the event that lead Zero and his followers to leave the Black Knights Captain Shogo Asahina would be demoted alongside many of his fellow betrayers of Zero. He would also receive the newly built Zangetsu Unit Nine to replace Unit Two which was destroyed in the launching of the FLEIJA Weapon at the Tokyo Settlement. Unlike his previous unit which sported a silver-colored hair attachment Unit Nine instead sported a red-colored attachment like his mentor and commander's Unit One Zangetsu. This became the defying trait of the new Holy Swords Knightmare Unit. It also now equipped with a Naginata-like weapon which takes a slightly larger version of the regular "Katen Yaibatou Type-III" Swords of the regular Akatsuki just extended the shaft of the weapon to make it into a dedicated naginata. It also sports similar rockets along the back of its blade like the Rocket Sword used by the first Zangetsu giving it more power in its swing.

Unit Ten - Junior Lieutenant Benio Akagi[]

The fourth member of the new Holy Swords Squad is Junior Lieutenant Benio Akagi who is said to be the combined protege of Major Kallen Kozuki and Captain Rai Adonis of Zero Squad which is a major reason for such a young and inexperienced pilot to be assigned to such a prestigious unit like the new Holy Swords. Therefore, when Lieutenant Akagi was assigned to the newly built Zangetsu Unit Ten she would outfit it with a special Radiant Wave Lance custom built for her by her close friend Engineer Kagari Savitri. This new Type-10/S3 Radiant Wave Lance is an improved version of the older Type-10/S2 Lance once used by Captain Adonis during his time on Zero Squad. It boasts an improved Radiant Wave Emitter built into the head of the lance which not only can pierce through enemy armor and destroy a unit like a Radiant Wave Rocket but can also fire Radiant Wave Blasts from the emitter. Just like the new Radiant Wave Surger on the Type-02/F1A Guren Mark-II Flight Type of Major Kozuki. It also is a bit shorter thanks to the new combat style pioneered by Lieutenant Akagi with the help of her two mentors. Lieutenant Akagi would use her unit a couple of years after the United States of Japan would be formed out of the old Area 11 till she would be injured sometime during the Third Great War which saw her retiring from service. Even then she would become notable as the Red Dragon Sword of the Holy Swords in her time in the unit.

History[]

Originally designed to serve as a paper-only prototype design for Type-05A Akatsuki and its variants but would soon become the personal unit of General Kyoshiro Tohdoh after he expressed an interest in a unit that could stand up against the Knight of Seven Suzaku Kururugi and his Z-01 Lancelot on even ground. Therefore, the new Type-04 Zangetsu is built and assigned to the General who would go on to use this machine during the Black Knight operations in the Chinese Federation. After the end of these operations and the formation of the United Federation of Nations several more units would be produced on the orders of General Tohdoh for the use of his remaining Holy Swords and to give the Black Knights more units that could be capable of taking on the custom machines of the Knights of Round one-on-one especially after the Type-02/F1A Guren Mark-II Flight-Enabled Version and its pilot, Major Kallen Kozuki, were captured by the Knight of Seven.

The three units assigned to the remaining Holy Swords and General Toudoh would then be used during the Second Battle of Tokyo Settlement where they would be used to battle against the remaining Glaston Knights along with a few other elite Britannian pilots during the course of the battle. While Unit Two was heavily damaged during the F.L.E.I.J.A Warhead going off destroying Tokyo Settlement it would be broken down for parts. Meanwhile, both Unit One and Unit Three would be used during the Black Knight Betrayal of Zero and would be launched to take up guard position outside of the Ikaruga during the Betrayal. Other units would be used by other elite units both at the Tokyo Settlement and elsewhere in Japan where they would be quite successful with only a single unit destroyed by the enemy.

Later, further units would be produced to serve as elite units for high-end pilots of the Black Knights along with the primary Knightmare of the elite Holy Swords Squad. Of which would go on to become notable veteran ace pilots in the Third Great War.

Notes[]

  • This Knightmare design is heavily customized by myself to make it quite different from the Akatsuki Command Type for I realized that like Tohdoh's customized Gekka there is not much difference in between the Zangetsu and the Akatsuki Command Type outside of the hair-like extensions. Hence, I made it a bit different from the original design with a second chest-mounted Slash Harken, the addition of fore-arm mounted Radiant Wave Shield Emitters and a few other minor things. This also means that the Command Type's Shoulder Mounted Machine Guns are not included in the design to separate it from the Zangetsu.
  • This custom Zangetsu design was mainly to give the Black Knights further Ace-Level Units outside of the original Zangetsu, the Shen Hu, and the Gurren.
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