Beastars (stylized as BEASTARS) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Paru Itagaki.
This drama and fantasy manga series takes place in a world where animals are required to abide by the law and co-exist in peace. Both carnivores and herbivores are seen living like humans in a modern and civilized world.
An anime adaptation by Orange aired from October 8 to December 26, 2019, on Fuji TV’s +Ultra programming block. A second season is scheduled for release in 2021. The first season was 12 episodes in total, with the Netflix release outside of Japan on March 13, 2020.
1. Quick Review
Beastars revolves around a world where animals live like humans in a modern and civilized world. However, there is a split that occurs between predators and their prey because of their nature.
The series takes its name from the context of the series as the rank of Beastar, an individual of great talent, service, and notoriety.
The main character is a Cherryton Academy student named Legoshi who is a gray wolf. He lives at the Academy’s dorms along with his extroverted Labrador friend Jack and many other carnivorous students.
He works as a stagehand as he is a member of the school’s drama club, which is led by the star pupil Louis, a red deer. The story takes an interesting turn with the sudden and brutal, cold-blooded murder of an alpaca named Tem.
The victim was not only murdered at night but his flesh was devoured, which left in its wake only unrest and distrust between the herbivore and carnivore students.
During this time of unease, our protagonist wolf manages to meet Haru, a small dwarf rabbit and develops complicated feelings for her. However, Haru’s character is in love with Louis, the head of the drama club. Thus begins the twisted love triangle set in the world of anthropomorphic animals.
Beastars has a wild story that is bound to draw attention to it. The characters have diverse and interesting personalities which only adds to the already unique storyline. The world built by Studio Orange in terms of animation and art to narrate the story of this anime is impeccable.
2. Info Card
BEASTARSAir Date: October 10, 2019 Status: Finished Studio: Orange No. of Seasons: 2 No. of Episodes: 24
3. Is it worth watching?
Beastars is such a quirky concept that it will make you want to watch at least one episode to judge it for yourself. When you do, you won’t be disappointed.
The series really captures the psychological aspect of animals and the prejudices that exist in a world divided as predators and prey.
The characters in the series produce so much depth that you forget to think about the fact that they’re animals. It makes you think about how similar this fictitious world may actually be to our own.
The story of Beastars comes about in a world where carnivores and herbivores live in harmony because they reside in a society that has outlawed the consumption of meat.
A tense atmosphere exists between the two classes in society. At Cherryton Academy, this tense feeling of distrust peaks after the death of one of the Academy’s students’ Tem, an alpaca. His murder was caused by someone who had wished to prey on him.
Legoshi, a grey wolf and also the protagonist of the series, a stagehand for the drama club and most importantly, a friend of the murder victim.
Being a wolf, he was always viewed as an object of fear and suspicion his whole life. Soon after the murder of his dear friend Tem, Legoshi continues to lay low and hide his menacing traits while also trying to solve Tem’s murder.
We are then introduced to Louis, a red deer and the star actor of the drama club. He looks down on Legoshi for being so timid even though he is supposed to be a deadly predator.
On an eventful night, Legoshi has a fateful encounter with Haru, a white dwarf rabbit who is despised by her peers. He develops complicated feelings for her as a result of having feelings for a rabbit who would be considered prey and Legoshi himself being a predator.
These complex feelings along with the mysterious death of his friend Tem, throw Legoshi’s world into chaos.
The characters’ thoughts, their actions, interactions with the world and with fellow characters with various personalities all together make an amazingly believable world. As ironic as it might sound, Beastars has one of the most human-like characters.
A. Main characters
Legoshi is a male gray wolf and the main protagonist of Beastars. He is characterized as a timid and rather awkward student at Cherryton Academy.
Though feared and misjudged by others for being a tall carnivore, he is actually quite mild-mannered, docile, and awkward. Legoshi has taken it upon himself to solve the mystery of the murder of Tem and later finds out first hand the extent of the prejudices of the world he lives in.
Louis is one of the main characters in Beastars, being the main obstacle to Legoshi’s love interest. Louis is the head actor of the Cherryton Academy drama club. He attempts to hide his faults through the use of his lead acting role and refuses to be treated as someone who is weak.
Louis may be described as has an arrogant character but as the story progresses, we get to see what lies underneath-a mask of insecurity where he feels that he isn’t good enough.
Haru is a white dwarf and Legoshi’s love interest after a fateful encounter that occurs between them. She is generally excluded from school due to her sexual promiscuity.
Haru is often treated like a fragile individual by society and aims to be validated as a person.
B. Supporting characters
Jack is a Labrador and Legoshi’s childhood friend.
Initially, Jack is shown to be joyful, fun-loving, and affable and a little naive with his surroundings. With Tem’s death, he started to see how the herbivores began to have a little fear towards the carnivores but did not take much notice of this.
Jack only seems to be worried about his friend Legoshi, who in spite of being a quiet wolf, seems terrifying to others because he is a predator.
Tem is the murder victim whose death starts a whole spiraling of Beastar’s fictitious society.
Though Tem has made few appearances, when he was alive, he was shown to be an open-minded individual. He was quite sociable among his carnivore classmates as Legoshi and describes him as a good friend.
The series is set in a world where carnivores and herbivores co-exist in modern society. The consumption of meat is forbidden so carnivores convert to a life of vegetarianism. The main storyline begins in Cherryton Academy, a boarding school for both herbivores and carnivores alike.
IV. Theme Songs
The opening theme song for the series is “Wild Side” by Ali. “Wild Side” is a jazz number that sets you up for the kind of dark yet mature content you’re about to face as soon as the episode begins.
The ending themes for the series are “Le zoo” by Yurika (eps 2, 5, 8, 9), “Nemuru Honnou” by Yurika (eps 3, 7, 10), “Marble” by Yurika (eps 4, 6, 11) and “Tsuki ni Ukabu Monogatari ” by Yurika (ep 12).
The ending theme for the anime set the mood with up-beat pop music which reiterates the setting that the scene takes place in a high school with teenage mindsets.
5. Final Thoughts
Beastars is home to some brilliant imagery and an expressive color palette when it comes to the art for the series.
The style of animation, the song, and the graphic design are all things that are noteworthy in this anime as it experiments a wide variety of animation all within one storyline.
Overall, Beastars is a well-written show that reflects our society in a very drastic way through its anthropomorphic setting and makes us think about how similar the two really are.