The ace of aces in the Sky Crawlers series and the protagonist of the Innocent Aces game (in which you play as Lynx). His real name is never given, so he has been given the "real name" of Lynx in order to refer to him, as Lynx was the first of all of his callsigns. His face is never seen in the game Innocent Aces, although you do see him standing at the end of the game, his face concealed by the brow of his cap. He is also only seen once in the film on a bed, but again his face is not shown. He doesn't speak in the game or film, but does talk quite a bit in the novel series. Lynx's callsign is changed to Cheetah after it was suggested by his friend and squadmate Masami Kaida, due to Lynx taking over as squad captain after Mutsuga Yamasaki's death. Lynx quickly earns a reputation as a fearsome ace, with Lautern pilots referring to him fearfully as the Black Cat, due to the painted black panther-like cat on his tail. Rostock pilots referred to him either as Cheetah or the Black Cat. At the end of the Innocent Aces game, Lynx is called Teacher (an anagram of his previous callsign Cheetah), leading into the events of the novel series and the film. From there on out, both Rostock and Lautern pilots only knew him as the Teacher.
Many things are left unknown about Lynx, one of them being his age. One can speculate that he is in his early twenties when the story timeline begins in Innocent Aces, as his friend Masami Kaida looks to also be in his twenties. He is a human male pilot and not a Kildren, so he gets older as the series progresses. One can also see in Innocent Aces in the ending cutscene that he has short, cropped black hair around the back of his head and that he is relatively tall.
Lynx is an highly capable pilot, able to operate superbly almost any, if not all, Rostock and even Lautern aircraft with a little training. In the game Sky Crawlers: Innocent Aces, the player is allowed to choose which aircraft to fly as Lynx, showing Lynx's capability as a pilot who can pilot multiple aircraft (although granted it is the player doing the flying). However, Lynx's preferred aircraft as shown is a Suiga, as he is shown next to one at the end of the game and mainly flies the aircraft in the novel. When he switches to Lautern, he mainly flies the Skyly D/J-2 for Lautern.
Lynx leaves the Rostock corportion ultimately because of three things: his sexual affair and child with Kusanagi, Rostock investigating him, and Rostock's move to standardized pusher prop aircraft.
The Sky Crawlers: Innocent Aces (game)Edit
Lynx (whom you as the player are) arrives at Hariyu Base joining Cougar squadron, led by Mutsuga Yamazaki, the well known Rostock ace known as Cougar. He arrives at the same time as Masami Kaida, the both of them being friends since their recruit days and getting transferred together. Mission by mission, Lynx goes on to become an outstanding pilot, and both Yamasaki and Kayaba expect a lot from him. When captain Yamasaki is shot down by a Lautern ambush, it seems Lynx is deeply enraged, like his friend Kaida, as he goes on to shoot down the Lautern ambush single-handedly.
Before the reconnasance mission in the Baruka mountains, Lynx is appointed as captain by Tochika Mozume. Afterward the mission, Kaida suggests Lynx's callsign be changed to Cheetah since he's taken over as squadron captain. From then on, the squadron is called Cheetah Squadron, and pilots revered it as much as when it was called Cougar Squadron. When test flying the Sanka M-II, it is heard over the radio that Lynx is now called the Black Cat, showing how quickly he had gained a reputation for being a deadly ace to Lautern. Over time however, dissension grows among his squadron, with Kaida and Ukumori mainly arguing and Orishina disillusioned over not being able to fight Lynx. Given Lynx's personality in the novels, it would seem that he didn't interfere much in the dissension of his squadron, as he would probably just let things go with the flow and perhaps occasionally talking to Kaida about ignoring Ukumori. If that was the case, it was a grave mistake, as it ultimately leads to him having to shoot down Kaida over Mt. Shikibo due to him raging and almost shooting down Ukumori. Lynx is reluctant to shoot Kaida down, but ultimately does so under Mozume's orders, and most likely the fact that if Kaida did return, he'd probably face a trial and death sentence for shooting down allied planes and almost Ukumori.
Lynx seems to be deeply saddened by the loss of his friend, possibly changing him forever to how he becomes in the novels and films later on. He continues to fly missions, later shooting down Ukumori and two other Kildren trying to defect to Lautern, and also shooting down Mozume who was trying to escape on the airship Wolfram to Lautern. In the final mission of the game, Lynx and his squadron engage in a large scale battle. The Lautern aircraft all retreat, as Maumi Orishina who had defected some time earlier, now comes to face him. Lynx then dogfights Orishina to her death, much to her content. It is unclear what Lynx thought about Orishina's death: he could've been sad to have to shoot down another former squadmate, or by that point having experienced so much loss, he could've been indifferent. From the novels, it seems like the latter is more plausible.
In the end, after a long while since the dogfight with Orishina, Lynx is seen arriving at Hariyu base and getting his aircraft maintained. Shortly after, the clone of Maumi Orishina, Kusanagi, arrives in her Sanka M-II. Kusanagi then reports in to Lynx, calling him Teacher. She is not the first person to call him this as seen in the novels; he has had that name for a while after the final dogfight with Orishina, as someone messed up his callsign at some point and it stuck with him (see Trivia section for more information). From there, this leads into the events of the novel series and the film.
None but Air (novel)Edit
Lynx, now known as Teacher, is still the ace at Hariyu base and commander of his squad of pilots, which Suito Kusanagi comes to join. He seems to know that Kusanagi is the clone of Maumi Orishina, usually giving Kusanagi a cold look according to her, but he doesn’t mention anything about that to her as she already knows she is a Kildren. In his first mission in the book, Lynx notices that Kusanagi gets hit by a bullet From an enemy aircraft in the cowling, attesting to his superior vision. The next night, when Kusanagi finds him smoking near the hangar, she sits with him and asks him on how to fly the Suiga better, to which he replies, “Have you read the manual?”, and that that should be enough. However, she asked him for secret techniques on how to fly the Suiga, and he remained silent, showing that either there is a secret that he uses, or that he is just that much more skilled than everyone else and that he uses no secret techniques, making her question ridiculous to him.
In the second mission we see him in , Lynx’s is shown to be a capable squadron captain, similar to Mutsuga Yamasaki, giving orders to Kusanagi and another pilot Kusurida to effectively protect the bombers they were escorting. He also shoots down an aircraft that Kusanagi was pursuing seemingly out of nowhere, much to Kusanagi’s surprise and amazement. In the third and fourth mission we see him in, again he gives effective orders, showing he is not only a great pilot but a good commander as well.
After Higasawa’s death, Lynx talks about it with Kusanagi, but also seems to use the opportunity to confuse Kusanagi and take advantage of her mental state to have intercourse with her, telling her that he was going to have sex with Fuko to rid his mind of another comrades death. This in turn made Kusanagi slightly envious and in her confusion and admiration for Lynx, she followed him out. Lynx did nothing to stop her from coming with her to the brothel mansion or to make reconsider what she was about to do, showing the “dirty” side of his personality as he himself explains later on.
Lynx was then frequently absent for supposed duty-trips for a long while after that, and later goes with Kusanagi on another duty-trip to fly a Senryu for pictures while Kusanagi test flew the new Someaka. Lynx doesn't seem to have an awkward situation with Kusanagi after what they did together at the brothel and Lynx seems to develop romantic feelings towards Kusanagi, inviting her to a restaurant in the nearby city after the test flight and having a close conversation for quite a while over dinner. Kusanagi tells Lynx that Rostock seems to be investigating Lynx against her orders not to tell him, to which Lynx doesn't seem surprised. He instead seems to get angry over the fact, saying that the company may not need him for much longer.
When Kusanagi contacts him to ask him to be the guarantor for the abortion of their child, Lynx agrees to call the hospital to sign documents via mail (probably e-mail), but when he calls the hospital he also tells the hospital to preserve the life of the child and grow it artificially (as it was a Kildren-human) behind Kusanagi's back, much to Kusanagi's protest. The day after the removal of the fetus child, Lynx visits Kusanagi at her hotel telling her that his choice to keep the child was his responsibility and that he had quit the Rostock company and had come to say goodbye. He leaves Rostock on that day, and as of yet it is still unknown what happened to, or more specifically who becomes of, their fetus child.
At the end of the novel, Lynx encounters Kusanagi while flying on one of his first missions for Lautern. He easily escapes Kusanagi's range and shakes his wings as he had always done so that she would recognize him, having painted a black cat on the cowling of his Skyly J-2.
Down to Heaven (novel)Edit
Lynx meets Kusanagi in the city where Rostock is headquartered in the Rostock building, to hand Kusanagi the details of the fight she was to have over the city against him. He tells Kusanagi that he never wanted to fight nor did he have any influence in arranging the duel for them, and he's only doing it because it is his job. Lynx tells Kusanagi not to pull her punches and fight seriously against him. He explains he was only able to meet Kusanagi because of Kayaba's doing, and that he wanted to meet her when he got the information that his opponent would be her and before one of them went down in the duel. Kusanagi starts crying, perhaps from both joy and sadness, and Lynx extends his hand to shake hers. He then left the building. (The final part to Down to Heaven has not been released in English as of yet, so more info will come on how Lynx does in the duel).
The Sky Crawlers (film and novel)Edit
In the film the Teacher is shown flying the Skyly J-2 (or Skyly D as it is known in the game) at various points in the film for brief periods of time. He is seemingly now Lautern's ace of aces. Lynx's body is shown once on a bed in the brothel where Kusanagi had intercourse with him, when Fuko was explaining her relationship with Kusanagi to Kannami. His face is never shown, he never talks, and is never seen otherwise than flying in his Skyly. He is shown to be a ruthless pilot, intentionally killing almost everyone he comes across, usually aiming at the cockpit or at the pilot themselves if they eject. The only person known of that he does not kill is Kusanagi, because of their past relationship together. All Rostock pilots now fear him, but the Lautern pilots may also still fear him as he used to fight for Rostock against them.
Lynx is a very laid back and passive person on the ground, but he has also shown to have a mysterious and elusive, perhaps even slightly manipulative personality. It is said that he seems close to no one and does tend to keep his distance from most people. Like the cats that he's been named after, Lynx can usually be found lounging around with no specific agenda other than waiting to fly, and will tend to disappear off on his own. He will spend his time relaxing by smoking while lounging and observing the sky, reading a book, or in Fuko's bed at the mansion.
On the ground, he is surprisingly passive. He doesn't get in anyone's way nor causes unnecessary trouble, even to the point where he tells people that if he is in the way, he will go somewhere else. He'll tend to stick to himself in situations where there are people, sitting in secluded areas such as the end of a bar table or the back of the dining room on base. He'll also tend to avoid social gatherings on base and even has his own room to himself on base. He really won't talk or engage with anyone unless he wants to. He may be passive, but never shown to be insecure. On the contrary, he is a very confident individual, never hesitating to say what is on his mind or rethink his argument. He rarely gets angry and seems to be very patient, always speaking in a calm tone and letting things go with the flow. In the air however, he changes to be very active and controls the situation around him so as to not get shot down. Many pilots, especially Orishina/Kusanagi want to learn from him, but ironically he never teaches anyone anything despite his Teacher callsign. He lets people learn their own techniques, telling Kusanagi once that reading the airplane manual would be suffice.
He does show a caring and nurturing side for the pilots under him. Occasionally, he will give advice to pilots, especially Kusanagi since he sees her as his protege, on not hesitating and not wasting their lives, and will also watch out as much as he can for all of his pilots in the sky, warning them of enemies that they can't see. He never teaches them how to fly like him, but gives really good advice, similar to Mutsuga Yamasaki in Innocent Aces. Lynx never wishes death upon his pilots, but if they happen to die, he is indifferent about it and gets over it quickly, perhaps due to having experienced so many deaths of his comrades beforehand.
He is considered rather charming and even "fascinating" , perhaps mainly by women, and seems to be able to manipulate his way around to get what he wants through his connections. He seems to have even manipulated Kusanagi to have sex with him knowing she was in an unstable mental state after Higasawa died, mainly perhaps because he liked Kusanagi (probably the wrong way to go about it though). He also later requests that his and Kusanagi's child be grown artificially (as since Kusanagi is a Kildren, her child would be a Kildren-Human that could be grown outside of her womb), without consulting Kusanagi. He managed to do so by pulling strings with doctor Sagara who was Kusanagi's acquaintance behind Kusangi's back, after getting the hospital phone number from her. As for what purpose he wanted to keep the child has yet to be revealed.
Lynx has friends outside of the base that he talks to, asks favors of, gets information from that almost no one else knows, most of them in high-level positions. He is considered to be planning something suspicious by the Rostock corporation and this leads to an investigation on him. This is one of the reasons Lynx left the Rostock corporation, perhaps because he was actually doing something behind the scenes with other people, but it is not revealed.
The darker aspect of his personality is also shown when in a conversation with Kusanagi, he explains that we should avoid thinking that anything is beautiful because everything has a dirty and darker story behind it (i.e., fighter pilot fame and glory), and that if one wants, they can hate the world to the core, and that no one has to live if they hate the world. He explains he goes on living because he doesn't "dislike the dirty things so much" . This shows that he isn't really bothered with getting his hands dirty and commiting suspicious acts because he believes everything is already dirty. This view may have been influenced by his past in Innocent Aces, as he knew of the dirty politics of the "war" and even had to shoot down both his close friend Masami Kaida, and Maumi Orishina.
The Sky Crawlers film portrays Lynx/Teacher as much colder, possibly due to the events from the past in the novel and in game. He proceeds to strafe and kill an ejected Rostock pilot in the air, ruthlessly shooting down Kusanagi in a short period of time when she encounters him on a mission (while seemingly sparing her life), and brutally killing Kannami after toying with him in a dogfight.
Lynx shows himself to be a highly skilled pilot since his first mission in Innocent Aces, and proves to be so good that by his seventh mission testing the Sanka with Orishina, the Lautern pilots had already given him the name of the Black Cat. At the beginning of None but Air, Kusanagi states that he had 30 kills in his Suiga alone, and a total of 150 combined kills with other aircraft, most likely all in dogfights. He obviously increases his kill count as the story progresses. He prefers tractor aircraft to pusher aircraft, but is a capable pilot in many aircraft including the Suiga, Sanka, Senryu, and Skyly. Living up to his feline monikers, Lynx seems to pounce on his enemies in the air and possesses extraordinary spatial awareness and vision like that of a wild cat. He is also adept at hiding and observing people in the sky and on the ground from where they cannot see him.
A close friend of Lynx since their recruit days, both in their early twenties. In Innocent Aces, Kaida gives Lynx his Cheetah callsign, and seems like he really looks up to Lynx's flying ability, and even congratulates him and celebrates Lynx's numerous achievements. Lynx and Kaida seem to be able to confide in each other as close friends, with Masami Kaida usually complaining to Lynx about Ko Ukumori's attitude in a very informal tone, or teasing Lynx that he should go easy on Orishina because she is a girl. It seems that Lynx tries to reason with Kaida to get him to calm down when he goes on a rampage in Innocent Aces, as Kaida tells Lynx, "I know what you're trying to say..." but that if Lynx could not accept him shooting down Ukumori, then he would have to shoot down Kaida. Lynx seems to reluctantly shoot Kaida down due to Mozume's orders, not because he wanted to save Ukumori. The event seems to deeply impact Lynx, as he does not speak to the Kildren in the next mission, out of resentment.
Maumi Orishina/Suito KusanagiEdit
In Innocent Aces, there isn't much information as to what Lynx thought of Orishina. Players of the game may think of her as a pest since she is a really hard to shoot down in the game and for some reason wants to shoot down Lynx in a duel, hence the player may get frustrated that she is so persistent on fighting Lynx, and thus Lynx may think the same. On the other hand, Lynx may think of her as an amusement, confident in his ability to shoot her down and have some fun. More likely, there is a possibility that Lynx never wanted to fight Maumi Orishina in an actual fight, unless it was a mock battle with paint bullets. It could be why he ignores her repeated requests from her to fight him in the air with actual bullets. In the novel series, he never wanted to fight Kusanagi in a duel over the city either, so it could have been the same case with Orishina, since overall they are one and the same. It is obvious however that he respected both Orishina's and Kusanagi's talent in the air.
With Suito Kusanagi, Lynx seems to know that she is just a clone of Maumi, although he never mentions it to her. Lynx sees her as his protege and possibly a complicated romantic interest, going as far as confusing her to have sex with him, and never acting to stop her and make her consider what she was doing. He never shows or admits any affection towards Kusanagi other than giving her advice and coming to say goodbye to her at her hotel room when he leaves Rostock, but he does seem to care about her more than anyone else he interacts with, telling her not to waste her life at many points and not to hesitate when they have their ordered duel over the city. He never wishes to fight her to the death, seemingly showing that he cares a lot about her. In the film when Suito Kusanagi encouters him on a mission, the Teacher quickly shoots her down, but he spares her life, in a time when he was only known to kill all of the pilots he encountered, showing that he did not specifically want to kill her, maybe because she was the mother of his child and deeply cares for her.
It is implied that Lynx and Sasakura interact or encounter each other occassionally in the novels, but they are never shown talking directly. Lynx seemed to be hesistant to let Sasakura touch his Suiga to maintain it, as Sasakura was the newly arrived head mechanic and Lynx did not know his skills, after Lynx's mechanic got transferred somewhere else. After seeing what Sasakura could do on Kusanagi's Suiga, he then allowed Sasakura to maintain his aircraft. Sasakura also first notices the interaction between Teacher and Fuko at the diner/bar and intuitively figures out their relationship. Sasakura described Lynx's flying to Kusanagi as a sharp, glowing knife whose "glow naturally lures bugs to be victimized", implying Sasakura knows a bit about the Lynx. In the film, the Teacher and Sasakura obviously never interact. However, it is implied Sasakura remembers the Teacher as she usually has a somber look on her face when there is mention or implication of him and Kusanagi fighting him.
The prostitute at the brothel in the area that Lynx seemed to frequent. Lynx and Fuko were at the nearby diner together once, perhaps meeting shortly before, according to Sasakura. Lynx obviously hangs out with her to have some fun in the area, and his relationship with Fuko seems lighthearted, as Fuko tends to tease Lynx on occasion. Not much of shown of them interacting in the novels but it is implied Lynx visits her often when he's not busy. In the film, Fuko clearly remembers the Teacher before he defected, and remembers when Kusanagi also tagged along with him to the mansion. Not much is shown of her memories regarding Teacher, but she is one of the closest people to have known Lynx.
- According to Lynx himself in None but Air, his callsign Teacher is just an anagram of his former callsign Cheetah, except adding the 'r'. Someone had mispelled his callsign and it stuck with him. He never really bothered to correct anyone about it.
- Lynx used to live in a city when he was younger where there were cheetahs inhabiting the surrounding land. This perhaps owes to his cat motifs/callsigns and his cat like personality. Maybe Lynx likes cats, but he is never seen interacting with one anywhere.
1. Higasawa in Hiroshi Mori's None but Air
2. From Hiroshi Mori's None but Air