Frankly, I didn’t have high hopes for the Beyblade X anime. However, having watched the first three episodes, the dynamic cast and the straightforward plot have me invested!
As someone who grew up watching the early 2000s Beyblade anime, I didn’t really find the continuing iterations (Beyblade Burst and Metal Fight Beyblade) to be interesting enough for me to watch over the decades. But somehow, I found myself wanting to watch Beyblade X after seeing the trailer recently. I guess I finally wanted to give the franchise another chance. And I’m glad that I did.
Having experienced the first three episodes of the Beyblade X anime, I can’t wait for the upcoming chapters as our main trio of characters make their way to the very top of the X Tower and become the ultimate Pro Beybladers.
The premiere episode, ‘X’, opened with a quick introduction of Team Pendragon. The leader of the three-person team was named Chrome Ryugu. And he’s the one that our young protagonist Bird Kazami dreamed of defeating. Bird’s the audience surrogate. It’s through Bird we are introduced to the rules of Beyblading as well as certain other characters and their motivations.
I liked how the anime decided to change things up when it came to Bird’s arc. Usually, a character like Bird (usually wearing a familiar red color scheme) would be hot-headed and way too driven for his own good. He would be the de facto hero of the story, with the plot always finding a way to make him win when faced with challenging circumstances.
However, the writing team decided to knock Bird down a bunch of pegs the moment he entered the amateur rounds with his team in the very first episode. Bird’s clearly a small fish in a very big pond and he’s got a lot to learn. I really liked seeing Bird get a rude awakening and then working on finding the confidence to keep Beyblading.
The second main character we were introduced to was the mysterious helmet-wearing Kamen X. The anime got right to the point when it came to revealing Kamen X’s identity and why he decided to enter the amateur rounds. Turns out, Kamen X was actually Ekusu Kurosu, a member of Team Pendragon. But he left the team to work on rising through the Beyblade Tournament ranks from scratch. Ekusu’s goal was to face Chrome Ryugu in battle and he couldn’t do that if he remained a part of Team Pendragon.
I get that teaming up with someone as strong as Ekusu to create the new Team Persona gave Bird a major advantage in the Beyblade League. However, due to the current rules of the tournament, Team Persona wouldn’t be able to make it to the top unless every member was strong. So, though Ekusu was powerful, Bird needed to work very hard to support his team members to ensure victory.
I enjoyed the dynamic between Ekusu and Bird. Ekusu’s someone who wanted to Beyblade for the fun of it. He didn’t take things too seriously and took every chance he could get to remind Bird to do the same. I just know a part of the fandom’s already shipping those two!
The major Beyblade gameplay mechanic for this iteration of the IP involved the term ‘X’. Now, having watched the first three episodes, that could be defined as anything, as far as the narrative’s concerned.
In a more tangible sense, the ‘X’ was the Beyblade’s ability to align its gear with a special rail surrounding the battle arena. Doing so gave the Beyblade a burst of speed and power to showcase special moves.
In a more abstract sense, the ‘X’ could be the X-Factor that the Beyblader must find as they continued to battle and improved their skills. It can be the way they connected with their Beyblade and being open to the fun of having such battles.
I do expect the upcoming episodes to dive deeper into the meaning behind ‘X’.
As for the third member of Team Persona, episode 2 ‘The Rainbow Colored Assassin’ properly introduced Multi Nanairo. I remember how the OG Beyblade anime, unfortunately, didn’t have a main female character as part of the primary team. So, it’s nice to see things change for the better.
Staying true to her name, Multi Nanairo was shown to be quite multi-talented. She’s unique in the sense that she’s able to use a variety of Beyblades to ensure she always maintains the upper hand against her opponents. For example, when faced with an Attack-type Beyblade, she would opt for a Defense-type Beyblade. And while changing Beyblades was allowed, even Pro players didn’t do it because it required skill to be adept at the different types. But Multi Nanairo was capable enough. She was so skilled that she had been participating in the amateur league by herself against three-person teams.
Also, the Beyblades Multi Nanairo selected led to her embodying a different personality and an outfit change. She’s a social media star, after all, so she needed to put on a show. The change in personality also allowed her to better connect with the type of Beyblade she used.
Along with the action, the first three episodes of Beyblade X had a whole lot of comedy. Our main trio was, frankly, a mess, and I liked that. Oftentimes stories targeted at a young male audience give the straight-man comedic trope to female characters, and in a way feed into the stereotype of how women aren’t the fun ones when interacting with men. But nah! Multi Nanairo was just as much a mess as her male peers. It was hilarious to watch. And I hope such a dynamic continues.
There’s definitely a lot more to be explored when it comes to Beyblade battles, especially involving the different hidden powers and techniques. I’m looking forward to seeing Bird and Multi Nanairo awakening their own abilities. Also, seeing the reaction of Ekusu’s former team when they finally meet him again is going to be exciting.
Before I close my review, I have to mention that the opening theme song ‘Prove’ by ONE OK ROCK is just so good! I can’t seem to get enough of it.
All in all, Beyblade X actually made me want to Beybalde again. So, thanks to the creative team for making me feel those emotions after decades!
Are you watching Beyblade X?
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Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.
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