I Watched: “Beastars”

Beastars is an anime series based on the manga by Paru Itagaki which is set against the backdrop of a high school where anthropomorphic carnivore and herbivore students coexist in harmony, and mainly focuses on a drama club where members compete to attain the rank of Beastar, an individual of great talent, service, and notoriety.

The series opens with a bloody alpaca, Tem, fleeing for his life from a classmate whose identity is hidden from us by shadows yet is known to Tem. The alpaca tries to reason with his assailant to no avail, and his murder causes a cultural divide between the carnivores and herbivores, as it becomes clear that the campus is no longer a safe place for any creature considered prey who is foolish enough to be traveling outside alone once the sun sets.

The three main characters the series follows are:

  • Legoshi, an introverted large gray wolf with the gentle, contemplative heart of a monk, struggling to suppress not only his carnivore nature but his sexual desire for someone who by all rights should be prey.
  • Haru, an isolated, cheerful, adventurous, and sexually promiscuous dwarf white rabbit who is never afraid to stand up for herself amidst constant shaming and bullying from her classmates.
  • Louis, an intimidating red deer lead actor who lords himself over the drama club, who I absolutely hate, though I respect his plight. He has the heart and soul of a predator, trapped in the body of prey. Though his will is strong enough to dominate all who step into his sphere of influence, his herbivore body can’t go toe to toe with a carnivore. But like I said, I can’t stand him. He has that type of anime face just begging to be punched.

Since there is currently more content available than any sane person can keep track of, this means a lot of movies, tv and anime fly completely under my radar and Beastars would have been one of those shows if a good friend of mine hadn’t recommended it. She knows my taste in anime so I trust her judgment and I went into this series blind, no trailer, no synopsis, no reviews, no nothing. And as soon as I streamed the first episode, I thought Chance the Rapper was going to jump out screaming “You’ve been Punk’d!” because my friend knows there are two things I’m not a fan of in my anime:

  • The first is anthropomorphism. Furries and animals acting like humans no longer holds any interest for me. Not that there’s anything wrong with it, it’s just not in my current entertainment wheelhouse.
  • The second is slice of life school kids romance. If that’s your thing, good on you, I’m simply not the target demographic for that sort of thing.

And as I am no spring chicken, the thought of investing my limited time on this planet suffering through 26 episodes of a boy too shy to tell a cute girl he has feelings for her despite the numerous occasions fate forces the pair together…well, ain’t nobody got time for that.

And I was ready to punch out of the series, when this happened:

What the holy hell was I watching?

Don’t get me wrong, I may be old, but I’m not a prude. I have no problem with women taking charge and owning their sexuality and sexual experiences. There’s no slut-shaming here. In fact, take your clothes off, tiny bunny (sung to the tune of “Tiny Dancer”). It’s all good. You do you. Do the kids still say that? Doesn’t matter.

I’m not going to go all spoilery and recap all the episode highlights but I will point out the moment that made up my mind about this series. It’s the scene where after navigating through a string of hardships, Legoshi and Haru are finally about to hook up when this happens:

The bits of text you may not be able to read are:

A rebuke from my rabbit instincts: loving each other is a terrible mistake. A predator has its own instincts, so does a prey.

And the line that cinched it all for me:

Their bodies know what their relationship should be.

It’s a damned heady line that made me ponder their relationship long after the episode ended.

So, would I recommend Beastars? Definitely. Will I come back for the second season? Most assuredly. And don’t complain about the lack of story breakdowns and spoilers, I’m doing you a favor and I’ve said too much already. Go watch it for yourself.

Ciao til next now.

Inner Demons

I tried my damnedest to save Madeleine from the demon part of herself, but the moment I saw those black eyes and blue lips and my nostrils filled with the acrid scent of her burnt soul, I knew I was too late.

Pregnancy by Mail

The newspaper ad read:

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Prelude to a Fight

“Let’s just talk about this some other time,” she sighed in exasperation. She being Lexi, my once and future girlfriend who is currently merely an ex. Don’t tell her I said merely, that’ll only set off another unnecessary argument.

“Why not settle it now?” I asked.

I watched the topography of her brow change as Lexi bit back her honest response. After a controlled exhale, she offered, “Because I don’t have your full attention.”

“Don’t be silly. Of course you do.”

“Can you please not lie to me, just this once?”

“I’m not lying, I swear.”

Lexi rolled her eyes. “I can see the movement behind your irises.”

I wanted to turn away from her, but that would have been an admission and I wasn’t in the mood to be caught in a lie. Again. “That’s nothing but a trick of the light and your overactive imagination.”

“My overactive imagination? Seriously? Project much?”

“That’s you all over, isn’t it? Creating drama where none’s present.”

“There wouldn’t be any need for drama if you simply cut the shit and tell me what you’re thinking.”

“If I was thinking something, and I’m not saying I am, what business is it of yours? We’re not a thing anymore, remember?”

Lexi threw her hands up. “Precisely why we’re not a thing, because of you and your secrets.”

I craned my neck and peered over Lexi’s shoulder, scanning the server area behind her. “Where’s our server?”

“On his lunch break if he has any common sense. Probably duped some poor unsuspecting clod into covering his tables.”

Random Thought:

Wouldn’t it be great if people, much like good short stories, came with prefaces since sometimes the inspiration for how someone came to be the person standing before you is far more interesting than the stories they choose to reveal? Like glimpsing the person behind the curtain. The problem with that logic is a good introduction can’t be composed until the story is completed and we can’t very well write our own prefaces after we’re dead. Which I guess makes it more of a postmortem than an actual preface.

Never mind.

You Hold My Very Moment

“You hold my very moment.”

“What does that mean?”

“Simply that you keep me here, grounded to this spot at this moment in time. When I am with you, I am nowhere else. My mind does not wander, I do not desire being anywhere else than with you, right here, right now.”

“You say the oddest things at times, but thank you, I suppose. It is kind of a sweet thing to say, actually.”

Of All The Land I Own

You may not know it to look at me, but I’m a real estate tycoon. I own more acres of land than I know what to do with, complete with property, some with sturdy foundations, other less so. Where, you ask? You should be asking when.

All my property exists in the past. Acreages of failed relationships with family, friends, and lovers, all abandoned before they could reach their full potential. Some were cut short by circumstances beyond my control, but the majority were absolutely avoidable if only I had taken time to till the soil.

Stories are…

Stories are the creatures that forage in the wilderness of our minds. Their claws pierce our curiosity, digging in deep to prevent our escape, as they force us into their maw, past razor-sharp teeth of conflict.

Cosmetic Layers

Kathryn’s gift, her one unique talent, had always been projecting a calm demeanor that she expertly layered like cosmetics over all her various and sundry rough patches until her public life appeared positively silken. Her deceptive doe eyes and counterfeit, rouge-cheeked smile helped the ruse remain balanced.

Planting Memories

My memory? A sieve in which past recollections drain away into one of the many great black holes of half-forgotten yesterdays. Could it be the result of a built-in self-defense mechanism that tamps down the harmful events one never quite survives intact? Or am I simply a poor caretaker of retrospection?

I find that in order to remember a past event, I must pluck photographs from an album I do not recall assembling and fold the still images into my locks, like planting seeds in soil in hopes that these memories will take root and replace the ones that have evaporated forever.