“Break you…I’ll…BREAK YOU!” – Astaros roaring at Gabriel
Astaros is an artificial archdemon representing (though not explicictly governing over) Wrath, serving as one of the main antagonists of Soul Embrace. He makes his first appearance in The Fires Rise and is the second archdemon faced by Nobuyuki Honda.
Astaros is a truly hulking creature, standing at well over fifteen feet in height. He is very muscular, his arms and legs about as thick as tree trunks. All that can be seen of his face are his bloodshot eyes, with the rest covered by a leather mask tied around his head. His most notable feature is a massive black burn on his back, the skin very rigid and its nerve endings singed off so that someone could very easily climb up his back without him noticing.
By design, all Astaros knows is carnage and rage. One can’t even really describe him as territorial, for he will actively seek out any living thing to simply tear it apart without remorse. Though he can speak, he’s more often heard grunting and roaring loud enough to be heard from miles away.
He shows mercy for only one being, that being his creator Baal. It is a feeling he doesn’t have the capacity to explain, but one could loosely call it a son’s love for his mother. He will do whatever she asks of him, and though she does not object to him being imprisoned when he is inactive, she does everything she can to pay him as much attention as possible.
Satan readily made six of the fellow fallen angels into commanders of Hell’s army, each representing one of the Seven Deadly Sins. They each did their duty diligently, all save one who wished for something more from life. That archdemon was Azazel, who represented Wrath. How she escaped and hid away from the demons is unknown, but without a powerful being to represent its ranks, Wrath fell into decline.
And so Satan commissioned Baal with a monumental task: create a being that embodied anger and chaos. Baal dutifully set to work, and the end result was the massive Astaros. Unfortunately, playing God and attempting to breed life itself had its consequences, that being that while Astaros would gladly kill any human or angel he came across, he would do the same to any demon. As such, he was chained to searing brimstone within Violence, the seventh circle of Hell, until a time came when he would be needed.
The Fires Rise
Astaros first appears in Chapter Eight, bursting from the ground in Rengoku’s Yoshitake Park during a concert the archangel Uriel was holding to rally the town’s citizens. He rampages for a moment before setting his sights on Nobuyuki Honda, but being vastly outnumbered and outwitted cost the archdemon the fight no matter how fiercely he fought. The battle ended when Delilah slashed his eyes out and he was tripped over by a loose cable carried by Akira Hayabusa and Kasume Funaki. Before Nobuyuki could finish him off, however, Baal appeared and whisked Astaros to safety, pledging to show no mercy to the young samurai after what he had done.
Baal is perhaps the one being that Astaros does not want to kill on sight. Despite her abiding by his imprisonment, she visits him as often as she can and tries to comfort his anguished cries much like a mother would comfort her son. Astaros in turn would do everything he could to protect Baal, even if it would cost him his life.
Astaros’s greatest strength is his ferocity. His destructive force increases with his anger, and thanks to his massive size, he can tear even sturdy steel structures apart in a matter of moments. If nothing else, anything caught in his grip is sure to be crushed in mere seconds.
In addition, Astaros possesses the ability to fire beams out of his eyes that burn all they touch. He uses this ability to ground Uriel, but it becomes moot when Delilah slashes his eyes out soon afterwards.
“Painkiller” – Judas Priest
- Astaros is named after a demon known as Astaros, who according to Sebastian Michaelis represented the sin of Sloth. Otherwise, Astaros has no relation to this being.
- The method Delilah uses to defeat Astaros is similar to those used by the protagonists of Attack on Titan to defeat the titular monsters. The average Titan ranges from 3 to 15 metres tall (or 10 to 50 feet tall). At 4.5 metres or 15 feet, Astaros is actually somewhat shorter than most Titans.