Zatch Bell!

TV review by
Pam Gelman, Common Sense Media
Zatch Bell! TV Poster Image
Demons + kids = violent and scary for youngsters.

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 8 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive messages

Characters must work together as a team, which some find difficult.

Violence

Frequent, strong cartoon violence. Spells, weapons, and blows that cause characters to fall down in pain.

Sex

Flirtations, blushing, awkwardness between female and male characters.

Language

No swearing, per se, but some strong antagonistic language: "You are finished." "Done with you." "Elimination by whatever is necessary."

Consumerism
Drinking, drugs & smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that each and every episode of this anime series includes fight scenes involving weapons, physical contact, and life-threatening spells between demons and their human accomplices. As with most adaptations of Japanese manga series, many of the battles include wham-bam flashes of light. Demons and humans often fall down in pain. Some characters also experience inner turmoil over figuring out their own roles and deciding whether they can trust others.

User Reviews

Adult Written byCakiecat February 1, 2013

Equally heartwarming as it is heartbreaking.

The official review of Zatch Bell on this site is outrageous. Really, no positive messages? As for the user reviews, it's too violent, seriously? The... Continue reading
Adult Written byHowsyourday March 14, 2015
Teen, 14 years old Written byTV-14lv November 17, 2009

Kool

Zatch bell is awsome and its fine for anyone 6 and up
Kid, 10 years old February 3, 2009

Not that bad for youngsters!

I think this show isn't that bad. The only concern is the fantasy violence, but it's fantasy and even my 3-yr-old sister isn't frightened by it.... Continue reading

What's the story?

Every 1,000 years, one hundred mamodos (demons) come to Earth to fight other demons as part of an ongoing battle to reign as king. ZATCH BELL follows one such demon, who, while he was unconscious, was discovered by a man and sent to mentor the man's son, Kiyo Takamine. Zatch has no memory of the demon world, how he arrived on Earth, or any characters from the past. But since mamodos can't work alone, Zatch gets help from Kiyo, an aloof 14-year-old middle schooler who isn't well-liked at school; the pair learn that working together isn't easy, since they come from different worlds and react differently to situations. Joining Zatch and Kiyo are Sherry Bellmont, a girl who can't forget her difficult childhood and wants to keep a particular demon from dominating her best friend; Tio, a tomboy demon who has trouble finding trust in others; Umagon, a demon searching to find a human partner; and many more.

Is it any good?

The show's focus on relationships and the ability to trust a partner distinguishes it from many other anime adaptations. The series isn't just about violence -- although there's plenty of that, with constant battles involving spells and weapons -- but also about the relatable challenges and questions of identity that the characters face. Characters often think aloud about painful experiences in their past, and related flashbacks and evocative music add to the drama. Each character has his or her unique problems -- problems that aren't too unlike what kids face today.

The "battles" seen in some episodes can use dramatic visuals, language, sound effects, and music that becomes gratuitous, drawn out, and, at times, difficult to watch. There are also mild flirtations between characters, which lead to blushing and stammering. Overall, with its graphic violence, the characters' internal struggles, and the occasional eyelash-batting, parents may find Zatch Bell inappropriate for kids under 10.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the challenges the two main characters face when it comes to working together. They don't always like or understand each other, but they still have to work together as a team. What strategies can kids use when paired with others? How does communication help in these situations? Families can discuss the appeal of anime in general. Is the violence necessary for the story? How could anime series be less violent and still interesting? Since it's clearly dubbed in English, this series provides an opportunity to discuss Japan's history and culture.

TV details

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