Beet the Vandel Buster Vol. #07 (Mania.com)

By:Justin Rich
Review Date: Saturday, November 19, 2005
Release Date: Tuesday, October 04, 2005



Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Writer: Riku Sanjo / Artist: Koji Inada
Translated by:N/A
Adapted by:

What They Say
The New Dark Age
It’s the Century of Darkness and monsters, known as Vandels, rule the world. The only force that can fight them are the Vandel Busters. When a group of Busters are killed in battle, they pass on their magic saiga weapons to Beet, making him the strongest Buster ever. He won’t just fight the Vandels-Beet wants to destroy them and finally end the Century of Darkness.

Last Ditch Effort
Beet, who told his friends to escape when the fight turned ugly, thinks he is facing down a battle-mad Grineed with only the untested Boltic Axe at his side. But despite the danger, Poala and Kissu turn back to help when they see that Beet is in trouble. Exhausted by the encounter and unable to use normal Divine Attacks, the Beet Warriors must work as one to defeat the bloody beast Grineed. But as they land the fatal blow, they discover that Grineed’s body will self-destruct in a massive explosion the moment he dies! With all their energy spent, how will they get away in time?

The Review
The end of the battle between Grineed and the Beet Warriors comes to an explosive conclusion ending one arc and laying the foundation for two.

Packaging:
The cover consists of orange block letters of Beet with a yellow banner underneath saying “the Vandel Buster” on the center top. This volume has an orange hue in the background behind Grineed in his final rage: with a scare Kissu, determined Poala and Beet wielding his Boltic Axe in front of him. Like all the other Shonen Jump releases the bottom contains the “Shonen Jump” Logo, the author, artist and the volume number. The back cover has a picture of the Zenon Warriors with a much brighter orange hue highlighting them, giving a distinct flashback feel. The “Beet World” is not present in this volume unfortunately which enlightens many aspects of this series.

Art:
Inada masterfully draws the battles scenes again, but the lack of emotional elements, minus Milfa gushing for Kissu, didn’t give the room to show the artist’s true strength. Plus on page 114 in a scene that is supposed to be the end of Grineed, the panel looks just like Beltorze not Grineed, which confuses the reader and pulls you out of the epic moment. Yet, there was some wonderful shadowing which was used to lead into further plot developments.

Text/SFX:
The SFX are like the usual Shonen Jump manga and the previous volume stay to the borders of the panels and are translated and retouched. As with all previous volumes the giant SFX were there, but were handled very well again in this volume with out impeding the panels.

Content (Watch out Spoilers ahead):
The battle between Grineed and Beet wages on, but even the slashes from the Boltic Axe can’t cause permanent damage to Grineed. His Dark Power allows his muscles to regenerate immediately, which heals the wounds inflicted by Beet.

Poala decides she must help and a surprise fire attack to Grineed’s head hurts him enough to allow Beet to regroup with her and Kissu. They plan to counterattack, but Beet puts away the only Saiga that has worked! Poala then convinces them that the three of them can perform a miracle if they work together.

Grineed sees a chance to finish it and unleashes the Fierce Wave of Infuriated Steel, his most powerful attack, and Beet counters with the Burning Lance?! As the powerful blast hurls towards him Beet pole volts over it and the twelve second countdown to bringing the Boltic Axe is underway. The blast continues towards Kissu and Poala, but Kissu uses the Divine Attack of Air Current to his full strength to split the wave like Moses parting the Red Sea.

Poala dives through the divided wave to give Beet the extra seconds he needs. But, Grineed holds back her fire, yet Poala refuses to surrender. Suddenly she hits Grineed with Burst End the highest fire Divine attack which severs Grineed’s right arm clean off! Two…one…and Beet summons the Boltic Axe cutting through his horn, which is the main source of a Vandal’s Dark Power.

Grineed gets up and grabs Beet who is drained from what he thought was a fatal blow. Off in the shadows Beet hears a voice, is really Zenon? But, it invigorates Beet to light his own arm on fire to free himself and deliver a bare hand punch, tearing off the right half of Grineed’s head.

Yet, more danger is present. Grineed is about to self-destruct and the Beet Warriors are completely exhausted. Fortunately, Milfa arrives in time to use her Saiga to force the shockwave into the sky saving everyone. But she didn’t return to help fight, rather she came back to arrest Kissu.

Kissu, Beet and Poala agree that he must face trial so they agree to go with her to Gransista. Milfa shows her softer side when she agrees to testify on Kissu’s behalf in order for him to hopefully get probation for his part in destroying Grineed. While Milfa is out getting supplies for the trip a wondrous object appears in the sky; and airplane. But, the pilot isn’t alone because he is being chased by Balleus “the Steel Fang” and a horde of minions. With Beet sleeping again, Poala and Kissu go to work eliminating the monsters with ease. Balleus is about to fire a Dark Blast when his giant fish is obliterated right out from underneath him. Nap time is over. Can Beet just ever grab a good days sleep without Vandal interference?

Comments
This is one shonnen series that just keeps getting better with each volume, for just when you think the battles cannot get anymore exciting Riku turns it up three notches. With Grineed gone and the mysterious Vandel Scholar keeping a keen eye on Beet will there ever be downtime? Balleus seems to be the next opponent as Beltorze continues to prefer lurking from the shadows. But, the most intriguing element in the in this volume, and future volumes to come, are the Zenon Warriors alive and was that Beet’s long lost brother cheering him on against Grineed? Beet has a masterful balance of comedy, action and suspenseful mystery that this is one the most enrapturing shonnen series to come along. Unfortunately, the series still seems to be still staying under the radar of most readers but it is the most fun I’ve had with a shonnen series since I started reading One Piece years ago.



Mania Grade: A-
Art Rating: B
Packaging Rating: B+
Text/Translatin Rating: B+
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Released By: Viz Media
MSRP: 7.95
Pages: 200
ISBN: 1-4215-0076-0
Size: B6
Orientation: Right to Left