A one-volume novel of Akira Toriyama
that appeared in Shounen Jump
is about a desert wasteland where humans and demons coexist, although not peacefully. While the demons do not kill, they enjoy making trouble for humans. They are reduced to stealing precious water from the king's supply... then a human sheriff comes and requests their help in finding the elusive Phantom Lake...
- Badass Normal: Rao. Of course, he was one of the youngest generals in existence...
- Big Bad:
King of Sand Land Zeu.
- Cyborg: General Zeu.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Demons in general. They may like mischief and cause trouble from time to time, but mostly keep to themselves and don't harm humans.
- The Dragon/Dragon-in-Chief: Commander Zeu
- Evil Is Dumb: The King; but he's just a figurehead, that's what he's supposed to be.
- Evil Plan: Zeu. So hard.
- Harmless Villain: The King, because he's not actually in charge.
- Heel-Face Turn: General Are, although the potential was already there. More notably the Swimmers.
- Here We Go Again: The ending, where Rao once again asks Beezlebub for help on another adventure. Beezlebub is more than happy to accept. Not so much for Thief.
- Hidden Elf Village: When the heroes finally find Phantom Lake, they find it inhabited by an endangered species. They opt to leave them be rather than let the creatures be wiped out.
- Information Wants to Be Free: The main characters' quest to find an oasis is opposed by the King's government, which controls the only other source of water.
- Jerkass Fašade: Belz and Thief aren't fooling anyone.
- Man Behind the Man: Commander Zeu
- Non-Action Guy: Thief. He'd rather stay home than go on Beezlebub's adventures. But he does help.
- Older Than They Look: The demons, especially Beezlebub.
- Our Demons Are Different: There are Japanese demons and demons from Christian/Catholic mythology. Note that Holy Water does not work on the former. Presumably demons from other religions and myths exist, with Lucifer ruling them all.
- Sand Worm: Sand Dragon actually, the Geji Dragon.
- Shout-Out: Beezlebub's father looks like Dabura.
- Also a Slime apparently fell asleep in the sun and died.
- Rao gets Beelzebub to join him by offering him a PlayStation 6 and a copy of Dragon Quest 13.
- Tank Goodness: A short ways into the story the group steal one of the kings tanks and spend most of the rest of the story traveling in it.
- The Reveal: Rao is a supposedly dead military man whose squadron and family were wiped out in an explosion that they inadvertently caused.
- Villain with Good Publicity: The King.
- Or maybe Zeu, as the King is more puppet than anything.
- Xanatos Speed Chess: Zeu is forced to do this in the end. Doesn't work.
- X Meets Y: The Road Warrior meets Dragon Ball.