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Beelzebub Episode #21 Review

4 min read

Oga and Tojo are going toe to toe while Beel watches on anxiously.

What They Say:
The battle to decide Ishiyama’s strongest has started! Oga has a tough time against Tojo’s beastly strength, but while getting the snot beat out of him he puts his entire body into a single punch that sends Tojo flying back… Who will come out on top as Ishiyama’s strongest man?

The Review:
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With Beel starting to feel better, he’s now returned to Oga’s head and the two have powered up so to speak as their bond has returned. This has set the stage for Tojo and Oga to finally get their fight on to prove who is the strongest of the school and they’ve gotten a small audience there of supporters that have helped events to get to this point. The return of Beel to Oga has been the big positive of the previous episode since it’s not felt right with them separated in how they act with each other, so getting back to this has been a big positive. Unfortunately, within the first couple of minutes you have Oga putting him to the side so he can face Tojo without any distractions and purely on his own strength.

While the fight does dominate the episode, there are other points of order brought in as well as the supporters for Oga are getting attacked as well. The Red Tails do manage to handle their end of things fairly easily, but those like Kanzaki find themselves getting roughed up pretty easily. There’s a lot of stuff here about punk honor and doing what they have to that is alright to watch, but I’ve had less of a connection with the supporting cast in this area overall so it doesn’t exactly add all that much to the show for me as the various side ebb and flow with who is helping who. Considering we were hoping to see a lot of Tojo and Oga, the diversions aren’t all that welcome though they’re not unexpected.

When the show does focus on that fight, it works to good effect as Oga really shows off a good deal of his power. Everything takes a slight diversion at one point though as Beel panics and infuses Oga with his power, which provides one of the better moments of the show both as Oga wields the massive power but also remonstrates Beel for it, telling him that he wouldn’t go anywhere without him even without the bond and powers. It’s a great reinforcing of their relationship while Oga is in the middle of one of the biggest fights of his life. I’m not someone that hates fighting shows, and that has definitely been a part of Beelzebub, but this one does everything with just the fighting itself and less of the humor and amusing strangeness of it that comes from having Beel there. This works, but it’s a bit disconnected from the rest because of this angle.

In Summary:
The structure of this episode is fairly traditional as it works through the supporting cast briefly, brings everything to a conclusion here with the main fight and also gives us a look at Tojo’s past so we sympathize and connect with him. It’s a decent episode on its own but it’s not what Beelzebub has been about for the most part, until the last few minutes when things get back on track. The fighting is a big part of the show, but the style of it here is just sort of bland outside of a couple of really good moments. This gets us to the point where we can move forward now which is what I wanted as the arc overall wasn’t all that interesting to begin with. Separating Beel and Oa is an obvious angle to play but it didn’t make either of them more interesting or fun to watch that way. They’re the best when they’re together and we’re back to that now which is for the best.

Grade: B-

Simulcast By: Crunchyroll

Review Equipment:
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70″ LCoS 1080P HDTV, Dell 10.1 Netbook via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.

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