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Billy Bat  
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Billy Bat is a comic-in-a-comic and the real protagonist is a Japanese-American artist named Kevin Yamagata who draws Billy Bat for "Marble Comics".
Shortly after they transition to the artist in his studio with his assistant, two actual detectives, who look like Laurel and Hardy in Dick Tracy era suits and trench coats, knock on the door and appropriate Kevin's room for the purpose of conducting surveillance on a room in an adjacent building. One of the detectives, the skinny “Laurel”, sees Kevin's work and it turns out he's a Billy Bat fan. The other chubby "Hardy" detective picks up a page and says that the characters look familiar and accuses Kevin of translating an old "Jap" comic.
As Hardy remembers the comic he thinks Kevin is ripping off, we make another Urasawaesque time jump to 1949 Tokyo...


Related Series

Associated Names

Groups Scanlating
Bod Rangzen
Buried With Manga

Latest Release(s)
c.143-144 by MangaStream (4d ago)
c.142 by MangaStream (33d ago)
c.141 by MangaStream (38d ago)
Search for all releases of this series

Status in Country of Origin
17 Volumes (Ongoing)

Completely Scanlated?

Anime Start/End Chapter

User Reviews


User Rating
Average: 8.6 / 10.0 (236 votes)
Bayesian Average: 8.36 / 10.0
 30% (70 votes)
 29% (68 votes)
 24% (57 votes)
 11% (25 votes)
 3% (7 votes)
 1% (2 votes)
 1% (3 votes)
 1% (2 votes)
 0% (0 votes)
 1% (2 votes)

Last Updated
September 7th 2015, 12:03am PST



Category Recommendations





Original Publisher

Serialized In (magazine)
Morning (Kodansha)

Licensed (in English)

English Publisher

Activity Stats (vs. other series)
Weekly Pos #518 increased(+191)
Monthly Pos #1125 (No change)
3 Month Pos #922 increased(+113)
6 Month Pos #1110 decreased(-51)

List Stats
On 1039 reading lists
On 720 wish lists
On 26 unfinished lists
On 230 custom lists

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Forum Posts
Is Billy Bat ending anytime soon? 35 days, 14 hours, 1 minutes ago
Awesome new series! 2122 days, 18 hours, 40 minutes ago

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User Comments [ Order by time added ]

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No comments? How unusual.   
Rating: 7.7 / 10.0
by Crenshinibon
June 26th, 2009, 1:44am
Considering that this is, in fact, an Urasawa Naoki work, I figured there would be more fanfare by now. Well, I suppose it is still early, but in any case...

A strong case can be made that to be a literary intellectual in the manga world is something akin to being a chimpanzee in a group of apes. That is, no matter how intelligent or interesting your thoughts may be, you're still a monkey on some level. Urasawa is perhaps one of the tragically few authors that can really prove this statement false. Billy Bat is already another success in the line of the more famous Monster, a unique work that is absolutely flooded with interesting ideas, heavy research, and powerful themes. This time we see racism and some of the aftermath of WWII in Japan as Urasawa drags us along through another global conspiracy with nothing but the utmost talent in terms of pacing and suspense.

As always, one to read. As always, one to think about.
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Took a couple tries but I finally did it   
Rating: 8.9 / 10.0
by bull3thole
August 8th, 2014, 11:32am
I tried to read this manga a couple of years ago and it didn't catch my attention initially. The summary for this series didn't sound interesting and I didn't think the author could be able to write another manga like "Monster" and "20th Century Boy" so I'm glad I was wrong. I liked that this series has a blend of both of them.

People have to remember that Urasawa Naoki's manga's needs to build up for it to be amazing. You need to see the bigger picture rather than reading a couple of chapters only. An example would be the first 15-30 chapters of this manga because it was boring for me. At that point of the manga I wanted to quit, but I knew that things would pick up at some point so kept reading, and I'm glad I did.

I recommend that keep reading after the Shinobi arc because that was the point where things started to pick up for me. Luckily I started reading this when 118 chapters have been translated because I don't think I would have remembered all the things that happened in this manga by reading one chapter each week/biweekly/month.

... Last updated on August 8th, 2014, 11:43am
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Getting better and better   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by MouseMan
July 12th, 2011, 11:25pm
Urasawa's use of actual historical incidents and controversies and tying it in with Billy Bat is quite awesome. Sometimes, I feel this manga is on a bigger scale than his previous works. A few chapters and incidents may seem out of sync and you feel it is included only for "effect", but on the whole, this manga is well worth your time.
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Batshit insane!   
Rating: N/A
by jasperv
January 6th, 2013, 6:35am
this series level of insanity is frighting
if you are into real life Urban legends, UFOs and Global Conspiracies
then you ain't seen anytin yet!
beware of the Bat!

... Last updated on January 6th, 2013, 6:36am
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Rating: 9.0 / 10.0
by blackmokona
May 27th, 2012, 1:04am
Black and white bats? Space exploration conspiracy? JFK assassination? Time travel? All of these POV characters? I doubt Billy Bat can tie up all the plot threads, since it is still trying to introduce more. I will set up a little shrine to worship Urasawa if he does, but looking at the previous works it's unlikely since hey, he sets up a minor arc and after a while it's done, period but he's planning to keep all of them open here? As it goes on it is losing a bit coherency already.

For now, I love the comics! It manages to feel different from a manga but it still has the Urasawa quality, even though what he's saying about writing seems somewhat heavy-handed. Hey at least he makes us think.

So I'll be paying through the nose for the color pages once Viz picks it up I suppose.

... Last updated on May 27th, 2012, 1:05am
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The textbook definition of a Masterpiece   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by residentgrigo
May 16th, 2013, 8:10am
I always thought that Monster was Naoki Urasawas Magnum Opus. His Maus or Watchmen if you will but apparently this could be the ONE. I further consider Urasawa to be japan´s best living (Osamu Tezuka can´t be beaten) comic author as he never stops and just goes on from one high point to the next with his Astro Boy "remake" Pluto being the next best thing to Monster and Billy in level of writing and art quality. Happy is the "worst" for reference but still a 7,5/10 as he can do no wrong it seems.
The amount of well defined characters here is awe inspiring, the multicultural touches are a breath of fresh air and the century spanning conspiracy is coming together nicely. The series is further exceptionally well researched with his Walt Disney and Kubrick stand-ins being the best examples. The current arc is even about 9/11 and that isn´t a topic the average mangaka would be willing to touch or would be even allowed by his editors.
Why aren´t animation houses and TV-networks fighting over the rights to his mangas as this could be a killer HBO series or Madhouse anime. Berserk is the best thing on japanese the market right now, then comes Vinland Saga and then we arrive here so expect perfection like nowhere else.
Read it now and remember: The Bat is always watching!

... Last updated on March 28th, 2015, 11:58am
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Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by liltripp2hustla
November 9th, 2012, 1:19am
This manga is simply awesome. The mangaka has kept me into this manga because every chapter I'm wanting to know who and/or what the bat is. They have done their research on history and tied the bat to everything in a great fashion.
If the mangaka keeps this up it will only get better and better, there is still so much that can be done.
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Ridiculously awesome   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by MatrixM
September 3rd, 2012, 3:03am
All these plot threads, all these theories of what really happened in history appropriated for this manga. It draws on events from all over the place, Jesus, JFK, the rise of Nobunaga, the moon landing (even Einstein!). And it's tying them together perfectly. Furthermore all these characters are introduced and eventually tie in, even if it takes decades. And then there's the mystery of the black vs white bat.

Wow. Simply wow.

... Last updated on September 3rd, 2012, 3:27am
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The idea seems interesting   
Rating: N/A
by Hell_Clues
November 17th, 2011, 6:38pm
Coming from a manga-ka, He's clearly mixing how comics are made in the U.S and Japan up(especially given the time period its taking place). It's just clearly inaccurate in terms of ideas. At least interesting enough, the anthropomorphized bat makes sense since this takes place in the late golden age or post golden age, when the superhero was dying or dead for about a decade.

The story like someone said, it seems out of sync at times. The jumps from one point in the story to the next action are nonsensical. I'm early in, so this might all be explained and this isn't a review yet. It does create a certain kind of mood but more than anything it just seems wrong, because the understanding of comics is wrong.
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Unexpectedly bad...   
Rating: 3.0 / 10.0
by HuhWhat
September 30th, 2012, 8:20pm
I got blind-sighted when I saw "Naoki Urasawa" on the cover and tried my best to like this manga.

Perhaps I've come to expect a certain level of realism when it comes to an Urasawa series, and even when it blends elements of fantasy I always found how he incorporates it into the story to be tastefully done. With Billy Bat, he threw all subtlety out the window and dove right into the thickets of mysticism and curses.

Each chapter of this manga does not seem to fall into place with any of the other chapters, and therefore the pacing sometimes seems off. Not to mention some events are just wholly unbelievable, even when they incorporate tidbits of historical fact. Urasawa's token cliffhangers are still present, but they do not grab me like with previous works, and sometimes I just find myself wishing for the chapter to end.

Overall, I am disappointed.
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