It has been quite some time since I’ve reviewed an anime, but now I need to pick up the pace! Today we’re going to take a walk on the Wildside (Yep, that’s a Beastars Easter Egg,) and review Trigger’s latest series BNA: Brand New Animal. It follows a young girl who was a human but due to a mysterious circumstance is turned into a Beastman, but because of the situation involving the discrimination of Beastmen in the world, she finds herself drawn to a refuge city called Anima City, a city for Beastmen. But soon she finds out that Anima City has its own fair share of problems and soon finds herself embroiled in it, not only that but meets a wolf beastman and gets mixed up in an even stranger situation.
While getting the same jokes as Orange Studio’s anime adaption of Paru Itagaki’s BEASTARS manga on being similar to Walt Disney’s Zootopia, it shares some similarities to it’s Disney Cousin but both Trigger and Orange’s Anime Projects are different, for example, it shares a similar plot point on how prejudice can divide and damage everything it touches. It isn’t the first time that the studio has tackled a subject like this, in their recent film PROMARE and shows such as Gurren Lagen, Kill La Kill, and Little Witch Academia it all shares a visual style that could be described as Gonzo and a general distrust for Authoritarian Conformity.
Directed by Yoh Yoshinari, who not only served as the series director but also worked as an animator, storyboard artist, and character designer for many projects both for Studio Trigger, Gainax, and Madhouse. He and Writer Kazuki Nakashima do a great job of bringing light to a subject that is hard to tackle without sounding preachy or overly complicate things when talking about racism, prejudice, and systemic bigotry; one of the things that surprised me the most in this twelve-episode spanned series was it included some historical nods in it, for example, concentration camps of World War II, and much of today’s issues as well.
Let’s move onto a different area, the animation team and artwork, bringing their past work and history into each panel and episode, it is clear to see that Trigger had a blast in making this show and it was clear to see that they were cutting loose, from a crazy baseball game (with a subtle nod to the film “The Bad News Bears,”) that the storyboard was handled by the co-founder of Trigger and animator Hiroyuki Imaishi, he is known for his frantic style and fast-paced animation but it is combined with an elaborate direction. At the end of the day, it translates to it being one of the best shows the studio has to offer; the number of frames that made it to the screen is limited. Its kooky antics and the strong, colorful character designs make it stand out above the rest. While critics like to poke fun at this new rise in Anime Genre due to the Furry Community, I would like to say that it is a welcome change from the usual familiar tropes that fans and viewers are used to; by this statement, I am referring to fan-service, predictable plots and etc.
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