We got a Live One, Guys. NEW SERIALIZATION!! A 4th full series from Legendary Mangaka Hiro Mashima- Creator Of Rave Master, Fairy Tail, and Edens Zero. He had a short term series with Square Enix- a Mobile game title Gate Of Nightmares. That was only 19 chapters which just told a tie in story to the game. Don’t know if you want to count it, but that was a thing. But this is his 4th FULL main series. Even though it’s supposed to be a “Short Term Serialization.” It’s a monthly, so he’s gonna be able to include a lot more per chapter, and its length is subject to 1)How Mashima is feeling and 2)The reception to it. For the 2nd one: OVERWHELMINGLY POSITIVE. But Mashima is still working on “Edens Zero,” storyboarding “Fairy Tail: 100 Years Quest,” and is working on an Original game and anime- IN ADDITION to a Youtube channel. Man keeps busy. But he’s still found the time to work on another series– a “Dark Fantasy” in which people go to school to become the next Demon King. Shiki Granbell, Eat Your Heart Out.
That’s something else you’ll find out about this series: Yakuto– our main character for this story- is NOT Haru, Natsu, or Shiki. They have their “Demonic” moments to them, but YAKUTO- He’s Different. And I can’t WAIT to show you why. Oh man; I think this series is going to have the LEAST categories- it’s the only one that hasn’t had an anime adaptation yet; I can’t put it in “Anime” or “Shows I Enjoy” like I would LITERALLY everything else! So different so soon. Ladies and Gentlemen; Dead Rock Chapter 1: “God Of The Demon Realm.” That’s a f*ckin’ METAL title.
The Abyss- The 666th Layer of The Demon Realm: Principal Of Dead Rock Academy and God of the 3 Realms- GOD HIMSELF- Introduces himself to all of the Examinees of this years Entrance Exam- telling them that they all have the makings of a Demon King, and promises the Lucky Graduate from this Academy The Human Realm. Then that scene just kind of stops, and we cut to the common area where the Examinees are. Our main character- a young Demon by the name of “Yakuto-” is looking a bit nervous. But he pulls himself together in order to pass the exam. And then gets crushed under a Giant’s foot. The Biological Science Teacher and Proctor for the Exam- Maxwell- says that the number of examinee’s has now dropped to 999. Which works for HIM because it’s another corps for him to experiment on. But he does warn everyone that there’s a possibility that they could Die in the Exam. But none of them back down– some even excited at the idea of being Maxwell’s test subjects! But not Examinee #726 YAKUTO; he managed to survive, and knocks the Giant off of him- and makes him squish 10 other people in the process.
He apologizes for getting those guys killed, but- now he has a reputation as the guy who killed 10 people. And that does not sit well Gyugo The Minotaur- the Guard of the 27th Layer. HE should have that reputation- not some shrimp!! So He Kills a whole bunch more examinees, bringing down the number of Examinees to…….. Yakuto killed 10 and Gyugo killed like 6 more…….. 984. God is not amused; he claps and gets their attention, and has Maxwell start the exam. The Exam: Escape The Ant H#ll in 1 Hour. Sounds simple, right? Yeah- Giant Monster Ants that kill people. “Demons Who Enroll In Dead Rock Should Have No Trouble Against A Swarm Of Ants.”
Yakuto gets up, and formally meets the Giant who squished him(who’s shrunk in size so that he would crush anymore examinees). A Descendant of the Thunder God Thor from a Family Of Giants- Honey. He asks what Yakuto’s “roots” are, but realizes he doesn’t actually care. More silly things like Honey flipping upside down and spinning and asking Yakuto if he’s stupid later- They’re attacked by an Ant, and saved by a Swordsman from the 306th Layer- Hien The Fenrir, who set the 306th layer into an Eternal Winter. Yakuto thanks him, but Hien tells him to “Move It.” Yakuto reveals that- the deeper into the Demon Realm you go- the stronger the security and creatures you’ll find. Hien(306) > Gyugo(27). Other Examinee’s Honey points out that he’s been watching:
- Freyr “The Ifrit-” Said to have Burned Down the 296th Layer.
- Reisen “The Orochi”
- Bevel “The Hecatoncheir”
- Mikoto “The Necromancer-” Said To Have Roots Going Back To A Devil Called “Lich”
Mikoto takes note of Yakuto, and Yakuto notes how beautiful she is. Honey continues on to say that “Everyone Learns Power And Knowledge As A Demon In Dead Rock,” and when they Graduate- they depart for the Human Realm for “A Life As A King.” Yakuto asks Honey if they plan to become a Conqueror in the Human Realm, too, but Honey says they simply want to observe the Humans. Then they ask Yakuto what his goal is, but Honey again didn’t actually care. Then Honey swats and Ant away. And is then promptly shattered by Gyugo, who still wants to crush Yakuto before he doesn’t anything else that catches people’s attention. Gyugo asks why a smallfry like him would even want to get into Dead Rock; Examinees die all the time in the Entrance Exam, and of the one’s that get in- less than 1% ever Graduate- be it because they run away out of fear or DIE along the way. Yakuto admits to having a goal– one worth more than his life. To that end, he decides to show off his Roots– something eh didn’t want to show off until after he got into Dead Rock. It’s whatever, though- just means he’s the boy who killed 11 Examinees.
In true Mashima Fashion: Yakuto’s Got DRAGON BLOOD in him!! A Black One, in specific, so, you know- Acnologia Silhouette when he clocks this guy. Though Gyugo says that the Dragons should have all gone extinct by now. But hey: Corpses don’t talk. Later down the line: Yakuto “rebuilt” Honey…….. for the most part- and they come up to the Exit- 13 seconds left to escape. Honey goes on ahead, and Yakuto finds and helps an injured Hien to repay him for earlier. Exam’s OVER. Number’s:
- Passed: 7(Yakuto, Hien, Honey, Reisen, Freyr, Mikoto, and a crow named Chako(Roots: Yatagarasu))
- Failed: 993
- Deaths: 985
- Escaped: 7
- Unknown: 1(Bevel)
3 Months Later: The Entrance Ceremony is getting ready to start. 200 students have been accepted off General Admissions or Recommendations, bringing the total number of students this year up to 207. But only like 2 or 3 are probably going to Graduate. God once against promises those who Graduate the Human Realm, and the students are assigned to their classes. There are 40 students per class- Classes A through E- but only the 7 who actually passed the Entrance Exam comprise Class F. Freyr doesn’t like the School Uniform; Reisen thinks it looks good on her; Hien tells them all to stay out of his way; Mikoto says she’s willing to accept their corpses if they happen to die; Honey’s not surprised this is who he’s stuck with; Chako’s there; and Yakuto sits patiently in the back. Freyr asks if he’s going to be okay since he looks like a pushover, but Mikoto responds that anyone who passed the exam can’t be weak. Though Freyr says it wasn’t much of a challenge, anyway. Which prompts Reisen to taunt Hien for getting hurt at the Finish Line. Then they start fighting- much to Freyr’s excitement.
Mikoto takes a shining to Yakuto because of his Dragon Roots, even asking him to go ahead and die and become her servant! And Chako explains to Honey that he just started flying when the Exam started- he never fell in the Ant H#ll in the first place. More Shenanigans later: Maxwell- their Homeroom Teacher- walks through the door. And Yakuto IMMEDIATELY gets up and asks a question – even getting up and walking up to the desk. Yakuto asks “Will We Really Seize The Human Realm When We Graduate?” Maxwell says they will, just like the other Graduates have. So Yakuto then asks if there are multiple Human Realms. Maxwell explains there’s only the 1 Human realm- but it’s about as vast as the Demon Realm, so it’s more “accurate” to say that the Graduates of Dead Rock rule over specific regions of the Human Realm. Everyone’s getting this “off-vibe” from this conversation. But Yakuto continues to ask if the Humans are treated well. Demon Racism From Pr Maxwell: “Treated ‘Well?’ WHAT ARE YOU, A HUMAN?! They are the most Foolish, Weakest Creatures In All the 3 Realms!!! And Yet they Multiply As they D@mn Well Please!!” With his questions answered-
Yakuto Squishes His Head Against The Wall.
No one saw that coming, but Freyr’s kind of into it. The rest, however, wonder what the h#ll he’s doing. He decides to fill them in, since he’s going to need their help to achieve his goal. And telling them the “Truth” is guaranteed to get them all onboard. Yakuto’s Objective: Kill God. Everyone thinks he’s suicidal, but Freyr just fell in love. Yes, Honey: She’s A Bit Stupid. Dead Rock Chapter 1 END!! And what a way to set the tone, Mashima. Been seein’ “Haru And Shiki Could NEVER” since the leaks fo this chapter came out!!
Okay, where do I even start Yakuto. Found it right as I said it. In terms of fighting style: Natsu and Shiki. Design: All 3. No matter how much Mashima tries to break away from his comfort zone– “Old Habits Die Hard.” Or not at ALL in his case. Once again, he’s managed to fit the concept of Dragons into his story. They don’t have much business being in “Edens Zero,” but it’s not like it kills that story. And they just fit here. And of course, the Black Dragon that Yakuto is channeling just so happens to look like Acnologia’s Full Dragon Form from Fairy Tail. Will Yakuto have a Dragon Force type of transformation- turning him more and more into a Dragon to more he taps into that power? He already turned his arm into a Dragon arm; he might just be able to do that off rip, and simply uses bits and pieces of his Dragon form in battle just so that he’s not a Giant Target. Waiting to hear the term “Etherion;” I imagine the Oracion Seis(Literally Translated out to “6 Demon Generals”) factions gonna pop up somewhere down the line; the group has some kind of Animal Mascot; he said he’s not gonna do a “Main Heroine” thing like with Elie, Lucy, and Rebecca, and even went on to say that this series will have more Males in it than Females. And of course- Yakuto is not out to “Make Friends” or “Have A Grand Adventure” or any of that other sh!t. He’s a Man On A Mission.
In that sense, he is a fair bit different from the other 3. For them; Natsu was just doing his own thing looking for Igneel and having fun with his friends along the way; Haru’s mission as the 2nd Rave Master was to save the world and stop Endless and all of that; and Shiki’s initial goal has evolved into his mission(even though that might have been his fate in the first place). Yakuto’s the first to ever have Clear, Set Goal that he’s actively running towards; Yakuto is the “Active” protagonist- the other 3 just kind of “fell” into the role. And then there’s the fact that he’s an Active Killer. Those first 10 he squished were an accident; these last 2 were intentional. Who KNOWS how many people he’s killed at this point? He’s a Demon, so his lifespan is longer than the others- he looks about their age, but he could very well be 2-3-600+. He could have a REALLY HIGH Kill Count by now. Especially since Dragon Traits seem to be a rarity; he’s probably had to deal with people trying to hunt him down and kill him for one reason or another(Sell him into slavery; Be a Big Shot for killing the last Dragon; something with scales, yadda yadda yadda). Boys bathed in blood before all this. Though from what we’re hearing- I’m willing to bet everyone in this cast of 7 has at least killed 2 or 3 people by now.
I……… I’m liking it so far. With Edens Zero; I was a fan from Chapter 1. I would then some time after that(some unclear point after Chapter 98 of the series) watch Fairy Tail on Netflix- up to the end of the Battle For Fairy Tail arc. And then I would take up reading Rave Master along with series like Bleach, Detective Conan, and Zatch Bell. I must say; I enjoyed “Bleach” more as a manga than an anime. And then I would later down the line finally buy the Hiro Mashima’s Playground collection of one shots he made. It all started with Edens Zero– and it’s still my #1 work of his to this day- but I’ve been getting into more of his work over the years. And I have to say: He does seem to want to “break the mold” with this series- if only in bits and pieces.
I think he should be careful with how he handles the character’s kill count(Character Death in GENERAL because of “Fairy Tail,” but “Edens Zero” shows that he’s learning). ‘Cause letting them kill too many people makes the series overly edge-y- but having NO killings after this shows a lack of faith in his ability to write characters like this. There’s a reason Yakuto crushed Maxwell, and I think it ties into the racism that Maxwell has for Humans. MAJOR Spoilers For “Fairy Tail:” Natsu is not purely Human. Through possessing a “Dragon Seed” that allows him to use Dragon Slayer Magic- he’s also part Dragon. But he was also killed by a horde of Dragons thousands of years prior, and revived by his brother Zeref as the Demon E.N.D.- Etherious Natsu Dragneel. So he’s also a Demon. But he still had the Human base, so he’s also a Human. And although(Little Bit Foggy on this- haven’t gotten this far in the series myself) Igneel managed to dispel the Demon Seed and believe repaired the corrupted Dragon Seed; the Earth Dragon God Dogramag could still smell the “Demon” on his.
This is Hiro Mashima, folks; he LOVES to reference his other works- be it in cute little easter eggs like having characters in the background over certain scenes, or LARGER, Story Critical points such as Etherion and the abilities of certain characters. I don’t think Yakuto is all Demon. He’s got Dragon Lineage, and I assume that Human’s can’t make it this far into the Demon Realm, so he’s clearly Part Demon. But one of his parents was likely a Human. And I think the reason he’s aiming to kill God because one of the Demons he let loose on the Human realm where he lived with said relative killed them. That’s probably the event that awakened his Dragon Roots- whether he would use those roots in that moment to kill the b@stard or if that came later is a story for another time. Fact is: God sent that Demon to the Human Realm. And he plans to send MORE. He’s going to pay for that- and all the other Humans who lost their family because God just let these Demons run wild.
I already think that this God character is a bit of an @$$whole; he just EXUDES “I’m A Big jerk Because I Rule All of Creation” energy. And honestly, he just LOOKS like a Bad guys; like he might have taken the position of “God” from the Real Deal– a Demon who usurped the Throne of God and is trying to destroy the Human realm- either because he’s just a f*ckin’ racist or because Humans did something to him in the past and he turned that hatred on the whole species. Mashima created Muller and Spider SPECIFIALLY to be the Irredeemable types; maybe he’s going for the same sort of vibe with the BIG Bad this time around.
I’m curious where this “Roots” power system is gonna go. He’s done lineage powers before(ala Rebecca), but I don’t recall him ever doing something as large as this. I mean; it seems like every character we meet is going to be related to some character from varying mythologies, with abilities related to that character. And it sounds like those characters times are long over with; these are there, like, Great 5 or 6 Grandkids. Then again- Very Long Lifespans. Could be alive, but I don’t think we’ll be seeing them in any capacity beyond a Lore Dump for the series. And since Mashima is trying to keep this a “Short Term” serialization; maybe not even that. He said he’d elongate it if it gets popular, but……… he still has a whole bunch of projects he’s working on. I think around 20 or so chapters- barely even scrapping 30. Or heck; maybe even just 10-15. Mashima’s at his best when he goes into writing with a plan in mind(compare Belial Goer to Kaede War and you’ll see what I mean). And if he sticks to the plan, then I think he’ll hit whatever goal he has in mind.
Uh……….. Nah, that’s it. Let’s not pad this out and hurt the post. But I think I WILL put this series in the Edens Zero category(and thus “Anime” and “Shows I Enjoy” along with it) for a while- at least until it has enough posts to stand on its own. Like I did for Chainsaw Man. And because it’s 2 series or more, it also goes in “Dump Post.”
Oh My God I Finished This In A Day. AND I got across what I wanted to say properly!! We’re already off to a good start with this one. I’m glad I was able to talk about it with you guys. What do you all think of “Dead Rock?” I’m liking it the more I think about it. Then again, I’ve become something of a Fan of Mashima’s writing in general. OH CRUD; I forgot to mention his one shot Cocona!! It’s about a Devil Princess looking for Love!! Will she make an appearance in this series? I think she will; it’s a series about Demons and the like, after all. She might pop up somewhere- either in cameo or an actual, active role in the story. Meh, I’m not gonna put money on it. Then again, I wouldn’t put money on this series being “Short.” You never know with this guy. Let me know what you guys think in the comments, and until Next Time, all- Catch ya later!!