Zev Raregroove (OU)
(Zev's current appearance is that of Yoh Asakura, from the Shaman King manga.)
Zev Raregroove, First Prince of Jurai, is many things. He can be called a slacker, a warrior, a philosopher, and above all, someone who just wants to ensure that the people precious to him are safe. He is a veteran of BZPB, and in some way, has been a part of the many conflicts and events since either near or literally the beginning. He tends to periodically disappear without trace, but has always reappeared eventually.
- 1 Biography
- 2 History
- 3 Weapons
- 4 Spirit Ally
- 5 Abilities & Powers
- 6 Quotes
- 7 Alternate Universes
- 8 Trivia
Though Zev's appearance tends to change a lot, he's recently started to slow it down with the shapeshifting - Which makes it a lot easier to keep track of his looks. At the present time, he appears to have settled into his default form; he's either chosen not to abuse shapeshifting, or has possibly lost the ability altogether.
As can be seen in the picture in the infobox, Zev currently possesses long, slightly messy, almost-black dark brown hair, a tall and strong, but lean frame, and simple clothes. On his right hip, he carries a pair of orange headphones embossed with silver stars, and he seems to wear some kind of necklace.
In regards to other physical features, Zev's new form is much taller than before; now visibly towering over Vi, who wasn't even a head shorter than his last body. He also seems to keep a much more calm expression on his face as of now. In comparison to the wild grins and frankly crazed stares of before, he now seems to possess a relaxed half-smile and a serene, carefree look in his jade green eyes. Other than that, his presence itself now seems much more peaceful.
"Everything will turn out alright in the end." - Zev's personal mantra
Zev is essentially the wild card of BZPB's "all star" characters. He is consistently unpredictable, and never seems to let on the entirety of his abilities if he can help it. He tends to come off as goofy and laidback, but has occasionally shown a much more unnervingly calm and serious side; this side of him usually doesn't last long, though.
Known for periodically showing great insight in situations, Zev has a strange ability to resolve disputes and make allies - When he so chooses to stop causing such arguments...He is also very protective of his friends, and tends to sympathize with others in cases where he perhaps shouldn't. Quite a few of his alliances do not necessarily arise from an agreement in terms of ideals, but rather out of Zev's compassion for those who are needlessly suffering. Zev is nearly impossible to anger, but when it happens, his tranquil rage can be downright terrifying.
As the First Prince of Jurai, and thus first-in-line to one of the most prominent empires in the known Universe, Zev carries with him a great responsibility to become a compassionate, capable emperor. His calm, soothing qualities, coupled with a firm footing in his morals and responsibilities, will likely grow into qualities of an ideal ruler. However, Zev will certainly have to grow out of his carefree, lackadaisical nature a bit, first.
After his recent losses to Hyozo and Makoto Nanaya, Zev seems to have matured a bit. While he himself has said that he's still essentially the jerk that everyone "knows and loves," this is becoming less and less of a defining characteristic which each appearance. Zev's reaching a sort of epiphany has led him to become much more relaxed and focused. In comparison to his usual self, where he used to simply not care about dangers, the "new" Zev has shown that he's leaning more towards an optimistic and carefree outlook on life.
Though it is unknown if this is the full self-realization he was nearing, after some combat training with his little sister Tamao Glory, Zev seems to have become more aware of his abilities. According to him, he has realized what makes him a powerful warrior: adaptability and practicality.
One of the longest-lasting major characters in BZPB, Zev has appeared in some depiction or another since the outset. Though prone to biographical editing and hiatuses on the part of his controller, his present and accepted canon has made great strides in consistency whilst reconciling with discrepancies in the past. Regardless of these wrinkles in his tale, Zev has one of the most storied and involved roles in the game's lore, which unfortunately is only up to date with the present incarnation as hosted on the independent Forum.
Zev Is Back ~ Tell A Friend
Zev pulled one of his famous disappearing acts for a long, long time, but has reappeared traveling with Namah. He and Namah took out a band of Ethereal Marauders, and shortly thereafter, Zev engaged in combat with Wekiga. The tide of the battle turned back and forth between them, before Vi broke it up with a single shot from the Harkonnen.
Currently, Zev and Namah have been convinced by Vi to work with Wekiga in finding Lisa Lisa; Zev was very excited to see the Bebop II, to say the least. Moss and Shroom appeared on the ship, but have proven themselves allies. Zev spent some time training with Vi onboard the Bebop II, then retired to his room for a while. Finally, he brought an end to the sparring between Shroom, Moss, Chrome Dokuro, and Neb, to teleport onto The Ironclad. However, Wekiga, Namah, and Makoto Nanaya tagged along.
Later, Zev forged a ring of great power for Ynot. ...In the room where Blackout was being kept. Much later, after completing the ring and fighting evil knights, Zev joined in a tournament. He briefly interacted with Nefelpitou and Blegnekk, and proceeded to fight and defeat Roxas in the second round. After wandering around for a bit, Zev came across a suspicious character - "Blue Ring Swordsman" Hyozo.
Easily telling that something was afoot, Zev engaged Hyozo in a short, ferocious battle. Using a sword slash as a distraction, Hyozo was able to somehow poison Zev. Though Zev withstood the poison, Hyozo escaped with two allies in tow, and Zev himself was left greatly weakened. Thankfully, Dearest Mother was there to apply respiratory support, and he came out of it okay. After which, he played an epic song on a pipe organ.
At the current stage of the long tournament - Also called the tooooournament - Zev fought against Makoto Nanaya. In a turn of events that perhaps shocked Zev most of all, Makoto delivered to him his second defeat in an unusually short period of time. This, along with his earlier loss to Hyozo, seems to be pushing Zev towards a new level of maturity.
Arriving at the fight against Grudge, Zev uttered a mantra to free the oppressed spirit. He's said that his next order of business is to take a nap, but it is unknown if he'll accomplish this before something new arises. Indeed, he hasn't been able to accomplish taking a nap - As Misaki revealed that Zev's father and his sister set out to meet him.
Zev's Gentle Sister, Ahem, And What Came Of Her Arrival
Soon after that, Zev found his little sister, Tamao Glory writing on a scroll outside of a teashop. They chatted for a bit, and generally got re-acquainted. After going with Tamao to introduce her to the main group, he tried to avert a conflict with Ryoko, saying that the space pirate was "a friend now". Nonetheless, Tamao was so angered by Ryoko's presence that she immediately summoned her Spirit Ally to attack; causing Zev to scoop up Rutherfor and Ryo-Ohki to flee.
Following this little debacle, Zev and Tamao went along with a few others to watch Namah and Shroom's sparring match. However, when their match started to turn more violent than anyone was comfortable with, Zev and Tamao stepped in to calm things down. When Namah started crying in her apologies to Shroom, Zev went to comfort her; however, Tamao stopped him, saying to let them work out their own problems.
Immediately after Namah and Shroom reconciled, Zev and Tamao engaged in training combat. Zev very nearly took a lethal hit, but thanks to the battle, has realized what he calls his two combat principles: Adaptability, and practicality. According to him, this is reflected in Asabana's evolved OverSoul: O.S.: Jingi.
Following his training with Tamao, Zev's uncle and aunt - Mikihisa and Sagihime Raregroove - managed to find him. After some warm greetings, Zev and Shroom teamed up against Mikihisa and his Spirit Allies. However, Mikihisa proved too strong for even both of them together. Zev seems to have come to another realization about himself from Mikihisa's words during the bout.
After numerous misadventures which ended up with Zev once again aboard the Bebop II and on Kalta Thaea, a new threat known as the Shima Brothers made their move - Successfully lifting a mysterious computer that had been hidden onboard. Anna Raregroove - Zev's youngest sister - Alerted him to this development. Following this, they gathered a number of individuals together for a secret meeting.
One Royal Mess
There, it was revealed that what had been stolen was the Arboretum Notes, aka, the "Jurai Book of Secrets." As necessity demanded the knowledge be revealed, the identity of the Juraian Royal Family - Rulers of one of the very mightiest empires in the known universe - Was made known:
Jurai's ruling family is the Glory-Raregroove Family. Thus, it was soon made clear - Zev is First Prince of Jurai, and next in line to rule. Adjoining this to a story told by Nefelpitou much earlier, this also makes clear how Zev came to know Ryoko, how he long ago came to rule the lost miniature Universe, and countless other abstruse features of Zev - Including his staggering power for being a relatively unknown presence on the universal scale, and how he has so much knowledge on the BZPB world.
Knock On Wood?
Soon after, it was revealed exactly what the Arboretum Notes are...First of all, while it has not been brought up in plot terms, it is common knowledge in-universe how the planet Jurai came to such lofty power. Thanks to Masaki Raregroove, sister of Sunshine Raregroove (Who was the originator of the Raregroove bloodline, ruling alongside Glory bloodline originator Rayleigh Glory), it was discovered that their planet's mighty, sentient trees held another quality...
They could harmonize with both mechanical and organic systems, improving and prolonging them indefinitely. As such, while Jurai already held a quality of being outside the Universe's main timestream, those who the trees considered "worthy" and were bonded with directly could live indefinitely. Soon after, when Jurai entered their first major industrial revolution, the still-living Masaki Raregroove's further studies of the Royal Trees cemented Jurai's ascent to power: When joined to specially-made spacecraft, the resulting Tree Ships could produce Lighthawk Wings astoundingly easier and more efficiently than an average mortal.
This allowed them to safely and swiftly traverse Subspace; going farther distances and faster than any ship capable of being produced at that time. As well, it was not long before the incredible defenses held by Lighthawk Wings were discovered. With the combination of a competent Juraian Royal, their bonded tree, and the tree's bonded ship, one Juraian Tree Ship could decimate an average spaceship fleet.
Back into the story at hand, the Arboretum Notes are held as Jurai's most valuable files for their specific focus. The Arboretum Notes contain the entirety of Masaki Raregroove's three centuries spent on studying the Royal Trees and doing nothing more, as well as the minor discoveries made over the years after the original unit was built. With this kind of information at one's disposal, the Arboretum Notes would be the ultimate blackmail tool against Jurai.
It Can Always Get Worse
Unfortunately, the Arboretum Notes hold yet more secrets.
Following the revelation of the Glory-Raregroove Family's status and the detailing of the Aboretum Notes, Anna was forced to reveal information which had been entrusted to her. The Arboretum Notes contain certain files which, as she said before, would turn countless galaxies on their head:
Information on how to capture, subjugate, and control a Royal Tree's will for one's own intentions.
Zev and Tamao were distressed by this, needless to say.
Once again resurfacing after much time missing from the story, Zev and Namah have been assisting Klak and others with the war against Uterio di Armechio. After incidents including Vez taking control and going on a rampage, Zev and Sasuken began directly battling Uterio.
And we're forced to skip ahead once more. After Uterio's death, Zev, Namah, and Yoruichi Shihouin spent time exploring the planet Fanrong; became acquainted with Toph Bei Fong; cured Zev of casting sickness; and joined in the battle against Blackout and Omega Supreme. Injuries forced Zev to need saving by superhumans from an alternate Universe. However, Serrator joined in the battle and very nearly killed Zev's saviors, before Namah and Yoruichi's Zords stopped him.
Later, during their escape from Serrator's forces, Zev and company ended up trapped in a huge dock where yet more demons - Led by Antberry - Ambushed them. However, Ryoko came to the rescue, with the help of Aisha Clanclan and "Hot Ice" Hilda. When Fenrich stepped in to help in the battle, it was revealed that he was Zev's Steward during his time as ruler of the quasi-dimension known as the Netherworld.
After being brought to the Netherworld by Fenrich, Zev was caught-up on the political and military situation. Upon the group reuniting, they headed to an unexplored part of Zev's fortress known as the "Forbidden Cell". They encountered slight issues with low-ranked demons hired by Serrator to slow them down, but made it to the Forbidden Cell unharmed - Just in time to find that it had already been opened.
Within, a machine directed by Professor Nguyen Khan finished disabling the barrier holding the feared "weapon" inside, freeing it from its seal. The creature revealed itself to be Desco, the Supposed Final Boss. When Aisha poked fun at her size, Desco promptly zapped her.
This prompted Zev to go into a tirade about Desco's shortcomings as a final boss. Once their grievances were settled, the battle was allowed to commence. By battle's end, it had been revealed that Khan had created Desco; deemed her a failure; and abandoned her. For this reason, Zev twisted Fenrich's arm into caring for Desco when he would be forced to depart once again.
Later, after assorted misadventures, Zev and Namah have reunited, and retired to a beach planet to relax. There, Asabana has lent Zev assistance in training Shaern of Ynot's crew in the use of Dying Will Flames.
Despite having knowledge on wielding a variety of weapons, Zev mostly prefers to fight with katana, or really any kind of sword or blade.
A Zanpakuto shown being used by Zev recently, its sealed form is a regular katana with a dark blue-green hilt wrapping and a pewter tsuba.
- Release Command: "Leap", "Raise your voice in joy"
- Description: In its shikai, Dai Kirin becomes a short kambo staff - The length of Zev's forearm, colored solid black. Among its abilities are stimulating Zev's body with electricity to drastically boost his speed and reflexes, as well as enhancing the power of other zanpakuto nearby.
- Dai Kirin has displayed a second Shikai, Utahime Dai Kirin ("Songbird Great Qilin"). In this form, it becomes a gauntlet plated in armor that extends up to the elbow, and is mounted on the back of the hand with a dagger blade of a smooth teardrop shape that branches out to the sides with a pair of winglike blades. Thus far, it has displayed the capacity to freely launch the weapon on the back of the hand with a punch, imparting a great deal of explosive energy before zig-zagging back to its origin and giving off a screaming "song" as it flies.
Sacred Rock Knife 
An heirloom of the Juraian Royal Family, the Sacred Rock Knife has been passed down Zev's family for generations. Its origins are obscure, but it resonates strongly with those of the Glory-Raregroove bloodline. Since it passed into Zev's hands, he has used it as his primary medium for forming OverSouls with his Spirit Ally, Asabana.
The avatar of a kitsune-deity who was wrongly accused of murder, Zev has stated that Asabana is the spirit form from one of the three pieces of the Killer Stone left by the offended and wounded fox-woman. This connection to the Killer Stone gives Asabana the ability to spread a reduced imitation of the Killer Stone's curse-toxin through her touch, at will. Asabana is also an adept spell caster, benefiting her allies with her wealth of knowledge. She and Zev are prone to to bickering, but only in the form of playful arguments of close friends.
See Spirit of Earth
An incredibly ancient and incredibly powerful Earth Elemental, the Spirit of Earth was originally under the care of the Patch Tribe before it and the other four spirits sought out their destined masters. Zev's own Spirit of Earth is associated with manipulation of soil and stone, in addition to intense gravitational forces. It is possible that it can also manipulate plant life and metal ores, but this has not yet been ascertained.
Abilities & Powers
High Intelligence: Zev has shown surprising intelligence for his carefree nature and silly antics; most recently, where he planned to use the power of his family to protect Uterio di Armechio's conquered planets, since his inevitable death would leave them without his name to dissuade invaders.
Ambidextrous: As seen in his battle with Uterio, Zev is able to wield a sword in either hand equally well. However, Uterio is thus far the only opponent whom has forced Zev to wield his Zanpakuto and an OverSoul at once.
Seeker of Enlightenment: Denotes someone whom has already dedicated themselves to a search for Enlightenment in some way. Though such an individual has not yet found the 'Answer to Existence,' their journey thus far has still benefited them considerably. As far as Zev is concerned, his journey's current progress has benefited him with a calm focus that makes his skills more potent than he would be in a rash state of mind. His serenity even in the heat of battle allows him to think and plan on his feet, and come to conclusions regarding his opponent that may give him a vital edge. However, he is not yet impervious to the sway of aggression and petty rage, and if he is pushed too far, he will lose his advantages afforded by a calm mind under duress.
Vitrification: A calm mind and metaphysical balance afford resistance to mental intrusions and threats to the spirit. Zev's 'cooling off' began quickly after two utter defeats in short succession on Atuar Sadiares, and as a result, he has gained a certain serenity which helps safeguard his mind and spirit from assault.
Shapeshifting: (Note: Zev rarely employs this ability, and may have lost it for unknown reasons) One ability which Zev has famously had for a considerable span of time is his shapeshifting - no one knows for sure what his true appearance looks like... as of late, however, Zev has made zero use of what was once his signature ability. It has been implied that Zev gained this ability during his amnesiac stay in the Netherworld, following his defeat of Ryoko on Jurai where he freed her from Kagato's mind control.
Supernatural Metalsmith: Among his many talents, Zev is highly skilled at forging metal objects and even weapons of supernatural qualities. Though part of this comes from his own abilities, a large part of his handiwork's abilities are the result of materials that he alone has access to - One-of-a-kind fragments of weapons; the remnants of legendary creatures; the blood of great heroes...
- Zanpakuto Blacksmith: Zev is one of the few beings in the Universe with the skills required to forge a Zanpakuto. For a natural Shinigami, a Zanpakuto is a naturally created extension of their spirit, given the form of a blade. However, Zev has the ability to create Zanpakuto, with actual spirits. Usually, even he won't know what the spirit will be or what the Shikai will be like until its chosen user activates it.
Zanpakuto Spirit Materialization: One of Zev's abilities is the power to materialize a Zanpakuto's true inner spirit, not just a Shikai or Bankai manifestation. This is normally used so that the Zanpakuto's wielder can train personally with their spirit for Shikai and Bankai. However, there is a significant danger—Not all Zanpakuto spirits are friendly, and while they won't try to kill their wielders for the most part, they may try to attack nearby allies.
Zanpakuto Spirit Reassignment: By using an ancient, unorthodox magic, Zev is able to dissolve a Zanpakuto's spirit, before reconstructing it into a new form, connected to the former by things such as species and elemental affinity. He actually has a catalogue of options based on similar species and elemental alignments.
Spirit Perception: Zev is able to see and interact with spirits in a fashion normally beyond the scope of mortal ability.
Spirit Channeling: Another shamanic ability of his is to use mediums in order to give spirits a physical form. He has mastered this to the level that he can construct an effective OverSoul.
Mantra: Derived from the chants used in meditation for bringing serenity to mind, body, and spirit, Mantra can be applied through spells for various effects. Zev primarily employs Mantra as attribute enhancement spells, but he can also use them for such purposes as freeing spirits from enslavement.
For more details, see here
Numerous names apply to this being: Vez, Hollow Zev, or most accurately, the Hollow residing within Zev's consciousness. An unknown event in Zev's past caused this being to form, and ever since, it has been on-and-off vying for control of Zev's body. Though the two occasionally work together, their starkly differing personalities make cooperation difficult if not impossible. Vez possesses incredible combat instincts and physical aptitudes, but when he Hollowifies Zev's body, he has none of Zev's control nor training. Due to this, neither one distinctly has the advantage over the other when in control during every fight.
Typical Synchronization Rate: 32%
- "You can insult me...You can spit on me...You can even pour drinks on me. I'll just laugh that all off. But if you lay one finger on my friends...I'll kill you."
- "Pru! Pru~! Pru~u~u! You can stop dropping the cherry petals now! Lovely Pru-chan! Lovely, lovely Pru-chan! Lovely, lovely, lo -- AAAAAGGGHHH!!" *Entire basket of petals is dropped on him*
- "There's no crime in trying to save others from the darkness, even if they may seem outwardly evil...There's no evil in helping other people! Real evil...Is to turn your back on those in need...AND TO STOP TRUSTING IN OTHERS!!"
- "I warn you - This won't be a friendly duel. You all will die, or I will die. That's how battle has been for all of time. The one who wins gets to go home. The one who loses will be subject to the winner's mercies'." (Said to the Caged Ones before engaging them in combat)
- "Insects...Should not get above themselves." (Said to the Caged Ones)
- "...I shall give thanks for your respect to my warrior spirit, and repent for my disregard of yours...By taking the gloves off and ripping you apart. Prepare yourself, Roxas - I may not kill you, but you're going to feel this when you wake up for the next few mornings." (To Roxas, before engaging him in more serious combat)
- "In war, both sides are evil. Only a damned fool turns his back on an enemy who's in perfect health." (To Uterio during a battle)
- In the Spyverse, Zev was likely hunted down and killed along with Ynot when Sasuken was forced by Malygos to act as a spy and expose the location of his base.
- In the Shattered Mirror Universe, Zev is the most cliche villain there is. We're not kidding. Although, at the current time, he's more Sealed Crazy In A Can - As a scantly-detailed catastrophe related to "The Cauldron" sealed him into a pewter disc and left him little more than a gibbering maniac... well, in a more literal fashion than he was before.
- In the Dark Universe, Zev was a hired gun who made his money doing wetwork. He was killed when Namah deliberately left oil on a ladder he was scheduled to climb up, meaning he fell... from the hull of a spaceship down to the planet below.
- On English's World, Zev was one of the characters who gathered to stop Lord English, but was killed by the lord's wave of chaos energy.
- Zev Raregroove and his associated allies are easily the source of half, if not more of BZPB's inconsistencies and confusing plot elements. However, recent work on the part of his controller has been a major boon towards ironing out these narrative wrinkles.
- The name of Zev's partnered Royal Tree and Tree Ship has been revealed in passing to be Misaki - The same as his beloved mother.