BEM Episode 3 Anime Review – Awesome, great episode!
This first paragraph is a quick re-cap – move to the the next paragraph if you already know the story so far or you can click the links to catch up with the Episode 1 Review HERE or the Episode 2 Review HERE. This is a remake of a respected Japanese anime series called Yōkai Ningen Bem, an original classic supernatural adventure anime dating back to 1968. This latest series is very good and character design is by the same people who do the character design for Cop Craft (although there have recently been some negative comments about the design of the yokai/supernatural/baddie characters). This weeks episode is called Shadow and it’s awesome and I rated it accordingly. By the way, you can rate this episode yourself too, just click the ‘Users’ tab in the review block on the right and click the stars to rate.
BEM Episode 3 – Shadow
Just as the last episode was about Bela (and the previous was about Bem himself), this episode explores the character of Belo the youngest of the three demons. The episode opens with a reception in a rather affluent business part of town. Suddenly, a character at the top of the building that his hosting the reception, jumps off and falls towards the ground, as he does so, he shoots a person through the window of the room with the reception, killing him almost instantly. This causes pandemonium with the rest of the guests. As the assassin descends to the ground he is able to swoop as if growing wings and glide away.
Next day, our heroic police detectives Sonia Summers and Joel Woods are reading the newspaper and in particular a headline “Rep. Smith Dies of Disease While Outside Reconstruction Plan Fails” (I think what that actually means is, “Representative Smith Dies! Plan for the Reconstruction of Outside Fails.”) Sonia’s colleague, tells her that apparently he died of a disease. He then goes on to point out that Rep. Smith was actually murdered and that the fabricated story was the work of Rep. Carver who will take over the job of reconstructing ‘Outside’.
Next we see a press conference where Rep. Carver is telling reporters that he is determined to build Libra City as Rep. Smith dreamed, so that people in Outside can be more prosperous and safe. His speech goes down very well.
The scene then changes to the roof of a building where a businessman looks across towards a shadowy character the surfaces from the ground. He calls him Nin and complements him on the standard of his work.
Then the businessman tells Nin that there is someone else that needs his attention before they will be satisfied.
On the other side of town, Bem asks his devilish colleagues if they can smell the stench of corruption. Bela makes a comment that humans are in need of their help and Belo says that the two of them won’t be enough to help all of them (meaning that humanity in the town is so corrupt that two demon crusaders wont made a difference). Bem points out that Belo is there too but Belo says he will ‘pass’. Belo then asks who started the rumour that if they help enough humans, they can become human themselves?
Nobody answers. Later, Belo goes to his usual hangout in his favourite place, it’s called, Galaxy Arcade and is a place where he has some friends that rely on his gaming expertise. A minor turf war is breaking out between two sections of the young gaming community. A challenge has gone out and Belo has been asked to represent his closest friends against a new opponent that he hasn’t met before called Daryl Bryson.
Daryl is only interested in duelling and treats the whole gang thing as nonsense. He does however respect his opponents reputation and extends a hand and introduces himself politely.
They play a game that is all about shooting zombies as fast as possible. Initially, Daryl keeps up with Belo quite easily, but things change suddenly when Daryl notices Belo step it up a gear. The quality and efficiently of his game-play are increased considerably.
Daryl loses and the gang that brought him in as a ringer are beaten and told to leave. They chastise their ringer for not being able to win as they go. Later, in the back yard, Daryl confronts Belo and says that he noticed him going easy to start with and that was being disrespectful. He genuinely wanted to find a touch opponent because he is the best in his area. He felt slightly disrespected by Belo who just argued that this is the normal way he plays. Daryl challenges Belo to another duel, this time at his house. Belo eventually, reluctantly agrees.
They are driven to Daryl’s flat by Daryl’s chauffeur. When I say flat, it’s more like a palatial, penthouse apartment. It has a trophy room for Daryl’s gaming trophies and when they arrive, they see Daryl’s father gaming (shooting zombies) with his friend, Representative Carver.
You can pretty much predict what is about to happen, but it still happens really well. I really like the way this show is written and directed. When Belo is introduced to Representative Carver he listens to the politicians plans for developing Outside and comments, quite rudely, that they are naive and he calls the politician ‘pure’ (I guess that is meant in a sarcastic way -not what you would normally call a politician). Lol, either the translation (subtitles) are really good or really bad and I’m assuming all the wrong things – I chose the former 🙂 ).
We see the Shadow creature, Nin at the top of a building getting ready to descend. Then we go back to the battle between Daryl and Belo. Daryl asks why he is so good at gaming, but Belo has sensed something and suddenly runs out of the room towards the politician. Just as the Shadow arrives in the room (and literally looks just like a small shadow), Belo attacks and stops the assassination of Representative Carver – Nin materialises into a demon that can be seen and Belo attacks him again.
The fight continues and Belo forces the Shadow to flee. It was a pretty good fight sequence, sure the graphics weren’t particularly good, but the fight was directed really well.
The Shadow jumps out of the window. Belo doesn’t follow. Indeed, Belo makes a run for it and leaves the apartment (through the door). Representative Carver tried to thank Belo, but by the time he had turned around, Belo had gone.
Next day the media were informed of the incident and Representative Carver began speaking out about forces trying to stop his reforms. Suddenly, he gets a call from an old friend of his who wants to know if he is ok after the attempt on his life. Sonia Summers it seems, has some friends in high places. Carver accepted her concern but added that this whole thing was for her too. She once went up against them (meaning the powers of corruption I guess) and that’s why she is where she is now. That sounds bad, but I think he meant it well. He asks her out to tell him side of the story.
Meanwhile Belo learns (I think from some sort of esp thing) that Daryl’s father is not happy about Belo’s special skills. He thinks that someone that agile is very different and doesn’t want his son to meet with him again. Belo is with this demon colleagues on the bridge between Outside and Uptown and he comments that he doesn’t like this side of town. Bela reminds him that it is rare for him to make friends on this side of town.
Next day, Daryl visits Belo back at the Galaxy Arcade. He asks why he is visiting him when his father told him not to. Daryl wonders how Belo knew although he dismisses it. (We notice in the meantime, that Bela is hiding around the corner and listening). Daryl confesses that the reason he wants to see Belo is that he wants someday to inherit the work that the venerable Mr Carver is doing because he respects the plans very much. Belo thinks his is crazy and isn’t particularly impressed, but Daryl insists that it is Belo who helps him. He offers to let him play games at his house as many times as he likes. Belo smiles.
Then, if a very quick turn of events, we see Sonia Summers arrive at a murder scene. Apparently Representative Carver has been killed and his assistant (the graphics are so poor in this show that I can’t work out if the dude is the guy who engaged Nin, the father of Daryl or just some other assistant – they all look the same.
At Daryl’s house, his father explains that this isn’t the end of the story and that he will take over where Representative Carver left off. Daryl wants to come too to learn but his father wont let him, saying that it is too early for him. Later, at a meeting on a Casino boat, Daryl’s father tells an assembled group that it is his era.
Alas, Daryl’s father is a baddie who is corrupt and the gentlemen that are assembled as a secret organisation that will take Carver and Smiths plans and use them to make money. It maybe that there would be some good too, but it doesn’t look like it from the dialogue.
However, it seems that Daryl’s father’s plans will be short lived too. Nin is again engaged to kill Carvers successor. Belo hears of this and gets closer to Daryl to protect him and his family. Unfortunately, on the way to Daryl’s apartment, he learns that Daryl’s father has returned and tells Daryl to stay at the front door while he rushes in to investigate. Sure enough when he gets to the apartment is is just too late to see Daryl’s father killed by a sword through the chest.
Belo fights The Shadow and eventually kills it. The demon falls out of the window just as Daryl gets to the scene. He sees his father lying dead and wrongfully accuses Belo. Belo leaves after trying to explain.
Meanwhile, is a den of monsters which also happens to be a bar, some of the monsters/people/being are talking af a new force that is killing them off, first Water and now Nin.
Some are interested and one comments that they could be careful as someone maybe listening.
Later still, the mysterious Board Members that we see at the end of each show, talk about Belo and one of them reports that ‘Gamma’ has now been identified.
Bem and Bela notice that Below has retreated into his gaming hobbie. They realise that Belo, for all his bravado about humanity, was upset to lose his friend but they feel powerless to be able to console him.
And there is marvelous episode ends. There was a lot to this and there was very little padding. Lots of little twists and embellishments to the story made it much more watcheable. This, for me at least, is the best of the episodes so far and I’ll certainly be watching next weeks show. I think now that the three main characters are explained/introduced, that we can get back to the story being about demons and cops. Somia Summers and her buddy Joel haven’t had much screen time and seem a little bit ‘extra’ to the story. I’m hoping that we get to see their roles develop.
I rate this a terrific 8.8 out of 10! Let down again only by production (in particular the poor secondary character and monster drawing). What did you think? Why not rate this episode yourself too, just click the ‘Users’ tab in the review block on the top right of this page and click the stars to rate.
This review is copyright Tony Fawl and not for reproduction without permission.
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