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Beastars Anime Cover

Score: 8.38/10

Beastars [DUB]

JP Title : BEASTARS

Year : 2019

Genre : Drama, Psychological, Shounen, Slice of Life

Season : Fall 2019

Status : Complete

Rating : R - 17+ (violence & profanity)

Episodes : 12/12

Duration : 22 min. per ep.

Studios : Orange

Synopsis

In a civilized society of anthropomorphic animals, an uneasy tension exists between carnivores and herbivores. At Cherryton Academy, this mutual distrust peaks after a predation incident results in the death of Tem, an alpaca in the school's drama club. Tem's friend Legoshi, a grey wolf in the stage crew, has been an object of fear and suspicion for his whole life. In the immediate aftermath of the tragedy, he continues to lay low and hide his menacing traits, much to the disapproval of Louis, a red deer and the domineering star actor of the drama club. When Louis sneaks into the auditorium to train Tem's replacement for an upcoming play, he assigns Legoshi to lookout duty. That very night, Legoshi has a fateful encounter with Haru, a white dwarf rabbit scorned by her peers. His growing feelings for Haru, complicated by his predatory instincts, force him to confront his own true nature, the circumstances surrounding the death of his friend, and the undercurrent of violence plaguing the world around him. [Written by MAL Rewrite]

“Ewww….this animation is gross.” — a naive Krunchyman

Coming into Beastars, I was a bit skeptical. That’s because I saw the 3D animation and immediately thought of Berserk 2016. Granted, the previews for Beastars were enough to convince me otherwise, but I was still leery. It’s not say that 3D aesthetics are terrible in general, but an artistic essence, if you will, seems noticeably absent — as compared to 2D aesthetics — making the 3D visuals seem a bit lifeless. Also, Japanese artists (unlike Western artists), draw 2D characters, which makes the conversion process to 3D look unnatural and wonky. Furthermore, the multitude of anime with horrendous 3D animation has soured expectations in the anime community, making a preponderance of fans jaded to the very notion.

Taking that all into consideration, I must say that Beastars far and away exceeded my expectations; as I was thoroughly impressed and astonished by its brilliant imagery. Episode 4 was the high water mark for the series, with its expressive color palette, remarkable camera angles, and phenomenal still-shots. It literally felt like someone painted a masterpiece, over, and over, and over again; stitching each stunning image into one cohesive product, that we call an episode. This, in my opinion, is the mark of a great film/series. One that leaves lasting images in the viewers memory long after the viewing experience. The shot with Louis extending his arm to Legosi — similar to Michelangelo’s, ‘The Creation of Adam’ — was simply marvelous. Also, the scenes with Haru and Legosi in the hotel bedroom featured poignant shots that expressed the emotional/sexual tension between the two. A tension that felt eerily relatable to the human condition, as each one of Legosi’s awkward advances were mired in insecurities. While there were hiccups here and there with the various character movements (the fight between Legosi and the Shishigumi boss comes to mind), it did little to diminish the dazzling visuals on screen.

That all being said, images only go so far, as a thematically rich story with well developed characters is needed to create a truly great work. Fortunately for the viewer, Beastars does just that. Starting with our main character, Legosi, he is a tortured soul that has a strong, innate urge to eat meat (which is considered taboo at school). In episode 2, we see the metaphorical demon that dwells within Legosi, and how that shapes him as a person. Because for Legosi, displaying any signs of aggression, in the presence of an herbivore, is unacceptable; thus, he represses this facet of his personality, in exchange for a timid persona that exudes little-to-no confidence. But while this calm, socially-withdrawn facade may put his fellow students at ease, it is tearing him up inside (resulting in self-loathing). Free Beastars anime watch and download.

This was highlighted in episode 4, when Legosi and Bill (the bengal tiger) put on a ‘performance’ in front of the student body. But what appeared to be acting, was really subtext for the act that carnivores put on while in the presence of herbivores at school. An act that Legosi will need to acknowledge if he is to ever break free from his self-imposed constraints. Needless to say, it will be interesting to see how Legosi confronts this dilemma, especially as his affections for Haru proliferate.

One of the other major character arcs in Beastars is that of Louis; a male deer who is the antithesis of Legosi (strong-willed, confident, and self-affirming). His dilemma, however, is not unlike Legosi’s — in which he feels insecure in his own skin — causing him to overcompensate with a brash attitude to conceal his ‘weaknesses’ as an herbivore. In this regard, Louis and Legosi are two sides of the same coin; wanting they cannot attain, but not appreciating what was given to them. They are both putting on an act that they cannot sustain, as all shows must come to an end — and after the show, comes reality.

Speaking of reality, Louis’ past reality is a tragic one. But it is worth remembering in understanding how that shapes his future self (it is also worth remembering for its stunning, visceral images). Because while it seems that Louis is always composed and in control — in truth, he is not. Louis is a slave to his perceived fragility, creating an identity crisis in which he desperately seeks power to prove himself to others. It is a quest that will, most likely, lead to self-destruction if he does not accept his limitations.

Another herbivore that seeks to transcend her limitations, is Haru. A bunny-girl that feels looked down upon (physically and emotionally) by society. This was accentuated beautifully in episode 10, when Haru chronicled her life’s story in the anticipation of impending death. But her plight for acceptance is different from Louis, as she utilizes lust to achieve ‘equality.’ A desire that provides temporary benefits, yet no lasting returns. And this self-destructive cycle not only precludes an endearing relationship, but it also tarnishes her reputation among her classmates — creating social isolation. All in all, Haru does more damage to herself via overcompensation. A theme that is pervasive in all three main characters (four, if you count Juno).

Needless to say, I was completely engrossed by the changing dynamics of Beastars, and how it utilized symbolism and subtext to emphasize its core themes. While the show featured different species of animals to underscore the hardships of carnivores and herbivores living together, it really showcased the same trials and tribulations that we face as humans. Hence, why it is crucial to watch these types of anime for proper perspective.

“The tendency to live within one’s own reality is a dangerous notion, and without proper grounding from outside influences — we can easily foster our own emotional seppuku.” — Krunchyman

This show is so fucking good. The characters are great and the story is oddly dark. There are many anime with animal characters like Aggretsuko. But none of those anime inspect the food portion of the world. What do they eat? In this universe Carnivores and Herbivores live in peace. Only problem is that carnivores crave meat but they need to eat the same food as herbivores. Sometimes their carnivore instincts take over and they eat a herbivore. They also have somewhat of a clever solution for this problem and it is THE BLACK MARKET. There you can buy meat. But it will have side effects. There are few important characters: Legosi is the main character whose life we follow. Legosi is this awkward wolf who has troubles keeping his instincts inside him. Then we have Louis. Louis is this deer and a candidate for the next Beastar. He is in the same club as Legosi. He is also the most famous student in the school. He is respected by both Herbivores and Carnivores. Then we have Haru. Haru is a rabbit and also the main love interest of this show. Haru is also rumored to be sleeping with multiple guys. Haru is a fun and sweet character. She must be protected. Gouhin is the black markets therapist. He is a panda and a badass. Jack is a golden retriever and Legosis best friend. He has known him since childhood. Jack is a good boy. The OST is fucking good. The opening is catchy as hell. The ending changes every episode which is cool. The background music is very fitting and greatly chosen for each scene. For some stupid reason when all the characters speak to each other it feels more natural than any other anime. It really does feel like they were talking and randomly the mic was still on. I have no idea what the story is supposed to be about. I think its just about becoming a Beastar. Even though its more of a battle manga right now. The main theme is still becoming a beastar but for some while it was saving haru from the shinshigumi which is a gang of lions. Many may look at this show and think oh it is a filthy furry anime but it is some much more than that. The story and characters are all good. Also some may be turned off by the cgi but in this show the animation is supreme. Orange is one rare studio that can use cgi well. Do I recommend this anime? Hell yes. It is an amazing series.

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