B: The Beginning - Episode 1 Review

B: The Beginning’s gripping usage of mystery and supernatural elements reinforces the dark overtones exuded by its cast of intriguing characters.

Netflix’s recent release of B: The Beginning, on March 2, is one of many anime offerings the streaming company plans to launch in 2018, and this title does not disappoint.

B: The Beginning is geared toward mature audiences, as the first episode begins immediately with a young woman running in the woods in an attempt to flee from her assailants, known as the Crouse Brothers.

She’s caught by her attackers. However, a mysterious individual swoops in from above to cleave two of the three brothers in half, saving the woman. The one sibling that escapes, Julian Crouse, returns later, hell-bent on revenge.

B: The Beginning’s strength lies in its cast of characters, where past dealings and fateful encounters are bound to occur as the series develops.

The show’s plot moves at a fast pace, so viewers hoping to learn more about any of the protagonists may be disappointed. Part of the reason for the quick pacing has to do with its action sequences.

The writers provide snippets of backstory to entice viewers, drawing people in to learn more about the characters. The examples of which are as follows.

After the opening scene, viewers are introduced to who appears to be an innocent youth named Koku, but as the episode progresses, the audience learns there’s a dark side to him. Koku’s brief scene transitions to introduce one of the main female leads of the show, named Lily. She's a forgetful and daringly brave investigator, part of the RIS unit assigned to track down the infamous serial killer dubbed “Killer B.”

The enigmatic killer leaves a calling card for every murder, and Lily’s late arrival onto the crime scene causes her to cross paths with an investigator of legend, Keith Flick, aka Kenny.

Keith’s absence from the RIS team is shrouded with what appears to be a complicated backstory. Not much is shared in the first episode, but his arrival turns heads.

His incomprehensible way of thinking and his unorthodox methods of deciphering clues allow the unit to actually gain insight into the whereabouts of Julian Crouse. Julian is accompanied by a man called Quinn, who manipulates him to bait Killer B for a fight to the death.

The second half of the episode reveals Killer B’s identity to the audience as Koku himself. Quinn kills Julian and engages in battle with Koku, as his mission was part of an operation to recruit Koku for a mysterious group’s organization.

Koku’s skill with a blade demonstrates his prowess, along with a sudden, metamorphic transformation where his body shapeshifts into a demonic form.

Koku’s battle on top of a train with Quinn ends once he unleashes his power and flies away, leaving the train to crash. The RIS unit arrives onto the scene to see the motif of Killer B’s calling card taking shape through the train’s wreckage as displayed on a cameraman’s news feed. 

The episode’s dramatic conclusion informs viewers of a deep connection between Keith, Koku, and the leader of the mysterious group.

B: The Beginning’s English dub and topnotch animation adds to the show’s intensity and grit. The story's tactic of dropping breadcrumbs for viewers to pickup creates a lot of motivation to watch the next episode.

While it can be too much to unpack at the same time, one could argue this is a standard motif many psychological thriller shows employ with their storytelling. 

Regardless of how the show portrays its craft, the first episode begins strong, and leaves the viewer with much to digest.

Score

Good Bad
Enigmatic Characters Too Many Plotlines
Consistent Dark Overtone
Well Paced Action

- 8/10 -