Azrael (アズラエル Azuraeru), also known as the Mad Dog (狂犬 Kyōken), and the One Who Carries the Death (死を運ぶもの Shi wo Hakobu Mono), is a fist-fighting pure bred soldier with super human strength. He debuted as a playable character in BlazBlue: Chronophantasma.
Azrael is a large, powerfully built man with long, dark blue hair, a goatee, and blood red eyes. He wears a white trench coat with white buttons that barely cover his body. His trousers are pure white with a black cover over his right leg. His shoes are a bright golden hue and large tattoos decorate a great deal of his body, including his back; chest and even forearms.
As a child, his appearance is almost identical, only lacking his goatee and appearing much more chibi-like; having large eyes and a barely noticeable mouth and nose.
Azrael obsesses over fighting and seeks out powerful opponents to sate his bloodlust. He is confident enough in his own power to challenge even the Six Heroes and deliberately holds back in battle to make his “fun” last longer. Azrael constantly makes references to the phrase “survival of the fittest”, likening himself to a predator in search of its prey and refers to battles as a “hunting ground” for him to “consume” his challengers.
His lust for battle is so great, that he will resort to any means necessary in order to force an opponent to fight at their full strength. This is shown when he attempted to attack Celica Ayatsuki Mercury in order to force Ragna the Bloodedge to activate his Blue Grimoire, theorizing that he would do so out of rage.
However, as shown in Teach Me More, Miss Litchi!, Azrael does not hold well towards people picking on those weaker than themselves, being extremely against any form of bullying.
During the events of both Chronophantasma and Centralfiction however, Azrael is shown to express disappointment and rage when things don’t go his way; in the latter case, he was especially annoyed when his raw power alone was not enough to defeat Kagura due to his own way of fighting holding him back. Upon being "defeated" for the first time, he also expresses geniune joy at what it actually felt like to him for the first time to "lose for real".
Azrael is a member of the 7th Agency who spends most of his time moving from one battlefield to the next in search of a strong opponent. He is entirely obsessed with using his own raw power to fight, and has never used a weapon. However, due to his super-human strength, he cannot go all out in battle; thus, he has imposed a limiter on himself called Enchant Dragunov. During the Ikaruga Civil War, he gained the nickname “Mad Dog” due to his uncontrollable bloodlust and attacking both friend and foe. Because of this, Kokonoe Mercury created a cell called the cryogenic prison which would put Azrael into a cryostasis, unable to escape. Despite the casualties caused by him in the process, Kokonoe successfully managed to seal Azrael into it. Since that day, Azrael swore to one day hunt Kokonoe down and exact his revenge.
After an anonymous phone call to the 7th Agency by Relius Clover, Azrael is released from his prison by the 7th Agency’s higher-ups to take Ragna the Bloodedge’s Blue Grimoire, although they placed a limiter on him that makes it so he cannot fight those without a fighting will, the sole exceptions being Ragna, Kokonoe and TR-0009 Tager. After being told that he has been frozen for roughly two years, Azrael becomes extremely agitated and attempts an attack on the staff who released him, but fails as he finds out the extent of his limiter; after accepting his fate, he is debriefed on his missions. As well as his mission to take the grimoire, Azrael was commanded to take out Kokonoe and Tager after a suspected treason, something that he accepts with glee. Despite his limiter and the fact he was kept in stasis for so long, Azrael easily shatters a 7th Agency soldier’s arm with what he described as 'a gentle pat', merely minutes after his release.
Immediately following his mission, Azrael begins his hunt for Kokonoe. Soon, he arrives at her recently locked down laboratory and easily breaks in; after a brief battle between the two, Kokonoe launches her Assaulting Broken Bunker towards Azrael and uses the time bought to activate an emergency teleport away from him. Subsequently, Azrael continues his hunt for the scientist and TR-0009.
During his search for the traitors and the Blue, Azrael encounters Bullet and recognizes the emblem on Bullet’s clothing, stating that he remembers it from a long time ago. Bullet immediately asks where he last saw the emblem, but Azrael responds coldly, saying that he cannot give any answers, since he never remembers anyone he has “eaten”. Azrael then reveals that he has heard that Bullet is also searching for Kokonoe, and asks her where she might be. Refusing to give up the information anyway and hoping for answers about her squad, Bullet engages Azrael in combat, something he gladly accepts. After realizing that she could never win this fight and that battling him was practically suicide, Bullet pulls out a smoke grenade and uses the smokescreen as a cover for her to escape from the Mad Dog. Azrael begins his hunt once again, this time a little more entertained after his battle.
Traveling through Downtown in the 6th Hierarchical City of Yabiko, Azrael encounters Tager and Litchi Faye Ling, and asks Tager how nostalgic the place is. Tager, knowing that he does not stand a chance in combat against Azrael, runs with Litchi. However, they are cut short by a surprise appearance of Nu-13, who was sent there to capture Litchi and bring her back to Relius Clover. Knowing that she cannot teleport Tager and Litchi in such short notice, Kokonoe teleports Kagura Mutsuki to their location in a bid to buy time. With Tager setting up teleports for multiple people, Azrael and Nu begin to battle Kagura and Litchi. After a weary battle where both Kagura and Litchi were close to losing, Tager finishes the set up and Kokonoe teleports them out of Downtown. Being alone, and not really knowing each other, Azrael and Nu have a stand off, until Hazama arrives and mocks them, begging to know if either one is going to propose.
Sometime later near the Lakeside Port, Azrael comes across Celica Ayatsuki Mercury and Hakumen; in an attempt to protect Celica, Hakumen engages Azrael in combat, but after a stalemate, Celica sets up a Light Screen and runs away with Hakumen.
Kagura starts a tournament called “Battle of Ragna the Bloodedge” in order to lure Azrael into a trap so that Kokonoe may finally deal with him. The tournament goes according to the plan, until Bullet is to be pitted against Bob. Azrael, having defeated all other entries, including Bob, and making them into what is described as “one lump”, entered the tournament to have as much entertainment as possible as well as to fight Bullet, since she was about to steal his “targets”. Bullet responds to his suggestion, saying that she will fight him and give him the enjoyment he so desperately desires. Bullet further asks if Azrael knows her, trying to get questions out of him once again. This time, however, Azrael responds, saying that not only does he recognize her unit’s emblem, but also that he was once asked to help them in the past; when he turned against them in combat, he found them a challenge and accidentally let one of them slip away from his wrath. Bullet further pushes him to when this was, and Azrael replies saying it was several years before he was captured by Kokonoe and thrown into the “Dog House”. Finally getting all the answers she desired, Bullet rises up against Azrael’s challenge and loses severely, but Azrael refuses to stop. With Tager and Ragna watching as Bullet becomes inches closer to the end of her life, Tager constantly tries to activate a forced teleport to save her but it falls short each time. Ragna, feeling that she will die, jumps into the arena and fights Azrael as the teleport finally works and Bullet is transported to safety.
After the fight, Azrael begins to get extremely furious towards the fact that Ragna refuses to unleash his grimoire. However, after realizing that Celica is in the arena, and recognizing her from their earlier encounter, Azrael begins to launch threats of murdering her in cold blood if Ragna does not activate the Blue. With no response to his threat, Azrael launches an attack at Celica, but Rachel Alucard throws Gii directly in front of the attack, saving Celica from a potentially mortal wound. Ragna finally loses his calm and begins using the grimoire; however, as he does so, he begins to get flashbacks of the potential consequences of Azrael’s full power due to their previous meeting, which was rewound by Event Interference, and decides in the last minute to not use it, since he comes to the realization that he wants power to “not lose things” rather than to “steal”. Azrael unleashes a barrage of anger-filled abuse at Ragna for not unleashing his full power, since he thought Ragna would understand the pain of not being able to use the true power one possesses. Having had enough, Kagura enters the arena and fights with Azrael, but during the fight, Kagura lost consciousness for a second. During said second, Azrael is unable to resume his relentless assault due to his limiter imposed on him by the 7th Agency; Kagura, coming to the conclusion that Azrael cannot fight those who do not want to fight, stopped fighting. Azrael becomes even more annoyed, but before he is able to unleash his anger, Kokonoe suddenly teleports him to Tager for a mere two seconds so that Tager was able to punch him as a stress reliever; immediately after the punch, Kokonoe then again teleports Azrael, but this time, into a dimensional prison, which he can never escape from.
He has escaped from Kokonoe’s dimensional prison by tearing it apart with his bare hands and teamed up with Hades: Izanami, who asked him to defeat the Qualified, promising to open the door to gods that Azrael can fight.
Later, inside the Embryo Azrael, without fight-preventing limiters, fought Kagura, but was defeated with Kagura noticing the flaws in Azrael’s fighting style and with Jin Kisaragi’s help, and Trinity Glassfille teleported him back to the cryogenic prison.
After Ragna recreated their world, Azrael remained in the prison, and Kokonoe ensures he is still there.
Powers and abilities
Azrael’s formidable power is neither technological nor magical; he possesses an inhuman amount of natural strength without the need for a weapon and casually brushes off even the most extreme of physical trials. In his Arcade ending, it is revealed that the tattoos that adorn his body are actually a limiter called Enchant Dragunov, meant to restrict the bulk of his power so as to not kill his opponents too quickly.
Azrael’s true level of power is debatable, but it is safe to say that he is one of the most powerful individuals in the BlazBlue universe even with his limiter active, having defeated the likes of Jin Kisaragi, TR-0009 Tager, Valkenhayn R. Hellsing, and forcing Ragna to activate his Blue Grimoire in an attempt to even the odds, all in his Arcade mode. Despite his known amount of power, in his victory quote against Kagura, he states that he is hardly even using an eighth of his true power, causing one to imagine just how vast and monstrous Azrael would be should he completely release his limiter.
A glimpse of his true strength is shown during his Astral Heat, where he releases all levels of Enchant Dragunov and throws an uppercut with enough force to cause an explosion that was miles across. His monstrous power is so great, many, such as Ragna, Mu-12 (in her arcade win-quote), and Valkenhayn, suggest that there is more to Azrael’s strength, and that Azrael may not even be human. He is even able to use his raw power to shift time and space itself if needed, or to punch through barriers of any kind.
His combat prowess is said to be on par with Kagura Mutsuki, but his exact level of skill is debatable, as his fighting style consists of crude, unrefined punches and kicks, yet attacks like Scud Punishment and him providing the BlazBlue: Chronophantasma’s Advanced Tutorial mode suggest that he is knowledgeable in more skillful combat; this also extends to a fight with Tager in the ruins of Ibukido, where Azrael was able to recognize Tager through his fighting style.
However, in BlazBlue: Centralfiction, Kagura was able to see through Azrael’s combat style. He stated that the latter fights like a child that is throwing a tantrum, which allows Kagura to best Azrael in combat. This may show that while knowledgeable, Azrael is possibly lazy in combat due to his sheer power doing his work for him with a desire to clash his power with others, albeit with no actual training behind it. As a result of a flaw in his fighting style, he ended up exhausting his stamina before being able to take advantage of his Level 4 Enchant Dragunov release. In gameplay, most of his moves are rather crudely-thrown out and not as intuitive in the case of his normal attacks' chain routes.
The limiter imposed by the 7th Agency on Azrael, which allows him to fight only to those with “will to fight”, was done through practical use of Magic Formula controlled by science. This is the reason why, even though it is a form of Magic Formula, Celica’s power did not affect it at all. Eventually, this limiter is removed during the events of Centralfiction.
Azrael also displays an abnormal, bordering on extreme, level of durability. Azrael is shown in his opening scene to be completely unfazed by the near absolute-zero prison he is contained in, and in his confrontation with Kokonoe, he is unaffected by a direct attack from her. He is even capable of nonchalantly stopping Kagura’s sword swing with his bare hands. To date, the only thing shown to have impede Azrael is Kokonoe’s specially built trap.
Azrael’s Drive is The Terror (ザテラー Za Terā), which causes “weak points” to appear on the opponent when hit. Using specific Drive attacks on those weak points will cause various extended hit effects that not only do more damage on their own, but can lead to more-guaranteed damaging combos (especially since his damage is strong enough at base level already). His Overdrive, Mind Colosseo (マインドコロッセオ Maindo Korosseo, localized as Mental Colosseum), is implied to be a mental attack on his opponent out of a sheer intimidation factor, which allows him to leave a weak point regardless of whether the opponent blocked the attack or not and don’t disappear when struck by another Drive attack, only disappearing when Overdrive expires.
- “Azrael” (עזראל) is the name of the Archangel of Death in Catholicism, Orthodox Christianity and Arabian folklore; in their beliefs, Azrael separates the body and soul upon death. It is considered as a synonym to the personification of death. The Hebrew name translates to “Help of God”, “Help From God”, or “One Whom God Helps.”
- Azrael’s move names are mainly themed on missiles or firearms:
- Gustav Buster: Carl Gustav recoilless rifle, a missile launcher, or a bunker buster.
- Tiger Magnum: Tigercat missile, or a Magnum, a large firearm cartridge.
- Cobra Spike: Cobra missile, or the Cobra CA380 pistol.
- Leopard Launcher: Various Leopard German battle tanks.
- Cobra Spike: Cobra missile, or the Cobra CA380 pistol.
- Growler Field: Growler missile.
- Phalanx Cannon: Phalanx Close-In Weapon System; phalanx is also the name of a military formation.
- Sentinel Dump: Possible reference to the Sentinel program, a scrapped American missile defense system.
- Valiant Crush / Valiant Charger: Project Valiant, a scrapped Indian project to create an intercontinental missile.
- Hornet Bunker / Hornet Chaser: Hornet missile, or a bunker buster.
- Panzer Strike: German for "armour", which mainly is a term referring to German armored vehicles.
- Black Hawk Stinger: Stinger missile / Black Hawk-model helicopter.
- Scud Punishment: Scud missile.
- Patriot Apocalypse: Patriot missile.
- Javelin Raid: anti-tank Javelin missile.
- Full Spartan: LIM-49 Spartan anti-ballistic missile.
- Enchant Dragunov: Dragunov sniper rifle.
- Azrael’s birthday, October 10, is derived from the original date for the Japanese Health and Sports Day, representing Azrael’s physique.
- In Tutorial Mode, Azrael will guide the player through the class Advanced- Breaking Guards.
- It was mentioned that the scientists of the 7th Agency had a back-up plan aside from the Magic Formula limiter imposed on Azrael. Azrael remarks it as an extra collar. It is unspecified what it is and what it exactly does.
- Whether or not Azrael really “devours” his opponents is up for debate. While most of the time it’s clear he treats fighting like eating, there has been a few occasions where the other characters have mentioned his list of nicknames, one them being 'the Cannibal.'
- During his gag scenario in Chronophantasma Extend, Azrael’s stomach is even shown to rumble during the beginning portion, yet this “hunger” is satisfied by merely doing anything competitive against someone rather than actually eating food.
- There is a scar on Azrael’s right arm. During his bout with Tager in the ruins of Ibukido, it was the only place that the Red Demon could damage.