B: The Beginning

Part crime drama, part fantasy battle epic, B: The Beginning pairs high tech with the supernatural as crime fighters Koku and Lily are aided by genius detective Keith Flick in an attempt to discover the identity of Killer B, a serial killer who only kills bad guys.

An abundance of plot twists and a stingily proportioned back story make this dark anime not that easy to follow. What eases the way are the familiar characters - the bright and sassy girl detective, the tortured genius, the reluctant hero searching for a childhood friend - and the small human moments like Keith and Koku having gumbo at the diner or Lily asking Keith before she learns who he is or why he's at a crime scene, "Mister? Are you drunk?"

But it isn't all small stuff. There's plenty of action and the animation itself is very good. Some have complained about CGI being used for vehicles, but a mix of styles is kind of what "B" is about, blending ultra modern technology with ancient gods and curses, and it at times struggles under the weight of the ambition, B: The Beginning is still intelligent, compelling and worth the watch. We give it 3.5 out of 5.


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