Kanzaki's figured out the secret to defeating Oga, but has a hard time putting it into effect.
What They Say:
Kanzaki is thinking hard about why he's unable to be a match for Oga, and tries to perfect a new special move, when Shiroyama realizes the crucial difference... Oga has a baby on his back! Shiroyama and Natsume help Kanzaki go through intense "BoB" training!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
While I can understand it, there are a lot of reasons to avoid reading a manga series and then watching the anime adaptation of it, especially for a show like this where they mix in a fair bit of original material. It only serves to seemingly annoy, anger and alienate certain fans, and I get that. Coming into the show without any knowledge of the manga, there isn't a whole lot of difference between the two types of stories from my point of view as the show has been largely enjoyable throughout. What draws me in is the fun of the characters and the situations they're put in and have to deal with. And whether it's original or adapted, they've all been fun.
The focus recently on Kanzaki and his inability to win over Oga has definitely been amusing since he's had no luck at all. Luckily for him, one of his cohorts has been recording the fights he's had against Oga and they've got the inside track on what makes Oga great. A baby on his back. So they decide that the best thing they can do to train to fight against him is to put a baby-like object on their backs to train since it will alter how they fight and move. Oga doesn't exactly look tough with a baby on his back, but Kanzaki doing training with the thing on his back is pretty sad and pathetic, and amusing for the viewer. Watching this group trying to train using methods they think Oga is using simply results in a lot of headshaking and grins, especially when they decide they want a real baby.
The whole thing goes in even more amusing directions when Kanzaki ends up Kota, the child that Aoi takes care of, and the two have a rather good time just having simple fun, like swinging on a swing. Aoi is freaked out by it, but she gets a double dose of worry because Oga and his friend show up and there's always the chance someone will figure out her true identity as the badass girl of the school. There's some good moments with that, but I kept finding myself warmed by how Kanzaki was with the child as he realized he was getting more agile and stronger, but he was also starting to channel his childhood self in a way. Seeing the power of a child and figuring out how to use it as an adult adds to that as well, which is made all the more cute by seeing Kota in his usual hat.
While Beelzebub doesn't tackle any of the larger issues here and it does push Oga and his crew to the background for the most part, it's a rather fun little diversion overall. Letting us see things from one of Oga's opponents point of view as he tries to figure out how to overcome him is a good angle to follow and seeing the way he does so works pretty well. It's not a bust a guy kind of laugh fest, especially without Beel offering much in the way of looks or child-like commentary, but I liked the softer side that it showed for Kanzaki a bit and how he and Kota got close in their own way. The episode could have been better, but it could have been a whole lot worse too.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Dell 10.1 Netbook via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.