|“||Sitting there in the dark, I had the chance to think about a lot of things, including the nature of the world itself. And after lengthy consideration, I realized something: when all is said and done, this world is an unknowable place. On the surface, all appears rational, orderly. But what lies beyond that thin veneer of reason? Stability and reality? Or chaos and madness? What are we really made of in the end? Is there truly any meaning to the lives we lead? Or are we nothing more than hollow vessels? These are questions we can never answer because we cannot hope to see beyond the world's fragile layer of skin. So we live our lives filled with uncertainty, never knowing who or what we truly are or what the future will bring. All we can do is imagine. Life becomes an unsolvable mystery with any number of twists and turns awaiting us. And that's enough to fill any soul with terror!||„|
Asura, also known as Kishin Asura or simply the Kishin, is the main antagonist of the manga and anime series Soul Eater. He is a former member of Lord Death's Eight Powerful Warriors, and was sealed away underneath the grounds that became the Death Weapon Meister Academy until Medusa Gorgon revives him. He is also one of Lord Death's sons and the older brother of Death the Kid. His goal is to spread madness around the world.
Asura appears as a tall, thin and pale young man with black hair, and three eyes with their pupils having the shape of three vertical eyes. In the anime, his irises are red. He has adopted the symbol of three vertical eyes on each strand of his hair, the backs of his hands, and the long scarf covering his head is embellished with multiple of them, wrapped in a manner that only three are displayed on the front.
Prior to becoming a Kishin, due to his own paranoia, Asura wore long scarves and a suit consisting of five or six shirts covered by a red and black pinstriped blazer. He also wore a long pair of dark trousers. Due to the circumstances surrounding his imprisonment and revival, Asura is left without clothes, so he forms his initial outfit from his own skin. Later on, he once again adopts his pre-Kishin appearance. In the anime however, Asura stays with his initial outfit until the end, only briefly adopting the pre-Kishin appearance when he is with Arachne, but even then without his shirts.
Being the physical embodiment of fear, Asura is extremely unpredictable, switching from being completely calm and cool in one minute to being maniacal and senseless in the next. Interestingly, the former tends to happen when he's unmasked while the latter tends to happen when he covers his face. According to Lord Death, Asura was a suspicious individual, as he wrapped himself with a scarf and wore multiple layers of clothes, as well as never trusting anyone, and this paranoia grew into an obsession for power, leading to him even eating his own partner Vajra. He also seems to fear his own father since he is reluctant to fight him head on.
Asura admits that Death's act of creating him is irresponsible and sees mankind as nothing more than the latter's puppets, believing that Death determines normalcy and insanity. As a result, he also considers Death and those who want to become a "true reaper" like Death the Kid tyrants, but is visibly confused when someone possesses a strong will even at the presence of something more powerful. At heart, Asura is a child who needs someone to care for him, as seen in the anime where he falls in love with Arachne, only to eat her soul once he realizes that this love will one day lead to his own defeat.
Despite his evil nature, Asura possesses a sense of humor. When first awakened after 800 years, he comments on how his own nudity is uncomfortable and compliments Free's muscular appearance instead of saying something sinister. Before exiting Death City, he has an exchange with Death and is amused of how much the Shinigami's demeanor and appearance have changed, all while speaking in a very polite manner that implies some respect for his former master. He is also a hypocrite as he constantly says he admits his fear of others despite his actions showcasing otherwise.
Despite his intentions of spreading madness around the world, Asura doesn't see his own goal as evil, but rather normal and will make the world a better place since he believes that madness is the only thing that everyone has, and thus the only thing that can unite the world. In the manga, before being sealed again, he states that he will always exist as long as fear does. In the anime, before dying, he smiles upon realizing that madness and bravery aren't so different since everyone has both.
Around 800 years before the events of Soul Eater, Asura was created by the Grim Reaper Lord Death from a fragment of the being's soul. Made a member of Death's Eight Powerful Warriors, Asura was its most valued member due to his strength and intimidating power. However, because Death used the part of his soul containing fear, it manifested in Asura's disturbed and paranoid personality. Even with his Magic Weapon partner Vajra attempting to help him, Asura become increasingly unstable overtime to the point of single handily slaughtering a group of witches on his own.
Eventually, Asura developed an obsession to become powerful enough to never fear anything again. This resulted in Asura devouring Vajra so he can consume the souls of 99 innocent humans along with some of his own allies before taking a witch's soul, becoming the first Kishin with his madness in full bloom. Forced to hunt down his own son, Death defeated Asura and ripped the Kishin's skin off to create a sack to contend Asura's power in. With all his vital fluids removed, yet still alive, the mummified Asura is then buried under the grounds that became the Death Weapon Meister Academy with Death himself routing his own soul over Death City so Asura can never be released. Death also established Meister and Weapon teams to prevent more Kishin from appearing.
Release from Imprisonment
Despite Death's intent to keep his wayward son trapped forever, a witch named Medusa Gorgon made it her goal to free Asura for her own desire to change the world. The scheme Medusa conducted involved her child Crona, raised in abuse and torture to possess a antisocial personality not much different from Asura's, and child's Black Blood. Taking advantage of DWMA's anniversary celebration, Medusa has her followers Eruka Frog and Free use the Black Blood to give Asura the strength to break his seal. Despite his residual madness almost having them commit suicide, Eruka and Free accomplish their mission.
Once revived, screaming in fear at the sight of Eruka, Asura reattaches his skin while easily defeats his younger brother Death the Kid and his ally Black Star. Regaining his voice while disgusted upon realizing he is nude, Asura uses some leftover skin to form a makeshift wrapping to cover his naked body before heading to the surface. Momentarily halted by his father's seals, Asura is confronted by Death as they engaged in small talk before having an epic battle that nearly wipes out Death City. Managing to break pass Death's barrier, Asura makes it beyond his father's reach as he departs to the moon to bide his time while fully regenerating. As Asura regains his full power over time, his madness begins to enhance various evils over the world. Among the villains is the newly revived Arachne Gorgon who began searching for Asura to use his power to wipe out her enemies.
The Hunt for Asura
From the moon, Asura creates Clowns from his being while recruiting the Death Scythe Justin Law to his side. Justin murders a fellow Death Scythe named Joe Buttaki when he almost locates Asura, pinning the blame on Franken Stein. Regardless, the Meisters, Noah, and Medusa are all looking for Asura for their respective reasons. Eventually, because of his soul's similarity to Crona's, Asura is accidently detected by Maka Albarn. At that time, Asura is confronted by Noah's group with the intent to capture. However, Crona arrives at the last second and absorbs Asura to enact his mother's desire. Despite being assimilated into Crona's body, Asura takes advantage of the child's breakdown to assert full control over his new body and mold it into his image.
Easily overpowering Maka when she tries to get Crona out of him while overwhelming her and the others, Asura reveals his familial ties to Kid while having him doubt himself to be no different from him should he access his full power and that they should rule the world together. However, his younger brother now an equal thanks to Maka's words of encouragement, Asura finds himself facing Kid in his full Grim Reaper state and Maka when she appears in a new fighting form using Soul's Black Blood. Eventually, alongside Soul, Maka manages to enter Asura's body to save Crona. However, as a way of thanking Maka for everything, Crona instead reveals a plan to trap Asura using the Mad Blood which requires Maka to get back outside to make the Kishin bleed. Once the plan succeeds, Asura's Brew-enhanced blood consumes the entire moon with him trapped within the dome of Mad Blood.
In an alternate version of the storyline branching from after his escape from Death City, Asura flies to an abandoned Buddhist temple, where he is found by Arachne as she tries to recruit him into her organization Arachnophobia to help her destroy the DWMA. He is at first aggravated by her presence and nearly strangles her to death with his scarves, yet accepts and comes to Baba Yaga's Castle. Arachne subdues Asura and harvests his madness wavelength to spread madness throughout the world and creates destructive weapons with his power.
However, as a countermeasure, Death arranges for all of Eibon's creations to be brought the academy to convert Death City into a mobile mecha to personally fight while capturing Asura. Despite the foolproof plan, explaining that he rid himself of imagination so he would not be afraid, Asura succeeds by using his father's ties to Kid against him. But as he leaves for Arachne, Asura realizes that she has become his weakness and decides to kill her. From there, Asura eats the witch's soul and transforms into a larger, monstrous version of himself by the time the Meisters and their Weapons face him. With Maka forced to leave them to save Soul from the black blood inside him, Kid formulates a plan to blast Asura to oblivion while Black Star keeps him at bay. Despite mortally wounding Kid, with Black Star continuing to fight not the less, Asura only enables his younger brother to unconsciously access his full Grim Reaper power with his body reduced to a burned husk.
Unfortunately, with Kid collapsing from the strain, Asura emerges and easily defeats everyone before Maka and Soul come to. Asura proceeds to intimidate Maka, noting how she is normal compared to her allies who managed to defeat, telling her that her Anti-Demon Wavelength is useless against him as madness is not an evil presence but part of every person while taking Soul out with an attack meant for her. With Maka forced to fight him on her own, Asura is briefly caught off guard when she enters a trance to unconsciously remove fear while invoking her weapon heritage. But the Kishin quickly sees through her plan and simply holds her down while painfully inducing her back into consciousness by nearly crushing her heart.
Though it seems he was going to win, gloating to Maka that she has nothing left, Asura is shocked when she tells him that she is relieved. Flabbergasted why she can feel relieved in such a situation, Asura's confusion is intensified when he learns that Maka's greatest power is the simple notion of "bravery". This causes Asura to break down over the girl's bravery to the point of releasing Vajra, forcing him to unleash a barrage of attacks just to keep Maka away from him before she delivers a powerful punch to his face. Finding his face cracking from what he saw to be a normal punch, infused with her bravery and destroying him from the inside, Asura demands how bravery is special before Maka explains that it's something all people had. Asura smiles upon the realization that bravery and madness are not different before his body shatters from the residing explosion.
Powers and Abilities
Described as the strongest and most feared member of the Eight Shinigami Legions, Asura is a terrifyingly mighty individual, holding vast godly power that surpasses even others of similar god-like status such as Excalibur, the Great Old One of Power and Eibon, with him perhaps being the second strongest character in the entire Soul Eater series, having shown to easily overpower all those who fought him except Death himself, who appears to be his only superior but even then Death would not defeat him without a fierce struggle. Another testament to his power is how his god-level power proved capable of affecting the entire world and even slowly undoing cosmic aspects such as order.
Though he devoured his weapon partner, Asura can still use Vajra by partially regurgitating the weapon from his mouth. After becoming a Kishin, Asura gained the Madness Wavelength, a perpetual residual energy. As Asura's madness is represented by fear and terror, it warps the perception of others surrounding him to the point of driving them insane if exposed for too long. That same madness, when concentrated in a specific area, can produce Clowns that spread the madness further. Being infused with Black Blood, Asura can heal from any injury including severed limbs. This also gives Asura a empathic link to Crona as the Black Blood linked them and served as a catalyst for their eventual union with Asura possessing Crona.
In a fight, Asura can rush the enemy while using his soul wavelength to create a twister-like air current around him, turning himself into a human drill. This attack is strong enough to break through Death's shield and blow a hole through his body.
- Compressed Soul Wavelength Beams: This attack begins with Asura folding his hands in a manner similar to praying, before creating small spheres of soul energy which become two circular eye-like symbols that both release a very powerful beam of energy. Asura defends using his Skin Scarves.
- Skin Scarves: These scarves are made from Asura's own skin, giving him complete control over them. This allows him to use them as extra limbs or to shield himself from attacks.
- Shield: In the second fight between Asura and Death in the anime, he is seen using a shield similar to Death's, in the form of a red circle. It is filled with numerous symbols, most likely of Hindu or Buddhist origin.
|“||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.||„|
|~ Asura to Death the Kid in Chapter 108.|
|“||Imagination is where all our fear originates, it is the mother of terror and mankind's greatest weakness.||„|
|~ Asura about imagination.|
|“||Humans don't fear death... They fear the pain of imagining death...||„|
|“||Pain and death aren't so frightening really, unless you let your imagination run away with you...||„|
|~ Asura to Maka.|
|“||What's wrong with surrendering to madness? That's where true peace is.||„|
|~ Asura trying to justify his goal.|
|“||Why do you blindly trust Shinigami when you possess such power for yourself? This is why humanity is foolish.||„|
|“||Everybody huh? Then it’s just like madness.||„|
|~ Asura’s last words, realizing bravery and madness are the same before his death.|
- 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.
Great Old Ones