Originally released back in 1968 as Yōkai Ningen Bem, this show has had various re-runs and remakes throughout the years. In the 2019 version, BEM has a different look: more modern art style and a few changes in the characters’ personalities, which makes the series much more appealing to a more versatile audience. Is it going to be any good? Well, you’ll be the judge of that.
Sonia Summers is a police officer that used to work in the Upper town area but after talking down to her supervisors, she was sent to continue her duty in the Outside part of town where crime thrives. Driven by her beliefs in fair justice, she swears to herself that she will not be tainted by this shady part of the town and its rules. On her way to her new house, she witnesses an old lady getting robbed and starts chasing down the thief. She ends up getting saved by a mysterious-looking guy, Bem, and then finds out that the thief is dead and that this is yet another incident that is part of a serial murder case that involves victims being drowned. She soon realizes that the police is being payed off to turn a blind eye to the crime that is happening around them, but doesn’t let it phase her. Meanwhile, Bem hunts down the Water monster who appears to be someone that has thrown away their humanity with the help of some Professor. As the two engage into a fight, Sonia is called into the scene and witnesses Bem’s transformation into a monster and their intense fight. After the battle, Sonia is in shock and is taken away by her fellow policemen while Bem, Bela, and Belo question the reasoning behind humanity and if they will ever be able to become humans themselves.
Sonia, honey, what are you doing? It’s been a while since I watched an anime and thought to myself: ‘Oh my God, I really don’t care about this character’, but Sonia managed to surface this kind of feelings once more. Another justice warrior that tries to stay true to her beliefs but acts like a complete idiot. She just went into the shadiest part of her town and left her car with the keys inside and the door wide open into the middle of the street to chase down a thief and help an old lady. And then she goes back believing that her car is still there? Sonia, my dear, what the hell did you expect? I honestly saw it from miles away that the old lady would steal her car. Come on, it’s one thing being a good cop and another thing being a big buffoon.
Bem has no genitalia: I am not going to lie, but this was probably the most exciting thing that happened in the episode. So far I didn’t see something that would really grab my attention in terms of plot and I am sorry to say this, but the directing really lacked impact in most of the scenes, resulting in some dry action. So yes, Bem transformed into his monster self and then turned ‘human’ in front of Sonia, showing off his mad abs and naked body. The question here is: does he have genitals or they just decided not to draw anything there for censoring reasons?
Themes & Trivia
The series’ 50th anniversary: A little more about the background of this show: Yōkai Ningen Bem is an anime television series, which first aired on Fuji TV in 1968. The series was later remade into a second anime series, which premiered in 2006, featuring a new cast. A live action television drama adaptation premiered on NTV on October 2011 and then later on, a film was released on December 2012. This anime is celebrating the series’ 50th anniversary.
The visuals have changed so much: If you have no idea about this anime this is not going to impress you at all, but the change in the visuals from 1968 to 2019 is actually insane.
I was not captivated at all with the first episode of BEM; it reminds of so many other shows. But before that I have to add that the one thing that impressed me the most about this series, was the soundtrack and the opening sequence. It has such a Baccano and Death Parade vibe to it that makes me really dig it. Other than that, the premise, environment, and plot reminds me a little bit of Hellsing, Psycho Pass, and for some weird reason, Resident Evil as well. Actually, the town has some Gotham vibes to it too, so yes let’s put some Batman into the mixture.
We will chase the scent of evil.
Bem, Belo, and Bela seem to really like hanging on that bridge. Is it supposed to be some sort of symbolism since they are neither humans neither mindless monsters and are trying to maintain the balance? I think I am probably digging way too much into this.
NEXT TIME: Liar
Summer 2019 | Anime Info | Simulcast