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Beastars (Japanese: ビースターズ, often stylized as BEASTARS) is a Japanese television series and the anime adaptation of the 2016 manga of the same name. The anime adaptation, with animation provided by Studio Orange, premiered on October 8, 2019 early on Fuji TV's +Ultra programming block, followed by premiered on Netflix globally on March 13th, 2020.
In a world populated by anthropomorphic animals, herbivores and carnivores coexist with each other. For the adolescences of Cherryton Academy, school life is filled with hope, romance, distrust, and uneasiness.
Legoshi, a member of the drama club, despite his menacing appearance, has a very gentle heart. Throughout most of his life, he has always been an object of fear and hatred by other animals, and he's been quite accustomed to that lifestyle. But soon, he finds himself becoming more involved with his fellow classmates who have their own share of insecurities and finds his life flip upside down once a small white dwarf rabbit enters his life.
Why It Rocks
- The series's vibrant cell-shaded 3D CG, provided by Japanese animation studio Studio Orange, is a cut above the rest, giving the revisualized setting a more cinematic, grounded depth that traditional hand-drawn cannot, and proving that CGI anime can work if executed properly.
- The series's aggressive narrative of romance, social divides, high school drama, and crime never feels boring and smartly focused on its central characters while fleshing out the world they live in.
- Legosi is an excellent protagonist through and through. His struggle to deal with his overcontrolling primal instincts and act rather timid despite being a gray wolf was the strongest aspect of the story.
- The rest of the characters, particularly Haru, Louis, and Gouhin, are very well written and always took the more challenging route rather than succumb to narrative cliches.
- This series portrays beautiful and fascinating themes of love and friendship but also themes like life expectancy, jealousy and greediness, all in a world full of animals.
- The characters grow in this show, some faster than others, some move around a whole spectrum while all of the characters in this show seem to be struggling in some way with something. No one is perfect even if some want to be or act like they are.
- Topics such as social classes, racism, bullying, vegetarianism and the consumption of meat, or the relationship between victims and victimizers... All these are carefully discussed.
- The opening. The distinctly surreal, pseudo-music video opening, set to Japanese rock band ALI's avant-garde, bouncy, incredibly jazzy, "Wild Side" and beautifully animated in intently stilted Rankin-Bass-esque stop-motion animation, is a visual and musical treat that does more than captivate a sceptical audience.
- Not to be outdone, Season 2's opening, "Kaibutsu" by J-Pop duo YOASOBI, is awesome on its own and so is its music video and single cover.
- Absolutely stunning sound design. From various sound effects to its fittingly killer jazzy soundtrack to its voice acting, which also includes the English and Spanish dubs.
- "Please don't turn this into a scene, Louis darling"
- Some elements can be too similar to Disney's Zootopia at times, such as the society with anthropomorphic mammals (even though this show is not a rip off of Zootopia).
- Despite the show's near-identical faithfulness to the manga, it cuts some missing elements from the manga during its translation to anime and has yet to feature characters featured in later arcs like Kyuu.
- Mizuchi is just a generic "mean popular girl" and bully of Haru who never gets punished and just thinks that her species are endangered and is never seen again (just last seen being frightened by Legosi on the back on to Haru).
- The show admittedly can make some viewers uncomfortable more than a few times as it intentionally does weave a handful of taboo adult topics with an anthropomorphic teen anime.
- The 3D animation, while dynamic and well-made, can be inconsistent at times as some shots and whole scenes had a few awkward character movements that were too wooden or static.
- Furthermore, the animation may seem disgusting and nauseating to some
- The preferred choice of animation also costed a traditionally-animated series drawn in manga author Paru Itagaki's crisp, quirky unforgettable art style.
Beastars received critical acclaim from critics, anime fans and audience alike. It currently holds a 7.8/10 on IMDb, 7.9/10 on MyAnimeList and a 94% on Rotten tomatoes.
- Series protagonist Legoshi is named after American actor Bela Lugosi, who was the original werewolf in The Wolf Man (1941).