Vanitas, also known as The Masked Boy (仮面の少年 Kamen no Shōnen), is a Keyblade wielder, the creation and second apprentice of Master Xehanort, the embodiment of the extracted darkness from Ventus's heart and the progenitor of the Unversed. Vanitas is one of the main antagonists in Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep.
Vanitas's name is derived from the Latin word for "Vanity" or "Emptiness", and was chosen for its meaning, as well as the fact that it sounded similar to "Ventus" and that it was a written pun on "Sora" in Japanese.
Four years before the events of Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, Ventus served as Master Xehanort's apprentice. The Keyblade wielder was sent to the Keyblade Graveyard, where he was forced by his master to face several heartless in an attempt to forge the χ-blade. Ventus was unable to use his darkness, and was knocked unconscious.
Master Xehanort then proceeded to use his keyblade to unlock Ventus's heart, extracting the darkness within and resulting in an orb of dark energy forming into a young boy in a mask who is then given the name "Vanitas" by Master Xehanort. The dark enigma is also the source of the Unversed, as well as a key component in Master Xehanort's plans.
Powers and Stats
Tier: At least High 4-C | At least High 4-C | At least High 4-C
Origin: Kingdom Hearts
Age: 4, but possesses the physiology of a teen
Classification: Embodiment of Ventus' Darkness, Source of the Unversed
Powers and Abilities: Superhuman Physical Characteristics, Magic, Levitation, Elemental Manipulation (Of the Fire, Ice and Lightning variety), Teleportation, Duplication, Healing, Darkness Manipulation, Energy Blasts, Afterimage Creation, Can create beings called Unversed from his own negative emotions, Can breathe in space, Regeneration (Low-Godly to Mid-Godly. After the destruction of his body and heart, Vanitas' thoughts and feelings manifested themselves as the Vanitas Remnant), likely immune to Soul Manipulation as the Vanitas Remnant (Lacks his heart due to it having been previously destroyed)
Attack Potency: At least Large Star level (Able to fight Ventus and Mickey at the same time, held his own against Terra, fought both Aqua and Mickey at the same time, and knocked out the former during the final battle in the Keyblade Graveyard) | At least Large Star level (Should be comparable to Twilight Xemnas given the similarities of an incomplete χ-Blade and a broken Kingdom Hearts) | At least Large Star level (By wielding a complete χ-Blade, Ventus-Vanitas likely possesses more power than even Twilight Xemnas)
Speed: Massively FTL+ (Capable of keeping pace with Ventus and has shown the ability to fly beside him in the Lanes Between) | Massively FTL+ | Massively FTL+
Lifting Strength: At least Class M+
Striking Strength: At least Large Star Class (Able to trade blows with the likes of Ventus, Mickey, Terra, and Aqua, the latter three being Keyblade Master-level opponents) | At least Large Star Class | At least Large Star Class
Durability: At least Large Star level (Able to take hits from Aqua and Ventus, even laughing them off after his first fight with Aqua) | At least Large Star level (Should be comparable to Twilight Xemnas) | At least Large Star level (Should be superior to Twilight Xemnas)
Stamina: Very high (Capable of fighting Aqua long enough to drive her unconscious)
Standard Equipment: Void Gear (His Keyblade), many Unversed.
Intelligence: Vanitas is an exceedingly skilled Keyblade Wielder and Magic user, being able to fight Keyblade Master-level opponents like Aqua and Mickey on even ground. Like his other half, Ventus, he is exceedingly quick and aggressive in combat, assaulting foes with high speed attacks and creating afterimages as he moves to confuse opponents and weaving in powerful magic like Blizzaga into his swordplay. He is also able to perform incredible acrobatics maneuvers to disorient foes such as riding waves of Keyblades and using them as battering rams. However, due to embodying all of Ventus's dark emotions, he displays a certain degree of pride and overconfidence, repeatedly underestimating Ventus's power which leads to Vanitas's ultimate defeat.
Weaknesses: Vanitas is sometimes overconfident and tends to underestimate his foes' abilities, Destroying the Unversed will cause him immense physical pain (However, he has shown great resilience to this, as, shortly after his creation, he kept creating and destroying Unversed out of his own self-loathing. See below for further clarifications)
- Afterimage + Blizzaga: After Vanitas is struck, he creates an afterimage of himself and appears behind his enemy to attack them, simultaneously casting Blizzaga.
- Flame Burst: Vanitas shoots off a large sphere of flames that can split into three smaller flames that home in on the target.
- Dark Thundaga: Vanitas jumps into the air and swings his Keyblade, striking the enemy with bolts of blue lightning.
- Eruption/Shadow Dive: Vanitas leaps up and dives underground, digging into the ground beneath his opponent, at which point he rises from the ground and fires several Firagas.
- Dark Spiral: Vanitas leaps into the air and charges at the enemy multiple times while surrounded with dark energy.
- Dark Splicer: Vanitas repeatedly teleports and slashes at his target, leaving behind an afterimage with each strike.
- Dark Cannon: Vanitas generates a large beam of dark energy from his keyblade, firing it at the enemy.
(Note: The Vanitas Remnant can use all of Vanitas's previous abilities)
- Spiraling Slash: Impales the target while spinning.
- Curaga: A healing spell that restores a great deal of Vanitas' vitality.
- Clone Burst: Vanitas surrounds himself with a black barrier and sends various shadow clones out at the opponent, before charging straight through the barrier and attacking himself.
- Dark Fang: Vanitas dashes around his enemy in a circle and summons spikes to surround them, before closing them in.
- X-Discharge: After charging up and landing a combo, Vanitas releases an X-shaped wave of energy that homes in to the enemy.
Key: Vanitas | With the Incomplete χ-Blade | Ventus-Vanitas
-The source of Vanitas experiencing pain when an Unversed is slain comes from the dubiously canon Japanese novels which serve as prequels to Birth by Sleep.
-Tetsuya Nomura revealed in an interview that the reason why Vanitas looks like Sora is due to Ventus's heart connecting with his. His original appearance, according to the Kingdom Hearts novel, is similar to that of a normal Heartless but with red eyes.