what is zatch bell?!?
zatch bell / konjiki no gash bell is a shounen manga/anime originally published from 2001-2006 and written by makoto raiku! it's a charming story about demon kids from another dimension who have to compete with each other to determine the king! each demon (called mamodo in the english dub) is paired with a human partner, and the main character, zatch/gash, is paired with kiyomaro. it's one of my favorite animes ever and is severely underrated.
why should i watch it?
it's heartwarming, sweet, and wholesome fun! the characters are lovable, the art style is fun (2000s shounen lets GOOOOO), the premise is cheesy but still engaging, etc etc etc! it's aimed at a younger audience but it's still a very good time to watch as an adult! the character dynamics are fresh and funny, everything about it is just a blast!
zatch / gash
zatch/gash is a main character & deuteragonist! he's a mamodo who is initially very weak but is determined and confident in his friendship with kiyomaro. he's kind, loyal, and soft-hearted.
kiyomaro, the deuteragonist, is zatch's human partner. he's stubborn, arrogant, and acts like a typical 14 year old. he's convinced that he's past the need for friendship, but zatch changes his perspective, helping him to grow as a person!
megumi is a teen idol and the partner of another mamodo, tia/tio! she's sweet, outgoing, hardworking, and responsible. megumi cares for tia like a sister, and she and kiyomaro are very close friends.
tia is a mamodo allied with zatch! she is hot-tempered, strong-willed, energetic, and sometimes immature. she cares deeply for megumi and has a crush on zatch.
folgore is an italian superstar and human partner to the mamodo kanchome. he's a womanizer and he's narcissistic and somewhat dumb, but he cares for kanchome and his other friends and goes to great lengths for them.
kanchome is the mamodo partner of folgore. he's cowardly and a crybaby, but idolizes folgore, who in turn pushes him to be brave.
ponygon / umagon
ponygon is a horse mamodo who cannot speak. his real name is schneider, and he tries hard to convey this, but no one understands him, which is a running gag! he's generally cowardly, and his human partner doesn't show up til later in the story, but when push comes to shove, he's reliable. he is zatch's best mamodo friend.
sunbeam is the partner of ponygon. he's the oldest of the main characters, and therefore is the most mature. he's portrayed as very cool, calm and collected. he's my personal favorite!
sherry is a character introduced early on, and is a rival to zatch and kiyomaro. she's driven and ambitious to the point that she won't cooperate with others to reach her goals because she feels that she alone should achieve them. she is also a personal favorite of mine!
brago is sherry's mamodo partner. he's agreed to help sherry reach her goals if she helps him become mamodo king. he's tough and can be harsh on sherry, but he understands that she must become strong if she's to face up against her enemy.