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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.

Note: Won the Max und Moritz Prize for "Best international Comic" in 2014.


Related Series

Associated Names
빌리 배트

Groups Scanlating
Bod Rangzen
Buried With Manga

Latest Release(s)
c.165 (end) by MangaStream over 2 years ago
c.164 by MangaStream over 2 years ago
c.162-163 by MangaStream over 2 years ago
Search for all releases of this series

Status in Country of Origin
20 Volumes (Complete)

Completely Scanlated?

Anime Start/End Chapter

User Reviews


User Rating
Average: 8.5 / 10.0 (331 votes)
Bayesian Average: 8.32 / 10.0
 25% (84 votes)
 31% (102 votes)
 24% (81 votes)
 12% (39 votes)
 3% (10 votes)
 2% (5 votes)
 2% (5 votes)
 1% (2 votes)
 0% (0 votes)
 1% (3 votes)

Last Updated
October 1st 2016, 9:49am PST



Category Recommendations





Original Publisher

Serialized In (magazine)
Morning (Kodansha)

Licensed (in English)

English Publisher

Activity Stats (vs. other series)
Weekly Pos #577 increased(+35)
Monthly Pos #1106 increased(+137)
3 Month Pos #1732 increased(+125)
6 Month Pos #1921 increased(+329)
Year Pos #2394 decreased(-233)

List Stats
On 996 reading lists
On 886 wish lists
On 338 completed lists
On 39 unfinished lists
On 285 custom lists

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Forum Posts
Is Billy Bat ending anytime soon? over 3 years ago
Awesome new series! over 9 years ago

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User Comments [ Order by usefulness ]

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Gripping, Tense, Intriguing   
Rating: N/A
by Dr. Love
October 18th, 2016, 2:18pm
A gripping tale that spans several countries, time periods and characters. You thought a story about mangaka would be boring or uneventful? Think again. As Urasawa uses his trademark thriller style to spin this tale you won't be able to stop reading. The way the characters and plot threads come together is once again a testament to Urasawa's talent.
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Which one are you   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by Doomroar
August 27th, 2016, 1:36pm
The kid in the middle of a minefield, or the soldier tasked with helping the kid? maybe we are both.

Yes this is a serious question that's how meta and how real this manga gets at the end, you see our times are not that different from the ones depicted in the story.
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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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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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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: 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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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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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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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 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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