HomeMisc.AnimeNetflix's B: The Beginning Will Keep You Guessing Till the Very End

Netflix’s B: The Beginning Will Keep You Guessing Till the Very End

B: The Beginning

I don’t know about you, but I feel that being able to binge an entire season of an anime is a lot better than waiting week to week for an episode. To me, it’s always felt like with live-action shows, it works. However, when it comes to anime, you KNOW there are going to be those filler episodes or the ones that don’t make sense unless you can watch them back to back. So being able to watch B: The Beginning in one sitting was already a plus. Honestly, had this show been week to week, I probably would have lost interest.

B: The Beginning follows two plot lines that are completely separate but at the same time intertwined. One plot follows Koku, a young boy with a mysterious ability to turn into a creature, called “The Black Winged King” by the organization he’s hunting. When he transforms, he sprouts black, feathered wings, his skin turns black, his hair turns dark blue, and his left arm turns into a blade. Koku has lost most of his memories, and while he is the police dubbed “Killer B” and does kill serial killers, he kills them with an ulterior motive. These serial killers are not human. They are like Koku. And they are the ones who can lead him to the girl he’s been searching for. Someone he loves dearly and one of the only people he can remember.

The second plot follows Detective Keith Flick and the other members of RIS (the royal police force), including Lily, Eric, Boris, Mario, Brian, and Kaela, and their search for Killer B. At least, that’s what everyone at RIS thinks is the reason Keith came back. However, Keith is looking in to something bigger: Market Maker, an organization paid by the royal family to cause chaos to justify their weapon development and unorthodox experiments. Eight years ago, Keith’s sister Erika was brutally murdered, and even though there seems to be no relation, Keith knows that the puppet master behind Market Maker was and is involved with everything. But even Keith isn’t sure just how deep the rabbit hole goes.

They way that these plot lines intersect is intricate and original. It’s a detective story but it’s also one of fantasy, of gods but also science. While I was totally right on who I thought the real villain was, the twists and turns leading up to the final discovery were still so interesting that I wanted to keep watching. Because, hey, I could have been wrong. I wasn’t. But I could have been. Speaking of the villain, it’s a great one. There are certain tells with anime that you’re like, “OK, it’s obviously this person.” Even so, the main villain is around just enough to remind you they are there, but not enough that they are the focus. In fact, for a while they are basically insignificant. Or so it seems. I really liked how they were woven into everything happening, and even more so, I genuinely liked them as a villain. Well, technically there were two villains, but this one was definitely the superior of the two.

We have two protagonists, Keith and Koku. However, Keith is definitely the better one. Koku may be a god and he may have special powers, but Keith is the one we follow. Keith is the one discovering the truth and helping Koku remember his past and find the girl as well. Keith is also just so damn interesting. His story is interesting. His mind is interesting. His decisions and reasoning are interesting. His whole character is just, well, interesting. Plus, Keith had the better antagonist he was going against. And his fight was a battle of wits, very Sherlock Holmes with some Psycho-Pass mixed in. I liked how everything was tied together, but honestly, I think an anime just focusing on Detective Keith and RIS solving crimes of madmen would have but just as good, if not better. His story doesn’t need Koku’s to be compelling, however, Koku needs Keith’s story.

Koku is really cool, there is no denying it, but he isn’t anything new. He lost his memories, he’s searching for the girl he loves, he was betrayed, something about fate, blah blah blah. I’ve seen it. I’ve seen it a million times over. His design isn’t even that original, to be honest. Like yeah it’s cool, but it’s nothing crazy unique. Not to mention, his main antagonist was the weaker one. Pretty generic motivation, though I didn’t see this one coming. I will say though, directors Kazuto Nakazawa and Yoshiki Yamakawa are clearly fans of the 1971 film adaptation of A Clockwork Orange. If you’ve seen the movie, you’ll know exactly what I mean. As soon as you see this character. You’ll know.

This would have been better as two different shows, but it’s an anime that keeps you invested right to the very end. I can also confirm that the dub is solid. I do like Keith’s Japanese voice better, but overall everyone sounds great. Especially Mario. He sounds the exact same in both languages.


B: The Beginning is currently streaming on Netflix.

Rachel Freeman
Rachel Freeman
Rachel Freeman is a staff writer and comic review editor at Pop Break. She regularly contributes comic book reviews, such as The Power of the Dark Crystal, Savage Things, Mother Panic, Dark Nights: Metal, Rose, and more. She also contributes anime reviews, such as Berserk, Garo: Vanishing Line and Attack on Titan as well as TV reviews. She has been part of The BreakCast for the Definitive Defenders Podcast. Outside of her writing for Pop Break, Rachel is currently a pre-school teacher. She is a college graduate with her BA in History and MAED. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @Raychikinesis.

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