It's Time for...
Random Line from Bastard!! - The Drinking Game: [an error occurred while processing this directive]
I love a story that doesn't take itself too seriously. And sometimes, even the most calm and restrained people among us like to watch a little over-the-top, explosions-everywhere, fast-paced action. Bastard!! (a.k.a. Wizard!!) by Hagiwara Kazushi is just such a story. Set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland in which feudal war rages, the story evolves rather quickly into a cosmic and comedic masterpiece. The standard 'Dungeons & Dragons' fantasy character types (mages, clerics, warriors, nobles, and peasants) are given a healthy dose of sex, gore, and heavy metal and a whacked-out sense of humor. The plot covers all manner of topics: war and politics, love and revenge, slapstick sex comedy and angst-ridden redemptive sacrifice.
The bombastic, egomaniacal main character is the high sorceror, Dark Schneider. His exploits on the way to redemption are the entire focus of the story. His partner on the journey, Tia Noto Yoko, is following in her dad's footsteps and is training to become a high priestess. She is Dark Schneider's childhood friend, even though she's several centuries his junior. Rushe Ren Ren, the missing link in their relationship, is the hapless teenager whose body and soul were merged with that of Dark Schneider as a way to stop the arch-mage's brutally successful military campaign. Tia's magic is the key to the seal on Dark Schneider's human prison, and she is often conflicted in choosing which of the two she prefers: the kind, gentle boy she fostered as a brother, or the devilishly charming, powerful and confident man who woos and angers her at every turn.
Naturally, there are a host of additional characters involved in the story. Tia's father, High Priest Geo Noto Soto, the bane of Dark Schneider's existence and the man who imprisoned the mage's spirit in baby-Rushe's body. The Four Lords of Havoc, Ninja Master Gara, Arshes Nei, Karl=Su, and that other guy (sorry, can't remember his name...heh!), who were generals, friends, and lovers to Dark Schneider before and during the Great War. The country in which Tia and D-S live is governed largely by the Princess Sheila (or Shei-Ra) while the sleeping demon Anthra-Sax looms in everyone's mind like the threat of plague. The 21+ volumes of manga (Japanese comics) introduce a host of other people, and the 6-part OAV series (straight-to-video animation) also has a fair number of extras.
This Drinking Game focuses mainly on the key players mentioned above. Ideally, you'll print this out and have a few friends over to watch the anime (available commercially on VHS and DVD from Pioneer Animation) or flip through the manga (finally! available in the US from Viz). As you can see, there are three levels of Bastard!!-ization, with each new level a little more intriguing than the last. As a fan of drinking games but not a fan of drinking, I won't be offended in the least if you take this game as an excuse to watch Bastard!! for the first or fiftieth time. But of course, even with munchies instead of liquor, laughs are best when shared. Enjoy!
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