In this segment of the 2012 Winter Wrap Up, both Takashichea and I break down just how the Beelzebub series performed during it's 60 episode run over a year-long period of time. Enjoy!
I remember Anna was working on this franchise and decided to try it out. It is about Oga, a delinquent, who finds a demon baby named Kaiser de Emperana IV or Beel for short. A wet nurse, Hilda, arrives to tell him that he has to raise the child to destroy humanity one day. Immediately, I got hooked on by the first episode. The series' humor is sometimes random and bizarre, and I love Oga, Beel, and Hilda's relationship and how much it grew. At first, Oga resents the fact that he has raise Beel to destroy humanity, and Beel causes a lot of stress in Oga's life such as electrocuting Oga if he is more than 15 meters, crying easily, and peeing a flood once in a while. In Hilda's case, she is cold and abusive to Oga yet kind and caring to Beel like a mother. Throughout the series, both Hilda and Oga work together to raise Beel together and got close like dysfunctional parents. Speaking of parents, Oga's family believes Oga is the father of Hilda's child (Beel), and they force Oga to be a good husband. Even though Oga finds Hilda hard to please and cruel, he does care for her not in a direct, affectionate manner. One time, he attempts to avenge Hilda who got impaled by Hecados and taken by Jabberwock's dragon by forcing himself to take on the whole demon army. For Hilda, there is a special episode that reveals how she is warming up to Oga and when she believes that Oga is the best parent for Beel. Overall, Beelzebub anime is not known for its battles but for its strong points: humor, characters, and story.
What I don't like about Beelzebub are the censorship, the flashy techniques like Miki's, and how the fan disservice can quickly turn from funny to nasty. Some battles like Oga and Hilda's left me unsatisfied. When Hilda and Aoi fight, I feel their battle is too short. There's another time they fight, but it is for wooing Beel who is in Oga's body. In Oga's case, his rematch with Hidetora Toujou is terrible. Most of the action is seen because the screen is focused on a water strider while laughter from the two maniacs are heard. In this anime, the attacks and some of the characters are envelop in aura during battle. Miki's attacks and aura is a bit too much. One of them look like a Death Ball from Dragon Ball Z. With the fan disservice, Alaindelon's affections for Furuichi is funny at first, but it gets boring and creepy later. Finally, censorship is quite noticeable if you read the manga with the anime. Beelzebub anime does not show guns or drugs with minors. It is tolerant with fan service such exposing some cleavage. Take at look Lord En's group of wet nurses. The violence is toned down because some of punches and kicks are not show to be connected. The most drastic change is when Hilda gets impaled by Hecados.
For the ending, I find it wishy washy like the Demon Lord. Throughout the series, Oga teaches Beel to be a man. By the river where Oga and Beel first met, Oga shares with Beel some of his croquette and last words. He tells Beel to cry and let it all out. To his surprise, Beel did not shock him when crying. I find this great for Beel's character development. During the credits, Beel comes back since the Demon Lord changed his mind. Beel still needs Oga's help to destroy humanity and become a great ruler. The positive thing about this change is that the series has a chance to be revived for a second season without plot holes. On the other hand, Beel's character development just crumbles.
I recommend Beelzebub for fans who are looking for a light-hearted comedic anime with tough delinquents and no drama. If you compare to other shonen shows, it has a unique story. There's not much anime out there that revolves around raising a child.
When I had originally learned about Beelzebub in the fall of 2010 as part of the Winter 2010/2011 Anime Season Preview, I must admit that I had little to no interest in the series, for I was already juggling several series (mainly BLEACH, Gurren Lagann, and One Piece) at the time and I felt that it would be counter-productive to start up another series. Fast forward to the end of June last year, when I found myself in a rut and feeling bored with the series that I was trying to play catch-up with. For the previous few weeks, I had taken notice of both fellow AV users AnnaBanana and Takashichea's hard work in the AV Wiki Database on the Beelzebub franchise, doing a brilliant job with each episode page that they worked tirelessly on. After reading through several of the pages they worked on, I decided to give Beelzebub a 5-episode trial (what I do with any series that I take interest in) to see if it truly warranted my attention. With my premium CrunchyRoll subscription in hand, I settled down at my desk and started my viewing of Beelzebub.
Now, almost eleven months after I had originally decided to give the series a try, I am proud to say that I was not only impressed with this series, but it became almost addictive to watch, mainly due to the wonderful cast of characters and the great humor that the series utilized within each episode. From the great cast of characters that most can connect with to the struggles that the hapless delinquent Oga Tatsumi endures in his pursuit to take back control of his hectic life after Beel enters his life, Beelzebub rarely fails to not impress (apart from some of the filler episodes). For those who are not aware of what Beelzebub is, I shall give you a brief breakdown from the main franchise page:
Beelzebub is the tale of a delinquent named Oga Tatsumi, who finds a man floating down the river. He quite literally splits into half, revealing a baby carried within him (nope, we're not kidding). Oga then discovers that this baby is Baby Beel, youngest son of the Demon King and destined to destroy humanity. Now, Oga must either herald the coming of the Antichrist, or find another unlucky soul to hand him over to. Problem is, that's not so easy. Only someone more powerful and more evil than Oga would be able to handle the baby, and people like that are in short supply.
Now, Oga must find a new parent for Baby Beel, while juggling his opponents, both human and not, and trying to keep himself alive. In the beginning of the story, it was shown that Oga was trying to give the baby to other students at Ishiyama High, and after that the attempt failed. Soon, however, Oga figured that someone could take the baby, he/she would just have to be more evil and stronger than he.
With great animation, lovable characters, wonderful humor, and a interesting story that most likely keep most entertained throughout the entire sixty episode run, Beelzebub managed to rise above and beyond my expectations and never failed to disappoint me. From the random humor to the interesting characters to the fighting segments and all points in-between, Beelzebub delivered the goods. Although I have yet to finish the entire run that the series had (stopped at Ep. 46 due to college, looking forward to restarting it later next week), I am all for recommending this series to everyone who can appreciate a great anime franchise that has the perfect blend of elements that makes this show so enjoyable to watch. The character interactions are great, from Aoi's multiple attempts to win Oga's love and affection to Furuichi's vivid fantasies about being with the cold, stern Hildagarde to the hapless punks and fodder characters that get utterly demolished at the hands of the members of the THHK, their loyal followers, and especially everyone that gets in Oga's way.
If you are looking for a wonderful show that has humor, characters, and a story that will not disappoint, go and give Beelzebub a try. You won't regret it.