Beastars – Primal Romance
One feeling that encompassed nearly every episode of this series is, “uncomfortable”, and I mean that in the best way. In this world somewhat similar to Zootopia, meaning there are no humans, the story is set in a high-school filled with a myriad amount of animals. However the similarities end there as this takes a much more personal and primal approach to these anthropomorphic characters. In the attempt to focus on the idea of animal base urges, these creatures have been the most relatable characters I’ve seen from an anime in awhile.
We start the story with intense introduction to our main protagonists, Leogshi, a Gray Wolf and Haru, a dwarf rabbit. In this world, even though carnivores like Legoshi live alongside animals that he would normally eat he’s a docile teenager. That is until he recently awoken to his primal desires, the desire to hunt. The story goes on to say that Legoshi has fallen in love with the one creature that would be an ideal prey for him. We spend the season asking ourselves how much of his feelings are love, lust or hunger.
More Human than Humans
Beastars does an amazing job of expressing the awkward and uncontrollable force of puberty. It can also be seen as the moment of when a teen is suddenly injected into adulthood. There is no warning or timer, it just happens, sometimes all hitting you at once. Legoshi is an awkward student which works perfectly with Haru, whom is assertive and disillusioned. There’s a large list of supporting characters, all adding to the world and providing their own depth. We see how carnivores feel about the world they live in, and how herbivores have adjusted to living with their would-be predators.
Worthy of a Bite
Lastly, the presentation was well done both artistically and musically. Most of the weight lifting comes from the animators’ creating effective body language. Examples like Legoshi’s hunching that compliments his personality or Louis'(the deer) stern posture and glare that goes perfectly with his large eyes. The music is usually standard but the opening and crucial beats in the story are well scored. If you’re interested a very real, oddly human story and can overlook anthropomorphic romance, you will find Beastars something worth sinking your teeth in.