Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Spotlight: Beelzebub

Parental Advice

Gather round. Gather round. It’s time for another Spotlight.

As I have said before, if you want to know things like author, publication date, magazine and all that stuff use that nice goggle-fu. This place is for story stuff.

Also, if you mind even light spoilers, then it is a pretty good idea to turn back now. I try to avoid it, but it just can’t be done sometimes.

Now let’s start!

The Story

Once upon a time there was a virtuous, kind boy loved by al-No, wait. That’s not right. Oops, wrong story.

Once upon a time there was a ruthless, violent high school delinquent feared by all. With his immense strength he crushed all who opposed him!

Thus he was perfect to raise the son o the Demon King.

See, the Demon King wants to destroy the human world. Humans are just so annoying. What with their huge numbers and Reality TV. Unfortunately, being the Demon King is a busy job. There are meetings and stuff to be done. Thus, he leaves the job to son.

Who is a baby. Who needs to be raised. By someone. Preferably evil and ruthless and strong.

Like Oga.

Thus starts the story of the child carrying badass.

The Setting

Tomorrow is a far away land!  

Despite dealing with demons and magic, most of the story takes place in high school, a high school with an absurd amount of delinquents but a high school still.  Most arcs deal with Oga fighting other high school students, which is not to say we don’t get magic or badass powers, because we do and plenty of it.

As the story advances the threats the good guys face increase in seriousness, yet the author manages to frame every conflict within a school fight.

In spite of the many supernatural elements, it is not wrong to call Beelzebub a high school based story.

How it Manages

Run. Really, run.

Pretty damn well.

Plenty of Fighting Manga have a point where things start to get “serious”. Comedy decreases. Action increases. Shoo out the clowns and bring in the blood.

One of the most notable things about Beelzebub is that it is averting this so far. As I said earlier, the author is trying to keep the most the conflicts within a school fight structure, which allows him to keep the lighthearted atmosphere.

Much like Oga says once “This is a fight, not a war. It doesn't matter if demons are involved or not. Don’t get your adult matters mixed in our fight.”

Despite dealing with plenty of serious business Beelzebub never loses sight of its comedic high school roots and that's perhaps its greatest strength, what sets it apart of from becoming just another Fight Manga.

It’s helped greatly in this Endeavour by a quirky cast of characters that are just fun to watch. Oga is badass and stupid. Furuichi is the worst/best friend ever. Baby Beel is a cute and silly. Himekawa is hilariously underhanded. Aoi is the tsundere swordswoman. And so on.

Reading Beelzebub is as much about the cool fights as it is about watching our cast of weirdos interacting.

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