Echidna Parass is a major antagonist in the manga Black Cat as well as its anime adaptation. While Shiki is the second-in-command of the Apostles of the Star, Echidna and Doctor are eventually revealed to be Creed Diskenth's de facto right-hands and the closest things to a friend for the demented anarchist. Echidna seems to be in love with Creed, which explains why she follows him.
BackgroundBefore joining the Apostles of the Star, Echidna was a famous actress (international star would be more accurate), whose talent and beauty led to the top in a few years. She has been featured in more than twenty movies and won many awards.
Because of this, she is sometimes recognized by her enemies, who wonder why she joined a terrorist group. Echidna's past of fame is further displayed in the anime, in which Charden and Kyoko go to the cinema to see one of her movies (a romantic one) and in which everyone in a crowded room recognize her immediately after she entered.
Echidna is someone polite, who greets friends and foes alike with courtesy and does not hold grudges. But she is more importantly very distant, indifferent and calculating, and never loses her calm even when surprised or angered. She is extremely devoted to Creed, with whom she appears to be in love, but she is by no mean blindly obedient, as she often voices her opinion out loud.
Echidna is perhaps the only Apostle of the Star (with the possible exception of Doctor) who dares giving open lectures to Creed and expresses her opinion out loud, though she often does so to distance herself from possible blames.
Echidna's past holds no value to her any longer. She is very dedicated to the Apostles' cause and confident in her abilities. She is also a quick thinker and she knows how to analyze a situation. She appears to despise those whom she deems weak, though in a much lesser extent than Creed. However, deep down in her heart, she is afraid of Creed's most twisted projects even though she never demonstrates it.
Powers and Abilities
Echidna's power of Tao is called "Gate". She is able to create two wormholes in space that link two different places and enable her to warp from one to another. When she uses a Fuda (a piece of paper with an incantation written on it) on which she concentrates her ki, she can create much bigger wormholes that provide access to locations kilometers away and serve as continuous gateways for several people to use. Because of this she is often tasked to transport the Apostles of the Star from one place to another, or to bring "guests" where Creed wants them to.Echidna can also open many wormholes at once and link one to several others, which makes her power extremely useful in battle. Although Echidna is never seen engaging in all-out battles, Shiki describes her as an elite warrior on the same level as every other Apostles of the Star; a claim that she fulfils without any doubt.
She fights with daggers and guns (with an obvious preference for the latter), which she wields with great proficiency. She is also seen using grenades. Echidna uses her power to strike at long-range from any side and distance she wants, making her attacks unpredictable and nearly unavoidable.
When she attacks with a gun, she fires many bullets into a wormhole, before creating many others around her target to strike simultaneously from several points. She can easily send an attack that her enemy has just dodged through a wormhole to strike again, or turn her enemies' attacks against them. (In the anime, she warps her enemy's sword to dodge and counterattack in the same move.) One can even imagine how nightmarish it would be if she were to empty a full load of bullets, and continuously harass her enemies by sending them over and over through multiple wormholes around them.
Echidna specializes in (pretty under-handed) sneak attacks, usually using her power to appear from behind at very close distance and land a fatal blow by surprise. She likely uses her power over her ki to locate her targets far away and to know exactly where to strike.
There is a mistake in the anime about Echidna's power, as her arm is once seen appearing through differents wormholes at the same time. This is likely a downright misinterpretation, as it is made clear that Echidna cannot duplicate what she warps through her wormholes.
Role in the MangaEchidna first appears when Creed gathers every Apostle on Clarken Island before the terrorist attack on the World Conference, during which they slaughter twenty country leaders and all the soldiers who protect them. Echidna is seen during the slaughter, casually sitting on a car surrounded by her victims' corpses discussing with Shiki, stating that she finds Shiki's fighting style rather cruel, only to be told that she is not one to talk.
When Creed has the thief for hire Rinslet Walker brought into his castle, Echidna prevents her from escaping when the Chrono Numbers storm the castle, using her power to give the impression that she stabbed her. Echidna later restrains Rinslet and tells her that if she tries to escape she will kill her for real, and that Creed will certainly kill her no matter what. Echidna brings back Maro, Charden and Leon to the throne room after the three Chrono Numbers escape them. Shiki demands to be told everything about Creed's true goals and his secret experiments on nanomachines, and Echidna seems bemused by the fact that they thought Creed was relying only on Tao.
Echidna then strikes the Chrono Number V Naizer Blackheimer from behind with a gunshot to the heart, which Naizer barely avoids at the last second still being critically wounded. She then joins the fight between Creed and the Numbers, bringing Maro and Shiki along with her. When the castle is about to explode, Echidna opens a wormhole that leads all the Apostles of the Star to their airplane. She later returns into the fray and takes Creed to safety. After the explosion, Echidna scolds Creed for overdoing and losing his arm.
The following day, after Creed murders the doctor whom he coerced to take care of his wounds, he asks Echidna to search for Train Heartnet, the main protagonist and Creed's former partner. Creed resolves to destroy everything that makes Train's environment of bounty-hunter, with the delusional hope that it would bring him back to his side. Echidna ambushes Train's partners Sven Vollfield and Eve and teleports them into a church where Creed is waiting for them, before telling Train and Rinslet about Creed's intentions. Echidna then goes to the church and asks why Creed hasn't killed Sven yet. When Train takes the "Lucifer" bullet that Creed destined to Sven, he and Echidna departs and join the others Apostles.
Echidna is next seen leading a squadron of the Shooting Star Unit (the Apostles of the Star's regular soldiers) into the house of the world's greatest nanotechnologist, Dr Tearyu Lunatic. Doctor and Shiki visited Dr Tearyu a few days earlier to ask her help in creating a nanomachine that would make Creed immortal, and Echidna came to ask what her answer would be. Given that Dr Tearyu refuses to work with them, Echidna (who suspected this) has Eathes transform into Dr Tearyu, who then becomes disposable. Echidna orders her soldiers to shoot Tearyu down, but she is saved by Sven, Eve and Train. Echidna witnesses the rescues and discovers first-hand Train's new ability: the devastating "Rail Gun" shot. Irked, Echidna tries to stab Train, but her attack is predicted and countered by Sven and she departs, reflecting on the threat posed by the trio.
Echidna is next seen when Train, Eve and two fellow bounty hunters enter the Apostles' manor on Clarken Island. She greets them, prompting one of the bounty hunters to recognize her, and teleports Creed in the entrance, as the demented anarchist wants to speak with Train. After Creed orders the remaining Apostles to kill Train and his comrades, Echidna monitors their progress in the control room. She watches Eathes departs, commenting on how Eathes now acts like a human, and watches Doctor's experiment on the "Berserker" nanomachines while voicing her disgust. Later, Echidna gives orders to the soldiers of the Shooting Star Unit, while worriedly witnessing the defeat of every Apostles. After Creed joins her, they see that the Chrono Number I Sephiria Arks has sneaked into the manor in person to challenge Creed in a duel, and Echidna brings them both in Creed's private quarters.
As almost every Apostle has been taken down, Echidna resolves to unleash the Phantom Star Brigade, in spite of them still being in the testing stages. She dispatches three cyborgs in the manor to deal with the Chrono Numbers VII, X, IV and VIII and goes with the other two on the midair bridge that leads to Creed's quarters, waiting for Train, Sven and Eve. When they arrive, Echidna only allows Train to pass, as she would rather hand him to Creed, confident that none can defeat Creed who has just gained immortality. Echidna then orders the Golem Cyborg and the Flying Cyborg to dispose of Sven, Eve and Eathes, whom she labels as a traitor because they forced him to guide them through the manor.
When the cyborgs are defeated, Echidna decides to take the matter in hand and attacks Sven with a multi-sided shot. However, Sven's newfound power the "Grasper Eye" enables him to dodge every attack from every side. Echidna then activates a grenade and warps it near Eve. The young girl only owes her life to Eathes, who kicks the grenade away because Eve protected him earlier from the Flying Cyborg's attack. Furious, Echidna lashes out insults but Sven simply asks her why she does so much for a madman like Creed.
After Train defeats Creed and Leon brings them both to the midair bridge, Echidna listens Train telling Creed that he must bear the weight of his crimes as a human. When Eve destroys Creed's nanomachines of immortality, reverting him to a mortal state, Echidna does nothing to stop her, as she confesses that she was afraid all along that Creed would become something out of her reach.
She then departs with Creed to a house in the mountains, taking care of the nearly vegetative man he has become likely for the rest of her life.
Role in the AnimeIn the Anime, Echidna's role and personality are quite the same, though as Creed has less secrets to hide from his Apostles, Echidna shares less with him. Also Echidna does not need Fudas to create big holes and she can use her power to a greater extent than in the manga.
Echidna always remains by Creed's side and it is her not Doctor who accompanies him when he invades the building of the World Conference. She enters the room of the gathering through one of her wormholes and introduces them to Creed, who kills them all.
Echidna takes part in the showdown of the ancient castle, and later monitors the battle of Clarken Island like she does in the manga. However, when she comes to warn him that the Chrono Numbers arrived on the Island, Creed is busy playing the piano and focuses only on Train, barely paying her any attention. Also when she tells him that Leon has been defeated, he answers that he never knew anyone by his name. (To emphasize Eve's point that Creed does not care about him.) Echidna engages a one-on-one battle against Sephiria Arks who came to kill Creed. The battle is seen accelerated (perhaps to fit the tempo of Creed's song on the piano) and Sephiria manages to knock her out by striking her through her own wormholes.
When Creed is defeated, Echidna departs with him and brings him in a house in the mountains to treat his wounds, but she soon sees that he is fully healed and that he is watching away, standing up on the window frame.
Creed and Echidna later appear during the final stages of the battle against the Zero Numbers and Eden, having probably teleported there with her power. She gets badly wounded when taking an attack from the Zero Numbers' leader Mason Ordrosso, who was aiming for Creed. She laments that all she was able to do for him was to die in his place but she ultimately survives.
During the ending of the anime, she is seen living with Creed in their mountain house, as the former anarchist is painting a landscape.