Mania Grade: B
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- Art Rating: B
- Packaging Rating: B-
- Text/Translatin Rating: B
- Age Rating: All
- Released By: Viz Media
- MSRP: 7.99
- Pages: 167
- ISBN: 1-59116-690-X
- Size: B6
- Orientation: Right to Left
Beet the Vandel Buster Vol. #01
By Justin Rich
April 01, 2005
Release Date: September 08, 2004
Beet the Vandel Buster Vol.#01
© Viz Media
Writer/Artist:Riku Sanjo & Artist: Koji Inada
Adapted by:What They Say
The New Dark Age
It’s the Century of Darkness, a grim age when monsters and demons known as Vandels use their terrible strength and magical powers to destroy human society.
Who can save us?
The Vandel Busters are a roving band of certified monster destroyers. Beet’s biggest ambition in life is to become a Buster, but what can you say about a monster hunter who can barely stand the pain when he receives the mystical brand of a “Level 1 Vandel Buster”?
Still, Beet is ready for action, and when a nearby town is invaded by demons, he rushes to help-without a clue as how to trounce even a single member of the rampaging horde. But not knowing just how formidable the Vandels are might work to his advantage because he doesn’t know enough to be scared! Beet is about to learn that being a hero may be more than he bargained for…The Review
The cover consists of orange block letters of Beet with a yellow banner underneath saying “the Vandel Buster” on the center top. Below is a picture of Beet in full color with his homemade spear tucked behind his back in the forefront. Behind him in blue shadow is picture of the five Zenon Warriors with Zenon himself the main focus directly behind Beet. Like all the other Shonen Jump releases the bottom contains the “Shonen Jump” Logo, the author, artist and the volume number. The back cover is rather plain with only another color picture of Beet with his spear and wide smile across his face. The tones in both the dark panels as well as the light panels is clear and sharp. Another nice addition is the “Beet world” guide which explains in this volume what a Buster is, the gear of a Buster, what the levels burn on their chest means and an description of all of Beet’s Saigas.
In the first volume there is a difference in quality between the action scenes and the story scenes. The action sequences are very well drawn with exceptional detail, especially to the Vandels and on the individual attacks of both Busters and Vandels. But, in the scenes where there is simply talking between Beet and everyone else in town the panels are plain and boring. The one thing that Inada does though is a tremendous amount of expression through the characters eyes. Poala’s anxiety and fear can be seen through them just as Beet’s inner child does. The most powerful emotions in this volume are handled through the eyes of the characters and really bring you in touch with the feelings of them.
The SFX like all the Shonen Jump manga I have read have the same large Batman the series like SFX that tend to stay to the borders of the panels and are translated and retouched. The SFX do sometimes cross into the artwork though especially in Beet’s fight with Mugine in the end of the volume.
The translation keeps the true nature of all the characters and doesn’t deviate from the intentions of the original. Beet’s adulation of the Zenon Warriors can be seen very well in his speech with them, as well as their general feelings towards him too. The early revelation about Beet’s heritage through Zenon’s speech to him really connect you to the characters.
Contents (Watch out spoilers ahead):
The opening page begins with Beet going to the commission house to sign the contract to become a Buster just like his heroes the Zenon Warriors. The Buster’s duty is to travel through the land destroying the darkness that has been brought on by Vandals (extremely strong Demons) and the armies made up of lesser monsters.
Beet, unlike most, was very fond of Busters who most of society loved for the fact the ridded them of monsters but were scared of because of their job. The most powerful Busters of all was the Zenon Warriors who were staying at his village at the time and Beet hung around them learning little tips on how to become a great Buster himself. He was training outside of the Gates that guard each city when the most powerful Vandel Beltorze came to fight the Zenon Warriors and earn more stars (each Vandel has stars on their arm to show their rank based on Buster kills and cities destroyed). The Zenon Warriors were about to slay “the King of Tragedy” when he found Beet and used him as a distraction to cause the Zenon Warriors to halt their attack. Beltorze use an attack to kill Beet but his dying body is rescued by Zenon who is willing to give up his own life in exchange to save Beet. In a touching speech Zenon tells Beet that he will give him his Saiga (a weapon that is constructed of the life and soul of the Buster) to keep him alive because he will not let his little brother die. The four remaining Zenon Warriors do the same because the damage to Beet is so strong and then with all five Saigas within Beet they return to the fight with Beltorze never toe be seen again.
After the loss of the Zenon Warriors Beet goes to train in isolation for three years and during that time Poala his best friend become a Buster as well to protect the city. She has seen all the damage done to her home by Mugine and decides that with Beet nowhere to be found and the Zenon Warriors gone she will head off by herself to stop the three star Vandel hurting her family and friends. She falls into a trap but fortunately for her Beet has returned home and defeats Mugine, or so he thought.
Once again there is a Vandel beating on the Gates to fight the town’s Vandel Buster and Beet accepts Mugine’s challenge. After materializing his Saiga Burning Lance Beet is caught off guard by and is about to be killed when Poala uses an attack to free Beet just in time to summon his second Saiga Crown Shield destroying the Vandel for good. Now the Poala has decided that she too will go on Beet’s crusade to end the Dark Age the Beet Warriors adventure has begun.Comments
Beet starts out like many of the Shonen Jump series with a simple yet likable kid ready to fix the problems with the world. Beet who is steadfast on his goal to rid the world of Vandels is strong lead with the usual extreme amount of power to achieve these goals. His innocent and somewhat delusional look at the world is balanced by Poala’s more realistic look at all the trials and tribulations they have to go through. The entertaining interactions between the main characters and great action makes Beet a series with a lot of potential as they head out into the Dark World.