Mercedes, better known as Mel (Mer in Finnish version), is a Golden Retriever around Weed's age and his good friend. He's the protagonist in his own sidestory, Mel's Journey-
He is not the strongest of the Ohu soldiers, but one of the best swimmers.
Mel is a golden retriever pup with blue eyes with a height around the size of Weed, Kyoshiro, and Reika (in the anime).
Mel is a brave and loyal young dog.
Mel was originally a bit timid puppy and a crybaby. He turned bitter after he believed his mother abandoned him and was manipulated by his saviors Blue, Ned and Bell. Eventually, he realizes the importance of his mother and the way Blue treated him, giving him a change of attitude.
True Mel is kind, good-hearted and polite. He becomes stronger and braver during the series. He starts to trust himself, though occasionally he is slightly doubtful when facing something very dangerous. During these moments, he thinks about his deceased mother which gives him strength.
He is helpful and always wants to be useful to others. Still, as he is quite small and young, he sometimes seems to think that there isn't much he can do and is very glad every time he is given a chance to do something useful.
In G:TLW, Mel is growing up into a mature adult having calmed down a bit and doing his best to calm Kyoshiro down when he gets hasty. Just like he believes in Weed, Mel also believes in Orion.
Ginga Densetsu Weed
Mel is the son of Lenny. As a puppy, he is given away to a family to become their pet. Unfortunately, the family abandons him in the woods because of his whining and cries for his mother. Mel joins the three rogue dogs Blue, Ned and Bell to get protection from the dangers of the wild. When he meets Weed and his mother, who came back for him, Mel attacks his mother in anger.
When Mel was given a chance to kill his mother, he soon realizes that he has been tricked and starts a fight with the three rogue dogs. With Weed and GB's help, they defeat Ned and then Bell, while Blue gets run over by two trucks and killed. Mel now reunites with his mother. However, his mother dies shortly after from illness and Mel is nearly taken to the dog pound.
The old Ohu soldier, Smith, saves him and brings him to Weed's pack whom Mel joins. In the search for Weed’s father Gin, Mel is left behind to guard Gajou Mountain. Here he meets the Kai-Ken Kurotora and his companions Shigure, Shouji, Dodo and Buru. Soon, he finds out that the Great Dane, Genba, is approaching the fortress and together with Akame and Kurotora, he flees. On Akame’s order, Mel travels out to find Weed. As he goes through a village, he meets the Mastiff, Moss, who is an old friend of Gin's. Mel tries to take him back, but Moss leaves Mel to find even more dogs to help. Mel then returns to find Weed and tell him everything. Because of Mel’s small size, Hougen attacks him several times during the last battle. Mel is lucky to survive and stays a loyal member of Weed's pack throughout the series.
Mel is a Golden Retriever puppy and a slave to Blue. He was forced to steal food for Blue and his comrades, until Weed showed up with Smith and GB. Ordered to attack by Blue, he does so, and Weed resists.
Doing so, Weed teaches Mel about morality and makes him realize that he no longer should be a slave, and should stand up to Blue. This results in him escaping, after Hook comes to their rescue. After Blue is killed, Mel leaves Hook to join Weed, Smith, and GB on their journey toward Ohu. Mel becomes a good friend of Weed's, and stays behind at Gajou after Akame comes with news from Gin. Even though he is still a puppy, Mel has shown courage, especially in the defense of Gajou. He is considered an ohu soldier even though he is just a pup (Weed is also a pup but he is son of leader so he was born a soldier). He has beaten enemies twice his size.
WEED Gaiden (Mel's Trip)
Mel appears in his own adventure story which is set after his mother's death. As he searches for food in a neighbourhood, he meets the female pet dog, Jody who offers him her food and they talk a bit.
Later that day, Mel witness Jody being beaten by two dangerous fugitives. Mel tries to defend Jody and the owners but he was kicked to the drain. The fugitives leaves Jody bleeding on the road while they kidnap her family and hold them as hostages. Mel who is unhurt is then asked by Jody to find the Dalmatian, Louis, who can help them.
Jody is member of the organization ”The Justice”. The organization has only dogs and helps humans in need. Together with the group, Mel helps to rescue Jody's owners. After the rescue, he says a goodbye to Louis and goes off to Ohu alone.
Ginga Densetsu Weed Orion
Mel appears in Orion story as a disaster victim of the volcanic eruption and earthquakes. Though he had survived the disaster, he was pinned from a big tree which fell on his body. Despite pleading with Weed to leave him behind, he was pulled out from under the tree by Weed and Kyoushiro.
Sometime after the incident, it is revealed that Mel and Kyoushiro have been taken into care by a human. They have been seen visiting Weed and Koyuki and Mel has grown up.
The Ouu Army
Upon hearing of the survival of the others, they both escape and go back to the mountains. Kyoshiro and Mel reunite with everyone he takes part in the final battle against Masamune.
Ginga: The Last Wars
Mel is present when Monsoon and his kin attack Weed, leaving his leader badly injured. Led by Monsoon, the bears carry out a full assault on the Ou army. Mel is heavily injured, as well as the remaining dogs. Monsoon roars in victory as the Ou paradise falls.
Shortly after their defeat, Monsoon has built a makeshift dungeon out of rocks and boulders, similar to Gajou. Mel, though wounded, is hidden among a few boulders but the bears easily spot him. He tries to fight back but is swatted away and knocked unconscious. Monsoon orders his kin not to kill him, as it would be more fun to keep them alive and eventually eat them. Mel is taken to the dungeon where all of the other Ou soldiers are, both dead and alive. Whilst there, he wakes up to find the surviving soldiers have not given up hope but Rocket, Ken and Kyōshirō are not there. The three of them have escaped with their injuries and are remaining hidden from patrolling bears.
Many days later, Mel and the rest of the dogs are rescued by Mole and his group. Barely able to walk due to injuries and being cramped in the prison for so long.
Shortly after, Mel and the other Ou soldiers are resting in the grass during a storm.
Then, he and the others move to another area to not be a burden to their comrades but are found by Monsoon. Kurotora told them to hold their honor as a male but Mel is the only one to respond he sees Kagetora attack Monsoon with everything he's got then sees Monsoon run away.
He discovers from Akame that Monsoon ran away because of the arrival of humans. Shortly after he and the others heard a helicopter from up above, upon seeing it Mel wishes for the humans to give Orion and the others support.
Then, Mel begins to hears the victory howls of their comrades proud of their success they begin to join in too.
Next, Mel is seen sleeping in the grass unaware how much time has passed and he goes to see if everyone is alright to which they are. Then, he is alerted by Kurotora that someone is coming thinking it was Monsoon and Akakama stands up to defend them. It turns out it was Orion and Tesshin who tells them that they found Monsoon again but he got away. Once Akakama hears that he points out that they scared him leaving Mel shocked that the dog was afraid. He hears Orion says he'll never forgive Monsoon for what he did and won't let him get away.
Mel and the others see hunters searching for any remaining bears as well as take their fallen comrades away for burial, Kurotora tells them not to be afraid and that these humans are they can trust. The Kai Ken tells them not to bite the humans especially Akakama he warns him that if makes enemies they can't work together
Then, he is treated by Daisuke for his injures along with the others Hidetoshi couldn't take in. With his wounds healed, he and the other injured dogs regroup and are joined by Gin, who left Daisuke's care to check on them. Feeling defeated over their losses, the army spend their days and nights cuddled together for comfort before Andy, Yamabiko, Bon and Orion leave to find Sirius.
Is woken up by Gin having a nightmare discovers that Orion and the others are gone. When morning comes Mel hears Kyoshiro chew Orion out for sending his friends away and then watches the fight by Orion and Kyoshiro even though the kishu lost. He saw Orion crying in tears saying that he stayed behind for the sake of everyone because the Ohu Army needs a true leader.
He praises Orion by saying that he has grown and that if his father were here right now he'd be proud of him too.
Sometime later, after Gin's departure he sees Orion go crazy and role off the cliff but is relieved to see that he and Jerome are alright.
After Orion's returning visit from Akame and the others, he hears that everyone is doing well. Mel goes with everyone to search for the lost sickle but after days of searching it's no where to be found. With Kyoshiro thinking that Orion isn't leader material anymore they all choose Cross to be the new boss with Kuro agreeing and when Orion returns. He hears Orion say that he is going to learn some new secret ninja techniques he picked up from Akame. Believing in the young pup he follows the others to watch Orion stating to Kyoshiro that Orion makes the impossible possible.
Seeing the young pup's skills Mel and the others want to try too but when kai ken takes a swing but he doesn't do the same as Orion. He hears from Orion what he learned in a day took Akame two years to learn as the training continues he becomes impressed with Orion's progressed and gets encouraged to keep training. Then, he hears that Rigel and Rocket have returned but bring a bear cub and charges at it with the others when Kyoshiro goes to attack the cub he becomes astonished that Rigel flipped the kishu over with ease after Rigel explains everything Mel becomes surprised that Sirius wants them to raise Chibi until he becomes an adult.
Mel watches Rigel and Rocket convince Orion not to kill Chibi. Then, he hears Kurotora batter Orion for his attitude. When he hears that Orion is trying to protect everyone in Ohu Kuro says that he doesn't need protecting from him. He also sees Orion pointing his bamboo stick at the kai ken convincing the pup to attack him but is stopped by Jerome and watches in horror as Orion almost attacks the shepard. He watches Kyoshiro give Orion a beat crying in tears and Mel restrains him but soon the tears turn into laughter as everyone runs back up the hill.
- Mel is most likely named after Yoshihiro Takahashi's pet dog, whose name was also Mercedes. His pet dog was possibly named after the car type.
- Mercedes is a feminine name and Yoshihiro's dog was female, too, but the character is male.
- Mel, however, is a unisex abbreviation for several masculine and feminine names.
- The R and L are not distinct phonemes in Japanese. Thus in katakana, Mer can also be transliterated as Mel. However, in the anime it is clearly pronounced as Mel, and so that's his official name until Yoshihiro confirms the pronunciation.