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|Ah ha ha ha! EVERYONE wants my EXCLUSIVE "Je suis L'Belle!" brand products! [...] Well, they CAN'T have it! It's just for ME! It's not meant for you PEASANTS.|
Florent L'Belle was the flamboyant and narcissistic personal aide of Damian Tenma, mayor of Tenma Town. L'Belle had his own private line of beauty products called "Je suis L'Belle!", which were for his private use only, despite putting adverts for them on television. The epaulettes on his shoulders were actually cell phones used to answer calls from his business partners.
The plan[edit | edit source]
- Main article: The Monstrous Turnabout
L'Belle started his own line of beauty products and borrowed money in order to advertise them on television. However, his extreme narcissism caused him to refuse to actually sell his products, which meant that L'Belle soon found himself deeply in debt.
L'Belle's work as Damian Tenma's personal aide eventually led to him discovering the truth behind the feared Tenma Taro of Nine-Tails Vale mythology; it was not a bird-like yokai at all, but a large gold ingot hidden away in the Forbidden Chamber of alderman Rex Kyubi's manor due to the infighting it caused amongst the early Japanese settlers of the village. Seeing an opportunity to repay his debts, L'Belle began scheming to obtain the ingot for himself by forcing a merger between Tenma Town and Nine-Tails Vale so that he would have easy access. In order to create such a union, L'Belle began anonymously blackmailing Mayor Tenma by threatening to harm his daughter Jinxie Tenma if he failed to merge the two villages. Unfortunately for L'Belle, the mayor refused to make things easy for his blackmailer; although he publicly pushed for the merger, he secretly took on the persona of the masked wrestler known as "the Amazing Nine-Tails" and rallied the inhabitants of Nine-Tails Vale against L'Belle's scheme.
The alderman's murder[edit | edit source]
With his initial plan foiled, L'Belle decided to take a different approach. Knowing that the mayor and alderman were due to hold a private meeting in Kyubi Manor's Fox Chamber, L'Belle plotted to murder Alderman Kyubi then break into the Forbidden chamber. The meeting took place on the day of a festival held in Nine-Tails Vale, and L'Belle drugged the coffee of the two men. As the two men lay sleeping, L'Belle took a spear and stabbed the alderman through the chest with it, killing him. He then opened the Forbidden Chamber, only to discover that the ingot was not inside. However, he still needed to cover up his crime, and so he hid Mayor Tenma in the Forbidden Chamber, planted a blackmail letter in the alderman's pocket, and disguised himself as Damian by changing into his clothes and putting on the Amazing Nine-Tails mask. He then sat in a chair and screamed to attract attention. As planned, Jinxie came running in and mistook L'Belle for her father, as removing the mask of a wrestler is seen as deeply dishonorable, and "Damian" confessed to having killed the alderman to "his" daughter.
After Jinxie left the scene to call the police, L'Belle returned to the Forbidden Chamber to return the mayor to his seat. Unexpectedly however, a Tenma Taro-costumed Phineas Filch, the manor's caretaker, had snuck into the chamber in the meantime in his own attempt to steal the gold ingot. Blinded by the sudden light caused by the chamber doors opening, Filch darted past L'Belle and out into the hallway past Jinxie. L'Belle knew that the figure had been Filch, but first continued with his preparation of the crime scene by moving Mayor Tenma back to his seat and throwing the Amazing Nine-Tails mask out the window into the river below. L'Belle then searched out Filch and confronted him about his actions. The two men agreed to create a mutual alibi by saying that they had been in the manor's foyer during the murder.
Despite his best efforts, however, Damian Tenma's defense attorney, Apollo Justice (along with his investigative assistant, Athena Cykes), was able to piece together what had happened and expose the truth in court. Finding himself cornered, L'Belle broke down on the witness stand, repeatedly spraying himself with cologne until a cloud of it had formed around his head and screaming that he would "exterminate" Justice like he had Kyubi, thereby confessing to the murder. In doing so, his hair dye was removed, revealing his naturally white hair. To add insult to injury, he was then inundated with cell phone calls from people who had witnessed his admission, who proceeded to tell him that projects were canceled, sponsors were withdrawing, he was fired from his job as Tenma's aide, and he was being sued for damages totaling at $100 million. L'Belle then began quietly laughing to himself before yelling to the silent courtroom that he was finished. His head hung low, the now-former mayor's aide resumed quietly laughing to himself while his cell phones continued to ring.
After L'Belle was taken into custody by the police for his crimes, Simon Blackquill, the prosecuting attorney for the case, told the court that since L'Belle had "withered like a flower without water", an officer was at that moment "tending to him with a sprinkler."
Personality[edit | edit source]
|Why, if it isn't the mayor's little lawyers. What do YOU want with ME?|
L'Belle was an incredibly vain, self-centered, and flamboyant individual. Most of his personality revolved around an obsession with external beauty; he wore garish designer clothes, heavy make-up, and dyed his naturally white hair in a variety of different vivid colors. He believed that his products should be known to the world, although he wouldn't release them to the general public. He spent far more money than he had actual access to, racking up millions of dollars in debt. L'Belle also had the habit of emphasizing particular words when he spoke.
L'Belle was shown to have rather exaggerated mannerisms including; laughing at others in a mocking way while waving his hands, frequently massaging the flower on his coat, acting like wiping his tears when feigning sadness and most infamously spray others with his perfume when he felt annoyed while covering his nose, further emphasizing his belief that others are "filthy". L'Belle was self-absorbed to the point of delusion, believing himself beauty incarnate claiming any questioning on his person was an affront to beauty itself when nobody ever praised his looks or fashion and in fact even deemed him a freak, treating others like peasants despite his own precarious financial standing, and refusing to make his products available to the populace thinking they were not worthy of using.
For all his vanity, L'Belle proved an extremely intelligent individual creating and executing a scheme so complex even Justice was surprised by the extent of his plan. Careful to a fault he even planned to practice statements with Filch in order to provide false testimony, which failed mostly because of the latter's incompetence.
Name[edit | edit source]
- "Biyouin" (美葉院), his Japanese surname, means "beauty parlor".
- His Japanese given name consists of the kanji for "refined/elegant/graceful" (秀) and "one" (一).
- "Florent" is a name of Old French origin and means "in flower", which fits with his floral perfume and the rose on his lapel.
- His English surname "L'Belle" comes from "la belle", which is French for "the beautiful"; it should be noted that this is grammatically incorrect, as "l'" is only used for nouns beginning with a vowel in French, although it is possible to do so verbally in an informal setting. Normally, the masculine "beau" would be used to describe a man (being equivalent to "handsome" in English), with the choice of the feminine "belle" likely meant to be a reference to L'Belle's effeminate demeanour. The surname also sounds phonetically similar to "label" (tying into his cosmetics line and high fashion sense) or "libel" (reflecting his slanderous remarks and rumours concerning Jinxie and Damian Tenma).
Development[edit | edit source]
- His product line is named "Je suis L'Belle", which is French for "I am the beauty".
- Judging from some of his concept art, it appears that L'Belle was at some point intended to be female.
Cultural references[edit | edit source]
- On the second trial day, L'Belle's green hair, purple suit, and pale complexion is reminiscent of the Joker, the archenemy of DC Comics' superhero Batman.