Beastars

Released: March 13th 2020 (English dubbed)
Where’s it showing: Netflix
Seasons/Episodes: 1 season, 12 episodes
Genre: Anime
Series Directed by: Shinichi Matsumi
Based on: On-going Manga series (written and illustrated by Paru Itagaki)
Reviewer score: 4/5

Review:

This is a series I never truly knew of, until people recommend it to me and I noticed a lot of the artwork online, so I thought let’s see what’s this anime series is about!

On the opening title they use stop motion similar to robot chicken style but more furry of course. This anime is about animals so you can see the logic and concept of the opening title. The music is catchy, and you notice that there is a dark element through it. Then it flips, and the music is a bit jollier, and then twists again to a dark and bloody effect.. hmm, interesting is the word and that’s just the title opener.

The story is based at Cherryton High School where the young herbivores and carnivores coexist: think Disney’s Zootopia (or Zootroplis, depending where you are in the world). Things quickly change, and you know you’re not watching a Disney film. The colours change to the flash of black and reds, where you notice an alpaca student running for its life! In this scene I liked the concept of using white lines to draw the alpaca on the black darkness to indicate the fear and anxiousness of the last moments of the poor creature’s life.

After, there is speculation throughout the school, as the alpaca was from the drama club, which was the most harmonious group, where both carnivores and herbivores are alike and get along. There is a weird feeling: could it have been the lonely, grey wolf that deals with the lighting? This mystery goes on throughout the series, but you need to watch for yourself. Hey, I’m a reviewer not a spoiler 😉.

There are three main cast: Legoshi, Louis and Haru. Legoshi is the grey wolf which I previously mentioned, and his character appears to be the loner, his persona seeming to be awkward throughout the series. Still, you will get to see a deeper meaning of Legoshi’s persona. Louis is the number one person around the school, you know, the one the girls all swoon over. He is the lead actor in the drama club, the jock if it was in a film, but his species is a red deer. Haru, now you would think Haru is this cute little thing, and you guessed it a dwarf white rabbit! But there is more to her, and she gets called the slut around school, so she gets bullied.

Throughout the series you can see loads of different things addressed, e.g. like the nature/nurture debate, can carnivores be built just to eat their prey or can they stop their own instincts and be friends or even lovers. This also includes the question, does a herbivore naturally act as prey and want to be eaten, or know they need to run.

Also, as I said before this is not Disney, so there are sexual references, blood, black markets and concepts of mental health. This is what you will hear when the characters go into their own minds and use their persona speech.

Throughout the series, I liked its uniqueness, which we don’t see in other animes at the moment. It has a real depth and different concepts through its storyline. The only thing I didn’t like was the series ended quickly, but this is probably because I binged watched it!

There is more to this story, and now I want to see the next season when Netflix eventually releases it! I’m also going to read the manga to see if there is a change between that and the anime.

Review by Jessica Plumb

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