Kranz Maduke is a minor villain from the manga Black Cat and its anime adaptation. He is the N°IV of the Chrono Numbers, Chronos elite brigade, and a sadistic and ruthless zealot. Kranz characterization and role in the story vastly differ between the manga and the anime.
Like all Chrono Numbers, Kranz is a highly powerful fighter, unmatchably skilled in the use of a specific weapon: in his case, a dagger made of the rare and indestructible Orichalcos metal. His dagger is called "Mars", named after the Roman God of War. He can make his blade vibrate at incredible speeds, to considerably increase its already fearsome cutting power and cut through steel with zero effort. He is also exceptionally fast and spry, being able to easily jump from buildings.
Despite being blind, he is able to perceive the world around him with pinpoint precision, from sounds, vibrations, pressure and air displacement around him. He is able to detect all projectiles fired at him, bullets included, and to slice them in half with his vibrating dagger.
Kranz is a calm and stoic man, who would rather let his partner do the talking and take the initiative. He remains silent and motionless until he can get a good perception of his surroundings, before stepping into action. Like his partner Baldorias S. Fanghini, Kranz was raised from infancy by Chronos, and he lives to serve it with blind devotion. They are known for being a violent and bloodthirsty team who once they get a mission will do anything to ensure it completion, even if they have to lay waste in an entire town and slaughter its population. They would relentlessly track down anyone they deem a target all over the world. To them, there is no such things as turning over a new leaf, once a criminal always a criminal, even if the crime is merely to stand in their way.
Like Baldor, Kranz enjoys fighting and openly scorns anything he regards as a weakness, such as teamwork and mercy. He even states that "such considerations do not apply to the mighty". Unlike Baldor however, he might express slight curiosity towards his foes' principles, as seen when asking Kyoko Kirisaki about her promise to the primary protagonist Train Heartnet; though he iwill surely dismiss them after. He is less unhinged than Baldor, and contrary to his partner's brutal ways and vicious sadism, he prefers killing his foes quickly and swiftly, as efficiently as possible. He considers that he has nothing to share with his foes, and that trying to find an understanding is a waste of time.
In the Manga he has undying loyalty toward Chronos, while in the anime his role is not only shortened but he betrays Chronos to join the Zero Numbers.
Unlike the other Chronos Numbers, he wears a helmet since he lost his eye sight in a battle years ago. His number is engraved over the part of the helmet covering his left eye. He wears the standard Chronos uniform, which consist of a purple dress shirt, black suit and a yellow tie with black stripes.
Role in the Manga
Kranz and Baldor are first seen after overhearing about the Apostles of the Star being seen in Stock Town. They decide to deal with them despite never receiving orders to do so, which makes Lin Xiao Li's the newest Number X, concerned for the towns people.
They receive information from a Chronos Eraser about a child who looks like Train Heartnet, the primary protagonist and former Chrono Number XIII, being in a hotel with Kyoko Kirisaki, a defector from the Apostles. Upon arriving to their target's hotel room, they break in and find not only Train and Kyoko but also Train's friends; Eve and Sven. They soon learn that the child truly is a de-aged Train and that Kyoko is trying to change into a better person. This however do not affect their plan, and they resolve not only to kill Kyoko but Train "the traitor" as well.
Kranz decides to fight Train one-on-one, and since his foe is greatly weakened by his child-like state, he drives him into a pinch and nearly kills him by slashing his neck. He warns Train about overexerting a body too frail for fighting at such level, but Train keeps his resolve. Train partner: Eve intervenes and throws him into a nearby restaurant, but he reappears, determined to kill them both.
Kyoko, who is furious at Kranz for endangering Train, rushes towards him despite her promise to stay out of the fight, only to stop herself at the last minute. Kranz scoffs off her change in personality and prepares to kill her, but fortunately Train rescues her and shoots a bullet filled with liquid nitrogen that freezes his dagger Mars. Just after, N°VII Jenos Hazzard arrives and informs both Kranz and Baldor that N°II Belze has ordered them to immediately return to Chronos's headquarters.
Much later during the final battle, as a group of powerful bounty-hunters attack the Apostles of the Star's base, Kranz and his fellow Numbers sneak into the battle. They come across Train and his partners and reveal that the Chrono Numbers used the bounty-hunter as a diversion. Eve tries to rescue one of Creed's soldier they wounded, who blows himself up to kill them all. While Baldor mercilessly taunts her "stupid idealism", Kranz simply states that foes remain foes no matter what. Later, Kranz and Baldor fight a cyborg from the Phantom Star Brigade, and reduce him to mincemeat with little to no effort.
After Creed's defeat, Jenos mentions to Train that Kranz and Baldorias heavily disapprove of their mercy on the Apostles, deeming their effort "not efficient enough". They might have a point, as some Apostles were able to flee.
Role in the Anime
In the anime, Kranz is first seen in Kraken City in order to retrieve Eve only in the end to fail due to overestimating his abilities
After Creed's defeat, Baldor, Kranz and N°III Emilio Lowe, as well as the Apostles of the Star Doctor and Shiki are revealed to be part of Mason Ordrosso's Zero Numbers. They destroy Chronos and kill the Elders who ruled it, and set out to recreate the world in their image by fusing Eve to "Eden", a sentient aircraft built from a fusion of the mystical art known as the Tao and nanomachines.
As their treachery is found out, the protagonists, the bounty-hunters who fought Creed, the remaining Chrono Numbers and the redeemed Apostles of the Star head out to stop the Zero Numbers. As they manage to enter "Eden" they discover that Kranz and his allies are connected to it, which revives them whenever they are killed and vastly increases their fighting skills. Kranz is seen fighting Jenos and as it appears victory is within his grasp, he is killed when "Eden" is destroyed due to his connection to it.