Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Review: The Boy and the Beast

by Gaby

Bakemono no Ko, known here in the states as, The Boy and the Beast, was released here locally this past weekend, March 4th, 2016.  To be 100% honest, I had heard of this movie but I had no idea what it was about, I assumed that it was about a boy being taught martial arts by a beast, but it goes deeper than that.

The story of Ren, renamed Kyuta by his beast master, Kumatetsu, starts with the death of his mother
Kyuta mimics Kumatetsu's moves
when Ren is only 9 years old. He does not know the whereabouts of his father so instead of being put in other relatives custody he runs away and decides to live on the street.  One day as he is sitting there on the streets he is approached by two beasts who have been talking about needing a pupil. Kumatetsu asks the boy to come with him but Ren just sits there, he does become curious after they leave and when the police start chasing after Ren, he sees the beasts go into an alley.  He follows them and is transported to Jutengai, the Beast Kingdom.
Soon after arriving, Ren was being bullied but is discovered by a Pig Beast Monk who then bumps into Kumatetsu and that's when Kumatetsu claims the child.

Kumatetsu and Iozen fighting in the market
Kumatetsu ends up changing Ren's name to Kyuta since he is only nine (kyu) years old.  After being initially hesitant to be Kumatetsu's pupil, Kyuta eventually starts mimicking his beast masters steps and starts learning predictability of moves, which envokes a want to learn more from his master.   Years pass and Kyuta grows up to be 17 years old, and accidentally stumbles back into the human world, where he has a thirst for book knowledge and befriends a high school girl who was being teased named Kaede. 

But it's not all peaches and cream the main climax of this movie occurs when Kumatetsu and his rival Iozen are competing to become the next Lord of the Beasts, and one of Iozen's sons decides to take matters into his own hands.  I won't give away the rest of the story but I highly recommend you watch it.
Ren protects Kaede

It was certainly an enjoyable story to watch. Seeing how a heartless beast turns soft from becoming the surrogate father or an orphan, how a child who came from nothing still longs for knowledge, and how friendships can develop through common interests.

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