B’t X Review

This is a show I sort of vaguely knew about since the Saint Seiya creator is very popular but other than the name I knew nothing about it. It turns out to be a fairly retro mecha adventure and one that I definitely had a really good time with. I love me some some mecha action after all and it all feels very nostalgic. I may not have seen the show before but the animation style and fight scenes definitely feel retro in a very good way. There are a ton of battles here that just keep coming one right after the other. The cast is very solid and the show manages to be really interesting and engaging from the jump.

The story picks up with the genius scientist Kotaro preparing to give a lecture. He’s attacked by a shapeshifting robot but his brother Teppei saves him. Teppei has always been the big fighter of the family while Kotaro has the intellect and together they make the world a better place. Unfortunately the Machine Empire attacks the delegation, murders tens of thousands and kidnaps Kotaro. They have taken him past a zone known as the Area and it’s said to be impossible to get there. The throne is protected by dozens and dozens of fighters each with powerful B’t creatures whcih are basically fancy robots.

Teppei has the Messiah Fist that he inherited from his mentor Karen and can destroy any machine but it’s not quite enough to tip the scales. Fortunately his blood is able to awaken one of the most legendary B’t creatures of all time, X. X only wants to work with Karen but he won’t just turn away from someone in need. After a lot of grumbling on both sides, Teppei and X agree to help each other out. Will they be able to stop the Machine Empire and save Teppei’s brother?

The show starts off real quick with the whole shapeshifting robot although that part gets ditched pretty fast. Ditched might be the wrong word but since pretty much the whole series takes place en route to the area, there isn’t much time to check out the real world and how humanity is faring. I liked the idea of shapeshifting robots being around every corner so the heroes always have to be careful. It almost would have been like a mystery thriller kind of title. The humans feel like they’re probably outgunned though. Put it this way, throughout the series when Teppei is trying to stop the empire, we never see the government stepping in or anything like that. The machines are in the driver’s seat all the way.

So there’s a lot left for the world building but I don’t think this is that kind of show. Most of it is really about taking on lots of enemies and continuing to push past your limits. Teppei definitely has a tough time here but he never gives up and keeps on getting stronger. Meanwhile it’s definitely a lot tougher for Kotaro trying to stay safe and out of danger.

Kotaro is a pretty good main character. Despite the constant danger that he’s in, he still keeps trying to stop the Empire in his own way by finding out the weakness to their trump card, Raffaello. After all if he can figure out how to destroy that thing then the world will really be in a much safer place. Hopefully he does get his own B’t though so he can fight a bit more because the support role is fun and all but he’ll end up staying very overshadowed if that’s the extent of his role. Make no mistake, the cutaways to his plot are always very engaging but you still want a little something more.

Then you have Teppei who is a very solid main character. He has that classic “Can Do” attitude about him. He doesn’t give up and continues to press forward. He definitely gets into a lot of disagreements with X so expect a lot of bickering but it all works out in the end. His battle skills are on point and he will jump into a battle even if he doesn’t expect to win. Teppei is good at thinking outside the box and doesn’t take thing too personal. If a character says he will help Teppei now then the hero will usually believe him and keep it moving. He just knows that the priority is saving his brother and will do whatever it takes to accomplish that mission.

X is a fun B’t and definitely one that has the most emotion out of all of them. They all do have personalities which is actually a big plus of the series but of course as a main character we get to see this guy way more than most of the others. He’s always around either in the middle of a fight or getting a power up. Now I will say that he isn’t quite as impressive as you would expect though. He’s a B’t of legend and everyone fears him but X spends most of the series getting beaten up over and over again.

There are a few reasons for this like his owner not being able to draw out his maximum abilities and his still being damaged but considering his big rep it’s still not always a consolation. You just expect a lot more from this guy and I’d say that X doesn’t really live up to the hype until the very end of the series. I like his personality though so X is still a lot of fun either way.

Karen mainly appears in flashbacks but she works as a good mentor to Teppei. She teaches him a lot and the guy would definitely be out of his league if not for the Messiah fist. Her history is mainly shrouded in mystery which you find out more of as the series goes on. Right now she has one of the stronger moral compasses in the series and she is always trying to make a difference. She can fight as well so I hope we get to see her go up against the villains in the continuation. It just feels like this would be a missed opportunity not to have her join in the fights soon. I want to see her side by side with the main characters.

One of the first villains to show up here was Metal Face and I have a soft spot for the guy. By no means is he one of the more powerful villains but I liked the guy’s confidence and he had a lot of good dialogue. He was someone who didn’t back down from a challenge and had to go up against some of the world’s strongest without anything special on his end. It might be a stretch to call this guy a main supporting character but I can say that he’s persistent and I really liked that about him.

Then you have Aramis who is more about giving orders but not actually doing much. I’m still waiting to see if she can actually fight. If she can then that will help her a whole lot but for now I can’t say that I’m really a fan. She talks really tough but then she folds when the boss shows up. If she can fight later on or defects from the villains then that would be huge and give her some momentum.

After that you have the 4 legendary generals. So part of X’s hype is that he is one of those 4 legendary B’t and that means he has a lot to live up to. The next member we meet is Fou and his B’t. Fou is someone who runs a bit of an orphanage and seems like a decent guy but since he’s working for the villains that doesn’t quite add up. He gets a lot of character development as the show goes on though and I thought his character was handled really well. Yeah he’s definitely not a true hero through and through but at the same time he does have his own standards and code of conduct. He won’t be doing just anything or follow orders blindly.

His abilities also seem extremely impressive. Whenever he shows up in an episode the villains fear him and the heroes know they have no chance. This is exactly how the big 4 should appear and it’s why I’m still waiting for Teppei and X to command that level of respect. Once they can do that then I will know that they have really made it. I hope Fou continues to get more fights as the series goes on because seeing him in action is always great. His B’t is also very solid and a machine that is also very confident in her abilities. They have a good bond going right there.

Then there is Hokuto who seems less like a fighter. This guy is more about studying and using his own genius intellect to better the world….well more like just so he can learn more. I wouldn’t call this guy a hero either but at least he wants to find the truth and that prevents him from being just another yes man. I need to see him actually fight though so for now he is the weakest of the big 4 to me. You absolutely need brawn in addition to brain to come out on top. We do know that he can fight but I want to see just how well.

Finally there is Ron but the guy can definitely be a bit more on the annoying side. He’s very strong to be sure but acts more like a mindless yes man at times. Even when everyone is telling him that something is up he refuses to listen. The guy just jumps right into fights and while it’s good to be loyal to a cause, you always have to be reasonable about it. Otherwise you end up following someone rather than the cause and that can be a really big problem. His B’t has a cool design though and I can still appreciate his power. There aren’t many in the verse right now who can challenge him.

Right now the highest ranking member of the empire that we’ve seen is a kid named Misha. He apparently works as a direct contact to the leader. So the leader gives him orders and he executes them. That’s why even if the kid isn’t very strong everyone is completely afraid of him because if he says the wrong thing then they’re doomed. What this kid says goes even when it’s unreasonable and usually this guy is very unreasonable. Lets just say that a whole lot of empire soldiers are destroyed for no reason during Raffaello’s rampages.

So for Rafaello, he is an absolutely huge robot that continues to grow and get more powerful. As a result this guy is shaping up to be the final boss although unfortunately he is so far the only character not to have any personality. So I hope he gets some quick or that won’t be the most satisfying way to end this. I’m interested in how this plays out though. Right now while he is huge, I have a hard time picturing him giving the heroes all that much of a fight though. They would have him completely outnumbered and would also be a lot faster. That should make the fight seem rather one sided if anything.

Now while the show is great, the only issue I had with it is that they do squeeze in some animal violence. Naturally the empire has a lot of livestock around so when the monster goes crazy on the loose the animals don’t quite make it. The scene didn’t really serve any purpose so I’m not sure why that was included at all. Stick to showing the machine just murder a bunch of humans instead, that’s always a better outcome. In general the show isn’t particularly violent but you can definitely still expect a fairly high body count.

One of the series big strengths are its monster of the week characters. A lot of them are actually really memorable and just as importantly they’re also fairly strong. Now to an extent it can be rough seeing all of these random generals giving Teppei a hard time but it shows why nobody else has ever infiltrated the Machine Empire. They have way too many powerful fighters at their disposal. One impressive fighter was a guy with a hook for a hand. What made him stand out is how he’s punching way above his weight class. You figure this guy should be getting packed up rather easily but instead he just gets right back into the thick of the action and keeps on attacking Teppei. Even without his B’t the guy keeps hanging in there and that’s impressive.

Likewise the first of the demon lord fighters shows up and puts up a tremendous fight. He really almost had Teppei and this is after Teppei had grown way more powerful. This is the case for a bunch of these area fighters and while you may not remember their names at times, you will remember the impact. The series quite literally would not be the same without them. I also like the idea of the demon warriors and hopefully the other 6 look good. The show made the interesting choice of confirming that the first member was actually the strongest one. I can’t remember the last time that happened so it was a good twist. Usually it’s the opposite.

The animation here is pretty good. It may not be stunning but the fight scenes definitely go all out and the character models are on point. I also liked the soundtrack quite a bit. It is a little on the smaller side to be sure but at least the tunes that replay a lot are pretty good. If they weren’t then that would absolutely have been a problem. So on the technicals the series holds up and I already explained how the fights are good. The writing is on point too. There was one annoying kid that shows up for a little while but he was written out before long so that wasn’t too bad.

There is already a lot set up for the next season as well. This one has a cliffhanger as you can probably imagine and it works pretty well. I’d have probably even gone further with the cliffhanger but this works either way. I do wonder if they can really squeeze everything into the next season because it feels like there is a whole lot to do but at the same time I know you can pull a whole lot off when the time crunch is near. So we’ll see which villains get the most spotlight coming up and which ones get the shaft. This season introduced a powerful clown villain by the end so I’m super interested in seeing what happens next.

Overall, B’T X is a great show. If you’re looking for a title with nonstop fights and at least one battle in every episode then you’re in luck. It still seems a little unpopular to an extent as there aren’t a ton of screencaps to grab off of Google without doing more of a deep dive so every person who checked it out can help get the show to be even bigger.. Still, the sheer pacing and hype of all the battles will be enough to keep bringing you back. There just aren’t a ton of old school Shonens like this left so you really have to savor them. I look forward to seeing how the sequel plays out and definitely recommend this one.

Overall 8/10