Kiyomaro Takamine, genius middle schooler, is greeted one morning by Gash Bell, a boy with a mysterious red book. Tasked by his father to decipher it, Kiyomaro soon learns Gash is no ordinary boy. Able to shoot lightning from his mouth at the chant of a word, Gash is a demon child—one apart of a war that takes place every 1000 years to decide the Demon King. With Kiyomaro being the only one who can read Gash's book, the duty of partner is thrust on him in this exciting tale of friendship, determination, and melons...?
Konjiki no Gash!! was published in English as Zatch Bell! by VIZ Media and 25 volumes were released from August 9, 2005 to June 9, 2009. Publication was discontinued following the aftermath of Makoto Raiku's suing of Shogakukan for losing some of his original artwork.
If you're the kind of person who appreciates a good story about demons, fighting, friendship, and growing up, then Konjiki no Gash Bell could be right for you. The characters are believable, the logic is easy to follow, there are no long random deviations from the main plot of the story that don't somehow tie in, and most importantly, it ends.
I think that for the most part the characters in this series are those that could be conceivable in the real world. Obviously not all aspects of each character could be perceived as true in our reality, but I do believe that most, if not
all of the characteristics for Kiyomaro as he grows as a character in this series are those that would follow if someone in his same situation was given a chance to grow as he was.
There are some stories where the storyline can become really complex because of logical errors or logical complexity. Sometimes it's just how the publisher/editors have chosen to rewrite the Japanese text, and other times it is just that the author chooses confusing and winding logic instead of simple, easy-to-follow logic. I personally get annoyed when there is a simple efficient answer to a problem, but the characters in a series take the roundabout route, even though they are smart enough to realize that the choice that they've made, though it achieves the same end, is too difficult for a slower member of their group to understand. One of the best things about this series is that whenever a strategic move is used, there is no difficult, hard-to-grasp strategy-- just the most simple and efficient, as if the reader had also been in mind.
In anime, tangents to the plot are called fillers. Fillers are annoying because the characters in fillers are usually never to be seen again characters who don't advance the story at all. Every character in this story advances the plot even by a little bit. This means that most of the tangential things in this book end up not actually being tangential. But this only applies to certain characters within the manga itself-- like most manga that has also been adapted into anime, there is a movie, and those characters have no bearing on anything.
Finally, this series ends. I know it seems stupid to mention this, but there is a saying that all good things must come to an end, but sometimes authors don't seem to realize when a story must end. When you understand what the idea of the story is, what the goal of all the characters are, then you understand that once that goal is met, the story must terminate, and it does. The author does not throw a wrench into the works and add another plot to a story that's dying down-- he just allows the story to end. It's wonderful and sad all at once, especially if you end up enjoying the series.
I thought the story was great-- but I had the chance to watch the anime while reading the manga and I don't really enjoy the fillers as much, so I give it a 9. I do like the art work a lot as well, it's really well done in both the anime and the manga. The characters were wonderful, and I enjoyed being able to watch and read their stories. Overall, this series gets a 10 from me!
The power of friendship... This is what the manga is all about. And the development of the characters through harsh battles and the bonds they have with one another. 100 demons and 100 human partners with complementing personalities, all of them in the fight to become king, all of them with their own reasons for fighting. The characters, even that who appear in only one chapter, are greatly developed, fun and deep. The story keeps you wanting to see the next chapter, with a plot that starts low, and then gow up to a complex storyline. The fights should be enough even for the most
hardcore battle fan. With mighty battles that leave you wanting to read non-stop. The art functions very well, from the comedic sequences, to the tear-jerker scenes, especially the emotions in the faces of the characters. Above everything else, it's fun. This is a manga everyone can read, and become bonded to the characters and story, at least it will not be a time wasted.
"One seed gives birth to one million melons." Did you know that? What could be more amazing than one million melons!? Just thinking on it I feel like singing... Dun Dun Dun... Dun Dun Dun... Catch my heart! Berry Melon! Berry Melon... Catch my heart! Berry Melon! Berry Melon... sorry. There's only one thing more amazing than the deliciousness of a melon and that's Konjiki no Gash!
Konjiki no Gash appears to be just an ordinary shounen, which isn't false to say, but it doesn't have to be anything else. The manga serves the genre justice by emphasizing the merits of shounen: action, friendship, difficult challenges,
character growth—all are handled excellently to where they shine. By focusing on what makes the genre so popular: dramatic battles, important friends, teamwork, it doesn't waste time with unnecessary crap trying to be unique or extraordinary. As a result the quality of it never wavers. With fan service and complex plot omitted there's less to distract or confuse the reader, making for a more enthralling adventure for those who seek and enjoy grade A shounen material.
Focusing on the life of Kiyomaro Takamine and Gash Bell, two strangers thrust together and forced on a quest of epic proportion, the tale revolves around their hardships and joy along with the other characters. Similar to siblings, Gash is the young, energetic and naive little brother while Kiyomaro is the old, calm and rational big brother. Side by side they face the challenges that await them as a team, unlike some shounen which paint the MC as the lone wolf who holds the world on his shoulders. In Konjiki no Gash, they lean on each other to build an unbreakable resolve, their friends' desires become their own and as one they strive ahead, emphasizing the power of friendship and teamwork.
Crucial to the enjoyment, the character interaction will make you laugh, cry, facepalm, cheer, and smile as it encompasses the entire manga. The pacing, while arguably a snail's pace, shows thought put into development of the story with each encounter leaving a memory and impression on Kiyomaro, Gash, and the reader. The art, while being silly, does a great job at expressing emotions and thoughts. In its exaggerated nature, it becomes easier to get a feel for the absolute terror, determination, joy, and sadness the characters display. It can cause you to laugh at its ridiculousness while feeling despair when tears begin to flow.
Konjiki no Gash will always hold a place in my memory due to its unadulterated presentation by being hilarious in its childish nature and dramatic with its story, the way it emphasizes the importance of friendship and determination while making me cough up a lung, and the silly art style and how it complements the overall theme of the manga. I highly suggest it to anyone who likes shounen, comedy or what those genre have to offer. Oh and melon, especially if you enjoy melon... Bwraaaaa! Bwraaaaa! Berry Melon! Berry Melon!
One word sums up this manga for me. Perfect. I could find no real flaws in this manga. The characters were likable, had excellent synergy, were well fleshed out, fun, made sense, were intelligent, wacky in a funny way, they had FOLLOWUP(this is important), proper closure(even a lot of the villains), and had amazing growth. They were everything I could want in manga characters. I'd also like to make a special note on the villains. To me, the villains in this show actually felt like children(except the final one). Even if they didn't look it they had this way about them. It felt to me
like they didn't really understand the gravity of what they were doing and were just acting like a bunch of brats a lot of time. Brats with incredibly dangerous powers but brats nonetheless. It showed in their actions, their reasoning and their conversations. It was truly masterfully done.
The story is just GENIUS. At first glance it just seems like a everyday generic setup to push large numbers of battles between the demons, but the particular way it's set up and executed leaves so much room to maneuver without creating plot holes that it's just a work of art in and of itself. Gash has no main plot asides from the battle of 100 demons so the story takes an arc based approach where they switch goals throughout. These range from giant arcs of over 80 chapters to short arcs of just 2-4 chapters, but the key is that these short arcs never feel like filler because of the way the story is designed. The true genius of this plot is the fact that it was made so that no matter what is done, the main plot, the battle of 100 demons, is always moving along and never gets derailed even if it isn't directly focused on. Even when Gash is not fighting personally, you can safely bet your ass someone is in a battle for their life somewhere in the world.
By having 100 people scattered across the world the story leaves a lot of room for exploration, and since the rules of the battles are no more specific than "burn the book", it leaves room for a lot of character interactions that go beyond just straightforward battling upon meeting each other. And since the goal of these battles isn't just to win but to become king you get to see these demon kids thinking of there own image of king and trying to develop their own kingly path, making even more fun character interactions since the people gash fights aren't always particularly bad. All of these are used to the fullest degree and makes it so that nothing ever feeling like filler because something is always gained from it. A book is burned or a new spell is learned or a new friend is made or a new mystery is solved or found.
The art style is also quite great. It played to the strengths of the manga's more silly and hilarious style while always managing to bring the intensity and weight needed for the battlefield when necessary. It played the manga's strengths perfectly and I personally can't imagine gash being drawn any other way.
My final opinion. It's perfect. No real plot hole, great characters, incredible story, amazing ending and most of all it's fun. This story just takes you and a joyride that's entertaining and lasting with a satisfying end that leaves you somewhat sad at the same time. It has high re-read value despite being so long and I end up re-reading this manga about twice a year. My only complaint is that once you're finished it's hard to fill the void left behind, so prepare yourself for that when you start getting near the end.
In Zatch Bell!! (Konjiki no Gash Bell!!), children and teenagers from another world called mamodos team up with special bookkeepers in order to compete with one another for the right to become the next king. But are the partnerships that form really that simple? Let's take a look!