Manga, 7 volumes (thus far)
By Tamura Ryūhei
Genre: Action, Comedy, Martial Arts, School Life, Shounen, Supernatural
In this gallow’s humor manga, a street tough, Oga, happens upon a strange baby. Lo and behold, the baby is the Demon King’s (read: Satan) son. The Demon King is a procrastinator’s procrastinator from way back, and foists his son upon whatever human Baby Beel will choose as his parent, all in an effort to wipe mankind off the earth. The growing pains will be difficult to say the least, but with Hilda, the hot Nanny from Hell, and Oga’s condescending, yet smart, friend, Fuichi, Baby Beel is in, dare I say, good hands?
You’ll notice that the artwork is much like Bleach or FMA. In fact, Oga looks a lot like Roy Mustang. Nothing comparable to DeathNote, but it is great artwork nonetheless.
It does not get much more fresh than this manga. The whole Manichean battle between good and evil that plays out in films like THE EXORCIST, THE OMEN, etc. gets turned on its stupid head. In Beelzebub, we find ourselves rooting for Baby Beel, Oga, et. al, not because it fits some tired anti-hero paradigm, but rather there is a realization that the humans portrayed in this manga are the type who, if caught in an Apocalypse, you’d say, “It couldn’t have happened to a nicer bunch of folks.” I also like the foster father side of this manga. You will see Oga has some life lessons to teach Baby Beel, and he is indeed a fast learner.... Maybe Baby Beel chose Oga with good reason?
Baby Beel: He doesn’t say much. He’s a baby, after all. But he is really running the show, so to speak. And a lot of his character is based around funny faces he makes, the way he latches onto Oga, his weird devil baby baby drama, etc.
Oga: A street tough, who, under his gruff exterior, probably does not have a softer side. He is like Kenpachi from Bleach insomuch as he lives to fight and is very good at fighting. The guy is like a walking switchblade!
Fuichi: Oga’s smart alec right hand man. Every once in a while ha says something he thinks is deep, only to have Hilda or Oga go off on him.
Hilda: The Nanny from Hell. Literally. She provides much of the fanservice in this manga, but it is not over the top, and her character is that of a Rotweiller, like those that used to guard the Roman soldiers’ camps at night, fiercely loyal and deadly. She makes the nanny from THE OMEN look like a light-weight. Drawn much like Misa Misa from DeathNote, but she is a strong character, not weak and subservient.
I’m not very far into this manga, but I found it to be, overall, not your typical manga. I like the supernatural aspects, and how the author pokes fun at the whole anti-Christ mythology. It’s also sort of misanthropic to where you find yourself rooting for Baby Beel and his destiny to destroy mankind. Queue evil laugh.