Original research and text by: Eis
Revision for site use by: Kicksville
A further look at the activities of Astaroth, Asmodeus and their ilk.
For a quick overview of who Astaroth is, see our page here.
Some understanding of the wider context they interact within is necessary for this section to make sense, so reading the Story Guide first is recommended.
The Demon Generals Belial and Astaroth make their first appearance here, in Volume 2. Hailing from the Demon Realm (Makai), they lead Masterion’s Imperial Demon Clan (Koumazoku) into battle against the Four Tribes of the earth. Their translated cards are available below:
|Mashougun Belial||Mashougun Astaroth|
They possess qualities otherwise unique to each one of the races on the earth: Horns (Seiryu Tribe), a tail (Juuga Tribe), wings (Hiten Tribe), and armor shells (Gaira Tribe).
(The names are, of course, references to the 72 Demons of Solomon)
Astaroth in particular leads the monsters, namely numerous Gyuki, summoned for this army in invasions of various locations. These events are depicted in illustrations in the Shinra Bansho Card Encyclopedia.
Their cards establish their respective rivals during this conflict – Daimadou Raisen for Belial, and Seiranken Sion for Astaroth, each of the Seiryu Tribe. Sion is Raisen’s apprentice. Given the nature of the war, and Belial & Astaroth’s actions in the following Chapter, though, it’s up for speculation as to whether they were real “rivals” or simply opponents in battle.
Chapter I ends with the Koumazoku pushed back, and Masterion defeated.
1,000 years later, the ruined Great Demon Realm (Dai Makai) is ruled by Belial, who returned following Masterion’s fall. Astaroth still follows him, and along with Demon General Arioch, they’re known as the Big Three. They appear in Volume 2.
It’s established here that Astaroth has a wild and carefree personality – although, it is also said she is kind to children.
|Magensui Belial||Mashougun Astaroth|
|Mashougun Arioch||Magensui Belial|
Now bearing the title Demon Marshal Belial, he and his followers are concerned with maintaining order in the Demon Realm – something which Bonemaster’s plot to revive Masterion threatens. Astaroth warns the heroes of this chapter of the growing dangers in the Demon Realm, and (as of Volume 3) Belial joins them in their campaign to prevent the unsealing of Masterion.
Although Bonemaster succeeds in reviving Masterion, he is ultimately defeated and his soul destroyed. The Goddess of Creation, Creare, appears to make amends for her role the story’s events – healing the injuries sustained by the heroes, and reversing Belial’s petrificaiton. She then uses her powers to return everyone to their respective homes.
There are two other characters worth highlighting from Chapter II: Melfis from Volume 2, and Alfeene from Volume 4
Melfis is a combat expert who formerly served as the personal guard and attendant to El-shiva, the great elder of the Great Demon Realm (and previously its Overlord). By this time, she is the waiting maid to Alfeene.
As for Alfeene, Belial is her fiance.
N/A, story-wise, being a prequel. Among the “Best Selection” re-printed cards featured in this set is the Chapter II, Volume 4, No. 099 Magensui Belial card, depicting his petrification.
Shingoku no Shou
Ouga Rasen no Shou
In this chapter, Belzebuth and Asmodeus are introduced in Volume 1. They are the children of Belial.
The fighting between the Rashinki, humans, and Gods is on-going in this continuation of Shingoku – but these two merely seek some excitement, coming down to the earth realm to have some fun.
That is, initially, apparently all they do.
Alfeene is Belzebuth’s mother.
Astaroth is Asmodeus’ mother.
Although Belial is married to Alfeene, it’s not established if polygamy is a thing for demons ’round those parts, so just what kind of relationship he has with Astaroth is unknown.
It seems Belial has his hands full in dealing with Asmodeus, who looks to have her way in whatever she does. She tags along with Belzebuth since she just hangs out with him all the time anyway.
Their depictions in Ouga Rasen Volume 2. At this point, they actually assist the storyline’s hero Maxi and his friends in battle, showing up to help them fight Banryokuoh Baragan at the Holy Grail Tower (as detailed in the Story Guide). Their appearance turns the tide of the battle and Baragan is defeated, although the Holy Grail Tower is destroyed.
As for the decision to go with the spelling “Belzebuth” over the more popular “Beelzebub”, this is due to the romanji of his name, “beruzebyuuto”, being closer to that spelling rather than Beezlebub, which seems to be “beruzebubu”. Think of it, as Eis suggests, like the difference between Marie / Maria, or John / Jon)
Shichiten no Hasha
Daimao to Yattsu no Pillar
Over the course of the story, the Seven Demon Lords of the Solomon Continent alternately observe, impede, and/or ally themselves with Ark in his journey to re-establish himself as the Great Demon Lord.
Among them, appearing in Volume 2, are Gluttony King Baal-Zebul and Illusion Demon Lord Asmo-Deus.
|Boumaoh Baal-Zebul||Genmaoh Asmo-Deus|
Following fights between him and Ark, as well as her and Yamaoh Belpheria, it turns out they’re really Belzebuth and Asmodeus from Ouga Rasen.
After having had their fun in Ouga Rasen, they decided to jump to another dimension. Belzebuth is after excitement in the form of strong opponents, while Asmodeus is just tagging along again as usual. Somehow, they each got a hold of a Pillar Piece, and used the magical powers of those artifacts to disguise themselves, becoming Demons Lords on the Solomon Continent.
Belzebuth, for his part, spent his time going around collecting swords and improving his swordsmanship, going as far as to oppose Ark and the other demon lords in his search for strong opponents.
Meanwhile, Asmodeus used her Pillar Piece to “become her ideal self”. As it turns out, Asmodeus has never been on good terms with her mother Astaroth, and used the piece’s power to change her appearance as she didn’t like how she looked – the particular form of her tail and wings were, after all, taken after her mother’s.
Asmodeus and Belpheria apparently can’t stand each other, to the point that, during their fight, they each got so frustrated they just up and left the battle.
|Makenoh Belzebuth||Masenki Asmodeus|
The two after having revealed themselves, in Volume 3.
Kuja Senran no Shou
At some point in the hundreds of years that pass between installments, Baal-Zebul has beaten Ark in the sword arts, and reigns supreme when it comes to the blade. He also continues to act as the Demon Lord of Gluttony, while Asmo-Deus still acts as Demon Lord of Lust.
As detailed in the Story Guide, the Seven Demon Lords join Ark in his final desperate attack against the invading Jashingun and the Dimensional Portal they swarm from. That, of course, includes the two siblings.
Thanks to Arcana, however, heroes from other worlds are now able to be summoned to join in the fight against the Jashingun. This begins a re-emergence of even more characters from previous chapters, including none other than Melfis (in Volume 1) and Alfeene (Volume 2).
|Shinretsu Senki Melfis||Shinma Kouhi Alfeene|
As it turns out, in the time following Chapter II, Melfis had a hand in raising Belzebub and Asmodeus, acting as their teacher and combat instructor. Although strict, she cares for the two of them like a mother, and becomes concerned over their whereabouts. Having arrived on Solomon, she becomes highly sought for her combat training by the Seimazoku.
Meanwhile, Alfeene is not quite so worried, having full confidence in the abilities of Belial’s children.
More details about the nature of the Mazoku (Demon) races are revealed and hinted at here. Shinmakai is the most recent name for the Makai / Dai Makai (Demon Realm / Great Demon Realm) referenced since all the way back in Chapter I. Belzebuth, Asmodeus, etc, are all referred to as “Shinmazoku” due to this. It’s also stated that some amongst the Shinmazoku have the ability to travel between dimensions, Belzebuth being one of them.
Due to the similar traits between the Seimazoku of Solomon and the Shinmazoku, it is said, “there are many who believe that the roots of the Seimazoku is tied to the Shinmazoku”.
In Volume 3, the hero summonings continue, this time bringing the remaining head honchos of Shinmakai…
|Shinma Daigensui Belial||Shinma Daishougun Astaroth|
Belial is angered by the Devil Swarm, but keeps his cool, admitting it is no fallacy that Belzebub and Asmodeus could fall to such a strong enemy. Alpheene, however, mentions that this is the first time she’s seen him this angry.
Astaroth, always proud of her children, is being pretty emotional about everything, losing her usual cool. Arioch, who is also quite devoted to the young prince and princess, is more than ready to test his blades.
On another note, having been summoned by the Arcana Tarot, each of the summoned heroes corresponds to a Major Arcana of the traditional tarot cards. The ones relevant in this case are as follows:
Melfis: Temperance (Restraint & Devotion)
Alpheene: Lovers (Love & Harmony)
Belial: Emperor (Rule & Stability)
Astaroth: Empress (Prosperity & Passion)
Arioch: Chariot (Victory & Conquest)
In Volume 4, the war rages on with increasing intensity – and who should appear out of nowhere to join the battle but the missing Seven Demon Lords!
As it turns out, they had disappeared thanks to a slick trick used to save themselves: By pooling their magic power into Belzebuth, he was able to use his by-now well established dimension hopping powers to duck them all out of danger. As a side of effect of expending so much magic though, they’re reduced to smaller forms, just like what happened to Ark before.
Upon their return, though, they just so happen to appear right in the middle of the Devil Swarm’s forces, prompting Ark to rush over to their aid.
Belzebuth and Asmodeus fight together, along with a third comrade through the Arcana Tarot.
|Mukuroneri Makenoh Belzebuth, and Asmodeus||Ankoku Eiyuu Gairenoh|
Belzebuth makes a contract with Dark Hero Gairenoh from Konjuukai, the Spirit World (in the series, Shichiten no Hasha). Gairenoh, also having previously gone by the name of Bael-Zebul, is actually famous across dimensions, and Belzebuth is thrilled to meet the man itself.
As detailed in the Story Guide, the combined forces of the Solomon Continent defeat the Devil Swarm, and the war comes to a close. The summoned heroes return to their respective homes – in the case of Astaroth, Belial, Arioch, Alfeene, and Melfis, that means Shinmakai. Belzebuth and Asmodeus are assumed to have remained in Solomon, since after all, it’s long since become their home.
And so, for the time being, that is the complete story of the blue demons originating from the Demon Realm.
Short for Astaroth, with the name changed to kanji, this is the nickname given to a meme incarnation of the character deriving from Japanese image boards. It’s simply Astaroth wearing a shirt and shorts (or panties), usually with something written on her shirt (often just her name in hiragana or some sort of joke). Sometimes, she’s seen with Spider-Man, albeit one just wearing regular clothes aside from the mask.
As can be the case with memes, especially Japanese ones, it seems the exact origins of it and its details aren’t very clear – or at least, not much luck has been had digging them up on our end.
In any case, this meme’s popularity for a time meant the images spread over to boards in other languages, and that played a role in fueling international interest in Astaroth. She remains by far the most well known Shinra Bansho character among English speaking communities, and is largely the reason anyone knows the franchise exists to begin with.
Here’s a few more characters with similar attributes from throughout Shinra Bansho, although generally they aren’t of any direct relation to the ones detailed above.
|Hyourin no Mahiro
with Pre-Spirit Burst Seisougetsu
with Pre-Spirit Burst Bontenmaru
|Suikyou no Kenken
with Pre-Spirit Burst Nyarla
Shichiten no Hasha
|Genrou Kinin Madara Hanzou||Kaimei Juuki Scyllae|
|Zettou Taishi Nobuyasu|
Daimao to Yattsu no Pillar
|Jaen Taikou Echidna||Kaimaoh Leviathan
(Circle-K Thanks Another Ver.)
Leviathan actually appears in Volume 2 – this presumably less canonical color variant was one of a few given out at specific stores when Volume 3 was released.
|Doukeshin Mephisto||Madoushin Faust|
Kuja Senran no Shou
|Reima Taikou Rafflesia|
Tenchi Shinmei no Shou