Written by Masami Kurumada
after he was forced to finish Saint Seiya
prematurely due to the insistence of his publishers
, B't X
has a similar premise but with a different setting and execution. Some people consider this as Saint Seiya WITH SCIENCE!!!
The story begins with Teppei Takamiya, as he travels to China after years of living quietly in the fictional Kamui Island. He attempts to reunite with his brother Kotaro, who left Germany five years ago to study robotics at a university. Unfortunately, no sooner than his brother begins an exhibition about an advanced form of machine, he's kidnapped by a Humongous Mecha
in the shape of a wasp and a servant of the Machine Empire
. Teppei starts a chase, using a gauntlet known as the "Messiah Fist" to hold onto the wasp as it travels to a secretive base in the Gobi Desert which serves as the Empire's headquarters.
Getting thrown into a garbage heap and facing a cyborg he somehow is familiar with, Teppei's blood awakens a relic from the past; a kirin-type B't known only as "X
" which, five years ago, was considered the most powerful B't in existence. Both are equally stubborn, although quite different in many ways, and after a few initial squabbles, X resolves to help Teppei in his quest to save his brother.
Along the way, we find out quite a bit about Teppei's past, the reasons Kotaro was kidnapped, and the Machine Empire's plans involving a home-grown monster of Devil Gundam
Both the manga and the anime have been licensed in America.
As of June 2013, they have revived into a PACHINKO GAME
The character sheet is located here
, and it seriously needs more love.
This series provides examples of:
- Action Girl: Teppei's teacher Karen, who had been one of the Empire's Four Knights up until five years ago. Aramis is another example.
- Air Jousting: A lot of fights take place in the air.
- Armor Is Useless: averted for the most part. Foh, Hokuto, and Ron rarely use theirs simply because they either hate fighting (Foh and Hokuto's reason) or they're just that good. (Ron's reason)
- Batman Can Breathe in Space: Applies to everyone with a B't. Except for instances involving the B'ts' Weaksauce Weakness (see below), a B't's protective "Guard System" enables it and its rider to withstand anything ranging from magma to the void of space.
- A Boy And His Kirin
- Calling Your Attacks: All the time.
- Came Back Strong: BT'X and Teppei after the former was reduced to scrap and the latter utterly damaged.
- Cast Full of Pretty Boys: It was made by Kurumada, after all. Also total Mr. Fanservice.
- Chekhov's Gun: Foh's bible and Raphaello's cell.
- Creepy Children: Misha and Nasha.
- Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: Made apparent with the cyborg named Metalface, who considers sacrificing his own flesh and blood for an immortal robotic body to be an obvious choice.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Karen creates a black version of X, Shadow X, that is just as powerful, a girl, and good.
- Darker and Edgier: The Seven Demon Generals Arc and onward.
- Deadpan Snarker: At least in the Tokyopop manga, the narrator pulls this off in the recap of the previous volume, complete with Lampshade Hanging various issues such as Teppei's Vitriolic Best Buds status he eventually gets with Foh and company, the fact that Juggler's real face looks just like a clown face anyways, etc.
- Defector from Decadence: Karen and the other guardians after learning the true intentions of the Machine Empire.
- Defeat Means Friendship: Averted. Teppei never actually defeats Foh in a fight and the best he does against Ron is fight him to a draw. he also never duels either Karen or Hokuto. However, they all eventually side with him.
- Dub Name Change: Teppei is named Marlon, Foh is changed to Falcon, Hokuto to Homer, Karen is named Lourdes and so ford. The only ones that remain somewhat the same are Kaos and Metal Face.
- Eldritch Abomination: Raphaello in every sense of the word. For a good part of the series, the Empire has to move heaven and hell to keep it under control. And they fail miserably at it.
- Every Scar Has A Story: Teppei and the Four Generals all have physical scars on their bodies and was shown in the OVA. But it's origins were only mentioned in the manga.
- Teppei's scar is an "X" on his forehead, and said it was a "minor injury" from training.
- Karen's scar is a big "X" on her back, though she claimed to Teppei that it was a "minor injury" she gained from old battles, readers never really knew the story behind it.
- Foh's scar is a big "cross" on his back, but like Karen, it's a Rugged Scar.
- Ron's scar is a "Lightning Bolt" on his chest, the scar came from Aramis, who defeated him using her sword one time when they were little.
- And Hokuto takes the cake of having the most lengthy story behind his scar, a "Big Dipper" located on his back. This was from a radioactive explosion he encountered when he was little.
- Enemy Of The Week: more a case of two or more weeks.
- Expy: Pretty much everything in this series can be tracked down to Saint Seiya:
- Teppei looks very much like an older Seiya.
- Ron looks a lot like Shiryu. This, however, doesn't apply to his personality.
- Foh also looks a lot like Hyoga. Then again, it doesn't apply to his personality as well. He can also be seen as the unholy child of Saga and Shaka, with a dash of Lyra Orpheus thrown in. With Shion's hair.
- Adding to the "Huh" factor of the look-alikes, Kotaro looks an awful lot like Shun, if he grew up and cut his hair real short.
- Hokuto is pretty much like Mu with Shaka's aloof personality.
- Karen is basically Aioros, since both are labeled as traitors despite having the best intentions and have a great deal of an impact on the main characters.
- And last, but not least, the B'ts and Battle Gears. Subverted in that they don't split-up to form an armor for their owner.
- Faceless Mooks: the regular soldiers from the Machine Empire.
- Filler: three episodes dealing with the Dark Knights (while in the manga they were defeated all together and very anticlimactically), along with encountering an old member of the Four Knights and also a reclusive scientist.
- Filler Villain: Chaos and the three Dark Knights. Chaos plays an important role, however, coining the phrase "Buddy", which is used a lot in the remainder of the series, and furthering Teppei's Character Development. The Dark Knights serve to foreshadow Teppei's connection with the Sun, and the potential he has.
- The Four Gods: The B'ts used by the Four Generals, replacing Byakko with a Kirin.
- Four Is Death: Subverted. The Four Knights are, naturally, four in number, and they all eventually resolve to help Teppei. The seven Demon Knights, however, are all out for his blood.
- Gratuitous English: "X! Omae wa ore no baadii da!"
- Gecko Ending: The world is saved, and very well...the main cast, not so much ...In the anime that is.
- Hack Your Enemy: Hokuto and Demon General Dr. Poe throws viruses at each other's B'ts in the manga. Kotaro on the other hand, hacks a laser-beam surveillance camera to aid Teppei to combat the hallways in the anime.
- Heel-Face Turn: Plenty, especially when people realize how dangerous Raphaello really is.
- The Hero's Journey
- Heroic Sacrifice: Again, lots of people. Metalface managed to pull it off twice. Once sacrificing a means of safely travelling a minefield to help out a young Karen years ago which caused him to require his cyborg parts, and once again to secure the force that would destroy Raphaello at the cost of his body
- Heroic Spirit: Be it either facing the Despair Event Horizon of B't Rafaello growing to the giant dark blob ball about to absorb the Earth in the anime or becoming the Ultimate B't in the manga, it takes the Four Generals plus Kotaro's spirit to give Teppei the power defeat it.
- High Heel-Face Turn: A noticeable aspect in this series. Pretty much every female character who serves in the Machine Empire, such as Salome, Karen, and Nasha, will end up having the brains to help Teppei by the end. Too bad that all of them die in at least one version of the story with the sole exception of Karin.
- Hot-Blooded: This is a Kurumada manga we're talking here.
- Hyperspace Armor: The fighters summon their armor out of thin air.
- Kill 'em All: the manga kills off a lot of people, and in the end pretty much the only two protagonists, both human and B't, that survive are Teppei and Kotaro. In the anime, the last scenes implies that everybody died, including Teppei and Kotaro.
- Meaningful Name: "B't" is pronounced like "beat", as in "heartbeat". Appropriate considering blood is required to activate one. Raidou, Ron's B't, and Je T'aime, Foh's B't, are other instances.
- "Blind Idiot" Translation: In the Spanish localization, however, B't was turned into Beta, deleting any meaning of the original name.
- A Mech by Any Other Name: In this case, a B't.
- Mecha-Mooks: The Ryukans, which are piloted by generic soldiers.
- Mid-Season Upgrade: After X dies for the first time, Hokuto repairs him. Among other things, Teppei's armor changes and he gets a new attack.
- Metalface and B't Madonna gets one as well.
- My Country Rightor Wrong: Deconstructed with the remaining guardians after Karen's supposed betrayal.
- Nuclear Weapons Taboo: Averted. Hokuto's radiation sickness was triggered by being just outside the direct killzone of a nuke that destroyed his home and family and he's got the burns on his back to prove it. Aramis also tries to kill Raphaello by loading Rosemary up with every nuclear warhead she can find and performing a Heroic Sacrifice, but Raphaello's power makes it a Senseless Sacrifice.
- OVA: B't X Neo, also known as episodes 26-39.
- Overtook the Manga: The anime entirely skips the last four Demon Knight battles and revamps the final battle against Raphaello.
- Phlebotinum Rebel: The Titular B't X.
- The Messiah Fist as well, at least in the anime. Turns out it was reverse-engineered from a sample of Raphaello's cells.
- The Power of the Sun: Teppei's awakened power, and becomes the key person in defeating Raphaello.
- Powered Armor: The Battle Gear, in which was focused on Teppei as his Transformation Sequence. Anyone with a B't will have the Battle Gear System installed within the B't to be triggered once the command: "Battle Gear, ON!" is spoken by their Donors in order for them to be applied onto the Donor. The Four Spirit Generals all have wore them in the manga, but only Teppei and Karen wears them in the anime.
- Punctuation Shaker: Played straight with "B't", but justified with Je T'aime, which is French for "I love you."
- Redemption Equals Death: Many, many people, especially in the manga. Juggler, Marcello, Amigo, and Aramis just to name a few. Misha and Nasha also die in the anime after each makes a Heel-Face Turn.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Teppei and X fit this dynamic quite well, and it's taken to almost Vitriolic Best Buds-level proportions.
- Rescue Arc: Essentially the entire series.
- Role Reprisal: It's pretty clear that Nobuyuki Hiyama, Keiji Fujiwara, and most of the main cast came back in the pachinko for their respective roles. But unfortunately Megumi Ogata (Karen) and Kenyū Horiuchi (Metal Face) failed to come back for their roles.
- She's Back: Karen, now sporting a Black female version of BT' X.
- Ship Tease: Metal Face implies Karen had feelings for Foh, though he immediately rebuffs this.
- Shout-Out / Spiritual Successor: From subtle character designs, to subtle elements within the story plot, having The Takamiya Brothers going against the Machine Empire can be seen as a huge take from God Mars.
- Sibling Team: The Takamiya Brothers. In the OVA, while Teppei's busy taking out killer-robots by hand in the hallway of the Empire Tower, Kotaro remains inside an office of the tower hacking the Empire database AND help Teppei take out laser-beam surveillance cameras using a laser-beam surveillance camera.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: On the appearance, Kotaro is the sensitive guy while Teppei's the manly man; but on the inside, Kotaro's the manly man while Teppei's actually the sensitive one.
- Signature Style: The inclusion of a kirin. In many of Kurumada's other works, a kirin (or occasionally a pegasus) has something to do with the protagonist.
- Spell My Name with an "S":
- Is it Ron, Lon, or Long?
- And Foh, Fou, or Phoue?
- Super Robot: The B't.
- Third Line, Some Waiting: You have a number of plots going on at the same time. The three big ones are:
- Teppei's Rescue Arc
- Foh and the other members of the Four Knights trying to determine if Raphaello is indeed an evil that has to be put down and if they should help Teppei.
- Kotaro's Adventures in
Wonderland Underhell where he tries to figure out Raphaello's weaknesses.
- Utopia Justifies the Means: The Machine Empire's subordinates believe they are fighting to bring about an end to war. Some of them are more dogged in this belief than others.
- Viewers Are Geniuses: Hokuto vs. Dr. Poe... plus any time Kotaro is writing formulas.
- We Can Rebuild Your BT
- Weaksauce Weakness: B'ts are vulnerable to certain sound frequencies that damage fragile parts of their systems.
- What Measure Is a Non-Cute?: B'ts, with their design based from a huge range of animal and mythological creature selections tend to suffer from this issue pretty seriously. Poor Madonna...
- What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Teppei initially views X as a tool to help him rescue Kotaro. It takes a while for him to realize X has his own thoughts and feelings. This also applies to Metalface, although his realization came too late.
- What Measure Is a Mook?: The juggler uses mooks as People Puppets, to which Teppei is horrified despite having killed hundreds of them by that point. Interestingly, once he manages end his Villain Override of them, their helmets harmlessly blow up and reveal their faces.
- Logical Fallacies: Deliberately invoked by Hokuto at one point to distract an enemy.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Aramis is eventually demoted due to her efforts to suppress Raphaello's growth. Monster Clown Juggler takes over for her
- You Will Be Assimilated: Raphaello's shtick. It provides gallons of terror.