“Oh, you probably thought I’d look older, right?” –Gabriel joking to Nobuyuki about his youthful appearance.
Saint Gabriel is one of the main protagonists of Soul Embrace, making his first appearance in Chapter Six of The Fires Rise. He is the archangel governing over the virtue of Courage, and is based off the Biblical figure of the same name.
In Soul Embrace, Gabriel takes the form of a young man in his late teens to early twenties and stands at about 179 cm, or 5’9″. He possesses shoulder length white hair, as well as two large white wings resembling that of a majestic bird. Like most angels, his skin gives off an otherworldly glow, even if he hides his wings to appear more human.
Gabriel under most circumstances has a very gentle and kind disposition, offering help to anyone as often as he can and not worrying what harm may befall him should he offer it. He constantly breathes an air of optimism, even going so far as to crack jokes when the moment calls for it (even if it makes him look less divine as a result).
However, Gabriel is still a warrior through and through and will take any battle as seriously as possible. He has a very sore spot as far as demons are concerned mainly because of his run-in with Asmodia an eon ago, and should human or angel fall prey to them, his rage will burst forth and he will show no mercy.
Gabriel is the youngest of the current seven archangels, brought into existence just before Lucifer’s fall from Heaven. The events of that long battle that involved him are kept secret, but it is known that he now holds a strong grudge against Asmodia for whatever transpired during that time.
Nevertheless, when the battle was finally over and the treacherous angels were cast into Hell, Gabriel for his deeds was given the duty of governing over Courage, a role previously filled by who would later become the archdemon Mammon. And so, as the human race continued to populate and spread across the vast world God had created for them, Gabriel appeared in disguises of all sorts and inspired variants of courage in all he came across, motivating them to pursue their dreams and not fear may lay ahead of them in life.
Long before the events of Soul Embrace, God gave the angels the task to seek out and protect a boy named Nobuyuki Honda, saying his life was now tied to the very fate of them all. Five of the archangels then descended to Earth, save Michael whose duties required him to remain on constant watch, and Gabriel who God instructed to remain behind and wait for his moment.
The Fires Rise
Upon seeing that Nobuyuki would require additional strength to survive the onslaught of archdemons arriving to execute him, God at last sent Gabriel down to Earth to reside with him until the threat was over. Gabriel gladly did so, taking the guise of a Japanese teenager named Genji Densetsu and arriving at Dai Tenshi High School just in time to stop a fight between Nobuyuki and his rival Ryuuji Hasashi (though both insist it was uncalled for).
Gabriel later followed Nobuyuki home and revealed his true self, the latter being hesitant in allowing him to stay but nevertheless deciding he would need all the help he could get. By then, Nobuyuki had already formed a Soul Embrace with the succubus Delilah, who did not take well to there being an angel now living with them but nevertheless relented at her soulmate’s request.
Though both archangels are mighty warriors, they still share the typical brother-sister relationship, with Uriel occasionally throw mild teases at Gabriel if only to annoy him. And annoy him it does, but he usually shrugs it off knowing she only does so out of the love she feels for him.
One thing he does not accept, however, is her treating him like a child and brushing him off whenever he tries to take on more than she believes he can handle. This isn’t helped by Uriel and the other archangels leaving Heaven to search for Nobuyuki, an act Gabriel equates to them abandoning him (though he curses himself every time that thought enters his mind).
Gabriel quickly becomes better acquainted with Nobuyuki after the two have a long conversation about the state of Rengoku on a train ride home. In the short time they have spent together, the two have become close friends and even begin to see each other as something akin to brothers.
Despite her being a demon, Gabriel harbours no ill will toward Delilah whatsoever, finding it pitiable that she doesn’t feel the same way. Nevertheless, he jokes around with her from time to time, if only to try and help her let down her walls and not be so nervous around him and Uriel.
As an angel, Gabriel emanates a strong aura that is said to heal any person of good nature that he comes across, and is also capable of healing sickened minds by speaking the Angelic Tongue directly to them. He is also naturally capable of flight, his smaller size compared to other angels giving him a good deal of agility when airborne.
In terms of combat, Gabriel possesses a bow that fires arrows of light, a tactic he is very skilled at, having trained alongside his sister and brothers for many ages. Should any enemy get too close, he can also use the bow itself to strike them away at great force.
GABRIEL IN RELIGION
Detail of Gabriel from Pinturrichio’s The Annunciation (1501)
Saint Gabriel is arguably one of the most well-known angels depicted by Abrahamic religions, appearing in the Hebrew Bible, the Christian Bible, and the Muslim Quran as a divine messenger of God. His most famous act (as far as Christianity goes) is appearing to the virgin Mary to announce her as the mother of the soon-to-be born Messiah. He also appears in the Old Testament to interpret the dreams of the prophet Daniel, and in the Muslim faith, he is tasked by God to deliver the Quran to the prophet Muhammad.
- Despite his appearance perhaps convincing one otherwise, Gabriel’s favourite band is Metallica, with his favourite song by them being “One”.
- Each of the seven archangels are given bird nicknames by their fellow angels in the world of Soul Embrace. For his courage despite a lack of pure strength, Gabriel is known as the Robin.
- Gabriel’s name when translated from Hebrew means “God is my strength”.
- This interpretation of Gabriel is loosely inspired by Pit, an angel character from Nintendo’s Kid Icarus series.