As gray wolf Legoshi and dwarf rabbit Haru’s relationship intensifies, gray wolf Juno’s jealousy grows. Red deer Louis’s mysterious absence from school has ramifications for both his friends and his enemies. And while the lion gang Shishi-gumi chooses a new leader, Cherryton Academy’s headmaster attends the Council of Living Beings to choose the school’s next Beastar.
Beastars is one of those shows with a very confusing setup, so its themes can be interpreted however the hell you want to. If you take the show at face value then it’s going to be some kinkier version of Zootopia, about furries wanting to have bestiality. If you see the show as a big metaphor for social issues, then it can be about people expressing their feeling while keeping control of their sexual urges. Or it can be about discrimination because of a cast system (hello India). Whichever poison you choose, you have to get over the first snag of the show, which is its CGI. No matter how good it seems to be for some, it’s fugly for the casual audience and will only age badly before you know it. But since the subject matter was weird to begin with, it would be a niche series no matter how it looked, so it doesn’t detract anything from the show and is actually adding to its weird atmosphere.A bigger issue is how there are two plots going on at the same time, with each one having a completely different feel. They don’t mesh very well with each other. This can either alienate the viewer for not getting how they can coexist, or it can add to the weird feeling of the show because the viewer stops trying to reason with the story and just accepts it as its own zany thing. It’s like trying to explain why Bob Squarepants can light a fire on the bottom of the ocean. There is no logical explanation and you just have to accept it as part of the world. Which is why you shouldn’t wonder how can carnivores and herbivores coexist when the former constantly eat the latter. Or why the hell are they having theater plays in a school when students are found dead in the premises and a few city blocks away there is a black market where herbivores are eaten by carnivores, one limb at a time. There is some mitigation going on, since the grim plot that deals with murders and black markets gets sidelined to the most part. The characters ignore it and the plot we mostly follow is that of a reserved wolf who is trying to have a relationship with a slutty bunny, while a school theater play happens in the background. You get all the usual first world problems people face in schools, like bullying, discrimination, finding the courage to move forward and express your love. On its own this plot is an okay school drama. Simple but makes a point. Once it starts to combine with the other grim plot, well, you HAVE to accept all the crazy stuff that is going on that somehow allows this society to exist. There is no realism compared to our world, so as I said don’t try to explain how it works. For Pete’s sake, the titular title of the show magically changes from becoming a Beastar by having the best performance in a school theater, to becoming a Beastar by finding the brutal killer which everyone was ignoring for 20 episodes. And then there are parts where they train to have sharper teeth and they fight man eating gangs which for some reason are not arrested after the protagonists escape and can just call the cops on them. Don’t try to reason it.Down to it, Beastars is just weird. It doesn’t have anything to teach you or makes a point, because it takes place in a magical furry land where morality doesn’t apply in the same way in does on our world. The school drama part can be engaging if you can stomach the CGI, but the rest of it is just chaff. It’s not about racism, because the animals belong to different species. It’s not about cast discrimination, because they would have their own separate districts and wouldn’t mingle. It’s not about being honest and brave, because that would mean the carnivores will go amok and eat a lot of animals. Let’s not say anything about what it means to be a furry wolf who likes biting horny furry rabbits. And why is everyone in that world fine with marrying his dinner?
Much like the first season, Beastars 2 sets the bar high for CGI animation and still manages to knock it out of the park. The continuing story of Legosi and his internal struggles is a joy to follow, and leaves me hoping a Season 3 is on the books. Story: Continuing from where Season 1 left off, Legosi and Louis set out to face the consequences of their attack on the Shishigumi/Lion Group. Their internal conflicts are told in parrallel with a very satisfying conclusion that perfectly contrasts their experiences. There are a number of moments that feel slightly forced, like the author couldn't quite make the next scene happen naturally, but overall the progression felt very convincing. 9/10; certainly not perfect, but immensely satisfying. Animation: Top notch all the way through. The models, animation rigging, color palletes, and camera angles are all on point. Easily the best Full-CGI animation I've ever seen in an anime, and in many ways even better than some traditional-medium shows. 10/10; I'm excited to see where the studio takes this 3d animation in the future Sound: Also top notch. Everything lines up perfectly, the voice acting is stellar, and the soundtrack is the sort that you find yourself humming in the shower out of nowhere. 10/10; absolutely amazing Characters: While the main characters have strong convictions, they're presented as movable and impressionable. They claim ideals and proclaim motivations that they can later go back on after experiencing growth and change. They're dynamic and believable in almost every way. That said, a few of the side characters felt a fair bit less believable - is it because they didn't get enough screen time to fully flesh out their own growth? Perhaps. At any rate, this is a cut above many other anime, even despite my issues with a handful of characters. 8/10; If your only problem is that your side characters needed more of their own story told, I think you're in a good place. Overall: While it's certainly not the best anime I've ever seen, it's absolutely one of the best anime in recent seasons and well worth a 5-star rating. This is the kind of show that I'll remember and have in the back of my mind for the rest of my life, and find myself comparing other anime and even non-anime shows to. 10/10; Perhaps not life-changing, but certainly life-influencing material.
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