Beastars: AKA Adult Zootopia (no spoilers)

A while ago (like months) I wrote about Berserk and this blog was going to be about mainly manga and anime and well, primarily Berserk. Obviously that is not what has happened and for that I apologize, really I do. I don’t particularly watch anime but I do tend to read a fair bit of manga here and there. Other than Berserk I have read Hajime No Ippo which is a boxing manga (I sincerely recommend this one as well while I’m mentioning it,) as well as even One Piece which I put off watching a reading for a long time for stupid reasons really. I also have read the Pokemon Adventures manga partially which people consider to be a more mature telling of Pokemon. Maybe I’ll write about some of these in the future I’m not sure. There’s a lot I want to do and I have had people tell me to just “do them” which they’re right I should.

The reason I’m saying all of this is because I recently started reading a new manga and currently just got up to date with it. It’s called “Beastars” and is written by mangaka Paru Itagaki. I can’t seem to find out much about her other than she made her debut as a mangaka in 2016 by releasing a short story collection called “Beast Complex” before releasing Beastars.

So, what is Beastars and why is currently my new fiction obsession? Well a lot of people like to compare it to Disney’s Zootopia but more “mature” and honestly, that’s a pretty damn good description and was the first thing that came to my mind as well when I started reading it. The world is a place inhabited by Carnivores and Herbivores and the Carnivores have to keep themselves in check so that they don’t eat the Herbivores as that would obviously be bad. Kind of like how it’s mentioned in Zootopia. The animals are more animal than human but they are all bipedal and have human characteristics, again like the design of Zootopia. Okay, I know Zootopia isn’t some unique piece of media but I do feel like that kind of design for story telling is a little uncommon.

Anyway, the main focus of the story revolves around a grey wolf called Legosi who is very reserved. He prefers to be around Herbivores rather than Carnivores really and he really admires them. The story tends to focus around him coming to terms with his natural instincts of being a wolf and his innate desire to consume prey. There’s a lot going on with him and he’s constantly questioning his own motives as to why he wants to do the things he is doing. For example, a major plot point which is established pretty early is a love interest of his, a small dwarf rabbit called Haru. Throughout the story we can see that he genuinely does seem to care and love her and wants to protect her, but he is constantly arguing if he is doing this out of love or if his body and mind is tricking himself and her just so he can eat her which he keeps telling himself he doesn’t want to do. The topic of interspecies relations is big point in the series, there’s a lot of talk about Carnivores and Herbivores getting together and ending with the Carnivore eating the Herbivore, it’s even shown a couple of times and constantly has different characters from all different backgrounds exploring this concept. Throughout the series Legosi undergoes a lot trying to accept himself for who he is, this happens through physical fights he has as well as conversations he has with both Carnivores and Herbivores and later even Sea animals.

A secondary focus of the series revolves around a deer called Louis who is pretty charismatic and is shown to be a leader. Louis is a year or two older than Legosi and both of them are in the drama club at their school. Legosi is a stage hand while Louis is the lead actor and essentially the leader of it as it tends to give big speeches to them all before a big play or after some big event happens to keep everyone focused. However, this is all done for more selfish reasons than anything else. You see, Louis is trying to become the Beastar of the school. What this means is an animal who rises above the rest so to speak. An animal who once graduated from school basically has life set and tries to make an impact on the world for the better in a meaningful way however that may be. Above Beastars from certain schools of renown is a Sublime Beastar who is chosen from the group of Beastars from the schools.

Louis and Legosi are in a way complete opposites. Louis wants to be more powerful and on top like how the Carnivores make themselves appear, Legosi however wants to just fit it and not stand out at all and live a plain simple life. The pair of them go through many complications between each other and there is so much more I could write about this but I think for now I will stop as any further I would be spilling into a lot spoiler territory. If spoilers don’t matter to you then please keep an eye out as I’m going to be re-reading Beastars myself and once I do, it’ll most likely spark a fire in me to spoiler everything I love about it but I want those of you choose to read this to just experience it pure. As I said though there is a high chance I will come back after re-reading to just spoil it anything though I’ll make sure that’s obvious from the onset.

If you are someone who prefers to watch rather than read then I can happily say that it has been announced an anime is being developed and is set to release in October 2019 so the year of writing this. For those of us in the west it will be exclusive streamable on Netflix.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this though I know it may seem to have become a little rambly near the end and for that I do apologise. I have only spent an hour on this and there really really is a lot more I would genuinely love to talk about but I know if I do, I would basically just get into telling the story.

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