Cool Shock B.T.

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Everything... He planned all of this from the beginning! He really is evil!

Cool Shock B.T. (魔少年ビーティー, Mashōnen Bītī, lit. Devil Boy B.T.) is a short Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Hirohiko Araki. It was first published as a pilot one-shot in the 1982 Issue #3 of Fresh Jump before beginning serialization in Weekly Shonen Jump from October 3rd to December 5th of 1983. Cool Shock B.T. is notable for being Araki's first weekly serialization, as well as the first work published under his famous pseudonym.

The manga is split into six chapters consisting of several short stories featuring the titular character, B.T., and his borderline-criminal escapades and misadventures with his often unwilling friend, Koichi Mugikari. A volume compiling all the chapters, excluding the pilot, was released on October 9, 1984. The pilot one-shot was later included in the volume release of Araki's succeeding manga, Gorgeous Irene.

A sequel spin-off one-shot titled Cool Shock Old B.T. written by Nisio Isin and illustrated by Posuka Demizu was released on October 19, 2021 in Ultra Jump. Cool Shock Old B.T. is also receiving a second chapter, which releases on December 19, 2023.

Summary

The creator of Baoh and JoJo's Bizarre Adventure presents a manga about magic and mysteries! You'll meet him at 13:13 pm, on Friday the 13th. He'll do an uncanny intro where he plays a trick on you! And wherever he goes, trouble seems to always follow. Who is this person who creates such incidents? None other than Cool Shock B.T.!

Pilot: B.T. "The Wicked Boy"

B.T. and his friend, Koichi Mugikari, are suddenly confronted by an upperclassman. B.T. and the senior play a game (which they seem to have been playing for some time) in which B.T. tosses a coin in the air and catches it, and the senior tries to guess which hand the coin is in. The senior loses, an expected outcome, and must give 100 yen to B.T. As he angrily throws the coin at the ground, he demands a rematch, but B.T. refuses. When the senior leaves, B.T. cheekily shows to Koichi that he had been hiding the coin behind his fingers to trick the senior. Then, an upperclasswoman gives the coin to B.T. It is Fuyuko Nakagawa, a girl B.T. has a crush on. Seeing B.T. frozen still because of his shyness, Koichi teases his friend about Fuyuko.

Later on, B.T. and Koichi see Fuyuko being arrested by the police and learn that she's accused of having murdered a reporter. At the police station, a fat policeman interrogates Fuyuko, who confesses to the murder. Supposedly, the reporter had invited Fuyuko in his house because he had found her wallet but then had tried to assault her. She defended herself with a pair of scissors and accidentally stabbed the reporter in the back before fainting from the shock. A child and a pair of policemen stumbled upon the scene and Fuyuko was quickly arrested for murder, even if it was in self defense. Upon learning of this story through a policeman, B.T. decides to investigate the house and prove Fuyuko's innocence.

That night, B.T. and Koichi break into the reporter's house and stumble upon a secret envelope full of incriminating photos. The next morning, B.T. calls the fat policeman and accuses him of the murder. In truth, the reporter was merely hurt since he was able to rip his rug and it was the fat policeman (the only one who was present, alone and conscious when the reporter died) who finished him off. Moreover, B.T. shows a photo of the fat policeman working with the yakuza and concludes that the policeman must have had killed the reporter because he was being blackmailed. The policeman draws his gun to kill B.T. but the latter throws a rubber band at the policeman's eyes, blinding him for a second before hiding somewhere. Koichi and a second policeman reveal themselves and arrest the fat murderer. It is revealed that B.T. had hidden underneath a table and used two mirrors to cover his hiding spot.

Fuyuko is declared innocent and freed while the real murderer is imprisoned. However, Koichi has in his possession a photo of Fuyuko stealing a wristwatch. Koichi anxiously realizes that Fuyuko was also being blackmailed for her crimes. Worse, perhaps she actually intended to kill the reporter and made up the assault story to cover up her crime.

B.T. Appears!!

Koichi meets B.T. for the first time

The first chapter of the serialization proper narrates Koichi's meeting with B.T. and his grandmother. At school, Koichi meets with the two and is asked the direction to the principal's office to which Koichi obliges. B.T. playfully plays a trick on Koichi, pretending to spit many marbles out of his mouth when in reality he only spit one and had the rest of them in his sleeves.

The Summer Camp Incident

Koichi presents a disturbing incident that happened the last summer. In a summer camp, the present children were bullied by two upperclassmen, Kuroyama and Akagawa. However, B.T. was the only one immune to their taunting and was even defiant so the bullies decided to beat him up. For trying to help B.T., Koichi too was beaten.

Afterward, the children were shown playing by the lake, with Kuroyama putting a dragonfly in Akagawa's swimming pants for kicks. Koichi surprised B.T. with a sedated Japanese hornet in his hands. B.T. put the hornet in Kuroyama's jacket, also finding a knife in his clothes. However, it was Akagawa who was stung by the hornet which he found in his pocket instead, confusing Koichi. Later that night, Kuroyama was found stabbed in the guts with a knife. At first, Koichi believed that B.T. was the culprit but the boy explained that Akagawa did it and that he would get away with it since the camp's staff would silence the incident. Indeed, B.T. pushed Akagawa to stab Kuroyama by telling the bully that he saw his "friend" put something in his clothes earlier, referring to the dragonfly but letting Akagawa assume it was the hornet.

The Prank Corpse Incident

B.T. tries to swindle Date with a fake death

One day, Koichi surprises B.T. and an upperclassman named Ninomori plotting against another student named Date. Showing off his ventriloquy skills and how to fake a cardiac arrest by squeezing a ping-pong ball in his armpit, B.T. plots to swindle 100,000 yen out of Date. It is revealed that B.T. is jealous of Date because he was courting a girl named Aiko whom B.T. had a crush on. For his part, Ninomori couldn't stand Date being better at kendo.

Koichi accompanies the two and witnessed Ninomori confront Date for a fake revenge. Ninomori notably breaks and stomps a memento from Date's grandfather, angering the man and causing him to make a serious strike. Ninomori falls and hits his head on a rock. Date is convinced that Ninomori is dead and B.T. barges in to blackmail Date, seemingly making him run to get the money. In the meantime, B.T. and Koichi discover that Ninomori really looks dead. Worse, Date comes back with a crowd and accuses the boys of having murdered Ninomori. Nonetheless, B.T. turns the situation around by using Date's memento and making it look like his grandfather is accusing Date from the otherworld. Ninimori actually comes to his senses, having unwittingly fooled everyone because his concussion from a sparring match made him fall unconscious.

Nonetheless, B.T. gets his wish as Aiko now looks down on Date for falsely accusing boys of murder.

The Two Old Guys Incident

Two crazed "soldiers" kidnap B.T. and Koichi

Koichi and B.T. go fishing in the countryside, but their day is ruined when two strange men confront them. Those men are two thugs disguised as soldiers who kill animals for the kicks and take the kids prisoner. B.T. adopts a defiant attitude, amusing the leader who decides to make a bet. The soldier ties B.T.'s foot to the rear of a parked car nearby and asks B.T. to choose whether it will go left or right at the next intersection. If B.T. guesses right, a knife on the way will be available for the kid to free himself or else B.T. will be dragged across a harsh rocky road. B.T. chooses the left and the car does turn left; far from being lucky, B.T. has only analyzed the car's license plate and guessed its town of origin to know its most probable trajectory.

B.T. breaks his watch to get shards of glass and cut his bounds. The two men go at him, but B.T. uses a large array of tricks to keep them off him until the soldier grabs him and throws him into a truck's way. B.T. is almost run over, but mysteriously makes the thug run away by making him believe he's an ostrich. B.T. then performs a disappearance act to confuse the leader and throw a rock at his head, taking him out. It is explained that B.T. put a string around the soldier's tooth and tied it to the passing truck as he was flying, forcing him to run. B.T. also threw a rubber band at the leader's eye, blinding him for a moment and using a stick in his hands to throw himself up into the branches. As compensation for his watch, B.T. robs the leader of his money.

The Dinosaur Fossil Thief Incident

B.T. and Koichi try to steal a dinosaur skull but the museum guardian surprises them

One day, B.T. and Koichi infiltrate a museum at night. It is revealed that Koichi has paid a visit to B.T.'s home, meeting an unknown woman on the way. More importantly, B.T. learns about and plans to steal the skull of a spinosaurus whose skeleton is being exposed at the museum. B.T. and Koichi enter the museum during the day and break into a storage room. A guard named Saiko catches Koichi, but B.T. distract him, allowing the kids to hide in a crate. In the process of stealing the skull, the boys trigger an alarm and Saiko comes to catch them.

B.T. sprays Saiko with a fire extinguisher to blind him, allowing the boys to run away. On their way to the exit, the boys cross path with the woman from earlier, but their interrogations are cut short when the woman goes away without explaining herself. B.T. and Koichi try to take an elevator but several guards come out of it. B.T. and Koichi nonetheless manage to enter the elevator without being caught, but are intercepted by Saiko. As a final ploy, B.T. bluffs Saiko into believing the stuff from the fire extinguisher and a hairspray will chemically react to create acid, and the guard is intimidated into letting the boys go.

The next day, B.T. confronts his grandmother about last night and she reveals that she manipulated B.T.'s fascination with fossils to goad him into stealing the skull. The ensuing chaos would then let her own agent, the woman, go into a safe room and steal the jewels stored there. B.T. can only acknowledge his grandmother's mastery, although he later tells Koichi that he did snatch a few jewels from the deposit point of the treasure by using Saiko's keys.

The Eerie Freckled Boy Incident

BT meets a freckled boy matching his wits with deviousness

One day, Koichi's family is about to go out. Incidentally, B.T. discovers Koichi's well-trained dog. Just as it exits the garage, the family's car bumps into something and the family sees that they've hurt a freckled boy. The boy is fine but Koichi's parents feel guilty and invite him inside their home, hoping to not let the police know about the incident. The boy quickly overstays his welcome, eating directly in the fridge and "borrowing" Koichi's clothes but Koichi's family do not know what they ought to do.

The next day, the freckled boy takes a liking to Koichi's dog and tries to make a bet. B.T. accepts on Koichi's behalf and the two boy each place a candy near an anthill to see whichever candy the ants will go to first. Amazingly, the freckled boy's candy is picked by the ant and he wins the dog. It is explained that last night, the boy has placed insect repellent near the anthill and made it so B.T. would put his candy here. Next, the boy's family comes but instead of picking up the boy, they pressure Koichi's family into letting them stay. The boy eventually privately gloats to Koichi and B.T. that his family has already intimidated the father into servitude and is planning to ruin him. B.T. decides to save Koichi's family.

This evening, B.T. serves a plate of sashimi to the boy's family, only to reveal that it was blowfish sashimi. The whole family except the boy collapses, angering him and pushing him to pursue B.T.. After the family is taken by an ambulance, the freckled boy sees the dog and foolishly follows him. The freckled boy eventually sees B.T. and throws a knife at him, but he's then bumped by a truck. Thus, the whole family of intruders has been pushed out of Koichi's home. B.T. reveals that he hasn't fed blowfish to them, but instead slipped cyanamide in it. The cyanamide prevents the digestion of alcohol, causing stomach pains and explaining why everyone save the boy have been affected. The series ends here, as Koichi fears retribution if he shares any more incidents.

Characters

Characters from Cool Shock B.T.

Chapters

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Release Date
ISBN
Japan February 10, 1987 (Tankōbon)[3]
Japan March 19, 2004 (Aizōban)[4]
Japan September 16, 2011 (Bunkoban)[5]
Japan 978-4420131575 (Tankōbon)
Japan 978-4087820713 (Aizōban)
Japan 978-4086193092 (Bunkoban)
Chapter Titles
  1. B.T. "The Wicked Boy" (魔少年ビーティー, Mashōnen Bītī)

Cool Shock B.T.
魔少年ビーティー Mashōnen Bītī

Link to this section
Cool Shock B.T. Tankobon.png

Cool Shock B.T. Bunkoban.jpg

Release Date
ISBN
Japan October 9, 1984 (Tankōbon)[6]
Japan June 16, 2000 (Bunkoban)[7]
Japan 978-4088510187 (Tankōbon)
Japan 978-4086174855 (Bunkoban)
Chapter Titles

  1. The Summer Camp Incident (サマーキャンプ事件, Samākyanpu Jiken)
  2. The Prank Corpse Incident, Part 1 (イタズラ死体事件(前編), Itazura Shitai Jiken (Zenpen))
  3. The Prank Corpse Incident, Part 2 (イタズラ死体事件(後編), Itazura Shitai Jiken (Kōhen))
  4. The Two Old Guys Incident, Part 1 (おじさんX事件(前編), Ojisan Ekkusu Jiken (Zenpen))
  5. The Two Old Guys Incident, Part 2 (おじさんX事件(後編), Ojisan Ekkusu Jiken (Kōhen))
  6. The Dinosaur Fossil Thief Incident, Part 1 (恐竜化石泥棒事件 PARTⅠ, Kyōryū Kaseki Dorobō Jiken Part I)
  7. The Dinosaur Fossil Thief Incident, Part 2 (恐竜化石泥棒事件 PARTⅡ, Kyōryū Kaseki Dorobō Jiken Part II)
  8. The Dinosaur Fossil Thief Incident, Part 3 (恐竜化石泥棒事件 PARTⅢ, Kyōryū Kaseki Dorobō Jiken Part III)
  9. The Eerie Freckled Boy Incident, Part 1 (そばかすの不気味少年事件(前編), Sobakasu no Bukimi Shōnen Jiken (Zenpen))
  10. The Eerie Freckled Boy Incident, Part 2 (そばかすの不気味少年事件(後編), Sobakasu no Bukimi Shōnen Jiken (Kōhen))

Author's Note

Link to this sectionAuthor's Note
Araki CSBT.jpg
People often say to me, "You look just like B.T.!" For what it's worth, I think they're right. But if I may be so bold, if you draw a handsome enough hero, everyone starts to look like him. I know that many people have provided their support and worked hard in order to compile B.T. into a book. I'll never forget the gratitude I have and the friendship I share with those people. With that said, please enjoy the story of B.T. and Koichi's adventures.
ぼくはよく人に「ビーティーにそっくりだ!」…と言われます。そのとおりだと思います。でも、あえて言わせてもらえるなら、ハンサムな主人公を描けば、みんな似てしまうのです。
ビーティーが本になるまで、多くの人の応援とご苦労があるのを知った。その人たちへの感謝と友情を一生忘れないようにしたいと思います。では、ビーティーと公一くんの冒険譚をどうぞ。

Afterword

Link to this sectionCool Shock B.T. Bunko Edition Afterword
Cool Shock B.T. (Devil Boy B.T. in Japanese) was my first serialized work in a weekly magazine.

Serialization began sometime between a year and eighteen months after the first chapter's completion, mainly because the editorial department did not like the name of the pilot at all. At one point, the serialization was almost rejected outright. The title was the main reason. For a boys' manga, which are supposed to be all about justice, friendship, and victory, what was the author thinking when he titled it Devil Boy? Doesn't the word "devil" refer to Satan himself? Also, the name "B.T." sounds like a code word for something. It just keeps getting more and more esoteric. Even the content of the story, which sees the boy protagonist plotting to do evil, was completely unsuitable for Shonen Jump.

In fact, Mr. Kabashima, the editor-in-chief at the time, still says the following to this day: "I had a really hard time getting it serialized. Almost everyone in the editorial department was against it!"

That editor has a special talent to persuade people to do things... (This isn't related in any way, but one time he persuaded me to buy a waterbed, even though I really didn't want one. When I heard how he described it, I was completely brainwashed into thinking it was a good idea, and so I ended up getting one.) This work was so difficult to have serialized that even someone who could convince others that what's black is white would've had a hard time with it. But as the author, I felt relaxed and, well... somehow, I just felt like I could handle it.

Cool Shock B.T. pays homage to Sherlock Holmes, being a story about a boy who pretends to do evil with his intelligence and curiosity, yet values justice and friendship above all. I think the most difficult part was actually drawing it, because I had no idea how to draw in a way that would bring out my own style. Moreover, it took me nearly three weeks to draw a single chapter, and I had no idea how to use the black color of an ink pen on white paper back then. Fax machines hadn't become commonplace quite yet, so I had to use the copy machine at a friend's company. I would send each manuscript to the editorial office via courier service, which was just beginning to become popular, and then hold a brief meeting over the phone: "We need to revise the manuscript, so come to Tokyo and bring your tools with you!" The Tōhoku Shinkansen hadn't opened yet, so I had to take a four-hour express train to Tokyo to redraw the manuscript.

After finishing B.T., I had no choice but to move my workplace from my hometown in Sendai directly to Tokyo for the sake of Baoh the Visitor's serialization. The money I received from B.T. served as my war fund, so it really helped me out in the end. And the theme of B.T. as a Sherlock Holmes-like battle of wits, which I had dreamed of since childhood, developed into a more body-focused theme in Baoh the Visitor.
『魔少年ビーティー』は、一番最初の週刊誌連載作品である。

第一話が完成してから掲載されるまで一年から一年半かかっている作品で、というのも第一話のネームの編集部ウケ(・・)が最低に悪かったからである。一時、連載はボツ、という所までいった。理由は、まずタイトルである。正義とか友情とか勝利とかをうたっている少年マンガで、「魔」少年とは、この作者、何考えてんだ? 悪魔の「魔」だぞ? しかもビーティーって暗号のような名前。ますますわからん。話の内容も、少年の主人公が悪事をたくらんでて、 少年ジャンプ向きではない。実際、当時の担当編集者の椛島さんは未だに言う。

「オレ、あれを連載させるのに、本当苦労したよ。編集部ほぼ全員が反対するんだものよォーー!」

この編集者は、人を説得させたら右に出る者はないという特技を持つ人で――(関係ないけど、この人の説得でわたし、あまり欲しくなかったんだけど、ウォーターベッドってあるよね。あれ、話聞いてたら、いいかなあーなんて洗脳されて、つい買ってしまった事がある。)

黒でも白と説得してしまう、それくらいスゴイ人が、連載させるの苦労したよって言うくらい難航したのが本作品である。でも、作者的には気楽なもんで、ま…なんとかなるんじゃあないのって感じだった。

『魔少年ビーティー』は『名探偵シャーロック・ホームズ』へのオマージュ的な設定をとっていて、少年が知性と好奇心で悪事をやらかすとみせかけていて、正義と友情を貫いているという事だ。それよりも、自分的に苦労した所は絵で、どういう風に描けば自分らしくなるのか全然わかっていなかったと思う。しかも、一話描くのに3週間近くもかかっていて、ペンと墨の黒い色を、白い原稿用紙にどう使っていいのかわからなかった時期だった。時代もFAXとかいった機械はまだ一般化されていなくて、コピー機も知り合いの会社でとらせてもらっていた。打ち合わせは、普及しはじめていた宅配便で原稿を編集部へ送り、電話でやっていた。「原稿のなおしがあるから、道具持って東京へ来い!」

東北新幹線がまだ開通してなかったので、4時間かけて特急で行き、原稿を描きなおす。こりゃ、さすがに大変になってきたな…という事で、仕方なくこの『ビーティー』を描き上げた後、『バオー来訪者』の連載のため、故郷の仙台から仕事場を東京に移すことになる。この『ビーティー』でもらったお金が軍資金になったので、本当助かったよ。

そして『ビーティー』でテーマにした、子供時代からの憧れ、シャーロック・ホームズ的知力の闘いは、次作『バオー来訪者』で、肉体テーマへと発展していったと思う。

Making-of

Araki based Cool Shock B.T. on Sherlock Holmes, mainly the series’ use of intellectual warfare.[8]

The series' publication happened much later than intended due to a misunderstanding between Araki and the editorial department. Due to the title's use of the phrase, Devil (), Araki had to persuade the department that the contents of the series had nothing inherently satanic in it, something that was not allowed at the time.[9]

Gallery

Trivia

BT/Dio Comparison
  • B.T.'s initials are a nod to famous mangaka Buichi Terasawa, author of Cobra.[10]
  • The coin trick that B.T. uses in the opening scene of the pilot appears to be the same one shown in the end of chapter 2.
  • The guard Saiko from the 5th chapter bears a resembelance to Don Peckinpah from Araki's debut work, Poker Under Arms.
  • Araki took inspiration from B.T. when designing JoJo's Bizarre Adventure main antagonist, Dio Brando's initial appearance and demonic nature as a kid.[9]
  • B.T.'s grandmother resembles Erina's appearance in Part 2.
  • The character Koichi Hirose from Diamond is Unbreakable is likely a nod to B.T.'s Koichi, as the two share the same first name and are the respective narrators of their stories.
  • The arrows featured during the internal monologue scenes in the anime are an homage to the arrows that appear whenever B.T. is scheming.
  • During the ending credits of Diamond is Unbreakable, a copy of Cool Shock B.T. can be spotted on Rohan Kishibe's bookshelf.

See also

Notes

  1. Proper translation from the Japanese title.
  2. Some chapters were fused together for volumization.

References

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