|Overall||Art||Animation||Character Design||Music||Series Story||Episode Story||Reviewer|
Beastars depicts a world where carnivore and herbivore animals in human form live together within a society with both sides feeling uneasy tension with one another due to their hunter and prey respective natures. A teen wolf named Legosi has a sensitive personality and tries to resist his predatory instincts to make his herbivore classmates more accepting of him. However, his attempts at this become complicated when he develops a complicated relationship with a third-year rabbit student named Haru.|
Beastars offers up a unique premise for an anime in that it explores a society with herbivores and carnivores attempting to co-exist within a civilized society and on the surface, carnivores are required by law to keep their predatory instincts in check. This results in animals of both sides having some uneasy tensions with one another due to their opposing natures. Carnivores still have dominant influence within this society as such where those in authority roles will turn a blind eye toward those who commit predatory behavior. Meanwhile, herbivores feel uneasy with the mingling of carnivores around them since they fear being prey to any of them and being powerless to stop such a threat due to carnivores still being dominant in influence within their society.
These societal dynamics between animals who are naturally predator and prey are shown to affect several of the major characters throughout Beastars' run in varying ways. Legosi is the main focus in exploring these dynamics as he finds himself developing an attraction to Haru and questions if this attraction is due to a genuine romantic interest in her or his predatory instincts desiring her as prey to feast on. Other characters such as Haru being sexually active as a means of empowerment and Louis the deer feeling pressured to assert dominance as a popular student in the school due to being a herbivore offer solid exploration of how the predator and prey character dynamics affect them. The series does have a bit of an open ending as the fate of one character is left unclear and things with Haru and Legosi's developing relationship are still uncertain. But with a second season of Beastars confirmed to be in development, this issue is actually a minor one.
Visually, Beastars makes use of a mix of 2D and CG-animated visual style in depicting the various characters and settings seen throughout the series. While implementing CG animation has had its rough elements with depicting human-like characters in a number of past anime, Beastars manages to do a mostly great job with rendering the unique physical features and details of the various animals that make up its world and their movements come off looking convincingly fluid and lifelike. There were some instances I noticed where the lifelike effect of the CG animation seems dodgy with its rendering in some up-close camera shots of the characters. But for the most part, the effect comes off looking convincing in how the characters are visually portrayed throughout the series.
Overall, Beastars easily made for one of my favorite anime I had the pleasure of seeing throughout its 12-episode run thanks to the unique premise it offers up with its animal-focused society and impressive visuals in depicting the various animal characters in human form. I'd strongly recommend checking the series out at least once with what it has to offer up.
Last updated Saturday, December 28 2019. Created Saturday, December 28 2019.
(All episodes watched):|
Based on nothing more than the title, I had expected this to be a silly, childrens' level anime, but it is in fact a neat, clever, sophisticated and adult show. It seems to be a clever allegory that uses animals to act out a tale of human weaknesses--greed, jealousy, aggression, selfishness, etc. Someone has been murdered--'devoured' is how it is phrased--and fear and suspicion run wild, whether deserved or not. It's not even clear just how good a person the main character is, though I'm confident he won't do anything horrific. After I finished watching episode one, the thought occurred to me 'that was pretty cool!'.
Legosi is himself tempted to devour Haru, a female rabbit, and barely manages to avoid doing so. A strange romance develops between the two of them, with her having some sort of amnesia about what happened and him secretly feeling guilty about what he almost did. He's a troubled hero, usually shy and submissive (though he can lose his temper), which is to say a complex and interesting one. Meanwhile, the popular and arrogant Louis (an elk) mercilessly drives the drama club (which Legosi is a minor member of) onwards. The various interconnecting plots make a good deal of sense and are easily believable, which would have been difficult to achieve even if each character wasn't an animal. You don't see stuff of this quality everyday. The show paradoxically delves into human psychology (more than most shows with human characters do), with stuff like Louis' contempt for people who don't add up to the same demanding standard that he expects himself to meet. It couldn't have been easy to write this. The temptation for predators to devour prey is used as an allegory for sins like drug abuse or domestic violence. Legosi finds himself in a bizarre illegal meat market that he had never dreamed existed. He also finds that he has a competitor for the affection of Haru, plus a more conventional girlfriend that he never really wanted. The characters in this show are more dynamic and convincing than many in shows with human ones.
I had sort of drawn the conclusion that the way predators and prey are able to live side-by-side in a civilized manner was because 'devourings' were few and far between--like murders in our own society. But episode nine gave me the impression that they were actually pretty common, what with Louis' dark childhood and Haru's kidnapping. In a way, this threatened to upset my ability to suspend disbelief and take the show seriously, which, needless to say, was not good. Things get a good deal more violent and what had seemed a perfectly believable story about romance on a high school campus goes off on a different track. Still, the climax worked fairly well. I was confused by what happened in the hotel after the big fight; at first I thought Legosi had tried to devour Haru again (which would have been heartbreaking), but apparently she tried to get eaten, which doesn't make much sense. I wasn't expecting the announcement of an upcoming second season, since the story seemed fairly complete at the end of episode twelve. 'Fairly complete' because Legosi and Haru haven't committed to one another as of yet. Where will the story go from here, now that this world has been revealed to be far more dangerous than it had originally seemed? To a certain extent I wish the story had come to a conclusion, but I will no doubt be watching season two when it arrives.
(Apparently a 'Beastar' is someone who becomes a celebrity at an important festival)
Last updated Thursday, January 02 2020. Created Friday, October 25 2019.
|Official Japanese Series Web Site||https://bst-anime.com/|