Posted by SuperMario on 19 October 2019 with categories: Beastars, Currently Watching:

Furry anthropomorphic animals animals are in fashion now thanks to the onslaught of countless isekai settings, but Beastars is here to offer something fresh and different. Indeed, there are many elements from Beastars that we can feel optimistic about. The manga source is penned by Paru Itagaki, which recent news reveals to be the daughter of Keisuke Itagaki, author of Grappler Baki. The manga has gained solid fan-base throughout its release and even won the Manga Taishou award (along with the greats like 3-gatsu no Lion, Chihayafuru, Umimachi Diary). In addition, all eyes and anticipation level keeps rising up into the sky when Orange, the studio that was behind THE only CG show that done right, is behind the project. On that, I actually feel that it’s a big overstatement to regard Houseki no Kuni as such, especially when it has been only 2 years –  and that comes from me, one of the biggest supporters of Houseki no Kuni. 

But that’s for another topic since we are here for Beastars, and right off the bat I can see the reason why Orange wanted to adapt this furry world in the first place. In fact, there are many similarities between Houseki no Kuni and Beastars that play as strengths with Orange’s CG aesthetic. They are all self-contained worlds about a non-human community with their own rules and social hierarchy. The non-human part is essential since the studio can achieve uncanny effect on purpose and moreover go wild with the visuals and background arts. Unlike gems world, Beastars happens (or currently happening) within a school where carnivores and herbivores live in harmony with each other… well, at least until the meat-eating animals don’t get too hungry. I certainly see the brilliance in this world settings but I can see why others don’t feel so hot about it. All we see so far in these two episodes is inside a small community of high school kids with drama club, romance and all that jazz. How that world going to be like in an entire society? Are there mixed race animals at all? We get little to no answer after these first two weeks.  

If there is one central theme of Beastars that I can draw out so far, it’s that Beastars is about how one literally has to come to terms with his own primal instinct. Come into the forefront is Legosi, a grey wolf who is at odds of himself, and so far the other two key members: Louis the red deer and Haru the rabbit, constantly put him into two extremes. As Legosi is a naturally nice guy, he’s continuously aware of his own “predator” status. Act meeks to avoid drawing unnecessary attention, pretends to lose on a fistfight against the herbivores…. In a way he tries his best to suppress his own nature in order to fit in with everyone. No one but Louis sees through that and that is one of the reasons the Star of the school takes a liking to him. On the other hand, his impulse reactions towards Haru is a stark reminder for Legosi that he’s still nothing but a meat-eater. The stake here is that even though Haru manages to run away from being swallowed, the deed has been done and for Legosi, there’s no turning back from there. 

It certainly adds up that both Louis and Haru are more complex than they let themselves on. Louis can be a bully at times, but then you can see how he tries hard, a bit too hard, for the sake of drama play and the Beastars dream. Or Haru, an outcast who both frustrates and partly accepts the fact that other characters see her as fragile. And it’s tragic to see how she gets more comfortable being alone and how she uses sex as a mean to connect to other people. If I have one word to describe all the characters’ state of mind, that’d surely be “struggling”. And that leads to my favorite plot development of Beastars, how Legosi is strangely drawn into that lonely rabbit, whom nearly get eaten by him. There’s no clear way to know if it’s romantic interest, or just physical attraction (in a purist sense) that Legosi feels for her right now, and I bet he doesn’t know either. And that’s for me is the strange beauty of this little beast.

What’s to say: I freaking love the OP song and its stop motion animation.

What’s not to say: is it necessary for a white rabbit to wear underwear at all? I mean… what’s the point? But I’m at risk at being called ‘racist’ (or sexist?) so I’m gonna stop right here.

2 Responses

  1. Avatar evafan says:

    Houseki anime is 2 years old ?!!!! What? Did a year go by without me realizing?

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