|Alias||Tanaka (田中, Tanaka)|
|Base of Operations||Saint Ishiyama Academy|
|Previous Base of Operations||Ishiyama High School|
|Anime Debut||Episode 21|
|Manga Debut||Chapter 37|
Zenjūrō Saotome (早乙女 禅十郎, Saotome Zenjūrō) is a middle-aged man who attended Ishiyama High School. He is a powerful Spell Master who currently teaches at Saint Ishiyama Academy, formerly being the teacher for the "Saint Class".
Zenjūrō is a fairly tall adult possessing long shaggy black hair, as well as a hair stubble growing around his face and upper lip. He sports a thick bandanna with beading on it, which covers all of his forehead. He has the marks of a powerful Demon tattooed all over his arm, as well as the seal of the Royal Crest on his hand. Zenjūrō is often seen smoking.
As a teenager at Ishiyama High School, Zenjūrō had a somewhat different appearance. His hair was shorter and straighter, with his falling over his forehead. He lacked the stubble on his face, his trademark bandana, and often wore his school's uniform. Zenjūrō didn't appear to smoke, either.
Zenjūrō is somewhat of a pervert; he "especially likes the uniforms" of Japanese schools, and tells Kunieda outright that he thinks she's cute and wonders if she has a boyfriend. When Hilda and Zenjūrō start fighting, he gropes her breasts and comments on her lingerie. His demeanor is casual, but intimidating because of his size and power. He has taken up an interest in Oga and Beel. He appears to know Ittōsai Kunieda somewhat.
Saotome first met Takamiya three years prior when the latter was approximately twelve-years-old, having been hired to deal with a Demon that had possessed him. When Saotome first met the child, he told him that he was leaving and that the world was a big place. Saotome later discovered that the Demon who possessed Takamiya was none other than Lucifer. As a result, instead of taming the aforementioned Demon, he instead taught the child how to use spells; during this time, he took notice of his pupil's advanced growth and intellect.
Prince En ArcEdit
Zenjūrō Saotome makes his first appearance quite early on in the manga, in a flashback of Tōjō's in Chapter 37 of the manga. Tōjō tells Oga how he looked up to Zenjūrō, and ever since he first saw him when he was about 12 years old, he's always aspired to be as strong as him. Tōjō compares Zenjūrō and Oga, and realizes that Oga is "the real thing"- Ishiyama's best, not purely because of strength, but also because of what he was protecting, in the words of Zenjūrō. He reappears briefly in Chapter 76 to comment on the ruckus Ishiyama High students are making at St. Ishiyama's, after the fight that ensues following the volleyball match.
Zenjūrō Saotome becomes the homeroom teacher for the Ishiyama delinquent class- the actual assigned teacher. Mr. Sadohara, the original teacher, was merely a fill-in during the absence of Zenjūrō. Word gets around that Izuma and Tōjō are going to finish the fight they started, on the roof. Oga chooses this moment, the fight unbeknownst to him, to question Izuma about how he knew he had demon powers. All three get their fighting mode on but are all punched in the face, and subdued by Zenjūrō, who jumps onto the roof from the teacher's lounge.
He is next seen on a roof where a mysterious a dimensional hole has appeared, the conjuror unknown. Zenjūrō punches the hole, revealing his demon tattoos. This act summons strong people acutely aware of the power, and demons. The first to appear was Hilda. A fight ensues, but Zenjūrō keeps insisting that he is not the bad guy, even though Hilda is under the impression he is one of Behemoth's men. Zenjūrō reveals his spell casting abilities to Hilda when he puts her in a binding spell and leaves. Oga confronts him, demanding to know who he is, to which Zenjūrō replies that he is Oga's homeroom teacher and the latter should be at school tomorrow.
Akumano Academy ArcEdit
Memory Loss ArcEdit
Saotome barely appeared in the saga. His only appearance was when Oga and his gang asked him about a cure for Hilda answering with anger that how could Oga and Baby Beel invaded Akumano Academy all alone and that he didn't give a damn about the memory loss issue.
Field Trip ArcEdit
Saint Saint X'mas ArcEdit
While hanging around in the staff room, Saotome notices a flyer for the Saint Saint X'mas event. He learns from his co-workers that it is an end-of-the-year event for the students and states that it should be fun for them. As his co-workers then start rambling, they mention that the Ishiyama students will probably be disinterested in the competition due to finalized plans, which Saotome remains silent on. Later, while he takes a walk in the hallways, Saotome thinks about how the "Saint Class" will be forced to leave Saint Ishiyama Academy shortly after the new year; thinking about it, he notes how they have already developed an attachment to the prestigious high school.
Saotome and Ikaruga meet with each other sometime before Christmas Eve. Because of what he did earlier with Oga and Aoi, sending them to learn the Black Techs under her supervision, he ends up being forced to do whatever she wants for the holidays, much to his dismay.
Therefore, upon learning of the Saint Saint X'mas competition, Saotome and Ikaruga enter together under the false identities as Tanaka and Kawashima, two apparent high school students from Saint Ishiyama Academy. Together, they advance to the actual tournament itself and select a tennis ball marked with the number 14, putting them in the seventh match against Oga and Hilda.
The two later step up into the boxing ring in the high school's gymnasium so that they can go through with their match against Oga and Hilda. When meeting their opponents, Saotome notices that Baby Beel detects an unfamiliar presence from them which entertains him. Saotome loosens his hat to reveal Black Baby Beel and then exposes his true identity, taking off the sunglasses that he is wearing. He briefly mentions that he did not even want to participate in the competition which prompts Ikaruga to hit him, reminding him of the prior commitments that he made to her sometime before; uneasy, Saotome meekly assures her that he still remembers. When Ikaruga then states to the spectators that she is Saotome's wife, so as to cover up her identity, he immediately spouts blood from his mouth. While she continues to put on a show, he explains why he is being forced to spend the holidays with her. Then, while their respective "children" fight on their heads, he states that it is good that Hilda is temporarily back to her amnesiac self, thinking that she will try to kill him for groping her breasts in the past; then, to his horror, her dark self returns moments later.
Saotome then listens to the instructions for the match that he is supposed to participate in. While getting ready, Saotome mutters about how Ikaruga could be referring to as her husband; such a comment prompts her to bloody his face and leave it heavily bruised.
Afterwards, the match between the two couples commence. The four take their fight closer to the ceiling of the gymnasium, resulting in a sky battle; however, Saotome and Oga end up comically fighting at one another similarly to Baby Beel and Black Baby Beel from before. Then, Saotome states that Oga likely has not trained enough and directly punches him towards the ground alongside Hilda. He then looks down on the teenagers while Ikaruga launches a spell at them. The two then head back to the boxing ring, stating that they will not lose to their own pupils; however, due to a quick tactic from Oga, they are deceived into attacking and being electrocuted by Baby Beel, prompting them to lose their guard momentarily for their balloon to be popped by the opposing couple, resulting in Saotome's and Ikaruga's loss.
Towards the end of the day, Saotome and Ikaruga stop by the local river before doing anything else. Saotome make an attempt to leave but is caught by Ikaruga, who reminds him that they still have the rest of the day together.
Return to Ishiyama High School ArcEdit
Saotome heads to the Ishiyama campus where he lounges on the ground, waiting in the middle of night. He eventually sees that Oga and Baby Beel have arrived and casually greets them before they run past him, just as Saotome then gets up from the ground. Oga starts yelling when he sees him, prompting Saotome to cover his mouth and scold him for his lack of common sense in his situation. He then tells Oga that he came to give him a warning, which is to refrain from fighting both Takamiya or Fuji.
He explains that they are much more powerful than Oga seeing as he once taught them both how to use Spells. Oga is confused by his words and asks whether he means that the two first-years are aliens; befuddled at his pupil's mindset, Saotome says that they are not and even draws out a diagram on the dirt with a stick.
He proceeds to explain more about Takamiya, giving insight on the young teenager's apparent intellect during the time he learned under Saotome. Saotome reveals that the main reason why Oga should not fight him is because Takamiya's Demon is the infamous Lucifer; because of Oga's affiliation with Baby Beel, should the two fight with their respective Demons, it would be no different then starting a war in the Demon World. However, to his surprise, Saotome is told to leave his "adult" matters out from the delinquents because it is only a fight. He is then left alone in the courtyards.
Far above the high school's rooftops, Saotome stands on a Zebul Emblem as he looks down on Oga's and Takamiya's fight. He reflects on the words that he once told Takamiya, stating that while he did not know what his elder pupil desired, the other should be able to provide an answer.
Later, he watches as Oga suddenly conjures a massive Zebul Emblem in the skies above them, just beneath Saotome. Saotome recognizes the spell as being neither that of the King's Crest or a Black Tech; studying it further, he realizes that the technique is the creation of both conflicting with one another, which he identifies as a sort of "annihilation energy". He reflects on Oga's past usages of the "Father Switch" that initially combined both skills and notes that it has now bloomed right before him. Knowing that, Saotome states that it is now a unique technique of Oga's.
Saotome then watches as the technique suddenly dissipates before his very eyes, due to interference from two individuals, Udagawa and Himekawa, who subsequently explain to Oga about the device that they used to sever his link to Baby Beel; hearing about the device simply bewilders Saotome.
However, Saotome bears witness to an even greater development in his pupil when a massive Zebul Emblem manifests over the entire high school, illuminating the whole campus and several parts of the city; seeing such a gargantuan site leaves Saotome entirely shocked. He becomes disappointed when the Zebul Emblem disappears after a small instance and remarks that Takamiya would have won if it were not for that attack; however, he quietly tells himself that the sheer power kept inside Baby Beel would lead to potential catastrophe if the Solomon Company learns of it.
He then discovers the presence of two individuals near him, surprising Saotome. One asks whether he is truly Zenjūrō Saotome with he confirms that he is. They reveal themselves as employees of the Solomon Company and explain that, because of his interference, their plans have been ruined. Saotome scoffs at this claim and conjures a Spell with his right hand, darkly telling the two that he would not care for their company. He later restrains the two with a Spell and later looks back to the high school to see that Oga and Takamiya have settled their final battle; afterwards, he remarks to his captives that they chose the wrong opponent to fight. Saotome brushes off their subsequent comments that their "true plan" has actually been successful until they mention that their "grim reaper" has finally arrived.
Saotome eventually releases the duo but manages to evade them from then on.
Powers & AbilitiesEditMaster Hand-to-Hand Combatant: Zenjūrō is the most powerful human described so far, and one of the most powerful fighters in the series shown so far. He shows considerable skills being able to defeat uncontracted demons with relative ease, including Hilda, as well as being able to defeat Tōjō, Oga, and Izuma with little effort. Even Behemoth has expressed that he would rather not fight him if he could avoid it due to his strength. Zenjuro even knows unarmed techniques of the Shingetsu Style as well which possibly learned from Ittosai Kunieda.
- Shingetsu Style Techniques:
- Nadeshiko: An armor breaking technique. Saotome could also do this technique, but with much more power than Oga, being capable of splintering the ground and a big boulder.
Spell Master: Zenjuro is a very well known spell master with many recognizing his abilities with handling a demon's power. The control of his demonic powers is much greater than Oga's, and he can gauge the amount of energy he wants to use with precision, as seen by the fine control he has over the size and expansion of his own tattoo. Zenjuro is also responsible for educating the top two members of the Three Beasts within the Killer Six Elements that led them to possess phenomenal powers for humans and had also trained Oga into being competent enough to fight against the demons of the 34th Pillar Division. He is so powerful that Behemoth also mentions that there will be many casualties should their division clash with him. Due to the amount of power he can use and the shape of the seal, it is reasonable to assume that he has formed a contract with a demon from the royal family. Due to their respective ages, he may be contracted with the Demon King himself. During the fight against the Solomon Company, Zenjuro demonstrated the ability to casually defeat other spell masters as well.
- Distortion Seal: Zenjuro demonstrated the ability to seal up and repair any dimensional distortion caused by the use of too much demonic power in the human world. It seems that the use of this technique involves him releasing his demonic power to cancel out the demonic power of the distortion that humans with notable strength could sense.
- Spell Bind: Demonstrated when Hilda attacked Saotome under suspicions he was with Behemoth's Pillars. He was forced to use this to restrain Hilda from attacking him further to convince he wasn't. The seal on his hand enlarges and pulsates, then launches what seems to be a duplicate of the seal towards Hilda which then wraps around her and then binds her. It can be assumed it diffuses a demon's powers as Hilda could not escape from it until it faded.
- Energy Blast: First demonstrated when Pillars Naga, Hecadoth and Graphel appeared. Somewhat similar to Oga's Zebel Blast, Saotome's seal enlarges and pulsates, then releases a giant pulse of energy. The true devastation of what the blast could've done was not shown as the Pillars had escaped via a Teleport artifact. However, with the fact, the blast had wrecked half a street is enough to show it was powerful.
- Immobilization: According to Oga, Zenjuro showed the use of a basic spell that involves immobilizing an opponent with the demon seal of his contract which he later used to bind two spell masters of the Solomon Company after defeating them.
Access to the Demon World: It is implied that he has access to information from the demon world that even Hilda is not privy to. This is demonstrated when he showed awareness of the Pillar Division's movements that even Hilda was unaware of. Zenjuro is also well acquainted with many known and influential demons like Furcas that allows him to keep track of the Demon World's activities.
Immense Strength: Zenjuro is extremely powerful in terms of strength where he was able to easily knock Oga, Toujou, and Izuma out in one hit each for the three of them. He later showed the ability to casually push back and harm the Pillar General, Hecadoth, who was able to withstand Oga's undeveloped Zebul Blast with little damage. During his training of Oga, Zenjuro was able to split apart the land itself when he used the Nadeshiko technique of the Shingetsu Style while Oga could only split a large boulder with the same technique.
Immense Durability: Zenjuro is able to easily withstand blows that others could where he emerged unscathed from defending against Oga's Super Milk Time with only a few scratches on his arm when the Pillar Baron: Naga and Pillar Generals: Hecadoth and Graphel where overwhelmed and incapacitated by the same power. In fact, a testament of his physical might is the fact that he is one of the few characters who has never been heavily injured in any sort of fight at all no matter who his opponents are.
Immense Speed: Zenjuro is extremely fast and agile as he was able to instantly punch Oga, Toujou, and Izuma knocking them unconscious before any of them were able to react right after jumping on the school roof they were on. Later despite Hilda being able to fight against the spell master much better the other three, she was unable to land a hit on Saotome. The spell master even evaded her attacks that involves powerful demonic energy-enhanced attacks with casual ease as well.
- "Piece(s) of shit." - Saotome's usual insult/catchphrase.