This fascinating, if drawn-out, epic from director Mamoru Hosoda (Wolf Children, Summer Wars) is like a mix between The Karate Kid and Japanese folklore, and it was a smash hit in Japan. It imagines a Tokyo where animals govern under the guidance of an elderly Lord Soshi (Tsugawa), and the city is full of kendo-style fights amongst rivals for the position of Soshi’s successor. (Perhaps they ought to give it a shot in Thailand, where the revered queen is said to be gravely ill and close to passing away.)
The story follows Ren (renamed Kyuta and voiced by Aoi Miyazaki), an orphan who is offered a chance to become the apprentice of the bearish samurai Kumatetsu (Yakusho, in full Toshirô Mifune mode) in the beast-run underworld that exists just under the reality of Tokyo’s Shibuya district. Despite this, Kumatetsu is not Mr. Miyagi; he finds young Ren to be the outlet for his rage and the structure he so desperately craves.
The early montage of the beast and his boy is effective, and the overstuffed plot only gets more outlandish as the now-adult Kyuta (voiced by Sometani) returns to the real world and falls in love with a human university student, only to be dragged back into the shadowy beast world to aid his sensei in a climactic battle that features more than one interesting reveal.
Alongside the political power-plays occurring in Kumatetsu’s fabulously realised home world is a subplot concerning Kyuta’s fascination with Melville’s Moby-Dick, which only makes sense at the end – no spoilers here – when the fate of both the Shibuyan reality and the anything-goes land of the beasts are threatened by, well, like I said, no spoilers here.
Fans of anime tend to flock to The Boy and the Beast because of how deeply immersed they are in its realities, which are at odds with each other. Hosoda uses CGI for a few stunning scenes in Shibuya, but the real emotional core of the film is the unexpected friendship between Kumatetsu and Kyuta.
The Boy and the Beast is the worst movie by an incredible director I’ve seen in a while. Hosoda’s weakest. pic.twitter.com/WY7YA48EuO
— kViN 🌈🕒 (@Yuyucow) March 9, 2016
Hosoda’s hefty, occasionally humorous anime epic benefits most from being experienced on the large screen, where the superior sound design and Masakatsu Takagi’s bombastically action-centric score can be appreciated to their utmost potential.
if you have not watched it yet, give it a try, and let me know your reviews about the series. Follow digitalnewsexpert.com to get all the recent updates