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Manga / Übel Blatt

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Übel Blatt is a Dark Fantasy seinen manga created by Etorouji Shiono, which ran from December 2004 to March 2019. It has a total of 24 volumes (since the first volume is 0, the last volume is number 23).

In the Empire of Szaalenden, there is a certain tale told to children and adults alike. In the year 3968 the Empire was at war with a powerful dark enemy called Wischtech. With the Wischtech forces close to overrunning the Empire's defenses and casualties rising every day, the Emperor sent fourteen champions to seal the route used by Wischtech's invading armies. Not all would complete the journey; three died along the way, and were forever known as the 'Precious Departed'. Four betrayed the rest and were killed, their names blackened with the title of 'Lances of Betrayal'. The remaining seven pushed on and completed their mission, bringing peace to the Empire. They became known as the 'Seven Heroes' and were lauded far and wide as saviors of the land.


Twenty years have passed since the war, but there is trouble in the Imperial Frontiers. A mysterious boy named Köinzell appears on the outskirts of the Empire, cutting a bloody swath through the chaos. His one goal: to kill the Seven Heroes no matter the cost. At the same time, there comes word of a prophecy, proclaiming that a hero will come from the frontier to stop a mysterious, deadly catastrophe.

The manga is published in Japan by Square Enix and has an English-language localization by Yen Press that began publication in October 2014. It also has a French-language localization by Ki-oon which began publication May 2004.


This series provides examples of:

  • Alas, Poor Villain: In his madness, Barestar recognizes Köinzell as Ascheriit, then begs him for help and cries about how he only ever wanted to be a merchant like his father. Even Köinzell found it pitiable.
  • Alien Sky: In the sky is visible two moons
  • Amazonian Beauty: Lebelont's daughter, Supaz, goes from Brawn Hilda to this after Glenn grants her new powers.
    • Gustav, from what we see of her, was very easy on the eyes and a certified Badass.
  • And I Must Scream: People on which Wischtech powers were used are often stuck inside their own bodies, with no control over their actions, in constant, terrible agony.
  • Anti-Hero: Köinzell, although he still has his high standards about honorable soldiers and knights, though. He would kill any of the Seven Heroes and their supporters in a heartbeat, despite acknowledging that their deaths would only invite chaos. Still the number of generally heroic deeds he carries out outweighs his more "villainous" traits—he is not above helping random commoners out and even intends to become The Atoner for all his actions once he's through with his vengeance.
    • On top of that, given the shenanigans many of the Seven Heroes have gotten up to since the days of the war, Koinzell's efforts seem to be providing a far greater service than he'd originally intended.
  • Artifact Alias: It's revealed very early that Köinzell is Ascheriit, one of the "Lances of Betrayal" who were killed by the "Seven Heroes" and is seeking revenge on them. Yet everyone who knows that continues to call him Köinzell even when there is no real reason to hide it, the name just stuck.
    • Peepi may be a variation: Köinzell made up that embarrassing name on the spot to pass as his brother and she is interrupted every time she is about to say her real name. So after a while she just goes with it.
  • The Atoner: Deconstructed with Glenn.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: The series provides several examples; the Emperor himself shows that he's no slouch, even in his old age.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: Köinzell (with both martial and mundane skills, such as blacksmithing).
  • Awful Truth: Finding out that the four people who you've spent the last twenty years cursing and spitting on the names of are the actual heroes who gave their lives to save you, your family, your nation, and your way of life from complete annihilation, and that the seven men you've spent that same amount of time venerating as the living saviors of the country are the men who murdered them and took all the credit. Even Koinzell seems wary of people learning the truth, not that he'd have a particularly easy time convincing anyone.
    • This is a far worse piece of information for Ikfes, who realizes that he had been serving men who betrayed and murdered his father, blackened his house, forced him and his mother into exile, and brought conflict to his homeland.
  • Awkwardly-Placed Bathtub: Lady Elsarea has one on the bridge of her flying ship.
  • Badass Back: Köinzel.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Köinzell and Princess Ato. Later on, Köinzell also does this with Ifkes.
  • Badass Crew: The Lances of Betrayal and The Precious Departed. The former four accomplished a Suicide Mission that fourteen were meant to, (and even then it would have still been a longshot) the latter three sacrificed themselves to ensure the Lances even got that far. The Seven Heroes were an inversion, especially at the time.
  • Bathing Beauty: Elsarea, to ridiculous levels.
  • Battle Trophy: Supaz thinks of the imperial female commander she defeated and nearly raped as this and even says it outright.
  • Berserk Button: Köinzell has two: someone mentioning the "Seven Heroes" and seeing innocents suffer needlessly.
  • Bifauxnen: Ato starts like this.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Köinzell, too many times to count. Later on, several other characters pull this off, most notably Ifkes.
  • Bishōnen: More then a few.
  • Blood from the Mouth: Nearly any time someone gets nailed in the stomach/chest this occurs, even to Köinzell himself. Though he never dies, of course. It's put to good use, though it's not exactly...what kills the very unlucky guy.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Many things that appear to be minor details about how that world works later turn out to have significance. Usually, this comes in the form of Chekhov's Gunman, in particular, the "black hats", especially the two who appear at the end of the very first chapter. While the "black hats" are running around in the background throughout the story, the two who showed up in chapter one don't appear again until much later. The older one is seen again at the end of chapter 148 and the other (Vlug Arigy) reappears in the following chapter.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Köinzell, even though he states that he doesn't care about casualties as long as he can get his hands on Seven Heroes, can't just leave anyone innocent suffering.
  • Coitus Uninterruptus: In the first chapter no less.
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique: The Black Wind. He didn't much have many problems doing it with his human body, but it takes a much greater toll on his half-fairy body.
  • Deal with the Devil: It's obvious that the Seven Heroes, especially Glenn, are getting aid from the Wischtech in gaining Lovecraftian Superpower. In a twist, it turns out their benefactors were stranded Wischtech troops who helped them in exchange for being protected from persecution. The troops eventually regret this deal when they realized Glenn wants to conquer and possibly destroy their country; most of them were killed by Glenn when they outlived their usefulness.
  • Died Standing Up: This is what happens to Kevira's elder brother, Lavaanh, thanks to Lebellond using a siege weapon against ordinary combatants. What makes this even more incredible is the fact that the person in question is usually rational and is covered in scars and missing an arm.
  • Dirty Coward: Barestar. The seven "heroes" in the backstory were all this when they chose first to desert, then to ambush the four actual heroes and use them as scapegoats.
  • Dirty Old Man: Corrupt individuals in power tend to do this. The emperor appears to be this at one point, however, this turns out not to be the case.
  • Doorstop Baby: Ascheriit's backstory.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Vargue, an officer of Barestar's army who thinks it's a good idea raising the morale of his men whom are escaping from a One-Man Army by punching them in the face.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Köinzell could pass for a girl with his scar covered and wearing girl clothes. Used effectively to disguise himself in cities. He didn't like this at first, though.
  • Embodiment of Vice: Unorthodoxically represented by the "seven heroes."
  • Embodiment of Virtue: Unorthodoxically represented by the Lances of Betrayal and The Precious Departed.
  • The Empire: A rare good version. But it's far from being The Good Kingdom. Wischtech could be a standard evil one (this is left unclear).
  • Enemy Civil War: A civil war later in the manga one breaks out between the forces of Lebellond, who has control of the Imperial forces, and the newly resurrected Glenn, who along with much his own forces also controls Ischüdien's forces as well.
  • Enemy Mine: With Lebellond on the verge of starting a new Wischtech war, Elserea's knights, Rozen and the Order of the Seven Lances, Dragon Chief Ischüdien and Köinzell all want to stop Lebelont before things get worse. They really don't join forces though, as Ischüdien winds up showing up with a revived Glenn shifting the entire nation.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Glenn believes Barestar to have crossed the line by invading Jullas-Abllas and even refuses to punish the people of Jullas-Abllas' rebellion since it was Barestar who started the mess in the first place and had been held accountable for what he did.
    • Later Dragon Chief Ischüdien, who is shown working against Lebellond's war-mongering ways after Glenn's death when Lebellond should be serving the Empire, not conquering it.
  • Evil Makes You Monstrous: Happens a lot as many people, normally the bad guys use different means to gain some sort of inhuman power.
    • Subverted in some cases such as post-resurrection Glenn who (so far) goes from an average-looking older guy with traces of nobility and regret to more of a Bishōnen then in previous flashbacks of his youth and even more cold and heartless.
      • Glen can bestow this onto others as well using a catalyst known as "Gungnirtropfen", which goes either one of two ways. If the ingestor is strong of will and mind then they become more powerful and beautiful. Lebelont's daughter, Supaz is an example of someone who was a rough Large and in Charge female commander is morphed into a Amazonian Beauty capable of killing a One-Winged Angel form of one of her brothers without much effort after joining Glen. If they aren't capable, however, then they become monsters.
  • Expy: The Szaalenden empire is obviously based on The Empire from Warhammer especially how their armies mix men with swords, dragons and flying aircraft and how eight noble electors elect the new Emperor.
  • Face of a Thug: Geranpen. He still winds up in drag at one time.
  • Fake Ultimate Hero: Seven of them, in fact.
  • Fan Disservice: Geranpen... It's worse that he is also an OCTOPUS (cue the tentacle doujins).
  • Fanservice: Almost every girl involved with Köinzell. Even Peepi, much to her dismay.
  • Faking the Dead: Lord Glenn returns even though everybody saw him getting slain by Ascheritt. Ascheritt too, after everyone but his allies thought that he was killed by Lebellond.
  • Fatal Flaw: For the emperor, it's his unreasoning love for his son. As he's dying, he basically admits that he wanted to believe Glen so much that he managed to convince himself Ascheritt and the other Lances of Betrayal had sold them out when he ultimately should have known better.
  • Fate Worse than Death: The best way to distinguish between bad villains and worse villains is if they inflict this on their victims.
  • Four Is Death: Subverted with The Four Lances of Betrayal (unless you count the fact they were all killed, save Ascheritt who managed to survive).
  • From Bad to Worse: With Glenn dead, the power-hungry Lebellond takes action by taking over Glenn's former lands and killing dissidents who gets in his way to become the next Emperor. What's worse? He plans to rekindle the war with Wischtech to achieve more fame than Glenn. A veteran of the war calls him out for it.
    • It gets worst for the civilians and military, as a mysteriously alive and younger Glenn or someone claiming to be him, has come back controlling Dragon Chief Ischüdien and his forces along with a new superweapon and has ignited a Civil War with his forces and Lebellond.
  • Gentle Giant: Geranpen. Don't call him "octopus," though.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: This is ultimately a subversion, since no particular type of scar indicates morality, although they are often interpreted this way, starting with the protagonist (his scars are often in-universe interpreted as evil) and moving on from there. Aside from Köinzell, the best examples are Lashev, the lords of Jebr (later Kevira gets them too), and Lebellond.
  • Gratuitous German: Everywhere, the most grating example is the title (which would actually roughly mean Bad Leaf, disregarding German grammar). Leaf as in a blade of grass. "Blatt" (or rather "Schneidblatt") is rarely used to refer to blades, and if it is, its use is generally restricted to tools. A saw has a "Blatt", but a sword or knife would have a "Klinge". And that isn't even touching the faulty grammar. The intended translation is probably "evil blade", or "bad blade". The term "Blattmeister" (which is probably supposed to be a blade master) sounds more like a skilled gardener...
    • The chapters are also all named in German.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Köinzell; played with somewhat, as while he is an Anti-Hero not afraid of getting his hands dirty, on the other hand more and more people realize the true nobility of his heroic deeds and how he's mostly in the right about things.
  • Heroic BSoD: Happened early in the series with Köinzell realizing how much control and power the Seven Heroes had in the Empire, making him unable to touch them, and then Glen crushed his pride even more when he tells the angry mob to forgive his "misplaced anger." It takes the death of a civilian elven couple, in a very horrific way, to make him snap back.
  • Humiliation Conga: Lebellond and his children.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: The volumes are numbered one fewer than the total number of volumes in the series (with no side stories and the like), because the first volume in the series is number zero. Makes sense, given that the first volume simply covers Koinzell's introduction, introduces various characters, and showcases the general theme for the rest of the series. Especially because it doesn't do more than lightly touch on the main story right up until The Reveal.
  • Ironic Echo: Köinzell claims that Schtemwölech cut apart his right arm during the Seven's betrayal of the Four. Guess which part of Schtemwölech's body Köinzell destroys first...
  • Irony: The 'Seven Heroes.' There are seven heroes, it just isn't them.
  • Intimate Healing: Köinzell's method of healing Ato is licking all of her wounds. Or to be more precise, covering her wound with his blood, which he gets by cutting his tongue.
  • Jerkass: Many of the villains. The rest are worse.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: Köinzell.
  • Left for Dead: Köinzell, repeatedly. He's only angry about one of these.
  • Lovecraftian Superpower: Another Wischtech Magitek specialty.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: More for the readers than the characters, as most of them know already long before The Reveal; Glenn is the Emperor's son, and Ikfes is the son of Köinzell's old friend and fellow "Lance of Betrayal," Kfer.
  • Mercy Kill: Köinzell does this a lot, much to his dismay.
  • Near-Rape Experience: Supaz does this to a female Empire commander, only to be stopped because of Köinzell's unit arriving.
  • Nothing Up My Sleeve: The High Priest of Heaven's Lance temple has a pair of crossbows hidden up his.
  • Older Than They Look: Koinzell is 36 years old technically.
  • One-Man Army: Köinzell, it's even lampshaded by Elsarea.
  • One-Winged Angel: Many of the villains had a contract with demons (really Wischtech techno-sorcery), essentially giving them the power to change their body in a gruesome fashion. It has a different cause, but even Köinzell can unleash this, although he can only activate his power fully under the moonlight, or by getting extremely pissed off.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: We never know Peepi's real name; everyone just calls her Peepi, much to her annoyance. She slowly accepts it, though. It's also hinted that her real-name might have some importance.
  • Our Giants Are Bigger: Wischtech Dekunszuants, towering monstrosities with dozens of eyes, clad in enormous plate mail and wielding gigantic weaponry. Simply seeing one appear breaks the morale of an entire imperial army.
  • Punch-Clock Hero: Altea, who smuggles elves into The Empire with a "little fee," is highly regarded by all elves in the Jullas-Ablas. She uses it to great effect when moving the Jullas-Ablas citizens against Barestar's army.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: Geranpen, who kidnaps Ato's sister, believing that to do so will ensure the safety of his kingdom. When he found about what happened to the girls he kidnapped though, he freaked out, and promptly helps Köinzell to stop his brother and his commander, one of Seven Heroes, Schtemwolech, and chose to die with his sworn brother, Pago which he personally helped to kill. He got better, though.
  • Put on a Bus: Quite a few characters are put on a bus, usually they either have something to do (e.g. Vid, Atlea, Rangsatt, and Bryant) or are apparently dead or fade out of the story (e.g. Geranpen, Zepy, the King of the Forest, Bettsegarm the Undefeated, and Kevira). With the exception of Geranpen, during the war against Glen they all return in some capacity, even Zepy, although on the other side.
    • Oddly subverted in the case of the three Mooks, (Lashev, Vargue, and Polevik) who each served under Schtemwölech and Barestar, who somehow manage to repeatedly live just when they finally appear to have been killed off, and at the point where it appears that they will do so until the end of the series, they are Killed Off for Real in chapter 152.
    • In a cross between Put on a Bus and Out of Focus, there is Lebellond's wife, who is never referred to or mentioned after chapter 102. The only reason the reader understands she's dead is her husband telling the girls he is raping that the one who bears his child will become his wife.
  • Rebellious Princess: Ato, Elsarea Rahnclave.
  • The Rival: Ikfes to Köinzell, he even gets to use Ascheriit's old sword (it becomes more friendly later).
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Köinzell's is the whole point of the story. Ato finally grows out of hers, when realizing that Koinzell just did her brother a favor.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Ato's whole family appears to be in favour of this, even the ones who are not fighters. Then there's the more notable example of what the Emperor used to be like, which is placed in sharp contrast to what happens when Glen is killed. He gets better eventually and when the war with his son heats up, the Emperor personally picks up a sword and goes to the front lines.
    • While not royals, the series has a few noble families, such as the Rahnclave family, who strongly believe in being personally involved in their work and encourage this attitude.
  • Seven Deadly Sins: The seven heroes all seem to represent one. Schtemwölech is Lust (thirst for power and his use of women as youth serum and combat thralls), Barestar is Greed (merchant background and constant grasping for more and bigger weapons), Glenn is Envy (his actions were motivated by his jealousy towards Ascheritt), Lebellont is Pride (everything he does is motivated by his arrogance and megalomaniacal superiority complex), Nirgenfeld is Sloth (he seems too afraid to do anything except sheepishly following more proactive and charismatic characters' lead), Güllengurv is Gluttony (he's a lot like Nirgenfeld, plus a Fat Bastard), Ischüdien is Wrath (although we haven't seen his modern self being anything but calm and composed so far, he's also considered Dragon Chief, creatures often associated with Wrath).
  • Silver Fox: Gurye, Ascheriit's sword master. Even her students note she seems hotter once he comes back and she cheers up.
  • Spell My Name with an S: Since Shiono's method of creating names is basically "throw a bunch of letters on the wall and see what sticks", this tends to happen a lot, although the spelling of at least some of the characters and places is given in-universe.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: What happens when the emperor gathers together the traditional fellowship of fourteen heroes and sends them on a mission to help defeat The Empire? Only half of them are up to it, and it all ends up horribly when the traitors murder what's left of the real heroes and take all the credit for saving the country.
  • Token Girl: Gustaf, among the four Lances of Betrayal. That is, if Krental is male (it's hard to tell which).
  • Tomboyish Name: Meet Gustaf, a tall, blonde and well endowed Lady of War.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Princess Ato after being accepted by Köinzell, and in turn after accepting his blood, turning her part fairy. Also, Peepi becomes a good summoner in the course of months.
    • Ifkes does this, thanks to Köinzell's advice to not deny his roots, resulting in two concurrent Blattmeisters.
    • There's also the villainous example of Glen's second set of subordinates, the Gungnir, who all drink a potion to grant them all sorts of abilities and rendering them nearly impossible to kill.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: Between Köinzell and Ato. Also, there are some hints of this between Ifkes and Kevira. Elsarea's feelings of admiration for Köinzell can likewise be interpreted this way.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Barestar when he recognizes Köinzell as Ascheriit (this, or he's simply hallucinating) and remembers that he once simply wanted to help his father as a merchant. Köinzell taking him down almost looks like a Mercy Kill as a result.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: The Seven Heroes. Also, in early beginning, some border lords using the name of "Four Lances of Betrayals" to gain support for themselves.
  • White Sheep: Bryant is Lebelont's son, but casts away his ambitions and sides with Ascheriit against his siblings because he recognizes that they're power-mad and hurting the country while his father fully deserved his end at Ascheriit's hand. He still has a bit of a grudge against Ascheriit for his hand is killing so much of his family, though, and this is brought up.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: The heroes at the beginning, also the knights (with their leader, Elsarea Rahnclave) who protect Jullas-Ablas from Barestar, who eventually get their ideal destroyed unmercifully in their faces. The knights got better, though.
  • Worthy Opponent: Although he has other goals, Ikfes really wants is to fight Köinzell at his strongest. His father, Kfer, had the same view.
  • You Are Too Late: Koinzell arrives too late at the final battle to stop the seal from being breached.