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Manga / Sand Land

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Sand Land is a short manga series by Akira Toriyama which was serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump from May to August 2000, and compiled into a single volume.

The story takes place in 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... Though the King's army is determined not to let him find it. Thankfully, the sheriff and his allies manage to steal themselves a tank to help them on their quest.

A new project was announced by Bandai Namco, revealed to be an anime movie produced by Sunrise, Kamikaze Douga and Anima with Toho handling the distribution. The movie was released on August 18, 2023. A video game adaptation, produced by Bandai Namco Entertainment, was confirmed to be in development at the Summer Game Fest on June 8, 2023.


  • All-CGI Cartoon: The movie adaptation is this, although it's cel shaded to mimic Toriyama's artwork.
  • As You Know: In the first chapter, Thief kindly explains to the prince how the world came to be a complete utter desert where there's no water anywhere, something Beelzebub already knew.
  • The Atoner: Rao, especially when he found out that the race he exterminated was actually working on a water-producing machine to solve the drought.
  • Atrocious Arthropods: The Bug Man Zeu unleashes on Beelzebub. It is powerful enough to actually overwhelm him... at first.
  • Badass Normal: Rao. Of course, he was one of the youngest generals in existence...
  • Beelzebub: The name of the protagonist.
  • Big Bad: The King of Sand Land. Or so it appears at first; it's actually General Zeu.
  • Cyborg: General Zeu, though his cybernetic implants are less of a power up and more of a life support system.
  • 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.
  • Didn't See That Coming: Commander Zeu was focused on killing Rao and Beelzebub that he didn't even see General Are shot him.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: Commander Zeu is actually the dominant mastermind behind the villains.
  • Fake Static: General Are pulls this when Commander Zeu contacts him to question his orders. This led Zeu to realize Rao gotten to him.
  • Great Offscreen War: The majority of the conflict that started the Sand Era took place offscreen.
  • Harmless Villain: The King, because he's not actually in charge.
  • Heel–Face Turn: General Are, although the potential was already there after learning the truth behind the mission that killed his father who was part of General Shiba's squadron. More notably the Swimmers.
  • Here We Go Again!: The ending, where Rao once again asks Beelzebub for help on another adventure. Beelzebub 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.
  • Ironic Name: The Swimmer Gang is made entirely of people who can't swim. The family head wishes to have enough water to teach his children to do so.
  • Kamaitachi: One shows up as part of Prince Beelzebub's raiding party. When one of the humans tries to use holy water on the Prince, he intercepts it, pointing out that such items don't work on Japanese demons.
  • Man Behind the Man: Commander Zeu is this to the King, who's just a useless figure head.
  • Non-Action Guy: Thief. He'd rather stay home than go on Beezlebub's adventures. But he does help.
  • Our Demons Are Different: There are Japanese demons and demons from Abrahamic religions. Note that Holy Water does not work on the former. Presumably, demons from other religions and myths exist, with Lucifer ruling them all.
  • Pet the Dog: Belz noticed a human boy staring at him and the demons carrying water. Belz gives a case to the boy.
  • Poke the Poodle: Belz claims demons are really evil, like how he stayed awake all night and then went to bed without brushing his teeth. When Rao says he killed people, Belz and Thief remained in shock.
  • Sand Worm: Sand Dragon actually, the Geji Dragon, a giant worm-like dragon that chases Beelzebub' group after they leave the Demon Village, and destroyed the supplies.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Demons are old enough to remember how the world used to look like before the drought. Beelzebub states he doesn't know his age but is possibly around 2500 years old, and Thief is a "little older than that". Rao, an old man by human standards, can't help but consider himself a baby by comparison.
  • The Scapegoat: The human population blamed the demons for the drought that affected the world, despite said drought affecting them too.
  • Shout-Out:
    • 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.
    • Lucifer was seen reading Faust.
  • Tank Goodness: A short ways into the story the group steal one of the king's tanks and spend most of the rest of the story traveling in it.
  • Reused Character Design: Beezlebub's father looks like Dabra. It's not generally known if is the same character, but fans like to think so. Then again, Akira Toriyama is known to do this all the time.
  • 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.