B't X

TV (25 eps)
3.317 out of 5 from 732 votes
Rank #9,854

Brains, blood, bravery, and a battler: a B’t is made up of each of these, and more. The next generation of robot, B’ts possess individual thoughts, great power, and are powered by one thing: blood. They obey only one person implicitly: the blood donor who awakened them. The Machine Empire has been hiding their creation, planning to use them in their quest for world domination. When Kotaru, a brilliant scientist, begins research along lines that would lead to B't, the Machine Empire kidnaps him to do their bidding. His brother Teppel pursues them, but is wounded in a battle with an old adversary. Beat and bleeding, Teppel's blood ends up wakening B't X, one of the most powerful B't who just so happens to belong to Teppel's teacher. Can Teppel convince X to fight with him and help rescue his brother?

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If you are very familiar with Kurumada Masami, many of the plot and character elements share a lot in common with some of his earlier works, specifically Saint Seiya and Ringu ni Kakero. For example, family bond and longing to reunite with a lost sibling is once again an emphasized theme in this series. It gives Teppei a strong motivation to go on an initial one man mission to fight an empire to save his brother. Though in Saint Seiya, Seiya wanting to find his sister gets sidetracked until nearly the end, this element is consistent throughout the series. Another Kurumada-sensei characteristic is a female mentor to the main character who is serves as a sister figure. In Saint Seiya, Seiya is taught my Marin who he assumes to be his sister. In Ringu ni Kakero, Ryuji is trained by his sister Kiku. While in B’t X, Teppei is trained by Karen who you can say is like a big sister figure to Teppei though they don’t out right say it and its interesting to note that their relationship isn’t really that 100% explored in this series but the series shows the full picture with very little. However, this story does feel darker compared to those other works and has little to no comedic elements. Teppei very rarely smiles in comparison to Seiya who share a 100% similar design and is always dead serious and has more of a I wanna kick some ass kind of look. So it works in consistent with the atmosphere. Another element is mythological influences. While Saint Seiya has uses Greek, B’t X uses Asian mythologies though some elements of Greek and other European sources will be present later on. But really drives this series is the relationship between Teppei and X and the theme of unlocking your own potential. Like how Saint Seiya had this theme of “making miracles happen,” this anime also brings those qualities in this series and works in its own way with Teppei and X. At first, X wants nothing to do with Teppei but when Teppei proves his determination to X, X becomes loyal to Teppei and you do see this relationship develop to the point where all things are possible. The remaining cast such as Hokuto, Fou, and Ron do bring a shade of gray. Despite being warriors of the machine empire, they understand what needs to be done and its not because of lack of loyalty, but a matter of personal principle and understanding they don’t want an everybody loses situation. Even though they don’t acknowledge themselves as Teppei’s friends throughout the series, they encourage him to reach his fullest potential which makes you question why they want that. Do they want to fight him at his best? Or do they want him to defeat the machine empire? Unfortunately, this series ends where things are about to really get started but thankfully there is an ova series to continue which I will review at a later date. Naturally, Teppei looks 100% like Seiya and Ryuji. Kurumada-sensei had admitted he “recycles” his character designs because he thinks of them as his own actors and giving them different roles. Not only Teppei, but other characters such as Fou, Ron, and Kotaro will also feel familiar to those that are fans of Kurumada-sensei’s works so expect that. But not only does it feel like Kurumada-sensei, a lot of the designs also feel like Obari Masami. The sharpness and the details to the eyes remind me of how he did the designs of the Fatal Fury anime but I don’t see him in the credits, but I guess it does give an appropriate 90s feel to it when that sharpness and the over detailed eyes were a common quality in other popular series of that time such as Saber Marionette J, El Hazard, and Magic Knight Rayearth. The design of the mechs are pretty cool. As previously stated, there is more influence on Asian mythology so the B’ts are more influenced by Chinese animals seen as divine. For example, X is based on the Kirin, Fuo’s mecha based on the Phoenix, Ron is based on the dragon and Hokuto’s mech is based on the turtle. And other’s each offer their own gimmick and given an appropriate colour scheme. So they all work out and have functions that work in conjunction to their size and designs. However, I really don’t get why Teppei gets battle armour as some sort of power up while the other characters don’t. The series does explain why he has it, but I don’t understand why he is the only one that gets it while Fou and Ron don’t. The action isn’t as explosive as Ringu ni Kakero and Saint Seiya but works in its own ways. The action is not too gimmicky but still distinctive. For example, some characters will have techniques that will hurt the ear drums and some have moves that will make the opponents hallucinate. This time, the anime revolves around wit and sheer will but in a new context and team work is used in a unique way. The moves are more science oriented such as Teppei’s messiah fist and Fou’s violin bow which resonates sound waves. A lot of people like to categorize this as a mech anime but I feel that I don’t. Considering that the mech isn’t exactly controlled and feels more like a partner, so I see this more as a sci-fi action anime as opposed to flat out mech though mech is a sub-genre of sci-fi. The action relies on trusting each other. Though it feels like one on one, it is two on two instead with Teppei and X against their opponent and their B’t. The action isn’t as reliant on using special moves so typical hand to hand combat will be more frequently used. It is more speed and agility oriented as opposed to power oriented so it is still pretty distinct in comparison to Saint Seiya and Ringu ni Kakero. Though Kurumada-sensei likes to “recast” his actors in his manga, unfortunately, Furuya Tooru does not resume his role as that design. Playing the voice of Teppei is Hiyama Nobuyuki, most famous for the roles of Hiei from Yuu Yuu Hakusho and Shiro from Gundam 08th MS team. His pitch is more in tune with the upbeat feel of Shiro as opposed to the lower voice he uses as Hiei. He is very aggressive but soft. He does come across as a teenager, but yet mature and world weary but does have this feel of optimism. Sasaki Nozomu, the voice of Yusuke from Yuu Yuu Hakusho and Tetsuo from Akira is the voice of Teppei’s brother Kotaro. His voice feels a lot like Horikawa Ryo’s performance as Shun who is more compassionate, soft, and low and feels a bit feminine. And compared to those performances, it feels distinct and fresh and gives you a new exposure to his acting talents. Another great talent I enjoyed was that of Fujiwara Keiji as Ron. Fujiwara tends to play characters who are more of a smart ass like Kimura from Hajime no Ippo, Reno in Final Fantasy VII Advent Children, and Shingo from Initial D. But in this series he is very serious, and mode cold and calculating. His voice is recognizable, but he does sound appropriately intimidating and not as comedic as he is in more notable roles. My only issue with the voice acting is that they don’t modulate X’s voice. The series modulates the other b’ts appropriately sounding more mechanic but X sounds like a regular guy. I don’t know if its done purposely to give him a more human quality but I prefer if he had a more mechanical voice. It could flow like a regular person but I think it should modulated like the voices in Transformers. The music is just awesome. The background music works very well. Like whenever Teppei battle gears on, the soundtrack really gives the “shine” that Teppei shows. It gives an uplifting feel in this dark world. The other music just simply works in conjunction with the atmosphere of the series. The opening theme also has this intense feel but also shares the themes of breaking the limits and about hope. So really nothing to add but say the music speaks for itself when you watch it. Of course after you finish this series, you will be required to watch the following ova to get any continuation and direction. However, throughout watching this you also get the impression that you also need to read the manga to put more things into context. Unfortunately, I have not read the manga so I will read it when I get the chance. But consistently, you have heard me compare this to Kurumada-sensei’s previous works and do I say this is a gateway to how he does things. I personally don’t recommend this anime for people new to Kurumada Masami even though some things are different. I say having some familiarity with his style and work will help you understand this anime more, specifically the two titles I repeatedly mentioned

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