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Bardiel is main antagonist in episode 18 of the Gainax and Tatsunoko anime television series Neon Genesis Evangelion, as well as Vol. 6 of its manga adaptation of the same name and one of major antagonists (alongside Zeruel) in Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance, second film installment of anime film series Rebuild of Evangelion. It is designated as Thirteen Angel in original TV series while both manga and film series designate it as Ninth Angel.
Stealthy sneaking into NERV's HQ at Matsushiro, Bardiel managed to inflect and take control over newest Evangelion model, Unit-03, with its pilot Toji Suzuhara trapped inside of it. Angel afterwards proceeded to destroy any of its surroundings, triggering a massive explosion that destroyed the base.
Marching towards Tokyo-3 in order to trigger Third Impact with Lilith's body at Terminal Dogma, Bardiel soon found himself observed by other Evangelion Units. First to challenge it was Unit-02, whom Bardiel effortlessly defeated and incapacitated. Angel spared the life of its pilot before resuming its advance into city.
Later, Unit-00 took shooting position behind Bardiel's back. However, its pilot Rei Ayanami hesitated to finish off the Angel, knowing well it could result death of her classmate. Realising her presence, Bardiel suddenly stopped and performed a backflip, pinning Unit-00 towards the ground. Mutated Unit-03 easily overpowered its opponent before beginning an attempt to infect the Eva with its spores. Acting quickly, Gendo gave command to sever Evangelion's arm off through explosives. This caused much pain to its pilot as synchronization was not cut off, but the Angel apparently lost its interest in Unit-00 and moved on.
Thirteenth Angel's final opponent was Evangelion Unit-01, piloted by Shinji Ikari. Unleashing a howl from its jaws, Bardiel took a leap into air and floored Unit-01 before wrapping its arms around its neck. Despite this, Unit-01's pilot refused to hurt the Angel, believing Toji could still be saved. However, Gendo did not share his beliefs and instead commanded to activate Dummy Plug System, cutting off the pilot from control over the Eva.
Massively growing in strength and endurance, Unit-01 broke out of Bardiel's grip and snapped its neck, paralysing Angel's body. Refusing to stop its assault, Unit-01 continued to thrown around Unit-03's lifeless body and tear out of its insides from abdomen, before finally crushing its skull. To make sure the Angel will not return, Unit-01 grabbed the Entry Plug (where human pilots are located) and smashed it. In the manga series, Toji ends up dead, whereas in the anime, he loses his left leg.
Bardiel is one of the most aggressive, savage and unpredictable Angels in the entire series.
Bardiel was shown to be rather peaceful Angel while unprovoked, slowly heading towards the Tokyo-III in slightly hunched over pose. It seems to not take any interest in its surroundings, ignoring anything that's not Evangelion Unit.
However, when confronting another Evangelion, Bardiel becomes highly violent and unpredictable, quickly defeating them while also trying to contaminate them with its own parasite. It's seen behaving in savage and animalistic manner, roaring, standing on all fours and choking its victims.
As Evangelion Unit-03, Bardiel is tall, slender humanoid Evangelion of average size. Its head is rounded and small compared to rest of the body, with ghostly white (glowing red in Rebuild) pair of eyes and opened jaws, filled with square teeth. Arms are extremely long and skinny, reaching beyond to its knees, while its hands have five fingers with functional thumb. Legs are also long and skinny, being slightly shorter than the arms. Its entire body is covered with full-body armor plates of black-white color scheme, with shoulder pylons, knee and elbow guards.
Powers and Abilities
Angel/Evangelion Unit Physiology: While Bardiel seems to lack many standard powers like AT Field that most of Angels have, it instead possesses those typically assigned with Evangelion Units, although greatly enhanced.
- Parasitic Possession: Being fungus-like parasite in nature, Bardiel is able to take control over biological beings' bodies, such as those of humans or Evangelion Units. It seems to require human pilot in order to properly control Unit, as it prevented injection of Entry Plug, although it might simply take the pilot as hostage.
- Apocalypse Inducement: Like all Angels, Bardiel will trigger apocalyptic event known as Third Impact as soon as it makes a physical contact with Seed of Life known as Lilith. Said event will erase all organic life originating from Lilith, leaving only Angel's species as survivors, as well as render climate on Earth uninhabitable for anything not being Angels, allowing their species to flourish.
- Absolute Stamina: Unlike the regular Evangelion Units, Bardiel does not require any Umbilical Cord or internal batteries to function, as it might have S² Engine to create infinite amounts of energy from nothing. It should be noted that in Rebuild of Evangelion, inside of Unit-03 was stated to being converted into Angel's core.
- Advanced Jumping: This Angel's signature power is leaping at distances and height of hundreds of kilometres, if not miles into the air. This proves useful when fighting against Evangelion Units from enormous distance, allowing Bardiel to close the distance between it and its opponent within seconds. As demonstrated during the fight with Unit-00, Bardiel can also perform backflips, and does not need a running start.
- Advanced Strength: Bardiel as Unit-03 is abnormally strong for Evangelion Unit, being able to effortlessly overpower all three Eva Units in both manga and anime series one after another. For comparison, said Evangelion Units are able to lift and throw an battleship, as well as temporally support Sahaquiel's body individually.
- Advanced Speed: Mutated Unit-03 can move at astonishing speeds, even for Evangelion Unit's standards, which are able to break the sound barrier while running. Its blitzing speed allows it to overpower other Evangelion Unit's before they can even react, although Angel itself is blitzed by berserk Evangelion Unit-01's speed.
- Advanced Durability: Although not as impressive as most of other Angels, Bardiel displays fair level of durability; landing on other Evangelion Units, Bardiel dazes them by its impact while it stays completely unfrazed and unharmed. Thirteenth Angel was also able to survive a brutal beatdown from berserk Unit-01 for brief moment before ultimately dying from having its Entry Plug crushed.
- Mutation Inducement: Due to Evangelion Units being biological in biology, Bardiel can freely mutate taken over bodies to better fight with its opponents.
- Multiple Arms: Similar to Evangelion Unit-13, Bardiel possesses additional set of arms, although those seem to be a result of Angel's mutative capabilities rather than biological trait. It is seen using them against Unit-01, after it initially breaks free of its grip to hold its arms and neck at once.
- Color of an armor covering Bardiel's body bears heavy resemblance to Toji Suzuhara's typical clothing.