HistoryAfter Makoto Raiku's first comic ended in the Shogakukan Shonen newspaper, he scrambled to come up with new ideas. He eventually came up with the idea of a series where a boy named Kiyomaro Takamine finds a toy knight (Gash Bell) which has the ability to transform into a real knight. There were other people with other knights, and they would all do battle against one another. After bringing up the idea to his agent, his agent suggested that he try using a "cuter" character. Raiku was reluctant to try the idea, but he ended up taking his agent's advice. Thus, the series Konjiki no Gash!! was born. The very first chapter, titled Operation "Hero of Justice" (清麿、正義の味方 Kiyomaro, Seigi no Mikata, lit. "Kiyomaro, Ally of Justice") was first published in January 2001. Afterward, the series began progressing chapter by chapter, on a monthly basis. Eventually, Raiku decided to change this to weekly, seeing as the story was progressing too slowly. On May 21, 2001, the very first volume of Konjiki no Gash!! hit the bookshelves, leaving thousands of fans clamoring for more. Nearly two years later, Fuji TV adapted the series into a TV show. Cartoon Network aired the first episode on March 5, 2005. Once another almost two years had passed, Makoto Raiku sold the dubbing rights to Toei Animation. Due to a part of the original series that did not translate quite right to English, the titular character, Gash Bell, had his character's name changed to Zatch Bell!; and so the English dub renamed the series Zatch Bell! During the same year, on August 2, 2005; Viz Media published the first English dub of the manga series, which kept the name that was fabricated by Toei Animation, Zatch Bell! While the Japanese anime series concluded on its 150th episode on March 26, 2006; the manga was still going strong. Makoto Raiku finished the series on its 323rd chapter on December 26, 2008. However, the English dub was not as lucky as to conclude when it chose. Although the series was popular in America, viewership was declining. Many fans had either stopped watching or had switched to watching the original anime. Because of this lack of viewership, the series ended in America after only reaching episode 77 on January 20, 2007; not even completing half of the Japanese anime. Then the series was picked up by Canada's YTV in September 2006. This worked for a while, but eventually, the English dub hit its end once again on December 6, 2008, after reaching episode 104. Finally, Zatch Bell! officially ended once and for all when Viz discontinued the manga on June 9, 2009; after reaching 25 volumes.
PlotKiyo Takamine (高嶺清麿 Takamine Kiyomaro) was an average 14-year old genius. He was being bullied at school, so he stopped going to school. This all changed the day he met Zatch Bell (ガッシュ・ベル Gasshu Beru). Zatch taught Kiyo the importance of friendship and helped him make his first real friend, Suzy Mizuno (水野鈴芽 Mizuno Suzume). Later, Zatch, who had amnesia, learned that he is a mamodo (魔物 mamono, lit. "demon"). Every 1000 years, 100 mamodo children are sent to Planet Earth (or Human World, 人間界 Ningenkai) for a battle to decide King of Mamodo World (魔界 Makai, lit. "Demon World"). Each mamodo partners up with a human who is able to read their book. Using the power of the book, the humans can cast powerful spells for their mamodo by using their own emotions as an energy source. If a mamodo's book is burned, he or she is eliminated from the battle and sent back to the Mamodo World. The last mamodo standing in the Human World becomes the next King.
MangaThe Konjiki no Gash!! manga was first published by Makoto Raiku on January 2001 and lasted until December 2007 with 33 volumes and 318 chapters with three side stories. In North America, the Zatch Bell! manga lasted for 25 volumes before the localized manga was canceled after the release of the 25th volume on June 9, 2009. However, the manga was completed in Spain and France in their respective languages.
List of chapters
Main article: Category:Chapters
List of side stories
- "Two Princesses" (Volume 8's bonus section — JP: December 18, 2002 / EN: August 15, 2006)
- "Dr. Riddles and Kedo's Journey of Light" (Volume 17's side story — JP: August 18, 2004 / EN: February 12, 2008)
- Konjiki no Gash!! Gaiden: Friend (March 9, 2011)
Alternate titles in other regions
- Gash! in Germany
- 魔法少年賈修!! (Mófǎ Shàonián Jiǎxiū!!, lit. "Magical Boy Gash!!") in China (Taiwon)
- 金色의 카슈!! (Geumsaeg ui Kasyu!!, lit. "Golden Gash!!") in Korea
The Konjiki no Gash Bell!! anime series was animated by Toei Animation and was directed by Tetsuji Nakamura for one hundred episodes and later directed by Yukio Kaizawa for the last fifty episodes. The series was produced by Atsuya Takase, Hiroyuki Sakurada, Shinichi Ikeda, Takatoshi Hamano and written by Akatsuki Yamatoya and Hiroshi Hashimoto. Kow Otani composed the original soundtracks for the anime and movies. The Japanese episodes were aired The Konjiki no Gash Bell!! anime was animated by Toei Animation, spanned for a total of 150 episodes, which were aired on Fuji Television between April 6, 2003 to March 26, 2006. The anime series ended after the Faudo story arc with no plans of the Clear Note arc being animated.
The English adaptation of the Zatch Bell! anime premiered on Toonami of Cartoon Network on March 5, 2005 and lasted until January 20, 2007, with seventy-seven episodes aired. Canada's YTV began airing Zatch Bell! in September 2005 and ended on December 6, 2008, with episode 104. The series was released in fifty-one DVD compilations by Shogakukan between November 19, 2003, and March 7, 2007, in Japan. As of July 2009, thirteen DVD compilations of the English adaption of the anime have been released by Viz Media between November 8, 2005, and December 4, 2007. New Video released a DVD box set, "Zatch Bell!: The Complete Seasons 1 & 2", on December 3, 2013, that included the first 100 episodes of the English dub.
List of episodes
Main article: Category:Episodes
Main article: Category:Music
Main Title Theme Song
- "Zatch Bell! Theme" by Thorsten Laewe and Greg Prestopino (Episodes 1–52)
- "Follow the Light" by Thorsten Laewe and Greg Prestopino (Episodes 53–104)
Ending Theme Song
- "Zatch Bell! Theme (Instrumental)" by Thorsten Laewe (Episodes 1–52, 71-74)
- "Follow the Light (Instrumental)" by Thorsten Laewe (Episode 53–70, 75–104)
- "Kasabuta" (カサブタ, "Scab") by Hidenori Chiwata (Episodes 1–50)
- "Kimi ni Kono Koe ga Todokimasu yō ni" (君にこの声が届きますように, "I hope this voice will reach you") by Takayoshi Tanimoto (Episodes 51–100)
- "Mienai Tsubasa" (見えない翼, "Invisible Wings") by Takayoshi Tanimoto (Episodes 101–150)
- "PERSONAL" by Aya Ueto (Episodes 1–30)
- "STARS-you don't have to worry about tomorrow-" by KING (Episodes 31–58)
- "Tsuyogari" (つよがり, "Show of Courage") by Eri Kitamura (Episodes 59–75)
- "Idea" (イデア) by Tsukiko Amano (Episodes 76–100)
- "Kyō Yori Ashita wa (今日より明日は, "Tomorrow Than Today") by Echiura (Episodes 101–125)
- "★Aso FEVER★" (★遊FEVER★, "★Play FEVER★") by Tomoe Shinohara (Episodes 126–149)
- "Kasabuta" (カサブタ, "Scab") by Hidenori Chiwata (Episode 150)
- "Hadashi no Ōsama" (裸足の王様, "Barefooted King") by Makoto Takō (Episodes 2, 3, 10)
- "Anata ga Soba ni Iru Dakede" (あなたが傍にいるだけで, "As Long as You're Here") by Chiwata Hidenori (Episodes 4, 6)
- "Kasabuta ~Kiyomaro version~" (カサブタ（清麿バージョン）, "Scab ~Kiyomaro version~") by Kiyomaro Takamine (Takahiro Sakurai) (Episodes 7, 31)
- "Boku wa Koko ni Iru (僕はここにいる, "I am Here") by rino (Episodes 8, 22)
- "Kokoro no Chikara" (ココロノチカラ, "Power of the Heart") by Kiyomaro Takamine (Takahiro Sakurai) - Episode 9
- "Chichi wo Moge!" (チチをもげ!, "Groping Breasts!") by Parco Folgore (Hiroki Takahashi) (Episodes 11, 18, 40, 51, 59)
- "Hey, Hey, Let's Dance All Day!" in the English dub
- "Muteki Folgore" (無敵フォルゴレ, "Invincible Folgore") by Kyanchome and Parco Folgore (Masami Kikuchi and Hiroki Takahashi) (Episodes 11, 18, 60)
- "Invincible Folgore" in the English dub
- "Destiny -Ano Hi ni Kaerou-" (Destiny -あの日に帰ろう-, "Destiny -Let's go back to that day-") by Sherry Belmont (Fumiko Orisaka) - Episode 12
- "Hikari no Prism" (光のプリズム, "Prism of Light") by Megumi Ōumi (Ai Maeda) (Episode 14)
- "I am a Girl and I am in Love" in the English dub
- "Happy Tomorrow☆" by Megumi Ōumi (Ai Maeda) (Episode 15)
- "We Did It Together" in the English dub
- "Yakusoku no Hoshi" (約束の星, "Star of Promise") by rino (Episode 35)
- "Destiny ~ Ano Hi no Kaerou (Destiny〜あの日に帰ろう, "Destiny ~ Let's go back to that day") by Sherry Belmont (Fumiko Orisaka) (Episodes 51, 60, 87)
- "Love is living in my heart" by Li Yen (Haruna Ikezawa) (Episode 71)
- "Tsutaete" (伝えて, "Tell") by Laila (Rumi Shishido) (Episode 78)
- "Very Melon ~Watashi no Kokoro wo Tsukanda Yoi Melon~" (ベリーメロン〜私の心をつかんだ良いメロン〜, "Very Melon ~A Good Melon That Captured my Heart~") by Victoreem, Gash Bell, Tio (Norio Wakamoto, Ikue Ōtani, Rie Kugimiya) (Episode 89)
- "Very Melon" in the English dub is dubbed without Zatch's and Tia's voices
- "Never Say BOIN BABY" by Big Boing (Episode 111)
- "Coral Q no Henkei Taisō" (コーラルQの変形体操, "Coral Q's Transformation Exercise") by Coral Q and Grubb (Chie Kōjiro and Akio Suyama) (Episodes 105, 106)
FilmsThe Konjiki no Gash Bell!! anime spawned two movies. The first film, "Gekijōban Konjiki no Gash Bell!! 101 Banme no Mamono" (劇場版 金色のガッシュベル！！ 「１０１番目の魔物」, lit. "Movie Golden Gash Bell!! Unlisted Demon #101"), was released in Japanese theaters on August 7, 2004, and released on DVD on December 15, 2004. The movie tells the story of a mamodo named Wiseman who steals a mysterious white spellbook in order to participate in the Mamodo battles in order to become the Mamodo King. Realizing his evil intentions if he becomes King, Kiyo, Zatch, and their comrades began their battle against Wiseman.
The second film, "Gekijōban Konjiki no Gash Bell!! Mechavulcan no Raishū" (劇場版 金色のガッシュベル！！ 「メカバルカンの来襲」, lit. "Movie Golden Gash Bell!! Attack of Mechavulcan"), was released in Japanese theaters on August 6, 2005, and on DVD on January 2, 2006. The movie tells the story of Dr. M2 who travels from the future mamodo world to the human world with his army of mechanical Volcan 300 look-alikes.
These movies were later published outside of Japan by Discotek Media on March 27, 2018 in a Blu-ray pack as "Zatch Bell! 101st Devil and Attack of Mechavulcan" with Japanese audio and English subtitles and Discotek Media later released these films individually on DVD on April 28, 2018.
The Card Battle
The Zatch Bell! anime and manga series have also spawned a collectible card game called Zatch Bell! The Card Battle. Being similar to the plot of the anime and manga, the gameplay is functioned similarly to how battles worked in the Battle to Determine King of the Mamodo World. The four main types of cards are MAMODO cards, PARTNER cards, SPELL cards, and EVENT cards. And rather than using a normal deck, which consists of exactly 32 cards, the main deck acts as a "Spell Book" with 32 pages.
The card game was later adapted into a video game for the Game Boy Advance in Japan called Konjiki no Gash Bell!! The Card Battle for GBA, developed by Banpresto and released only in Japan on July 28, 2005
Main article: Category:Video Games
The Zatch Bell! anime series has spawned several video games for Game Boy Advance, GameCube, PlayStation 2. Some Zatch Bell! video games were only released in Japan while some have been localized in other regions. There have also have been a few web flash games based on the series.
Changes from Japanese to English
Main article: Gash Bell vs Zatch Bell
There were many changes from the Japanese Version to the English Version either due to mistranslation or at Toei animation's request, many fans criticize the English Dub, saying that by changing so many things, they are destroying Makoto Raiku's original work.