Season 1, Episode 11: Bye Bye Bit Beast
Kevin wants revenge for his humiliating defeat in Hong Kong, and sees an opportunity while the White Tigers and Bladebreakers are staying in the same competitor village.
This is a personal favorite episode of mine - and, in fact, was my first ever experience with Beyblade. Childhood Me was waiting for another show to start - quite possibly Ed, Edd, n Eddy; I was a child of impeccable cartoon taste, after all - when this episode came on. I didn't know anything about Beyblade and I'd never even heard of it before, but I figured it'd be good enough to leave on in the background while I waited and did some drawings. Well I was hooked instantly because of this episode; the drawing pad remained completely blank. By the end of the episode I can remember thinking "wow I wish they made toys of those bey-thingies". Lo and behold, an advert for the Beyblade toys came on and I ran to tell my mother how vital it was I got my hands on one. Ah, the effectiveness of well-placed advertising on kids; I never stood a damn chance.
This episode takes place on a rainy night during the Asian Tournament in the Beyblade equivalent of an Olympic Village. There seems to be accommodation for the competitors, and it's all specifically designed to cater for bladers in particular; there are multiple dishes that can be seen for teams to practice in. This episode all takes place in the space of one night and has a very simple story, but the subdued mood and dreary background really set a unique, almost reflective, tone for the episode. Rain can be heard throughout, and the dark grey skies make for a contrasting background against the brilliant glow of a bit beast or two.
The Bladebreakers are staying in the same 'village' as the White Tigers, and Kevin sees this as an opportunity to exact his revenge on both Ray (for his supposed betrayal to the team) and to the Bladebreakers in general for the humiliating defeat they put Kevin through in that Hong Kong alleyway. Kevin initially considers taking Driger from Ray but due to a promise he made to Mariah - who caught him skulking around the grounds - he opts to instead try to steal data from Kenny, who's burning the midnight oil and making adjustments to some beyblades. Unfortunately for Kevin, Ray catches him just in time, and challenges him to a battle in one of the many dishes outside.
This episode begins to shed some light on why the White Tigers consider Ray to be a traitor, or at least how hurt his former team seems to be. Something I like is how the topic of Ray evokes different reactions in members of the team; Mariah seems to hold a lot of conflicted feelings and regrets about the whole situation, whereas to Kevin and Lee, Ray's name is something that shouldn't even be uttered in conversation. I really like this storytelling, you don't just seem a one-dimensional team of unreasonable and antagonistic people; it's a team of people who seem to be hurting deeply, and this really adds to the mystery of Ray's background.
Ray is tricked into showing mercy to Kevin during his battle, and subsequently loses his Driger bit beast by doing so. It's explained that if you don't fight with your whole heart that this can happen; Driger looks back at Ray with what almost looks like disgust before vanishing off into the mountains. This marks the first time you see a bit beast at such a distance from their respective beyblade. Tyson manages to defeat Kevin with no problems at all and recover the stolen data, but the episode ends with Ray having no bit beast, and no idea about his position on the team.
What I Liked
My Favourite Quote
Dizzi: “I remember when I was a young bit beast. I didn’t have all the nice things other bit beasts had. Oh no…”
- The ending of this episode is surprising to many who watched the English dub – in the Japanese version it’s explained bit beasts only stay in a beyblade out of their own free will and are drawn to someone with a strong fighting spirit.