(Spoiler Warning for Bem episode 2!)
Attention all she’s he’s, and them’s! It’s time to rant about Bem! Overall, I thought it was way better and more interesting than episode 1, though it still has some issues.
The episode focused on Bela, the female youkai, and how she and Bem and Belo took their current human disguises from real humans in the past. There were a lot of moderately interesting character insights for her, plus a few hints about what Belo was doing. Bela is mostly a cool-headed girl, not exactly overflowing with a sweet nature, but compassionate at heart. Like the other two youkai, she dreams of being human. I’ll also just mention that she’s damn beautiful in human form, and looks fucking awesome and scary as a youkai.
In contrast to her usual maturity, Bela can become overwhelmed with rage and turn violent. Bem just barely came to stop her from killing Elaine, since killing humans goes against their dreams and beliefs. The episode made it seem like Elaine probably survived being strangled by Bela in her monster form, but there’s actually no confirmation of the fact. She might have killed her. The detective said that the main evidence were the statements of other people from Elaine’s highschool class, rather than a confession from Elaine. Food for thought.
I’m beginning to accept that the episodic villains in this series will probably all be comical, though not as much as the water demon, who made me laugh everytime he laughed or yelled. The bowling youkai? He was just stupid. You can’t take an antagonist like that seriously. That being said, the bowling balls he threw were pretty menacing, if you think about how they killed Dominic (and Mary) on the spot, crushing much of their bones.
As for the “real” villain of this episode, I was pleasantly surprised she caught me off guard. I thought the show was going for the trope of the rich girl being evil. Still, the way she acted totally crazy at the end with hysterical voice-acting and out-of-place, Higurashi-esque expressions ruined the moment. Elaine would have been much creepier if she kept up her cool and composed air even while talking about hating Mary and planning her death. Another thing– -how did Elaine manage to hire the giant bowling youkai to kill people for her? What does she have to offer a youkai? Actually, I don’t want to know. I just had some disturbing flashbacks of a monster-hentai. xD
Related to characters, we saw a bit of Sonia here and there in this episode, accompanied by her senpai detective, whose name I still don’t know. For most of the episode, they try to solve the mystery of Mary’s death. At the end, Sonia arrives on the scene right as Bem stops the raging Bela from murdering Elaine. Bem tells Sonia that Elaine is behind Mary’s death, and Sonia says she’s surprised he called her here for this. Bem and Bela then vanish. So I guess Bem and Sonia are in contact with each other? Did he just show up in front of her, or did he call her on a cellphone? (Belo had a cellphone, so Bem could, too.) I thought all hope of further contact between Sonia and Bem was over, but that isn’t the case.
Presumably, Sonia is wary of Bem, but has gotten over her initial panic and terror. She also seems to be adjusting slowly to the world of the Outside. At the very beginning of the episode, that cop/detective senpai asked if she had met with the Helmsmen, the local mafia, yet. Sonia reluctantly admits that she did. Compared to how fiercely she rejected the cooperation of cops and Helmsmen last episode, Sonia has already come a long way.
I suspect it’s Belo’s turn for an episode next. That should be interesting. A shouta youkai? Weird, creepy, and cute! Here’s hoping that Bem’s next episode will be just as good as, or better than, this one! This has been Anime Rants. Your readership is greatly appreciated; thank you! Have a great rest of your day. Ja, ne!
Other Posts About This Series
Bem Episode 1 Review
(Images from: Bem. Dir. Y Odaka. Production I.G. and LandQ Studios. 2019.)