B: The Beginning

B: The Beginning

B: The Beginning Netflix anime poster
B: The Beginning Poster

Overview

B: The Beginning is one of the “original” anime on Netflix. I don’t believe it was actually funded by Netflix like Devilman: Crybaby was, just that Netflix happened to purchase the broadcasting rights, however, I didn’t look too much into it.

The series has two major plot lines which are intertwined with each other. The first, and better of the two, is your standard murder mystery involving a “rogue” cop chasing down a mass murderer, but always seems to find himself one step behind.

If that’s all there was to this series, I think I actually might have enjoyed it more, although I can see why some would argue that being a standard murder mystery could be boring. However, I don’t think there are enough good murder mystery anime so I’d welcome more.

The second plot line covers the supernatural side of the series and follows a god-like boy as he tries to rescue his god-like girlfriend from a criminal syndicate made up of failed experiments to artificially create new god-like beings. While this is where most of the action of the series comes from, I just didn’t care about it as much.

Basically, they took a murder mystery anime and threw some “edge” into the mix, and apparently people liked that.


Characters

Lily Hoshina is one of the three main characters of the series. She’s a cop who works for what’s essentially the equivalent of the FBI here in the U.S. That said, I’m pretty sure this series is supposed to take place in Italy like Gunslinger Girl, but it could just be influenced by Italy.

Either way, Lily’s the best character in the series and that’s the important takeaway here. She’s quirky, but not to the point where she’s off-putting like the next character, Keith Flick.

Keith is the “rogue” cop I mentioned previously. You can think of him kind of like an older, weirder version of Kōgami from Psycho-Pass. He’s a good cop, but he doesn’t always do things by the book. He’s also Sherlock Holmes-esque in the way he thinks through problems.

The third main character of the series is Koku, the god-like being who just wants to save his girlfriend, Yuna (she looks and dresses like Yuno Gasai from The Future Diary, which I don’t think is a mistake). I’m not really sure what to say about Koku other than that he reminds me of Sasuke’s curse mark form from Naruto.

Along with these three main characters, there are two primary antagonists. The supernatural one is Minatsuki, the leader of the “reggies” which is the term for the failed experimental god-like beings. Reggies can typically be identified by facial tattoos.

The other primary antagonist I’ll keep a secret because it’s part of the mystery of the series, but let’s just say I guessed it from the very first time the character was introduced. If you want the bad guy reveal to be a surprise, maybe don’t give him a stereotypical bad guy look.

Lily Hoshina and Keith Flick from the anime B: The Beginning
Lily Hoshina and Keith Flick

Conclusion

I ended up giving B: The Beginning a 6/10 because while it looked nice and had good animation, only half of the plot interested me. Also, there were certain things about the anime which could have been more explicitly tied together, one example of which I’ll mention below (spoiler).

In the beginning portion of the series there are a series of heists which are explained as distractions from whatever “real” crime the mysterious group at the time was committing. However, all the way at the end of the series it’s implied, but never confirmed, that the heists were actually financing the murder spree.

The issue I have with this simply being implied in a single, short scene instead of explained is that there’s barely any real connection between the murderer and the supernatural organization other than this financing of the murders. Sure, they’re back stories are connected, but that alone doesn’t explain how, or really why, they’re working together.

Really, the motives for both primary antagonists needed to be flushed out a bit more. The murderer simply liked murder, which is fine in a way, but the supernatural antagonist was evil just because the murderer told him he’d die otherwise. Seems like a god-like being shouldn’t just take that at face value.

Finally, based on the final scene of the series, it does appear that there will be a second season with an entirely new antagonist. At this point, I don’t think I’ll watch it, but who knows, maybe I’ll have completed my PTW list by then (insert laugh track here).

There isn’t exactly an OP for B: The Beginning (it’s just a 15 second thing that doesn’t show anything about the series) so instead, here‘s the ED.

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