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You're right, I guess I'm not as sharp as I used to be."
~ James admitting to Nathan that he is not as sharp as he used to be after he tried to cut Nathan with his military coin.
Diva...
~ James' last words

James Ironside is Diva's sixth and last Chevalier and a secondary antagonist in Blood+. He is voiced by Toru Okawa.

Biography

Early Life

Initially, James Ironside was born into a poor family, and as a child lost his mother. He joined the the United States Army as the son of an important partner of Amshel and served in the coalition forces as a Lieutenant Colonel during the fall of Berlin in 1945 during the Second World War. After suffering from a near mortal wound, James was approached by Amshel, promising the soldier that he could save his life. In reality, Amshel was merely interested in having a person of African ancestry as a candidate for another Chevalier, much like Grigori, Martin, and Karl. It can be assumed that this was the manner in how James was converted into a chevalier. 

Growing up without a mother, James after becoming a Chevalier began to see Diva as his mother, believing that she brought life into his own again.

From then on, he still retains his position in the military and progresses to a Naval Officer. Because of of his high ranking status, he was the Cinq Flèches' contact with the US military and is head of a naval aircraft carrier. As such, he possesses access to a number of military vehicles and weapons. He is was later appointed by Amshel Goldsmith as leader of the Corpse Corps, and was given the task of killing Saya.

Introduction

James is first introduced in the beginning of of the second season when he checks on the condition of Diva's container with Solomon. There he informs the other Chevalier that Amshel and Nathan want the whereabouts of Hagi, to which Solomon asks if there was anything on Karl. James retorts that he doesn't care nor wants Karl's behavior to interfere with their plans. Solomon responds that James should tell that to Karl himself and turns to leave. James wonders if he's leaving and the older Chevalier says that he can't be away from his company for too long and must choose Karl's next successor. It is then that he leaves James in charge of watching over Diva since he knows he won't act inappropriately. James obliges, though not without saying he won't do any more than that. 
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Solomon leaving James in charge of protect Diva, much to the latter's anger.

Later on, he and the rest of his chevalier brothers sans Karl are all reunited as they discuss with Saya and her chevalier. He is greeted by Nathan who teases him as Solomon watches on and laughs. Amshel finally arrives and they are all informed that he has invited her to the Zoo. James comments that the place is a waste of time and what can anyone hope to accomplish there. When Amshel decides that Saya must die, James follows without question, believing her to be a threat.

Suspicions Of Solomon's Loyalty

James and Solomon are seen at the latter's mansion where they are watching Diva who rips off the head of a stuffed teddy bear. When Solomon asks if his brother feels that Amshel could be hiding something, James defends their older brother, saying that whatever he does, it must be for a good reason and even suggests that if it is Solomon who is actually a traitor.

After being informed of the Red Shield's headquarters, James is eager to strike them when he suggests to Amshel that he'd use an aircraft carrier. But Amshel refuses, saying that he didn't want to be any more indebted to the U.S. military especially since the incident with Diva's awakening and plans an attack in one month.

When Karl is left to watch over Diva in Solomon's Mansion and abruptly disappears with her, James is none too pleased with his brother's behavior and sets out to find Diva.

One Year Later

One year after Diva's attack on Red Shield, Cinq Fleches has created bio-mechanic soldiers with the purpose of slaying chiropterans. James is seen heading a live demonstration of their abilities to politicians of the U.S. and Britain alike. Pleased with the results, they agree to use them in their respective nations and already having military connections, James is left in charge of them. One point where the Schiff return to their hideout, James and the Corpse Corps are hiding. When Moses discovers the creatures presence, James comments that it took hard work to create them and informs them that they were used in creating the Corps. After Moses reveals the face of one of the soldiers, James says that he was used as template, known as the Moses for the creation of the creatures, most likely due to his excellent combat skills. He returns to Amshel, telling him that he did not succeed in killing them all, to which his older brother says not to worry about them. 
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James beginning a demonstration of his company.

When he and his chevalier brothers assemble to discuss their future plans and new information of Saya's return, Amshel leaves James in charge of killing Saya, much to Karl's frustration. Nathan uses this opportunity to take James' Locket and tease him in front of his older brothers, to which a flustered James snatches it from him and takes his leave.

A few days later, he and Diva go off to attend a luncheon with the country's secretary, but Diva not liking the prospect of eating human food doesn't want to go and instead wishes to sing. James then reminds her that she isn't allowed to sing her song without Amshel's permission, but she gives him a pleading stare and begs him. Not able to resist his "mother's" wishes as well as his instinct as a Chevalier, he has the chauffeur change course to the Royal Opera House in Convent Gardens. There, they meet Nathan who teases James saying if he came to see him. James informs him that Diva requested to sing, to which Nathan jokingly warns that he is spoiling his "Mother". When Diva manages to stand atop one of the balconies in the theater, she purposely falls off, prompting a concerned James to catch her in his arms. She does nothing but laugh jovially, telling him that it was fun and they should do it again. Far from amused, James sighs to which Nathan comments that he has no sense of humor.

First Fight With Saya

Diva eventually sings like she wished, which causes Saya and Hagi to arrive at the theater. Nathan greets them and introduces himself and their opponent as James who has transformed into a chiropteran. They do battle, and while James clearly has the upper-hand, Kai shows up and fires at the stage lights to temporarily subdue the chevalier. This does little as James emerges from the rubble and attacks Saya once more who manages to nearly crack his skin but gets knocked off the stage. He uses this opportunity to finally end her life, but just as he is about to finish her off Nathan stops James' attack when he holds his arm in place. Angry, James questions Nathan and demands him to back off, only for Nathan to reply that they aren't on stage. James yells that it isn't relevant, but Nathan ignores his brother and apologizes to Saya, promising her that he will provide a more appropriate stage where she can die. Losing his patience, James is almost about to say that he swears he'll kill Nathan but falters when the latter calmly asks if he was talking to him, then completely changes his attitude and says that he will kill him instead. James begrudgingly relents, saying that he will retreat for now. 
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James faces off against Saya for the first time.

News Of Karl's Death/Second Fight With Saya/Presumed Death

The following day, news of Karl's death surfaces among the four chevaliers, and James having felt that Karl was already unstable, saw his death as convenient. Nathan then taunts if James would be calm if his "mama" died and takes his locket. Diva asks if he'll always protect her to which he kneels before her, affirming that he will. When Saya and her group arrive to Cristina Island to kill Diva, James was the only one there to greet them by firing spikes at them. He then informs her that he has prepared a grave for her on the island, the large hole that was once used to dispose of nuclear waste, and tells her that it would take years for her climb out of it. They have a hard time fighting James, to which he even notes that they are lacking in strategy because the Schiff let their emotions take over. Eventually, the Schiff do join the battle, thanks to Kai's efforts and manage to rip off an armored layer of skin from James' arm. Saya goes for the opening and only manages to stab him when he then suddenly grabs her, proclaiming that he will take her down with him. In the process, she drops her sword which slices the only vulnerable part of James' body; one of his legs. James dives into the ditch with Saya in tow as Kai reaches out and grabs her arm only to fall along with them. As things seem to look grim, Solomon appears in his chiropteran form and slices James' arm off, causing him to let go of the falling Saya and Kai. He falls into the ditch, presumed to be dead until Amshel is later seen informing a worried Diva that he sent Nathan to go after him. 
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James taking Saya with him to the ditch.

Revival/New Body/Final Fight With Saya/Death

James is seen recovering in a stasis chamber at Nathan's Residence as Diva sleeps next to him, and much of of his body is shown to be destroyed. His missing limbs are eventually replaced with parts from the Schiff, and Diva witnessing the new James, disproves of him, saying she doesn't want him anymore. The rejection of his queen causes him to change a great deal as he begins to lose his sanity and takes out his rage on the Schiff, whom he regards as inferior organisms to himself. This is especially true when he is seen talking to Nathan and compares war to art, to which the latter is surprised by but also legitimately concerned for his brother's mental state. When Karman develops the Thorn, James tries to manipulate Moses into killing Kai in exchange for Diva's precious blood which can be possibly used to cure the affliction. 
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James showing off his new body to the Schiff.


Upon Solomon's imprisonment in Nathan's Residence, James visits him, taunting him about being "Diva's favorite beautiful boy" and how he resembled a slaughtered barn animal. He then threatens that once he kills Saya he will bring her severed head to Solomon so that he will kiss it like Salome did to John the Baptist. Solomon simply tells him to go to Hell to which James slaps Solomon and leaves the dungeon laughing manically. He then encounters Nathan who openly muses how he can smell his blood boiling, to which James replies that those who refuse to bow down to Diva don't deserve to live. As Kai and the other men arrive in Staten Island, James is seen standing atop the Brooklyn Bridge as he transforms for his final battle against Saya.

Late at night as Saya is asleep with Lulu, Mao and Julia watching over her, James barges through the window threatening to take her head. Saya finally wakes from her slumber and attacks James falling through the window. Because of her weakening state, James has the upper-hand on her and subdues Hagi and Lulu. After knocking her into a nearby car, he takes Saya's Sword and is about to finish her off when a weakened Solomon intercepts the attack. James then orders Solomon to get out of his away and tries to strike him, but the latter manages to evade the oncoming blows. He then comments how Solomon is pathetic for protecting Saya and how he does not have enough blood to transform into a chiropteran. However, Solomon's strong willpower allows him to free Saya's blade from James' grasp which cuts him in the process. James mocks how his brother now serves in the name of love and says Diva has no time for that, that for her it is chaos, despair and death. He then fires a barrage of projectiles that hit Saya, prompting Solomon to retaliate in vain as he is knocked back. As James closes in on Saya, his body begins to crack. Confused, he wonders what it is, to which Lulu confirms that they were thorns. While the thorns are spreading, Saya with Hagi's help, finally take down James when she stabs him through the skull. He falls to the ground, his body crystallizing as he calls out Diva's name. Ironically enough, Lulu comments that it must have been Moses and the others protecting them, even after their death 

In the first half of the series, James was almost always seen in his formal naval uniform, usually with a service cap. Later in the series, he dons a black suit with a single breasted jacket and navy blue tie. 

Biography (Manga)

James' first appearance in the manga is very brief as he and his other chevalier brothers are seen together raiding the Red Shield's base of operations with Diva. After Solomon goes to fetch Riku and Amshel disappearing elsewhere, James is left with Nathan and Diva to deal with Saya and Hagi. But when Diva starts singing, Saya goes into yet another berserk state, killing James with ease in the process. Nathan, shocked and distraught by his brother's death tries to remind Diva what happened, but she casually dismisses it to which the chevalier could do nothing but question her reaction.

It is revealed later on that he, along with Solomon and Nathan were nothing but mere pawns for Amshel that were only made into chevaliers because he wanted to, rather than Diva having any interest in them. 
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James in the manga.


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James' final moments before his death.

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James' human form.

Human Form

James is most likely of African descent and despite being over 70 years old, appears to be in his mid to late 20s. He has a dark complexion with neatly cut jet black hair and deep dark brown eyes. James being a soldier usually has a calm and serious look on his face and also seems physically fit due to his training as a soldier. He wears a black naval officer's uniform (also called Service Dress Blue) with his military service ribbons pinned to his right breast for almost all of the series. Before transforming into a chiropteran, James' eyes always glow a bright red. 

Chiropteran Form

In his chiropteran form, James' skin is a dark brown and much of his body is covered in spikes. He also has two horns protruding from his head and the sides of his jaw. His upper body is covered in armor-like skin, whereas his legs are the only vulnerable part as they are covered in fur. Like most chiropterans and chevailers, James' eyes glow a bright red in this form. He uses this form whenever facing off against Saya; the first time at Convent Gardens and later on Christina Island and New York City. 

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James' chiropteran form.

Personality

When first introduced, James is rather stoic in nature and is continuously noted for lacking a sense of humor. He also seems to be rather punctual as he is one of the first to show up at Solomon's Mansion, to which his brother muses how James is always on time. Though he is usually calm in nature, he does lose his cool after Nathan takes his locket, possibly because he feels others will mock him for how he sees Diva and is especially hinted at when Nathan teases him about his "Mama".

Despite his serious nature, he is shown to be exceptionally loyal, not only to Diva, but Amshel as well when he defends him from Solomon's suspicions about keeping secrets. Because of his strong devotion to Diva, he is left in charge to watch over her after Karl disappears, and is later assigned the task of killing Saya. Keeping with his military background, James values strategy and displays impressive leadership skills when the Corpse Corps are first tested. Amshel even comments that James never makes a mistake, possibly hinting at a streak of perfectionism.

Ambitious and strong-willed, he displays great determination and confidence, especially where fighting Saya is concerned. He is also quite impatient as evidenced from when he wanted to immediately destroy Red Shield HQ upon learning of their whereabouts. In spite of his no-nonsense attitude, he has trouble refusing Diva's every wish, making it apparent that he lives only for her.

Powers

Special Abilities

Military Combat: As a member of the U.S. Armed Forces, James not only knows the ways of a soldier but also has numerous connections due to his leadership role.

Marksmanship: Possibly due to his military background, James has been shown to have near deadly accuracy when he flicks a coin at Nathan, slicing a lock of hair from the latter. This is also true of his chiropteran form when he fires sharp projectiles that always seem to hit their intended target.

  • Armored Skin: In his chiropteran form, James' skin hardens to the point where it can easily withstand bullets and blades, making him a tough and formidable foe to defeat.
  • Strength: James's strength easily surpasses the Schiff. In his chiroptertan form, his physical prowess is even more deadlier as he has given Saya and her allies a considerable amount of trouble in battle.
  • Speed: Like other Chevaliers, James possesses an agility that far outmatches the Schiff.
  • Transformation: Unlike his brothers before him, James was always seen transforming into a full chiropteran whenever he faced off against Saya.
  • Regeneration: As with all chiropterans, any wounds inflicted on James heal instantaneously.
  • Projectiles: Following the military motif, James in chiropteran form can fire sharp spike-like projectiles from his arms at long distances.

Gallery

Trivia

  • In the first half of the series, James was almost always seen in his formal naval uniform, usually with a service cap.
  • Later in the series, he dons a black suit with a single breasted jacket and navy blue tie.