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 in the US 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' 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.
- The series' 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 music treat that does more than captivate a skeptical audience.
- 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.
- Despite the show's near identical faithfulness to the manga, it cut some missing elements from the manga during its translation to anime.
- 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 a 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.
- The preferred choice of animation also costed a traditionally-animated series drawn in manga author Paru Itagaki's crisp, quirky unforgettable art style.
- Due to the series' being released exclusively on Netflix, which is already packed to the bloated brim with entertainment content, it receives very little marketing and creates a ever expanding gap of wait-time between manga readers and exclusive anime watchers.
- The story and writing can be boring, despite the show featuring no humans at all.
Beastars was critically praised by fans and critics, due to its animation and the storyline, currently holding 7.9/10 on IMDB.
- Series protagonist Legoshi is named after American actor Bela Lugosi, who was the original werewolf in The Wolf Man (1941).