First Impressions: BEASTARS

In a world populated by civilized, anthropomorphized animals, a great divide exists between the carnivores and the herbivores. After the recent predation killing of an alpaca student named Tem on campus grounds, tensions and distrust arise further among the student body of Cherryton Academy, especially within the Drama Club that Tem was part of. In the midst of all this, two animals are brought into the spotlight: Legoshi, a gray wolf whose intimidating looks hide the quiet and sensitive soul within, and Haru, a white dwarf rabbit whose promiscuous reputation makes her a social pariah. As they encounter each other one night, the seeds of a complex and interesting relationship between them begin to grow…

BEASTARS was among the three manga-to-anime adaptations that I looked forward to in 2019, and I was impressed by what studio Orange (of Land of the Lustrous fame) presented us with. The first episode presented the first four chapters of the manga, and while some worldbuilding was sacrificed to fit for time, we’re still able to get a good understanding of the dynamics between the different animal groups and the tenuous peace that they live under. There’s also more equal focus on Legoshi and Haru, and what they have to face through both as individuals and as their respective species. We also get some interesting animation sequences which make certain scenes more striking than usual, and that’s not even going into how well the show is animated in CGI. We only get to hear the OP in this episode, but it is definitely a jam, and knowing that the actual sequence will be done in stop motion is sure to get a few heads turning soon.

BEASTARS will soon be available worldwide on Netflix.

Warning: this ain’t your kid’s Zootopia. Strong violent and sexual content will eventually show up in the story.


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