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Beet: The Vandel Buster: The Sacrifice

Score: 95%
Rating: Not Rated
Publisher: Westlake Entertainment
Region: 1
Media: DVD/1
Running Time: 80 Mins.
Genre: Anime/Animated/Action
Audio: English and Japanese in
           Stereo
Subtitles: English



Features:

  • Trailers

Iím what you would call a ďnewbieĒ when it comes to anime. Iíve seen enough to have a general idea of what it is usually about, and even managed to follow one or two (Bleach, mainly), but Iím nowhere near as anime literate as some. Before this writing, I had never heard of Beet: The Vandel Buster and Iíll admit I had more than a few laughs at the title. Still, once I was able to look past the name, I found a rather enjoyable series.

Beet takes place in a world that has been trapped in what is known as the Age of Darkness. The world is overrun by demons called Vandels who seemingly exist only to make life miserable for humans. In fact, they even have what amounts to a country club for demons where they talk about each otherís accomplishments and even buy new minions to unleash on the world. Then there are the Vandel Busters, warriors whose job it is to protect humans and hunt down Vandels.

Beet is an energy-filled boy whose only goal in life is to become the greatest Vandel Hunter in the world. He grows up idolizing his local town heroes, the Zenon Warriors, who also happen to be the top dogs when it comes to all things busting. However, Beetís enthusiasm for the trade isnít felt by the group, especially Zenon himself, who goes to great lengths to discourage him. Beetís hero worship eventually leads to a mishap that leads to the disappearance of the Zenon Warriors, but not before they bestow Beet with special weapons called "Saigas".

The first Beet DVD set, The Sacrifice, contains the first four episodes of the show. The first two feature Beet as a young boy and follow his attempts to gain the attention of his idols. The second two take place three years later and feature a newly powered-up Beet as he, along with his childhood friend Poala, set out to end the Age of Darkness.

Were Beet a movie, it would be considered a great "Popcorn Flick". Its plot isn't much deeper than most Saturday morning cartoons, but it is still a fun ride. The only major complaint I had was that there weren't more episodes on the disc, especially considering the cliffhanger ending of the fourth episode. It was enough to make me request future episodes, which is always a good thing.

As far as extras go, Beet doesnít offer a whole lot. The picture is clean and crisp and the dubbing is pretty good. Most of the voices are good, though the older Beet tends to sound a bit like Little Nicky at times. The Japanese voice track is also available. Other extras include trailers for other Illumitoon presentations.

If you are in the market for a thought-provoking anime, then Beet the Vandel Buster isn't for you. If, however, you are looking for something a little more low key and fun, it is worth a look.



-Starscream, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ricky Tucker

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