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Übel Blatt (ユーベルブラット Yūberu Buratto?, Evil Blade) is an ongoing seinen manga series created by Etorouji Shiono, and is currently running in Square Enix's Young Gangan magazine. So far 10 volumes have been published in Japan with Volume 10 published on September 25, 2009. Übel Blatt has been translated into French, getting into the top 15 list for manga in France at number 11.[1]

Plot

The story of Übel Blatt takes place into a medieval, fantasy-like landscape. It follows the steps of Koinzell, who appears to be nothing more than a mere half human child most distinguishable for the scar over his left eye. He is on a quest of revenge against those who betrayed and killed him and now call themselves the seven heroes of the land.

Beginning some twenty years prior the start of the manga, the story narrates on how Koinzell, then named Ascheriit, was a young, prodigious swordsman whose skill granted him the fabled title of Blatt Meister (literally Blade Master), and whose deeds made him one of the fourteen youths chosen by the ruling emperor of the Empire of Szaalenden to venture into a dangerous quest to defeat a powerful enemy invader, known as the evil nation of Wischtech, of whom the many powerful engines of destructions and dark sorceries made a dangerous foe. Each armed with a lance blessed by the emperor himself, and thus known as the Fourteen Lances, the young chosen traveled far into the enemy's wasted landscape, losing three of their ranks to the perils of the land, until they arrived into a forest where seven of the eleven remaining youths decided to forfeit their mission, fearing for their lives. Nevertheless, Ascheriit and three of those still bent on following the Emperor's will continued, and incredibly succeeded in their deed, returning victorious. It was then that the seven who were left behind ambushed their comrades and massacred them. Back home, they told the Emperor that the four they killed turned traitors against them, and after dispatching them the seven completed the task. Thus, they were hailed as heroes and dubbed the Seven Heroes, while the four who were killed became symbols of treachery and received the spregiative moniker of Lances of Betrayal.

Thus, the story tells of the voyage of Ascheriit, who indeed survived the slaughter and vowed to take the head of his traitorous companions, now powerful nobles and warlords hailed as saviours by the people.

Characters

Main characters

Köinzell (ケインツェル Keintseru?)
Koinzell is a new name taken by one of the falsely-labeled Lances of Betrayal, Ascheriit. Back in his youth he was an orphan who was accepted as a student in Ms. Glea's school of swordsmanship where he accomplished such feats including almost learning of the infamous Black Wing sword technique after seeing the swords forms only once on his first day there. Showing such promise made him the new heir of the title of Blade Master, an ancient honor for those deemed true master swordsmen. He then became one of the fourteen youths chosen to carry the Emperor's spears and end the war with Wischtech, and was also one of the four to accomplish their mission only to be betrayed and brutally murdered by their fellow companions, those who became known as the Seven Heroes. After having his left eye gouged out by Glenn, his best friend, and his body minced to pieces, he was left for dead but managed to survive by feeding on a fairy, which regenerated him at the expense of mixing his human blood with that of the faeries, thus giving him the appearance of a human-fairy child hybrid with feminine facial features, pale hair, skin and red eyes. Koinzell is regarded as one of the best fighters in the series, due to not only to his swordsmanship, which include the fabled Black Wing, but also because he can create massive black chain-swords from his right wrist. He is shown to be usually cold, ruthless, and even brutal when hunting down those who betrayed him. He can however be very caring and often puts himself at great risk or harm for others for who considers friends of those who he believes is just in their cause or act. That is due to that although revenge motivates him, he is still the hero which he was before being betrayed by his friends. He is empowered by the twin moons of the world, and if too fatigued he shrinks into a disheveled child fairy until recovered.
Ato (アト Ato?)
The third princess of the Kusharundo clan, she is a young human girl who dresses as a man so as to fight on the front-line with her brother Klato, whom she looks up to. After the latter's death at the hands of Koinzell when Klato's mind and body was altered by the Fake Güsstav and becoming a hideous monstrosity, Ato vowed to avenge him by taking Koinzell's life, though she always failed due to her inferior skills with the sword. In time, she accepted that what Koinzell had done was an act of mercy, and came to respect him greatly, striving to get his acceptance and approval, though in doing so she put herself into perilous situations due to excessive recklessness. In one such occasion Ato was mortally wounded and, shocked by how much she truly cared for him, Koinzell saved her by giving her his blood, which healed her and turned her into a human-fairy hybrid, just like Koinzell himself. Currently she is traveling with him in his quest for revenge.
Peepi (ピーピ Pīpi?)
A young elven girl and the only survivor of the village Miruel-Mirael, which was laid to waste. She tried in vain to pass the frontiers that divided the Empire from the bordering countries by smuggling herself, but was captured and almost put to death until Koinzell showed up and, to save her without bloodshed, addressed her as Peepi and claimed to be her brother. Since then, Peepi has been how the girl was referred, and her real name is not yet known. Being so young she is prone to cry, but she also has considerable inner strength and also showed talent in summoning magic. A recurring joke about her is that she often ends up dressed in revealing clothes, stating how she would like to wear something less provocative.
Altea (アルテア Arutea?)
A smuggler of Heaven's Lance and owner of an underground tavern, so she is close friends with Vid and took an instant liking to Koinzell after he was introduced to her, perhaps because he has the same eyes as her presumably deceased lover. After the warrior monks in control of Heaven's Lance's temple raided the tavern (and interrupted their fun), martial law was declared after Koinzell dispatched a whole group of monks with a fallen ceiling support beam. Altea decided to smuggle Koinzell, Vid and Peepi through the gate using the old Wischtech tunnel that she had discovered along with her lover. During the fight with the Wischtech monster that had killed her lover, Altea was able to work through her trauma of seeing her lover killed and managed save Peepi. After the incident with Schtemwolech (which she did not take part of), Ato, Peepi and her decided to follow Koinzell in his journey, but they lost their trail at the city of Jullas Abllas. They were briefly reunited after Ato was injured during the fight between Koinzell and Elsaria. During the chaos surrounding Barestar's siege of Jullas Abllas, and unable to stand the lives she had saved (through smuggling) getting killed for pointless reasons, she took charge of the situation and organized the combined forces of Vigilance Committee (sort of like Jullas Abllas' police force) and armed civilians into a effective defence force, saving many lives. They decided to nominate Altea as their leader after the siege was halted by Barestar's death in Koinzell's hands. Altea decided to stay and protect the Free City of Jullas Abllas that Koinzell tried so hard to save, perhaps intending it as his legacy or as a testament to his honour and his will to protect the empire.

The Fourteen Lances

Elgunaha (エルグナッハ Erugunahha?)
Elgunaha is a close friend of Koinzell, and he is the first of the fourteen Lances to be sacrficed. He casted a spell that creates a gigantic wall separating part of the world from the other, but the spell has an unintentional effect of turning the caster into stone. The wall, called the "Heaven's Lance" is eventually destroyed by Koinzell, after making his final peace with Elgunaha.

The Seven Heroes

Schtemwölech (シュテムヴェレヒ Shutemuverehi?)
One of the original Fourteen Lances, he was one of the seven that massacred Ascheriit and his three companions and returned as heroes, thus becoming one of the fabled Seven Heroes. A mere thief before being chosen as one of the Fourteen, he was good friend with Ascheriit, but after becoming a lord he sought to be one forever by sick use of Wischtech sorcery and medical experiments, which had hundreds of women with fairy blood drained and minced so as to keep the body of Schtemwolech from aging. In his quest for immortality he tried to use even Köinzell due to his human-fairy nature, but was beaten and massacred. He was the first of the "Heroes" to fall.
Barestar (バレスター Baresutā?)
Another of the Fourteen Lances who turned traitor against Ascheriit, before he was sent to the Emperor as one of the Lances he was the son of a powerful merchant, the youngest of three brothers. Insecure and inept in dealing with business, he was instead chosen as an envoy to the Emperor due to his considerable physical prowess. He also was a friend of Ascheriit, and the only one with Glenn to understand what the brutality of their acts would bring upon them all. Still, after becoming a hero, he started living lavishly, consumed by anger and envy against Glenn for not being granted constructions of war airships, and secretly turned his fortress into a flying castle armed with Wischtech engines of destruction. After Schtemwolech's death he grew increasingly paranoid and fearful that even the slightest thing could be an attempt to his life. So paranoid he was, he sends his army to attack the city of Jullas-Abllas, accusing it's citizens of supporting Koinzell. Ironically, his actions actually made the citizens support Koinzell and fight against his army. In the end, his own men betrayed him and left him, a fact that finally drove him completely insane. Seeing such a thing, Koinzell killed him while in his stupor, as an act of pity.
Glenn (グレン Guren?)
One of the most prominent of the Seven Heroes, so much so that he was nominated envoy of the Emperor himself to deal with the increasingly preposterous acts of Koinzell. In the days of the Fourteen Lances they were good friends, yet Glenn secretly despised and envied Ascheriit greatly due to his superior swordsmanship and his calm behaviour. Out of the Seven Heroes, he apparently is the only one who recognized the brutality of their treason and did not fear eventual retribution, though he also stated that their punishment was the very fact that they became heroes, being burdened with the welfare of the whole Empire not only as nobles, but as symbols for the people. He was killed outright by Koinzell during their second meeting, after sparing his life in their past encounter.
Lebelont (レベロント Reberonto?)
An ambitious and powerful "hero" of the empire. Lebelont has managed to effectively usurp the throne through various powerplays after Glenn's death and is now the unofficial ruler of the empire due to his position as head of its armed forces. He is ruthless and cunning man and is the current antagonist of the series. He has recently declared war on the Wischtech after publicly executing ten of their kind. He has five children to an unknown mother, each as brutal and perhaps more so than their father.
Güllengurv (ギュレングルフ Gyurengurufu?)
Nirgenfeled (ニルゲンフェレト Nirugenfereto?)
Ischüdien (イシューディーン Ishūdīn?)
The Dragon Chief of the empire. Like Glenn, he too feels guilty on what he has done to Koinzell and the others and try's to make amends by making the empire a better place. Due to Lebelont recent actions including the massacre of Jebr and reigniting the war with the Wischtech, Ischüdien forms an alliance with Order of the Seven Lances as he sees Lebelont acts have gone too far and may destroy the empire.

The Lances of Betrayal

Kfer (クファー Kufā?)
A man with great pride and honor. Kfer maintains a calm manner and puts his duty before anything else. He was the heir of the Jebnaress clan, the ruling clan of Jebr. Jebnaress had a history of strong swordsmanship, but Kfer lost the title of "blatt meister" to Ascheriit (Koinzell). Unlike Glenn, he held no jealousy nor hatred towards Ascheriit and became his friend and hope Ascheriit would train his son to become the next "blatt meister". During the war, Glenn attempted to convince Kfer to follow him and the other 7 members of the Holy Lances to give up on their mission because, as an important noble, he has an important lineage to keep. Kfer refuses to betray Ascheriit, Güsstav and Krentel on their mission and sneered Glenn and the others cowardice. After the betrayal of the 7 heroes, Kfer was killed, and Jebnaress was disgraced, and was overthrown by the other clans of Jebr. Kfer's son, Ikfes, became a slave knight and hated having the blood of his father, whom he thought betrayed the empire.
Güsstav (ギュスタフ Gyusutafu?)
Little is known about Güsstav, but according to Kfer, she has "more experience in war than anyone."
Krentel (クレンテル Kurenteru?)
Little is known about Krentel, but according to Kfer, he has "supreme knowledge of magic."

Szaalenden Empire

Emperor Largor the Third (ラルゴールⅢ世 Rarugōru Sansē?)
The current reigning Emperor. Largor is a strong leader who has made the Szaalenden empire prosper since the Wischtech war. After the death of his son Glenn, he lost all interest of governing the empire. Because of his unwillingness to stop the power hungry Lebelont, the Imperial Elector's have decided to elect a new Emperor to replace Largor.
Ikfes (イクフェス Ikufesu?)
Son of Kfer and slave knight serving under Glenn, his swordsmanship is almost on the same level as Koinzell. He's been studying under Ms. Gleaa for 5 years and was told if he killed the Hero Slayer, he'd regain his title as Imperial Royalty. He has a little brother. He is the empire's most skilled swordsman and is said to be the next to inherit the title 'Blatt Meister' after Ascheriit. Ikfes confronts Koinzell after he slays Barestar and the two engage in a brutal sword fight. Ikfes acknowledges Koinzell's skill with a sword but still believes his skill is superior. The battle ends however, when Koinzell uses the 'Black Wing' techniques, the ultimate skill only a 'Blatt Meister' would know, to shatter Ikfes' sword and injure his arm. His defeat causes Ikfes to become more obsessed with defeating Koinzell. It has been revealed that Ikfes is related to one of the Four Lances of Betrayal, which is how he lost his status as imperial royalty. He was given Ascheriit's Fairy Stone Sword by Glenn, whom he stole from Asceriit after betraying and murdering him. During their second duel Koinzell once again uses Koku-Yoku and injures Ikfes in doing so. Ikfes blames Kfer's, revealed to be his father and is Koinzell's friend, sword technique which he acquired as the reason for his losses. Koinzell tells Ikfes that Kfer's technique was incorporated into Koku-Yoku, the Blatt Meister's technique, and that he should not be ashamed of himself and his family. Ikfes then uses the technique on Koinzell and defeats him but does no kill him and instead says that he still wants to learn things from Koinzell. Lebelont, however, uses his flying castle's main cannon to blast Koinzell. After the massacre of Jebr, he is hailed as a hero and becomes the newest 'Blatt Meister', thus repairing "The Mansion of Swords" name.
Ms. Gleaa (グーリェ Gūrye?)
A swordsmanship teacher at "The Mansion of Swords", she's spent 20 years rebuilding the reputation of the school after Ascheriit was labeled a traitor. She taught Ascheriit and hates Glenn for killing him. Glenn has told her of his murder of Ascheriit and the other Lances of Betrayal, but he does not reveal the truth of what transpired, claiming he murdered them for the empire. She wished that they could have at least preserved their names as heroes rather than calling them the "Lances of Betrayal".

Order of the Seven Lances

Rozen (ロズン Rozun?)
Rozen is an officer of the Order of the Seven Lances, the personal unit of Glenn. He and his retinues help Koinzell, until learning of his true nature. Rozen overheard Koinzell's secret, that he is Asceriit and the true lances of betrayal are the seven heroes. However, Rozen does not agree with Koinzell's mission of vengeance because he believes that no matter if the seven heroes truly were betrayers the empire's stability is built around the "Seven Heroes". He is often conflicted because he has heard the true story about the supposed Seven Heroes and Lances of Betrayal.
Schemle (シェムリェ Shemurye?)
Rozen's attendant. A young women with glasses, she extremely skilled with the crossbow and specializes in delivering bolts with explosive arrowheads.
Elseria Rahnclave (エルサリア・ラハンクレーブ Erusaria Rahankurēbu?)
The daughter of the imperial elector Aleczalt Rahnclave and a knight of the Seven Lances. She first meets the main character, Koinzell, at the town of Jullas Abllas. It is also there that her view of the once traitor and enemy to the empire changes into something more. The Rhanclave family is one of the ten families that have the power to elect a succeeding emperor. It is also said that the Rhanclave family is over 1000 years old and specializes in fighting. She also has a strong sense of justice as her reason for joining the Seven Lances was only to protect the people and the empire.
Daliste (ダリステ Darisute?)
A knight of the Seven Lances who follows Elseria. This knight specializes in the use of chains or ropes(wires) to inflict damage or capture his enemies. So far, not much is known about this character.

Others

Vid (ヴィド Vido?)
A smuggler and acquaintance of Altea, he initially showed up to help Peepi and Koinzell as they were questioned, and escaped with them to the Empire after the destruction of the border fortress Heaven's Lance. After saving princess Sharen of the Kusharundo clan, from one of the Seven Heroes, Schtemwolech, he decided not to follow Koinzell. However he promised to help Koinzell one day when the need arises.
Gerapen (ゲランペン Gerampen?)
A giant man with a menacing look who is actually a kind person. He is a captain in Schtemwölech's White Wing Army who's leader is a young man named Pago who Gerapen calls "brother". A kind yet easily fooled man, he unknowingly helps Pago gather young women refugees who are used in Schtemwölech experiments under the belief he is helping relocating the to a new village. But when he finds undead monsters created by Pago, Gerapen is horrified and at first refuse to believe Pago is responsible, but when he sees Pago disturbing acts by himself, Gerapen realize Pago has tricked him all along and end his "brother's" life. He was thought to have died after Schtemwölech secret lair was destroyed but he reunites with the protagonists at Jullas-Abllas where it is revealed he survived thanks to the parasite from Pago's body.

The Black Wing Army

A rebel army in the frontier borderlands near Wischtech, the army is led by four former landlords who were veterans of the Wischtech war who lost their lands after defending it from rival warlords but were accuse of the starting the border disputes and losing their lands. Embittered, the former landlords regroup their armies with Wischtech magic and weapons and took the names of the Four Betrayers to gain support. Under their tyrannical rule, the Black Wing army, pillage, slaughter and raped any civilians and Empire loyalists they found. But their reign ended after Koinzell fought against them.

Fake Kfer (偽クファー Nise Kufā?)
Fake Kfer is a massive brute who merely loves killing and raping women without any feeling for others. He attacks without concern even with his own troops. He wields a massive mace and rides an equally large horse whom he loves more than anything else. Both he and his horse were killed by Koinzell.
Fake Güsstav (偽ギュスタフ Nise Gyusutafu?)
A large woman and cruel magic user who likes to see men running in fear and dying horribly. A narcissist, she likes young, beautiful boys and brainwashes them and performs cruel and morbid surgeries by adding animals parts on them with one of the victims being Ato's brother Klato. Like the Fake Kfer, the Fake Güsstav does not care about her troops and even kills them personally if they try to kill a pretty boy she fancies. When she first encounters Koinzell, she wants to make him one of her toys and even tries to rape him but Koinzell uses that to his advantage to escape his constraints and in the process cuts her face. Enraged, she transform using Wischtech magic into a hideous beast but is killed by Koinzell.
Fake Krentel (偽クレンテル Nise Kurenteru?)
A conniving short man, he used Wischtech magic to turn the frontier Count of the borderlands into a monster to attack Koinzell and the Order of the Seven Lances. He was however killed by his own monster when he lost control of it.
Fake Ascheriit (偽アシェリート Nise Asherīto?)
A tall man with long hair, he uses twin blades and two obsidian swords implanted within his back, which he claims is the Black Wing. When Koinzell reveals who he really is, he tries to save himself by offering the Black Wing Army to use in his revenge, only for Koinzell to kill him for using and further staining his fallen comrades names.

Reception

In France, Übel Blatt has been awarded the Japan Expo Award 2008 in the seinen category.[2]

References

  1. France | ComiPress
  2. Script error

External links

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