First Impressions – Beelzebub + Premiere Week 1 Review

From Shounen Jump manga Beelzebub, written and illustrated by Ryuhei Tamura, comes shounen specialists Pierrot’s anime adaptation. And based on one episode, there’s nothing especially noteworthy about the anime one way or the other.

I haven’t read the manga, but I could see where there might be a certain wit in the premise – an infant version of the Demon Lord Beelzebub winds up on Earth under the care of juvenile delinquent Oga. Best friend Furuuchi and Demon governess Hilda are along for the ride. This is pretty generic shounen, but there are some funny moments as Oga tries to free himself from having to take care of the infant Beelzebub, whose superpowers appear to be electricity and prodigious urination. Based on wardrobe, looks like it’s safe to say there are no diapers in Hell.

I certainly wasn’t offended by any of this, but it pretty much failed to make any impression on me. It takes a really sharp sense of humor or exceptional writing to rise above the restrictions of the genre that a weekly shounen mag like “Jump” exerts, and not that many properties have either – Fairy Tail comes to mind as one that does – and neither of those qualities was present in the premiere. The timing of the jokes was a little off, the look and acting a little flat, and final product generally unremarkable.

We’ve moved through most of the premieres and none of the new shows has absolutely floored me, though Gosick was very good and several others quite watchable. Looks like it’s going to be up to Noitamina to give us a great series this winter – I have high hopes for both Fractale and Hurou Musuko, but the overall quality of the first week of the season hasn’t been exceptional. I’ll check out Dragon Crisis and the new web-only Gainax series Houkago no Pleiades, but neither have the scent of greatness about them. Perhaps most striking to far is the absence of a really strong comedy. We have Mitsudomoe Zouryouchuu, but apparently no excellent pure comedies among the new series. Coming off a superb year for comedy, that’s a disappointment.

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