Tears of the Sun
- Episodes : 25
- Genre : Adventure, Mechs, Sci-Fi, Shounen
- Airing Date : April 6, 1996 – September 21, 1996
- Studios : TMS Entertainment
B’T X Introduction
Based on the cult hit manga by Masami Kurumada, B’T X takes place in a sci-fi dystopian world where machines have progressively been taking over the world, and have established their own empire in the Chinese desert. Now they are kidnapping scientists from around the world to help them with a dubious secret project. After many years of being separated, Teppei visits China to meet his brother Kotaro, one of the world’s greatest robotic scientists. However, Kotaro is immediately kidnapped by the Machine Empire and Teppei risks his life in an attempt to save him, but is easily defeated. As he is bleeding out in a pile of junk, Teppei’s blood makes contact with a machine called a B’T, AI battle robots based on mystical creatures. Whenever human blood touches a B’T, they have a permanent bond and as it turns out, the B’T that Teppei makes contact with is one of the greatest ever made, X. Now they set out on a journey to stop the Machine Empire and save Kotaro.
What We Liked About B’T X
If you’re familiar with Kurumada’s works, B’T X shares many qualities with them, most especially with Saint Seiya and Ring ni Kakero. In all three of these works, the main character has a female mentor, and the theme of sibling bond is also emphasized. Though Saint Seiya and Ring ni Kakero have made references to Greek mythology, B’T X appropriately takes more from Chinese mythology. If you’re a fan of Saint Seiya, it’s easy to get into but even if you have no exposure to his works, this may be a good gateway to them.
1. It has an awesome cast
Despite B’T X not being as team oriented as Ring ni Kakero or Saint Seiya, it still has a unique cast of characters. As Teppei and X make their journey throughout the Chinese desert, they will face the Machine Empire’s greatest warriors, who also happen to be human. However, they do exhibit a very unique shade of gray that you don’t see very often. Despite being soldiers for an empire that wants to take over humanity, they do offer assistance to Teppei after he defeats them. They don’t officially become friends, but they understand the true nature to the Machine Empire and they help out of principle, and they just don’t want the world to become an everybody loses situation.
2. Teppei and X
In many instances, the pilot chooses the mech but this anime takes it to a different direction. The relationship between Teppei and X is truly the driving force of this series. Let’s just say it sort of gives a different angle to a pilot and his mech in the mech genre. Yes, the mech is supposed to be an extension to the pilot, but B’T X adds an entirely new element to that quality that hasn’t since been emulated. Initially, X wants nothing to do with Teppei and feels he is not worthy of him. However, after Teppei shows that he is willing to do anything to save his brother, X decides he’s a worthy companion and they become one. And like Saint Seiya, B’T X is certainly about creating miracles and defying the impossible, and that’s what Teppei and X’s relationship is all about.
3. Great Action
As opposed to the explosiveness and gimmicky nature of Saint Seiya and Ring ni Kakero, B’T X tones it down by making the action more about strategy and wit, though not to the same levels of insanity that you see in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. Characters do have their own unique abilities that Teppei has to overcome. As opposed to using the power of the gods, science is appropriately applied. For example, Fou’s violin bow resonates a sound frequency that can neutralize his opponents, and there are other characters that can make their opponents hallucinate. Yes, this was done in other Kurumada works (and other action anime), but B’T X adds a new ingredient for a fresher taste.
1. Recycled Animation
As we have shared in many Anime Rewinds from this era, recycling animation, most especially with special moves and transformations were pretty much a trope. We understand that anime is on a tight budget but when you watch the same thing over and over again, you might as well make a sandwich, or take a bathroom break. It cheapens the tension and just makes things predictable. Other than than abusing recycling animation like a red headed step-child, we can’t think of any other reasons to skip this series.
Some of you may be concerned that the series ends prematurely but don’t worry. There is a follow up OVA sequel, B’T X Neo. We can understand this is easier for Kurumada fans to get into, but if you have no familiarity to his works, as we said before, it’s ok and it can still be your perfect gateway. Like Saint Seiya and Ring ni Kakero, we can also promise that B’T X also offers an amazing soundtrack. While it’s not as heavy as Saint Seiya’s or as epic as Ring ni Kakero’s, the soundtrack to B’T X has its own unique intensity that suits its respective atmosphere. It is very uplifting and makes you hope that things will turn out for the best in this series. So grab a piece of the sun and enjoy this underrated gem.