Bakemono no ko
- The Boy and the Beast
- by Mamoru Hosoda
The story is about a boy and a beast, both are quite identical in being lonely, stubborn and strong. The 9 year old boy Ren has experienced many bad things such as the death of his mother in an accident, the disappearance of his father and the cold hearted of the other family members. So he decided to run away and to live on his own. Meanwhile in the land of Shibuten, the fierce warrior named Kumatetsu is feared but also very anti-social. In fact, he seems to be a good candidate for the place of the Lord as he claims to retire. However, his rival called Iouzan is also a perfect candidate for this position. Indeed, Iouzan is far more social and loved by the society. So, Kumatetsu has to prove that he is a serious contender.
Moreover the boy Ren gets lost and suddenly found himself in the land of the Shibuten where he met Kumatetsu. He nicknames the boy ‘Kyuuta’. In fact, both are very stubborn but they manage to learn from each other.
The movie has a very interesting topic as it shows human containing a darkness inside them which is able to harm the monsters in the Shibuten world. Therefore, humans are seen as a dangerous species. The darkness inside them represents their sins, anger and depression. When the darkness grows bigger, it begins showing itself as a big hole in the human bodies. A further interesting topic is the loneliness of the characters. For instance, ‘Kyuuta’ (how he is called), ran away from home and is therefore alone. Nonetheless, even though he has stayed at home, he would be still alone after his mom’s death as his family does not care for him at all. ‘Kyuuta’ sees his partner Kumatetsu also as a lonely guy because during a showdown, the supporters only cheer his opposer Iouzan and nobody supports him. At this time, Kyuuta realizes how similar both are.
The Boy and the Beast is filled with many funny scenes especially the fights between Kyuuta and Kumatetsu. Their stubborness brings many laughters and produces funny scenes such as the Kendo training. We also love the scene how Kumatetsu nicknames the boy Kyuuta. Besides funny elements the anime also contains emotional ones: Kyuuta has loved his mother, his father never showed up again and so he ended being homeless. You really feel with him as he has to provide for himself. Afterwards as he ended in the other world he is insecure to which world he really belongs because Kumatetsu becomes like a father to him. One can say that the ending is also more or less emotional. (Side Note: the appearance of the little mouse might be interpreted as an incarnation of his mother who wants to warn and keep him from doing bad things).
The movie is also filled with fantasy elements due to the fact that it shows parallel worlds. The world of the beasts consists of different types of beasts such as monks, bears and warthog, just to mention a few. These creatures also have different kinds of powers: telekinesis and reincarnation of beasts as gods are some of them.
The characters depicted in the movie are quite interesting. Firstly the main protagonist Kyuuta has a very stubborn personality and fight for his own as his parents are gone. On the other side, Kumatetsu does not really do anything in his life. Besides being stubborn too, he is also very lazy. Even though both have many conflicts, they began to care for each other, whereas Kumatetsu kinda takes the role of Kyuuta’s father. In other words, one can say that both complete each other.
The art of animation in the anime is very well done. We like the background art because the environment scenes are fascinating. Also the world of the beasts is very beautiful drawn and this also applies to the world of humans as that one is very realistically drawn. We also like the art of the characters, they are quite neat and detailed. However the characters could have been drawn a bit more cute especially Kyuuta as he was younger. On the other side, the different shapes of of the beasts are very creative. Moreover, the music and themes are also very good, we think that the ending theme perfectly fits into the anime as the lyrics are very meaningful.
All in all, we really like watching this movie even though we were sceptical at the beginning but the movie gets more and more entertaining. We love how funny and thrilling it is at the same time; you really feel with the characters and understand their emotions and reactions. The idea of parallel worlds is well converted and the story is also easy to follow which makes the anime enjoyable to watch. So we recommend “The Boy and the Beast” because it is totally worth watching.