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Den

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Den ( Den?) was the founder and leader of the Barjack. A physical manifestation of Kaos' uncontrollable rage, Den as he appeared during most of the story was a giant remote-controlled slave unit run from an EPR transmitter embedded in Kaos’' chest. The true relationship between the two was kept a secret by Den for most of his life.

AppearanceEdit

Den's appearance varied during the series. In his form as leader of the Barjack he was a giant metallic samurai with either a bipedal body or a centaur body. The bipedal body had shoulder armour (sode), panels protecting the thighs (kusazuri), gauntlets (kote), greaves (suneate), and sandals (kōgake). The centaur body removed the shoulder armour, as it gave Den a larger shield on one forearm, and had a form of barding. The tail was composed of chains. Den wielded his yari with one arm, but also carried Zanshato on his back. The bipedal body was a dark grey in Barjack Rhapsody, while Den's eyes were red. In Gunnm: Martian Memory the centaur body is black and Den's eyes are red. An illustration by Yukito Kishiro for the 2003 Ultra Jump calendar depicts Den as being a grey-green with red eyes.[1]

When he was detached from Kaos, Den's first body was a man-sized unit which had a face, but no skull, and overall had a more civilian appearance. His EPR transmitter was exposed. The next body that Den had was still man-sized, but had a samurai-like appearance. At one point in this body he was shown wearing a cloak over it.[2]

PersonalityEdit

RelationshipsEdit

KaosEdit

BAA07 215 Kaos & Den

Den takes control of Kaos via the EPR transmitter and reveals their shared connection in Battle 41

Kaos believed for years that the EPR transmitter in his chest was a life support unit and only discovered his connection to Den after the latter took over his body in an attempt to kill Alita.[3] Den however, is fully aware of their shared connection, but remained dormant within Kaos in order to keep Kaos alive, because his actions might have killed them both given Kaos' frailty. He does not reveal his history to Kaos until shortly before his death in the Scrapyard.

Kaos tries to stay neutral in the war between the Barjack and Tiphares, although Den attempts to enlist his support for the Barjack more than once. Den makes one final attempt after Kaos rescues Alita and tries to forcibly kidnap him after another refusal, but the attempt is thwarted by Alita, enabling Kaos to escape. When Kaos tries to rescue Alita from Desty Nova's Ouroboros Program before Den's final attack on the Scrapyard, he appears in one of Alita's dreams as Den, suggesting that he has accepted that Den is a part of him. The dream Den then battles the giant Great Martian King dream robot which is controlled by Nova.

AbilitiesEdit

Den wielded a giant katana named Zanshato and a giant yari named Tesshaso and was equipped with a shield on his left arm when in his centaur form. His massive size was not a handicap in fighting a much faster and smaller opponent such as Alita, as he was a master of controlling his chi and even his kizashi or super chi, enabling him to predict her moves even after she had blinded him during their fight.

Den was equipped with a giant yari named Tesshaso which he used in his centaur form, but not in his bipedal body. He typically wielded it one-handed, as his other arm was equipped with a shield. During his battle with Alita, Den wielded Tesshaso and was able to fight her on equal terms through his mastery of chi and despite being temporarily blinded. He would have defeated her had not Lou Collins intervened by using the mobile unit to rush in and carry Alita away before he struck.

As part of the final Barjack campaign to destroy Tiphares and the Scrapyard, Den launched an attack to draw the Factory Army's attention while the Heng was brought within range. He equipped Tesshaso while carrying Zanshato on his back. After the Heng's destruction he disbanded the Barjack and ordered the survivors to initiate guerilla warfare against the Scrapyard to attack the Factory from within. He then charged the Scrapyard wielding Tesshaso, which was lost after the defending Factory mecha shot off his shield arm and damaged its shaft.

BodiesEdit

When the original slave unit was created by Desty Nova, it was man-sized. Den wandered the badlands in order to find himself and train as a warrior. He discovered his purpose in finding a suitable body to contain his rage, rule the desert, and bring Tiphares to the ground. When he appeared as leader of the Barjack years later, Den’s body was many times its original size, being large enough to fight the equally massive coliseum champion Vanado. This is the only time in the original manga that Den’s giant lower body is that of a man’s. He has another lower body in the form of a horse's which appears to be his combat body. In this centaur form, Den’s body was a formidable weapon, fast, heavily armored, and able to crush anything in his way. Den’s body is not indestructible though, as Alita nearly killed him during their fight with a Solenoid Quench Gun.

HistoryEdit

Called a figment of his psyche by Kaos[4], Den described himself as the child of Kaos’ uncontrollable rage,".[5] which had been within Kaos since he was young. Whenever this rage manifested itself, Kaos became homicidal, but had no memories of what happened to him when this part of his psyche takes over. Normally dormant within Kaos, when he was 15 or 16 it suddenly burst forth, resulting in the near death of his father Desty Nova and his assistant Barzarld, making Nova aware of it for the first time. In ES 579, Nova installed an EPR transmitter into Kaos’ heart and nervous system and created a slave body for Den, making him independent of Kaos’ body. He could however, use the transmitter to take control of Kaos' body without his knowledge, and the death of Kaos could mean the death for both of them.

PlotEdit

Battle Angel AlitaEdit

BAA08 105 Den

Den leading a Barjack attack in his centaur body in Battle 45.

Den develops the firm belief that Tiphares is the source of the surface dwellers' pain and misery, and that anyone associated with Tiphares, the Factory, or the Scrapyard is corrupted and not fit to exist in the new order that he plans to create. After years of wandering, he formed the rebel army Barjack and began his war against Tiphares in ES 585. Ruthless towards his enemies, Den displays empathy and compassion for his troops, who address him as “Master Den” or “Lord Den.”

Because of his connection to Kaos, the knowledge of Alita that Kaos gains from his psychometric ability is passed on to Den, who knows that she is with Kaos. He targets her because she is a TUNED agent and fights her because of her willingness to protect the Scrapyard. The day after fighting Alita, Den manifests himself in Kaos’ physical body, revealing himself to Alita and attempting to kill her. Alita’s refusal to kill Kaos and thus him as well leaves him puzzled.

Den speeds up the timetable of the Barjack campaigns to control more territory closer to the Scrapyard and Tiphares after the connection between him and Kaos is revealed to Alita. After the Heng is destroyed and Den orders his generals to switch over to guerilla warfare, he charges the Scrapyard in a last attempt to attack Tiphares. The Factory ground forces inflict fatal wounds, blowing off his right arm and the latter half of his centaur body. Den manages to bring Zanshato down on one of the Factory tubes, but the katana breaks and the tube is undamaged. He then succumbs to his wounds. His fallen head is treated as a deity by some Scrapyard residents prior to the self-destruction of Melchizedek.

Barjack RhapsodyEdit

Den made a post-death appearance in the side story Barjack Rhapsody, which reveals that more than one remote-controlled bipedal body of him exists. One was found by Eakins, the manager of Farm 3, who used it to ambush Scrapyard supply convoys as part of a plan to revive the Barjack and have it operate as a bandit organization. The other was in the care of Geriperi, an old eccentric and former Barjack member who rescued Koyomi after she was injured in an attack by Eakins' Den on the convoy she was traveling with. The two Dens dueled each other at the Barjack revival meeting held at Farm 3, with the Den operated by Geriperi triumphing. This Den left after ordering the remaining Barjack to assist in the construction of the Tower of Tiphares.

Last OrderEdit

Alita recalled Den when Queen Limeira and Zazie departed Leviathan I.[6] Den was also one of the many characters from Alita's past shown when Melchizedek reached out to her consciousness after her ego was shattered and her Imaginos Body dissolved following Super Nova's Seca attack.[7]

Other appearancesEdit

Den in his centaur form is a boss character in Gunnm: Martian Memory, in which he is fought using the Solenoid Quench Gun.

MerchandiseEdit

The Japanese brand Heroism has produced a shirt depicting Den wielding Zanshato and about to attack a Factory tube with Tiphares and the Barjack in the background. The shirt comes in three colours: grey, red, and black. It was released on November 26, 2010 and sells for ¥6,090.

ReferencesEdit

  1. "Calendar of GLO"
  2. Battle 50 - Den relates his history with Kaos.
  3. Kishiro, Battle Angel Alita: Fallen Angel, page 14.
  4. Battle Angel Alita: Angel's Resurrection, page 115.
  5. Battle Angel Alita: Angel's Ascension, page 116.
  6. Phase 24
  7. Phase 62

NavigationEdit

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