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BEM – 11 »« BEM – 08, 09

BEM – 10

「BETRAYAL」

Week after week, there has been a comforting formula. An altered human wreaks havoc, then Sonia and her partner investigate the case while Bela or Belo form some kind of human connection that usually doesn’t work out. They come into conflict with the altered human, transform, and their companions come to their rescue when things start to look dicey. It’s a formula I have never gotten tired of. The individual stories are interesting enough, especially Harazy’s, but seeing their bonds reinforced with each rescue was always a delight, which was why the end of this episode was such a spectacular gut punch.

They’ve always managed to save each other when it counted. Humans come and go, yet at the end of the day, they had each other. But even spending time with your family can get boring after a time. They wanted to branch out, meet new people, do new things. They wanted to know what it was like not to have to live in fear of rejection and disdain, and to a certain capacity, Bela and Belo were able to achieve that, but Bem never did. Despite his stoic bearing, their isolation from humanity seems to have hit him the hardest, and unlike the others, he doesn’t have human friends to help him deal with the loneliness. The closest he ever got to that kind of companionship died last week, so it’s understandable why he would be in dire need of a breakdown. It’s just, for whatever reason, the presentation didn’t really do it justice. For one, the relationship between Bem and Sonia wasn’t developed enough to warrant the kind of emotion it was trying to evoke. They haven’t had a single significant conversation since she shot him in the beginning, so why is she suddenly so remorseful? Why is she so determined to protect him? When did she finally decide she could trust and approach him?

More importantly, Bem’s faith in her was never shaken, and he didn’t seem overly concerned about Bela and Belo during the fight, so what it all comes down to is Madame (Sakamoto Maaya), a humanoid monster he’s never met before, called him ugly and, well, that was just too much. I’m not saying it was done poorly, only that it would have been easier to connect with the scene if Bem had either thought Sonia had betrayed him or if it was made clearer that the stress of constantly getting his hopes up had finally gotten to him. Actually, on that point, if he’d gone berserk directly after Madame told him there was no way for him to become human and there never was, I would have been sold. One thing I did notice, though, was that after Harazy was called to subdue Bem, it looked like he had enough presence of mind to try dampening the force of her psionic waves by absorbing all of them himself. It shows that even at his lowest point, his main priority is still to protect the people around him, thereby upping the stakes of his rescue. After all, you can’t just let someone who is undeniably good be imprisoned and experimented on, right? This may actually push Bela and Belo into direct conflict with humans for the first time. For the most part, they’ve avoided fighting them, preferring to make use of evasive tactics and hiding, but now that Bem’s been captured, they may no longer have that luxury.

 

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October 2, 2019 at 7:29 pm
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