Bastard!!: Heavy Metal, Dark Fantasy (subtitled Ankoku no Hakaishinnote in Japanese) is a 1988 manga created by Kazushi Hagiwara for Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump (and eventually moved to Ultra Jump).
Set in a post-apocalyptic Earth where monsters and magic are the rule of the day, the main setting is the kingdom of Meta-llicana, threatened by a vast army of mages and their pawns who are trying to wake the sleeping god of destruction, Anslasax.
This series is centered on the virginal (this is a plot point, in fact) priestess Tia Noto Yoko and her adoptive brother, Luche Renlen. What she finds out is that Luche contains within him the spirit of one of the most powerful sorcerers of all time, the infamous Exploder Wizard... Dark Schneider! Only a spell capped with a kiss from a virgin can unlock the spirit within Luche and save the kingdom!
Now, this all sounds pretty much standard fantasy fare. The fun comes from some of the differences from the standard. Dark Schneider, when released, explains that he was killed by Yoko's father, and will kill the man in return. He also is the quintessential egomaniac — one of his better speeches is:
Dark Schneider is ruthless, promiscuous, arrogant and unstoppably powerful, but he's really less a Manipulative Bastard than a force of sheer chaos.
Add in the other villains who turn into antiheroes when defeated by Dark Schneider, and the amusement value of many of the spells and locations which are named after '80s metal bands (Dark Schneider himself was named after Udo Dirkschneider from Accept, the country of Judas Priest, the samurai of the Iron Maiden who are fighting to avenge King Harris, knights named Bon Jovina and Lars Ul Meta-llicana, the extremely powerful spells Exodus and Megadeath...) and you get a romp. Because of a potential blatantly ludicrous licensing fee to use them all, these names had to be all changed in the American release. The manga has been released in the US (with quite a good translation) up to volume 19 (though at present, it seems Viz Media has abandoned the series).
The series received an OVA in 1992, produced by Shueisha themselves as well as Geneon Entertainment and animated by AIC, Geneon's American division later released and dubbed the OVA in 1998. It's six episodes long, and only goes through the first three collections of the manga (which is currently up to volume 27), so it ends with a "Hey, what now?"
In February 2022, Warner Bros. Japan announced that Bastard!! would be receiving a new anime adaptation consisting of 24 episodes, with animation by Liden Films and will be distributed by Netflix worldwide. The first cour (first 13 episodes, which covered the same material as the first 5 episodes of the 1998 OVA, while adding back in material that was skipped between episodes 3 and 4 of the OVA) became available for streaming on June 30th, while the second cour (episodes 14-24, covering the rest of the story up until volume 8) becoming available for streaming on September 15th.
The second season of the anime has also been announced, set to premiere sometime in 2023. It will adapt the Hell's Requiem arc of the story.
Here's the February 10th, 2022 teaser trailer, the June 15th trailer for the first half, and the September 8th trailer for the second half.
A character sheet is under construction.
See also Guilty Gear, for a similar concept that took heavy inspiration from this manga, but set in a futuristic world.
This show provides examples of:
- Aborted Arc:
- Apparently, the drafts for several arcs were damaged/lost, so Hagiwara just skipped ahead. Volume 18 ends with DS fighting Porno Diano and a bizarre interlude with a host of angels watching the gates of Hell break open (IN SPACE). Volume 19 jumps ahead 4 years with DS and the Angels battling the Demons. The missing arcs were finally being released by 2010.
- The 6-episode series was supposed to be a full 8 covering the completion of the first arc and a battle between DS and Kall Su.
- After the End: The setting is 400 years after the destruction of our modern world because of the biblical Apocalypse.
- An Ice Person: Kall Su specialises in Ice Magic. Results in a Moment of Awesome when he freezes a hundred foot tall Giant using only a litre of water as a base.
- Art Evolution: Hagiwara's art style has changed dramatically from when the manga began publishing in 1988. The older volumes are more akin to what he did for Kimagure Orange Roadnote , while by the end of the 1990s his style was more typical of other contemporary anime. By the end of the 2000s the artwork had grown even more detailed and elaborate, leading to Scenery Porn (and Scenery Gorn) and Costume Porn.
- Badass Decay: In-Universe, somewhat. Arshes fears living with Yoko has had this effect on DS; he's still the badass (adoptive) daughterfucker she used to know, but it's him taking crap from Yoko that causes her to have doubts.
- Berserk Button: DO NOT EVER hurt Yoko around Dark Schneider. Your death will be too agonizingly horrible to describe.
- Bishōnen: Most of the male cast is stupidly handsome, that's it, unless you're a demon or something, and even so...
- Boobs of Steel: The aptly named Porno Dianno seems to be the standout case. She's the right hand woman of the Big Bad, Satan and has boobs that have been described as making Pamela Anderson look like a pre-teen.
- Perhaps with the exception of Princess Sheila, all the other female characters are very capable in battle and also have impressive busts. Results in World of Buxom, to Dark Schneider's delight.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Porno Dianno. She's actually the Archangel Gabriel, who lost badly to Satan in the backstory and was captured and turned evil. Dark Schneider snaps her out of it and she develops a huge crush on him as a result
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: Just about every character breaks a fourth wall or two. Hagiwara himself did this by putting little captions where he took a piss at some of the ridiculous things he came up with, his character's actions within the story, or just his own bad habits.
- Brother–Sister Incest: Nothing explicit is stated, but Uriel really, really loves his sister Amrael. Darsch even says outright: "It's like you're in love with your sister". And judging by their past, it wouldn't really be all that unexpected.
- Casting Gag: In the Latin American Spanish dub of the 2022 ONA series, it's not the first time Irwin Daayán, as Dark Schneider, has voiced another inhuman character (Kouga) with canine motives, except this time, he is the protagonist of the show.
- Comic-Book Fantasy Casting: In Volume 7 Hagiwara states that he based Abigail's look in the Japanese actor Kyusaku Shimada.
- Chekhov's Gun: The Dragon Knight, first mentioned in the early volumes of the manga, finally makes an appearance in volume twenty three.
- Clothing Damage: Dark Schneider's clothes gets teared up and completely destroyed, leaving him completely naked during/after certain fights in the series.
- Council of Angels: Led by the four classical Archangels, two of which (Michael and Gabriel) are actually girls.
- Dangerous Forbidden Technique: The 7 Jewels of Judas Pain. By activating them DS can become stronger than a Demon King, but he risks destroying his soul by using them, not mentioning that it's supposedly incredibly painful.
- Deadly Road Trip: The PS1 game is an odd variety of this in dungeon crawler form. Yoko gets kidnapped by a blue skinned DS imposter and put the four kings under his control, it's up to DS to travel around pick up all of his, Kal's and Nei's generals (who all are apparently alive and somewhat willing to work together) and travel to a bunch of weird places to save the day.
- Defeat Means Friendship: Played with in a couple directions; the people he defeats and befriends in the anime and first part of the manga are former friends (he'd been dead for a while.) Some of the people he defeats he befriends, others he blasts in ludicrous gibs.
- Demon Lords and Archdevils: The classical ones, led by Satan. Some have been Gender Flipped same as the Archangels.
- Destructive Saviour: Dark Schneider, to a T. See What the Hell, Hero?.
- Doppelgänger Spin: Gara's "Ninja Art of the Seven Body Split."
- Ear Cleaning: Yoko does it to Dark Schneider in one chapter of the manga, after a battle (but just before another). Played for laughs.Dark Schneider: Ouch! What is it now? You usually treat me better than that!Yoko: Only when you're Lushe! You're 400, you're old enough to clean your own ears!
Dark Schneider: Nope! I don't know how to do it!Yoko: Gotta be kidding me... You're still the same, but only in the weirdest stuff... (he starts groping her) Ah! I told you, don't move! Don't go there!
- Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors: One of the basic rules of magic in the series, although it's trumped by the Rule of Cool.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Dark Schneider is at his best a huge jerk, but he really loves his adopted daughter Nei, and it was true even back when he was fully blown Evil Overlord.
- Evil Laugh: Lampshaded. Believing he's killed Dark Schneider, Count Dai Amon does one of these, only for DS to pop up right behind him doing an Evil Laugh of his own. See here.
- Evil Redhead: Former Dark Schneider's lieutenant Gain Esperanza, nicknamed the Champion of Evil.
- Conrone seems to be pretty much based on Dudley of Street Fighter.
- Pointy-eared adopted daughter Nei bares a resemblance to pointy-eared adopted sister Nei of Phantasy Star II, which was released right around the time that Nei was introduced. And vampire Count Dai Amon, who's a dead ringer for King Diamond. Which is kind of the point.
- Fanservice: All. Over. The. Place. Darsch being a very proud pervert (and one that loves to weaponize being a pervert) also doesn't helps any.
- Faux Affably Evil:
- The devil Conrone, who refers to himself as the 'Gentleman of Hell'...that is, when he's not torturing people for fun. In fact, most devils could probably qualify.
- Abigail has plenty of this, even after his Face–Heel Turn.
- Fluffy Tamer: Starter Villain Kevi Dabu doesn't even get a chance to fully mourn his beloved hydra before Dark Schneider renders him into dungeon pizza with Venom.
- Four Is Death: The Four Divine Kings, who were Dark Schneider's four generals before his death. The God of Destruction, Anslasax, is bound by four magic seals. Then there are the four Archangels...
- Full-Frontal Assault: DS has gone charging into battle while completely naked on more than one occasion.
- Gag Penis: DS sometimes use his tool like a lasso to catch and restrain unsuspecting girls. Hagiwara calls it "the hand of the Devil".
- Gender Flip: The Archangels Michael and Gabriel are female here.
- Gorn: Probably one of the most brutal series ever published in Weekly Shonen Jump, so much so that it was eventually moved to one of its seinen sister magazines, Ultra Jump.
- Genre Savvy:
- Dark Schneider: Diamon, you bloodless fool, you forgot the most important rule of combat! You're the ugly, macho bad guy! Everyone knows the macho bad guy can't win, especially when he's fighting the exceptionally handsome and popular main character!
- Greek Chorus: Gara's ninja army. They're always offering commentary on whatever's happening.
- Groin Attack: The second episode introduces Gara as he's infiltrating the castle of where the protagonists were currently staying from. Upon entering into the room of where both Luche and Yoko were sleeping in, Gara is quite surprised to see that Yoko is able to detect his presence and that he decides to introduce himself to her in an instant, but Gara is immediately cut short of his own introduction speech when Yoko throws a quick back mule kick to his groin from within an unexpected and surprising manner.
- Hammerspace: Used extensively, the most obvious example being Dark Schneider's ability to produce full suits of clothes from nowhere. High ranking Angels and Devils can also regenerate clothing.
- Half the Man He Used to Be: This happens to Darsch on occasion, but he usually gets better. Also happened to Conrone, but he survives due to his Healing Factor.
- Harem Seeker: More impulsive that most, but hey, Darsch certainly has the looks, power, charm, and stamina to pull it off.
- Heavy Mithril: The characters have classes and everything is named after Heavy Metal artists, bands, or songs.
- Hell on Earth: Occurs soon after the angel invasion Wham Episode.
- Heroes Want Redheads: DS is thoroughly whipped by Yoko.
- Highly-Visible Ninja: Gara definitely qualifies, as well as some of his men.
- Humongous Mecha: The Dragon Knight.
- The Immodest Orgasm: In volume 27, Porno Diano produces several literal nuclear explosions of pleasure while Dark Schneider "attacks her weak points" as tiny versions of himself. This leads to her defeat and also reduces her to a sexy sweaty mess of satisfied (demon)woman
- Incest Subtext: All over the place, perhaps a case of Author Appeal. Yoko and and Luche are not biologically related, they most certainly are family, and when Luche becomes Dark Schneider, this attraction becomes explicit. Much more explicit, as stated before, Uriel is ESPECIALLY (!!!) fond of his little sister Amriel. Also explicitly present in D.S. and Arshes Nei's relationship...she is both his adopted daughter (raised from childhood!) and primary lover.
- Invincible Hero: Dark Schneider. And what's better (or worse), he loves to flaunt this to his enemies.
- Knight Templar: The Angels appear to be this. The Devils are far worse, however.
- Large Ham: Some characters but Count Dai Amon takes the cake in the animeDia Amon: "First, I'm going to drink the blood of you and your virgin friends, AND THEN, I'LL FEAST ON THE BLOOD OF DARK SCHNEIDER!!!"
- Lecherous Licking: "Yoko dear.... COME HERE!" *slurp* *slurp*
- Matricide: Kall Su had killed his mother in self defense before being taken in by Dark Schneider.
- Male Gaze: Anytime there is a female on screen or in a panel.
- Medieval European Fantasy: In the beginning. Of late, it's been trending more towards Schizo Tech and Magitek while losing none of the original elements.
- Megaton Punch: All four Archangels have a variant. Conrone has a literal Megaton Punch, with his ultimate attack having the power of an atomic bomb (which, despite what such a description might imply, seems to be one of the weaker attacks in the series, compared to the main character, who can destroy galaxies).
- Ms. Fanservice: Pretty much every female character is gifted with the body of a super-pornstar along with a fetish outfit to accentuate it. When they aren't plain naked that is. And Hagiwara makes sure the reader gets to enjoy his his creations with an uninhibited Male Gaze at all time.
- Nigh-Invulnerable: You need some serious firepower to take down even mid-ranked Angels/Devils. Then there's the title character himself, who took this trope and ran a triathlon with it. His primary means of defense seems to be a shield spell called "Dispel Bound", which produces a number of shields to block any attack aimed at him. Each shield can take up to the force of a nuclear blast before breaking. And they can only be targeted one at a time. And they auto-regen. And he can repair them manually at positively absurd speeds. And in the unlikely event that you manage to get through that, you have to deal with his durability which allows him to take attacks that can destroy galaxies. And should you somehow manage to pierce these defenses, he possesses obscenely powerful healing abilities (of the sort that makes Wolverine, and probably Deadpool, look like girl scouts) and finally, he still can't be killed unless you destroy his body, spirit and soul in three different dimensions at the same time. What's truly scary is that there are people powerful enough to accomplish this (such as the Dragon Knight that killed him in the Back Story).
- Nipple and Dimed: Even with the amount of nudity and fanservice in it, the 2022 ONA plays this straight, often having female characters' nipples strategically covered up by bits of the foreground or other objects.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Starter Villain Osborn, who looks very much like a Blizzard Of Oz era Ozzy Osbourne
- No Ending: So far anyway, thanks in part to a truly massive Schedule Slip.
- The Nudifier: The clothes-dissolving slime that Gara sets on Yoko.
- Oculothorax: The Suzuki Dogezaemon, which is just a renamed Beholder. It apparently got its name from the rights disputes that naturally follow whenever inspiration from the Beholder is involved, implying that Hagiwara or his editors had to bow their heads in apology for even considering using the name Beholder.
- Omnicidal Maniac: Satan, naturally, despite being Faux Affably Evil.
- Our Angels Are Different: On the one hand, they are Knight Templar Winged Humanoids who exterminate a third of mankind for believing in false gods. On the other, they fight against demons, who want to remake creation and fill it with horrific abominations.
- One-Man Army: Dark Schneider. Seriously, sometimes it's like the other characters are there just to fill the panels.
- One-Winged Angel: Most high level Angels and Devils have an Augoeides, a powerful war-form capable of tremendous destruction. They require a lot of energy to maintain, however, and are used only as a last resort. The Dragon Knight was built specifically to fight them.
- Parental Incest: Of the adopted kind. Dark Schneider adopted Arshes when she was a kid and the two became lovers when she became of age.
- Poor, Predictable Rock: Subverted. It seems you can make things too hot for a fire elemental.
- Power at a Price: Using the The Dragon Knight Lucifer takes a severe toll on Dark Schneider's body, spirit and soul. Overuse of it will completely destroy him, leaving nothing left, completely erasing him from existence.
- Pull Yourself Down the Spear: In episode 6, a one-eyed monster captures Arshes Nei and impales Gara using Combat Tentacles that harden into stone, but Gara pulls himself down the length of the spike in his gut to free her.
- Punny Name: Dark Schneider, named after Udo Dirkschneider. Most definitely not a Meaningful Name - while "Schneider" does mean "tailor" in German, it's also a perfectly normal surname (though it being a Meaningful Name would explain how he replaces all the outfits that get ripped/blown/burned off of him).
- Rated M for Manly: A scientific book on the subject on mangas by the President of the Pop Culture Association of Australia calls it "Kazushi Hagiwara's hypermasculine heroic fantasy". Which was actually putting it mildly.
- Relax-o-Vision: The final two pages of Chapter 51 consist only of Walls of Text describing the action with the speech bubbles superimposed, giving the scene this feel (probably because Hagiwara had to rush in delivering the chapter). The opening of the next chapter shows those two pages fully illustrated as they were supposed to be.(part of the text in the last panel) Hagiwara, you dirty cheat! We want our money back!
- Refuge in Audacity: Dark Schneider's main modus operandi, and an example: During his battle with Porno Dianno he let her rip his heart out, only to get close enough to kiss and fondle her boobs. And to check if she's a virgin (which she is if you're interested). Dark Schneider, the only man who can cause Demon Kings to have a Face Fault. Multiple times.
- Rule of Cool: Why Bastard!! exists. "Heavy Metal Dark-Fantasy?" Nuff' said.
- Rule of Sexy: Hagiwara's hentai background is at work on every page. He LOVES the female body and is pretty into the male body as well.
- Satan: Seems to be the final Big Bad (so far). He looks like Pinhead in a gimp suit and does an impression of Robin Williams' Genie at one time, but don't let that fool you.
- Satan Is Good: Well, not the guy named Satan, But rather Lucifer, who's not the same individual and by all accounts so far was a swell guy. And who also happens to have reincarnated as DS's sealed can, Luche Renlen. Yes, really.
- Sex Slave: Darsch wanted to make Michael his Sex Slave when she was weakened. He even says the Trope name outright when Gabriel tries to stop him.
- Shameful Strip: Yoko falls victim to this, thanks to clothes-dissentigrating slime that Gara sets on her.
- Shock and Awe: Arshes Nei's powers.
- Shout-Out: Good lord, where to start.
- A huge amount of names of characters and spells are named after music bands.
- Of particular note, in a redrawn volume DS has put several characters from other series in his harem, including Haruhi Suzumiya, Mikuru Asahina, Rider, and Rin Tohsaka.
- He also used a sharingan in his fight with Porno Dianno.
- Around volume 19, Uriel transforms itself to fight a demon. An effect of that transformation is one half of his body change colour. Dark Schneider starts mocking him, calling him -among other things- a Baron Ashura rip-off.
- In volume 18, Hagiwara recreates the album covers to Entombed's "Clandestine" and Human Remains' "Using Sickness As a Hero" as environs for his vision of hell. It works very well!
- Small Name, Big Ego: Dark Schneider somehow manages to occupy the position of this and Insufferable Genius at the same time.
- Spell My Name with an S: The translated manga names and the English wording in the Japanese video game don't match up for some characters:
- Is the one guy named Vlad Kills or Blad Kils?
- Sean Ari or Sean Harly?
- Lars Ulu of Metaricarna or Larz Well Meta=Ricarna?
- Smug Snake: Many of the early villains fall into this category, which makes it all the more satisfying when Darsch kills them. May also describe Beelzebub, who falls to pieces after his plan to kill DS fails abysmally.
- DS himself. I mean, come on, didn't you read the quotes in the article? Possibly justified since he's 400 years old, explodes things/people on a whim, and has yet to find a virgin he can't deflower. Also, the most epic mullet of all time. Ever.
- Sorting Algorithm of Evil: Of the Dragon Ball Z power scale (Or even bigger); they've reached the "Universal Threat" level for a while by now, with Satan and his legions escaping Hell.
- Technical Virgin: Yoko mentions she's only about 80% virgin. Evidently, that's virginal enough to break the seal on Dark Schneider.
- Textplosion: There's at least one scene, where the author just outright goes "I don't feel like drawing this, so let me describe what happened instead."
- Three Minutes of Writhing: The ending credits for the 2022 anime, in which the female cast crash lands onto the earth like meteors while nude, emerge from the resulting craters, and frisk Dark Schneider's also nude body in united worship.
- Too Dumb to Live: In episode 4, Yoko is chased by a monster to a cliff edge. She takes a step back and the edge crumbles, but she falls forward instead, thanking her luck. Then the monster scares her, and she steps back AGAIN, right onto the slope she'd previously made.
- Virgin Power: The seal on Dark Schneider can only be released through the kiss of a virgin. Well, 80% virgin.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: DS and Gara. Constantly Volleying Insults (DS calls Gara "Gorilla" and Gara never misses an opportunity to laugh at the wizard's misfortune especially if it involves Yoko) yet DS thinks of Gara as his little brother and Gara is willing to give his life for DS.
- What the Hell, Hero?: In the first story arc of the manga (and in the anime), DS gets this a lot, and with good reason. While he's generally always one step away from being a Villain Protagonist, he causes ludicrous amounts of collateral damage to the castle and city he's supposed to protect. In the manga he goes as far as defeating a mutant cyclops with Healing Factor by vaporizing it with the magic equivalent of a hydrogen bomb, taking a good chunk of the city with it. In Yoko's words, "We were better off with the cyclops at this point!"
- Wife Husbandry: Darsch rescued the orphan Arshes Nei when she was a child and raised her as a daughter. She became his lover when she grew up.
- World of Badass: When even Standard Low Level Bad Guy Mooks like orcs and lizardfolk are a credible, borderline-overwhelming threat to supposedly elite royal knights, you know most characters important enough to have a name will be total hardasses.
- World of Buxom: To Dark Schneider's delight, practically every woman in the setting sports an impressive rack.
- You Bastard!: Several characters utter this phrase at Dark Schneider throughout the course of the story, acting as a Title Drop.
- You Don't Look Like You: In the PS1 game, the artwork for nearly all the characters is identical to how the character was drawn in the manga (and Anime where applicable) except for Ros who seemingly morphed into a similar looking guy for reasons unexplained.