How Gundam's Amuro Ray Changed What It Means to Be an Anime Hero
Amuro is a curious character as heros go, or more accurately perhaps, I've rarely considered him the hero of the story: so much as caught in it. Which in of itself could be considered a Gundam-trope by now, 40 years later.
Given a different circumstance to the war: I'd rather invision Amuro Ray in protest to military conflict at all, and that it's a kind of bloodied, twisted irony that he ended up one of the most notable heroes of the One Year War. And as such would still be active much later during the Londo Bell era.
A large part of Gundam's first set of story arcs centers around the fact that he's pretty much got a simple choice. He can pilot the Gundam into battle, or he can kiss his arse goodbye before the shooting even starts. That's the card they've been dealt. Really, he's kind of a dick during the earlier parts. But over the course of the series he evolves much better as a character.
I think the article's parting bit puts it more accurately than the tile. Less that the character changed what it means to be an anime hero, and more that he's a different type of protagonist to fill the role. 'Cuz let's face it, the Saturday morning go punch the villain slot isn't dead yet and it's been decades, lol.