Follow TV Tropes


Manga / Beet the Vandel Buster

Go To

Vandels!! In this story, that's what we call evil creatures with magical powers. Hidden in darkness, one day they appeared on the surface of the EARTH, multiplying monsters and destroying the peace and order of human society. Years have passed since that day. People call this seemingly endless era... the Century of Darkness.

The one and only line of defense humanity has against Vandels are the Busters: mercenaries who have taken up the task of facing off with the Vandels for peace, glory, money, and as many other motivations as there are stars in the sky. Our story focuses on Beet, a boy who chose to become a Buster in emulation of his idols, a Buster team called the Zenon Warriors. However, when Beet gets in the middle of their fight with Beltorze, one of the most powerful Vandels around, he is critically injured. The Zenon Warriors give their most powerful magical weapons, their Saiga, to Beet so they can save his life. What became of them after that is unknown, but Beltorze still exists.

Three years later, Beet has become a full-fledged Vandel Buster and, with the Zenon Warriors' Saiga on one side and talented True Companions on the other, Beet has set out to bring an end to the Century of Darkness.

Beet the Vandel Buster (Japanese title: Bouken Ou Beet, literally "Adventure King Beet") is a shonen manga written by Riku Sanjō and illustrated by Koji Inada, the same writer-artist team behind Dragon Quest: The Adventure of Dai. The manga began its run in Weekly Shonen Jump in 2002, but went on an indefinite hiatus in 2006 after Inada became ill, leaving much of the story unresolved. The manga would finally continue 10 years later after the manga moved to Jump SQ Crown in late 2016, but then went back on hiatus a few months later; it started up again in 2018 after moving to Jump SQ Rise (as Crown had ceased publication). The manga also has an anime adaptation by Toei Animation, which aired on TV Tokyo from 2004 to 2005 for 52 episodes.

Tropes found in this work:

  • Affably Evil: Grineed tries desperately to be this, but his extremely bloodthirsty nature prevented it, making it somewhat Faux Affably Evil very much to his chagrin
    • Frausky on the other hand, cares about cute animals and kids, just until they become filled with the same hatred towards Vandels as everyone else.
    • Lady Rodina. Friendly, cute and seemingly innocent and sweet. However, it's mostly shown to be a mask and she's every bit as manipulative and deadly as the other 7 stars.
    • Noah comes off as this. He's not interested in power struggles and just wants to continue his studies. That said, he's not a Seven Star Vandel for nothing.
  • Almighty Janitor: Beet was initially marked level eleven because he hadn't been to the Appraiser's in years. At the same time, he's much lower than a normal Saiga user.
    • Sagie seems like the Vandels' equivalent of an Appraiser on the surface. Though his connection to the Eyes of Darkness suggest there's more to him than readily apparent.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: Kissu. He comes up with plans to counter power attacks after seeing it a few times. What cemented him as this is how he realized Garonewt's plan in a few seconds with only a tiny clue.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The Boltic Axe. It's the strongest of Beet's five Saiga, but takes a good 12 seconds to bring out, which is an eternity against anything worth using it on. And before he got some practice in with it, he ran the risk of hitting his ALLIES with the shock-waves from his swings.
    • Beet learns to compensate somewhat by starting his swing while the Axe is still in the process of being summoned. The result is while the Axe takes time to bring out, once it's out it's already in use.
    • Later on, a second ability of the Axe is revealed, a strange force that VERY QUICKLY drains the life force of anyone nearby - enemies AND allies alike.
  • Badass Bookworm: Noah. He's known as the "Vandel Scholar" but is a 7-star and it was implied several times that even among the 7 Stars he's particularly powerful: Beltorze pretty much states that the only beings unaware of Noah's true power and anyone who might underestimate him because of it were firmly Too Dumb to Live, Sagie speaks to him and about him with the utmost respect and even his fellow 7 Star Vandels Hysterio and Baron are unable to truly tell just exactly what his real power were.
  • Badass Crew: The Zenon Warriors were so badass that together, they were worth a single star to any Vandel that kills them.
  • Barrier Warrior: Cruss, of the Zenon Warriors.
  • Beat Them at Their Own Game: Beet vs Frausky.
  • Bequeathed Power: A whole team of busters pass their saiga on to Beet before their (apparent) Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Beneath the Mask: Grineed is actually an extremely violent Vandel, much to his chagrin, but he also cared for his attendant somewhat.
  • Berserk Button: Do not mess with Grineed's plans. Do not insinuate that power is better than tactics in front of Grineed. And most of all, DO NOT EVER address Grineed in a casual manner such as "pal" or "man."
  • Big Good: The king of Gransista had not yet appeared when the story went on hiatus, but seems like he would have been in this role. He has advised several appearing characters, including instructing Zenon on his Deadly Upgrade ability, and is mentioned as being the only one besides Beet to seriously believe the Dark Age can be ended.
  • The Big Guy: Bluezam, of the Zenon Warriors.
    • In Beet's Five-Man Band, Milfa is shaping up to be this. She's the most experienced and highest level of the group and is a Lightning Bruiser who fights hand to hand.
  • Birds of a Feather: Once Kissu joins the group, Poala becomes Not So Above It All and starts acting much more reckless, hotblooded and well, Beet-like. Lampshaded occasionally when Poala does something particularly reckless.
  • Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: Severing the horn of a Vandel will kill it, but it also releases all of the Dark Power inside the Vandel as a massive explosion. The more powerful the Vandel, the bigger the explosion. Milfa's intervention is the only reason Beet and the others survive after he severed Grineed's horn.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Especially in the anime, Rozzgoat mocks Kissu by calling him weak and powerless, dependent on Vandels for protection. However, the only reason why Kissu doesn't fight is because his bracelet would kill him if he used divine attacks. Once, he stops caring about that, he completely curbstomps Rozzgoat.
  • Can't Catch Up: Kissu worries about having this when he sees how much his teammates are improving.
  • Career-Ending Injury: Cruss' arms were so severely injured by Beltorze's attack that he can barely hold a paintbrush, let alone his former Saiga the Crown Shield. His days as a Buster are over.
  • Childhood Marriage Promise: Beet has every intention of fulfilling it, to Poala's chagrin.
  • Competitive Balance: Beet's allies, as expected of an RPG mechanics verse.
  • Cue the Sun: When the Beet Warriors defeat Grineed, the dark smog covering the Black Horizon temporarily recedes and the sun is seen for the first time in years on the Dark Continent.
  • Deadly Upgrade: Burning up your own body for a power boost. Doing so grants incredible power, but it's very risky since again, you're burning up your own body. It's inevitably fatal if you don't how to stop the process. Curiously, Busters and Vandels can use this technique despite the polar opposite nature of their powers. Zenon used it against Beltorze, and Beltorze copied it. Both of them fought each other while their bodies were being burned as fuel. The result was that Zenon is missing and presumed dead and Beltorze hasn't moved for years, slowly gathering power.
  • Deus Exit Machina: Slade and Milfa when they aren't worfed. They're much stronger than the rest of the party, so they start off as Guest Star Party Members who leave before a particularly dangerous arc.
    • Both leave during the Baron arc which allows him to attack other Beet Warriors. Milfa comes back but with half the party missing or incapacitated she's quickly worfed.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Grineed goes into a rage during his first meeting with Rozzgoat, putting out Rozzgoat's eye, destroying his castle, and killing every single one of Rozzgoat's monsters (AND his own)... all because Rozzgoat casually called him "pal."
  • The Dragon: Shagie to the Eyes of Darkness.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The Eyes of Darkness, most likely, though the series got cut off before we really learned anything.
  • Elemental Powers: Interestingly, the Five-Man Band seemed to be developing into a team with each person focused on one element. Slade and Milfa are highly skilled in wind and thunder, respectively. Poala can do some serious damage with fire. Kissu is able to use any element fairly well, but his ultimate divine attack is ice-elemental. Beet has no defining element, but given that his brother Zenon had a strong affinity for light, Beet would likely have done so as well.
  • Empathic Weapon: The Saigas. The Saigas are actually manifested from the Busters' very souls. The downside is that any damage the Saigas take also injures their wielders.
  • Epic Flail: Alternate form of the Crown Shield.
  • Expy:
  • Face–Heel Revolving Door: Kissu seems trapped in this.
  • Face Of An Angel Mindof A Demon: Lady Rodina. She looks human and is fairly attractive compared to other Vandels but make no mistake, she's just as manipulative, ruthless and dangerous as the other 7-stars.
  • Finishing Move: The Zenon Winzard. However, Beet actually has to master it, and slowly progresses from mostly hurting himself to actually hurting his opponents.
  • Five-Man Band: When Milfa and Slade are with the team, Beet and his friends qualify for this.
  • Friend to All Children: Frausky. To a point.
  • Graceful Loser: Frausky takes his defeat quite well and dies praising Beet's ability. Grineed also congratulates the Busters on defeating him, though he's also hoping that they won't survive the explosion of dark power that occurs when a powerful Vandel's horn is severed.
  • Gravity Master: Garonewt. This is also the Excellion Blade's true power.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Grineed. Just keep it polite if you know what's good for you.
  • Heavy Sleeper: Beet can stay awake for up to three days in a row, but then has to sleep for at least a full day to make up for it. He's nearly impossible to wake up during this time.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: The Zenon Warriors don't hesitate to use their power to save Beet.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: Kissu struggles with this. Despite being extremely skilled with Tengeki and crucial to the survival of the Beet Warriors (without him everyone would have died during both 7-star battles), he views himself as cowardly and the weakest of Beet's group. He started getting a complex when Paola began manifesting her Saiga.
  • Human Shield: Subverted by Beltorze early on. He outright blasts young Beet to shock the Zenon Warriors enough to let their guard down.
  • The Insomniac: Beet, for three days. He then becomes a Heavy Sleeper for one full day to recharge.
  • Jack of All Stats: Beet whose multiple saigas covers most (if not all) of his weaknesses and make him very versatile. He's kept from being a game breaker due to the fact that he hasn't mastered them all.
  • Kill All Humans: Shagie claims that Vandels were born to destroy humanity.
  • Left Hanging: A whole mess of these thanks to the hiatus; what happened to the other four Zenon Warriors? Was the Winged Knight really Zenon in disguise, or someone else entirely? Would Kissu be pardoned for his past sins? What powers did the other seven-star Vandels have, and just how powerful was Beltorze, really? And just what were the Eyes of Darkness? Where the heck did Vandels even come from, and what power did an eighth star get? What would Poala's Saiga have been? What was the mysterious power of Zenon's that was sealed by King Gransista? And what did he mean when he said he could take his Saiga to the "next level"?
    • Ten years and one false start later, we can finally start getting answers to these questions.
  • Lightning Bruiser: As expected from the 7 star Vandels. Grineed, Garonewt and Beltorze stand out.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: More specifically; Beet, Zenon is your brother.
  • Magically Inept Fighter: Beet can use Saiga and is powerful fighter but can barely cast Divine Attacks.
  • Mirror Character: Busters and Vandels. Both wield power far beyond normal humans, and humans tend to fear both. The Divine Power wielded by Busters and the Dark Power wielded by Vandels seem to have similar principles and applications as well despite their opposing natures. They both even have appraisers that judge their ranks based on accomplishments — Busters' appraisers raise the level of Busters based on how many Vandels and monsters they kill, while Shagie rewards Vandels with stars based on how many humans and Busters they kill.
  • Money Spider: Not literally. Busters collect money for their kills at a shop after the fact.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Beet realizes his interference messed up the strategy the Zenon Warriors would have used to defeat Beltorze.
  • Nice Mean And In Between: Beet, Poala and Kissu, especially during the Dark Continent arc. Beet as the reckless McCoy, Kissu as the more careful planner and Poala balances the two.
  • No True Scotsman: Hystario dislikes Baron because the latter's displays of mercy and honor aren't very Vandel-like behavior, especially for a Seven Star Vandel. He thinks that Baron is No True Vandel. Then Baron nearly tears him apart and leaves him for dead. Hystario actually approves of this, claiming that Baron's behaving more like a Vandel.
  • Number Tropes: It's interesting to see how Beet's group cycles up to being a Five-Man Band. Beet and Poala start off as an Battle Couple. Then Kissu joins during the Black Horizon arc to make a team of three. Milfa and Slade star as Guest Star Party Members before fully joining the team to fight Garonewt, making a Five-Man Band.
  • Oblivious to Love: Milfa isn't exactly subtle about her crush on Kissu and a Running Gag is him being completely unaware of her rather blatant advances.
  • Orphaned Series: After the artist injured his hand, the series was eventually left unfinished, likely for good.
  • Perpetual Poverty: Beet, Poala and Kissu are poor for Busters, forced to camp outside and eat bugs because they have no money. At first it's because Beet gave all of his earnings to Poala's family but later it's because Kissu's a wanted criminal and they can't go to the appraisers.
  • Role-Playing Game 'Verse: The characters even level up.
  • RPG Mechanics 'Verse: To the point of almost being a deconstruction.
  • Scary Stinging Swarm: Episode 50 of the anime has the main cast foraging for food, but extracting honey from a giant beehive is tough even with magic.
  • Shock and Awe: Milfa's power of choice, along with Bluezam of the Zenon Warriors.
  • Spontaneous Weapon Creation: Saiga users.
  • Squishy Wizard: Kissu
  • Sorting Algorithm of Evil: Averted after the Beet Warriors catch the attention of the Vandels. Most of the 7 stars are roughly the same power level and attack them in random (ish) order. Same with Grineed's minions who are also the same power level. The manga uses it to show the group's growth - as the Beet Warriors get stronger, it becomes easier to defeat each Vandel.
  • Sword and Sorcerer: Kissu and Beet had this dynamic in their younger days. Beet would hit Vandels up close while Kissu provided cover or Kissu would charge up a powerful attack while Beet tanked hits and drew fire.
  • Talk to the Fist: Poala makes a good attempt at it with Ventura.
  • Trading Bars for Stripes: Kissu is only allowed to travel and fight with Beet because Milfa makes this offer. As a wanted criminal, he would be immediately taken by her and tried in Gransista but he's helping Beet as a sort of preemptive community service.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: Beet possessing five Saiga makes him formidable, but he can't use Divine Attacks worth a damn and he has to work out how to best use each Saiga as he goes. Milfa even comments that he learns everything backwards.
    • Poala has a great deal of potential and raw power (she lit the arm of an enormous Land Anemone on fire) but lacks the experience to fully bring it out. She starts learning the best ways to utilize her fire Divine Power to it's fullest potential.
  • Weak, but Skilled: Just about any human capable of threatening a Vandel.
    • Kissu is the standout, not having much in physical combat ability, he's the only person shown able to wield all types of Divine Attack. Kissu mentions to Poala how he doesn't pack as much firepower as she but creatively uses his Divine Attack to compensate.
    • Slade as well, relying on speed, agility, and an invisible weapon.
  • "With Our Swords" Scene: Beet starts with his idols' weapons.
  • The Worf Effect: Slade and Milfa (the strongest and most experienced of Beet's group) get tossed around like ragdolls during the rematch with Garonewt to show how powerful he is.
  • Zerg Rush: Grineed favors insect and other woodland monsters, which are cheap and multiply extremely quickly, causing widespread ecological damage at little cost.