No. 28: Beelzebub

by Ryuuhei Tamura

beelzebub1

Genre: Action, Comedy, Demon, School, Shounen, Supernatural

Status: On-going

Summary:

The story follows the “strongest juvenile delinquent”, Oga Tatsumi, a first year in “Ishiyama High” the school for delinquents. One day while sleeping next to a river he sees a man floating down it, he pulls him to shore and the man splits in half revealing a baby boy. This boy is the son of the demon king and he has been chosen as the one to raise it with the baby’s demon maid Hilda. The story follows his life with the child and at the delinquent school (Source: Wikipedia).

The introduction sounds crazy. By first glance, this manga seems like something that has no plot whatsoever. I totally agree. At the time when I first saw this manga, I almost ignored it. After a few days, when I clicked on this title out of curiosity, I discovered that Beelzebub is a pretty solid manga after all.

Beelzebub is shounen manga (Shounen Jump) published since 2009. It belongs to various categories such as action, comedy, demons, school, and supernatural.

I’ll list a few good/bad points about this manga:

Beelzebub 3

  1. The story mixes comedy and action in a smooth flow: In other words, the comedy in Beelzebub is not just a filler chapter. If I recall correctly, the comedic parts appear within fights, and they are pretty hilarious.
  2. Oga, the protagonist – not your typical shounen protagonist: Unlike most main characters who are warm-hearted youths consumed by the urges to fight, to protect, and to win, Oga puts up a cold, expressionless face most of the time. His greatest wish is to become the strongest delinquent in the whole country (in this aspect, it is quite similar to Naruto, who wants to become the Hokage, or Luffy, who wants to become the pirate king). As a shounen protagonist, he retains the typical i-don’t-give-a-shit-about-anything attitude, but lacks the usual immaturity. He is funny, “evil”, kind, and would overcome the impossible not by the power of friendship or feeling, but by learning from his opponents amidst life-threatening situations.
  3. Hot-blooded fighting scenes: Try it. The unique setup in beelzebub ensures that the fighting scenes between Oga and his opponents are no less epic than those in Naruto, Bleach, and One Piece.
  4. Lack of Plot: The major weaknesses of this manga are the pacing and the lack of a coherent story told throughout Beelzebub. There were some good plot turns and twists that captured my attention at some points. After around chapters 100, the plot disappears and comedy/silliness kicks in.

Beelzebub 2

Note: I read this manga a long time ago, so I forgot a lot of things about this manga already. If I reread it in the future, I will update this post.


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