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Meili Portroute, also known as the Mabeast Master, was an antagonist in the 2014 Japanese dark fantasy light novel series Re:Zero − Starting Life in Another World, as well as its anime television series and manga adaptations of the same name. She was the main antagonist of the second story arc and a supporting antagonist in the fourth story arc until her eventual redemption.
Meili was born with a powerful Divine Protection that allowed her to control the actions of mabeasts, formidable creatures that fed off of magical energy. She spent her formative years in the wilderness living alongside mabeasts until she was discovered by Elsa Granhiert, an assassin working for the Gusteko Assassin Organisation. Granhiert took her in, teaching her how to speak and turning Portroute into an operative for the organisation.
Meili, for unknown reasons, orchestrated an incident within the Mathers domain that saw a pack of mabeasts make aggressive moments against a village of innocent humans. Portroute herself posed as a village girl for the duration of the incident, using her childish charm to attract people towards the pack leader. Ultimately, employees of the Mathers mansion led by Subaru Natsuki fought back against the beasts, and, thanks to the timely intervention of Lord Roswaal L. Mathers himself, the pack was annihilated in its entirety. Meili herself subsequently disappeared from the village, evading any form of pending investigation into her true identity.
A couple of months later, Meili, under the orders of an unknown client, made further moves against the Mathers domain. This time, she was contracted to slaughter the current residents of the Mathers mansion, two maids and a shut-in. Unlike before, Granhiert was paired with Meili for the job, although mysteriously they apparently had different contractors. Ultimately, thanks to the efforts of Subaru and his allies, Elsa was killed and Meili was captured.
Meili is voiced by Eri Suzuki in the Japanese version of the anime adaptation and by Erika Harlacher in the English version. Suzuki has also voiced Mary in Fairy Tail. Harlacher's other villainous roles include Jeanne d'Arc Alter in the Fate franchise, Dunya Musta'sim in Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic, Menoa Bellucci in Digimon Adventure: Last Evolution – Kizuna, and Sadira in Killer Instinct.
Meili Portroute had refined yellow-green eyes that gave off an air of mysticism and an equalled well-formed nose. Her long dark-blue hair was kept out of her face and tied into a triple-braid that flowed down to her hips. A pink flower ornament with white outlining similar to Elsa's framed the left side of her head. During her undercover stay in the village, Meili's braid traipsed over her left shoulder so that it rested over her chest and her hair wasn't decorated with an ornament. She looked the same age as Petra Leyte, suggesting she was around twelve to fourteen years old. When not concealing her true nature, Portroute gave off the foreboding impression of someone who would grow up to be a true demon.
The outfit Meili commonly wore was befitting of a girl of her moral character. Her ensemble consisted of a long-sleeved black one-piece dress with a frilly white hem and white cone-shaped cuffs, brown tights with vertical-facing lighter brown stripes, a white cravat, and a pair of black boots that had cuffs with purple feathery-trimming along their edge. Her dress had a black collar and reached past her hips. Like Elsa, she wore a long purple-brown cloak that reached down to her ankles and had purple trimmings, although unlike Elsa's cloak, Meili's had a golden pendant serving as a strap and no hood. When she was undercover as a villager, Meili wore a short blue long-sleeved one-piece dress with a flap collar similar to a sailor's. On her feet she wore a pair of brown sandals, and a part from these and the dress, Meili wore no further clothing as a villager.
Meili failed to display any semblance of the childish innocence usually exhibited by those her age. She was perfectly willing to kill people, regardless of whether they were innocent or children like herself. She also had a penchant for deception well beyond her years, such as when she was able to mimic the behaviour of a regular child. Meili's village girl persona was meek. She didn't talk much or interact with Subaru as much as the other village children, although she always joined in on the fun and laughed when they did. The only time she was the center of attention was when she showed Natsuki and the children the disguised mabeast. When asking Subaru to come see the mabeast, she acted overly-polite and timid, stuttering as she spoke.
Meili Portroute was born with a powerful Divine Protection that allowed her to manipulate the behaviour of man-eating predators known as mabeasts. She was abandoned by her parents and subsequently grew up in the wilderness surrounded by mabeasts that protected her. As a result, Meili was a feral child incapable of basic speech and etiquette. One day, an assassin known as the Bowel Hunter, real name Elsa Granhiert, appeared before Portroute and killed the beasts that protected her. The feral girl was abducted by Elsa who inducted her into her organization—the Gusteko Assassin Organization.
Portroute was taught many things by Elsa, including how to talk and behave properly. She quickly became an infamous operative of the organization who used her control of mabeasts and deceptive youth to execute her targets. She was frequently paired up with Granhiert on missions, whom she considered an annoying older sister of sorts. Portroute, like most members of the organization, feared their leader known simply as "Mama." On one occasion Mama turned Portroute into a pile of frogs as a demonstration of her power. Meili became particularly fond of a mabeast belonging to the large and powerful Guiltylaw species, which she considered a pet.
Mission gone awry
When Meili was in her early teens, Elsa received a job to secure the insignia of a young woman named Emilia in the capital city of the Kingdom of Lugunica. Meili accompanied her to the capital, and the pair booked a room in an inn where they kept their belongings. However, the job went awry and Granhiert was forced to flee to a safehouse without her prize. As soldiers scoured the capital looking for the Bowel Hunter, Meili entered their dingy safehouse and found Elsa asleep on a pile of hay with wounds coating her body.
Portroute complained to her older partner about her tendency to end up in dangerous situations fill of filthy environments. The younger assassin, as she tended to the newly-awakened Elsa's wounds, expressed dissatisfaction that they likely wouldn't be able to use their safehouse again due to the stench of blood Granhiert had dragged in. Meili was perplexed by Elsa's wounds, as the Bowel Hunter's power was supposed to accelerate the speed of her recovery. Elsa explained that it was likely due to the opponent she faced—the Master Swordsman, Reinhard van Astrea.
Reinhard was the greatest warrior of Lugunica who was widely considered to be the most powerful entity in the world. Nevertheless, Meili was surprised he had defeated Elsa, whom she presumed could only be beaten by Mother. Granhiert reminded Meili that it wasn't her first loss, as she'd also been defeated by Cecils Segmund several years ago. Having finished her treatment, Meili and Elsa decided to leave the capital. After procuring a change of clothes for Granhiert, Meili used the powers of a mabeast to temporarily change their hair colors.
They soon came across a guard who failed to recognise them and helpfully escorted them back to the main road. Although they initially planned to lay low, the pair discovered a new set of orders awaiting them among their baggage back at the inn. The letter, addressed solely to Meili much to Elsa's disappointment, instructed Portroute to stoke mayhem in the area surrounding the mansion of Margrave Roswaal L. Mathers. Although Granhiert was upset, she decided she would make a doll of Reinhard for Portroute to pass the time.
Mabeasts of Arlam
Infiltrating the village
A small rural settlement known as Arlam Village was located nearby the grounds of Lord Roswaal's mansion. A vast woodland populated by mabeasts surrounded the settlement, although a set of enchanted crystals stationed around the perimeter ensured the predators couldn't enter. Rather than using her usual collection of mabeasts, Meili decided to use the mabeasts in the area to create chaos. These wolf-like mabeasts called Ulgarms acted in a pack and could imprint life-draining curses upon their victims by biting them.
By removing one of the crystals surrounding the village, Meili was able to make a small gap in the barrier that allowed the leader of the pack to enter (while disguised as an adorable puppy). Using a mabeast to change her hair color to brown, Meili entered the village under the guise of an innocent child whose parents had left her there for a short while as they had business to conduct. She was warmly welcomed by the local children—Cain, Dine, Lucas, Meina, Mild, and Petra Leyte. Meili bid her time by playing with the children and the disguised mabeast, as she knew a member of the mansion's staff would eventually enter the village for a supply run.
Sure enough, a butler and maid from the mansion came the next day. The butler, named Subaru Natsuki, was energetic and played with Meili and the other children while the reserved maid named Rem collected the supplies. Although she had been using her power to suppress the mabeast's aggressive behavior, Portroute allowed it to bite Subaru, knowing it would result in his demise. Inevitably, Natsuki died in his sleep upon his return to the mansion after the mabeast activated the curse that drained his energy. However, Natsuki had a power known only to him that reset time around him every time he died. Time was set back by a few days and the only person who recalled the previous timeline was Subaru.
Powers & Abilities
- Mabeast Control: Meili Portroute was one of the lucky few to possess a useful Divine Protection. A Divine Protection was a blessing of sorts bestowed upon a person at birth by the mysterious source of the world's magic. Depending on the person, the ability of the blessing bequeathed by a Protection differed. It was incredibly uncommon to be born with a Divine Protection, and rarer still to be born with a useful and/or unique one. Portroute was one of the lucky few to have a truly special blessing. Meili's Divine Protection allowed her to manipulate the behavior of mabeasts. Mabeast was the term used for a creature created artificially by the Witch of Gluttony centuries ago that fed off of magical energy instead of meat. Although mabeasts were usually hostile to all forms of life as living creatures harbored the highest quantity of magical energy, Meili could control their actions and as an extension quell their antagonism. She could control numerous species of mabeasts, including powerful ones such as Guiltylowes. There were limits to her power, as exceedingly powerful mabeasts like the White Whale and the Crimson Scorpion were completely immune to her control. There was presumably also a limit to the number of mabeasts she could control at one time.
List of Appearances
Chapter 2: A Week at the Mansion
- Erika Harlacher, Meili's English voice actress, also voices Duchess Crusch Karsten and Ram & Rem's mother Temae.
|Capella Emerada Lugunica · Louis Arneb · Lye Batenkaitos · Pandora · Petelgeuse Romanée-Conti · Regulus Corneas · Roy Alphard · Sirius · Stride Volakia|
|Witches of Sin|
|Carmilla · Daphne · Echidna · Hector · Minerva · Pandora · Satella · Sekhmet · Typhon|
|Black Serpent · Great Rabbit · White Whale|
|Gusteko Assassin Organization|
|Elsa Granhiert · Mama · Meili Portroute|
|Balleroy Temeglyph · Bean Argyle · Heinkel Astrea · Kurgan · Melaquera · Miles · Reid Astrea · Roswaal Mathers · Sphinx · Ton, Chin, and Kan|