“What a foul sight. Is there no one whom this indecent butterfly of yours wouldn’t spread its wings for? To satisfy its filthy desire? You have misgivings about God’s designs, but you can come out with no better than this…? You hardly even bear the worth of a single look. Stupid woman, no, nor a man nor a woman… not even a child of God any longer. By all rights, you should have hung yourself, somewhere quietly… disgusted by your own ugliness. But no – still you scatter your corruption amongst others.”
“Tell me more. One is intoxicated by your voice.” Lucifer and Belial (Angel Sanctuary).
Character: Belial aka the Mad Hatter, Hell’s Jester, the Tainted Butterfly, former Deputy of Virtues, Hero of Darkness, Satan of Pride. Series: Angel Sanctuary (OVA, Manga, Drama CDs). Version: Manga, post-volume 20. Age: Unknown. Ancient. Gender: "Neither a man nor a woman". Sexuality: Pansexual. Appearance: Mad Hatter is tall and lanky as a man but bears the face of a delicate woman. Possessor of a great beauty sie hides beneath a mask made of heavy jester make-up; Belial has curly red hair (though in the latest volumes it changes to straight and slicked back), cropped short over her shoulders. Her eyes are a striking blue in color. Utterly androgynous with hir flat chest, narrow hips yet voluptuous female legs and slim arms; the demon has a butterfly tattoo on hir right thigh that usually displays to the victims of hir seductions when sie “spreads hir wings” for them.
Cue to the name, the hellish Mad Hatter is always wearing hats of diverse shapes and sizes along with a plethora of colorful unisex outfits: from Victorian styles to sultry gowns to clown clothes, depending of the occasion. Whatever is the event, the Hell’s Jester stands out in the crowd with fabric of intricate patterning that make the fallen angel irresistible to many.
As all demons, except Lucifer, Belial has a pair of black feathered wings, but sometimes they appear shaped as the orange butterfly wings of hir tattoo.
Personality: Outwardly, the Hatter is vibrant, cheerful and good-humored - nothing but a jester causing fun and mischief. Inwardly, however, sie hides a craving to stain purity and break rules. If anything, what Belial hates the most are constraining boundaries: genders, ages, laws, anything that helps God to keep control of His Creation.
Devious, scheming and highly intelligent, Belial seduces people with hir flattery and eccentric mannerisms; blending the innocent joy of a clown with the shameless flair of a succubus/incubus.
In despite of all hir flaws, Belial has hir good points: Hir deep devotion towards Lucifer and hir genuine caring for Sheol’s state are the most notable. Furthermore, sie is considered noble amongst demons, a hero of darkness with a strong character and bravery to stand up the angels.
Abilities/Weaponry: Belial’s mind and sharp tongue are hir best assets. Master of deception, lies and flattery, the Satan of Pride is extremely sneaky when comes to mind games (that in the past before hir fall sie only employed to seduce). Plus, Hatter has displayed good leadership skills to pull the strings of Hell in the absence of Lucifer and, then, become a central figure of the third invasion of demons to Heaven.
In the issue of abilities, Belial’s powers aren’t very clear within the canon (AS is more focused on drama than fights). We witness the demon display ample domain over illusions, shapeshifting (hir favorite is to become a swarm of butterflies), mind control (by branding people with hir tainting kiss), hypnotism, spaceshifting (becoming immaterial or phasing through shadows), potion making, rituals, regeneration, and overall black magic (including placing powerful wards and pulling diverse items out hir clothes/hats/the thin air). Plus, a hint of the power of reading people’s desires/wants/phobias to twist to hir benefit (this isn’t explicitly stated, but Belial has done this with many characters, including Raphael to be just high perception. All extreme sins attract the Hatter from hir lair).
Belial is very powerful among demons, second only to Lucifer in Hell’s hierarchy (being Hells actual ruler and caretaker, leader of the legions in secret) and was Deputy to the Healer Raphael in Heaven, thus sie has knowledge of medicine as well.
Weaknesses: Belial’s main weaknesses are hir deadly sin (pride) and the obsession to live up hir name (“without worth”). Both urges lead hir to live with many contradictions: someone who doesn’t tolerate rejection but at the same time craves for people to see how worthless sie is, making any genuine friendship or strong affection frankly impossible. Hir blind devotion to Lucifer is an example of this; Belial loves him as long he hates hir from the bottom of his heart. The day he shows affection, hir love will fade into hatred.
Mad Hatter is mad in this emotional viewpoint and a demon, thus selfish and with a tendency to corrupt people for hir own benefit (the only possible exception to the rule is Princess Kurai). Also, though hir mastership of magic is incredible, Belial hasn’t displayed any extraordinary physical feats like Alexiel or Michael. Sie’s more a schemer than a warrior, though wouldn’t escape of a battle if challenged.
Finally, like all angels, the wings are their weak point.
History: Belial is one of the seven great Satans, the most powerful angels who followed Lucifer in his Fall during the first great war in Heaven. Amongst hir famous accomplishments is the corruption of Sodom and Gomorrah. Hir deadly sin is Pride, making hir the chief of the Court (as Pride subordinates all Sins), even if Hatter has taken the role of a simple jester and envoy. But that’s not the beginning…
Belial was a high-ranked angel, second to Raphael in his duty as healer and chief of Virtues. God had chosen Hatter to fall from grace since the beginning by baptizing the baby angel as “without worth.” That marked hir life, deciding to prove hir Creator how dangerous worthlessness could be and how his laws would never apply to hir. Starting with gender.
An angel is born asexual and their sex is defined when they grow. Belial was meant to be female but, out of disgust of being labeled, sie stopped the process using drugs and magic potions, leaving the Virtue with a barren womb, a flat chest and unknown genitalia.
Hir time in Heaven was torn between hir duties in the hospitals and seducing high ranked angels to ruin their lives and careers (including Raphael). Most of hir lovers were so engrossed with Belial that they committed suicide when sie discarded them. That was the best that occurred to hir to defy God. Until one day, Lucifel visited to infamous “rebel” and was repelled with what he saw. He called hir disgusting and displayed a profound hatred from the bottom of his heart, rejecting every advance.
It was love at first sight for dear Belial. Lucifer exposed hir more than sie could with hir bare skin. Since that day, Hatter followed the Morningstar as the most faithful of his followers, determinate one day he would love hir as much as sie did.
Belial fought as his right hand and fell from grace with Lucifer. Sie beheld how his body fused with Hell to grant the barren land life and how his soul mysteriously vanished one night. From that moment, Belial took up hir identity as Mad Hatter, concealed hir face to the world beneath the white paint and smile of a jester. Only Lucifer was worthy to call the Hatter by the real name. Also, the jester gave hirself the task of looking for sacrificial “brides” to give to the slumbering body of hir lord in order to maintain his life and avoid the destruction of Hell.
In this quest, Hatter met Arachne, the discarded prince of the royal family of the Dragon masters that lived in the top levels of Hell. His anger and envy towards his sister, Kurai, called the demon from darkness. He became Hatter’s spy on the realm of the Evil race and through him (posing as Kurai’s cousin instead), sie took interest in the young princess as the 999th and last Bride.
Kurai and Belial established a very… interesting relationship: A deceptive friendship and unnerving worship of the princess as goddess on Belial’s side (thus worthy to be Lucifer’s companion in death). Hatter tricked Kurai into accepting the proposal and both parted to Sheol.
Needless to say, this didn’t rest well with the Messiah Setsuna (Alexiel’s current reincarnation) who went to rescue her with his comrades. At the very end, Archane betrayed his Master for the love of his sister and sacrificed himself instead. The bridal chamber was destroyed afterwards, but Belial was able to escape with the aid of Asmodeous (Satan of Lust).
After that event, Belial waited with the Satans and the demonic host, watching how Hell was crashing down when Rosiel killed the human reincarnation of Lucifer. During their flight, Hatter rescued Kurai and taught her how to master her powers better. Then sie took the Princess to Heaven so she could be reunited with Setsuna, granting them a truce for that day.
Until God’s death, Belial led the demons against the angels. Sie sought to reclaim Heaven so hir people could live inside. This continued nonstop until the end, retiring after Adam Kadmon’s message of peace. Sie’s last seen following Lucifer in the shape of a butterfly on the rooftop of a building in Assiah.