Netflix’s ‘Beastars’ Season 1 is a Unique Anime Experience

Julien Neaves, Editor

So Netflix has been calling all of its mature animated series “anime” these days, with the latest being Filipino horror series Trese. Yeah, that’s not anime. But there is actual anime on the streaming service and one of the better ones is Beastars.

The series, based on the award-winning manga by Paru Itagaki, is set in a world of anthropomorphic animals and focuses on a prestigious school called Cherryton Academy. The protagonist is a large gray wolf named Legoshi, a shy fellow who is just trying to get by and also suppress his natural animal urges. He has an outgoing Labrador friend named Jack and has a strained relationship with Louis, an entitled and mysterious red deer who runs the drama club.

LOUIS: Straighten your tie, Legoshi; we’re not animals LEGOSHI: Umm, but…LOUIS: Shut up Legoshi

He also has to contend for his strong feelings for Haru, a sexually liberated small dwarf rabbit, whom he had an almost tragic encounter with, and with the rising tensions at the school between carnivore and herbivore students following the brutal murder of an alpaca student by an unknown assailant.

This one was a really interesting anime drama. There’s very little action here (sorry to disappoint anyone hoping for lots of fur flying) and the focus is more on the themes of identity, class, and prejudice. Legoshi makes for an interesting lead as he is the goofy, lovable antithesis of a big bad wolf. And his star-crossed romance with Haru is sweet and compelling.

My what a strong jaw you have

And can we talk about Haru for a minute. I mean she is a rabbit but she’s kinda hot. Not like Lola Bunny in the original Space Jam which was kind of pin-up girl look, but a weird mix of innocent and sultry. And it’s weird because she’s a rabbit. Anybody else had this conundrum? Just me. That’s okay. Forget I said anything.

The tick outbreak of ’99 had the students on edge…

I’m not going into spoilers here but I will say Legoshi has some interesing misadventures and meets some colourful characters in the first season. And he also turns down some dark corners of this world that are downright unsettling. It all makes for some riveting viewing. That and I still need to find out who the heck killed that alpaca dude.

A second season came out in Japan but we other folks will just have to wait until it drops on Netflix. But if you haven’t watched Season 1 yet and you’re in the mood for a thoughtful and thought-provoking anime with some wild characters, then might I suggest a visit to Cherryton Academy?

Editor Jules’ Score : 9 out of 10

You can check out more great anime content below:

Sci Fi Horror Anime ‘Parasyte’ is Worth Bonding With

Akame ga Kill! is an Action-Packed, Heartbreaking Anime

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Julien “Editor Jules” Neaves is a TARDIS-flying, Force-using Trekkie whose bedroom stories were by Freddy Krueger, learned to be a superhero from Marvel, but dreams of being Batman. I love promoting Caribbean film (Cariwood), creating board games and I am an aspiring author. I say things like “12 flavours of awesome sauce”. Read more.