In this first volume of sword and sorcery manga, evil armies attack the kingdom of Metallicana. Under seige, the desperate defenders turn to a legend that a virgin's kiss may awaken "Dark Schneider, " an ancient wizard sealed within the body of a 14-year-old boy.

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Bastard (double exclamation points) is an epic fantasy series, which continues every time the mangaka feels like it. ART SECTION: 9 The general artwork is superb as both characters and backgrounds are very detailed and the action scenes are simply out of this world. It feels a lot like playing 2nd edition D&D in a post apocalyptic setting. As the story progresses, the action scenes and the scenery become more and more psychedelic, to the point where the latest volumes are non stop action in an Aliens-like environment, where it is hard to distinguish organic from inorganic. STORY SECTION: 4 The story never takes itself too seriously and mostly goes for macho battles and soft porn. The main story is at first about powerful warriors and wizards gathering seals in order to unleash a demon lord that destroyed most of the world in the past (our present that is) and recreate the world as they see fit. The good guys end up freeing their leader, Dark Schneider, as he is the only one powerful enough to stop them. Also, the first main bad guy, demon lord Anthrasax, is something out of Gingers artwork. This creates a very dark, erotic and at times comical story that always results to battles that make even DBZ feel poor. But at the same time it is never too grim or serious as the good guys always find some poor excuse to win and be completely healed. It became too repetitive and wasted a lot of time on filler scenes and battles with unimportant villains, plus the good guys simply dont know when to die. OVERALL SECTION: 6 Very good in the beginning but loses a lot of steam as it goes on.

Anthrax, Venom, Striper, "Meta-Licana" - Kazushi snuck as many bands as possible into his Fantasy world as the names of spells, cities, and even gods. The story follows Dark Schneider, an evil wizard who was sealed away fifteen years ago in the midst of his campaign to conquer the world. This volume leads up to Dark Schneider's first confrontation with his old allies, so it's essentially a 200-page tease. It's downright bizarre that the manga jumps between disturbing violence and adorable innocence, and at least in this volume, doesn't try to mix them too often.

Mir gefällt der Zeichenstil, ich kann auch die Charakter gut auseinander halten, was mich oft bei Mangas stört, da oft die Charas ziemlich gleich aussehen.

Their only hope is in the form of a very innocent boy named Lucien, who's actually the reincarnation of a very bad sorcerer, Dark Schneider, who basically decimated the kingdom some ten-twenty years prior, and can be awoken if there is great need through the kiss of a pure virgin. It had fantasy, and high fantasy at that, a kick-ass heroine, lots of comedy, a nice dose of romance, and just plain fun Conan-style-rara action. The story, afterall, is pretty simple, and basically relies on a formula of threat to kingdom, kiss the evil dude, he fixes things, yada yada. It's also got these nice sub-plots that focus on character development, mainly Yoko's and Dark Schneider's in this first volume that liven up the pretty predictable storyline. There is some negative aspects to the funness that is Bastard!!

The art isn't fantastic and the writing isn't much better, but for those of us grew up in the midst of the heavy metal bands and RPGs of the 80s, this is an incredibly fun trip down memory lane. This is intended for mature readers.

I think that from the number 19 the story is becoming less interesting and I don't appreciate the quality of the last drawings; breasts too big and exaggerated muscles.