Through those tensions, the anime introduces its endearing personnages -- Legosi, a conflicted grey wolf (who is way less creepy than he appears in the manga) and the antisocial protagonist that 2020 deserves; Haru, a sexually empowered white dwarf rabbit; Bill, an overconfident thespian bengal tiger who’s ultimately just a dick; and Louis, a complex red deer with the potential to bring everyone together. A gorgeous mix of 2D and 3D animation breathes life into these characters, from Legosi’s hopeless, slouchy awkwardness to the ferocity within Louis’ eyes, but the story does little to use that momentum to further deconstruct many of the show’s most crucial characters.
Haru, the leading lady of Beastars, is minimized to a role that mostly services Legosi’s inner conflict of his carnivorous instincts and soft personality, and stokes a fiery love triangle involving her, Louis, and Legosi. Even Juno, the female grey wolf who aspires for societal prominence and influence, has her passions eclipsed by her romantic advances towards Legosi. Other incredible characters are sprinkled throughout the show, such as Legosi’s literal role dog Jack, the badass panda psychiatrist Gouhin, and the bougie harlequin rabbit Mizuchi.
Apart from those gripes about characterization, it cannot be overstated how captivating Beastars is. Each 23-minute episode is liable to make viewers question themselves and wonder what the fuck they’re watching. Rabbits sport lingerie, lions run an organized crime syndicate, anteaters slut shame, and hens treat their eggs like they’re getting Yelp-reviewed. The human brain is just not prepared to make sense of shit like that.