Netflix Watches: B: The Beginning and Children of the Whales

I’m beginning to separate Netflix Anime and any other anime that will appear on Netflix. Why? Because Netflix decided to be special. Instead of simulcasting shows, except for that one show that will be reviewed on this segment later and was simulcasted almost everywhere except the United States, they release each of their shows in batches. The older practice that so many other streaming services have left behind in the age when psychical releases were kind. That’s about the only reason really. If Netflix wants to be so special, let’s have a special segment on this blog dedicated to them. This is somewhat in a mocking way and somewhat because it’s legitimate way for me to talk about two shows in a quick manner. There are so many of these Netflix anime appearing this year that I have to talk about I feel like I need throw out opinions of them quickly. That’s all of reasoning.

B: The Beginning

Now here is an anime that blatantly wastes it’s potential. Why? Because it tries to do too many things in a short amount of time. There is an interesting cop procedural anime going on here that gets under cut and weighed down by a bland super natural drama. Either of these could have been interesting and watchable by themselves, because it seems like both of them had interesting characters and story attached to each segment. Even the bland super natural drama could have been more fully realized and feel fresh if there was more time dedicated to it. Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen here. All the good characters were wasted by either not being focused on, forcing them into bland character positions that they don’t belong in, or having archetypal characters just following their archetypal paths. My favorite character is Lilly, because she has proven herself to be a bad ass investigator, despite her ditzy nature. She had the most personality out of all the characters in this anime. (No, Keith is not an interesting enough character to make this anime work. He’s more of a plot device than anything else.) Even the crazy clowns that our investigative teams go against are one dimensional villains that were just decidedly crazy. Do you know what happened to Lilly? She ended up as a damsel in distress at the end of the show which meant that her character was wasted. How disappointing…

What is even more disappointing is that Production I.G. is attached to this. Production I.G. is one of my favorite anime studios, but they’ve been on a massive down turn for me ever since I watched Welcome to the Ballroom. Even if this anime looks absolutely beautiful, despite all the bad cg cars, every single scenery shot was detailed and maintained a consistent tone through out the show, and all the fights were well choreographed, but visuals are one part of what makes an anime tick. It needs some good character writing, solid world development too, excellent music, and a good story too. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case here because B decided to jam two things in one single twelve episode show and that ruined everything. In the end, the result of this show was incredibly bland. It doesn’t help that the final episode was more similar to trying to get a vehicle slowly being pushed out of a large mud pit mud than anything else. Seriously, flipping between smug, trying too hard dialogue and predictable action scenes is no way to spend a last episode of something. *Sigh* Why Production I.G., why?

Children of the Whales

 Despite all the things that I said about characters in the last show, this one is something different. Children of the Whales is a societal dystopia kind of series. World building is more important in that kind of series, because the characters are usually vehicles used the explain the world and story more. Character development is a secondary thing here. Well, that’s how I feel they worked when I watched From the New World and Psycho Pass. That being said, I think this series was too short to fully live in with this series’ world building, but I found this anime’s world completely believable. The reasons why the society on the mud whale/Faleina exists the way it does makes sense to me. The interactions between them and the people that have exiled them is completely interesting to me and developed in a reasonable way, considering how detached the two societies are. We met up with those opposing forces when our characters did and that really worked for me.

I mentioned this already, but that the characters are definitely more on bland side and are just archetypes and clichés most of the time. Despite all that, there are some interesting characters that have some great arcs too. Those characters were obviously my favorite characaters. Lastly, the direction and art is just beyond what a series like this should be. Even if this has more of a “follow the manga” sort of ending”, I recommend this to people who like watching dystopia anime. It’s not as good as some of those out there, but it’s worth a watch anyway. I genuinely liked it. This Whales worked with the Netflix binge watch way of life.

Next time on Netflix Watches: we will have AICO and Violet Evergarden. I need to watch those first, so those might take a while. Until then everyone!

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8 Comments Add yours

  1. Karandi says:

    Agree with you on B. It had two stories, either could have been interesting, but neither really worked in the time they were given and they didn’t connect very well leaving both story lines pretty unsatisfying in the end.
    Children of the Whales I kind of watched the first episode of but now I’m not really sure I’m up for any more of it. I might give it another episode when I’ve got some time.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Scott says:

      I’ve been hearing a lot of “Children of the Whales” is just ok from the opinions that I’ve heard. I think the show just clicked with me for some strange reason.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jon Spencer says:

    I’m interested in B but less now after reading that. Still will give it a shot I think though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Scott says:

      There are plenty of people that like B, so Karandi and I might be the strange ones.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Jon Spencer says:

        I suppose so, but I have been hearing more in the negative camp than positive camp in terms of opinions that I care about.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I remember starting B The Beginning a few weeks ago and finding it sort of interesting, (there was even a Death Note Easter egg in the first ep, well, for the light novel prequel at least, which made me laugh) but by episode three, I can’t help but think it needed to be longer, more than 12 episodes. Both stories have potential to be amazing and sounded right up my alley, but it felt so rushed that I was lost by the third episode.
    Children of the Whales has gorgeous animation and storyline that has potential, but already, I have a feeling it needs more episodes. That’s my main think with Netflix anime; great ideas, needs more time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Scott says:

      We agree on quite a few things…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, it seems we do. I just hope Netflix can have more anime longer than 12 episodes in the future…

        Liked by 1 person

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