Bastard!! -Heavy Metal, Dark Fantasy is an anime series based on the resurrection of a dark wizard as the last resort to protect the world. It is now streaming on Netflix.
400 years ago, at the height of their prosperity, humans tried to use the power of darkness to erase war. But this darkness turned against them and passed the judgement for their destruction.
Before it could be completely destroyed, a humanoid-dragon hybrid emerged and fought against it. After enormous destruction to the Earth due to the war, the dragon emerged as the winner. But the tale morphed and was forgotten.
In the present day, the Metallicana Kingdom is being attacked in an attempt to break the seals on the darkness that appeared 400 years ago; the God of destruction Anthrasax.
In a desperate attempt, Tia Noto Yoko awakens an evil dark wizard named Dark Schneider, who was sealed inside a boy named Lucien Renlen by her father, the priest Geo Noto Yoko. The only way to break the seal is a virgin maiden’s kiss.
The dark wizard had fought a battle against the kingdom 15 years ago. He was finally defeated by the knight Lars, who is said to be killed as well in the scuffle. But Dark Schneider used reincarnation magic before ultimately getting sealed in the boy.
While resurrected, he still shares his personality with Lucien’s and has romantic feelings for Tia, who practically raised him. The first seal on Anthrasax is broken.
He quickly finds himself up against the four divine kings; his former pupils Abigail, Arshes Nei, Ninja Master Gara and Kall-su.
He first battles Gara, who kidnapped Tia. He goes to rescue her along with the princess of Metallicana, Sheila, who gets attracted to Dark Schneider as well.
He manages to get Gara to change his allegiance. In the process, he also beats the fire demon Efreet and becomes the master of the Fire Sword.
The human/dark elf hybrid Arshes Nei was actually his adopted daughter and former lover in the past. She sends her three sorcerer generals after him.
The first, Sean Ari, he manages to seduce. He also wins over the second, Kai Harn. The third, vampire Di-Amon, is bested in battle.
Arshes is tasked by the divine kings to take him down herself. To ensure that she does not change her mind, she is inflicted by the accused curse.
If she has a change of heart, her nail will change to purple and then crimson red, ultimately leading to her death. The only way to end the curse is to rip out Dark Schneider’s beating heart.
She uses her weapon Raijinken and bests Gara. The awaited battle between her and Dark Schneider draws near, but before it, Shiela’s grandmother and the one who helped seal Dark Schneider prophesizes his death after his heart is ripped out.
As the battle begins, Efreet, the spirit in Dark Schneider’s fire sword, sacrifices himself to defeat Nue, the demon spirit in Arshes’ sword, Raijinken.
Bastard!! -Heavy Metal, Dark Fantasy ending explained in detail: (Episode 13: Wavering)
Dark Schneider vs Arshes Nei
Before they can re-engage in battle, Dark Schneider claims that he loves her. Taken aback at first, she believes it to be his nature and that he must say it to countless women.
Choosing to continue the battle, both powerful wizards manifest spirits in battle and Dark Schneider continues to urge her to stop.
Both use the powerful signature spell of Dark Schneider, Exodus, but the latter wavers at the last moment as he cares for her deeply, getting severely injured.
Arshes reveals her ideals. She was shunned by humans and dark elves when she was little, and she wants to change the world and allow everyone to feel like they belong. This is why she wishes to resurrect Anthrasax.
Dark Schneider attempts to remind her of the past when she grabbed his robe and he took him in as his own daughter. The two share strong emotions.
She is almost swayed, but her nail starts to turn purple and she feels immense pain. Abigal and Kall-su are watching the battle and the latter begins to prepare to fight in case Arshes loses.
Even though at this point she wants nothing more than to be with Dark Schneider again, the curse will never allow this to happen.
The battle resumes and Dark Schneider can feel a sense of hesitation within Arshes but is unable to figure out the reason.
As her spirits attack Tia and Shiela, she notices a visible change in Dark Schneider’s behaviour and theorises that he cares for Tia and the best way to provoke him would be to threaten her life.
Although Arshes claims that she wants to end the dark wizard, Tia can feel no intent to kill from within her. The two get ready to finish this with one single strike with both using Dark Schneider’s new powerful spell Halloween.
Dark Schneider’s ultimate sacrifice
Although evenly matched at first, Dark Schneider begins to overpower Arshes. Tia senses sadness from Arshes, who is completely distraught at this point. Lucien manifests in front of the dark wizard and tells him to understand his adopted daughter.
He is oblivious to her pain. All she wants to do now is not to kill him, but die at the hands of the one she loves. Dark Schneider then notices the accused curse on her and realises this is all the dark priest Abigail’s fault and curses him.
He transports the Helloween spell to make it vanish. Approaching Arshes, he asks if the accused spell hurts her, declaring that he will set her free.
In an act of self-sacrifice, with his own hand, he takes out his beating heart to give to Arshes, as he wants her to be free of the curse.
As mentioned before, the only way to end the curse was to get his beating heart and Dark Schneider was familiar with this.
This also meant that Shiela’s grandmother’s prophecy was not because Arshen Nei had bested Dark Schneider and ripped out his heart, but rather due to his existing love for her.