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So you cast off your flesh and overcame terror, then used "BREW" to conquer dread!! And finally, you believed in others to construct a pillar of strength that would tower over horror. But it is a frail pillar indeed! Easily toppled!! And once it does, you are done! Madness will take over again! Goodbye until then! You will again hole up with me and cower!!

—Asura to Crona, Chapter 112

Asura (阿修羅, Ashura) is the first generation Kishin and Great Old One whose affinity to madness resides in the madness of fear.[5] Born as Death's eldest son and as a fragment containing his fear in order for Death to be the God of Absolute Order.[4][10] He formerly served as a warlord of the Eight Shinigami Legions as its strongest member until he betrayed the group, and became a Kishin. He was then sealed away by his father[3] and remained sealed until his revival by Medusa's Faction.[6]

Cultural References

Asura is also a term for a low-ranking deity in Buddhism and Hinduism. These deities are typically portrayed as belligerent, looking for any excuse to get into a fight.[11]

Personality

As the physical embodiment of fear, Asura's behavior is extremely inconceivable; one minute he seemingly has a completely calm and cool demeanor, the next he is both maniacal and senseless. Interestingly enough, this can be seen when Asura covers his face, he tends to act erratically and is unpredictable, making him especially dangerous. However, unmasked, he is almost the opposite. He displays a much more calm and "sane" demeanor, even displaying sarcasm.[4][12]

According to his father and master, Death, Asura was a suspicious individual. Wrapping himself with a scarf and wearing five or six layers of clothes, Asura never opened his heart up to anyone nor did he ever trust anyone. Despite being the strongest of the Eight Shinigami Legions, Death comments he was always afraid of something and grew to have an obsession with power, which caused him to break the rules of hunting souls outside Shinigami's List.[3] Some of his fears included his own weapon partner Vajra[3] and the "fear of death",[13] despite his status as an immortal Reaper. He also may hold actual fear of his father, a notion supported by his reluctance to fight him head on[6] and in the anime, even Arachne had accused Asura of this.[14] In one instance, Eruka Frog's appearance actually startled the Kishin.[6]

In addition, Asura himself admits that his own creation by Death was irresponsible[4] and views Mankind as nothing more than Death's puppets, finding that what's considered normal and insane to be born of Death's own whims.[4] He also considered Death and those who want to become what is known as a "True Reaper" like Death the Kid to be tyrants.[15] Despite his conflicting and immoral views, he seems to not understand those who possess strong will even in the presence of someone more powerful, causing him legitimate confusion.[16]

Despite his sinister intentions, Asura also appears to possess a strange, hidden sense of humor. When first awakened, rather than making a sinister or eerie comment as his first words in around 800 years, Asura anti-climatically comments something along the lines of his nudity being uncomfortable, since he, at the time, had no clothes on.[17][18] Also, before exiting the Sealed Shrine, Asura catches a glimpse of Free standing in front of him, to which he appears to compliment Free on his muscular appearance, admiring it, and then launching himself through the ceiling.[19][20] Even Free is dumbfounded by Asura's comment, wondering whether it was really addressed at him. Also, before escaping Death City, Asura also appears to be amused by how much Shinigami's demeanor and appearance has changed. When talking with Death, Asura speaks very politely and formally, showing that he may hold some respect for his former master.[6] He also has a constant notion of "admitting" his "fear" of others, despite his actions showcasing otherwise.[21]

Appearance

Asura is depicted as a very tall, thin, pale young man. Prior to becoming a Kishin, he wore numerous long white scarves, encircling his entire neck and a large portion of his head, and upwards of five to six shirts on his body, each of varying style and color. Even this significant amount of clothing is covered by a further layer; consisting of a red and black pinstriped blazer, as well as an extremely long pair of dark trousers, burying the black shoes worn underneath in a mass of fabric.

Asura has adopted the symbol of three vertical eyes, as he too possesses a third eye on his forehead. Not only does each strand of dark hair on his head look like an eye, due to the presence of white markings, but even his pupils feature this same eye-like shape. This signature eye symbol is tattooed to the backs of each of his hands and the long scarf that encompasses his head is embellished with multiple black images of these vertical eyes, wrapped in a very particular manner so as to display only three at the front. In the anime, his irises are red.

Due to the circumstances surrounding his imprisonment and subsequent revival, Asura was left without a single item of clothing, either old or new. In order to compensate for this immediate need, he fashioned various wrappings out of his own skin to cover his naked body, even forming it to create the long scarves he originally wore with the same three signature eye-like markings.

Power

Official statements

Atsushi Ōkubo has stated that Asura is also stronger than both Death the Kid (with three of the Lines of Sanzu connected) and Black☆Star during the finale of Soul Eater.[22]

Special Abilities

Madness Wavelength (狂気の波長, Kyōki no hachō): As one of the Great Old Ones, Asura possess a soul wavelength on a god's level described as "inexhaustible" capable of affecting almost anyone on Earth including witches and the undead even when bloodless and sealed away.[23] It's power allows him to slowly crumble at world order (and physical representations at it like the Death Room), in which is a critical cosmic aspect.[24]

  • Madness of Fear (恐怖の狂気, Kyōfu no kyōki): Asura's particular madness variant prods and incites the madness lying deep within the human soul,[25] causing them to go insane or in some cases, face horrific illusions and hallucination in which would result in the person unknowingly commit suicide.[26]
  • Pressure ((あつ), Atsu): Asura is capable of using the pressure of his madness wavelength to focus it into a powerful, physical force capable of flattening and pinning down multiple individuals even as powerful as Death the Kid in his true Reaper state, Maka Albarn, and Black☆Star.[15] He is also able to unleash pressure to instantly incapacitate opponents by either waving a hand near them or using his elastic skin to "slap" an eye formation on their head. As a result, the victim is usually left with some sort of nosebleed.[27]

Magic (魔法, Mahō): As a Reaper, Asura seems to possess a vast amount of magical abilities.[28] Some of his unnamed abilities include being capable of creating fire and using it to burn his opponents and creating orbs of energy.[29]

  • Shinigami Powers (死神の力, Shinigami no chikara): Asura possess latent, divine magical abilities similar to that of his father though unlike the former or Kid, it instead operates under his own theme.[28]

Meister Techniques (職人の技, Shokunin no Waza): Asura is a skilled miester, his choice of weapon being a vajra. How he formerly use such a weapon is unknown but after consuming (and merging due to his Reaper heritage) his weapon partner of the same name, he is capable of using Vajra by regurgitating his weapon form to his mouth.[3]

Absorb (吸収, Kyūshū): According to Death, his capability of eating souls would originate from the outright consumption of Vajra within his weapon form, bestowing him weapon abilities.[3]

Kishin (鬼神, Kishin; FUNimation "Afreet"): Due to the nature of a Kishin requiring a user to be able to consume souls, Asura's status as a Kishin is owed due to his former partner's weapon abilities. Although granting him additional power, how much is unknown.[3]

Reaper Physiology: Being a Reaper, he has a far more advanced physiology, his body capable of repelling everything, even the likes of poison or dye.[30] Asura's skin is very elastic and can be stretched and compressed into wrappings.[6]

  • Lines of Sanzu (ザ ライン オブ サンズ, Za Rain obu Sanzu): Being a Reaper himself, Asura therefore possess the Lines of Sanzu, which is shown by the white breaks revolving around his hair, having possessed this appearance since even prior to his betrayal.[4][3]
  • Immortality (不死, Fushi): As a result of being a Reaper and the embodiment of fear, Asura possesses immortality and cannot be killed conventionally.[31]
Chapter 111 - Mjolnir hits Asura

Mjolnir hits Asura.

  • High Physical Abilities (高い身体能力, Takai Karada Nōryoku): Like Kid, Asura has superior endurance and mobility than that of a human being as well as other greater physical abilities due to being a Reaper.[32] Asura possess strength that allows him to easily push aside Maka and send her crashing into the ground,[15] break Black☆Star's arm with his bare hands, and fatally injure Maka by driving his hand through her body.[16] He is also durable enough to have withstood physical punishment from Death, including being skinned alive[3] and both his Shinigami Chop and Shinigami Shockwave techniques.[3] He could also withstand a chain resonance from Maka's team, attacks from various death scythes, and Gopher's love cannon.[33]
  • Black Blood (黒血, Kokketsu): Asura was revived when Eruka Frog injected Asura with the black blood, replacing Asura's previous blood as a result.[6] Unlike other users of the black blood, he doesn't suffer from a weakness to pffensive, wavelength control techniques. Although it is unknown to what degree it enhances him, Kid mentioned that the black blood does indeed play a part in his ability to withstand great physical assaults.[34]

Hand-to-Hand Combat (体術(たいじゆつ), Taijutsu): Asura has a great deal of of great hand-to-hand combat skill, able to overpower Death the Kid even after having connected two of the Lines of Sanzu in combat with ease[35] and disable a combined attack from Maka and Black Star at the same time. His particular method of fighting at close range revolves around the use of palm hands, spear hands, and kicks.[16]

Resonance Defense: According to Spirit Albarn, those with similar soul wavelengths (ex. family members) cannot breach the Kishin's "wall of suspicion and paranoia" and that only a soul resonance that goes beyond race, gender, and personality can defeat him.[36]

Weaknesses

Although a powerful entity in his own right, even Asura himself has some forms of limitations on him. Although possessing incredible abilities that make him virtually un-killable, he's not immune to being defeated. The only individual to be capable of overpowering Asura in battle is Death, with Asura fearing the former and having been once skinned alive by him.[37]

Soul Eater Chapter 107 - Maka awakens Black Star from hallucination

The Anti-Demon Wavelength can dissolve hallucinations

Additionally, Asura himself had some trouble with fighting the icon known as Noah (Wrath) when the latter used "BREW", a powerful demon tool said to be Eibon essentially. He was unable to deal damage to him with his wrappings and was caught though the sorcerer himself failed to do lasting damage.[38] He's also been able to be sealed away, as Death himself sealed him away with his own abilities and Crona later sealed off Asura using their Mad Blood powered by the Demon Tool, "BREW".[39]

As well, Asura's madness is not enough to overcome or fool all opponents. The Anti-Demon Wavelength and Healing Wavelength are both capable of temporarily deterring the spread of madness, even reversing its negative effects and hallucinations.[40] As well, intense focus by some persons, such as Free and Death the Kid, can see through Asura's hallucinations.[41]

List of techniques

Soul-Sensing Abilities techniques
  • Soul Perception (魂感知能力, Tamashii Kanchi Nōryoku): According to Clay Sizemore, because of his paranoid personality, he has developed a high level Soul Perception.[42]
Weapon techniques with vajra
  • Vajra (technique) (ヴァジュラ, Vajura): Asura's weapon of choice is his former Demon Weapon partner he consumed and permanently merged with, who takes the form of a pointed and weaponized Vajra. Vajra also is a rather durable weapon, with Asura remarking that not even the Black Blood (which could melt Ragnarok prior to him being within Crona's bloodstream) cannot melt Vajra.[15]
Shinigami Powers magic techniques
Asura's Shock Wave

Shockwave.

  • Collect (回収, Kaishū): As a Reaper, Asura is also capable of collecting the souls of other individuals without actually consuming them.[43]
  • Shockwave (衝撃波, Shōgekiha): Asura can create a shockwave by swiping his arms and injuring an opponent. It was powerful enough (when used casually) to injure Noah (Wrath), causing him to lose his right eye.[24]

Equipment

Wrapping (包帯, Hōtai): One of Asura's main weapons seems to be the usage of his own skin modified and stretched to resembled more that of wrapping. Not only can he wrap it around others for some usages (such as strangling) but also can act as a conduit of his own powers (notable for his usage of Fire).[citation needed]

History

Eight hundred years ago, Asura was born as a mature Reaper when his father, Death, extracted all of his fears from his soul into the fragment with intentions of becoming the "God of Absolute Order".[4] As a Great Old One, Asura later served as a member of the Eight Shinigami Legions as a Meister and Warlord.[5] As a result of the time spent within the group, he was later known as the strongest member of the team.[3]

However, his fearful nature would get the better of him and developed an obsession with gaining power.[3] He was also drive insane due to the Eight Shinigami Legions' extreme sense of justice.[44] After a great battle, Asura began fearing death and secretly fed his partner, Vajra, souls not on Shinigami's List.[45] He would eventually consume his partner as a weapon full, gaining the ability to consume souls and using the demon weapon by will.[3]

As a result, he became the first Kishin. Wrecking havoc with his Madness Wavelength and the Madness of Fear, he was later put to an end by his father. He was defeated, skinned alive, drained of all his blood, and the dried up body and soul was stuffed into a sack made up of his own skin to seal away him and his Madness.[46] Death's soul was then anchored to what would be Death City to prevent the Kishin from moving about. Throughout the next eight centuries, his father and former master would periodically appear to maintain the seal around him.[3]

Synopsis

A Fight to the Death at the Anniversary Celebration arc

Soul Eater Chapter 22 - Death faces Asura

Asura meets Death once again in eight hundred years.

Eight hundred years later, Asura is revived when Eruka Frog injects a giant needle of Black Blood into the sack containing the Kishin. As a result, he beings reforming into his original form. As he forms, he is attacked by Death the Kid using the Demon Twin Guns, though they do no damage to the god and continues reforming.[47] As he finishes, he is surprised to find the Frog Witch in front of him, screaming at the top of his lungs. As the witch screams herself in fear, both Kid and Free are astounded by the Kishin being surprised. Black☆Star decides to attack him with his Ultimate Move: Black☆Star Big Wave. However, the attack is ineffective and he is sent flying away from Asura with only a swipe in the air. As Kid attempts to shoot down the Kishin, he is slapped in the forehead with Asura's elastic skin, causing him to get knocked out in one hit. Asura then stretches his skin into Skin Scarves, loudly exclaiming that he is naked and needs to cover up, which he does. He then comments on how nice it must be to have muscles, before jumping into the air and flying his way out of the shrine.[6]

As Asura reaches the surface, he is then captured by some of Death's seals that were in place just in case he ever escaped earlier. However, due to being newly revived and the dated sealing, the seals are easily torn. However, Death then appears before Asura. As Death greeted the Kishin and questions wellbeing, Asura questions why Death currently wears a silly mask. As the question is answered, he presumes that the silly voice in which he speaks is the result of being in the academy and wanting to appeal to the children. Death then gives Asura an ultimatum, stating it is time for him to die again before being hit by a powerful Shinigami Chop.

Chapter 22 - Death healing from his injury

Asura escapesfrom Death.

Crashing into the group, he then laughs manically, asking Death does he know the pain of having skin torn from the body and claims he's forgotten. He then sends his skin scarves to Death, prompting him to use Katsu and Shinigami Shock Waves to nullify and counter his move. He takes the shockwaves, taking damage and easily heals. He then attempts to escape, with Death blocking his way with a Death Block shield, promoting him to use his own abilities to drill through both the shield and Death. As Death attempts to skin him alive again, the attack bounces away and it is revealed Asura was aware that Death can no longer move freely. He then tells Death that he doubts they'll ever meet and bids his farewell, calling Death "Master" before leaving.[6]

After escaping Death City, Asura found refuge on The Moon and eventually generated Clowns from his Madness Wavelength.[48][49]

Mad Blood arc

When Crona had used Mad Blood to encompass a large sphere of Black Blood around the city Ukraine, Asura's own Black Blood reacted and prompted Justin Law and The Clown to investigate the reason behind it.[50]

Dark Side of the Moon arc

After Noah (Wrath) manages to capture Asura by using Brew to fuse with one of his ants, Crona suddenly appears behind Noah and they dissolve both Noah (Wrath) and Asura in twister of Mad Blood. Crona then absorbs only Asura and they say that they don't need Noah (Wrath), who Ragnarok immediately spits out of Crona's body. However, after Crona has a mental breakdown, Asura assimilates Crona's body and swears to create a chaotic world driven by Madness.

He easily resists Maka's failed attempts to get Crona back, and deflects several attacks by Maka, Black☆Star, and Kid, watching calmly as Kid completes his transformation into a full Shinigami and commenting on what a stupid younger brother Kid is, revealing the fact that he too is Shinigami's son.

Asura continues fighting the trio, and their efforts to defeat him continue being in vain despite Kid's transformation into a Shinigami. Soul determines he and Maka must harness the power of the Black Blood to defeat him, and take the risk of insanity that comes with it. Donning the dress of Black Blood again, Maka enters Asura while Kid and Black☆Star hold him back. Inside Asura, Maka manages to convince Crona that they are doing the wrong thing. Crona finally agrees to stop and agrees to help the group because they trust Maka's judgment so much, as Maka was the only person ever to be kind, caring, and trusting towards them.

Upon leaving Asura, Maka attacks Asura with the Kishin-Hunt, defeating him and allowing Crona to seal both Asura and themselves inside The Moon to keep the madness locked away forever, whilst Maka, Black☆Star and Kid are safely transported back to Death City.

Quotes

  • (To Death the Kid) "Shinigami wished to be the god of absolute order, and thus he cut loose his fear — and turned it into me. That careless act was the genesis of this world that is saturated with the madness you hate so much." [4]
  • (To Black☆Star) "Why do you blindly trust Shinigami when you possess such power for yourself? This is why humanity is foolish."

Trivia

  • Asura's prominent symbol of three vertical eyes was based upon the symbol involved with the character "Emine" and his Hakutaku in Atsushi's earlier series B. Ichi.

References

  1. Soul Eater Volume 5; Chapter 22, page 144
  2. Soul Eater Volume 5; Chapter 16, page 62
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 Soul Eater Manga: Chapter 16
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 Soul Eater Manga: Chapter 108
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Soul Eater Manga: Chapter 72
  6. 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 Soul Eater Manga: Chapter 22
  7. Soul Eater Manga: Chapter 8
  8. 8.0 8.1 Soul Eater Manga: Chapter 91
  9. Soul Eater Manga: Chapter 41
  10. (Yen Press)Soul Eater Manga: Chapter 108 — Asura: Shinigami desired to be the God of Absolute Order, and thus he cut fear loose and turned it into me.
  11. Soul Eater Volume 5 Yen Press Translation notes
  12. Soul Eater Manga: Chapter 107
  13. Soul Eater Manga: Chapter 8
  14. (English Dub) Soul Eater Anime: Episode 39 - Arachne:Perhaps I'm wrong. Perhaps you are as afraid of the Grim Reaper as they say
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 Soul Eater Manga: Chapter 110
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Soul Eater Manga: Chapter 111
  17. Soul Eater, Volume 6, Chapter 22, Yen Press translation. Asura exclaims that he 'feels so naked' with eight exclamation marks.
  18. In the English dub of the anime (Episode 24), Asura exclaims that 'nakedness is so wrong.'
  19. Soul Eater Volume 6, Chapter 22, Yen Press translation. "Must be nice to have muscles!!"
  20. In the English dub of the anime (Episode 24) he says: "I like the macho look" to Free.
  21. Soul Eater Manga: Chapter 108-112
  22. Ohkubo Q&A Session on Twitter
  23. (Yen Press) Soul Eater Manga:Chapter 23Dr.Stein: But remember that this is a soul wavelength at a god level.
  24. 24.0 24.1 Soul Eater Manga: Chapter 103
  25. (Yen Press) Soul Eater Manga:Chapter 23 Page 21— Stein: Asura's madness wavelength prods and incites the madness lying deep within the human soul.
  26. Soul Eater Manga: Chapter 20
  27. Soul Eater Manga: Chapter 22
  28. 28.0 28.1 Soul Eater Manga: Chapter 22, Chapter 108
  29. Soul Eater Manga: Chapter 109
  30. Soul Eater Volume 8; Chapter 30, page 121
  31. Soul Eater Manga: Chapter 112
  32. Soul Eater Super Guidebook: How to Make a Death Scythe
  33. Soul Eater Manga: Chapter 109-112
  34. (Yen Press) Soul Eater Manga: Chapter 108 - Kid:He's a Kishin to begin with, but the blood with his veins is "Black Blood", courtesy of Medusa. It wont be that simple.
  35. Soul Eater Chapter 107
  36. (Yen Press) Soul Eater Manga: Chapter 107 - Spirit:Even the resonance of family with the same soul wavelength cannot breach the Kishin's walls of suspicion and paranoid. The only way to defeat the Kishin is with Resonance that goes beyond gender, race, personality - everything!!
  37. (Yen Press)Soul Eater Manga: Chapter 20 - Kid:...Father defeated Asura...and then stripped all the skin off of him to seal him.
  38. Soul Eater Volume 24; Chapter 103, page 25-32
  39. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Chapter_112
  40. Soul Eater Manga: Chapter 107
  41. Soul Eater Manga: Chapter 21.
  42. Soul Eater Manga Chapter 99
  43. Soul Eater Manga: Chapter 47
  44. Soul Eater Manga: Chapter 79
  45. Soul Eater Manga: Chapter 6
  46. Soul Eater Manga: Chapter 20
  47. Soul Eater Manga: Chapter 21
  48. Soul Eater Manga: Chapter 89
  49. Soul Eater Manga: Chapter 42
  50. (Yen Press) Soul Eater Manga: Chapter 85Justin Law: All of Kishin-sama's blood was drained before he was sealed away. That seal was only broken when Kishin-sama was injected with the so-called "Black Blood" created by the witch Medusa. I can only assume that's why Kishin-sama reacted to this black globe - because the same black blood is in him.

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