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Kranz Maduke is a minor villain from the manga Black Cat and its anime adaptation. He is the Number IV of the Chrono Numbers, Chronos elite brigade, and a sadistic and ruthless zealot. Kranz characterization and role in the story vastly differ between the manga and the anime.

Appearance

Unlike the other Chronos Numbers, he wears a helmet since he lost his eye sight in a battle years ago. His number is engraved over the part of the helmet covering his left eye. He wears the standard Chronos uniform, which consist of a purple dress shirt, black suit and a yellow tie with black stripes.

Characteristics

Kranz is a 26-year-old assassin who lost his eyesight in battle. Like his partner, Baldorias S. Fanghini Kranz was raised from infancy by Chronos, and he lives to serve it. They are known for being a violent and bloodthirsty team, who will do anything to accomplish a mission, even laying waste in an entire town and slaughter everyone there. They would relentlessly track down anyone they deem a target all over the world. To them, there is no such thing as turning over a new leaf, once a criminal always a criminal, even if the crime is merely to stand in their way.

Like Baldor, Kranz loves battles and openly scorns teamwork and mercy, which he regards as nonsense that do not apply to the strong. Unlike Baldor however, he might express curiosity at his foes' principles, as when asking Kyoko Kirisaki about her promise to the primary protagonist Train Heartnet; though he will surely dismiss them.

Kranz is a calm and stoic man, who would rather let his partner do the talking and take the initiative. He remains silent and motionless until he can get a good perception of his surroundings, before stepping into action. He is less unhinged than Baldor, and in contrast to his partner's vicious sadism, he prefers killing his foes as quickly and efficiently as possible. To him, foes have nothing to share and that searching for an understanding is a waste of time.

In the Manga, his loyalty toward Chronos is his defining trait, while in the anime not only his role is shortened but he betrays Chronos without batting an eyelid.

Like any Chrono Number, Kranz is a highly powerful warrior, exceptionally fast and spry, being able to easily bullet-time or jump from buildings. He is unmatchably skilled with daggers, and wield one made of the rare and unbreakable Orichalcos metal. It is named "Mars", after the Roman God of War. He can make his blade vibrate at high speed, to considerably increase its already fearsome cutting power, slicing through steel and concrete with zero effort.

Despite his blindness, he can perceive his surroundings with pinpoint precision, from sounds, vibrations, pressure and displacement. He can detect all projectiles fired at him, bullets included, and to slice them in half before they reach him.

Role in the Manga

Bardol and Kranz

Kranz and Bardol

Kranz and Baldor are first seen after learning that the Apostles of the Star being seen in Stock Town. They decide to deal with them despite never receiving orders to do so, which makes Lin Xiao Li's the newest Number X, concerned for the town's people.

One of their erasers tell them about a child looking like Train Heartnet, seen with Kyoko Kirisaki, a defector from the Apostles. They break in Train’s hotel room and find Train and Kyoko with Train's friends; Sven and Eve. They soon learn that the child truly is a de-aged Train and that Kyoko is trying to change into a better. This however does not affect their plan, and they resolve not only to kill Kyoko but Train "the traitor" as well.

Kranz decides to fight Train one-on-one, and since his foe is greatly weakened by his child-like state, he drives him into a pinch and nearly kills him by slashing his neck. He warns Train about overexerting a body too frail for fighting at such level, but Train keeps his resolve. Train partner: Eve intervenes and throws him into a nearby restaurant, but he reappears, determined to kill them both.

Kyoko, who is furious at Kranz for endangering Train, rushes towards him despite her promise to stay out of the fight, only to stop herself at the last minute. Kranz scoffs off her change in personality and prepares to kill her, but fortunately Train rescues her and shoots a bullet filled with liquid nitrogen that freezes his dagger Mars. Just after, N°VII Jenos Hazzard arrives and informs both Kranz and Baldor that N°II Belze has ordered them to immediately return to Chronos's headquarters.

Much later during the final battle, as a group of powerful bounty-hunters attack the Apostles of the Star's base, Kranz and his fellow Numbers sneak into the battle. They come across Train and his partners and reveal that the Chrono Numbers used the bounty-hunter as a diversion. Eve tries to rescue one of Creed's soldier they wounded, who blows himself up to kill them all. While Baldor mercilessly taunts her "stupid idealism", Kranz simply states that foes remain foes no matter what. Later, Kranz and Baldor fight a cyborg from the Phantom Star Brigade, and reduce him to mincemeat with little to no effort.

After Creed's defeat, Jenos mentions to Train that Kranz and Baldorias heavily disapprove of their mercy on the Apostles, deeming their effort "not efficient enough". They might have a point, as some Apostles were able to flee.

Role in the Anime

In the anime, Kranz is first seen in Kraken City in order to retrieve Eve only in the end to fail due to overestimating his abilities

After Creed's defeat, Baldor, Kranz and N°III Emilio Lowe, as well as the Apostles of the Star Doctor and Shiki are revealed to be part of Mason Ordrosso's Zero Numbers. They destroy Chronos and kill the Elders who ruled it, and set out to recreate the world in their image by fusing Eve to "Eden", a sentient aircraft built from a fusion of the mystical art known as the Tao and nanomachines.

As their treachery is found out, the protagonists, the bounty-hunters who fought Creed, the remaining Chrono Numbers  and the redeemed Apostles of the Star head out to stop the Zero Numbers. As they manage to enter "Eden" they discover that Kranz and his allies are connected to it, which revives them whenever they are killed and vastly increases their fighting skills. Kranz is seen fighting Jenos and as it appears victory is within his grasp, he is killed when "Eden" is destroyed due to his connection to it.

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