Well my dears today I’m visiting an oldie but goodie. We are hitting up Zatch Bell! From those sweet carefree days when you watched small beings from another world beat the hell out of each other. Now let’s get to it!
Our story begins as so many do in this format Japan in a boy’s bedroom. Kio child prodigy pouts in his room about not wanting to take his antisocial self to school much because he felt he was smarter than everyone there even the teachers much to the resentment of most of the student body and some of the staff save Susie. A simple minded girl with a crush on the young man much to his abhorrence but even then she was the only one to believe in the possibility of him having a good nature until a young half naked boy carrying a giant yellowtail fish crashed into his room from the window. Zatch turned out to be a sent by Kio’s father for two purposes the first being to help Kio make friends and the second was to figure out Zatch’s amnesia. The former was a success after Kio found out that Zatch could shoot lightning from his mouth…which he didn’t figure out until much later because he would lose consciousness each time it occurred. After much determination and a few battles the team figured out that Zatch was being from another world referred to as a mamodo sent to the human world to fight 100 other mamodo to earn the right to be Mamodo King! All he must do is compete in battles where mamodo are paired with a human that can read their spell books until said book is burned or that book is the last left. The owner of the destroyed books return to the mamodo world until the remaining combatants dwindle until a winner is decided.
The entire series despite having a somewhat repetitive rhythm of struggling with each battle only to get stronger along the way sort of a trial by fire with friendship, strategy, etc.. All in all after figuring out that it is unjust for mamodo’s to be forced against their will and to turn friends into foes Zatch resolves to become a kind king. With that he forces some of the mamodo’s he crosses on his path to become King to contemplate what sort of king they would be. A favorite phrase reflected on constantly from the start of the series are from Kolulu “If the king of our world was a benevolent king maybe we wouldn’t have to come here and fight in the first place.” Her words are constantly referred to throughout the series. However the changes are gradual with emotional strides taking shape in the form of new spells for each and every mamodo (even Kanchome).
The art is varied but of course so are the mamodo but even more of a brilliant thing is the contrast between mamodo and book owners. The two teams that express this perfectly are Zatch and Kio along with Brago and Sherry. Zatch is of course happy go lucky but reliable while Kio is the picture of strategy and perseverance making their team strong making up for things that the other lacks. Brago and Sherry the series’ favorite for Mamodo King (aside from underdog Zatch). Brago looks like some inane prince of darkness….(or an emo kid with bones around his waist) while Sherry dresses like a doughty school teacher running around in limo but don’t let any of that fool you she’s just as formidable as Brago even learning to curb the mamodo who was nearly unmanageable. Now this relationship was not exactly built on roses but more of a duel based on gaining respect for one another especially on Brago’s part when Sherry threatened his chances of becoming Mamodo King to bring him to heel. In a way it reminds me of my husband and myself… A relationship where each have to deal with the other’s weaknesses and strengths to overcome and grow (which meant he had to learn to deal with my crazy as well).
All in all I very much love this anime but at this time Hulu does not have the entirety of it available which is troublesome for me because I marathoned the hell out of it. So if push comes to shove my happy little self might have to hit up Amazon again. Now before I close I want to say this anime is of course Hatter approved good night my dears this Hatter is out!