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Beastars Analysis! (spoilers warning)

Nihles

Pet foxxo
Conversation question: if you could become your Fursona, but in the Beastars setting where everyone is proportionally sized to everyone else, would you do it? I imagine many of our herbivore friends would not x3

So, I binged the new Netflix anime. I had just intended to watch one or two episodes, not expecting to like it (as literally all my friends texted me OMG FURRY SHOW is this what you're into?).

But OH. MY. FLUFFY BUTT.

This ended up being a LOT more nuanced and complex than I expected, and I really want to know what other people who have seen it took away. Fair warning, this show is rated MA 17+ due to graphic violence and nudity.

Some big themes I found -

1. Coming to terms with your body, and your sexuality. Since this show takes place primarily in high school, puberty is an easy subtext to arrive at. Legoshi and the other carnivores dealing with their bloodlust, each in their own way, reminds a lot of the boys from my high school struggling with excessive anger and lust. I think there is a lot that young adult males could relate to from that. Additionally, there is Haru trying to find ways around her tiny stature and actually be seen as a young woman.
I'm trying to figure out the duality of Legoshi's massive size and her tiny body, why is that so central? How is Haru so confident and brave, while the much larger wolf is so timid socially? And why on Earth do they drag out the will they/won't they plot?

2. Issues of how one sees themselves vs how society sees them - I think this applies to literally every character as they learn about their place in the outside world. Louis would be my example, but I'm sure there are more interesting points to be made about this in the show. I actually hated his character arc, his last decision after defeating an alpha predator in the finale just made no sense. But, I did like the idea of his doing everything he can to NOT act like a stereotypical deer throughout most of the show.

I myself, as an LGBT person tried very hard to act against expectations of my orientation and gender for many years, but as of now am much more confident and less depressed just being honest about who I am to myself and my friends.

Anyway. Who was your favorite character? Disagree with anything I said?
What stuck out to you?
 
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Skittles

Queen of FaF. Empress of Fløøf.
JUNO! Best girl! She is so determined!

This show was an absolute delight to sit down and watch. =D
 

Nihles

Pet foxxo
JUNO! Best girl! She is so determined!

This show was an absolute delight to sit down and watch. =D
I would have loved to see Juno in the plot earlier. She's cute but I didn't really get a sense of her beyond "I wanna be popular!" Is she healthy? Too driven? I feel like I'm missing something. As far as I can tell her biggest contribution to the show is to make Legoshi miserable. lol
 

Skittles

Queen of FaF. Empress of Fløøf.
I would have loved to see Juno in the plot earlier. She's cute but I didn't really get a sense of her beyond "I wanna be popular!" Is she healthy? Too driven? I feel like I'm missing something. As far as I can tell her biggest contribution to the show is to make Legoshi miserable. lol
I sense she will probably stand out more in the next season. I don't think we have seen her completely yet. I got the feeling there is perhaps some darker side to her.
 

Skittles

Queen of FaF. Empress of Fløøf.

AcerbicSeth

Tetched In The Head
I just did the same thing a few days ago!
Decided to give it a try expecting not to like it, but wound up hooked after the first episode.

Legosi was probably my favorite character, being one of the main focuses of the story and all.
Plus, that's one of the few instances where I felt like I could actually relate to a character in a story, since I had to work through a few similar things back when I was in high school.
I mean... I never had to go and fistfight a bunch of lions, thankfully. :p

Really looking forward to when season two will be released.
 
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Nihles

Pet foxxo
I just did the same thing a few days ago!
Decided to give it a try expecting not to like it, but wound up hooked after the first episode.

Legosi was probably my favorite character, being one of the main focuses of the story and all.
Plus, that's one of the few instances where I felt like I could actually relate to a character in a story, since I had to work through a few similar things back when I was in high school.
I mean... I never had to go and fistfight a bunch of lions, thankfully. :p

Really looking forward to when season two will be released.
Same. Even though he gets more screen time than anyone else, I still can't get enough of the gentle wolf with a dark hunger. His huge size and awkward sized limbs/body language really reinforces his personality. I don't think I've seen a better allegory for suddenly having a bunch of testosterone shooting through your veins than the hungry beast he so clearly resents. There's a reason women are told to be cautious of men, no matter how gentle they seem to want to be.
 

Nihles

Pet foxxo
Legosi is also my favorite character, both because I have a crush on him (hell, I first found out about the series through fan art of him on Fur Affinity), and also because I can really relate to his sexual confusion.

When I was in Middle School, I found myself starting to notice that I was into certain things that I didn't really understand at the time. The part of it that bothered me the most was the fact that I was always moreso attracted to dudes, and although I was confused as hell by it, I just kinda ignored it for a while. It was in High School that I began to understand that those feelings were caused by me being into certain kinks and being Gay, and I have since fully come to terms with it. In a really similar way, Legosi begins to feel things he's never felt before towards Haru, and he has a hard time understanding what it is and why he feels differently towards Haru then anyone else. After a lot happens between them and Legosi learns more about himself and his feelings, he begins to realize that what he's feeling towards Haru is love.

Eventually, after Legosi realizes he's in love with Haru, he starts to come to the realization that he has a thing for Herbivores. In Chapter 114 of the manga, stuff happens that makes Legosi and Louis spend some together, and while they do so, Legosi explains these feelings to Louis. It's here where Louis delivers one of my favorite quotes ever...
View attachment 83395
I really this line, both because it's funny taken out of context, but also because of the message behind it. When I first realized I had certain kinks, I started to wonder whether or not they made me a bad person or if there was something wrong with me. However, I've grown to learn that almost every living thing has their own kinks, and no one should ever be ashamed of it. Regardless of how bad what you're into is, it doesn't make you a bad person, and that's exactly what Louis is explaining to Legosi here.

For all I know, I might have drawn some of that fanart. lol
 

Nihles

Pet foxxo
If I became my sona in this setting, I think it'd be worth the risk. I'm kinda smol but at least I have fangs! Just have to stay inside and hang out with my cool friends. Jogging outside would be scary though :(
 

PercyD

Lover of Beasty Baes
Same. Even though he gets more screen time than anyone else, I still can't get enough of the gentle wolf with a dark hunger. His huge size and awkward sized limbs/body language really reinforces his personality. I don't think I've seen a better allegory for suddenly having a bunch of testosterone shooting through your veins than the hungry beast he so clearly resents. There's a reason women are told to be cautious of men, no matter how gentle they seem to want to be.
Tbh, I feel like Legosi would be A LOT better off if he learned how to blink.

He's not a bad boy. He just stares. If the boy just learned how to blink a little more often, he'd be okay. One of his dog friends could show him. I swear-

But I feel like the "being cautious around men" sentiment is lost. It's not a direct parallel because Legosi is literally an animal who, by the way, is being denied meat. Carnivores need meat to survive. They have had to forgo it because there seems to be no source of meat thats not sentinent in this universe. It's really problematic-

Human men have enough wherewithal to control themselves. It's not like women don't have these impulses. Hell, Haru is the good parallel to this. She has sexual impulses because thats the only way she relates to people. Thats as much of a need as some man wanting to get his joneses off. She even admits "I just wanted to sleep with a wolf that day. My bad, bro-"

I don't want to give men a pass on this. They need to control themselves. ESPECIALLY because (1) they aren't animals and (2) they aren't being denied meat that they need to literally survive.
 

Starbeak

Born in Space, endlessly exploring star-systems
:)

What a show!! I highly recommend it. I just finished watching it last night.

12 Episodes and I felt like it didn't even start yet.

The plot was amazing.

I am not normally into this genre but Beastars is my exception.

Now for my opinion: May contain peanuts spoilers

First episode in, I seen that Legosi had a "dark side". At first, I thought he had split personalities.

I continued to watch the episode, and was introduced to Haru. I thought "She is way too loose"

But as time went on, we got to hear more of her story and there is so much more to Haru and Legosi than I originally thought.

I think it is a good thing Legosi and Haru waited. I felt bad for Louis (spelled differently I know) when he revealed his darkest secret at the end on episode 11 (I think it was)... But he was really hard-headed throughout and didn't seem like he cared for Haru enough to go help Legosi save her.

So all-in-all, a lot of the characters have their own unique traits (can't say I relate to any of them yet) nor do I really have a favorite... But I will say, season 2 is going to be amazing. (=

:)
 

Angelcakes

Well-Known Member
The series is pretty amazing. I've been reading the manga before the anime was announced, and one of the things I've noticed is how universal the themes in this story is, in spite of how very Japanese it actually is.

So some quick backstory here:

The manga is by Paru Itagaki. Paru is the daughter of another successful manga artist: Keisuke Itagaki, the creator of Baki The Grapper. Baki has been going strong since the mid 80s and is basically an institution in Japan at this point, so Paru had a lot to live up to. You know the storyline about Legom, the hen? Legom is Paru's self-insert character, and her storyline is basically a metaphor for the anxiety and pressure she feels as a manga artist.

Paru herself did not set out to create some massive social metaphor or anything when she created Beastars. But the story sort of naturally evolved into that over time (because in this kind of universe those thematic elements are pretty much inevitable). The themes in the manga are both specific to its universe, but can also translate into current social issues.

One of the big ones that a lot of Westerners tend to miss is the whole subject of Herbivore/Carnivore relations. In Japan, these terms actually have a very specific meaning in modern Japanese culture: sexual openness. Japan's declining birthrate and rapidly aging population is a fairly well-known issue internationally, and Beastars actually taps into that a lot. Legoshi is species-wise a carnivore, but he tends to show little interest in women or sex in general (making him 'Herbivore Male'). Haru, even though species-wise she a herbivore, is fairly promiscuous sexually (making her a 'Carnivore Female'). Japanese culture has fairly rigid traditional roles for gender, but the modern world has made these conservative cultural constraints impossible to maintain. There are also a lot of social obligations that go with sexuality and parent-hood in Japanese culture (for both mothers and fathers), so the additional stress that Japanese society puts on individual men and women has convinced a generation of men and women that sex is either not worth it, or that sexual openness should be accepted.

There's also some other themes on tolerance: Louis is basically the 'model minority' who is trying to show that Herbivores can be strong and forthright on their own in the system as it currently exists, but it also shows the enormous stress it puts on him, his almost maniacal inferiority complex, and how it has genuinely screwed him up mentally. He's also a lot more like Legoshi then he wants to admit.

Oh, and as for Legoshi himself.....I won't spoil it, but you know how lanky and awkward he looks? That's not just something that's regular for wolves: in Legoshi's case it's genetic. You'll probably find out why in Season 2.
 

PercyD

Lover of Beasty Baes
First of all, I find it funny that you say this on the Furry themed forum of all places. Here, no one is truly Human.

Second of all, I feel like everyone forgets that Humans are in fact animals. Not to say I don't disagree with your point on men (or anyone in general) controlling themselves, I just feel like it might be wrong to say that Humans feel different things from every other species when in reality, all species on Earth feel similar emotions and feelings.
The issue here is that people make the excuse of their "urges" to do whatever they want. The colloquial happens to be "acting like an animal" and, even the furry community, they want to use that as an excuse to do whatever they want.

Also, yea, human beings are animals. However, human beings dont have claws and teeth like carnivores. They dont have the instinct to kill (other humans). Thats the large difference.

If a human decides to kill, maim, or any thing else its not because of an "urge". Its because of a (selfish) choice.

Back to Beaststars, I feel like this anime speaks directly to this issue. Just because you have urges, it doesn't give you license to act on them as and hurt other people. Its kinda extreme in this case, carnivores need meat to survive, but your sexual desires arent any thing new nor novel. Don't be an asshole (don't chew on your date).
 
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Nihles

Pet foxxo
The issue here is that people make the excuse of their "urges" to do whatever they want. The colloquial happens to be "acting like an animal" and, even the furry community, they want to use that as an excuse to do whatever they want.

Also, yea, human beings are animals. However, human beings dont have claws and teeth like carnivores. They dont have the instinct to kill (other humans). Thats the large difference.

If a human decides to kill, maim, or any thing else its not because of an "urge". Its because of a (selfish) choice.

Back to Beaststars, I feel like this anime speaks directly to this issue. Just because you have urges, it doesn't give you license to act on them as and hurt other people. Its kinda extreme in this case, carnivores need meat to survive, but your sexual desires arent any thing new nor novel. Don't be an asshole (don't chew on your date).
That's kind of what I like about it not being direct connection. Sex =/= eating herbivores, obviously, but Legoshi's struggles (and all the other characters) do feel really human, despite them all being animals. By setting it into this extreme world, we can draw our own allegories without necessarily transcribing all our original biases. Not to nitpick though, do the predators have to eat meat? From the scene in the cafeteria, I get the impression that most of the underclassmen predators get all their nutrition from non-meat. They're effectively vegetarian until they visit the Black Market. I could be wrong though.

Thanks for the extra context @Angelcakes ! I had no idea about the social divide. Also thanks for the context on what on Earth that side plot with Legom was. I was so confused >w< I still don't know what it adds to the whole story, but at least it has a strong personal significance for someone.
 

PercyD

Lover of Beasty Baes
That's kind of what I like about it not being direct connection. Sex =/= eating herbivores, obviously, but Legoshi's struggles (and all the other characters) do feel really human, despite them all being animals. By setting it into this extreme world, we can draw our own allegories without necessarily transcribing all our original biases. Not to nitpick though, do the predators have to eat meat? From the scene in the cafeteria, I get the impression that most of the underclassmen predators get all their nutrition from non-meat. They're effectively vegetarian until they visit the Black Market. I could be wrong though.
...
Carnivores cannot survive without meat, normally. You even see in the show that all the carnivores who don't eat meat are kinda gangly.
The ones that aren't gangly and don't eat meat are already omnivores- like the (dogs) Legogo stays with. Or the panda, who has evovled to eat grass basically. I feel like that tiger ate that llamma.
And I look at legogo with Haru and I'm just like "Bro, I have the same feelings around banhmi sandwiches. I'm not sure..."

I agree with you though. This show has a clear nuance that I think some people from the audience don't realize. It's the same thing with Zootopia. --Everyone wanted to do a 1-to-1 comparison with racism between the herbavores and the carnivores but it just doesn't work. Minorities are not armed with claws, teeth, and other murder weapons to prey upon the gentry. To imply such is actually quite racist. In fact, the threat from minorities that the gentry feels is not part of the 'natural order of things'. Actually, this bias has been used to justify horrendous things, and it's really insulting and misguided to try to do a 1-to-1 comparison.

Within this universe meanwhile, Herbavores have a right to be frightened, concerned, and I don't even think 'bigotry' is the word to use here. Biased? Cautious? Everyone literally has weapons attached to them at all times...!
 

Arnak

Off the bench
Even though I have not watched the show yet (I don't have Netflix) i can kinda relate to the struggle of discovering one's self. You have all these feelings and thoughts you can't explain... Im sorta messed up because I couldn't talk to anyone my age about anything because I felt I'd be made fun of (WHICH I WAS!!!!) I felt a bit like legosi (though I've never fallen in love, ever)

I'm just going to shut up and leave before I get "yelled" at... Highschool students are fucking mean.
 

Arnak

Off the bench
Also, the only Sona of mine that would fit in would be Ricky... But I think he'd just end up being a male Juno... Shutting up...
 

Nihles

Pet foxxo
Carnivores cannot survive without meat, normally. You even see in the show that all the carnivores who don't eat meat are kinda gangly.
The ones that aren't gangly and don't eat meat are already omnivores- like the (dogs) Legogo stays with. Or the panda, who has evovled to eat grass basically. I feel like that tiger ate that llamma.
And I look at legogo with Haru and I'm just like "Bro, I have the same feelings around banhmi sandwiches. I'm not sure..."

I agree with you though. This show has a clear nuance that I think some people from the audience don't realize. It's the same thing with Zootopia. --Everyone wanted to do a 1-to-1 comparison with racism between the herbavores and the carnivores but it just doesn't work. Minorities are not armed with claws, teeth, and other murder weapons to prey upon the gentry. To imply such is actually quite racist. In fact, the threat from minorities that the gentry feels is not part of the 'natural order of things'. Actually, this bias has been used to justify horrendous things, and it's really insulting and misguided to try to do a 1-to-1 comparison.

Within this universe meanwhile, Herbavores have a right to be frightened, concerned, and I don't even think 'bigotry' is the word to use here. Biased? Cautious? Everyone literally has weapons attached to them at all times...!
Agreed. 100%
Zootopia *tried* to have a message about how racism is bad and failed, hard. x(
If anything it kinda proved the opposite point.

And hmmm...I didn't notice that about the herbivores/omnivores being gangly. I'll look for it on my next rewatch.

I had always wondered who it was that ate Tem. Obviously, it's left ambiguous on purpose, but. Bill seems the most likely candidate, of the named characters. thank you.
 

Foxy Emy

Scarlett / [Selena] / <Emy>
This show was great! I can't wait for next season!

And yeah! You are right! It is very nuanced in a way that more kid directed shows/movies (like Zootopia) can't be.

And it's discussion of black market meat has a lot a political subtext, too. It is a great allegory for pretty much any evil considered necessary to maintain a civil society (prison, capital punishment, war, torture, etc.).

In the type of society portrayed. Meat would be the hot button black market drug, simultaneously loved and despised.

And don't get be started on the broke guy selling his fingers to afford his next meal.

EDIT: The depiction of the drama club was scary accurate to my experiences in theater. A place where all sorts of people come together and cooperate (at least on the surface... The show must go on) but everyone has their own drama they bring with them from outside the group as well.
 
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Nihles

Pet foxxo
I loved that scene with the homeless guy selling his fingers. It was so creepy and yet rang so true.

I think there is also some subtext about social/economic inequality there too...
 

PercyD

Lover of Beasty Baes
Agreed. 100%
Zootopia *tried* to have a message about how racism is bad and failed, hard. x(
If anything it kinda proved the opposite point.

And hmmm...I didn't notice that about the herbivores/omnivores being gangly. I'll look for it on my next rewatch.

I had always wondered who it was that ate Tem. Obviously, it's left ambiguous on purpose, but. Bill seems the most likely candidate, of the named characters. thank you.
I don't think Zootopia had a message about racism. It was just that thats the thing people took away from it, and it's just like "...no."

I feel like Beaststars actually took the plot from Zootopia and took it to it's logical conclusion. Zootopia tried to skirt by by saying the carnivores were surviving off of fish. >u>
Nah bruh...

I would say that Bojack even. Carnivores were still eating meat, but it seemed like less evolved animals were used as meat...? i.e. that chicken episode. I think out of the 3, Bojack is the most dark with how they handled it.
 

Nihles

Pet foxxo
I'm pretty sure that chicken episode of Bojack was written specifically to troll the people who were thinking too hard/asking silly questions about the 'logic' of a slapstick world. They were answering questions that had not been asked, lol
 

PercyD

Lover of Beasty Baes
I'm pretty sure that chicken episode of Bojack was written specifically to troll the people who were thinking too hard/asking silly questions about the 'logic' of a slapstick world. They were answering questions that had not been asked, lol
Hard thinking or not, these are questions that must be answered. oAo
 
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