Cover of Bastard!!: Heavy Metal, Dark Fantasy volume 1 as published by Shueisha
(Basutādo!! Ankoku no Hakaishin)
|Genre||Dark fantasy, Post-apocalyptic, Supernatural|
|Written by||Kazushi Hagiwara|
|Magazine||Weekly Shōnen Jump (formerly)
Ultra Jump (currently)
|Original run||1988 – ongoing|
|Original video animation|
|Directed by||Katsuhito Akiyama|
|Produced by||Toru Miura|
|Written by||Hiroshi Yamaguchi|
|Music by||Kohei Tanaka|
|Released||August 25, 1992 – June 25, 1993|
|Runtime||30 minutes per episode|
|This article relies too much on references to primary sources. (October 2014)|
Bastard!!: Heavy Metal, Dark Fantasy (BASTARD!!-暗黒の破壊神- Basutādo!! Ankoku no Hakaishin?, lit. "Bastard!! The Destructive God of Darkness") is a manga by Kazushi Hagiwara. It first appeared in Weekly Shōnen Jump, in 1988, and continues to be published irregularly today in Ultra Jump. Currently, it spans 27 volumes.
Kazushi Hagiwara is an enthusiastic fan of heavy metal music and Dungeons & Dragons, using ideas from both of these in the Bastard!! story. Many characters and places in the story, for instance, are named after members of Hagiwara's favorite bands. Hagiwara also attributes the manga Devilman by Go Nagai as a primary influence on his artwork.
The manga is published in English by Viz Media. Only volumes 1–19 have been translated, with no plans to release the rest. Additionally, a six-part anime OVA was released in 1992. The OVA was released in North America by Pioneer in 1995. Bastard!! is one of Weekly Shōnen Jump's best-selling manga series of all time, with over 30 million copies sold by 2008.
In Bastard!!, the Kingdom of Metaricana is attacked by the four lords of Havoc. This prompts the high priest to ask his daughter to awaken Dark Schneider, a wizard and former leader of the Riders, from within the body of 14-year-old Luche Renren.
Bastard!!'s history is about sorcery, revenge, and other power struggles in a Dungeons & Dragons–like world. It is a dystopian world, where people need magic to survive against wild beasts, and evil monsters. There are four kingdoms, each one the protector of one of the four seals that keep the Goddess of Destruction in stasis.
While the first half of the manga follows most a theme similar to Dungeons & Dragons scenarios, it later also focuses on aspects such as beliefs, morals and religions.
- Dark Schneider (ダーク・シュナイダー Dāku Shunaidā, aka Darshu, D・S) / Rushe (ルーシェ・レンレン Rūshe Renren, aka Lucien, Lushe)
- Voiced by: Kazuki Yao (Dark Schneider) and Yuriko Fuchizaki (Lushe) (Japanese), Daran Norris (Dark Schneider) and Brianne Siddall (Lushe) (English)
- Dark Schneider is the main protagonist of the series, and is the most powerful wizard in the series. 15 years prior to the story's beginning, he had an army of thousands of wizards and warriors, led by his adjutants "The Riders of Havoc" (consisting of Arshes Nei, Abigail, Gara, and Kall-Su.) He was defeated by Lars Ul Meta-Licana, the prince of the kingdom Meta-Licana. He escaped death however by using his dark arts to reincarnate himself into the form of a young child. Geo Soto Noto, the head priest of Meta-Licana then sealed Dark Schneider's spirit so it would not resurface in the young boy. After all-out war erupted to break the seals of Anthrax, the high-priest ordered that Dark Schneider be unleashed into the world once again to conquer it. Dark Schneider's main goal is to take over the world and "have all the women in the world". The early part of the story is mainly based on him getting his crew back, known as the "Riders of Havoc" or the "Four Heavenly Kings", as well as achieving the power he once had so he can begin his goal of world conquest yet again.
- After losing his battle against Antrax (also called Anthrasax), who reveals himself to be an angel, Dark Schneider is cast into the depths of the upper levels of Hell and encounters Satan. Satan tells him that he is a major part of the end times prophecy, and will lead demons and mankind to war against God and his army. He also reveals that he is, in fact, Dark Schneider's "father", and thus deems Dark Schneider the "Anti-Christ" mentioned throughout The Bible. Dark Schneider, however, refuses to align himself with Hell and then is thrust into battle with the High Commander of Hell, Porno Diano. Four years later, he returns to Earth and fights alongside the Seraphim against the devil Konron (Conlon). His body is destroyed by Konron's Trelldor Spinning Fist attack, but his head survives.
- Tia Noto Yoko (ティア・ノート・ヨーコ Tia Nōto Yōko)
- Voiced by: Yuka Koyama (Japanese), Wendee Lee (English)
- Yoko is the main female role: A mildly prude, strong-willed and somewhat temperamental redhead, daughter of the Great Priest (and an 80% chaste virgin in the anime and a 100% chaste virgin in the manga), self-appointed guardian and friend of Luche. She is the primary love interest of Dark Schneider. She is the first to use the "virgin's kiss" to awaken Dark Schneider. Having undergone priestess training she does not show any magical talent until later in the manga (acting as the party's cleric) and never in the OVA. Despite this, she is the one person that DS fears and (mostly) respects.
- She disappeared during the four-years break in the series, apparently getting killed during the fall of King Crimson. In the same time, a woman with the same appearance and known as "Lilith" appeared alongside the Kings of Hell. She was found near the borders of the Lethe, and seems to have some memories about DS.
- Ninja Master Gara (ガラ Gara)
- Voiced by: Tessho Genda (Japanese), Steven Blum (English)
- Gara is a master of Ninjutsu, and at least the third (possibly the fourth) General that Dark Schneider took on. He attempted to slay Dark Schneider, who easily defeated him. Dark Schneider was moved by the boy's impetuous and strong-willed attacks, and so offered to take him on as a servant and fighter. Gara agreed. He commands a sword which can draw its life force directly from the swordsman, allowing almost unbeatable magic attacks. Unfortunately, the strongest attack is usually fatal to use.
- When he learned Dark Schneider had been re-awoken, he kidnapped Yoko; Dark Schneider was talked into tracking down the Ninja Master, at which point they battled; at the end of the battle Dark Schneider and Gara both lost an arm, prompting Gara to up the stakes by claiming he had intercourse with Yoko; he was hoping it would make Dark lose his fighting spirit, only to make the wizard horribly angry. It was at this point that Dark Schneider destroyed Gara's base, but kept everyone alive, and restored Gara's arm. Gara realized the error of his ways and rejoined Dark Schneider (the first Lord to do so).
- Thunder Empress Arshes Nei (アーシェス・ネイ Āshesu Nei)
- Voiced by: Rei Sakuma (anime) and Mami Koyama (drama CD, episodes 1-3) (Japanese), Mary Elizabeth McGlynn (English)
- A half human, half Dark Elf who was kept as a slave by the Wood Elves, Dark Schneider found her after she was abandoned by her tribe and took rare pity. She became both his daughter and his lover, being apparently similarly immortal (or at least long lived). She was his major confidant, and as such is aware of most of the same spells he is. To prove her loyalty to the Four Divine Kings in the manga, she let herself be cursed with the spell Accused by Abigail; in the anime, this compelled her to fight against Dark Schneider while her army marched on Meta-Rikana. In the middle of a magical showdown using Helloween, Lucien's spirit made Dark Schneider aware of what was driving his daughter to attack. DS was outraged and tore out his own heart to drive off the power of the Accused spell (later resurrecting himself). Arshes rejoins him at this point, and they destroy the advancing armies. She was the first Lord of Havoc to join Dark Schneider originally, and the second to rejoin.
- Kall-Su (カル＝ス Karu Su)
- Voiced by: Toshihiko Seki (anime), Ryo Horikawa (drama CD, episodes 1-3) and Shin-ichiro Miki (drama CD, episode 4) (Japanese), Richard Cansino (English)
- Kall-Su was the second general of Dark Schneider; he commands the Ice-Falchion, a great sword, and is innately magically powerful. His name is a reference to Kal Swan of the bands Lion and Bad Moon Rising. His past is revealed in the manga, but not in the anime- this was presumably scheduled for episodes five and six. Kall-Su was born in a distant village, his father being an Ice-Dragon in human form. He was feared by the villagers for this, as well as bullied and beaten. He disposed of the bullies through instinctive use of magic, and was condemned to a cave to die. At one point, in shame and fear, his mother attempted to slay him with the Ice-Falchion. Though the blow nearly cleaved Kall-Su's head in half, he slew her, and upon leaving the village, was stopped by a torch-bearing mob. He destroyed the mob with a glance, as well as the entire village, and was left to wander the ruins. Dark Schneider found him and took him aboard, declaring him a son, but mostly a slave and servant (in the manga, he evidently says You are mine.) He boasts extreme power, and is capable of transforming into an Ice-Dragon at will. He destroys the entire city of Whiteos-Neiki with his spell, Vizkaya, which freezes everyone in the Kingdom into solid ice. He is the last general left standing when the series unexpectedly terminates, and wishes for the apocalypse. It is explained in the manga that he was told by Anthrax to despise Dark Schneider, thus erupting into a battle between the two.
- Around volume 18 of the manga, Kall, Nei, and Gara figure out why "glowing beings of light" have started war against them via ancient computers in an underground base. They discover that the Apocalypse is fast approaching and the beings of light are in fact angels sent from God to kill a third of mankind (those deemed sinful for worshiping false gods). One of the twelve elves of Europa (riding an abomination looking similar to behemoth with human feet, and dozens of eyes) sees the three and is angered that they have discovered the reason behind the current events of earth through his computer system. After calling forth many monsters, they do battle. Before the battle evens starts however, they discover that there swords are going erupting with energy and seems to have lost their power.
- In volume 24, four years after the battle on earth, Kall-Su is found to be blinded (apparently from the scars over his eyes and face). He says that his power has increased exponentially over the past four years, though he doesn't know why. It is eventually made clear to him through "The Mysterious Boy" that he is filled with the same power as Elijah, and deemed worthy to be his successor. It is also said that he is the "true" king of Meta-Licana, and will eventually have to do battle with Dark Schneider alongside the "Mysterious Boy". Many people don't believe that he is Elijah's successor, namely the dwarf king Jeloy, who was armed with a mighty axe to repel this fact. He and his men, however, were stopped by Lars, thinking that he was truly Elijah's successor (as he is a well-known hero in the dwarven kingdom). He corrects their statement, saying indeed that Kall is Elijah's successor and was told to do the work of God.
- After leaving the dwarf kingdom, Kall-Su decides to go to the world of spirits to seek help, and awakes a mighty giant from his frozen slumber. The giant curses him for violating "holy" land, and says that he will have to die for his "sins". Kall claims that "death will not be enough to atone for my crimes in this world" and throws a ball of super-condensed water at the giant, throwing his ice falchion at the ball to release a surge of water upon the giant, returning it back to captivity in a pillar of frozen ice. Nei approaches him and tells him that it's not like him to be so rash. The ground begins to rumble and a gigantic gate way appears before the two, Kall claims that he will journey to the realm of spirits to try to ask for help against the upcoming war on Earth.
- Dark Priest Abigail (アビゲイル Abigeiru)
- Voiced by: Ryuzaburo Otomo (Japanese), Richard Epcar (English)
- Abigail is a bit of an enigma: He is the Fourth Lord of Havoc, and quite powerful. He claims to be the Priest and the Hand of Anslasax, and explains that he has existed since the days of the Old World, and exists to facilitate the resurrection of Anthrax. He curses Arshes with the Accused spell, which forces her to obey him, as if she does not, her body will be destroyed, and she will return as an immortal toad. Alone of all of the group he is able to take the "three keys" which seal the God of Destruction in sleep, and begin the spell to resurrect her. Abigail is destroyed by Dark Schneider in the end, though he almost succeeds in killing Dark Schneider, Yoko, Arshes and Gara. In the "Requiem of Hell" (a second part of BASTARD!!), he is seen communing with Dark Schneider and his friends, the Samurai. After the angel attack on earth, Abigail converts his spirit into the mainframe grid system of the flying arc King Crimson Glory. Though it hasn't been mentioned in the manga directly, there are clues that Abigail may be the "false prophet", the servant of the Antichrist mentioned in The Holy Bible.
- Lars/Rarz (ラーズ Rāzu)
- Voiced by: Masami Kikuchi
- Lars Ulu, whose name is a reference to Lars Ulrich of Metallica, is the prince of the kingdom Meta-Licana. He is said to be Meta-Licana's greatest warrior, due to him having the ability to slay armies of thousands single-handedly. A portion of his power comes from the "blood of dragons" flowing through his veins, giving him the increased vigor, power, and speed, as well as the ability to use the "Ki", or spiritual power of the dragon for his attacks. He wields the dragon sword "Heavy Metal", a translucent blade with monstrous attack power, made even more lethal as it absorbs the "ki" of dragons to increase its destructive force.
- Fifteen years before the story starts, he fought Dark Schneider in a battle that would last for several days. Dark Schneider has already succeeded in conquering most of earth at this time and would only need to get a few more kingdoms to rule to world. Lars found himself losing the battle and hadn't the chance of victory. Finding no other choice, he summons the "Dragon Knight", a mechanical robot that towers over 500 meters and was original made by the Twelve Wise Men of Europa. The dragon itself, absorbing and multiplying the spiritual energy of anyone who used it, proved useful and helped Lars kill Dark Schneider. The Dragon Knight itself however was cursed, as it was meant to be used against Anthra-Sax, not Dark Schneider, and transformed him into a baby dragon. After the death of Dark Schneider, Lars is said to have gone missing, or even died, as no one knew what truly occurred on that day.
- In the form of a baby dragon, Lars spends his time looking for a successor to the Dragon Knight. He was eventually found by Gara, the ninja master and one of the "Four Lords of Havoc" and made to be his pet. He even follows Dark Schneider around to observe him, knowing full and well that they were once deadly enemies. Right before the angel attack on earth, the Dragon Knight was destroyed by Anthrax, thus freeing Lars from its spell. He tells Geo and the rest that the Dragon Knight isn't holy as they once thought and it was the reason behind his cursed form.
- During the angel attack, Lars fights on against the angels using the power of the dragon. He is the last to stand his ground (as the Sorcerer Shoguns and Samurai were slayed), though he eventually is killed by the higher ranked angels.
- Bon Jovina/Von Jobina (ボン・ジョヴィーナ Bon Jobina)
- Named after the artist Jon Bon Jovi, Bon Jovina is the unfortunate Captain of the Guard of Meta-Ricana. He is constantly being crushed by enemies, but appears to be quite durable, because he survives being smashed by a Hydra, pummeled by a Minotaur with a giant war hammer, flattened by two walls, and blasted through two walls by the Hurricane Sword. He dislikes Dark Schneider greatly, but is very loyal to the princess.
- Currently, Bon Jovina is in the Halls of Gathering with the other races of half-humans around the world to decide what to do about the upcoming battle.
- The Princess Sheila (シーラ 姫 Shīra Hime)
- Voiced by: Konami Yoshida (Japanese), Bridget Hoffman (English)
- Princess of Meta-Rikana and Lars's sister, she is strong and determined, but only somewhat magically powerful. She has been taken in by Dark Schneider's charms, even going as far as admitting that she "loves" him.
- Geo Noto Sort/Soto
- Voiced by: Nobuo Tanaka (Japanese), Simon Prescott (English)
- The powerful cleric father of Yoko, he transformed and imprisoned Dark Schneider in the form of Rushe at the end of the Great War which occurred 15 years before the main storyline.
- Sean Ari
- Voiced by: Wakana Yamazaki
- In the manga, Sean Ari was described by Hagiwara as a war orphan who was probably raised and taught High Ancient Magic by Arshes Nei, employing talismans to aid her and becoming one of the three Sorcerer Generals under Arshes' command. When DS' first resurrection was discovered, Sean Ari was ordered to assassinate him: Disguising herself as a lord's daughter, using her feminine wiles and virgin body, she very nearly succeeded; DS only realized how much trouble he was in when he noticed marks made by armor on Sean Ari's upper body. The lecherous wizard proceeded to seduce Sean Ari, and her loyalties shifted from Arshes to him. Sean had a minor role in the OVA.
- Kai Harn
- Voiced by Yuko Kobayashi (Japanese), Debra Jean Rogers (English)
- Featured in the manga and a small role in the anime, Kai Harn is a wizard-warrior, the second Sorcerer General. She is a master of the ancient Hariken style of swordsmanship and forgotten magic, and her magical skill is greater than that of Sean's. Dark Schneider encountered her in a town where the citizens had been turned to stone, at first mistaking her for a boy with a crush on Sean Ari, and proceeded to taunt Kai with misinformation about Sean's virginity. Using a spell that turned humans into statues, the enraged Kai gained the upper hand in their fight and would have killed DS, had Sean Ari not interfered and stalled her long enough for DS to find out the source god of Kai's magic (Yng Wie, obviously a reference to the musician) and overpower it with the power of his patron god, Black More. On the verge of defeat, Kai summoned a cockatrice to petrify both DS and Sean Ari, only to have victory snatched away as she was injured by the cockatrice. Dark Schneider helped "care for" her wound against her protests, seducing and winning her in the process.
- Voiced by: Shigeru Chiba
- The third Sorcerer General, a wizard who turned himself into a vampire before he joined the dark army. Di-Amon is modeled after death metal legend King Diamond, even showing a love of music, singing and facepaint in the OVA. The voice is similar as well. He sought the power to overthrow Arshes Nei and Kall-Su by drinking the blood of many virgins. In the anime, Yoko, who was sent to find the absent wizard, was captured by a werewolf working for Di-Amon; in the manga, the werewolf was killed by Dark Schneider as Lucien, prompting Di-Amon to step in and imprison Yoko, Larz, and Lucien. Sean Ari and Kai Harn were also captured, but this was a ruse that led to a magical battle with Di-Amon. Unfortunately, Di-Amon was very nearly invincible, which led to Kai being bitten, and Sean would have shared that ordeal, had Yoko not defended her. After a struggle against the seal and Lucien's will, Dark Schneider broke free on his own when Yoko was injured by Di-Amon, and proceeded to defeat the vampire with superior cunning (and egoism). Di-Amon was turned into dust by the light of dawn, then rose as a giant bat, which DS promptly placed under the Accused spell. In later issues of the manga, Di-Amon has reappeared, working his hardest to fight for Dark Schneider, whom he now calls his "beloved master". His nail remains bright blue.
The version of Bastard!! released in North America differs in a few ways from that released in Japan. The major differences are the changing of place names. The manga and anime both name places, spells (and some people) after various heavy metal bands, such as Metallica, Judas Priest, Whitesnake, and Anthrax, and the spells Megadeth, Venom, Guns N' Roses, and Helloween. Fearing lawsuits, Pioneer took the Japanese transliterations of these band names and changed them somewhat, then transliterating them back to English: Megadeth became Megadeath, Helloween became Haro-Wing, Whitesnake became Whiteos-Neiki, Guns N' Roses was shortened to Guns-N-Ro, and Anthrax became Anslasax. The main city in which the adventure takes place, Meta-Ricana, is actually Metallicana.
- Volume 1: ISBN 4-08-871063-0
- Volume 2: ISBN 4-08-871064-9
- Volume 3: ISBN 4-08-871065-7
- Volume 4: ISBN 4-08-871066-5
- Volume 5: ISBN 4-08-871067-3
- Volume 6: ISBN 4-08-871068-1
- Volume 7: ISBN 4-08-871069-X
- Volume 8: ISBN 4-08-871070-3
- Volume 9: ISBN 4-08-871831-3
- Volume 10: ISBN 4-08-871832-1
- Volume 11: ISBN 4-08-871833-X
- Volume 12: ISBN 4-08-871834-8
- Volume 13: ISBN 4-08-871835-6
- Volume 14: ISBN 4-08-871836-4
- Volume 15: ISBN 4-08-871837-2
- Volume 16: ISBN 4-08-871838-0
- Volume 17: ISBN 4-08-872241-8
- Volume 18: ISBN 4-08-872242-6
- Volume 19: ISBN 4-08-872243-4
- Volume 20: ISBN 4-08-872651-0
- Volume 21: ISBN 4-08-872759-2
- Volume 22: ISBN 4-08-873131-X
- Volume 23: ISBN 4-08-873563-3
- Volume 24: ISBN 4-08-873877-2
- Volume 25: ISBN 4-08-874492-6
- Volume 26: ISBN 978-4-08-874672-2
- Volume 27: ISBN 4-08-870171-2
- Data Book: ISBN 4-08-873703-2
Left to Right
- Volume 1: ISBN 1-59116-002-2
- Volume 2: ISBN 1-56931-769-0
- Volume 3: ISBN 1-56931-861-1
- Volume 4: ISBN 1-56931-826-3
- Volume 5: ISBN 1-59116-092-8
Right to Left
- Volume 1: ISBN 1-56931-952-9
- Volume 2: ISBN 1-56931-968-5
- Volume 3: ISBN 1-59116-247-5
- Volume 4: ISBN 1-59116-326-9
- Volume 5: ISBN 1-59116-506-7
- Volume 6: ISBN 1-59116-134-7
- Volume 7: ISBN 1-59116-742-6
- Volume 8: ISBN 1-59116-837-6
- Volume 9: ISBN 1-4215-0050-7
- Volume 10: ISBN 1-4215-0219-4
- Volume 11: ISBN 1-4215-0379-4
- Volume 12: ISBN 1-4215-0434-0
- Volume 13: ISBN 1-4215-0435-9
- Volume 14: ISBN 1-4215-0436-7
- Volume 15: ISBN 1-4215-0878-8
- Volume 16: ISBN 1-4215-0879-6
- Volume 17: ISBN 1-4215-0880-X
- Volume 18: ISBN 1-4215-1600-4
- Volume 19: ISBN 1-4215-2195-4
In the anime, the six episodes tell of the awakening of Dark Schneider and his subsequent attempts to destroy his old allies (The Four Lords of Havoc) and take over the world, while winning over multiple love interests. Dark Schneider had been imprisoned fifteen years earlier, trapped inside the body of Yoko's friend Lucien following a failed attempt to take over the world. In the meantime, his four generals attempted to resurrect the god Anthrasax, who would bring about an apocalypse and create the Sorcerer's Kingdom from the ashes of the old world. The story takes place in the future, a post-apocalyptic time following the release of Anthrasax at the height of Modern Civilization. Technology is gone and magic has asserted itself as a force in the world. Shortly after the fall of the modern world, demonic creatures began to appear en masse and forced humans to revert to a feudalistic, city-state based society. With scenes missing in between episodes, the episodes are rather disjointed. The story ends on a cliffhanger, unlike in the manga.
Bastard!! was made into a 3D fighting game for Super Famicom as well as a role-playing video game with turn-based fighting elements for PlayStation. The PlayStation game was only released in Japanese, but is available as an import to western countries.
A MMOG platformer called BASTARD!! ONLINE is also in development by the Japanese publisher Tecmo and software developer Shaft. A beta test was released in 2006, however, Tecmo has canceled development of it as of Friday December 18, 2009.
- "Top Manga Properties in 2008 - Rankings and Circulation Data". Comipress. 2008-12-31. Retrieved 2013-03-29.
- "BASTARD!! ONLINE". Tecmo Internet Studio. Archived from the original on July 5, 2008.
- "Tecmo Cancels Bastard!! MMORPG's Development". Anime News Network. December 18, 2009. Retrieved January 9, 2010.
- Bastard!! at Viz Media
- Kazushi Hagiwara's official website (Japanese)
- Animerica review
- Bastard!! (manga) at Anime News Network's encyclopedia
- Bastard!! (OVA) at Anime News Network's encyclopedia