- "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. His current hairstyle is similar to that of the real Nicolas. 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. In reality, Nicolas is a bloodthirsty psychopath. Alongside his bold, impulsive nature, Nicolas holds no remorse for the dead or their living relatives and friends, and considers killing to be entertaining no matter where it happens, with no real regard even for his own life.
Another trait of Nicolas is his near constant disinterest in everything. At first, it appeared to be poor memory as he had forgotten his loss against Jose Kanzaki and that Purgatory's rules forbid killing your opponents. Both of these seems to be the result of said disinterest rather than him actually being forgetful.
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. The fact that Nicolas was killed by him, along with the fact that he was actually evil to the core, weighed heavily on his psyche. He ended up "becoming" Nicolas to rebuild the shattered view he held for him.
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 at the stands of his team's side, 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 Lolong 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 Lolong 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, Lolong intervened once the referee decided to end the fight. Unwilling to listen to Lolong, 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 then given medical treatment while being guarded.
Power & Abilities
Nicolas is one of the more eccentric A-listers of Purgatory. According to Lolong, 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".
- In Chapter 94 (when talking about the Worm), Nicolas declared his dislike for bugs. However, during the first match of the Kengan Association VS Purgatory Tournament, he was seen playing with a butterfly, and during his fight with Akoya he compared himself to a parisian bee.