The Boy & The Beast (Bakemono no Ko) is an epic coming-of-age tale that reimagines The Jungle Book, but instead of being a complete rip off, we are treated with an updated version of the classic Disney tale told with Japanese Myths and Fantasies. That being said, The Boy & The Beast comes from the mind of acclaimed Director Mamoru Hosoda, who’s works include Wolf-Children and Summer Wars.
The Boy & The Beast had some big shoes to fill since Hosoda’s previous two films were so highly praised by the anime community. Thankfully Hosoda’s Latest film far surpassed my expectations with it’s grip taking themes and narratives.
We first Meet Ren after the tragic death of his mother, and soon after that he runs away from home. That’s where we are first are introduced to the beast world, but more importantly the first theme of the movie, loneliness. Ren is constantly faced with this struggle, but it’s the struggles of loneliness that inspires Ren to be Kumatestu’s apprentice after seeing that the both of them had this in common.
Like I said in the beginning this is really a coming-of-age film, and we see Ren grow up and develop his own will-power and strength, which is major theme of the movie. As Ren grows up he is faced with the dilemma of which world he truly belongs in, and that choice goes hand in hand with his coming-of-age. Furthermore, we witness the struggle of good versus evil in the heart of Ren, but it’s ultimately the good in his heart that over comes the battle.
The Bottom line is that The Boy & The Beast is a masterpiece and is a must see for all anime fans, but even non anime fans will enjoy The Boy & The Beast. That being said everyone can enjoy the breathtaking art and gripping story that this film offers. I give it a solid 5 out of 5. Here’s a link to the manga.
Blu-Ray Specail Features & Bonuses:
*Includes Digital HD Ultraviolet (subject to expiration and only redeemable in U.S.)
Spoken Languages: English, Japanese, English Subtitles