Twitter User Compares Latest Yōkai Ningen Bem Designs to Previous Installments
posted on by Lynzee Loveridge
The character designs for this year's planned reboot of Yōkai Ningen Bem is attracting attention on social media. Twitter user hscsatoshi posted side-by-side comparisons of the characters' evolution over the last 50 years on Thursday and the post was retweeted over 31,000 times.
The pictures show Belo's changes from a strange-looking monster boy to the despondent-looking kid with headphones in the latest visual. The character was the most yokai-like in 1968, followed by a more human version in 1982, a return to his monster roots in 2006, followed by a wardrobe update (with abs) in 2017.
Bela's changes follow a similar pattern, switching between a mature and sexy approach or a less attractive, monster approch. The newest incarnation looks nothing like either versions. Instead, Bela is a girl with a high side ponytail and no apparent creepy features until you get a look at her left hand.
Bem himself is also more handsome than previous versions. He's slimmed up and his jaw is less square. His eyes now have pupils instead of the pure white eyes all of his previous designs featured. His suit, hat, and cravat are all updated for a more modern fashion sensibility. Like Bela, Bem doesn't appear to be unearthly with the exception of his huge, claw-like right hand.
These character design shifts are similar to what audiences saw in last year's GeGeGe no Kitarō anime reboot, specifically the character Neko Musume who went from a cat-eyed girl with a bowl cut to a more modern, feminine, and older girl in the new series.
Yōkai Ningen Bem (Humanoid Monster Bem) franchise's new installment will be titled BEM, and it is slated to air this year. The new anime will be part of the 50th anniversary project for the franchise. Katsuyuki Konishi will voice Bem, M.A.O will voice Bela, and Kensho Ono will play Belo.
Yoshinori Odaka (B-Daman CrossFire, B-Daman Fireblast) is directing the anime at LandQ studios, and Atsuhiro Tomioka (Pokémon XY, Trinity Blood) is in charge of the series scripts. Masakazu Sunagawa (Azure Striker Gunvolt, Nōgyō Musume!) is adapting the original character designs by Range Murata (Blue Submarine No. 6, Last Exile) for animation. NAS is planning the project in collaboration with Production I.G.
The original classic supernatural adventure anime aired from 1968 to 1969. In the original 26-episode anime, Bem, Bela, and Belo are ugly humanoid monsters (yōkai) who fight for justice. The monsters live among humans and protect them from evil yōkai. The three find themselves ostracized from both humans and other yōkai, but the three continue to fight in hopes of one day becoming humans themselves.
A 26-episode remake anime series aired in 2006. The franchise inspired a 10-episode live-action television series starring KAT-TUN's Kazuya Kamenashi in 2011, and then a live-action film with the same cast in December 2012. The franchise's gag comedy anime Ore-tacha Yōkai Ningen premiered in October 2017, and the Ore-tacha Yōkai Ningen G anime debuted in April 2018.