TrendRadars > Culture > Beastars Is a Clever Parable About Society’s Fight Against Human Nature
Beastars Is a Clever Parable About Society's Fight Against Human Nature,More than just a high school anime about animals, Beastars is a metaphor for the human struggle to govern its basest and darkest instincts.

Beastars Is a Clever Parable About Society’s Fight Against Human Nature

On first glance, 2019’s anime Beastars appears like a quirky, horny version of a high school anime with an animalistic twist. When watching Season 1, it’s hard to look past the sexualization of rabbit Haru or the strangeness of this world populated by carnivores and herbivores who are forced to coexist.

However, once the initial discomfort fades — and especially in Season 2 — one starts to notice that behind the anime’s outlandish world-building is an ingenious extended metaphor about contemporary societies. Much like Orwell’s Animal Farm, if on a smaller scale, Beastars is exploring the depths of humanity’s most animalistic instincts, as well as society’s attempts to tame them.


Carnivores and Herbivores Coexisting Is an Experiment for a Utopian Society

The world of Beastars features a school that accepts both carnivores and herbivores and advocates for the positivity of their coexistence. Carnivores are forbidden from eating meat and are encouraged to empathize with their herbivore classmates. Everything changes when Legoshi, a wolf and the series' protagonist, starts feeling attraction for Haru, a rabbit: his desires are so strong that they seem to merge both sexual and predatory instincts.

Legoshi’s struggle with guilt and confusion about his urges can be read in many ways. While on the surface it can represent a teenage struggle with puberty and identity, a deeper analysis can suggest a parable for contemporary society as a whole. On the one hand, humanity has always been driven by survival of the fittest, the strong trying to overpower the weak; on the other hand, modern political and social systems have been built to contrast this and protect the weak, in a (perhaps idealistic) search for good. Consequently, Legoshi’s fight with himself becomes a metaphor for humanity’s battle with its own demons.

Beastars Shows That Power Is Always Linked to the Basest Instincts

In Season 2, the development of Legoshi and the other most interesting character in the series — the red deer Louis — extends the discourse to include the temptations offered by ambition and power. While Legoshi goes through a monk-like training to become indifferent to the appeal of meat (i.e. herbivores), Louis is seduced by the fascination of power. Never strong enough before, he starts eating meat and becomes the head of the Shishigumi criminal organization.

Louis’s transformation seems to be proof of the corrupting nature of power. Eating meat becomes the symbol of what power can do to people — connecting them to their worst instincts, with the pleasure that comes from finally letting go of all inhibitions. Louis, being a herbivore, struggles with this; but the lions in the Shishigumi don't. Legoshi’s opposite trajectory, with all the effort and suffering it involves, seems to suggest that being ‘good’ requires incredible effort, as it goes against some of the darkest urges that are sadly, but necessarily, part of being human.

What could have been a quirky high school anime is actually closer to a Japanese version of Bojack Horseman, although admittedly without a lot of the American show’s nuance and complexity. If Season 3 keeps up with what the series has done so far, Beastars could become one of the most interesting anime of recent years.