‘Beastars’ hides reflections on racism, the power and desire of the Netflix series


On July 20, 2018, an event occurred that will never appear in the history books: an RAE tweet explained what the word “furry” meant and prompted fans to propose adding “furro” to the dictionary. If you are one of the few people who live on the Internet and “furry” sounds like ice cream from McDonald’s, it is possible that everything we will tell you next will surprise you.

To stick with the RAE definition (and simplify it), furro is “passionate about fictional anthropomorphic animals.” Although perhaps “passionate” is to spoil it: there are people who have made it their passion. And with the boom of the last decade (there’s a whole underworld of fursona and costumes you probably don’t want to get into), a series like ‘Beastars’ has everything to do with it.

The wolf is coming

That’s why it’s surprising that, able to target a well-chosen niche, ‘Beastars’ is a really good series. It’s possible that the start of the first season could lead to looks of haughtiness and disgust among the public to see shirtless muscular wolves, seductive bunnies in underwear and deer having sex, but it soon shows that it’s more than just a vehicle for quiet fantasy. ‘Beastars’ is a reflection of racism, power and desire framed in an institution with anthropomorphic animals.

That the protagonists of ‘Beastars’ walk on two legs, dress like humans and have a deep relationship with each other is no coincidence: to tell this story, it is important that the characters are both carnivorous and herbivorous. This duality is the trigger for all plots, trying to explore all points of view in this matter: the one who vows to use his special situation to help the weakest, the one who believes he has the right to take advantage of them, the herbivore who accepts his role as prey, the one who who wants to fight…

Season 1 of ‘Beastars’ negates all the possibilities of our prejudices and ruthlessly destroys them. That doesn’t support the ironic look as each episode not only offers new light and shadow in the relationship between carnivores and herbivores, but also by continuing the impossible love plot that culminates in an action-packed finale in style. It’s hard that after such a careful and energetic first episode, the second one was able to handle it. But he did this by changing the rules of the game.

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Moving the pieces of the board

The second season of ‘Beastars’ could continue and delve into the love triangle of Haru, Louis and Legoshi, but leave it in the background to show more of the interesting world in which the story takes place. We leave classrooms and theater clubs to plunge into dangerous city streets, black markets, and criminal organizations. For a series that in its first season focused on high school romance, the evolution to shnen struggles and self-improvement is a risk you don’t have to take, but

This gender, character, and plot shift, unfortunately, takes its toll: Haru appears more in the opening than in the series itself, where he transitions from protagonist to secondary, almost a cameo, despite being the engine that powers each episode. The relationship between Louis and Legoshi is also not completely understood, which goes at full speed and reaches a level of trust that does not match what we have seen so far. It wasn’t an issue that really mattered or hindered the enjoyment of season two: the results were frankly spectacular.

The tension is heating up little by little

In season 2 of ‘Beastars’ the characters don’t stop developing, including the secondary ones. Legoshi must face his predatory nature and become stronger in battle, Louis must demonstrate authority even if in order to do so he must injure himself… And, in the background, the mystery of Tem’s murder lingers in the neighborhood.

Tem’s assassination has always been the backdrop in ‘Beastars’ to contextualize the issues between carnivores and herbivores, but this season needed a major role, as a catalyst for Legoshi’s desire to rise to the next level of power and as a way to explain his deranged vision of friendship in a world made up of predators. and prey who have learned to live together.

We’ve seen thousands of times before in shonen (‘One piece’, ‘Dragon ball’, ‘Naruto’) the main characters gain more power and progress to the next level, but in ‘Beastars’ they make them look new: Legoshi doesn’t do enough with training physique, and his final act of leveling up was heartbreaking and a complete stop in the history of the series. To what extent are people capable of doing what they believe in?

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Louis, for his part, learns to be what he hates and admires at the same time, confronting his own internal dilemmas at the risk of his own health. Until now, Louis was a herbivore respected by his entire institute, but now a mafia organization consisting of lions has accepted him as their leader. Your survival depends on your success. He and Legoshi walked the same parallel path unknowingly, though Louis decided not to see him until it was probably too late.

‘Beastars’ 2: a beautiful season that doesn’t settle down and explores its fantastic world

‘Beastars’ could have been more the same in season 2 and focused on teen romance, slightly lascivious sex scenes and substantive debates between eating and being eaten, but decided to dive into the most interesting part: the part that represents allegories about equality in racial differences, messages non-violence (which can only be solved, paradoxically, by violence), investigations and how all the characters deal with an artificially calmed world that must explode somewhere.

If in the first episode we found the Black Market, where herbivorous meat was sold, or we argued internally about the legality of blood drawing for carnivores, it’s season two where ethical lines heat up. Is eating other animals an act of love? What if the animal gave you permission? Is it worth rejecting the basic instinct for an ideal, even if it destroys your life? The most philosophical of anime lovers have an unexpected source of debate in ‘Beastars’.

The animation doesn’t take its toll: both in the combat scenes and in the quieter ones (including some interesting hallucinogenic sequences), studio Orange (don’t forget that this isn’t a Netflix original, which only licenses anime) provides a brushstroke of what it’s capable of. If you’re curious to see something else from it, ‘Godzilla Singular Point’ is also on Netflix.

‘Beastars’ is a series that, after overcoming the odd odds in the first season, lets us enter an exciting world filled with ethical and moral dilemmas, fight to the death, blood, teenage love, crime and theatre, with dozens of well-defined secondary characters. and a leading duo who only promise to bring us joy in the future. Get rid of your prejudices: this is one of today’s anime in its own right.