First Impressions: Beelzebub

Summary: The story follows the “strongest juvenile delinquent”, Oga Tatsumi, a first year in “Ishiyama High” the school for delinquents. One day while sleeping next to a river he sees a man floating down it, he pulls him to shore and the man splits in half revealing a baby boy. This boy is the son of the demon king and he has been chosen as the one to raise it with the baby’s demon maid Hilda. The story follows his life with the child and at the delinquent school.

Review: Beelzebub’s set up reminds me of Chromarte High School, being set at a school just filled with “delinquents.” It has the same kind of style of bizarre humor where the characters seem to be attempting to out weird each other the whole way through. Oga Tatsumi wins this with his tale of a man splitting open and producing this baby who immediately becomes attached to him.

The first episode rode off the hilarious description of how the strange child came to be with Oga but beyond that the humor started to get repetitive. The only jokes, so far, around the baby is that he is attached to Oga and he likes to electrocute people, which really just makes him a weird naked baby version of Pikachu. Nothing really happens in the episode other than the description of the baby’s arrival and simple set up of the show. I saw no long term narrative being established and it I doubtful that the jokes will move past exploiting the awkwardness of the basic set up.

Most of the charm from the show came from the strange story of how the child was found by Oga. The actual interactions from the school and with the child itself suffer from lack of imagination. The only thing humorous the baby has done so far is cling to Oga and electrocutes people. If they are building a show completely based on those two jokes there needs something else to keep interest in this show. The tone was light and fun and that bizarre sense of humor carries a lot of weight but there needs to be some more depth to the series to keep me watching beyond the second episode.

The episode ends with Hilda, an extremely attractive blond woman wearing a gothic Lolita dress, showing up and telling the entire story that involves the demon king being too busy to destroy the earth and sends his son instead. Hilda is to act as nanny while Oga is now tasked to raise the child. That might be the source of some character development and relationship drama but none of that came through in the first episode.

Verdict: Beelzebub has a great tone and light hearted air about it. The bizarre humor in the episode was delightful but I couldn’t see how they are going to develop the concept into a full series. In the next episode or two they must establish something more to the narrative than this initial set up, otherwise I can’t see the show going anywhere beyond its three or four gags.

(Summary from myanimelist.net)

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