- "Don't you know? The weapon of the reaper isn't a sickle, but a needle."
— Nicolas to Akoya Seishu
The man impersonating Nicolas Le Banner (ニコラ・レ・バンナ, Nikora re Ban'na), also known as The Grim Reaper of Paris (パリの
Nicolas is a handsome man of slight frame and build, with defined yet lean musculature. He has fair hair that falls over the left side of his face. Originally, his hair was much shorter.
Nicolas' attire consists of short-sleeved shirts, summer shorts, trainers, and circular-rimmed sunglasses. When fighting, he sports only a pair of dark spats.
Nicolas is, ostensibly, an easy-going man. He likes to socialize with his fellow gladiators and tends to light-heartedly mock them, especially Yumigahama Hikaru. Underneath the demanor belies a bloodthirsty psychopath. Bold and impulsive, Nicolas considers killing to be entertaining no matter where it happens, and would even disregard his own life for that to happen.
If something doesn't interest him, Nicolas tends to brush it off with practically no effect to himself, such as his loss against Jose Kanzaki or that Purgatory's rules forbade killing your opponents.
When he was Jean, he held an immense admiration for the real Nicolas Le Banner, seeing him as a hero and the protagonist of his world. His killing of the Real Nicolas in self-defense weighed heavily on his psyche; he ended up "becoming" Nicolas to rebuild that shattered view.
During his brief awakening, Nicolas believes that he is both Nicolas and Jean at once, switching between the two in what appears to be a form of Disassociative Personality Disorder.
Originally an operative known as Jean-Luc, Jean belonged to the same special forces unit as his best friend Nicolas. Six years ago, Jean-Luc and his unit were dispatched in a war zone where Nicolas brutally murdered multiple civilians and his own unit. Jean, forced to fight his former friend, eventually killed him. Unable to comprehend that he had murdered the "protagonist" of his story, Jean-Luc became "Nicolas Le Banner" in an effort to rationalize what he had just done.
Nicolas would later flee to Japan and then joined Purgatory, where he's known as "The Grim Reaper of Paris." During his time in the organization, Nicolas would earn an inconsistent record as an A-list gladiator. At one point, he was demoted to the B-list before he climbed back up.
In the aftermath of the fifth round of the Kengan Association VS Purgatory Tournament, Naidan Mönkhbat warned Liu Dongcheng to not trust Nicolas. Though far away from the two, Nicolas appeared to have known that he was the subject at hand. In the middle of Dongcheng's rampage in the ring, Nicolas entered alongside his fellow gladiators as he himself tried to defuse the situation with the Kengan fighters. Nicolas later confessed that he didn't care about Naidan's death to Terashi, musing how they'll return to being enemies when the Tournament ends.
After Lu Tian's loss against Kanoh Agito, Terashi accused Nicolas of having ulterior motives in the Tournament, which he promptly dismissed. When the gladiators met the Kengan fighters in the middle of the ring to discover the Worm, Nicolas irreverently exclaimed his disgust for bugs upon discovering the organization and their motif. When Rolón called off talks to suspend the Tournament, Nicolas returned to his gate with the rest of the gladiators.
After Arashiyama Jurota's defeat in the eighth match, Nicolas was contacted by Toyoda Idemitsu about the change of rules. Nicolas was later dispatched by Rolón Donaire to fight in the ninth match, his opponent being Akoya Seishu. Antagonizing Akoya for refusing his handshake, Nicolas struck his shield arm with a precision that briefly nullified it.
Though Akoya's reaction time proved superior to his own, Nicolas' initial slap at the start took effect, blinding Akoya's left eye, before landing a direct hit on his face. Using various nerves strikes, Nicolas eventually numbed Akoya's heart and lungs, before briefly recalling the night the real Nicolas Le Banner "killed him". Continuing the fight, Nicolas was on the verge of victory, before Akoya went berserk and bit him on the shoulder.
In an increasingly violent and potentially lethal match between the two, Rolón intervened once the referee decided to end the fight. Unwilling to listen to Rolón, both Akoya and Nicolas were subdued, with Nicolas receiving a heavy blow to chest, getting the wind knocked out of him. With their match declared a no contest, both Nicolas and Akoya were to be in custody until the end of the tournament. Nicolas was given medical treatment while being guarded. Unbeknownst to him, Terashi started to make his move to kill him.
When Terashi finally reaches Nicolas, the former recognizes that his target is nothing more than a broken individual, once Nicolas bares his insanity in full bloom. Leaving him be and telling Jean to take care of himself, Jean briefly wonders what he meant by that, before tiring himself and deciding to go back to sleep.
Power & Abilities
Nicolas is one of the more eccentric A-listers of Purgatory. According to Rolón, Nicolas' spotty record is as a result of his own fickle personality, only truly committing to a fight if he "gets hooked" not dissimilar to Hatsumi Sen's fickle nature. Despite this, he is still a powerful gladiator earning a seat amongst the other top-ranking A-listers. It was later noted by Terashi that Nicolas only gets serious when going for the kill, gaining him a poor record in Purgatory where killing is prohibited.
Nicolas' key attributes are his speed, reflexes, and precision. His top reaction time comes at 0.078 seconds, only second to that of Akoya Seishu's 0.074. Even then, his strikes, including non-committal slaps, are fast enough to catch Akoya off-guard. His level of precision gives him the ability to strike at the nervous system of his opponent that can temporarily nullify the area struck.
In addition to this, Nicolas possesses a wing-span of 191cm, which is longer than his height of 182cm, making his arms nearly a meter long. This, along with his reflexes and precision, allows Nicolas to fight while keeping a safer distance from his opponent.
A style created by Nicolas, Sahate (
Sahate focuses on attacking parts of the nervous system of the human body via open palm strikes and nukite similarly to a rapier being used to prod at an opponent. As a result, a loss of function in the area struck and other effects occur throughout the person. However, not even Nicolas himself can predict when the affected area will lose sensation.
- Nicolas' reaper motif appears to be a hold over from his last encounter with the real Nicolas, who mentioned that he was waiting "for the day that [he] could swing the Grim Reaper's scythe".
- Nicolas's favorite food is Tourtes aux abâts de saumon
- In the original Japanese text, Nicolas' pronouns vary between 'boku' and 'ore', representing the two personalities within him.