An anime produced by studio Trigger, ‘BNA: Brand New Animal’ chronicles the adventures of Michiru Kagemori and Shirou Ogami as they set out to find a cure for Michiru and protect Anima City from threats that seek to destroy beastkin peace.
Michiru is a teenage girl who is inexplicably transformed into a tanuki beastkin, a humanoid animal. Searching for a cure for what she believes to be a disease, she heads to Anima City. There, beastkin are not discriminated by humans, but are treated equally.
In her search for a cure, she runs into the city’s protector, Shirou, who is himself a wolf beastkin. Together, this odd pair serves as the driving force of this anime’s story.
I had to look up what a tanuki is since the animal is not familiar to me. Apparently, it’s a Japanese raccoon dog, and this is the beastkin form of our main character, Michiru. She really doesn’t like her beastkin form and puts in a concerted effort to become human again.
In the process, she discovers a new side of herself that she later learns to accept. Her transformation from bratty teenager to teenage heroine is a sight to behold. She matures quite quickly in the series, and I suppose that’s what you’d expect from someone who experiences discrimination that was once taken for granted. Because of her, ‘BNA: Brand New Animal’ is my top choice of anime this spring.
Of course, BNA would not be entertaining if it weren’t for Michiru’s partner in adventure, Shirou. Whereas Michiru is young and emotional, Shirou is enigmatic and brooding. The wolf beastkin is set in his ways and protects all beastkin with all of his heart. However, this stubbornness puts him in direct conflict with Michiru’s personality doubled by the fact that Michiru is also human.
In spite of these different backgrounds, though, the pair learns to accept their differences to achieve a greater goal. That in itself is a beautiful message from the anime. Having different backgrounds doesn’t mean you can’t get along. In fact, you can still work together to achieve common goals.
‘BNA: Brand New Animal’ also tackles concepts like discrimination, religion, and politics rolled into a seemingly wacky anime. The animation is very vibrant and can even be loony at times. However, this is all part of the feel of the anime, which can be upbeat and funny while also being sad and serious at the same time.
‘BNA: Brand New Animal’ tackles a lot of social concerns in its beastkin environment and strongly shows us that social issues are everywhere and are not limited by race. However, the solutions remain the same if we only have the courage to use it the right way.
With this, Michiru and Shirou find answers to both of their problems: Michiru’s transformation and beastkin discrimination. As is usual in these scenarios, there are choices to be made. The series shows how these two characters get to those choices. Rest assured, the choices they make show a positive outlook towards dealing with your own inner animal and how to deal with discrimination. These two characters transform and mature into each other’s ideals, providing an excellent resolution to more than one conflict in the anime.
In effect, ‘BNA: Brand New Animal’ is an action-packed series about religious and social themes that we can relate to in our current times. Don’t be fooled by the hilarity of the anime. These are light moments to dull the weight of heavier themes. Overall, it all balances out to create a very enjoyable story.
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