The Boy And The Beast

The Boy And The Beast
Director: Mamoru Hosoda 

Release Date: 10th July 2017
Toho

Imagine if in your local city, there was a back alley which led to another world. A spirit world? No. A dimension to our opposite selves? No. A world in which animals are like humans and train in fighting so they can earn the right to be Gods and all that jazz? Ok then, and that’s The Boy and the Beast. Just let it take you in, don’t question what might lie on the other side of those back alleys…

This animation gives us the vibrant streets of Shibuya along with the ancient styling of the Beast World. The two worlds are at odds with each other to the point that they don’t really have much to do with one another. Ren stumbling into this world and becoming a disciple of big bear beast Kumatetsu is met with mutterings of disgust, but we never really get much of an inkling why, other than the fact that humans apparently have great evil within. It’s the beginning of a whole load of nonsense, though let it slide and there is a rather fun student/teacher story to take in and enjoy. Everyone loves a montage, after all.

The relationship over the years between Ren and Kumatetsu is endearing, but the whole idea of evil within humans, an underutilised Tokyo, plus a grand tournament brushed aside for Ren’s sudden love of studying books leaves things uneven. It never comes together as a whole, with the ‘united’ Bleach-esque fight being simply more nonsense to digest.

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