So, remember hearing something about an original anime project from Production I.G. going to Netflix last year? At first, the title was called Perfect Bones but they had to change it to not be confused with the other show Beautiful Bones: Sakurako’s Investigation.
I also noticed that this is from Kazuto Nakazawa, known for directing the anime sequence in Kill Bill, Vol. 1, character designer for Samurai Champloo, El Hazard, Genius Party Beyond, etc. and co-directed the music video for Linkin Park’s “Breaking the Habit” along with doing key animation for The Animatrix with Kid’s Story and Detective Story (i.e. the two Shinichiro Watanabe shorts). So, yeah, I was a bit interested in this.
Now as of recent, Netflix is going in deep into the anime game and yes, we have our few spats to put up with Netflix on their anime side like not doing simulcasting (although with a bunch of shit coming in spring, patience for some shows might be the best virtue), but they have begun to have anime they are exactly involved in the production committee that airs all its episodes. The greatest example being Devilman Crybaby that debuted in January and now……yeah, let’s get on with B: The Beginning.
In a world powered by advanced technology, crime and action unfold in the archipelagic nation of Cremona. Koku, the protagonist. Keith, the legendary investigator of the royal police force RIS. A mysterious criminal organization. A wide variety of characters race through the fortified city as it is beset by the serial killer, Killer B, and a chain of crimes.
At first glance (or the first few episodes), this almost seems like this was going to be a procedural type of show and while I’m not against the idea, I thought I wasn’t going to be invested in it at all. But watching all of this within the weekend of it released, I got further into the show and into the 4th episode, I was starting to get into the series as a whole. Although to be fair, it was more of Keith’s arc rather than Koku. Koku’s arc is the old angsty-teen with a mysterious origin and yet that last part was the reason why I was a little interested in him as a character. The rest about him……there’s not much to it. It’s also got another subplot where there’s a girl that was friend of his back in the day involved and she might be alive or dead or something…….
…..However, there is Keith Flick, the legendary detective that’s helping out looking for the Killer B for the police and he is quite the character or at least enthralling but still have some quirky and socially inept personality traits you’ll notice in shows like House, Psych, The Mentalist, any other procedural show you might have seen either on reruns or something similar to that. His past is also revealed as on episode 4, we learn about his past knowledge of the killer and a death of a loved one. In other words, detective with a tragic story involving the serial murderer and yet I was more into this than the supernatural part of the series.
I’m not gonna lie when I say that this feels like any basic cable drama only in anime form and I noticed some of the twists and turns from the get-go. The two arcs definitely clash tones from a detective story to some supernatural weird-ass story as if you’re watching two different shows that happens to have the same company attached and just happens to intersect with each other.
Also some of the side characters aren’t that utilized or that notable in the show. Yeah, we noticed Boris and Kaela in some minor parts but the one side character who got some spotlight and one I actually liked the most was Lily Hoshino. Her rebellious, sarcastic personality has worked a charm into the show without hurting it and out of the supporting cast, she was actually better utilized into the main story than the others.
With animation, Production I.G. does what it does best: fluid animation, best use of CGI, well-animated action scenes although the characters does look like they were from the reject pile from Psycho-Pass. Also, I do notice that Lily is almost alike Akane from Psycho-Pass.
Usually, I talk about the opening and ending songs in this section but there is just only one song and that’s for the ending sequence. The opening is just the score playing over with the title flickering and the score is definitely tense enough for the show and for the ending, you can’t go wrong with some MAN WITH A MISSION……’s vocalist Jean-Ken Johnny, bass guitarist KenKen and Kōji Fujimoto collaborating with Marty Friedman for the theme “The Perfect World”, which is a slow-builder-upper of a song in terms of tensity and vocal performance.
For the dub, two performances I was digging from the whole show and it was Ray Chase as Keith and Faye Mata as Lily. The two of them easily impressed me with some of the best performances in there.
FINAL VERDICT: OK, B The Beginning isn’t exactly the most amazing show but it’s not terrible. In fact, it’s still quite entertaining and I think binging the show was a better choice than doing it weekly because I feel some people would’ve dropped it by the 3rd episode. The mystery and atmosphere of it is still tense enough to be invested despite some predictability and while the notable characters are Keith, Koku and Lily, they hold a good presence on-screen. It’s definitely the show that fits within the Netflix realm and no, I’m not saying that as a negative. It’s perfect to watch on those days if you got nothing to do so yeah, give this a shot if you’re interested.
This is MAK2.0 aka The B–what…..Oh, the usual “You can watch this at blank blank site” thing….
Well you know it’s Netflix and as of now, license for home video is up in the air.
….Anyway, I’m MAK2.0 aka The Blue Hybrid and watch out for flying one-colored eye bird persons.
B THE BEGINNING – animated by PRODUCTION I.G. / streaming on NETFLIX