Anime BNA: Brand New Animal is a good opening story that will hopefully be fleshed out for further seasons.
This review of Netflix anime series BNA: Brand New Animal contains no spoilers.
Beneath the action and the tendency to humanize the animals, Netflix’s BNA: Brand New Animal serves some very important messages about society, especially in our turbulent times during culture wars and plenty of noise.
The main plot point in BNA: Brand New Animal is in this world, there are beastmen — they are essentially humans that can form into a variety of different animals. Beastmen and humans struggle to co-exist — the tension is unbearable which has caused the minority to live in Anima-City which accepts this group.
The great dislike of beastmen by humans could easily be replaced by real world minority groups in our own society and the story would make sense, if you remove sci-fi elements. Another theme is how the beastmen have grown a heavy dislike towards humans due to their horrifying treatment — all this sounds uncannily familiar; it’s almost a theory on the human race.
What’s upsetting at the root of the story of BNA: Brand New Animal is how the beastman try their hardest to comply with human standards driven by a mayor desperate for decent diplomacy to make progress. Again, we’ve seen this in our society plenty of times — “Be British! Learn our history! You don’t belong here if you don’t act like us!”.
But getting away from the themes, BNA: Brand New Animal is about a character called Michiru who has suddenly formed into a beastman and has to hastily flee for refuge in Anima-City as she’s being heavily discriminated against and persecuted. At Anima-City, she befriends a wolf named Shirou, who half-heartedly brings her under his wing. The wolf hates humans.
The Netflix anime battles with Michiru’s battle of wanting to turn back into full human form, while on the other hand, educates herself about the lives of the beastmen. In many ways, it is a touching story that highlights growth and education of a young character, desperate to become accustomed to the world.
As Michiru grows accustomed, the science, the politics and the power struggles forms a wider story that will entice viewers. Anime BNA: Brand New Animal season 1 is a good opening story that will hopefully be fleshed out for further seasons.
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Daniel Hart is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has operated as Editor-in-Chief since 2017.