Beelzebub (Shounen) by Tamura Ryuuhei – Rating: 8.5/10
Synopsis: First year student Oga Tatsumi is the strongest juvenile delinquent in Ishiyama High, a notorious school made up of solely yankees. One day, while up to his usual shenanigans (i.e. making people bow before him, lol). Oga comes across a body floating in the river and fished the man out of water. At that moment the man split open in two revealing a baby boy. This incident changes Oga’s life forever as the baby becomes fixated with and permanently latched unto him. It wasn’t until later, when a mysterious but beautiful girl appeared before him claiming to be the baby’s wet nurse, that he discovered that the adorable baby that wouldn’t separate from him was Kaiser de Emperana Beelzebub IV, the child of the Demon King and said infant had chosen Oga to be his parent and Oga is expected to raise him to become a powerful and wonderful demon so he could later destroy the human world!
Oga finds himself dragged into the world of demons against his will, as, if separated for too long and for too great a distance or if he feels as if his parent is being hurt, Baby Beel, as he becomes affectionately called electrocutes anyone and everyone that is within his range, including Oga. Throw in people trying to use Baby Beel against Oga as a way to take down the strongest delinquents and demons planning to assassinate the young child and his host parent along with him and you have an epic adventure that will leave you rolling with laughter in tears.
Mood: A riot. That is the only way to describe Beelzebub. It is absolutely, hysterically hilarious. Oga is a mental case and just doesn’t give a shit, and you know how I feel about characters like that. he faces down demons with the same mentality that he faces his human schoolmates that try to take his place as at the top. Anyone who gets in his way or interrupts him or annoys him or looks at him too hard (lol) gets punched into the face and to the ground, or into the ceiling…or into a wall. Oga is tooo strong and, adding in Baby Beel’s demon power, which is channeled through him (without him Baby Beel would be just like an average baby), he himself becomes like a monster. His fight scenes are just epic, as is his antics and general behaviour.
Furuichi, Oga’s “best friend” is also a complete moron in the fact that he is also stupidly funny. The two of them together makes it just too much sometimes. Add in Baby Beel who is just one of the cutest manga babies (especially for a shounen/fighting/demon manga) EVER (lol I love that he never has on clothes and they are always showing off all his little privates) and it’s just precious. He is just too adorable especially when he tries to be manly and like Oga. I want to just crush him in my arms. The other characters, especially bigger ones like Hilda, Alaindelon and a few more of Oga’s schoolmates that he becomes quite close to, just really complete the picture and really fill out the manga and make it one of the best things that I have ever read in the shounen genre and overall in the manga world.
Artwork: Nice. A bit scratchy/grainy at times but I generally tend to like that kinda style and it is a very shounen-ish technique. A great amount of detail is paid to expressions…especially to the fiercer expressions and the stupider ones, so you either get the chills or are dying of laughter. Tamura-sensei is a great artist and it shows. There isn’t a huge amount of detail background and setting wise unless it plays a huge part and has something to do fundamentally with what is going on in the manga. Normally it’s just blank backgrounds, maybe sometimes there are some special effects, at best a cracked building or something but that doesn’t take away at all from what’s happening. The picture below of Oga, Hilda and Beelzebub = <3. I love Hilda. She’s so wonderfully powerful and hot :|. My kinda woman. I wish she were my wet nurse. heh.
Consensus: A must-read! You will not regret it. It has everything you could ask for in a shounen manga. Seriously. You will love it. It’s a really brilliantly thought-out manga. I feel like I’m repeating myself but it’s really just so amazing…*sigh*.
About the Anime: In January of this year (2011), an anime adaption of the series was produced under the direction of Nobuhiro Takamoto. To be frank, I waited in great anticipation for its release and when it finally came out I was disappointed. It’s adequate at best. Sure it’s hilarious, just like the manga, and Oga is really a character per usual as is Baby Beel. All the voices, surprisingly seemed to fit for the most part. I can’t really put my finger on it but it just didn’t click with me. You know? When something is good but you just can’t seem to take a liking to it? I think it’s mostly because of how they portrayed Baby Beel. They had him whining and crying and bitching every 2 mins and his crying was WAY more annoying that I had imagined it in my head when I was reading the manga. I wanted to throttle him in the anime and in the manga he was just…perfect. He had me laughing and rolling every other page…in the anime…I just wanted him dead. But maybe that’s just me. My weirdness aside, it’s not a bad depiction of the manga. It’s actually pretty good, or so I hear. Honestly though, I didn’t watch past episode 5…if that much. To each his/her own.
Random Rant Time: Poor Baby Beel…why won’t Oga put clothes on him? LOL. Actually, I think he doesn’t like clothes and I think he looks adorable without them in a stupid, affectionate parent, non-creepy, non-paedophile kinda way. I put up a half picture to protect his cute self from all you creepers!
More Ratings for Beelzebub:
§eraph: 8.5/10 – The funniest manga I’ve ever read thus far! Oga….is a frickin’ BEAST! Also, I love it when baby Beel cusses: Mah mah mah!!! lol. This manga is highly entertaining, downright hilarious and faced paced from the very beginning. I have high hopes for it. It’s as original as a mainstream action packed shounen comic can get these days. I get so annoyed by the obscene amount of manga that have demons in it or some kind of dark and cultic feel to it 😐 I didn’t want to read this because of the name ‘Beelzebub’ (which means demon, devil, Satan or aka NOT cool -_-). However, so far, it does not give off any weird satanic vibes and it better stay that way. Hmph. By the way where the heck are baby beel’s clothes?! 😄 This is a definite recommendation though, despite the name being a possible turn off for some. Go read it now!
§tiggles: 8.5/10 – Beelzebub is one of my favourtie manga. It never fails to make me laugh. Ever. And it’s got good fight scenes too, all while maintaining a high level of funny. A definite must read.
Status: Ongoing. 10 volumes, 112 chapters to date. Usually comes out weekly 😄 (We like weekly manga.)
Year of Release: 2009
Age Rating: 13+