From Japanese animation company Studio Trigger comes BNA also known as BNA: Brand New Animal. The anime was dubbed by Spliced Bread Productions Inc. and released internationally on Netflix.
In an alternate 21st Century, humans live with the Beastmen, creatures that can morph from humans into bestial forms of all kinds. These creatures live separately from mankind in Anima City. Michiru (Cherami Leigh) is a human who suddenly turns in a Beastmen, specifically a raccoon-like creature tanuki. She runs away to Anima City with the help of mink Marie (Reba Buhr). When she arrives, she meets wolf Shirou Ogami (Ben Diskin) who is determined to protect the city. They run into each other when she uses her powers to stop him from killing other beastkin who were planting a bomb at a festival. Shirou takes her under his wing and includes her in his investigations for Anima City Mayor Barbaray Rose (Cindy Robinson). They are investigating strange incidents where beastkin are going berserk and attacking one another. However, entrepreneur Alan Sylvasta (Robbie Daymond) of Sylvasta Pharmaceutics has a plan on stopping the beastkin’s outrage and also possibly turn Michiru back into a human.
As far as animation goes, Studio Trigger definitely brought their A-game. They do a good job of making the beastkin look unique and individualistic as opposed to relying on stock images so you do not see the same one over and over again. My favorite designs were definitely Michiru, Shirou, and white fox Nazuna voiced by Xanthe Huynh. As for the action, wow. It has some incredibly cool sequences of fights between the characters.
The plot was strangely episodic for an anime. Michiru’s quest to find a cure and the conspiracy around the berserker attacks, but toward the last few episodes, a subplot forms where she finds her childhood friend Nazuna who is posing as the “White Wolf,” a deity that the Beastmen think protects them from danger. This causes conflict between the two and leads to a secret being revealed. Now, they do a good job of teeing up a lot of the mysteries surrounding the series, but the finale threw so much at you. Up to that point, they do a good job of world-building, but then they add so much that you would almost need a new season to explore just what was introduced in that climax.
The voice acting was very well done. As usual, Cherami Leigh did a good job with the role. I do feel like she is being overused at times, but this time the role was right for her. Ben Diskin was the right choice for Shirou. He gave the character a sort of Batman, though more lethal, that made him feel both heroic, but sinister at the same time.
I genuinely think that the show enjoyable and I found myself getting into the show. I do hope that it gets renewed for a second season so they can explore more of the world-building that Studio Trigger set-up for the future.
Check out the trailer below:
What do you think? Let me know in the comments below. Tell me if there is a comic book, movie, or novel you would like me to review. While you are at it, check out my reviews for Violet Evergarden and Africa Salaryman. Don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe for more posts like this one.