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Maro

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Maro is a villain from the manga Black Cat and its anime adaptation. He is a Tao Master who looks like a sumo wrestler, and a member of the Apostles of the Star which he helped to create, alongside his life-long friend and fellow Tao Master Shiki and the series' main villain Creed Diskenth. He and Shiki want to reshape the world so that the Tao would be used worldwide. Despite being a Tao Master and one of the founders of the Apostles of the Star, he has no high position in their hierarchy.

Background

Maro was born in the "other continent" of Yamto, a faraway and mysterious island inhabited by Taoists, who mastered the mystical art of Tao (mastering the ki -life energy- to use special powers and spells). Maro was part of the main Taoist clan, which was somehow involved with Chronos: a powerful secret organization which controls one third of the word's economy and politic. The exact relationship between Chronos and the clan of Taoists is unknown but 25 years before the start of the series, a war broke out between the two factions. Apparently, the Tao Masters wanted to overthrow Chronos and rule the world with the power of Tao but this was never fully explained.

Chronos sent out all his assassins in this war, including the thirteen Chrono Numbers, the world's strongest fighters. After an entire month of fights, the Taoists were nearly wiped out and only three Chrono Numbers were left.

Maro and Shiki wandered around the world looking for a way to fulfil their goal, until two years before the start of the series when they met Creed Diskenth, a renegade assassin from Chronos. Shiki revealed Creed's own power of Tao and they helped him create the Apostles of the Star. Their ultimate goal was to destroy Chronos and to take over the world, so that they could reshape it following their ideals. For unknown reasons, Maro and Shiki accepted to follow Creed's orders.

Personality

Maro is very proud of his giant stature (over two meters tall and weighing more than 300 kilograms), which serves as a natural shield. He knows Shiki since he was born, and as two of the few remaining Tao masters they are very close friends. He is the only one who ever saw Shiki's face before she revealed it during the final battle. Maro appears at first to follow Shiki without questions, but the two are often seen discussing as equals. Maro also gets along well with the other Apostles, namely Charden, Kyoko and Leon, with whom he is seen discussing more than once; (and sometimes berating when it comes to Kyoko).

Like Shiki, Maro is extremely proud of his status of a Tao Master and he considers any other fighting style (and their users) as inferior to the Tao. But unlike Shiki, his pride often leads him to underestimate his opponents and to pay the price. Maro hates being mocked around or underestimated and he is very prone to anger. Contrary to Shiki, who is never ridiculed for her dwarfism, Maro is often called "fatso" or "sumo wrestler" by his foes (when they do not burst of laughing upon seeing his traditional clothes from Yamto), which aggravate him greatly.

In spite of his arrogance and his comedic aspects, Maro is pretty clever and observant. (He was the only one who noticed that Charden was bothered after Durham was executed.) He knows how to analyze his foe's fighting style, he usually waits for information before judging, and even though he jumps into action when angered, he never fully loses his composure.

Power and Abilities

Maro has enormous physical strength, being able to crush someone's head with bare hands and to expel a bullet in his leg by contracting his muscles. He is a highly skilled hand-to-hand fighter who takes advantage of his massive size to overwhelm his enemies, harassing them with barrages of swift and fast blows. Also, in spite of his weight he is very fast and agile. He can roll himself into a ball and perform a devastating, boulder-like rollout attack.

Gravity Bomb

Maro's mightiest technique

Maro's power of Tao is called "Gravity". He can disrupt the flow of ki that runs across the ground to increase or manipulate gravity and by extension the weight of every object as he pleases. He mostly uses his power to increase his own weight and magnify the strength of his physical attacks. He can also vastly increase gravity in a defined perimeter around him (which enables him to crush everything around including tanks and armored vehicles), or send continuous waves of gravity pressure around him.

Maro uses a powerful defensive technique called "Gravity Wall", with which he makes every projectile fall to the ground before they reach him, (or any other target). As such, he can only be harmed when struck from above before he can counterattack. His signature technique is called "Gravity Harite": he concentrates gravity in his hands to increase tenfold the weight of his blows and delivers a barrage of attacks that cause enough pressure to strike at distance. Finally, his most powerful attack is called "Gravity Bomb": He creates a gravity field in his hands and compresses it into a huge ball that crushes everything on a large perimeter. He can fire many of them in rapid succession, and he can even fire several ones at the same time or a barrage of smaller ones.

Maro is only seen increasing gravity but he may be able to decrease it as well, for he is seen standing on the very top of a tree with his three hundreds kilograms. Given Maro's overconfidence, one can think that he never uses his power to the maximum. Despite this, he is clearly one of the most powerful Apostles, (save from Creed, Shiki and Doctor) even though the gap of power does not seem as big as in the others' case.

Being a Tao Master, Maro is able to use his ki to feel that of others, to locate both people and use of Tao in a defined perimeter, or to increase his own physical abilities; although he is never seen using it. He is also likely able to detect a power of Tao dormant in someone. Maro is very likely able to use the Fuda techniques and to brew potions but perhaps not with the same proficiency as Shiki. Given that he is never seen using it, no one can really know.

Role in the Manga

Maro is first seen in the manga guarding the entry of the Lunafort tower along with Charden and Kyoko, while Creed is having a meeting with his former partner, the primary protagonist Train Heartnet. He is seen wondering whether Train will agree or not to team up with Creed again. He later berates Kyoko for her childish way of killing.

Maro is next seen discussing with Shiki on Clarken Island, about the beginning of their revolution, before the Apostles of the Star's gathering. He then takes part in the terrorist attack on the World Conference, and the many other attacks on several Chronos' bases. He later witnesses Durham's execution without objection, and is next seen discussing with Charden in Stoke Town.

Maro later "greets" the Chrono Numbers V, VII and XI when they invade the Apostles of the Star's castle, along with Charden and Leon. Maro underestimates the Numbers and mocks their "primitive" weapons, only to be sent flying away. A short skirmish ensues, but the Numbers manage to escape much to Maro's anger. After that, when Shiki asks Echidna about Creed's experiments on nanomachines, Maro seems even more pissed off than Shiki by Creed's disrespect of the Tao. Maro later goes with Shiki and Echidna where the Numbers are battling Creed and joins the fight, pushing the Chrono Number XI into a corner. However, the battle is ultimately interrupted by Train Heartnet and all the Apostles leave the castle before it is blown up.

When the Sweepers League invades Clarken Island, Shiki asks Maro to get rid of Train and he quickly finds him, alongside another powerful bounty-hunter named River Zastory. Upon seeing him, both sweepers burst of laughing because of his clothing. Infuriated, Maro attacks Train and starts the first fight of the final battle, while River is challenged by Preta Ghoul. Maro attacks Train and manages to wound him, but he gets shot him in the leg with a bullet filled with a paralyzing product in spite of his defense, ultimately losing the fight.

Maro is next seen when Train is battling Shiki. He recovers from the paralysis and heads towards the manor to get his revenge, but to no avail. He is later seen with Shiki, as they witness the blast caused by Creed's and Train's ultimate attacks colliding.

After Creed is defeated and the Apostles are disbanded, Shiki and Maro depart to travel around the world.

Role in the Anime

Maro (animé)

Maro as seen in the anime

Maro's role is not very different from the manga and the anime, yet he ironically appears more collected and less prone to anger in the later. Maro is still Shiki's comrade who helps to create the Apostles of the Star. We will never know for sure as he meets his demise on Clarken Island but given his close friendship with Shiki, it is almost sure that he was among the Tao Masters who came to an agreement with Mason Ordrosso to create the Zero Numbers.

Maro participates in the Apostles' terrorist attack on the World Conference, and as with every other Apostle he watches from the side-lines the confrontation between Creed and Train. Maro hinders Train at first, by increasing the weight of his Black Gun "Hades" to two hundreds kilograms, but Train still manages to wield it normally thanks to his unfathomable physical strength.

Maro also takes part in the showdown of the old castle and the war of Clarken Island. However, contrary to the manga, he engages a battle against the (anime exclusive) Chrono Number IX David Fapper. Maro gains the upper hand at first and hurls countless "Gravity Bombs" towards his foe, but David manages to turn the tide of the battle. (Curiously, when Maro fires a "Gravity Bomb" in the anime, his body deflates.) Maro ultimately fires a huge "Gravity Bomb" in the sky and restrains David as the "Gravity Bomb" is falling on the both of them, killing them both.

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