Ba'al is an incredibly powerful, child-like Vampire Lord, who serves as a major villain in the manga UQ Holder, sequel to Negima! Magister Negi Magi. He is one of the Vampire Nobles, the first and mightiest vampires in existence, and the archenemy of Evangeline McDowell, herself an extremely powerful vampire mage and the leader of the titular organization gathering the heroes of the story. Ba'al plagued Evangeline in the past, and now supports the Mage of the Beginning's goal, to erase the Solar System and relocate everyone to a paradise dimension.
Ba'al looks like a little boy of around 10 years old, rather tall, slender and androgynous, with long hair reaching his hips and masking roughly half his face. He has light-colored hair and eyes, likely yellow like another Vampire Noble.
He was first seen bare-footed in a tattered robe, disguised as a normal boy, but he normally wears elaborate black robes with trimming and belts, black slacks and shoes, and a black cape fitting for a Vampire Lord. He sometimes wears a dark, tattered cloak covering his body, floating around him as it does with other powerful beings.
Like all vampires, he has slit pupils, fangs and pointed nails. When he unveils his vampiric nature, he becomes downright unsettling.
His eye sclerae turns black; small bat-like wings grow on his head; his face and even his hair get covered with eyes; and his nails become long, black claws.
He can also change his clothing, by elongating his robes and splitting his cape, turn his cape into black feathered wings, or sprout them from it, usually an uneven number, or sprout many long, black tendrils.
Ba'al's shadow is an integral part of his being, which reveals its true form when he unleashes his full might. It contains a mass of demonic beings which are part of him, either spawned from his spirit or assimilated into himself, probably when he became a vampire. The more power he unleashes, the more manifest.
Ba'al can grow giant arms, tentacles, spikes and scythe-like appendages, long claws, even fanged mouths and monstrous snake-like wyrms from his shadow, all covered in demonic-looking eyes and oozing a creepy white fluid.
At full might, his shadow unleashes a frightening conglomerate of monsters, giant limbs, spikes and tentacles all around him.
Much worse, Ba'al can fuse all of his shadows into an even mightier form all around him, turning them into a tower-sized, eldritch construct of welded tentacles. It has a writhing mass of bulbous eyes and fanged tentacles for a head, huge fanged tentacles sprouting from its back, a fanged mouth on its belly where Ba'al stands, and a cluster of tentacles instead of legs.
Ba'al is the most outright malevolent villain in a series running on grey morality. He is a vicious, ruthless and unhinged sadist, craving for battles and bloodshed. He enjoys crushing foes in nasty ways as much as he enjoys breaking their spirit. He revels in foes able to match him, so long as he retains the upper hand that is. Worse, he delights in wreaking havoc, could not care less about the consequences, and hates not being in control.
Ba'al is aloof, collected and serious. He directly involves himself in his schemes and crushes any obstacle, without bothering for theatrics. He has vast knowledge and good analytic capacities.
Despite this, he has a strong playful, mischievous and frankly immature streak, fitting the child he looks like. He constantly craves stimulation and breaks his stoic behavior when enjoying himself or when livid. He is haughty and boastful, scorning "inferiors" and gleefully lording over them. His sadism is no different from a misbehaved kid crushing ants, breaking toys, and bullying people just because he can. He considers that his power enables him to do basically whatever he wants.
Despite such thoroughly unflattering traits, Ba'al is more nuanced than it seems, though this does not make him any less disturbing. Having seen pretty much everything, he delights in anything surprizing and promising people, yet he only expresses it through violence. His stalking of Evangeline and her disciple Karin stems as much from the challenge they present as a fascination for their nature.
Likewise, he appreciates UQ Holder's spirits and greatly admires the Mage of the Beginning, whom he refers to as "humanity's greatest genius". He values his pawns, avenging one of his wizards and saving his puppet king.
Surprisingly, Ba'al sincerely loves humanity, albeit in a twisted way, wanting to protect it and help it reach its potential. He backed the invasion of Earth by mages from the Magical World (a dimension full of magic beings), reasoning that their guidance, under his own of course, would have spared them wars and overpopulation problems.
Like his fellow Vampire Nobles, Ba'al follows the "Noblesse Oblige" mindset, meaning that the powerful are duty-bound to take care of the powerless, but his vision is horribly warped. Instead of training humans to better their lives, he imposes his vision, believing to know what is good for them better than they do, in a creepy Messiah Complex. He regards them as children unable to care for themselves, who need supervision whether they like it or not.
While he has a point in mentioning the two World Wars and the climate crisis, he fails to consider the racism of the mages invaders he backed, who viewed earthlings as slaves and energy sources. Besides, reasoning that dead souls will be sent to the "Cosmo Entelecheia" as well, he does not care about casualties. To cut a long story short, Ba'al's bloodthirstiness and self-righteousness completely invalidate his good intentions.
Powers and Abilities
As a Vampire Noble, Ba'al is far and away one of the most powerful beings in a series full of monstrously overpowered characters. His presence alone radiates an intense aura of dread. Even Evangeline McDowell and Fate Averruncus themselves dread the prospect of confronting him. Moreover, he is immortal and virtually indestructible, regenerating all wounds in microseconds, be it having his head destroyed or his body blasted to bits.
Ba'al has supreme strength, speed, spryness, agility, reflexes, stamina and skill with weapons. He can effortlessly break stone and steel, shatter the ground just by applying pressure, and tear down huge buildings in a single blow. He mostly fights with a thin longsword, which he can wield in either hand, but he is also adept with cross-shaped spears or martial arts, being able to dash as if he did teleport.
His powers and mastery of magic are equally formidable. He can levitate; teleport; conjure all sorts of things; shape-shift; change his clothing's size, width and shape; travel through dimensions; instantly spawn clones of himself at different places; bewitch World Trees seeds to grow instantly to full size; summon demons; negate powers; and hurl magic spheres that banish targets into the normally inescapable Void Between Words.
He is highly skilled in creating things, especially sentient beings bound to serve him. For instance, monstrous parasites made of eye-tipped tentacles who fuse with their host's soul and take control of them. They can telepathically speak to their host, influencing their mind to remove emotions or morality and increase their worst impulses.
They can also completely remove the victim's personality, or take over their bodies, sprouting tentacles and a huge tail to fight, while keeping access to their host's powers and skills.
He also created an extremely powerful light spirit, with a defined personality, whom he made his second-in-command, and granted vast powers and fighting skills, as well as immortality and agelessness.
Of course, Ba'al masters deadly magic attacks. He can fire invisible force blasts that vaporize people; conjure huge stone blocks to crush his targets; conjure long black tendrils to bind or squeeze his targets; conjure black, cross-shaped spears that bypass defences and immunities; fire a gigantic explosive fireball that can level a giant palace; or fire countless cutting beams of light from all sides at once, to cut anyone to pieces in a split-second.
When he unleashes his demonic shadows, he can send his tentacles, claws, fangs and blades to attack from several sides, if not send all of them over a wide range. The giant arms and wyrms attack as if they were alive and track down foes.
When he fuses his shadows into a demonic titan, Ba'al can attacks with its fanged tentacles and fists with ludicrous strength and deceptive speed and spryness. He changes its shape and size at will, growing titanic fists as large as it is from itself, or elongate its tentacles for miles.
Worse, he can spawn countless, titanic, horned, draconic fanged tentacles, spreading them over the sky for hundreds of miles, and make them fire enormous energy blasts from their mouths.
Over 12,000 years before the start of the series, there was a human civilization on Venus, enormously advanced in both science and magic. They ultimately doomed themselves in apocalyptic wars in search of immortality. Most became demons and were banished to Inverse Venus, a dimension anchored on the planet, like Inverse Mars, the Magical Word, is anchored on the planet Mars. Inverse Venus became the Demon World, a chaotic wasteland where might is the only rule. (Though demons are neutrals in this setting.)
Meanwhile, a few scholars gained true immortality and godlike power, becoming the Vampire Nobles. No one knows what Ba'al did after they parted ways. He seems to have based himself on Inverse Mars after its creation by the Mage of the Beginning. He does own a huge citadel-like city there, with an army of mages at his command.
Around six centuries before the start of the series, Ba'al created his main servant, Sept Shichijuro Nanao. At the same time, he began backing the ambitions of power-hungry mages from Inverse Mars to colonize Earth. They took advantage of their superiority over the Earth mages to dictate their law.
But they were all crushed by Evangeline McDowell: an incredibly powerful vampire mage created by the Mage of the Beginning from the Nobles' model, and her disciple Ist Karin Haute: in fact Judas Iscariot (female in this setting), cursed into invulnerability after betraying Jesus Christ but granted enormous holy powers, whose only relief from her crushing guilt was to defend people under Evangeline.
Evangeline attacked one of these mages, who kidnapped many children to use their life-force as fuel, but he set a trap draining the magic of anyone but him in his castle, ensnaring the powerless vampire in vines. Karin barged in and destroyed him with her holy power. As everything seemed won, a strange child appeared, mistaken by Karin as a surviving captive.
He suddenly cut Evangeline to pieces by surprise and subdued Karin under a stone block, revealing himself as a Vampire Noble. Karin and Evangeline only owed their lives to the intervention of another immortal attracted by their amount of power, the swordsman Jinbei Shishido.
Evangeline, Karin and Jinbei went to Inverse Mars and spend a year investigating, discovering that the invaders are led by the smarmy and xenophobic Senator Gorgonzola, from the superpower nation of Megalomesembria.
Upon learning that his plans are widely unpopular, Evangeline sneaks in his palace to kill him, but Ba'al appears to save him. As Evangeline holds her own in a physical brawl, he unleashes his shadows, forcing her to use puppet soldiers.
Karin bombards Ba'al's shadows with spears of holy energy, and Jinbei engages a swordfight with Sept Shichijuro Nanao. Ba'al prepares to banish Karin to the Void Between Worlds, but Evangeline deflects his spell, banishing him instead.
Gorgonzola launched the entire Megalomesembrian army after them, but Evangeline crushed them all by herself, forcing him into peace negotiations, in fact a trap, which she saw coming and avoided using dolls in her and her friends' likeness. Evangeline reminded the capital of the Covenant of non-aggression of the Old World decreed by the Mage of the Beginning, destroying all who went against it. This spurned the anti-aggression majority into decisive action, ruining Ba'al's and Gorgonzola's plans.
Furious, the wretched senator put a bounty on her head and slandered her as an evil witch, until she became one of the most dreaded mages around. After 120 years, Ba'al returned and sealed Karin in a World Tree, condemning Evangeline to solitude and breaking her spirit.
Sometime later, Evangeline teamed-up with the Vampire Noble Nikitis Laps to seal Ba'al away and recruited Sept, in circumstances yet undescribed. She would later be separated from all and succumb to despair, constantly running from bounty-hunters, eventually settling in Japan. She could only free Karin ten years before the start of the story.
She later met the legendary archmage Nagi Springfield, who had saved Inverse Mars from the Mage of the Beginning. He sealed her in the immense magic campus of Mahora Academy, where she later met his son Negi Springfield, the hero of Negima! Who would become her student and form the Ala Alba team to defeat Cosmo Entelecheia.
The Vampire Nobles
The first and most powerful vampires, sole survivors of the Venusian civilization. They are also known as the High Daylight Walkers and the Pureblood Vampires. They are repeatedly described as godlike, tying with the Demon Royalty and the Divine Dragons as the most powerful beings in existence by many orders of magnitude.
How many they are and who are the others remains unspecified, but one of them stated that most succumbed to the boredom of eternal life, withering away in total apathy. The only active Vampire Nobles are Dana Ananga Jagannatha, Ba'al himself and another child-like vampire called Nikitis Laps.
Dana is a huge and very fat woman known as the Witch of the Rift, who lives in a city-sized floating palace outside of Time and Space. In addition to the Nobles' god-tier might, she controls Time, Space, Dimensions and Gravity, making even the other Nobles wary of her.
Fortunately, she is a quirky, extravagant and playful, but benevolent and generous woman, who loves to tease people and push their buttons but at the same time pushes immortals to better themselves and to help mortals. She saved Evangeline's life and trained her in magic and fighting, before training and guiding the heroes during the course of the story.
Nikitis is more complex. He helped Evangeline to seal Ba'al, but he follows his own rules. He is currently part of UQ Holder, in charge of the magic Library Island of Mahora Academy, which holds every book ever written. He fights with martial arts but can summon gigantic demons or hurl energy blasts (including the Kamehameha from Dragon Ball).
He is exceedingly proud of his Nobility, bombastically demanding respect and trying to prove his superiority. He derides hope as an illusion, but such cynicism is in fact a facade of bitterness. At heart, he likes humans, loving novels that depict their struggles and emotions, rock singers and glam.
Sept Shichijuro NanaoBa'al's most perfect creation, at the same time an immortal, top-tier light spirit and wish-granting genie. He is based on the "Lucky Seven" concept, with his name combining the words for "seven" in French and Japanese.
Sept is poised and stoic, but very courteous, respectful and smiling, even to foes to whom he bears no ill-will. He takes great pride in providing the best services, but although he willingly works for Evangeline with UQ Holder, he cannot disobey his maker, whose orders take precedence.
Being Ba'al's main agent and bodyguard, Sept is extremely powerful. He has immense speed, strength and magical reserves, and he wields a thin longsword similar to that of his liege with exceptional proficiency. He is also a perfect butler and chef, who can prepare a wondrous feast by himself.
As a light spirit, he can transform into light and move at light-speed, blitzing foes and phasing through attacks that cannot harm ethereal beings. Still, turning to light makes him lose density, preventing him from landing too big attacks. He also uses light speed to perform mundane tasks in record time.
He can hurl a rapid-fire barrage of light-fast beams that can kill anyone and cannot be dodged, though they can be resisted, and create objects made of solid light and control them telekinetically. He mostly creates a sword of light in each hand, and six to eight more flying around him. He can most likely cast spells of the Light Element, but was never seen doing so.
In addition, Sept can grant wishes befitting his nature of genie. He can read desires in people's mind and grant them, and uses a magic wand to create objects, giving lavish clothing to most of UQ Holder following their tastes. He owns the legendary Tablecloth of the North Wind, which contains a pocket dimension with an entire house and can materializes whatever it contains. He uses it to cook inside its kitchen and summon what he made.
Role in the Story
The story unfolds 85 years after Negima! in the second timeline, in which the main heroine Asuna Kagurazaka was sealed for over a century to power the process to save Inverse Mars from collapse, by terraforming Mars to sustain it. Negima! ended when Asuna travelled back to her era after awakening, then helped Negi defeat the Mage of the Beginning for good.
In the UQ Holder timeline, without Asuna's power Negi had to sacrifice himself to defeat the Mage of the Beginning, preventing him to avoid troubles rising after magic was revealed. Space towers are now linking Earth, Mars and Reverse Mars. But instead of pacified worlds cooperating for peace, ensuring that magic would be quickly spread to benefit everyone as in the ending of Negima!, magic was hoarded by superpowers and elite, leading to dire inequality, and a dramatic worsening of wars, plagues and strife, with many cities reduced to conflict-ridden slums.
Evangeline Mc Dowell has become the founding leader of UQ Holder (Eternity Holder): a group of immortals created upon Negi's impulse, working to protect the population from supernatural threats, and she took care of the main hero, Tōta Konoe, a clone of Negi whom she turned into a vampire to save his life. Magic was revealed ten years before the start of the story and has begun to spread, but only wealthy people could afford the expensive applications enabling non-magic people to spell-cast.
UQ Holder VS UQ Holder
Tōta fist learns about Ba'al when asking Karin about her past. Sometime after, he ventures into Mahora's Library Island and meets Nikitis Laps, who trains him for three months to create a new technique, Maten Taisō (Heaven Magic Demon Armament): which channels the power of his resurrective immortality to create a power-boosting demonic armour, and to respawn himself and create clones from the blood he loses, wherever it spreads.
Tōta uses it to defeat Fate Averruncus, who now opposes UQ Holder about the means to rescue Negi. As they mend the bridges, Nikitis appears and beheads Fate by surprise. But Tōta realises that he was the real target and that Fate shielded him. It appears that Ba'al has been freed and observed Tōta and UQ Holder, before making his move.
He uses a parasite to control one of the mightiest UQ Number, Juzō Shishimi: a former student of Jinbei able to cut anything with his sword, from gods, to concepts and ideas, removing his morality and leaving only his desire to fight. Ba'al sends Juzō and Sept, who cannot disobey him, attack UQ Holder's headquarters, and also diverts a satellite to crash on it. Karin blocks it with angel summons, while Jinbei uses his Space-warping power to send non-fighters to safety, but the satellite was filled with summoned demons that must be taken down.
With Evangeline away for business and Tōta fighting Nikitis, Jinbei engages Juzō, but he can only win by feigning death and revealing the full extent of his power, driving the parasite to take over before subduing it. Meanwhile, Tōta's friends use perfect teamwork and combination of their powers to seal Sept in a mirror. But things turn for the worst when Dana appears, controlled with a parasite as well, and beats Jinbei senseless.
As Ba'al himself enters the fray flanked by Dana, Tōta joins his friends after subduing Nikitis, furious at Ba'al for what he did to his mentor and his teacher. The Vampire Noble proclaims his love for humans, but Tōta attacks him by surprise with a clone, while Dana uses her Space powers against UQ Holder, along with a newly freed Sept. Tōta channels his Maten Taiso's second stage: a gigantic and extremely powerful demonic construct around him, but an amused Ba'al retaliates by fusing all his shadows into a titanic construct and drives him into a corner. As Tōta warps close to strike, Nikitis returns and resumes their fight, driving him away from Ba'al.
Ba'al attacks the UQ Numbers and orders Dana to destroy them with a spherical black hole that can obliterate immortals, but Juzō, freed from the parasite and fully healed, cuts it to pieces along with her, while Jinbei subdues Sept, and Evangeline who just returned, freezes Ba'al's construct with a tremendous icicle wave.
Evangeline confirms Tōta's suspicion that Nikitis wanted more to settle the score with Fate than to side with Ba'al. Tōta faces Nikitis again, taunting him for having trained someone whom he claims to despise, and for playing high and mighty to avoid admitting that he likes humanity.
Every UQ Number attacks Ba'al, but not to avail, and he spawns clones to impales them on black cross-shaped spears, negating their immortality. He them seizes Tōta's friend Kirie Sakurame with black tendrils. Laughing maniacally, Ba'al reaffirms that eternal bliss in the "Cosmo Entelecheia" is the best that could happen to humanity. He spreads titanic, draconic tentacles all over the sky, threatening to wipe out the nearby town.
Ba'al gloats that his foes stand no chance against him… only to be proven wrong as Juzō, who had escaped his attacks, cuts him down. Livid, Ba'al attacks him, but only to have his heart torn out and crushed from behind by Nikitis, who had always planned to turn on him.
Grievously weakened and enraged tenfold, Ba'al orders Dana to banish everyone to a dimension which they could never escape. However, this is only the beginning of the end for him, as his wounds weaken the parasite controlling Dana, who warps through Time and Space to destroy her parasite-infected body.
Dana playfully congratulates Ba'al for controlling her, but berates him from attacking his kin, stating that he deserves punishment. Ba'al tries to flee but Dana submits him to the mother of all beatdowns, trashing him around like a ragdoll and shattering his demonic construct, before smacking him into the ocean hard enough to make the water reflux.
Everyone searches for Ba'al everywhere, but he managed to escape. Still, he will not heal before long, and Evangeline and Dana can fully free Sept from his control, and he agrees to instead be bound to Evangeline.
As UQ Holder celebrates, Tōta gets to know the Numbers he had not met, and somehow befriends Nikitis, who retains Evangeline's trust. Evangeline reveals that Fate is alive and that they tracked down Ba'al's escape route, gaining a clue on the Mage of the Beginning's whereabouts. No more defending, it is time to fight back.
UQ Holder attacks Ba'al's domain in Inverse Mars, crushing his army despite their firepower: mixing military heavy artillery and magic weapons and a near-impenetrable magic shield, and Evangeline seals it in everlasting ice. They find the Magic Circle that the Vampire Noble used to flee and examine it, but suspect a trap.
- The name "Ba'al" means "lord", "master", or "supreme", in Hebrew, fitting for a Vampire Noble.
- Ba'al is named after the King of Gods of the Canaanite mythology, the God of Masculinity, Fertility, Seasons, Storms and Weather.
- This name was used for many Supreme Gods in ancient Mesopotamian religions: Hadad the Assyrian God of Storms and Rain, known in Sumer as Iskur, Baal Shamaim the Phoenician Sky God, or Ba'al Hammon the Carthaginian God of Weather and Vegetation. This fits his goal to "care for" humanity, although unlike him, those gods were fearsome but benevolent.
- The aforementioned deities were likened to false idols in the rise of monotheism, and later assimilated to a Prince of Hell in demonology, fitting his villainous role.
- Ba'al is a dark reflection of Evangeline, both being mighty vampire children. He is the monster she is only rumoured to be, and harms people he finds interesting while she trains them. Ba'al himself notes that she is as close to a Vampire Noble as can be, but she retains human spirit while they are monstrous in nature.
- Ba'al is also a dark reflection of Dana Ananga Jagannatha, his fellow Vampire Noble, also named after a Supreme God (Jagannath, the Lord of the Universe in Buddhism). Both shaped Evangeline's past, with Dana making her a powerful mage and Ba'al making her a dreaded and bitter loner. Both believe in "Noblesse Oblige", but she pushes humans to perfect themselves while he wants to impose his vision.
- Being an unaging child only looking human, whose shadow can turn into a monstrous conglomerate, and a fervent supporter of the main villain, Ba'al is similar to, and probably inspired by, Pride from Fullmetal Alchemist.
- Being an obscenely powerful Vampire Lord with a twisted love for humanity, able to spawn countless nightmarish monsters, fanged mouths and eyes from his shadow, Ba'al calls to mind Alucard from Hellsing, another possible inspiration. However, his demons are part of his being instead of familiars, and he is more evil.