Cover of B't X volume 1 as published by Tokyopop
|Written by||Masami Kurumada|
|Published by||Kadokawa Shoten|
|Original run||October 1994 – January 2000|
|Written by||Sukehiro Tomita|
|Illustrated by||Masami Kurumada|
|Published by||Kadokawa Shoten|
|Original run||20 July 1996 – 28 February 1997|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Mamoru Hamatsu|
|Written by||Yoshiyuki Suga
|Music by||Akira Senju|
|Original run||6 April 1996 – 21 September 1996|
|Anime television series|
|B't X Neo|
|Directed by||Mamoru Hamatsu|
|Written by||Yoshiyuki Suga
|Music by||Fumitaka Anzai|
|Original run||21 August 1997 – 20 November 1997|
B't X (Japanese: ビート・エックス Hepburn: Bīto Ekkusu), pronounced "beat X" and stylized as B'T X, is a science fiction mecha manga series, written and illustrated by Masami Kurumada. It was serialized in Shōnen Ace from 1994 to 2000. The series is set in a fictional universe where science has progressed to the creation of mechanical AI creatures known as Bt's. An anime adaptation containing 25 episodes was aired in Japan between April and September 1996, followed by a second season containing 14 episodes called B't X Neo (ビート・エックス・ネオ Bīto Ekkusu Neo) which aired between August and November 1997. The anime series never adapted the whole manga series, and included instead a different ending with no conclusion.
In the anime adaptation, the main characters were voiced by Nobuyuki Hiyama, Jin Horikawa, Nozomu Sasaki, Megumi Ogata, Kazuya Ichijou, Keiji Fujiwara, Kenyû Horiuchi and supporting voice actors include Misa Watanabe, Asako Dodo, Gara Takashima, Ryuji Mizuno, Emi Shinohara, Atsuko Yuya, Kyôko Hikami, Ai Orikasa, Naoki Tatsuta, Shinpachi Tsuji and Yumi Touma. The anime series was animated by TMS Entertainment which produced in total, 39 episodes.
B't X is set on an alternate Earth, where a faction known as the Machine Empire rules a significant large piece of land known as "The Area" in the Gobi Desert. The Machine Empire invests highly in scientific advancements and schools children from an early age to become striving scientists. Mechanical engineering have culminated in the creation of cyborgs and most recently mechanical beasts, powered by human blood, the Bt.
The series mostly takes place in the Machine Empire, but also on Kamui island, where the main characters were born. An island that was created from a crashed meteor and contains a piece of a sun, far underground.
A B't (pronounced "beat" in the Japanese version and "bit" in the English dub.) is the ultimate form of artificial intelligence mechanoid (they are NOT "robotics" since in the Machine Empire, "robot" are considered obsolete terminology that has been replaced by much more modernized terms such as "mecha" and of course the terms "B't" itself) designed for fighting - the B stands for Brain, Blood, Bravery and Battler. They have different forms and powers, usually based on mythological creatures. The B't's source of power is a device called BreakHeart, which is fueled by human blood. Once the BreakHeart is inserted into the B't's body, it creates a link between the blood donor and the B't. A B't is also outfitted with The Guard System, which protects its donor from various dangers and environment changes, such as volcanic heat, the crushing pressures beneath the ocean, or even the depths of space. However, the donor must be in physical contact with his or her B't for the system to work for them. Teppei is able to manifest a suit of protective armor called Battle Gear, through use of the Messiah Fist. This has the additional benefit of activating the usually dormant wings on X's sides, enabling him to reach even greater degrees of speed and mobility.
Teppei Takamiya is the caretaker of a farm located in Kamui Island, north of Japan. His older brother, Kotarō Takamiya, leaves to study robotics in Germany and becomes one of the most brilliant scientists in the world. Five years later, the two brothers reunite at a robotics convention in Mechatopia, China, where Kotarō is to announce his latest breakthrough in artificial intelligence. The convention goes awry when Kotarō is captured by the malevolent Machine Empire and taken to "The Area".
Teppei manages to hitch a ride on his brother's capturer and reaches the Machine Empire, Teppei is attacked by Metalface, one of the Empire's soldiers. Unable to win, Teppei is thrown, bleeding, in the Empire's junkyard. His blood reaches the trashed body of X, who was once considered one of the strongest B't of the Empire, and the disgruntled B't awakens. Faced with unanswered questions and imminent destruction, X reluctantly saves Teppei, and the pair flee the Area with soldiers of the Empire in hot pursuit.
Meanwhile, inside the Area, Kotarō discovers that he has been summoned by another of the Empire's soldiers, Major Aramis, to find a way to stop the ultimate B't - a creation known as Raffaello (ラファエロ) that has begun a terrifying and uncontrollable evolution.
Teppei's main goal is to save his brother, but as he and X venture further into the Area and learn more about the Machine Empire they start to fight for the survival of the human race. On the way to the center of the Empire they gain allies that help them prevail over the guardians of the empire.
The ultimate B't eventually finalizes its evolution and the Machine Emperor appears. Before the emperor can fuse with Raffaello, Teppei and his allies confront him.
|Name||B't and B't species||Description||Voice Actor (Japanese)|
|Teppei Takamiya (高宮鉄兵 Takamiya Teppei)||X (エックス Ekkusu) (kirin)||Main character||Nobuyuki Hiyama|
|Kotaro Takamiya (高宮鋼太郎 Takamiya Kōtarō)||n/a||Scientist. Older brother of Teppei||Nozomu Sasaki|
|Karen (華蓮)||Shadow X (シャドーエックス Shadō Ekkusu) (twin to X, female kirin)||Spirit Knight of the West. Trained and taught Teppei any knowledge regarding combat skills, and technologies||Megumi Ogata|
|Fou Lafine (鳳ラフィーネ Fou Rafīne)||Je T'aime (ジュテーム Jutēmu) (phoenix/suzaku)||Spirit Knight of the South. An ordained priest whose base of operations is a small church near the Machine Empire's capital.||Kazuya Ichijou|
|Ron (ロン) (from Chinese 龍 Lóng "dragon")||Raidou (雷童, Thunder Child) (Chinese dragon/seiryuu)||Spirit Knight of the East. Childhood friend of Aramis||Keiji Fujiwara|
|Hokuto (北斗)||Max (マックス Makkusu) (turtle/genbu)||Spirit Knight of the North. Known as "Master Doc" for his principle of repairing any injured human or mecha he comes across||Osamu Sakuda|
|Metalface (メタルフェイス Metarufeisu)||Madonna (マドンナ) (triceratops)||A lieutenant to the Machine Empire and an almost persistent annoyance in Teppei's way. Old friend of Karen.||Kenyû Horiuchi|
|Captain Hook (キャプテン・フック Kyaputen Fukku)||Groupie (グルピー Gurupī) (worm)||First point soldier that Teppei encounters|
|Camilla (カミーラ Kamīra)||Mirage (ミラージュ Mirāju) (butterfly)||Second point soldier, grows medicinal flowers for Nasha||Kappei Yamaguchi|
|Kaos (カオス Kaosu, Chaos)||Lamu (ラムウ Ramuu) (Japanese rhinoceros beetle)||Third point soldier, an old veteran and was once one of the four Spirit Knights.||Osamu Kobayashi|
|Death (死神 Shinigami), Aleph (アレフ Arefu)||name unknown (bat)||Fourth point soldier, perceived as a Shinigami (Death God)|
|Vem (ベム Bemu)||Cancer (キャンス Kyansu) (crab)||Fifth point soldier, was easily crushed||Hideyuki Umezu|
|Rai||Falcon (ファルコン Farukon) (falcon)||Member of the Dark Knights||Sho Hayami|
|Leon||Falcon (falcon)||Member of the Dark Knights|
|Miru||Falcon (falcon)||Leader of the Dark Knights||Takehito Koyasu|
|Balzac (バルザック Baruzakku)||Savannah (サバンナ Sabanna) (myrmekoleon/mermecolion, a mythical depiction of the antlion)||Sixth point soldier|
|Lycaon Troops (リュカオン部隊 Ryukaon Butai)||Lycaon class B'ts (winged panthers)||Generic army troops of the Machine Empire|
|Imperial Spies||Spy class B'ts (black crows)||Imperial spies and executes traitors|
|Juggler (ジャグラー Jagurā)||Vanilla Fudge (バニラファッジ Banira Fadji) (harpy)||Took over the role of Commander Aramis when it was clear that she was a traitor to the Machine Empire||Issei Futamata|
|Myslim (ミスリム Misurimu)||Lalaynya (ラレーニャ Rarēnya) (hydra)||Capable of regenerating lost limbs, member of the 7 Evil Knights||Jūrōta Kosugi|
|Meimu (冥夢 Meimu)||Halloween (ハロウィン Harowin) (baku)||Uses nightmare manipulation as a weapon, secretly Hokuto's elder brother Subaru. Also a member of the 7 Evil Knights||Shinichiro Miki|
|Quattro (クアトロ Kuatoro)||Loreso (ロレッソ Roresso) (griffin)||An old friend and Acquaintance of Fou, who he blames for the death of his sister Lily. Also a member of the 7 Evil Knights||Toshihiko Seki|
|Salome (サロメ Sarome)||Halcyon (ハルシオン Harushion) (unicorn)||She uses music as hypnotic, and is one of the machine empire because she lost faith in humanity. Also a member of 7 Evil Knights|
|Sapphire (サファイヤ Safaiya)||Eroica (エロイカ Eroika) (basilisk)||He adores gems and uses Eroica's abilities to turn people into crystals. a member of the 7 Evil Knights|
|Dr. Poe (ドクトル・ポー Dokutoru Pō)||Cadenza (カデンツァ Kadentsa) (chimera)||He was Hokuto's rival in the academy, and is one of the 7 Evil Knights|
|Gai (凱)||Shendu (神鷲 Shendyu) (from Chinese Shénjiù "divine eagle") (garuda)||The philosopher of the Empire, and a member of the 7 Evil Knights|
|Aramis (アラミス Aramisu)||Rosemary (ローズマリー Rōzumarī) (wasp)||Commander of the Area. Disguised herself as a man and was later revealed that she was the legendary warrior who never lost a battle before the time of the Four Knights, the Rose Knight||Atsuko Yuya|
|Nasha (ナーシャ Nāsha)||Theta (シータ Shīta) (dog)||Representative of the Emperor. Misha's younger sister||Kyôko Hikami|
|Misha (ミーシャ Mīsha)||Zeta (ゼータ Zēta) (dog)||Representative of the Emperor, appears to be the second in command||Ai Orikasa|
|Marcello (マルチェロ Maruchero)||n/a||Underhell warden, he wields an electric whip||Naoki Tatsuta|
|Amigo (アミーゴ Amīgo)||n/a||Marcello's massive assistant, he assists Kotaro in his escape||Shinpachi Tsuji|
|Raphael (ラファエロ Rafaero, Raffaello)||n/a||Ultimate B't, created to grow by absorbing other life forms|
|Lisa Marie (リサ・マリア・シュタイン Risa Maria Shutain, Lisa Maria Stein)||n/a||A fellow scientist prisoner that helped Kotaro Takamiya solve the formula on how to defeat Raphael||Yumi Touma|
|Karin (華梨)||A Lycaon class B't||A Warrant Officer of the Machine Empire, and very close to Fou. She is later revealed to be Karen's sister, who lost her memory when attacked by Raffaello||Chisa Yokoyama|
It was serialized in Shōnen Ace from 1994 to 2000, with the 63 individual chapters published into 16 tankōbon volumes by Kadokawa Shoten. An anime adaptation containing 25 episodes was aired in Japan between April and September 1996, this series adapts the first six tankōbon volumes of the manga. A second season containing 14 episodes and called B't X Neo (ビート・エックス・ネオ Bīto Ekkusu Neo) was aired between August and November 1997, this season adapts some chapters of the manga but has a derivative storyline and an alternate ending.
The manga was released in North America by Tokyopop. When B't X was released in America by Tokyopop, all of the sound effects in the manga were printed in Japanese, just as in the original version and in most other Tokyopop Manga, with the addition of English captions.
The anime adaptation was licensed in North America by Illumitoon Entertainment in 2006 and published on DVD via Westlake Entertainment. Two dual-audio DVDs got released by them, covering the first eight episodes, before being cancelled. The first 14 episodes, the only ones to be dubbed, were available on-demand via the Anime Network. In 2016, the anime was relicensed by Anime Midstream, and will be released on DVD with both English subtitles and dubbing.
|No.||Japanese release date||Japanese ISBN||English release date||English ISBN|
|01||March 1995||ISBN 4047131024||6 January 2004||ISBN 159182639X|
|02||July 1995||ISBN 4047131091||2 March 2004||ISBN 1591826403|
|03||November 1995||ISBN 4047131210||4 May 2004||ISBN 1591826411|
|04||March 1996||ISBN 4047131318||13 July 2004||ISBN 159182642X|
|05||June 1996||ISBN 4047131431||14 September 2004||ISBN 1591826438|
|06||October 1996||ISBN 4047131660||9 November 2004||ISBN 1591826446|
|07||April 1997||ISBN 4047131776||11 January 2005||ISBN 1595323775|
|08||August 1997||ISBN 4047131938||8 March 2005||ISBN 1595323783|
|09||November 1997||ISBN 4047132012||7 June 2005||ISBN 1595323791|
|10||March 1998||ISBN 404713211X||10 January 2006||ISBN 1595323805|
|11||June 1998||ISBN 404713225X||3 July 2006||ISBN 1595323813|
|12||October 1998||ISBN 4047132381||9 January 2007||ISBN 1595323821|
|13||February 1999||ISBN 4047132691||3 July 2007||ISBN 159532383X|
|14||June 1999||ISBN 4047132845||2 January 2008||ISBN 1595323848|
|15||October 1999||ISBN 4047133027||7 July 2008||ISBN 1595323856|
|16||February 2000||ISBN 4047133264||30 November 2010||ISBN 1595323864|
The series was also republished by Home-sha, a Shueisha company, in an edition of more than 300-pages per volume.
- Home-sha (Home-sha manga bunko) (2002)
|#||Japanese release date||Japanese ISBN|
Originally licensed by Texas based anime licensing company Illumitoon Entertainment, the license was eventually transferred to Anime Midstream after Illumitoon went defunct. Anime Midstream announced on August 14, 2016 during their panel at the AnimeFest convention in Dallas, that they will redistribute the whole series with the Japanese language track, subtitles, and an English dub.
Season 1 (1996)
|#||Title||Episode Director||Screenwriter||Original air date|
|01||"Miracle! The Revival of B't X!"
"kiseki! fukkatsu no B'T X (bīto ekkusu)" (奇蹟! 復活のB'T X(ビート・エックス))
|Mamoru Hamatsu||Sukehiro Tomita||6 April 1996|
|02||"Rebirth! The Sun Battler"
"tanjō! taiyō no senshi (batorā)" (誕生! 太陽の戦士(バトラー))
|Hitoyuki Matsui||Sukehiro Tomita||13 April 1996|
|03||"Confrontation! The Machine Empire"
"taiketsu! kikai kōkoku no yabō" (対決! 機械皇国の野望)
|Kiyotaka Itani||Sukehiro Tomita||20 April 1996|
|04||"Appearance! The Legendary Spirit Knight"
"tōjō ! densetsu no shirei shō" (登場! 伝説の四霊将)
|Kiyoshi Fukumoto||Yasushi Hirano||27 April 1996|
|05||"Departure! Desperate Battle Road"
"shuppatsu (tabidachi)! kesshi no kyūshutsusakusen (batoru rōdo)" (出発(たびだち)! 決死の救出作戦(バトルロード))
|Yukio Takahashi||Yoshiyuki Suga||4 May 1996|
|06||"Fear! The Watch Man, Pirate in the Desert!"
"kyōfu! sabaku no pairētsu" (恐怖! 砂漠のパイレーツ)
|Atsushi Yano||Yasushi Hirano||11 May 1996|
|07||"Frightening! The Mystery of the Machine Emperor!"
"kyōgaku! kikai kōtei no nazo" (驚愕! 機械皇帝の謎)
|Yukio Okazaki||Yoshiyuki Suga||18 May 1996|
|08||"Magnificent! The Dazzling Solder, Camilla!"
"karei! genwaku senshi kamīra" (華麗! 幻惑戦士カミーラ)
|Kiyoshi Fukumoto||Yoshiyuki Suga||25 May 1996|
|09||"Fear! Evil Flower!"
"kyōi! ebiru furawā" (驚異! エビル・フラワー)
|Yoshihiro Oda||Yoshiyuki Suga||1 June 1996|
|10||"Chase! Metal Face Counterattacks!"
"hakugeki! metarufeisu no gyakushū" (迫撃! メタルフェイスの逆襲)
|Kiyoshi Fukumoto||Yasushi Hirano||8 June 1996|
|11||"Invincible! Spirit General of the East, Ron"
"muteki! higashi no reishō ron" (無敵! 東の霊将ロン)
|Kiyotaka Itani||Nobuaki Kishima||15 June 1996|
|12||"Formidable Enemy! The Warrior, Kaos"
"kyōteki! takeshi shō kaosu" (強敵! 猛将カオス)
|Hitoyuki Matsui||Yoshiyuki Suga||22 June 1996|
|13||"Buddy! The Bond of a Passionate Soul"
"aibō! (badei) atsuki kokoro no kizuna" (相棒!(バディ)熱き心の絆)
|Koitaro Aozame||Yoshiyuki Suga||29 June 1996|
|14||"Tragic! Maria Who Lives in the Graveyard"
"higeki! hakaba no shōjo maria" (悲劇! 墓場の少女マリア)
|Yukio Takahashi||Ryo Katsuragi||6 July 1996|
|15||"Blast! Message to the Reaper"
"sakuretsu! shinigami e no ichigeki" (炸裂! 死神への一撃)
|Yoshihiro Oda||Ryo Katsuragi||13 July 1996|
|16||"Revived! The Prism of Aura"
"fukkatsu! goshiki no rinkō" (復活! 五色の燐光)
|Kiyoshi Fukumoto||Nobuaki Kishima||20 July 1996|
|17||"Appear! Shadow X!"
"shutsugen ! kuroi ekkusu" (出現! 黒いエックス)
|Kiyotaka Itani||Yoshiyuki Suga||27 July 1996|
|18||"The Dark! Fear of the Underhell"
"ankoku! andāheru no kyōfu" (暗黒!アンダーヘルの恐怖)
|Atsushi Yano||Nobuaki Kishima||3 August 1996|
|19||"Desperate! X's Death"
"kesshi! ekkusu no saigo" (決死! エックスの最後)
|Ryo Yasumura||Yoshiyuki Suga||10 August 1996|
|20||"Life! Break Heart"
"seimei! (inochi) bureiku hāto" (生命!(いのち)ブレイク・ハート)
|Yukio Takahashi||Nobuaki Kishima||17 August 1996|
|21||"Reborn! The Neo B't X"
"Shinsei! B'T ekkusu tanjō" (新生! B'Tエックス誕生)
|Kiyoshi Fukumoto||Nobuaki Kishima||24 August 1996|
|22||"The Worst! The Area's Seven Evil Knights"
"saikyō! eria no shichi mashō" (最凶! エリアの七魔将)
|Kiyotaka Itani||Sukehiro Tomita||31 August 1996|
|23||"Flash of Light! Shining Knuckle"
"senkō! shainingu nakkuru" (閃光! シャイニング・ナックル)
|Atsushi Yano||Nobuaki Kishima||7 September 1996|
|24||"Burn! A Piece of the Sun"
"enjō! taiyō no kakera" (炎上! 太陽のかけら)
|Hitoyuki Matsui||Nobuaki Kishima||14 September 1996|
|25||"Overthrow! B'T Raphael"
"datō! B'T rafaero" (打倒! B'Tラファエロ)
|Mamoru Hamatsu||Sukehiro Tomita||21 September 1996|
Season 2 (1997)
|#||Title||Original release date|
|01||"The Four Knights vs. The Evil Knights"
"reishō vs mashō" (霊将VS魔将)
|21 August 1997|
|02||"The Land of Love and Hate"
"ai to nikushimi no chi!" (愛と憎しみの地!)
|28 August 1997|
|03||"Burning Red Flame!"
"guren no honō" (紅蓮の炎)
|4 September 1997|
|04||"Miracles of the Blood"
"buraddo no kiseki!" (ブラッドの奇跡!)
|11 September 1997|
|05||"Fear of the Illusions"
"mugen no kyōfu!" (夢幻の恐怖!)
|18 September 1997|
|06||"A Streak of Light"
"ichijō no hikari!" (一条の光!)
|25 September 1997|
|07||"Mehr Licht (more light)"
"mēru rihito! (motto hikari o)" (メール リヒト!(もっと光を))
|2 October 1997|
|08||"Confessions of a Mask"
"kamen no kokuhaku!" (仮面の告白!)
|9 October 1997|
"chi no kizuna" (血の絆)
|16 October 1997|
|10||"The Lair of the Beast"
"akuma no hōkō" (悪魔の咆哮)
|23 October 1997|
|11||"Search for a Lost Era!"
"ushinawareta kako o motome te!" (失われた過去を求めて!)
|30 October 1997|
|12||"One for All"
(ONE FOR ALL!)
|6 November 1997|
|13||"Memories of the Future!"
"mirai no kioku!" (未来の記憶!)
|13 November 1997|
|14||"A Piece of the Sun!"
(A PIECE OF THE SUN!)
|20 November 1997|
Chris Beveridge of Mania.com reviewed the first DVD volume of the anime series by Illumitoon Entertainment and gave the volume a "C" grade citing that "due to age there isn't a lot to expect" in regards to both audio and visual quality. Beveridge continued to praise the story but also said that it was sometimes confusing. Ilumitoon's decision to use their dubbed script as subtitles for the Japanese audio was heavily criticized as they did not match up.
Two toy-lines were produced by Takara in conjunction with the broadcast of the series. The first series consisted of 5 models of four of the main Bt's, and where marketed with the term "Solid Scan". Each Bt had removable armor and an accompanying figure to ride them. A wield-able "Messiah Fist" was also produced with sound-effects and light-up features. The second toyline was produced as action figures and included 14 Bt's with an accompanying smaller figure. 8 non-articulated figures were also released of several main characters under the term "Donor".
- "New B'tX music being recorded". Kurumadapro.com. 3 May 2012. Retrieved 25 August 2016.
- "ILLUMITOON LICENSES THIRD ANIME". Icv2.com. 18 September 2006. Retrieved 25 August 2016.
- "Anime Midstream Licenses B't X TV Anime Series". AnimeNewsNetwork.com. 19 August 2016. Retrieved 25 August 2016.
- Beveridge, Chris (24 May 2007). "Beat BtX Vol. #01". Mania. Demand Media. Archived from the original on 5 December 2008.
- "Anime Midstream Acquires 'B't X' Anime License". The Fandom Post. 2016-08-19. Retrieved 2016-12-10.
- "Anime Midstream Licenses B't X TV Anime Series". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2016-12-10.
- "Official Bt'X Pachinko website". Pachinkovista.com. 16 April 2013. Retrieved 26 August 2016.