"My obvious charms and god-like powers always dazzle the simple ordinary folk."
"Give a million monkeys a million typewriters and infinite time, and you'll get the complete Shakespeare. Serve them piña coladas, and you get Bastard!!"
—Per Arne, Encyclopedia Obscura
Set in a post-apocalyptic Earth where monsters and magic are the rule of the day, the main setting is the kingdom of Metallicana, threatened by a vast army of mages and their pawns who are trying to wake the sleeping god of destruction, Anthanthraxus.
This series is centered on the virginal (this is a plot point, in fact) priestess Tia Noto Yoko and her adoptive brother, Luche Len-Len. What she finds out is that Luche contains within him the spirit of one of the most powerful sorcerers of all time, the infamous Exploder Wizard... Dark Schneider! Only a spell capped with a kiss from a virgin can unlock the spirit within Luche and save the kingdom!
Now, this all sounds pretty much standard fantasy fare. The fun comes from some of the differences from the standard. Dark Schneider, when released, explains that he was killed by Yoko's father, and will kill the man in return. He also is the quintessential egomaniac -- one of his better speeches is:
Dark Schneider: There is an invariable rule in men's battles, it states: 'An ugly, macho guy can never beat an intelligent, popular, slender and handsome hero.' Your fate was sealed when you showed up with your ugly face.
Dark Schneider is ruthless, promiscuous, arrogant and unstoppably powerful, but he's really less a Manipulative Bastard than a force of sheer chaos.
Add in the other villains who turn into antiheroes when defeated by Dark Schneider, and the amusement value of many of the spells and locations which are named after 80s metal bands (Dark Schneider himself (named after Udo Dirkschneider from Accept), the country of Judas Priest, the samurai of the Iron Maiden (who are fighting to avenge King Harris), knights named Bon Jovina and Lars Ul Metallicana, the extremely powerful spells Exodus and Megadeath...) and you get a romp. It's six episodes long, and only goes through the first three collections of the manga (which is currently up to volume 26), so it ends with a "hey, what now?" (Because of a potential blatantly ludicrous licensing fee to use them all, these names had to be all changed in the American release.) However, the manga has also been released in the US (with quite a good translation) up to volume 19 (Though at present, it seems Viz Media has abandoned the series).
- Aborted Arc / Missing Episode: Apparently, the drafts for several arcs were damaged/lost, so Hagiwara just skipped ahead. Volume 18 ends with DS fighting Porno Diano and a bizarre interlude with a host of angels watching the gates of Hell break open (IN SPACE). Volume 19 jumps ahead 4 years with DS and the Angels battling the Demons. It's very disconcerting. Hagiwara is slowly redrawing the missing arcs for the complete version.
- The missing arcs are finally being released as of 2010.
- It should also be known that the 6 episode series was supposed to be a full 8 covering the completion of the first arc and a battle between DS and Kall Su. Something about running low on money and someone important to the project going to jail... I don't recall exactly why the last two were cut.
- After the End: The setting is 400 years after the destruction of our modern world because of the Apocalypse. Yeah, the biblical one.
- Anti-Anti-Christ DS appears to have become one; he's certainly not on Satan's side.
- Anti-Hero: Dark schneider, Gara and Arshes nei are Type V.
- An Ice Person: Kall Su specialises in Ice Magic. Results in a Crowning Moment of Awesome when he freezes a hundred foot tall Giant using only a litre of water as a base.
- Armor-Piercing Slap: Yoko does this a lot. Dark Schneider usually has it coming, though...
- She does it to Beelzebub, too. With a huge spiked club.
- Berserk Button: DO NOT EVER hurt Yoko around Dark Schneider. Your death will be too agonizingly horrible to describe.
- Byronic Hero
- Boobs of Steel: The aptly named Porno Diane seems to be the standout case. She's the right hand woman of the Big Bad, Satan and has boobs that have been described as making Pamela Anderson look like a pre-teen.
- Nearly every female in the cast counts, really, but Porno Diane, Hell Lord Astaroth in her adult form, Michael and Gabriel stand out even in such a well endowed cast.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Porno Diane. She's actually the Archangel Gabriel, who lost badly to Satan in the backstory and was captured and turned evil. Dark Schneider snaps her out of it and she develops a huge crush on him as a result
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: Many times in the manga, once in the anime.
Dark Schneider: Diamon, you bloodless fool, you forgot the most important rule of combat! You're the ugly, macho bad guy! Everyone knows the macho bad guy can't win, especially when he's fighting the exceptionally handsome and popular main character!
- Break the Cutie: Poor, poor Amrael. Thankfully, she gets better.
- Brother-Sister Incest: Nothing explicit is stated, but Uriel really, really loves his sister Amrael. Darsh even says outright: "It's like you're in love with your sister". And judging by their past, it wouldn't really be all that unexpected.
- Comic Book Fantasy Casting: In Volume 7 Hagiwara states that he based Abigail's look in the Japanese actor Kyusaku Shimada.
- Chekhov's Gun: The Dragon Knight, first mentioned in the early volumes of the manga, finally makes an appearance in volume twenty three.
- Council of Angels: Led by the four classical Archangels, two of which (Michael and Gabriel) are actually girls.
- Cute Little Fangs
- Crapsack World: Which only gets worse each arc.
- Cut Short: The anime OAV.
- Dangerous Forbidden Technique: The 7 jeweles of Judas Pain. By activating them DS can become stronger than a Demon King, but he risks destroying his soul by using them, not mentioning that it's supposedly incredibly painful.
- Darkskinned Blonde: Michael the Archangel. She most definitely does NOT have the associated stereotypical personality, though.
- Defeat Means Friendship: Played with in a couple directions; the people he defeats and befriends in the anime and first part of the manga are former friends (he'd been dead for a while.) Some of the people he defeats he befriends, others he blasts in ludicrous gibs.
- Demon Lords and Archdevils: The classical ones, led by Satan. Some have been Gender Flipped same as the Archangels.
- Doppelganger Spin: Gara's "Ninja Art of the Seven Body Split."
- Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors: One of the basic rules of magic in the series, although it's trumped by the Rule of Cool.
- Mr. Fanservice: Dark Schneider.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Dark Schneider is at his best a huge jerk, but he really loves his adopted daughter Nei, and it was true even back when he was fully blown Evil Overlord.
- Evil Laugh: Lampshaded. Believing he's killed Dark Schneider, Count Daiamon does one of these, only for DS to pop up right behind him doing an Evil Laugh of his own.
- See here
- Evil Redheads: Former Dark Schneider's lieutenant Gain Esperanza, nicknamed the Champion of Evil.
- Evil Versus Evil: Angels Vs Devils.
- Expy: Conrone seems to be pretty much based on Dudley of Street Fighter.
- Fan Service
- Fantasy Kitchen Sink: Began as this, and has only added elements since.
- Faux Affably Evil: The devil Conrone, who refers to himself as the 'Gentleman of Hell'...that is, when he's not torturing people for fun. In fact, most devils could probably qualify.
- Abigail has plenty of this, even after his Face Heel Turn.
- Four Is Death: The Four Divine Kings, who were Dark Schneider's four generals before his death. The God of Destruction, Anthrasax, is bound by four magic seals. Then there are the four Archangels...
- Gag Penis: DS sometimes use his tool like a lasso to catch and restrain unsuspecting girls. Hagiwara calls it "the hand of the Devil".
- Genki Girl: Gabriel definitely qualifies.
- Genre Savvy: See the above quote about how the ugly guy never wins.
- Gorn: Probably one of the most brutal series ever published in Shonen Jump.
- Greek Chorus: Gara's ninja army. They're always offering commentary on whatever's happening.
- Hammerspace: Used extensively, the most obvious example being Dark Schneider's ability to produce full suits of clothes from nowhere. High ranking Angels and Devils can also regenerate clothing.
- Half the Man He Used To Be: This happens to Darsh on occasion, but he usually gets better. Also happened to Conrone, but he survives due to his Healing Factor.
- Handsome Lech: Heck, he could be the poster boy for this trope.
- Heavy Mithril: The characters have classes and everything is named after Heavy Metal artists, bands, or songs.
- Hell on Earth: Occurs soon after the angel invasion Wham! Episode.
- Hermetic Magic
- Heroes Want Redheads: DS is thoroughly whipped by Yoko.
- Highly-Visible Ninja: Gara definitely qualifies, as well as some of his men.
- Ho Yay: Truckloads between Dark Schneider and Kal Su, just look at their battle.
- Humongous Mecha: The Dragon Knight.
- Knight Templar: The Angels appear to be this. The Devils are far worse, however.
- Large Ham
- Lecherous Licking: "Yoko dear.... COME HERE!" *slurp* *slurp*
- Mask Power
- Meaningful Name: Actually the Hammerspace entry may be explained by this trope: "Schneider" is German for "tailor".
- Medieval European Fantasy: In the beginning. Of late, it's been trending more towards Schizo-Tech and Magitek while losing none of the original elements.
- Megaton Punch: All four Archangels have a variant. Conrone has a literal Megaton Punch, with his ultimate attack having the power of an atomic bomb(which, despite what such a description might imply, seems to be one of the weaker attacks in the series, compared to the main character, who can destroy galaxies).
- Mr. Exposition: Mainly Raphael during DS battle with Uriel.
- Messianic Archetype: The Adam of Light.
- Nigh Invulnerable: You need some serious firepower to take down even mid-ranked Angels/Devils. Then there's the title character himself, who took this trope and ran a triathlon with it. His primary means of defense seems to be a shield spell called "Dispel Bound", which produces a number of shields to block any attack aimed at him. Each shield can take up to the force of a nuclear blast before breaking. And they can only be targeted one at a time. And they auto-regen. And he can repair them manually at positively absurd speeds. And in the unlikely event that you manage to get through that, you have to deal with his durability which allows him to take attacks that can destroy galaxies. And should you somehow manage to pierce these defenses, he possesses obscenely powerful healing abilities (of the sort that makes Wolverine look like a girl scout) and finally, he still can't be killed unless you destroy his body, spirit and soul in three different dimensions at the same time. What's truly scary is that there are people powerful enough to accomplish this (such as the Dragon Knight that killed him in the Backstory).
- No Ending: So far anyway, thanks in part to a truly massive Schedule Slip.
- The Nudifier: The clothes-dissolving slime that Gara sets on Yoko.
- Omnicidal Maniac: Satan, naturally, despite being Faux Affably Evil.
- Our Angels Are Different: On the one hand, they are Knight Templar Winged Humanoids who exterminate a third of mankind for believing in false gods. On the other, they fight against demons, who want to remake creation and fill it with horrific abominations.
- Our Vampires Are Different
- One-Man Army: Dark Schneider
- One-Winged Angel: Most high level Angels and Devils have an Augoeides, a powerful war-form capable of tremendous destruction. They require a lot of energy to maintain, however, and are used only as a last resort. The Dragon Knight was built specifically to fight them.
- Panty Shot
- Poor Predictable Rock: Subverted. It seems you can make things too hot for a fire elemental.
- Quirky Miniboss Squad: They seem to be mitotic in this universe.
- Rated "M" for Manly: A scientific book on the subject on mangas by the President of the Pop Culture Association of Australia calls it "Kazushi Hagiwara's hypermasculine heroic fantasy".
- Really Seven Hundred Years Old
- Refuge in Audacity: Dark Schneiders main modus operandi, and an example: During his battle with Porno Diane he let her rip his heart out, only to get close enough to kiss and fondle her boobs. And to check if she's a virgin (which she is if you're interested). Dark Scneider, the only man who can cause Demon Kings to have a Face Fault. Multiple times.
- Satan: Seems to be the final Big Bad (so far). He looks like Pinhead in a gimp suit and does an impression of Robin Williams' Genie at one time, but don't let that fool you.
- Satan Is Good: Well, not the guy named Satan, But rather Lucifer, who's not the same individual and by all accounts so far was a swell guy. And who also happens to have reincarnated as DS's sealed can, Lushe Len-Len. Yes, really.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: or rather, Sealed Evil In A Kid.
- Sex Slave: Darsh wanted to make Michael his Sex Slave when she was weakened. He even says the Trope name outright when Gabriel tries to stop him..
- Shout-Out: Good lord, where to start.
- Small Name, Big Ego: Dark Schneider somehow manages to occupy the position of this and Insufferable Genius at the same time.
- In a lesser extent, there is also Count Dai Amon.
- Sobriquet: "High King of Ice" Kall Su, "Thunder Empress" Arshes Nei, "Prophet of the Underworld" Abigail among others.
- Spell My Name with an "S"[context?]
- Smug Snake: Many of the early villains fall into this category, which makes it all the more satisfying when Darsh kills them. May also describe Beelzebub, who falls to pieces after his plan to kill DS fails abysmally.
- DS himself. I mean, come on, didn't you read the quotes in the article? Possibly justified since he's 400 years old, explodes things/people on a whim, and has yet to find a virgin he can't deflower. Also, the most epic mullet of all time. Ever.
- Sorting Algorithm of Evil: Of the DBZ power scale; they've reached the "Universal Threat" level for a while by now, with Satan and his legions escaping Hell.
- The Legions of Hell
- Theme Naming
- Virgin Power: The seal on Dark Schneider can only be released through the kiss of a virgin.
- Well, 80% virgin.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: DS and Gara. Constantly Volleying Insults (DS calls Gara "Gorilla" and Gara never misses an opportunity to laugh at the wizard's misfortune especially if it involves Yoko) yet DS thinks of Gara as his little brother and Gara is willing to give his life for DS.
- Warrior Prince: Lars Ul Metallicana.
- What the Hell, Hero?: In the first story arc of the manga (and in the anime), DS gets this a lot, and with good reason. While he's generally always one step away from being a Villain Protagonist, he causes ludicrous amounts of collateral damage to the castle and city he's supposed to protect. In the manga he goes as far as defeating a mutant cyclops with Healing Factor by vaporizing it with the magic equivalent of a hydrogen bomb, taking a good chunk of the city with it. In Yoko's words, "We were better off with the cyclops at this point!"
- Wife Husbandry: Darsh to Arshes Nei.
- World of Badass: When even Standard Low Level Bad Guy Mooks like orcs and lizardfolk are a credible, borderline-overwhelming threat to supposedly elite royal knights, you know most characters important enough to have a name will be total hardasses.