The Black & White

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B The Beginning; Netflix did fine

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Shabana Gupta, Staff Writer

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A Netflix Original anime named The Beginning (though many call it B The Beginning due to the numerals in front of the title) is a mystery/fantasy anime focusing on the three groups of people; the detectives, a mystical person named Koku, and a criminal organization controlling events going back at least 8 years.

We follow three characters in particular, and two of the three are detectives. Lily Hoshina is an eccentric girl who is working for the Royal Investigation Service or the RIS. She is still relatively new to the job but is trusted by many members of the organization who go along with her whims. She is thought to be extremely intelligent, but unsure about how to communicate her ideas clearly.

She is later introduced to Keith Flick, a man regarded as a genius when it comes to investigating. People comment that his way of solving mysteries make no sense to the regular mind. Flick becomes a mentor to Hoshina because he can decipher what she’s thinking. Their relationship is strange at times, as Hoshina attempts to communicate her thoughts after busting into Flick’s apartment. Flick comments that she destroyed perfectly good bread when ripping it up yo use as a visual.

The third character is Koku. We see him working at a violin shop in the beginning, and soon learn that he is not human. The creators made sure to keep their audience in the dark about everything pertaining to Koku’s past. We find he has a pivotal role in the recent murders that the RIS has been investigating.

The story focuses on Koku’s past connections and what is a result of his life growing up. He was raised with multiple other children in a government facility to recreate a ‘God’, but the focus is on when the facility was damaged and Koku along with all the other children was forced to leave.

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The truly amazing part of this anime was the design of Koku’s eye. They had an amazing amount of detail with a gorgeous design that at times make the eye glow. Many of the scenes where his eye is changed from his human-looking eye has a different appearance concerning the eye. At times there’s a small color change or more detail added in or around the eye, and the appearance depends on the situation and how intense Koku is fighting. When there isn’t a difference with his eye, it’s his skin that changes color to gray which only brings more focus on his eye.

There are multiple problems with this anime, however. Aspects of it — such as character appearance, abilities, plot, and personalities — have been compared to other media. The anime Tokyo Ghoul and BBC’s Sherlock are referenced to the most by critiques respectively. It’s believed that Flick’s way of thinking is a close replication of Sherlock’s analysis of evidence and how he makes connections, and the visuals used to explain Keith’s thinking is also similar.

The most impressive part of this anime is how it has been praised as staying true to the anime style, unlike other movies and shows that have been created by Netflix in the past. Despite the relatively poor quality, it does follow a style that has been accepted as truly ‘anime’.

Overall, I found this anime to be exciting but poorly thought out, resulting in a 6/10

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