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B: The Beginning is a Netflix original anime released on March 2, 2018. It was directed by Kazuto Nakazawa and Yoshiki Yamakawa, and was produced by Production I.G.

In the nation of Cremona, a series of gruesome murders have garnered the attention of the Royal Police's investigative agency, the RIS. The murders have been attributed to a Serial Killer named Killer B, who is named after the mark he leaves at the crime scenes. While the RIS struggle to catch Killer B, a mysterious organization begins its operations in the shadows.

The show is nominated in the Annecy Film Festival.

On June 12, 2018, the show's 2nd season, Succession, was announced with its six episodes released on March 18, 2021 worldwide on Netflix. Shout! Factory, through UK licenser Anime Limited, would release season 1 on Blu-Ray in North America in October 2020, as well as for a brief stint on YouTube.

See here for the debut trailer.

B: The Beginning provides examples of:

  • 2D Visuals, 3D Effects: The vehicles stand out next to the characters and the background.
  • Abusive Parents: Played for Laughs as far as Mr. Hoshina is concerned. He flat out hates that Lily took a spot on the RIS instead of helping him repair violins, and treats Koku more as a son than his actual son, even admitting it while he's in the same room to his annoyance.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Limbs can get lopped off with unnerving frequency but it doesn't deter some characters.
  • Animation Bump:
    • The fight between Koku and Izanami in Episode 3 is notably higher in quality than the rest of the show.
    • Some sequences in Episode 2, such as Keith's Iron Butt Monkey moment outside the gala and Kaela's Rapid-Fire Typing are also animated with much higher quality than usual.
  • Ax-Crazy:
    • The Reggies. They're prone to becoming increasingly violent and unpredictable after age 20 due to Sanity Slippage setting in.
    • The Crouse Brothers, the first named characters onscreen are established to have already had a body count by gutting and stuffing young women for their own gains. Julian becomes a full-blown Omnicidal Maniac Reggie after his brothers die in an attempt to lure out the man who killed them.
  • Being Good Sucks: Being a police force, members of the RIS have to deal with the possibility of their teammates or themselves not making it back from a mission or even being attacked while off-duty. This is particularly true for Keith, as he becomes aware that someone is out to curse him to lose everyone he ever cared about, in a repeat of how he lost his sister, Erika.
  • Being Watched: Someone within the RIS has been observing the other members through their phone cameras, a fact that Brandon and later Kaela figure out. Thanks in part to Bran's laptop being damaged, and the information erased, the exact details as to who is responsible is never made known.
  • Blade Below the Shoulder: Some members of Market Maker and Koku can turn their arm or leg into a blade, This is also true with Kirisame and Asagiri in the second season.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Inazami's leg blade serves as this. Originally used as her weapon during her fight with Koku in Episode 3, she asks Koku to cut it off at the end after she's mortally wounded. The leg blade makes its next appearance in the finale, when Koku uses it to finish Minatsuki.
  • Cliffhanger: Season 2 ends with a fight between Koku and Kirisame that stops well before the outcome occurs.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Brandon, upon suddenly realizing that his life might be in danger after discovering the recording program, reveals that he had a weirdly specific plan prepared in case something happens to him: he changes the hands on his French model watch to different numbers, which clues Keith in to who attacked Brandon. The fact that Brandon managed this after being grievously injured and saw the attacker indicates how prepared he was for what happened.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Lily can be quite scatterbrained and rash, and Boris can jump to conclusions, be too simplistic and a bit of a blabbermouth, but they're both competent cops in their own rights.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Quite a number. There's the man who died from the toxic gas, which involved him vomiting blood; the fate of the two criminals in Episode 3, where their flayed skins are found stapled to a wall, along with a Cracker whose head was brutally sawed off in a hotel room; Erika was horrifically facially mutilated to death; the list goes on.
  • Declaration of Protection: As children, Yuna and Koku Pinky Swear that they'll always protect each other.
  • Dueling Hackers: Between Kaela and one of the criminals in Episode 3. Kaela would've won if the criminal wasn't preemptively killed.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Keith is forced to kill Gilbert to prevent the latter from shooting Lily. Koku defeats Minatsuki and carries Yuna away. It's initially left ambiguous whether or not they survived, especially given the amount of blood that they both lost. However, it's shown that Koku and Yuna did in fact survive and are now living peacefully with Keith.
  • Facial Markings: All the members of Market Maker have these as part of their overall Monster Clown aesthetic. In Succession, only Izunami retains these, with Yuna's teardrop being removed between seasons.
  • Fantastic Drug: Golden ampules are used by Reggies to stave off their growing instability.
  • Government Conspiracy: Market Maker started as a black ops intelligence unit backed by the Cremonan King before it went underground, being used to conduct terror activities.
    • The project to revive the Winged Ones also turns out to be this twice over. It was first set up solely to scam money out of those who bought into it in a bid to replenish the Kingdom's depleted coffers - the ones behind it never intended for the project to bear fruit. In the present day it is used as a front for the mass production of Reggies, who are a very lucrative business in their own right.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: At times, the audience isn't shown exactly what caused that sudden gout of blood, sometimes playing up the Nothing Is Scarier.
  • Hacker Cave: Kaela has one that is code-sensitive, with multiple desktop towers, keyboards, monitors both traditional and touchscreen and even foot pedals on various carts and trays. Justified in that it's her office and she needs all her tools in one place when providing technical support to the RIS. It becomes useful when they form a makeshift one in their interrogation room using the same equipment.
  • Henchmen Race: The Reggies - superhuman humanoids derived from the genetic material of the Winged Ones whose sole purpose is to fulfill the goals of their masters.
  • High-Pressure Blood: You have to pity the clean-up crews who have to take care of the messes that occur throughout the story.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters:
    • In addition to being a serial killer, the series' Big Bad Gilbert Ross is a human who is directly responsible for the destruction of the Jaula Blanca Institute. He lied to Minatsuki about his purpose in life, driving the latter to kill Heath Flick and most of the children in the institute.
    • More generally, the Reggies (demihumans bred for killing) were a direct result of government-sponsored scientists trying to play God. Moreover, if the inscriptions were anything to go by, the first king of Cremona was a human who killed the two winged progenitors in the Jetblack.
  • I Will Find You: At the end of episode 1, Keith declares he'll find Killer B, i.e. Koku. Interestingly, Koku apparently wants to be found by someone by leaving behind "B"-shaped carvings at the scenes of his crimes. Said signatures are actually a code he and his friend Yu used when they were children and are meant to be used in case one of them is in trouble.
  • Inbred and Evil: Not only are the Crouse Brothers are complete and total psychopaths who gut their victims. Their appearances very much imply that they were born through very familiar relations.
  • Left Hanging: The plot point of the RIS being spied on by the government they work for is mostly left unresolved by the end of Season 1, not helped along by Bran's laptop being destroyed shortly after this is revealed.
    • Deliberately pulled on the RIS themselves once their investigation into finding the identity of Killer B and the involvement of the King being in the center of the Govenrment Conspiracy gets stalled at the end of Succession by Kirisame. The battle between Koku and Kirisame plays this straight one episode later, cutting off after Kirisame relays a cryptic message to Koku.
  • The Man Behind the Man: The Stinger implies that another organization is behind the events of the first season, with Kiriasme (who survived the attack on the institute) telling an unknown person that Market Maker's failure is because they left it to a Reggie. Succession reveals this to be the Jaula Blanca Institute, who is working with the government directly in a bid to control all sides of the situation. Even orchestrating a kidnapping with the King himself personally involved with it.
  • Mundane Utility: The Religion of Evil? It's a scam by the government. Sure, the clones made from the angel fossils have real supernatural powers, but why try to enable some obtuse, apocalyptic paradigm shift when you can just use the templates funded by gullible zealots to make a disposable Super-Soldier or two?
  • Nebulous Evil Organisation: Market Maker. They are a government-sponsored organization dedicated to manipulating social order and chaos.
  • No Name Given: Despite bragging about his name being the only one anyone will remember after he kills everyone, the terrorist in Episode 2 ironically never gives out his real name. The episode and credits simply call him Red.
  • Off with His Head!: Killer B's primary method of killing.
  • Police Are Useless: The RIS and its parent agency, the Royal Police, are constantly several steps behind the criminals it deals with. Even with a genius investigator involved, they're often too late to stop these criminals. To be fair, they're unknowingly dealing with a government-sanctioned organization of super-powered killers.
    • MM has double agents working within the rank and file of the Cremoan Royal Police, including the chief himself.
    • This becomes a massive hindrance to the RIS in the second season when Kirisame ousts them out of the investigation entirely to Eric's objections. He only stops when Kaela silently warns him not to make things worse for them, later reminding him of this incident and behavior the following episode; after the division gets reassigned to other unrelated cases.
  • The Prophecy: A prophecy found inscribed in some ancient ruins tell of how the black-winged king (Koku) will become the invincible ruler of the world. Or not, as it's not made clear how much of the prophecy was made up or misinterpreted in order to justify the Super-Soldier experiment and to manipulate the real Minatsuki.
  • Red Herring: Used to mask the true identity of the man who attacked Bran.
    • Also used to distract RIS while Market Maker pursued their true goals. The gas in episode 3, for instance, was merely just knockout gas and not poison, as they had initially thought.
  • Serial Killer: Killer B targets criminals throughout the kingdom of Cremona.
    • Gilbert also, as he tends to target women who resemble Erika. There have been 37 recorded cases though the bodies found in Gilbert's hideout indicate there's much more than 37.
  • Shared Unusual Trait: Both Koku and the real Minatsuki have heterochromia, as Koku's left eye and Minatsuki's right eye are the same colour. This is because originally they both belonged to Koku, but his right eye was removed and implanted into Minatsuki.
  • Sigil Spam: Killer B's insignia, which is left behind along with his victims, is a B with four tally marks. This is actually a code shared between Koku and Yuna, representing the number 13 and a roman numeral representing four (IIII), used as a sign to tell each other where they were.
    • The Market Maker symbol involves a Día de Muertos skull and a letter M, which can be found on the palms of members and other important articles in order to get free leeway around the law.
  • Slasher Smile: Oh boy, and how! The villains, especially Kamui, have this as their default expression. Kaela is also prone to doing this when being overly snarky, even managing to creep out Boris at one point.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Parodied in episode 4 when Keith and Koku pass each other in front of the City Library. Suddenly Koku has a premonition and quickly looks back, only to find that Keith is already gone Because he tripped and fell down some stairs.
  • The Stinger: The post-credits scene in episode 12 reveals that Kirisame, Koku's guardian, survived the destruction of the Jaula Blanca Institute. Unfortunately, he's shown to have turned heel and makes plans to see Koku soon to get his left arm back.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Several characters show that, when things start going south, the best way to conclude business is to set the explosives off.
  • Super Soldiers: The Reggies were created to be unstoppable killing machines. Unfortunately, they proved to be unstable and Ax-Crazy.
  • Superior Successor:
    • Minatsuki to the rest of the Reggies, having all of the enhanced strength and reflexes but none of the madness that comes with age.
    • Asagiri fills this role in Season 2. Unfortunately, she learns the hard way that Koku is still not one to be trifled with and gets beaten within an inch of her life.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
  • Tank Goodness: Subverted twice. Firstly because it's actually an IFV, and secondly because it's being controlled Ax-Crazy murder on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge through the city.
  • Tattooed Crook: Members of Market Maker are shown to have facial tattoos.
  • That One Case: For Keith, it's the murder of his sister Erika.
  • Traintop Battle: The fight between Koku and Quinn in Episode 1.
  • Two Lines, No Waiting: The show follows Keith and Koku in solving their respective mysteries, which leads them to Market Maker. Though the storylines mostly remain separate outside of some interactions between the two.
    • In the second season, Koku encounters Kirisame, one of his old friends when they were at the institute. Meanwhile, Keith checks on cases that involve more Reggies ever since Minatsuki was taken out, only to be kidnapped by Kirisame and having to escape the room he was taken to before dying from starvation. All while Lily tries to find Keith and gets wrapped up in a kidnapping plot orchestrated by the King using himself as the victim, and the RIS trying fruitlessly to find out the identity of Killer B like in the previous season before getting forced off the case by Kirisame.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Some characters are killed off before they have the chance to do much, such as Quinn or Kukuri (and Takeru shortly after).
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: The Reggies are incredibly fast and strong, able to cause widespread destruction with ease. They are also inevitably prone to increased aggression and unpredictable behavior after turning 20.
  • World of Technicolor Hair: Various characters have hair ranging from teal to lavender and pink, and it's never pointed out or questioned.
  • Would Hurt a Child: In a flashback detailing what separated Koku from Yuna, armed Market Maker soldiers are seen willingly gunning down the children in the facility.
  • Yandere: Izanami has some shades of it, mentioning that she holds the fact that Koku chose Yuna over her against him. Gilbert as well, since he killed Erika after she fell for Keith.