You ever watch a series that feels like it tries to juggle too many plot points at once? When attempting to have a full story in the short time span of 12 episodes you generally want to focus on only a few elements at a time but this series tried to have its cake and eat it too with concepts such as discrimination segregation poverty super powers corruption a friends middling relationship and it all ends with a subpar Trigger final battle that resolves all the issues in the city that it really shouldnt. The protagonist is Michiru a young teenage girl who mysteriously turned into a beastman a half human animal hybrid and decides to run away to this city called Anima city where beastmen live separated from humans to avoid getting harassed by humans. As for why humans despise and discriminate against beastmen that is never really given a proper explanation. Furthermore beastmen have the capability to transform into normal humans and the question becomes why does anybody care about these beastmen to begin with. In any case we follow Michiru and try to figure out why she was turned into a beastman and how she can transform back to normal so she can go back to her normal life with her parents. The first half of the series focuses on Michiru learning about Anima City and the conflicts surrounding the beastmen on a daily basis. Together with loner wolf man Shirou they occasionally fight crime together. The first 5 episodes had a more episodic feel to them such as Michiru joining a poor baseball team and inspiring them to not give up just to earn money or this one episode where Michiru was trying to teach a group of children how to read and write for this mafia lady to get her wallet back. These episodes arent necessarily bad but given how the show ends up they do feel pointless in the grand scheme of thingsAside from ep 1. The baseball episode felt particularly egregious since aside from one adorable bear from the team we really dont see the team much ever again and what could have been an interesting commentary on how a capitalistic system can force poor folk to stay poor it just kind of ends on not giving up which is nice but it doesnt really do much to explore this city. The other thing is that the show never focuses on how Anima City really operates. The city is generally unable to access the internet and the only way to do so would be through illegal means. How does this society function without the internet? What means do they have to get through their day to day lives? What do they do to get things done around the city? We do get parody brand names like Dog Way and there seems to be a mafia gang running things behind the scenes but generally speaking we really dont get much of anything out of this city. It has an Us vs Them mentality regarding humans and beastmen but its not like thats explored much beyond violence. There is a conflict involving the cult and what happens in the last two episodes is so stupid that I dont understand how this society even got off the ground. Its that bad. One interesting thing regarding Michiru at first would be her desire to return to being a human and go back to her town. Theres this interesting scene where her parents wish her happy birthday over on Instagram and she hesitates to respond. Sadly this conflict is never brought up again and she decides to stay as a beastman anyways so her whole story felt useless. She even gains the ability to transform into a human out of nowhere in one of the earlier episodes and its never used again. She constantly gains all these abilities such as Cheetah legs to run fast bird wings stretchy arms and so on but its never explained how shes able to do all these things. Then her friend Nezuna and her cult is introduced in ep 6 and this is where the show really starts to take a nosedive. To her credit Nezuna does call out Michiru for continuously jumping to conclusions and acting before thinking but this argument that they end up having doesnt really help her change for the better. If anything she continues to act the same while being a little sad as well. In the end Michiru feels so detached from the main conflict of the series and her end goal of becoming a human again is thrown to the wayside. Her character arc is the usual Ive come to accept myself as a beast trite that Ive only seen Shrek pull off. It would honestly make more sense if Shirou was the protagonist though its not like hes a good character either. At least shes got a cute character design. I wish I wouldve liked the cute tanuki girl more. Shirou is like that loner anime man that came out of the early 2000s. Hes rude hates humans clearly has a dark past or some nonsense and works alone. As a wolfman he has the ability to sniff out certain people and objects such as bombs and so forth. Hes a part time detective who works for the police. I dont get how something as arbitrary as smell is accepted as evidence to the police. Phoenix Wright would be all over their asses but its generally used for plot conveniences. What I dont like about Shirou is how he doesnt have any sort of character chemistry with Michiru and his character can be very easily summed up as Humans bad Beastmen good. The bastard also allows a fucking bomb to explode to catch the criminals in the act when finding and stopping the bomb would be more than enough. When his backstory is revealed and they bring up WW2 I was laughing. Everything about him is such a hot mess. I dont have much to say about the rest of the cast. Nezuna is mostly just a prop and a means to an end for the main villain as well as a source of conflict for Michiru the main villain will not be named due to spoilers but its pretty obvious and everybody else is fodder. Now on to the general look of the series. The director of the anime is Yoh Yoshinari and you may recognize that name from LWA since he was the director of that series. It really shows since this series looks rather similar to his previous work though not quite as visually appealing in my eyes. Like that series this show has a lot of character put into it with expressive facial expressions pull and stretch animation and a lot of energy when it counts. The final battle as contrived as that was did have a lot of visual flare to it which I always appreciate. Having said all this I was hoping that this show was going for a cyberpunk esque world given the previous poster that this series had when it was announced and as you can probably tell by going to my profileVa11 Halla ftw I quite like that aesthetic. I do wish Yoshinari and Trigger experimented a little more regarding this show but it still looks appealing overall. Finally theres the soundtrack. I do really like opening and ending songs but the ending song is used way too much throughout the show. I get that anime likes to use their opening and ending songs sometimes as a nod but in this case it feels super forced and annoying. By themselves however theyre nice to listen to. With the ending song has this sort of chilled vibe with a super stylish art style that I love. The rest of the soundtrack is fairly solid with Mabuna who also did the OST for Megalo Box and he did a good job here. Easily my favorite part of the show. Sadly I cant really recommend this series unless you lower your expectations to rock bottom. It lacks any kind of focus and generally feels directionless until the disaster that is the second half. Its not really worth your time. Just watch Beastars if you havent already.
37 /100
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