[Readers Request] B: The Beginning – Episode 8

Hi everyone! I’ll be taking over B: The Beginning [BTB] from Berry. This is the first time in a very long time that I’m reviewing an anime that I’ve actually completed beforehand, so huzzah! I really enjoyed BTB when it was first released on Netflix, so much so that I marathoned the whole season over the span of 2-3 days. While I realized at the time that a few details went over my head, I was intrigued enough to keep watching, and that’s one of the hallmarks of a good anime in my book.  ^_^v

So where we left off in the last episode, Koku fought against Kamui and emerged from the battle with some severe injuries. He’s currently staying with and being tended to by Keith, who’s hiding from the Royal Investigative Service [RIS].

Inside Keith’s little trailer, Keith shows Koku a picture of the serial killer Dead Kyle and asks the young man if he knew who the man in the photo was. Before Koku can answer, Keith explains that this man confessed to killing Keith’s younger sister Erika, although Keith doesn’t understand why because Dead Kyle was clearly not his sister’s killer. Why? Erika was killed in a manner different from Dead Kyle’s other victims. Yet Dead Kyle somehow knew the details of Erika’s case, hence why he was prosecuted for the crime. This doesn’t add up for Keith, and he’s determined to get to the bottom of this mystery.

Koku explains that Dead Kyle was what’s known as a Reggie, a person who’s been genetically experimented on and is no longer human. For some reason he was released back into society when he became mentally unstable. Dead Kyle was also one of the Reggies who participated in the attack on The Institute when Keith’s father was killed. It’s implied that all of the killers Koku has been killing were Reggies who attacked The Institute.

Meanwhile Eric is in Bran’s hospital room reading up on Market Maker. Keith calls Eric and we learn that Keith’s the one who created the Market Maker website Eric was reading moments earlier. Keith also confirms for Eric that it was indeed Jean who attacked Bran. Eric pleads for Keith to turn himself in but Keith refuses, claiming that Killer B (Koku) is with him and that the entire clusterfuck of a situation that they’re all in the middle of is starting to come to a resolution. Keith ends the phone call prematurely by throwing his phone into the water after giving some rare, genuine praise to Eric.

As this is going on, Lily and Boris have entered Keith’s near-empty apartment without his knowledge and have discovered Keith’s notes. Even with all of the clearboards in the main room, Keith was short enough on space that he wrote his notes all over every hard surface in three colors: first black, then maybe red, then white. Holy fuck. X_x

In the morning when Boris returns to Keith’s apartment Lily has already beenhard at work typing up Keith’s notes onto her laptop. She’s convinced that Keith’s notes are a “cry for help”, a descriptor that doesn’t seem to fit Keith upon my first impression of him. But Lily is very analytical like Keith and she’s got a knack for seeing things that other people miss. So if she thinks his notes are a cry for help, she’ll figure out why.

Lily notices that the red notes are a complete formula for something, the only set of colored text to exist as such. When she types out all of the red formulas they plot a picture of Erika’s sister. Lily figures this is why Keith’s always kept his distance from her: because she reminds him of his dead sister.

Now that it’s daytime, Keith and Koku are on the move again. Koku explains that the gold formula the Reggies consume is to help regulate some of their hormonal levels. Around the age of 20 Reggies start to become unstable – they lose control of their powers and can’t think very rationally. But if they drink a variation of gold formula they are able to be “reused” by Market Maker. If a Reggie’s values fall too low then he is “discarded” by being released back into society. Koku says that there are many, many discarded Reggies in everyday society. An ominous warning if I’ve ever heard one…

When Lily reports to work, Eric suspends her. However he has an ulterior motive: if Lily isn’t bound by the RIS’ rules and restrictions, she’ll be able to strike out on her own and search for Keith without worrying about losing her job. Lily isn’t able to see this as she’s clouded by her anger for Eric regarding his decision, but Eric knows that it’s the RIS’ only option because the RIS is being watched by Market Maker. Lily going rogue will hopefully keep her away from Market Makers’ gaze. Eric even compares Lily to Keith, saying that her mental and cognitive abilities are comparable to Keith’s. Wow!!

Eric touches base with Kaela, who has finished rebuilding a secret RIS surveillance system called Nautilus. Lily’s car was bugged without her knowledge but with Nautilus, Eric and the others can track her movements and Lily can thus lead RIS to Keith.

After a long day of driving around searching for Keith with no leads, Lily is very discouraged. And hungry. So maybe she’s a little hangry. But her hunger makes her remember the spices Keith used when he cooked for them a few episodes ago and it leads her to Hols Island. Lo and behold, that’s where Keith and Koku are. I knew Lily had it in her. ;D

Koku and Keith have a bit of a spat, after which Keith shares that he wants Koku’s help with something. Keith re-entered the police force because he has been investigating two men for a long time and he thinks Koku could be of help. As Keith and Koku walk around outside the trailer, Keith shares his theory that Man One (the long-haired blonde man) is the person responsible for Yuna being stolen from Koku and the death of Keith’s father.

Up on Moby Dick, the creepy twins are able to pinpoint Lily’s location using their own tracking system. One of the twins, Takeru, leaves the airship to find Keith and Koku.

Lily drives by the restaurant that Keith and Koku are eating out at. As they wait for their meal, Keith and Koku theorize about who “Man Two” is. If Man One is a demi-human and has the ability to brainwash people, Keith thinks it’s strange that Man Two is probably human. And if that’s true, why doesn’t Man One brainwash Man Two like he has all the Reggies?  Keith’s only conclusion is that Man Two must have some kind of ability that prevents him from being brainwashed – Keith just needs to figure out what that ability is. It sounds like Keith has some suspicions about who Man Two is but he doesn’t share them yet. Koku is moved by Keith sharing this valuable information with him, and agrees to help Keith.

This scene highlights a lot of what I find fascinating with BTB. If you’ve ever seen the BBC version of Sherlock Holmes starring Benedict Cumberbatch, you’ll know that there are multiple scenes where, as Sherlock is making his mental calculations, bits of text flash up on screen representing Sherlock’s thoughts. The same happens during this scene with Keith and Koku and for some reason it just fascinates me. I love seeing Keith work through the situation and put clues together. The same goes for the earlier scene when Eric was on the phone with Boris. The visual text flashing up on screen representing the characters’ thoughts supplement the dialogue between them.

Anyways when Koku asks Keith where Yuna is being kept, Keith says that they’re hiding up “amongst the stars” towards the star Canopus.

It’s at this point that Lily catches up to Keith and Koku, and boy is she pissed. She drags them both back to Keith’s trailer where she rips them both a new one. Suddenly they are attacked from a nearby cliff by one of the twins, Takeru, who has equipped himself with a massive machine gun-type gun. (I don’t know weapons, so sue me if I have the description wrong. ^^;;  )

This is my first review for this series, so I’ll get this out of the way now and say that I have always been impressed by BTB‘s animation. Production I.G created BTB and while I can’t rattle off a list of titles offhand that Production I.G has created, Wiki tells me that they’ve created some of my favourites including Usagi Drop (2011), Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (2002 – 2005), and the original FLCL (2000 – 2001, along with Gainax). It’s clear that a lot of money, time and effort went into making BTB and I would expect nothing less from a studio like Production I.G.  Also the opening and closing themes for BTB are pretty awesome.  8D

There’s a season 2 of BTB in production now and I’m super psyched about it. You better believe I’ll be watching it when it comes out, although I don’t know in which direction they could take the plot. Maybe Keith and Lily will be a couple by then…?  0:-)   #IShipIt

 

Author’s Note: I know this week’s episode was a little delayed, but starting next week I’m going to aim to stick to Berry’s Tuesday post schedule as closely as I can, work and energy levels permitting. 

 

Nikolita

Just an animanga-loving social worker. I've been watching anime for almost 20 years - ask me about my favourites! I've been to Japan twice and would live there in a heartbeat if I could.

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