The Apostles of the Star is a terrorist group created by Creed Diskenth, gathering the main antagonist of the manga Black Cat and the major part of its anime adaptation. Their proclaimed goal is to bring about a global revolution to destroy the secret society Chronos, in order to reshape the world. Unbeknownst to most of them however, Creed uses his followers to become an immortal "God".
The TaoThe Apostles' main source of power, the Tao is a mystical Oriental art developed by the Tao Masters from the "a faraway continent" of Yamto. Each and every one of them mastered the arcanas of Tao and knew how to brew the Shinkito (the Spirit Drink): a potion that can awake a power of Tao dormant in someone. (Anyone who drinks it without having a power of Tao dies.)
Shiki and Maro, two of the few surviving Tao Masters came in contact with Creed Diskenth, who was at this time a renegade assassin from Chronos. As the three of them had a score to settle with the secret society, they joined forces and started to recruit Tao wielders from all around the world.
A power of Tao is always linked to its wielder's skills and personality. It calls upon its wielder's ki (life-energy) and needs an extremely difficult and rigorous training to be fully mastered. Using a power of Tao without proper training consumes its wielder's ki; and if someone were to carelessly use an untrained power of Tao for extended periods of time, they would deplete their ki and die.
Every Apostle of the Star masters has perfect mastery of their power, and gain from it beyond-human fighting skills; on equal footing with the Chrono Numbers themselves (Chronos' elite military brigade: a group of thirteen supreme warriors). Aside from their power, the Tao wielders also wield ki-based abilities (but only a few display them).
- To feel anyone's ki, enabling them him to locate anyone in a close perimeter without seeing them and to detect whenever someone uses Tao in a larger scale. The best trained Tao wielders seem able to notice a dormant power of Tao inside someone.
- To use their own ki to vastly increase their physical prowesses. Or in some case to manipulate someone else's.
The NanomachinesCreed never intended to bring about his "revolution" solely with the power of Tao (much to Shiki's dismay). Doctor, the scientist of the Apostles of the Star also leads scientific experiments about nanomachines, which only a few Apostles are aware of. The nanomachines are molecule-sized machines able to manipulate DNA which serve as a pivotal plot device in the series. The nanomachines used in Black Cat have the science fiction properties to manipulate and even to transform the body in which they are injected.
The nanomachines are first mentioned in the first Story Arc when Torneo Rudman, of the sponsors of the Apostles of the Star, conducts experiments to create a super soldier; while sharing the data with the Apostles. Torneo created a young girl named Eve, (who later becomes one of the series' main protagonists) with countless nanomachines inside her body which enables her to transform at will, partially or completely.
At first, the Apostles of the Star use the nanomachines to heal injuries, but they do not stop there. They also create nanomachines called "Lucifer" able to turn people into self-regenerative monsters. During the last arc of the story, other much more developed nanomachines are revealed to fulfil various fighting purposes; including the "God Bless" which make Creed immortal.
All the Apostles of the Star with a power of Tao: they all follow Creed's desire of global revolution but their overall motivations vary. Some of them follow their own beliefs, which can make them disagree with their demented leader, some simply want to kill as many people as possible, and others are devoted to Creed.
Creed was once an assassin working for the secret organization Chronos, which he despises. He was partner to Train Heartnet the world's best fighter, before Train was appointed Chrono Number XIII. He admires the ruthless assassin that Train was in these times to the point of obsession and tries everything to make him join his side.
Creed is an immensely skilled swordfighter who wields the power "Imagine Blade", a blade created from his ki which transforms and gets more and more powerful as the story progresses. He ultimately gains immortality through the use of nanomachines but he loses it after his ultimate defeat at the hand of Train
ShikiCreed's first follower, Shiki is an immensely powerful Master of Tao and the one who brews the Shinkito. Shiki is a woman in the Japanese original manga, but her gender was changed in the anime and several Occidental translations. She wears a mask that restrains her power of Tao during most of the story.
Shiki is one of the few survivors of the Tao Clan, who declared war to Chronos 25 years ago and ended up almost wiped out after a long and gruelling battle. She and her fellow Tao Master Maro want to spread the Tao all around the world, but she ultimately discovers that Creed only regards the Tao as a mean to achieve his own selfish goals.
Shiki's power enables her to create insects from her ki, which she uses to brainwash people, to fly, to watch over the Apostles' domains and of course to fight. In battle, she mostly relies on huge and powerful insects but she can also channel her ki through Fudas (paper with an incantation written on it) to create powerful weapons or unleash devastating attacks.
Shiki's lifelong friend and fellow Tao Master, Maro is a big man who looks like a sumo wrestler. He is very physically strong and he has the power to control gravity, which he uses to crush everything around and push projectiles down. Though far from stupid, he is very proud of his status of Tao Master, which often leads him to underestimate his enemies. In spite of his role in the creation of the Apostles of the Star, Maro has no particular position in the gang's hierarchy and he does not seem to mind it.
Doctor is in fact a mad scientist who only regards human beings as guinea pigs. He is also the closest thing to a friend to Creed, and while Shiki serves as the Apostles' second-in-command, Doctor is Creed's actual right-hand man. Doctor can create an alternate dimension in which he controls absolutely everything.
In the anime, when Creed is defeated Doctor is revealed to be part of the Zero Numbers, and the one who undertook the scientific realization of the "Eden" Project.
Her power enables her to open wormholes that link to different places and serve as gateways. As such she is often tasked to transport the Apostles from one location to another, but she also uses it to strike her enemies from several sides at the same time. When Creed is defeated, Echidna brings him away and takes care of him.
A young man clad in black, with a silk top hat and very courteous manners. He has the power to control his own blood to shape it like weapons, and he serves as a field agent for the Apostles along with his partner Kyoko. Charden holds an unexplained grudge against Chronos, which he yearns to destroy in order to make the world a better place. He ultimately defects from the Apostles when he fully realizes the magnitude of Creed's madness.
A young high school student with the power to create extreme heat and to breathe fire, Kyoko is a very immature and fun-loving teenage girl who regards the Apostles' revolution as a party. Like her friend and partner Charden, Kyoko mostly serves as a field agent. She ultimately defects from the Apostles alongside Sharden so that he "would not be lonely", and later meets Train Heartnet whom she falls in love with. Train then makes sure that she would no longer be targeted by Chronos after she swears never to kill anyone.
The youngest member of the Apostles of the Star, Leon is a child who lost his parents and his older sister in a civil war, causing him to develop an intense hatred towards adults and society. He has the power to control air and wind, which enables him to fly on a special sky board. He is defeated by Eve, who convinces him to leave the Apostles of the Star, during the final battle.
In the anime, he led a gang of orphaned children which he left to join the Apostles. He returns to them after Creed's defeat and he later takes part in the battle against the Zero Numbers.
A deranged murderer dressed like a cowboy, with the power to fire blasts of pure ki from his gun. He sets out to defeat Train and gets beaten, prompting Creed to kill him for insubordination.
A monkey with a power of Tao who only appears in the manga, Eathes can copy people and transform into exact doubles of them, which enables him to understand human speech and to speak fluently. Eathes copies Dr Tearyu to get her knowledge about nanomachines, helping Doctor in making Creed immortal. He ultimately reforms and is last seen walking in the streets under a human shape alongside Leon.
A demented former clergyman who broke free from jail thanks to the Apostles of the Star. Preta is a serial killer with the power to wither and decay anything that comes in contact with his ki. In the manga, he is defeated during the final battle by the bounty hunter River Zastory. In the anime, he is defeated by Train's partner Sven Vollfield.
A young and psychotic serial killer who only appears in the manga, he wields the power to create and control ice, and uses it to protect himself from almost every attack. He is defeated by Sven during the final battle.
People who were contacted by the Apostles of the Star and offered to join them; they drank Shinkito and gained a power of Tao but they did not train enough and paid the heavy price.
A failed boxer and homicidal maniac whom Sven arrested back when he was a special agent. He broke free from jail and gained the power to increase his physical strength to immense levels. He persuaded himself that having a power was enough to be invincible and ultimately died from ki overuse. He serves as an example of what happens to careless Tao-wielders.
A demented eco terrorist who kills anyone whom he sees damaging a plant, who appears only in the anime. He has the power to create and to control plants and flowers, but he ultimately dies during a battle against Train and Eve because he drank too much Shinkito.
The Phantom Star BrigadeThe Phantom Star Brigade only appears during the final battles of the story, when almost every Tao-wielding Apostle has been taken down. They are the product of the Apostles' ultimate project to create bio-engineered super soldiers.
The Phantom Star Brigade consists in five elite members of the Shooting Star Unit (see below) who were fused with their weapons and turned into cyborgs through the use of nanomachines. It must be noted that they are all merciless murderers who were transformed willingly. Their half-robotic body gives them enhanced strength and durability, and protects them against guns and conventional weapons. They are also equipped with sensors and powerful weapons such as machine guns, rockets and flamethrowers.
There is a "Golem" cyborg filled with countless Gatlings and machine guns who gets defeated by Sven; a Flying cyborg who can separate his body in two who gets defeated by Eve; a Snail Cyborg able to hide in his shell to perform a rollout attack, who gets defeated by the Chrono Number VII; a snake-like cyborg who gets defeated by the Number X; and finally a huge four-armed cyborg who gets destroyed by the Numbers IV and VIII.
The Shooting Star UnitThe Apostles' regular soldiers, nicknamed "the Octopus Gang" by Train. They form an army of masked warriors fanatically devoted to Creed, who blindly obey the Tao wielders' command. They were part of the terrorist organization from the very beginning but they are not revealed until around the middle of the story. There are many of them in each hideout of the Apostles of the Star. They serve as guards and field agents who operate in lage groups under the command of one or several Tao wielders, but some serve as butlers.
They all wear a special armour that can withstand an explosion. Because of this, they can only be defeated by striking their mask or the gaps in the joints of the armor, (invisible from the outside) or by an attack powerful enough to break through the armour. They are all very skilled warriors and marksmen, who use machine guns, normal guns, retractable daggers hidden in their sleeves, or bazookas and batteries of missiles for the direst cases. When defeated they never hesitate to blow themselves up in a last ditch effort to kill "enemies of Lord Creed".