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 goals to seal everyone in a paradise dimension, hunting down the heroes without respite.
Ba'al looks like a boy of around ten 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 change his clothing, either elongating his robes or splitting his cape, sprout black feathered wings usually an uneven number, or long, black tendrils. He can also appear with a large double halo glowing behind his head.
Ba'al's shadow is an integral part of his being, which reveals its true form when he unleashes his full might. It contains an untold numbers 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 releases, the more it appears.
Ba'al can grow arms much bigger than he is, long claws, large tentacles, spikes, scythe-like appendages, fanged mouths and hideous snake-like wyrms from his shadow, all of it covered in demonic-looking eyes and oozing a creepy white liquid.
When fully unleashed, his shadow turns to a frightening conglomerate of monsters, gigantic limbs, spikes and tentacles all around him.
Much worse, Ba'al can fuse all his shadows into an even mightier form, turning them into a tower-sized, eldritch construct of welded tentacles all around him. It has a writhing mass of bulbous eyes and fanged tentacles for a head, big, 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 cold, uncaring, ruthless, and violent sadist, craving for battles and bloodshed. He enjoys crushing foes in nasty ways as much as he enjoys breaking their spirit.
He is conceited and boastful, scorning "inferiors" and gleefully lording over them. But he revels in foes able to match him, so long as he retains the upper hand that is. Worse, he delights in wreaking havoc, without a care for consequences. He hates not being in full control, and viciously resents getting bested.
Much worse, he is a relentless and unforgiving hunter, who never, ever lets go of a prey. He would stalk them for centuries, putting them through all sort of torment just to see how they react.
Ba'al first appears as aloof, collected and focused. He involves himself in his plots directly, stepping in at the first mishap with no care for theatrics. He is very analytic, tactical, and knowledgeable, spending time to learn all about his targets and leaving no detail to chance.
Despite this, he shows a strong playful, mischievous and frankly immature streak, fitting the child he looks like. He constantly craves stimulation, always breaking his stoic behaviour when having fun or when livid. 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. The more the heroes resist him, the more unhinged he becomes, grinning and laughing maniacally when he has them on the ropes.
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 people who can perk his interest, 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 praises UQ Holder's spirit and greatly admires the Mage of the Beginning, referring to her "humanity's greatest genius". He also 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 of Inverse Mars (a Magical World full of magic beings), reasoning that humanity needed their guidance, under his own of course. In the same way, he supports the Mage of the Beginning's goal to warp everyone into the Cosmo Entelecheia (Perfect Word), an alternate reality where everyone lives the best possible life. As such, he deems immortals as a threat to their vision, to be eliminated without batting an eyelid.
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 must be supervised whether they like it or not.
While he has a point in mentioning the two World Wars and the climate crisis, he blatantly disregards the sheer racism of the mages invaders he backed, who viewed normal humans as no better than 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, agility, reflexes, and fighting skills. He can effortlessly shatter stone and steel, wrecking the ground by applying little pressure, toppling huge buildings in a single blow, and dashing as fast as a teleport. He mostly fights with a thin longsword, wielding it in either hand, but he also wields spear-like crosses, or uses martial arts. Moreover, he is immortal and virtually indestructible, healing any wound in seconds, be it complete disintegration. However, like every immortal, damaging his heart is the only way to truly harm him.
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.
Rise to Power
More than twelve thousand years before the start of the series, there was a human civilisation on Venus, enormously advanced in both science and magic. They ultimately doomed themselves in apocalyptic wars in search of immortality. Most became demons who were banished into Inverse Venus, another dimension anchored on the planet, just like Inverse Mars, the Magical Word, which 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 god-like power, becoming the Vampire Nobles, also known as the Pure-Blood Vampires or High Daylight Walkers. They are repeatedly described as god-like, tying with the Demon Royalty and the Divine Dragons as the most powerful beings in existence.
Aside from Ba'al, the only known Vampire Nobles are Dana Ananga Jagannatha and Nikitis Laps. The others are stated to have succumbed to the boredom of eternal life, withering away in total apathy. Dana is a large and extravagant woman known as the Witch of the Rift, the quirky, and playful, but benevolent, and neutral Keeper of Reality. She controls Time, Space, Dimensions and Gravity, making even her Peers afraid of her. Nikitis is a child-like vampire exceedingly, albeit comically, overproud and boastful, who hides his love for literature, rock singers and glam under a façade of cynicism.
What Ba'al did after they parted ways remains unknown. He seems to have based himself on Inverse Mars after its creation by the Mage of the Beginning. He built himself at least one gigantic citadel and recruited thousands of soldiers, providing them the best weapons and supplies magic and technology could bring. They are known as the Zero Dawn faction, in open rebellion against the nations of Inverse Mars.
Around six centuries before the story, Ba’al created his primary general and bodyguard Sept Shichijuro Nanao: An extremely powerful, androgynous light spirit and wish-granting genie, based on the Lucky Seven concept, whose name means seven in French and Japanese.
Sept has enormous control over the Light Element and skill with weapons. He is poised but very courteous, respectful and smiling, even to foes to whom he bears no ill-will.
Invasion From Inverse Mars
At the same time, Ba'al 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, building castles, using captives as slaves and power sources, and spreading strife all over.
However, these slimy mages 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, who is female in this setting and was cursed into invulnerability after selling Jesus Christ, but was granted extraordinary Holy Powers, and could only alleviate her crippling guilt by serving Evangeline.
Evangeline attacked one of the mages, who had kidnapped many children to drain their life-force, but he set a trap draining the magic of anyone but him in his castle, ensnaring the now powerless vampire in vines. Karin barged in and destroyed him with a Holy Blast. As all seemed won, a strange child appeared, mistaken for 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, where they investigated for a year, finding out that the invaders were led by the smarmy and xenophobic Senator Gorgonzola, from the superpower nation of Megalomesembria.
Learning that his plans are widely unpopular, Evangeline sneaks in his palace to kill him, but Ba'al appears to save him. She holds her own in a physical brawl, so he forces her to rely on puppet soldiers by unleashing his shadow. Karin bombards Ba’al 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 spells, banishing him instead.
Gorgonzola launched the entire Megalomesembrian army after them, but Evangeline crushed all his forces by herself, forcing him into peace talks. This was in fact a trap, which she saw coming from miles away 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, forcing her to fend off bounty-hunters for decades, until she became the most dreaded mage in existence. After a hundred and twenty 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 Shichijuro Nanao.
She would be separated from all and succumb to despair, constantly running from bounty-hunters, and would eventually settle in Japan, only being able to free Karin ten years before 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.
Role in the Story
The story unfolds eighty-five years after Negima! in the second timeline, in which the primary heroine Asuna Kagurazaka was sealed for over a century to power the process to save Inverse Mars from its upcoming 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 was forced 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, fast spreading magic to benefit everyone as in the ending of Negima!, magic was hoarded by superpowers and elite, leading to a dramatic worsening of inequality, wars, plagues and strife, reducing many cities 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 to protect the worlds 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 story and started to spread, but only wealthy people could afford the applications enabling non-magic people to spell-cast.
Ba'al's terrorist faction, the Zero Dawn, is involved in a terrorist bombing thwarted by UQ Holder. Cutlas, one of the Life-Maker's Apostles who was captured, tells them about a terrorist attack targeting the spatial station atop the tower, which would kill thousands, forcing UQ Holder to rush there despite it being impossible in such short time, with Tōta insisting that no-one is to die, despite his comrades' insistence that casualties are unavoidable.
Against all odds, they manage to defeat the terrorist and de-activate his missile, but it was but a trap and a second bomb is set to blow up. In the end, the bombing is thwarted and Cutlass is killed by Evangeline herself.
Tōta fist learns about Ba'al when asking Karin about her past. Sometime after, he goes to Mahora's Library Island and meets Nikitis Laps, now the Head Librarian and a UQ Number, who helps him devise a new technique, Maten Taisō (Heaven Magic Demon Armament): which channels the cosmic force fuelling his immortality in power-boosting transformations, and enables him to clone himself and respawn from the blood he loses, wherever it spreads.
Tōta uses this technique 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. Indeed Ba'al has been freed and observed Tōta and UQ Holder, before making his move.
Ba'al 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 reveals his Maten Taiso's second stage: a gigantic and extremely powerful demonic construct, but Ba'al, amused, retaliates by fusing his shadows into a titanic construct and drives him into a corner. As Tōta warps close to strike his foe, Nikitis returns and resumes their fight, driving him away from Ba'al.
Ba'al orders Dana to destroy them UQ Numbers 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 humans.
Every UQ Number attacks Ba'al, but not to avail, and he spawns clones to impales them all with black cross-shaped spears that can harm even immortals. He them seizes Tōta’s friend Kirie Sakurame with tendrils. Laughing maniacally, Ba'al reaffirms that eternal bliss in the Cosmo Entelecheia is the best possible outcome for his human "siblings". He spreads many titanic, draconic tentacles over the sky, threatening 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 them all to a dimension from 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 it.
Dana playfully congratulates Ba'al for controlling her, but berates him from attacking his fellow Nobles, stating that he deserves punishment.
Ba'al immediately tries to flee, but Dana submits him to the mother of all beatdowns, trashing him around like a ragdoll and shattering his gigantic shadow construct, before smacking him into the ocean so hard it makes the water reflux around the impact.
Everyone starts searching for Ba'al everywhere, but he managed to escape. Still, he will not recover before long, enabling Evangeline and Dana to 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 yet, 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.
UQ Holder later attacks the Zero Down citadel in Inverse Mars, crushing their army in seconds despite their firepower: mixing military heavy artillery, magic weapons, giant demon summons and a near-impenetrable magic shield, and Evangeline seals it in everlasting ice. They find the Magic Circle that Ba'al used to flee, but suspect a trap.
With the Mage of the Beginning being located on Pluto, her life-erasing spell imminent, and Tōta’s training complete, the three worlds prepare a huge fleet to the Dwarf Planet. UQ Holder reaches the space station, which gets blown up and Kirie is poisoned, her power to rewind time sealed by a similar ability.
It was the doing of Ba'al, more unhinged than ever, backed-up by four demons of the highest tier, determined to stop anyone from reaching the Mage of the Beginning.
Tōta falls back on Earth, drifting unconscious in the ocean for over forty years. He wakes up in Nigeria, amnesiac and unable to grow back his arm. He is taken in by workers and partakes in the rebuilding effort, until he regains some memories and finds out what happened after the attack.
With the space station and the orbital elevator in ruins, and technology set back to the end of the 20th century by a Net Bug virus spread through the internet, the world has just started to recover from Zero Dawn’s attacks, much to Tōta's grief.
Deeply shaken by the prospect of his mortal friends' deaths, and unable to contact the UQ Numbers, Tōta is targeted by Zero Down terrorists, having to escape with basic skills as his powers are blocked by an unknown force. To make things worse, Agali Arept, one of Ba'al's lieutenants attacks him, having captured every Number but him.
To make it worse, Agali Arept, one of Ba'al's lieutenants attacks him, having captured every UQ Number but him. Tōta finds back his Gravity Blade katana just in time to retaliate, but he is no match in his state. Agali reveals that Evangeline went to Pluto to stall the Mage of the Beginning in his stead, and that his comrades disappeared. Incensed, Tōta recovers enough power to defeat him, and travels the world towards UQ Holder's headquarters in Japan, fighting Zero Dawn terrorists and living as a fighter-for-hire.
Two years later in Jakarta, Indonesia, Tōta has recovered his powers and fully healed his wounds. He is determined to travel to Pluto and defeat the Mage of the Beginning for good. Alas he falls into a trap set by Ba'als four lieutenants, who ganging up on him. As they try to break his spirit telling him they got all of his friends, many UQ Numbers barge in and make short work of them, stating that four decades is but a blink for immortals.
- 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 another dark reflection of Dana Ananga Jagannatha, his fellow Vampire Noble, also named after Supreme Deities (the Irish Mother Goddess and the Lord of the Universe in Buddhism). Both Nobles shaped Evangeline’s past, 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 imposes 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 a straight-out villain.