Beastars

This image is official promotional artwork for Beastars.  According to Beastar’s official website under the article name TVアニメ「BEASTARS ビースターズ」‘Credit.’, BEASTARS Production Committee explains that “the rights for this image as well as Beastars belongs to Tomoe Itagaki and Orange Co., Ltd.” (1)  These individuals are the ones responsible for the creation of Beastars.  Originally, this image is on Beastar’s official Twitter page.  Follow this link to see the full tweet.

Minor Spoiler Warning For This Review

Greetings fellow Geek Street Society members.  I hope you’re all doing well during these uncertain times.  I want to put this little warning in before the start of this review.  While I don’t go into major spoilers, I do go into some minor ones.  As such, I want to give this minor spoiler warning.  If spoiler warnings make you uncomfortable, fill free to go watch the season first on Netflix. Then come back to this review. If minor spoilers don’t bother you, then fill free to read on.  I just want to put this little warning before the start of this review.  Thank you for your time and enjoy the review.

In This Current Age, Slice of Life Animes are a Good Thing to Turn to

Within the anime industry, there are so many genres to choose from.  Audiences can find anything from adventure to romance.  Every anime watcher is going to have a favorite genre.  One of the more popular genres is the Slice of Life animes.  For those who are unaware, Slice of Life animes take place in everyday life.  Personally, when I watch anime, one of the first genres I look at is Slice of Life.  There’s something about this genre that is incredibly relatable.  Since most of these main characters are everyday people.  Not ones with superpowers or ones who have to go off on a mission.  Typical Slice of Life animes are laid back, have comedy in them, and are similar to our lives.  They’re a fun way to get lost in another world.  Especially with everything that has been happening with COVID-19.

Now more than ever, Slice of Life animes are a huge picking with audiences.  Recently, there’s been an anime that has made its way to Netflix.  This anime’s name is BeastarsBeastars follows a teenage gray wolf name Legosi who has fallen for a rabbit name Haru.  While this may seem like a typical romance anime, there’s a lot of complications.  Especially the tension between the herbivores and carnivores.  Within a matter of time, this anime has become one of the most popular anime on Netflix.  That is a hard number to beat since Netflix has a wide range of different anime.  Why does this anime resonate with so many people? Is it possible that Beastars shows the realistic struggles of love? Let’s find out together. In this review, we’ll be analyzing how the first season of Beastars shows the struggles of love through the story, characters, animation, and music.

Beastars Story is a Character-Driven, Well-Thought Out Story

One of the things that this anime does incredibly well is the story.  Basically, a teenage gray wolf name Legosi begins to have feels for a rabbit name Haru.  However, there are a lot more complications considering the world they’re living in.  Essentially, there’s a huge divide between herbivores and carnivores.  Especially since one of the herbivore students is murdered in the school.  The story in this anime is incredibly compelling.  The way that Beastars establishes the story of Legosi and Haru flows incredibly well.  Without a doubt, this anime is a character-driven story.  Which means that the story flows around the characters.  Each episode makes the audience wanting to know more and what’s going to happen.  The audience gets to see the struggles that both Haru, as well as Legosi, are going through.  Not only this, but the audience gets to see the other character’s struggles as well.

Typically, in a slice of life anime, the main focus is on the main love interests.  However, Beastars focuses on a lot of characters.  Which we will be discussing the significance of the characters later in this review.  Anyways, the story in this anime is definitely the age-old term of show don’t tell.  As the story progresses, the audience learns more about why the characters are the way they are.  This shows why a relationship between an herbivore and carnivore would be incredibly difficult.  Do bear in mind that the story is a little slow in the beginning. This tactic in storytelling isn’t that bad since the audience gets to learn more about the world and characters. Which is defiantly in need of with this universe. Previously, I said that Beastars is a character-driven story.  The characters in this anime help shine the tension within this world.

The Characters Within Beastars are Three Dimensional Yet Realistic

Without a doubt, Beastars has some of the most three dimensional yet realistic characters I’ve seen in an anime.  The audience gets to learn a little bit about each character in the beginning.  Then, more of the character’s back story reveals itself.  One of the things that is so appealing to Beastars is how realistic they are.  While this anime has romance, Beastars isn’t afraid to be realistic.  For instance, Legosi is a gray wolf, he has a hard time keeping his primal form down.  As a result, Legosi doesn’t show any aggression and even makes friends with herbivores.  Some of the other students call him weird because of the fact he doesn’t act on his instincts.  Then the complications come barreling in when Legosi has feelings for Haru who is a rabbit.  Without going into spoilers, each of the characters go through their own character arc in this season.

So much so to the point that the audience can visibly feel the tension of what is happening in this universe.  Honestly, that is where Beastars shines incredibly well.  The audience gets to learn along with the characters about the world they live in.  While Legosi has his own issues, so too does Haru.  Being a rabbit, she’s a prey.  So, she has her own struggles that the anime fully expresses.  All of these experiences brings the audiences in even more when we get to live the experiences as the characters are.  Another way that Beastars shows the internal, as well as external struggles of love, is in the animation.

Beastars Offers a Wide Range of Animations to Tell Its Story

There’s a huge amount of different animation types in Beastars.  This anime switches between 3D, watercolor, pencil stretch, 2D, and stop motion. With so many animation styles, some may be skeptical about watching this anime. That the sudden changes may be too jarring from one style to the next.  Ironically enough, the opening is a stop motion animation style.  However, with all of the different styles of animation, the story is told through the animation.  If anything, the animation assists with expressing the emotion of the characters.  For instance, there’s a beautiful yet heartbreaking moment that happens to Haru.  Rest assure, there’s not going to be any major spoilers.  With that said, I feel it’s important to talk about it.  Haru has her own struggles and hardships.  As such, she has an inner monologue moment that the animation reflects.  In fact, the animation changes three different times.

This scene jumps from watercolor, to 2D animation, and then transitions into 3D animation.  The way animation transitions shows how Haru is struggling with love.  In fact, several moments within Beastars shows the struggles of love.  Which is shown dynamically through the animation.  There are several times when the animation does a cross-screen.  Which means that there’s a line between the characters to show two or multiple characters.  Additionally, there’s a lot of instances with Legosi where the shot is on his face but shows the scene going on in his head.  So, we’re seeing what Legoshi is seeing while hearing his inner monologue.  The technique that Beastars has creates a dynamic in the story. So that the audience can see the struggles that each character is going through.  Much like the animation, the music in Beastars shows the struggles of characters.

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Unlike A Lot of Anime, Beastars Uses Various Music Genres

Undoubtedly, Beastars has a range of music.  This anime has everything from pianos to jazz.  In fact, this anime has a ton of references to the jazz genre.  Look at the opening for Beastars.  Instead of a rock action pack Japanese song, the opening is a jazz song.  In a similar note to anime, Cowboy Bebop. The opening sets the mood for the series.  Especially since it’s focuses on both Haru and Legosi.  Which shows again their battle with predator vs. pray and the struggles of love.  While the opening helps a lot with the overlying theme, the music in this anime significantly helps the anime out.  Without a doubt, this anime has some of the most interesting music in an anime that I’ve seen in a long time.  The music follows with the tempo of the characters.

So, if a character is running, the music picks up.  With instruments like violins and other wind instruments.  At the same instance when there are moments with Legosi and Haru, the music switches over to a beautiful piano or flute piece.  The music within Beastars shapes the feeling of the characters.  The audience can feel the struggles that each of the characters are going through.  Especially when it comes to Legosi and Haru.  Below, I have several videos demonstrating the dynamic uses of the music in Beastars.  Without a doubt, the music is one of the most powerful tools in this anime.  It’s consistently there even if the music isn’t easy to pick up.  When this happens, there can be moments that can become much more powerful.  Which is what Beastars music does.  It indicates the struggles that the characters are going through.  Especially with Haru and Legosi.

Without a Doubt, Audiences Should Watch Beastars For a Realistic Yet Fun Time

In this review, we thoroughly analyze how Beastars shows the struggles of love in several ways.  Firstly, we took a look at the story of this anime.  Beastars has an incredibly thought out story about the struggles of love.  Additionally, we took a look at the characters in this anime.  The characters are incredibly believable and three dimensional. They’re in no means perfect and they have their flaws.  Yet, each one of them go through their own character developments.  Furthermore, we examine the animation of Beastars.  While switching between several animation styles, it never takes away from the story.  If anything, this animation helps the characters show their wants and emotions.  Finally, we thoroughly analyze the music. Unquestionably, the music is a pure reflector of what the characters are feeling.  With a wide range of different uses of instruments, the character’s struggle of love shows through the music.

While audiences will have to wait on a season two, the first season of Beastars was an incredibly fun experience. Audiences will fall in love with so many aspects of this show.  From the characters to the music, Beastars sets the path for Haru and Legosi as they both struggle with love in the world they live in.

Open for Discussion

Thank you for reading this review. Now then, we want to hear from you guys.  What do you think of Beastars? Do you like it? Are you excited for season 2? Fill free to let us know in the comments below.

Furthermore, If you want to learn more about Beastars, follow this link to Beastars’ official page on Netflix.  Once there, you can watch season one in its entirety.  Additionally, if you want to learn more about this anime, follow this link to Beastars’ official website.  Rest assure, people can translate the website to another language other than Japanese. To get instant news, make sure to follow this link to the official Beastars Twitter page.

Within this review, there are several YouTube videos that showcase what Beastars is about.  Firstly, this link will take viewers to Shonenzup’s YouTube channel. This channel shows various clips from different animes. Next, here’s a link to TOHO animation チャンネル YouTube page.  TOHO animation’s YouTube page showcases all of the different animations done by this company.  Go check them out to support their work.  Last but not least, here’s the link to ALI’s official YouTube page.  ALI is the band that made the opening for Beastars.  Go over to their YouTube page to support these amazing artists.

Also, if you like what you see here, follow this link to a review I did on Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back – Evolution.  In this review, I analyze this film remake to see what is different from the original.

Finally, if you want to receive any news regarding pop-culture, create an account today at Geek Street Society. 

Thank you once again and stay tuned for more news here on Geek Street Society. Please stay safe and wash your hands thoroughly.

Work Cited 

BEASTARS Production Committee. “TVアニメ「BEASTARS ビースターズ」‘Credit.’” TVアニメ「BEASTARS ビースターズ」, bst-anime.com/#index.

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