Beet the Vandel Buster

 BTVU   (Viz, 2004-2006)

™ and © 2002 Riku Sanjo, Koji Inada/Shueisha Inc.
Series reads right to left; blak and white.

Happily, in a low–tech fantasy world full of monsters called Vandels, there are professional monster hunters known as Busters. And that’s all you really need to know about Beet the Vandel Buster, a classic Shonen Jump–style boys’ adventure series where the characters and conflicts are as simple as the art. Our hero, Beet, and his female friend, Paola, are wanderers who go from town to town busting monsters ranging from the just odd (like burning evil trees that look as if they’ve escaped from an episode of Digimon) to their archenemy, the classy Beltorze. The conflicts are not so much good vs. evil as they are business as usual, since the Vandels have no intricate evil plan: They’re just bad because it’s their job. It’s a job they take seriously—readers spend as much time seeing these creatures jostle for position among themselves as watching Beet smack them around. It’s pretty clear the creators are using Dragon Ball as a template for this one and, while it’s nowhere in that league, it’s still a lively, entertaining fantasy.

— S.A. Bennett

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  9/1/2004
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