The plot of the series revolves around three youkai, Bem, Bera and Barro, who arrive at a large coastal city and come across an evil atmosphere, which was brought about by immoral behavior by humans and mischief caused by monsters and youkai. They therefore decide to stay in the city, fighting against other monsters and yōkai which attack humans, making a few friends in the way. Even though the three youkai are often abused by other human beings due to their appearance, they still strive in protecting the human populace of the city from other monsters, one day hoping to become human beings in return for their good actions.
As I have not seen the first version of this show (done in 1968), I have no clue if this is like the original or if it is created off. All I know is that it has a rather good feel to it. I love shows like this because it has an air of mystery and supernatural horror that always captures my attention but then has a superhero addition to it.
The story has an interesting feel of old Japanese folklore about demons living among humans with the interesting vibe of trying to combat evil. It’s hard to explain exactly what this is because its
somewhat a monster by week storyline, and then it has a few pieces that seem to give it a actual story driven feel of just a couple demons trying to be excepted and do what they think is right. It’s almost laughable because most of the stories are just human stupidity and them paying for it.
I don’t really understand why the show is called Humanoid Monster Bem because it seems that the stories revolve around Bero mostly. In my mind, even though the characters are parts of the same person, if one is more the focus, then you would call it after the character that has the most screen time, right? The only problem I have is that he’s rather naïve and a little to trusting, although I understand why Bero is like that. He’s pretty much just a child himself and wants nothing more then to have a friend. When he meets Kira, a girl who despite seeing his monster form still wants to be friends, he tries anything he can to keep that friendship even when Kira’s parents try to pull them apart.
Bera is rather harsh and loves showing off at times even though she can’t show her real form. On the other hand, she is rather loving and motherly to the people she meets and to Bero who acts a lot like her child. Bem is a lot like a old guy who knows more then he lets on to the other two. I’m somewhat surprised that they are supposed to be the same age because I would of sworn he was the oldest of the two with how much knowledge he actually has about monsters in this world.
I was surprised to find that the more I watched this, the more I actually liked the episodes where they didn’t really have to fight and kill the monsters. There were some monsters that actually were just rather misunderstood like themselves. For example, the little goblin they called Imp from episode 5 only wanted to make friends and so kept the children of the hospital from recovering. When the group actually explained to him the problem with his idea, he changes his plan to actually help the children. There are other stories like this, though not many.
The animation is actually pretty clean as to be expected of a show done in 2006. Bero looks a lot like Beast Man from Teen Titans. There are small things that bother me like in the English version, some lip sinking is done rather poorly and characters move a bit stiffly at times. There are times were we get CG images that look a little off. You can tell that they just don’t fit right. Other then that, the animators got a really interesting way of showing terror in the faces. It’s really well detailed.
The music is actually rather catching and has a feeling of urgency in it that gets you pumped for the episode. The background music adds a feeling of the occult that I really like, making the skin on the back of my neck get goose bumps. The ending though feels a little out of place since its actually rather sweet and gentle. The Voices are all right, although a lot of them seem just standard. Kira’s voice is a little annoying to me along with a bunch of people who really don’t really show up except for only one episode.