Introduction and Basis of the Story
The Boy and The Beast takes us through an interesting journey of fatherhood from a beast for child who had just recently lost his mother. The story starts out with the boy out in the streets living on his own, the story then gives us a flash of why he ended up in the streets with the reason being that his mother had divorced his father and the mother took care him alone, after a fatal accident (which we don't really get to see how she actually passed) the mothers family insists on taking him in and he refuses and decides to run away.
The fantasy part of this movie is about how there is another world of just beasts that live like humans and have a ritual where they choose a worthy beast to obtain the throne to become the next lord. The old lord will then decide what god he chooses to become and gives his place to the winner when an arena battle is held with the winner taking the seat. The chosen beasts and this ritual gets explained at the start of the movie and does it fairly well.
The main beast that ends up being the kids master is disrespectful, sloppy, immature and a bad teacher but they have one thing in common, they're both alone and had no one. So they start out arguing but they end up being good for each other and the kid ends up learning a lot from him. The reason for him to become his apprentice was because he wanted to escape the real world where he had no one and the beast needed an apprentice to prove to the master that he is a suitable person for the throne, later on the kid develops into a teen and he then wants to learn more about the real world and where he is from and wanted to learn and get an education.
The kid leaves once in a while to head out to the library and learn words where he then finds a girl, they ended up getting close and they study once in a while whenever he comes to the real world. One day the kid leaves and talks to the girl about applying to college and whatnot and he starts to think more in-depth about his future here. When he tries to apply they say he needs his parents approval to which then they provide him with his fathers address. He gets flustered and thinks about confronting him and sooner or later he does, they all thought he went missing and died while his father hadn't had given up looking for him. Sooner or later the beast finds out what he has been doing and gets mad and yet again they have another argument. The kid mentions he found his father after all these years and storms off. The beast feels conflicted and he yells at the kid to stop but he never does.
That's basically the first half of the movie but this is where it gets a little weird for me, it didn't turn me off entirely but the lord decides to have a the battle done today as he has finally decided what god to reincarnate into after 9 years. The battle commences and the beast is losing because he is still gloomy about how the kid left him but as he is on the verge of defeat the kid cheers him on in the crowd in the nick of time and he comes back and wins. This is around where I thought the story would end but there's much more to it and in my opinion it made it a little but more confusing.
Turns out the son of the other beast the kids master was fighting was secretly human along and because of how doubtful and evil humans are he got corrupted with darkness and used his powers to kill the kids master and it's very hard for me to describe this when you don't watch the movie yourself, like I said it was weird and confusing at first but it all syncs in slowly. Apparently humans have darkness in them because of their complex emotions and fragile heart, seeing his master get murdered caused him to gain that same darkness but the old lord prevented him from sinking in and he ends up making the bad guy running away to the real world. Turns out the master isn't dead but critically injured instead and now the kid is going to pursue the bad guy and instead of getting revenge help him find peace because they are the same.
He goes to the real world to find him but before he does he finds the study girl and gives her back his favourite book and asks her to keep it safe while he goes does something very dangerous that he can't explain to the girl. The girl gets worried and says she wants to know wants to know what is going on but before she can say anything the bad guy shows up and now they're on the run. The girl drops the book and as they run the bad guy picks up the book and sees a whale on the cover and for reasons that I can't explain he throws the book, turns into a whale and causes mayhem in the city. As the mayhem is being caused it also affects the other beast world and while they try to come up with a plan the beast comes out of his recovery bed and gives an idea to the lord where he says he wants to use the lords reincarnation opportunity on himself to become a soul of a sword that will guide the kid to defeat the bad guy. I was conflicted about this part but I guess in a way it made sense and It wasn't as bad as I thought it was.
They finally decide to confront the whale together and try to fight him off, as the battle begins a sword falls from the sky and it speaks to him in the beast's voice, the kid notices the voice and reaches out for it and the sword sucks into his darkness and purifies him which makes him stronger with his master by his side. The battle concludes with everyone thinking he killed the bad guy but he ends up sparing him and bringing him peace and the movie finishes and ends with the boy moving on to the real world with his master in his soul and lives with his real dad and applies for college.
and that concludes the whole story, I'm not the best with words so it is a bit rusty but I did my best.
What was good about the movie?
- The movie did a good job depicting fatherhood
The relationship of the boy and the master throughout the movie was amazing to watch and really made you feel attached to their connection.
- Beautiful animation and world setting
The scenes were amazing moving from the city outlooks of the real world combining it with the fantasy world that the beast realm had to offer.
- Good character development
Each character had their own unique trait and it was easy to love all the characters and understand them.
- Unique display of struggles combining the real and fantasy world
They also did this in Wolf Children and this is probably the reason why I love both of these a lot, they really show a whole new perspective of problems that you wouldn't think of if this "fantasy" setting was a real thing, for example with the boy wanting to study and move on in his real life while still being the masters apprentice, as for Wolf Children, the mother being unable to decide whether to take her daughter (half wolf) to the vet or the hospital.
What were the downfalls of the movie?
- Misguided ending
The ending of the movie seemed very rushed and many things felt unexplained clearly but it was understandable, one of the drawbacks of anime movies is having to cram it all in with only and hour or two to show it all. They showed the so called darkness for the boy when he left his family early on in the anime only to explain it to the very end with still very little context of what it really is.
- Unexplained mayhem and etc
The whole whale scene was confusing and didn't seem to make a lot of sense, did the humans in the real world just not see the whale? They saw the shadow but not the whale? How did the beast realm cover it up? It's a fantasy anime but it all seemed so unexpected and odd. Especially with how little the girl ever questions the boy about his whereabouts and how casually she reacts to the this found realm in the ending.
Overall I think The Boy and the Beast deserves a good score and the cons didn't really ruin it for me. Although I can see it can really diminish the feel for some, it didn't really for me. The movie was enjoyable from the start to finish, a little questionable around the end but still a good movie and I would recommend this to anybody who just wants to watch a good movie.