Zatch Bell! TV Poster Image

Zatch Bell!



Demons + kids = violent and scary for youngsters.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

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


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


Flirtations, blushing, awkwardness between female and male characters.


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

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

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.

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.

Families can talk 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

Premiere date:March 5, 2005
Cast:Debi Derryberry, Leslie Carrara
Network:Cartoon Network
Genre:Kids' Animation
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Adventures, Friendship
TV rating:TV-Y7-FV
Available on:DVD, Streaming

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 14 years old Written byTV-14lv November 17, 2009


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. And I love it! It doesn't have much crude humor. SpongeBob SquarePants has a lot more crude humor than this! It's also a great show that kinda teaches friendship. So I think this is appropriate for all ages.
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 "violence" in this series consists of flashes of light and the occasional pained groan. That's on top of the fact that this series is action/adventure – if you’re not in favor of cartoon violence, bar your child from those genres entirely. As for the person who mentioned the "breasts" song – why is that relevant if it's only in the Japanese dub? Besides the fact that it is culturally relative, we don't hear it in the American version, so why is it "wrong"? And another thing: when a book is burned, the character does NOT die – he or she is sent back to the "mamodo" (contrast this with "demon," another ridiculous accusation from the official review) realm. If you don’t understand this, you don’t understand the entire premise of the show. I loved Zatch Bell when I was younger. It moved me. All the characters were lovable and funny, and all the book-burning moments were heartbreaking. Definitely recommend this, with all my heart, to kids of all ages.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence


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