Science Fiction has never been my strongest suit. Don’t get me wrong here, I was obsessed with Mass Effect for a fair bit, and I’ll take a good story from wherever I can get it, but Sci-Fi was always a little daunting to me. I don’t know, there’s just something about the vastness of space and all that it hides that scares me off from fully committing to the genre. it’s why I go for premises that aren’t totally Sci-Fi, like with Cowboy Bebop and now, B The Beginning.
B The Beginning is one of the better original animation projects currently being offered by Netflix. Then again, anything Netflix has in terms of anime is better than Record Of Ragnarok, so maybe that doesn’t count for much. I mean, don’t get me wrong but a lot of the Netflix Originals are serviceable at best. You can’t expect Castlevania every time. However, I think it’s definitely a decent find, especially worth the watch for those who enjoy both a good murder mystery and a supernaturally dystopian aesthetic.
You’d think it’s almost too much, with the cat-and-mouse chase combined with a paranormal mystery going around but it all honestly does come together. There is a lot of anime I can compare it to, but it’ll always end up being more of a hybrid. Like, did you enjoy Death Note for its impeccable battle of the wit scenario? Great, now what about Psycho-pass with its alternate cop setting and commentary on humanity? Also, good? Then combine the two, and you have B The Beginning.
But that’s not to say it doesn’t have its shortcomings. Like I said, B The Beginning is trying to do a lot here, with a long-winded plot with tons of twists and turns. And it ends up making things confusing and hard to follow. But it seems to be doing all that with surprisingly good results. However, is it the best show you can watch right now? Or is it a passing fancy? Let’s break it down!
The Premise: Renegade Detective VS Corrupt Cops?
Welcome to Cremona, a scenic state made up of many islands and exactly one vigilante serial killer. Hyped up by some and condemned by others, the mysterious Killer B is wreaking havoc all around, taking justice into his own hands. Armed with a blade and superpowers, he keeps evading the RIS (Royal Investigation Service) easily.
And so, the RIS decides to bring in Keith Flick, a bizarre-mannered but experienced detective, back from his exile to the Archives Department following a tragedy. Out of anyone, he’s their best shot but with how the crimes had started escalating, it’s clear that the one they know as Killer B might just be more than one person.
Keith, alongside his plucky subordinate Lily Hoshina, sets out to catch the guy. But instead, he finds himself being helped by Killer B in unearthing everything, from secret organizations to domestic terrorism. So, where are his loyalties going to land?
The Breakdown: Everything Everywhere All At Once?
Just by a cursory watch, you can see exactly what anime influenced which aspect of B The Beginning. It has all the greats, a detective pursuing a criminal plotline, a government conspiracy that can undo everything, and so much more.
It’s a lot and it can be hard to follow this anime in the beginning. Like, there are so many little subplots going around that will end up tying together towards the climax. It also has this shared protagonist thing going on, with perspectives shifting between Keith and Koku, the other main character. So, it’s still pretty overwhelming. There are plot twists every second and the show is pretty unpredictable with where it ends up going. This is good because, with how the premise is, you’d think it can get boring.
But no, the show does go places and it’s a ride through and through. However, because it’s so much, the pacing does have issues. It underutilizes its sci-fi/supernatural setting, which is sad but, hey, can’t win them all.
The Verdict: Cool One Time Watch!
B The Beginning is a great weekend watch when you’re looking for something meatier to sink your teeth into. It’s not perfect, but the story is pretty immersive, and you find yourself pleasantly shocked by some of the turns the show takes.
It’s worth trying once, at the very least.