[Review] B: The Beginning (Netflix)

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I’ve been meaning to talk about this anime on the blog for what feels like forever now. Every time I open WordPress and check my drafts, this is at the top. But when I open the post, I always stop. Why? Because all I can really say about this show is that I didn’t entirely understand it but still really enjoyed it

I know, what kind of review is that, right?

And by the time I actually had the will to just write anything, I also forgot the smaller details. Yup, it’s been a while since I last properly watched this. That is, until last month. Yup! Last month I decided to rewatch this show because I’d seen that there was now a S2 and I can’t just jump into S2 without remembering S1, right? But I gave myself a little challenge this time. I rewatched it…in Spanish!

B: The Beginning is a Netflix Original and it’s one of the anime I randomly checked out, along with Sirius the Jaeger back in 2019, and I REALLY enjoyed it! It follows a series of cases committed by Killer B, a serial killer who has been murdering various criminals that the RIS (Royal Investigation Service) are investigating. His signature is a large letter B with four lines on the lower right. Nobody seems to understand what is happening, except Keith Flick, a genius investigator, who has just rejoined the force.

As the murders keep adding up, the RIS comes to realize that there’s something more sinister at work. Something that has been at work for hundreds of years

The reason I decided to pick up this series back then is that (mainly) I was bored. I was having trouble with the Crunchyroll app (so slow!) and figured I’d be less frustrated with Netflix. So I went there in search of some new and interesting anime. Aside from Sirius the Jaeger, I found this one. I thought the art looked nice and after watching a preview, I thought, yeah, I can get into this. And I wasn’t disappointed

Yeah, maybe the ankles are a little too thin for my liking. I mean, HOW can these guys walk with those stick legs?! But I really found no real fault with the designs or animation. The fights were flashy, dramatic, and cool. Plus, I liked the idea of having a totally and completely modern setting, only to have something supernatural and sinister happening underneath it all

While I would love to say that I loved the whole cast, that would be a lie. While everyone is not unlikeable, I also felt that the supporting cast, the RIS, felt lacking. They all had their moments throughout the story, but I just didn’t feel like it was enough oomph to make them memorable to me. We have the tiny old guy on the left named Boris, who was probably my second favorite, only because he was funny. There was this One Moment early on that cemented it for me. He’s very charismatic in a friendly grandpa kind of way, always looking out for the two geniuses of the team. Also, he’s often found screaming since he passengers with very…uh, interesting drivers.

The guy in the middle is Eric, the leader of this little investigation team, and he can usually be found giving orders in the back. Not very flashy, but he does get his moments towards the end of S1. You can tell his team really trusts him and he’s also willing to take risks in order to protect them! And the last guy in the picture is Mario. I wasn’t a big fan of him because he’s the more straight-laced type. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with him but he’s rarely seen really taking action after the first few episodes. He’s just sort of there…

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Another RIS member that isn’t shown in that picture is Brandon. Awwww, isn’t he so utterly adorable?! His little face makes me want to tease him, and that is probably his biggest character trait. Well, sort of. I think the show wanted to give him some intelligence but, I’m not sure, they changed their mind?

I think the problem with Brandon, and a lot of the characters, is that they had to be played down so that the Main Characters could shine. And Brandon was cute, but he couldn’t be cute and smart because Lily embodies both of these traits. But he couldn’t be the tech guy because that was Kaela’s role. And he couldn’t be too smart because then he would detract from the focus on Lily and Keith

And, of course, Kaela. As the tech person of the RIS, she was mainly in the back, but I also really enjoyed how much everyone respected her. While she was mostly (exaggeratingly) tapping away at her multiple keyboard and monitor setup, we also saw her “take action” about midway into the season. I feel like she really embodies that big sister character in the RIS.

I don’t dislike where the characters are in terms of development or even characterization. I think they feel like your average people, but when you place them in this story, you realize how dull they’ve ended up

I could have totally added a different picture of these two but the truth is that I ship them so hard. And I also love them both for different reasons

Keith is your usual genius type with a load of family baggage that we can see throughout the seasons. It almost feels like this would be his story, if not for the “second story” happening parallel to the RIS investigations. He’s moody, doesn’t want to open up to people, falls asleep during meetings, always runs off to do the work on his own, and just can’t seem to get a break from Lily.

I also find him very attractive, even when he doesn’t take care of his appearance, like the first time he shows up at the crime scene and Lily tries to kick him out because civilians are not allowed to be here! His hair had maybe gone a little crazy, the one on his head and face. So it’s not a surprise that when he finally goes to a barber that Lily couldn’t tell it was him, right? God, these two are a riot!

Cute girl shows up at your doorstep with food, what do you do? WAIT NO KEITH, DON’T KICK HER OUT

And Lily. OMG. She is the most beautiful thing about this series!! Not just because she’s physically adorable and has the most amazing smile EVER, but her personality is just so quirky and I love it! Out of all of the RIS members, she is the only one who can match wits with Keith. Not word for word, since I believe her genius is of a different kind, but she understands that something else is happening during these investigations, she theorizes what is happening, and later, we find that she’s actually on the dot (except maybe her explanations are a bit…unique and many find it hard to follow)

Her sense of justice is very pure, which is interesting considering the events later on. And her driving is AMAZING. I think that if her RIS career is ever in jeopardy, she can at least make it into the fast and furious franchise

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I won’t go into the parallel story that is happening as the RIS try to do their jobs because I actually think that’s one of the reasons I really enjoyed this series. It’s also not something the creators try to keep a secret. We find out who Killer B is from the first episode, and his methods sort of give off Darker Than Black vibes (another show I enjoyed and maybe should also rewatch)

Sadly, I also wasn’t a huge fan of the characters on this side of the board either. Again, there’s nothing wrong with them, but they just didn’t grab me as much as the genius duo did. And maybe Yuna was a total disappointment. Ah well, at least the art and character designs, of the bad guys, was really cool!

And all of this leads us into S2.

I jumped into S2 not really knowing what it was about or even called. It’s only as I’m writing this review that I’m realizing it’s called “Succession” and that’s pretty much what it’s about

In S1, our cast (in my eyes) defeated all the bad guys and returned to their normal and peaceful lives. And maybe I didn’t really understand the “return to normal life” on the supernatural end, but it seemed to work. Everyone was happy and it seemed like all the loose ends had been tied. So I was never really expecting a second season, and after it was announced, I couldn’t figure out what it could even be about

In Succession, we continue to follow Keith and Killer B’s lives (because really, their lives are SO intertwined). Keith confronts some of his family baggage that has been the reason for his recent guilt and maybe even listlessness. Something that had been alluded to in S1 and is said aloud here. But we also follow the main plot, which revolved around Reggie and Kings

After all, a plot that had spanned hundreds of years, wouldn’t just end after killing one or two guys, right?

But was it worth it?

Part of me wants to say no, another yes. S2 is only 6 episodes long so not even a full season, and unlike S1, didn’t tie up all its loose ends. On the contrary, it gives us more to think about, and as far as I know, no S3 announcement exists. So in that regard, I don’t think it’s worth it. There are some interesting fights, but it almost feels…worthless? Like, nothing really happened that could appease me

Except maybe the possibility of my ship happening?! Ok, maybe, maybe not, but I still HOPE, especially considering Keith’s baggage episodes. And the reason he kept fighting, like OMG, YESSSS

We get to meet many new characters, which makes sense, but aside from our new potential antagonist looking mighty FINE with that earring and white hair (white-haired boys are a weakness!!), again, nobody really stands out

I feel like I’m not selling it well and that I’m letting you all think I didn’t enjoy it but the truth is I did. I really had fun with it and would rewatch it again. At least the first season. Also, I mentioned I rewatched this in Spanish, and while the dub was initially a bit cringe (after Lily said “sonso” for the hundredth time, I finally realized how unreal anime talk really is irl) – I actually enjoyed it enough that I couldn’t do the sub for S2! I know, crazy, right? It did require more concentrated listening since the series is very smart dialogue-heavy but really I’d be doing the same in English too

Have you watched this anime yet? I feel like not many good original titles for anime are on Netflix, but I really enjoyed this one. What about you? Or if you haven’t watched it, are you a bit curious? Gonna check out maybe? Let me know!

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