Welcome, dear readers. After briefly recapping the events of episode 12, I’ll offer a quick review of the series, including my overall rating of it. With that, let’s rant about anime!
The ending episode felt too rushed and forced as well as predictable. The execution of Bem fails. While Bela retrieves Harazy and Belo protects his friends in Lower Libra, Madame Veras reveals the truth of her intentions to Bem. The two things she has not yet done are giving birth and dying. She knows a way to accomplish both. If she and Bem unite by, uh, touching and making out and whatnot, it will kill both of them, and give birth to a vast explosion of destruction strong enough to wipe out both sides of Libra.
Veras kisses Bem and shows him their potential power, but knowing that all the humans would die, Bem refuses to let her have her way. Belo saved his friends from Daryl and saved Daryl from the Nin-Ja villain. He hopes Daryl will change his ways. Meanwhile Bela found Harazy and convinced her to come with her.
Sonia finally arrives at the bridge trying to catch that bizarre doctor / mad scientist. He escapes, however. Felt, who is also present, attempts to shoot Sonia, but Sonia’s ever present comrade the police detective shot first. Felt is killed. Just after this, Bela arrives and hands over Harazy to Sonia. She entrusts her with the child’s care.
Bela, Belo, and Bem then work together to fight Veras. It’s a long fight and though it looked rough it was fairly well done. Veras also reveals her youkai form. It seems that the humanoid monsters are at an impasse, since they can’t kill each other by fighting. Then Bem brings up the convenient plot device of being able to sink Veras in the river under the crumbling bridge. (Because clearly, a monster who can throw around giant steel beams will be kept down by some rubble forever in the shallow river.)
With Veras defeated, the episode draws to a hasty close. The mad scientist dude is still on the loose. Harazy is safe in Sonia’s care. The geeky boy who likes Bela is still studying youkai and transformation, believing that Bela is alive somewhere out there. Daryl takes over Libra as successor to Veras. Bem, Bela, and Belo have gone into hiding but will continue protecting the humans from the shadows.
The visuals in Bem were not really bad but not really good either. At least, they didn’t impress me much. However, I do really like the way the humanoid monsters look. Character designs are colorful and memorable.
Off the top of my head, I’m not familiar with the seiyuu playing the main cast, but I thought they did well. Mainly I say the audio is good because I adore the opening song, “Uchuu no Kioku,” (“Memories of the Universe”) sung by Maaya Sakamoto. The ending song was also really nice; I found it inspiring. It’s “Iru Imi,” (“There is meaning”) by Junna.
Characters in Bem were about average in terms of originality, development, and the level to which they interested me. Maybe if I had been better able to connect with these characters, I would have enjoyed the series a bit more.
The story was predictable and often boring. There wasn’t all that much to it. Even the history behind Veras and her creation of Libra City just somehow lacked impact. However, I like the way Bem explored the duality of human nature. Plot was not so bad in terms of structure and ideas used, but something in the delivery was missing. There also should have been more humor.
Though sometimes I found it laughable or boring, Bem was sometimes entertaining. It could be enjoyable if one is new to anime or new to the themes of human-and-monster. I love Maaya Sakamoto so I quite enjoyed hearing her voice in the opening theme as well as playing Veras. It was also nice to have cute-looking characters like Bela.
Overall Score: 6.0 / 10.0 (Fine/Decent)
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