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- Superbia revealing her true identity.(src)
November 22, 2009
Misao Kusakabe (草壁 操 Kusakabe Misao), a legendary Onmyouji of the Kusakabe Clan whom Misuzu Kusakabe admires. As a Black Knight, she takes on the identity of Superbia (スペルビア Superubia) and remains as the only living amongst her dead comrades.
Misao is usually polite and humble towards others, but can turn cold if necessary. Her nature is not a bad person, but she will use any means necessary to achieve her goal. To a certain extent, she enjoys the thrill of combat.
As a Black Knight, she is determined to eliminate the Fragments. She has an indifferent attitude towards them, but still regards them as human beings by allowing them to make a choice whether to live or to die.
Over eighty years prior to the events of 11eyes, Misao was well known in the Kusakabe clan as the strongest swordswoman in the history of the Kusakabe. However, like Ryouichi Kusakabe, the eldest son of the head of the clan, Misao was ostracized for trying to incorporate Western magic with the arts of Onmyou. Disappointed with her fellow villagers, she left the clan and traveled around the world, intending to leave home country for good.
Bound by Blood
In 1942 when Georgius went to London to defeat the black dragon, Misao secretly followed him and watched the whole battle. As the battle finished with Georgius severely inured due to using Arcus Pactum, Misao dug him out of the rubble of the clock tower and offered him her blood, which had demonic power. Georgius refused to drink the blood, no matter how hard Misao convinced him. When he was about to die, Misao forcibly gave him her blood mouth-to-mouth, barely able to maintain his life in time. Then she said that from that point onward, their lives were bound tightly together.
April came, Misao was in Vatican after the battle in London. While enjoying the season, she took out a piece of paper, folded a small boat and dropped it into the pool in the yard. While looking at the boat floating, she sensed someone's presence. She told that person to come out, stating that she just wanted to talk. The person stepped out from behind a tree, revealing herself to be a young blond girl with very faint presence. Misao stated her name and asked the girl's, but the latter did not respond. She asked if the girl did not understand her language, but the girl gestured that she could not talk. Misao then asked the girl to take a seat.
The two spent time in silence. Misao began to feel uncomfortable that the young girl had been watching her non-stop. She then noticed that the paper boat she had folded before was what attracted the girl in the first place. Knowing that fact, she took out another piece of paper and began folding while talking about her own origin. As she finished, the piece of paper became a small crane. The young girl gestured that she wanted to hold the crane. Misao gave the crane to her, and the crane floated magically on the girl's palms; it fell on the ground quickly, however. Picking up the crane, Misao asked if the girl wanted to learn how to do it, to which the girl nodded. Misao then said that she would teach her, on a condition that the girl told her her name. The young girl then wrote her name: 'Scholastica', on a rock table. Misao then began to teach Scholastica how to fold a crane.
Following Georgius, Misao ended up returning to her home country, a fact that she felt uneasy to admit. The place where their ship haboured was wrapped in an eerie red Specialized Bounded Field, in which no sign of life could be found. As there was no practical way to scout the entire area, Misao offered to lend the Punishment Squad her aid by allowing Georgius to look at the center of the barrier through her shikikami. Misao was slightly injured as a stray squirrel corrupted by Larva bit her while she was using maintaining the spell; she quickly got rid of the creature once the pain registered. Irene, suspicious of Misao's strange magic, suggested Georgius to exterminate her in case she became a threat, but her request was denied, as Georgius believed Misao's strength was necessary for the battle ahead.
Georgius decided that only an Arcus Pactum would be sufficient to deal with an immortal witch, he decided that everyone would act as decoys while he made preparations. Watching the war raging on in neighbor areas, Misao and Samson had a discussion about how war torn everything apart and came to a mutual understanding. Once Georgius set up La Casa de Dios to temporarily stop the black moon, everyone else fought their way towards the center to hold off the enemy while Georgius charged Arcus Pactum.
Battle of Ayame Hill
When Lieselotte Werckmeister cast Phantasmagoria, killing off most of the team, Misao had an illusion of fighting with Lieselotte and lost, but managed to break free before she cut her own head. As she walked around, she found a weakened Scholastica near the remains of Uastyrdji. She followed the girl and, amidst the wreckage, found a neatly folded paper crane. Scholastica handed the crane to Misao, and she accepted it with care and Scholastica faded away in satisfaction. Realizing Scholastica's will, Misao took up her swords again and looked for Lieselotte.
Misao managed to locate Lieselotte, this time with her own eyes, and engaged her in combat. Knowing that the witch was capable of, Misao used everything at her disposal, from the strongest shikikami technique to the deadliest skills of the sword in relentless waves of assault, hoping to defeat Lieselotte before she could act. However, Lieselotte simply toyed with her until Misao started to wear out and immobilized her with snakes. She proceeded to humiliate and torture Misao by ripping her clothes off and caressed her organs, causing Misao to cry for Georgius help before fainting.
As Misao lost her consciousness, Lieselotte approached Georgius to finish him off with Omnium Principia. However, Misao returned in the nick of time and used her Tenken Kusakabe to reflect the attack at her, giving Georgius the last seconds he needed to perform Arcus Pactum. Lieselotte's soul was split into seven dimensions, and the ultimate attack finally took it toll on its caster. Misao urged Georius to drink her blood to save his life, but knowing that it was futile, the latter refused. Drawing his last breath, he finally expressed his true feelings for Misao and died in her arms.
Looking at the aftermath of the war, in which one part of the Lieselotte's souls still remained captured, Misao decided to inherit Georgius's will. She bound the souls of her dead comrades into the physical body of Larvae, and formed the Black Knights, the guardian of the crystal palace in which the witch laid dormant. Misao took on the new identity of Superbia, the one who protected Avaritia, Georgius's new incarnation, and also the only who knew the truth.
Fragments of the Witch
In the year of 2009, the 'Fragments' of Lieselotte's Voidstone was gathered in Red Night and the Black Knights decided to destroy them all. Misao, now known as Superbia, did not go on an assault like others, as she wanted to protect Avaritia from any surprise attack. However, as the Black Knights got defeated one by one, she had to turn up and fight. She first eliminate Takahisa Tajima by killing his guardian, Saiko Akamine, causing him to go insane and later had to be killed by Yukiko Hirohara, who she also gave a wound that could not heal. During Yukiko's battle, she engaged with Misuzu Kusakabe, revealed her identity as Misao Kusakabe, then proved her strength by breaking Misuzu's Kashagiri Hiromitsu and Kannagiri Nagamitsu, thus, broke Misuzu's fighting spirit. After Yukiko arrived, she was forced to withdrawn.
The Witch Awakens
Not long after her last battle, Yukiko directly assault Superbia to avenge Takahisa. Superbia could fight on par with her, but she also had to protect Avaritia, who was suffering as the seal was taking too much out of him, therefore, she could not use all her power. Later, Kakeru, Yuka, Misuzu, Kukuri arrived at the scene, then Shiori made a surprise attack, giving Yukiko a chance to slip through Superbia's defense. Yukiko was then absorbed into the crystal and because of that, Lieselotte awakened.
The End of Legend
Realizing that if the battle continued, Avaritia would have to unleash the dragon in his body and lose himself, Superbia came to Misuzu house and reveal the truth about Lieselotte and the 'Fragments' lying in the bodies of Kakeru's friends. She then gave all of them three days to make their decision, either to commit suicide and save the world or continued the fight. They chose to fight, however, and Avaritia had to unleash the dragon to crush all the fragments and Lieselotte. Superbia then came again to Misuzu house, this time to kill everyone there and finish everything once and for all. She engaged battle with Misuzu as Misao. Without being hindered by the seal, she overwhelmed Misuzu. However, Misuzu's determination to used the cursed sword, Doujigiri Yasutsuna, surprised her, giving Misuzu a chance to break her sword. She smiled at her lost and was then sliced in half by Misuzu.
In the anime, Superbia appeared quite early. She was the first Black Knight to confront Misuzu when the gang tried to approach the crystal altar. Misuzu however, took her by surprise with a gust of wind and slipped past her defense. Looking back at the path to the altar, Superbia appeared to have notice that Misuzu, like her, was also a Kusakabe. Later on, when all members of the Black Knight appeared to stop Kakeru's gang from getting any closer to the crystal that was imprisoning Lisette, Superbia attacked Misuzu from behind, although unsuccessful as the gang was transferred back into the real world.After the first assault, in which Gula was a casualty, Superbia confronted Misuzu again. When Misuzu took a stance, she commented that she realize her stance was that of a Kusakabe Onmyouji while taking a dual-sword-wielding stance herself, which frantically caused Misuzu to be afraid of her. However, she decided not attack, as it was time to retreat. Before leaving, she told Misuzu her Black Knight name. Superbia continued to appear in the next assault, condemning Invidia and telling her that the way to make up for her mistake was to kill herself and take all of the Fragments with her, implying the usage of her explosive blood.
In the final arc, Superbia took the initiative herself and killed Saiko Akamine, causing Takahisa to go berserk and chase after her. This was a diversion, however, as Superbia used a shikigami to lead Takahisa to destroy the city instead. While buying some time with the doppelganger spell, Superbia went to Misuzu's house to attack Kakeru and Yuka. However, Misuzu returned in time to face her. As Misuzu threw Kakeru her Raikiri, Superbia used her shikigami to replicate the deceased Black Knights, who would then face Kakeru. Misuzu stated that she knew her real identity, to which Superbia replied by revealing her true form: Misao Kusakabe. Misuzu asked her why the reason for fighting them. Misao only replied that she did it out of her love for Avaritia and engaged Misuzu in battle. As she overwhelmed Misuzu, Kukuri chained her with the power of Abraxas, forming her chains like a spider web. Utilizing the opening, Misuzu leaped toward Misao to get a final strike, but the latter shattered the chains with ease and went on with breaking Misuzu's Kashagiri Hiromitsu. Misuzu threw Kannagiri Nagamitsu at her next, but Misao also broke the sword just as easily. Shocked at the power gap between them, Misuzu was immobilized. As Misao tried to decapitate her, Kakeru blocked her attack with Raikiri and scorched her arm, revealing that Kakeru had drunk Kusakabe blood. Misao retreated, saying that she was successful in shattering the bonds amongst them.
When the next Red Night occurred, Superbia fought an enraged Yukiko. She tricked Yukiko into striking at her shadow and then attacked her from behind. To prevent her from regenerating, she binded all her limbs and ripped her abdomen to extract the VoidStone fragment, killing Yukiko in the process. Kakeru arrived just to see the scene. Out of rage and pain, he rushed at Superbia, who attempted to repel him. However, Superbia did not anticipate the presence of Shiori, who shot her with a spell while she was busy handling Kakeru. Avaritia shielded Superbia, costing his left arm, which bounced into Superbia's face and made her drop the fragment. Before Superbia could recover it, Yuka appeared out of nowhere, picked it up and threw it into the crystal, shocking everyone present. The fragment merged with Lisette and reverted her into her original form, Lieselotte. Lieselotte broke free and killed Yuka with a single attack, even though Kakeru had shielded her. Avaritia then pushed the remaining members of the gang out of Red Night to prevent the remaining fragments from being absorbed, but Shiori denied his spell with a barrier. Shiori volunteered staying to help the two defeat Lieselotte, stating that it was her responsibility as an apostle. Avaritia allowed her to, but only under the condition that he would kill her if he deemed the situation unfavorable. Shiori replied that she would commit suicide if Lieselotte had a chance to win. Avaritia then turned into a dragon and fought Lieselotte. Superbia and Shiori accompanied him. As the battle progressed, Superbia teleported behind Lieselotte and held her at bay so that Avaritia could destroy them both. However, this plan apparently failed, as Superbia later emerged in front of Kakeru and Misuzu to inform them that Lieslotte had won before dying.
In the final episode, it was revealed that all that happened was a vision of the Eye of Aeon, foretelling what would happened if he tried to protect Yuka. Having understood Lieselotte's goal, Kakeru stabbed himself in the neck to foil Lieselotte's plan, shocking everyone witnessing. Some time later when Red Night ended, Kakeru was revealed to be alive thanks to Yuka stopping him with her power. Superbia secretly followed the gang to assassinate Kakeru, but upon overhearing their determination, she hesitated and turned to monitor them instead. Unexpectedly, Lieselotte kidnapped Yuka, forcing the gang to move to the roof of Kouryoukan Academy. There, Lieselotte used Yuka as a hostage to force Kakeru co-operate, leading to the re-activation of Hell Fall. As others attacked Lieselotte, Superbia protected Kakeru and proposed a temporary truce, to which everyone agreed. As Lieselotte defeated Shiori and Abraxes, Superbia told the gang that they could use Shiori's fragment to send Lieselotte to the space-time rift and seal her. As Lieselotte returned, bringing back an all beaten up Avaritia with her, Superbia reverted to her true form and joined forces with Misuzu, helping her control the cursed sword, Doujigiri to deflect Lieselotte's attack. Kakeru used the chance to send Lieselotte to the space-time rift, succeeding with Avaritia's help. Losing its master, Red Night began to collapse. Misao was saddened that her love was also taken but relieved that they won. Misao told Misuzu that she would entrust the fate of the Kusakabe clan into Misuzu's hand and then used her power to get the gang out of a breaking Red Night. She then disappeared, her ultimate fate left unknown.
- Onikiri (鬼切 Onikiri): This sword can curse the opponent and give an unrecoverable wound, preventing him/her from healing. Even Yukiko's regeneration ability was rendered useless by this sword.
- Kumokiri (蜘蛛切 Kumokiri): Misao uses this sword more frequently than Onikiri, as its elemental attribute is wind, offering her a wider range of choice in offense.
- Swordsmanship master: Just like Misuzu, Misao is a skilled swordswoman. Her skills, however, far surpass Misuzu's, as she is more experienced and strong-willed. Her weapons are the two sword Onikiri and Kumokiri. Combine the power of the swords with her excellent swordsmanship, she poses as a formidable opponent. Note that she was the first one to actually cause the death of a 'Fragment', although not directly. Below are a number of techniques Misao has used throughout the series.
- Hiken: Yogake (忌剣夜駆け Hiken: Yogake; lit. "Holy Sword: Night Run"): Misao leaps at her opponent as the latter strikes her; however, the strike misses. Misao then appears behind her opponent, having already done a lightning-fast dual attack that tears the enemy apart and sends him/her flying.
- Hiken: Yatsukahagi (忌剣八握脛 Hiken: Yatsukahagi; lit. "Holy Sword: Eight-Legged Grip"): Misao spins her body while swinging her swords around, creating a powerful orange tornado that shakes the earth. This is a defensive technique, however. According to Misao, this skill can only be done with Kumokiri, which manipulates the wind.
- Hiken: Zangetsu (忌剣斬月 Hiken: Zangetsu; lit. "Holy Sword: Moon-Cutting"): Misao draws both swords at the same time, sending a white shockwave across the ground toward her opponent. As she uses dual sword style, the attacking force is doubled.
- Hiken: Hoemaru (忌剣吼丸 Hiken: Hoemaru; lit. "Holy Sword: Howling Ring"): Misao swings both swords repeatedly with all her strength and lungs herself at her opponent, turning herself into a tornado of sword strikes. In contrast with Yatsukahagi, this is an offensive technique.
- Hiken: Hongetsu (忌剣奔月 Hiken: Hongetsu; lit. "Holy Sword: Chaotic Moon"): Misao jumps into the air, spins her body around, quickly accelerates then throws her sword at the opponent. The sword, affected by centrifugal force, spins like a chain saw and is almost unblockable.
- Hiken: Tomokiri (忌剣友切 Hiken: Tomokiri; lit. "Holy Sword: Friend Slayer"): Misao focuses for a short period of time, then opens her eyes, at the same time, draws her swords in a split-second, cutting her opponent multiple times before he/she can even realize it.
- Tenken Kusakabe (天剣草壁 Tenken Kusakabe; lit. "Heavenly Sword Kusakabe"): Misao sets up her sword like a cross to engage her opponent's attack. The swords opens a gate to her Specialized Bounded Field, then release the attack back to her opponent, making it a perfect counter against unblockable attacks.
- Onmyoudou master: Misao is a very powerful Onmyouji. She uses her shikikami differently from Misuzu. Her shikigami is mainly used for scouting and deflecting attacks, even though the latter is also quite rare, as she relies much on her swords in combat. In the anime, her shikikami can create fake versions of the Black Knights.
Misuzu Kusakabe: Misao is cold towards Misuzu, believing that her swordsmanship is the proof the the Kusakabe's downfall. The only moment she showed respect for her junior is in the final battle, where Misuzu defeated Misao and proved the worth of her spirit.
Georgius of the Rainbow: Misao both loves and respects Georgius, even after his transformation to Avaritia. Her love is never returned, but she still fights and protects him with her own life.
Samson of the War Hammer: Misao is unaware that Samson is in love with her, but they share mutual respect for each other. Samson thinks of her as a beautiful flower in the battlefield, whereas Misao thinks of him as a reliable warrior.
Irene of the Dragon Skeleton: While Irene outright hated her, Misao actually had a condescending towards her. This relationship changed when they became Black Knights. Superbia is displeased with Invidia's incompetence, as well as treacherous attitude towards Avaritia, and does not hesitate to turn her into a living bomb to accomplish her mission.
Scholastica of the Bookshelf: Misao and Scholastica are very close, as if they were sisters. Misao taught Scholastica origami and watched her improving as time went by. In the end, Scholastica's sacrifice became Misao's moral support to face Lieselotte by herself.
Lieselotte Werckmeister: Misao regards her as a dangerous enemy that must be destroyed at all cost, even if it means turning her allies into living weapons.
- In the game, Misao was capable of making the flowers in the jungle bloom early, which Misuzu could not have done with her power. Although it was only temporary, this fact shows the gap of power between Misao and Misuzu.
- In the character designs book that came with the limited edition of the original game, her power was stated by the designer as being 8500 onmyou units, while Ryouichi Kusakabe in his first incarnation, 9200 onmyou units, Misuzu, 7000 onmyou units.
- Misao is the only Black Knight who is capable of appearing in the real world without the occurrence of Red Night, as she is the only one who is still alive. In the anime, however, she stated that any Black Knight could travel to the real world by spending a portion of their lifespan.
- Her name "Superbia" means "Pride" in Latin. Indeed, she is often showed being arrogant toward the Fragments.
- Misao Kusakabe is a name of a character from Lucky Star.
- In the anime, she is seen as the only survivor amongst the Black Knights, but her final fate is actually unknown.
- She is the main protagonist of the fancomics featuring the Black Knights. She appeared being a lot more arrogant, but she often tried being a Moe character, and she doesn't have talent in cooking.
- In the original 11eyes, Misao's sword strikes use the same sprites with Misuzu's. In Resona Forma however, she has her own battle effect sprites.