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Beelzebub Episode #36 Anime Review

4 min read

Just when you’re ready to celebrate, someone has to come in and start threatening everyone.

What They Say:
The volleyball game might be over, but with Kiriya invading the gym and taking all the students hostage, the festival isn’t over yet! How can Oga settle old scores and save the students if fighting will just get him expelled again?

The Review:
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Beelzebub takes a curious turn this week as the show rides a bit of a high off of the volleyball contest between Oga and his gang and those of the 6 Holy Knights. The match had some good moments, but a lot of it left me feeling like it needed to do something different than this to really make it work effectively. While things have just finished, it goes out of left field with the arrival of Kiriya, one of the big bads from Oga’s younger days that he had to deal with. He ended up moving some time ago but now he’s come back wit ha new gang of his own to cause trouble for Oga and even Miki when he finally recognizes him.

There’s some real history here since Kiriya got a number of scars from Oga during the last time they fought and he’s intent on getting even. Of course, Oga’s pretty dismissive of him at first and even uses Beel to take him down a little bit at first, letting his feet do the work necessary to pound him into the ground. Things turn uninteresting at the same time as well as Oga and Miki, who do nicely team up a bit here, deal with the punks that came with Kiriya and the way they seem easy to defeat at first but then get up. But are then defeated again in quick order which surprises Kiriya. Kiriya simply doesn’t feel like a threat at all here for the bulk of the episode, especially since he walked into the middle of the match between the two sides that are definitely quite strong.

It is amusing to see the way Kiriya realizes just how bad a position he’s in, especially when Oga gets all powered up with his tattoos showing which in turn has a very demonic look come across him. While Oga looks normal to everyone else, Kiriya sees something very different which hints at something larger may be going on as well. But this is also a big public performance fight which pushes the edges of things here as the student body starts to question what they see. Of course, there’s always a trick or two that can be used in order to change what people think it is and that helps to minimize the damage. But the stronger Oga gets and the more varied fights he gets into, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a real problem.

In Summary:
In a lot of ways, I’m still surprised that Beelzebub is on the air. It has some uneven moments, this episode in particular, but there’s little else out there like it at the moment and that alone helps. But it’s also done a good job in working the comedy angle with something different and just having a heck of a lot of fun with it. With this episode, it seems like it’s adding some new wrinkles to things with what’s to come but the execution of it suffers here and it seems shoehorned in to a time when we should be dealing with the after effects of the match between the two sides. Oga has a lot of fun here though and we get a nod towards a thawing of relations between him and Miki that could prove interesting. I liked the episode, but it felt like an off one.

Grade: B-

Streamed 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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