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Griffifth Alexander Holbrook, more usually called ‘Griff’ or, very occasionally, ‘Captain Holbrook’, is the primary protagonist of ‘Operator’, Captain of Holbrook Company and operator of the Rank 4 Armour ‘Raging Griffon’.
Griff is a man in his twenties with black hair that spikes forward and a squared chin. Interestingly, his hair spiked forward in its current style even after an extended stay in hospital, suggesting that it actually grows that way, anime-style, rather than being styled. His left eye is a blue and metallic prosthetic replacement. He has a scar across the bridge of his nose, another on his left jawline, and a larger patch of scar tissue on his chest which he is more self-conscious about. His belly button reportedly goes inwards.
Griff fulfils his job enthusiastically, describing himself as a ‘career soldier’. Cpt. Hannah May Fairfax mentions that he has ‘no concept of risk or chance at all’, and this certainly seems to come through in his acceptance and use of 'The Eye'. Griff loudly and excitedly points it out when he discovers a new property of 'The Eye', and maintains a positive outlook both on and off the field.
Before the events of ‘Operator’, Griff suffered permanent scarring and lost his left eye in an unexplained incident, likely on the battlefield. Preceding this, it is known that he knew Hannah during their childhood, but otherwise few details are given about his past.
Waking up in hospital after his accident, Griff attempts to reach a sandwich on a nearby tray, but fails due to his missing eye damaging his depth perception. Ash raises the possibility that he might be invalidated back to Britain, an option that Griff doesn’t find appealing. After accepting an experimental prosthetic eye transplant from Banse and Blaize, Griff takes to the field again at the head of his company to capture an unnamed town in Southern France. During the skirmish, he unlocks The Eye’s ability to enable him to innately know the locations and activities of all machines on the field, and captures the town successfully despite damaging several buildings. While being late for the subsequent military meeting in the town, Griff discovers his eye’s ability to access the military computer network. He attempts to find information on Banse and Blaize this way, but finds only a cryptic message hinting at The Eye’s further abilities. He then accesses Hannah’s medical file to find out her bust size, but she strangles him before he can reveal it. When he is next in the field, Griff is challenged to single combat by Hauptmann Hans-Jurgen Jaeger, a challenge which he accepts. After rashly discarding his Armour’s rifle, believing his sword to be enough, Griff’s machine is mercilessly pummelled. Despite using 'The Eye' to read his opponent’s moves ahead of time, the difference in speed and agility between their respective Armours enables the German to easily outclass Griff. Griff falls unconscious, but The Eye apparently continues to operate his body and Raging Griffon, first tearing off one of the German machine’s arms and fusing it to Raging Griffon to replace a lost arm, then disassembling and merging the two machines into a single Armour that looks to be more humanoid than the original Raging Griffon. Despite his attempts to conceal it, Griff’s large chest scar is revealed to Hannah, and he is noticeably embarrassed about it, a notable change from his usual behaviour. After Fairfax Company are caught in an artillery ambush, Griff’s Eye detects a massive enemy force approaching, along with something cryptically referred to as an ‘Operator’. He advises Captain Harcourt to deploy all their forces to meet it, to which Harcourt agrees.
Although his skill in operating an Armour is impressive, Griff himself notes that he has very few other skills outside of combat, remarking to Ash that he wouldn’t have much else to do if removed from the fighting. Even in the area of Armour piloting, Griff is certainly not unparalleled, as he is able to be overpowered by a swifter single opponent such as Jaeger. Combined with The Eye, Griff’s skills lie primarily in despatching numbers of weaker opponents.
The prosthetic device in place of Griff’s left eye has a number of near-supernatural qualities in addition to functioning as a normal eye, including giving him intuitive knowledge of the locations and actions of all machines on the field, access to military computer networks, and even some measure of psychic control over machinery.
New EraEditGriff has a cameo on the first page of New Era alongside Jeager and Taylor. Like the others, he is wearing a more historically accurate uniform, with a pair of brown leather gloves. His hair also seems to be more sensible and his scars are the same. The Eye seems to have changed to a greyish colour.
- Ash: Griff trusts his lieutenant implicitly, mentioning that as long as he keeps Ash safe, he’s effectively ensuring his own safety. Given his headstrong nature, Griff continually overrides Ash’s more logical points, and can respond quickly to any of his smart-alec remarks.
- Hannah: It is implied that Griff and Hannah have known each other for a comparatively long time. Much like with Ash, they appear closer than the usual professional military relationship, although to what extent is unclear as of yet. While Griff has no problem with his facial scars, he seems embarrassed by Hannah seeing the scar tissue on his chest.
- Jaeger: From his first meeting with the German captain, Griff respects Jaeger’s sense of honour and passion for combat, and even remarks that his way of challenging and taunting opponents is ‘cool’, leading Hannah to remark that Jaeger is like ‘a German Griff’.
- At one point, Griff has a dream [in the middle of the day, while he is supposed to be working] about an Armour very similar in appearance to the Gurren Lagann, saying that he and Ash have to ‘combine’. This is a more explicit reference to the various Gurren Lagann-inspired elements in the series so far.
- The colours of Griff’s medal strip are the exact same combination as those of Hannah May Fairfax, although reversed.
- Both Ash and Griff are clearly visible in the background of the first panel of Coga Suro 2 page #11, another comic by the same artist.
- ’Besides, take me and Ash. I watch his back, he watches mine. As long as I keep him safe, I’m safe. It’s the same thing.’
- ’Muh… Manly souls… Combination… Ash… Quick, we have to combine, Ash…’
- ’Some things must remain unseen.’