BNA: Brand New Animal Review: A Bit Too Much Bark, Not Enough Bite

The first season of Netflix's BNA: Brand New Animal was a beautifully rendered introduction to an anime that has serious long-term potential. It was a good foundation to build upon, but it was also a little underwhelming. The character design and color palette were stunning though, and I loved the vibrancy of it and I hope there will be a second season in the show's future. The story follows a human girl who ended up becoming a tanooki beast after a wrong blood transfusion. She escapes being hunted down by humans to Anima City in order to learn why this has happened to her and find acceptance in the process.

The story was interesting and I do believe there is a lot of potential in the subject explored. It reminded me of our current situation in this country- imagine being hated for something you have no control over. In Michiru's case, a beast. At times it was a bit predictable, but I guess you can always grab my attention and earn some serious bonus points with some gray-haired wolfman like Shirou Ogami- the perfect brooding beast.

BNA
BNA: Brand New Animal (Image: Netflix)

The story moves at a solid pace and it does not take long for the action to kick in. Pretty much every adventure advances the plot and hints toward the main storyline. But for me, the weakest element of the story was the characters- a bit too predictable and way too much talking, whining, or general meandering exposition. The story between Michiru and her best friend Nazuna was the section that dragged the most for me and felt redundant. While I love heart-of-gold heroes, I am not fond of watching them constantly be beaten down by the person they supposedly care for most. Like enough is enough and let's just move on, shall we? I appreciate friendship stories but I could have done without the constant back-and-forth that felt like the same exchange over and over and over again.

The same thing with Boris, the creepy guy who watched over Nazuna. I am struggling to come to terms with being okay with how things went down and how they ended with Nazuna. I do not think there was a shred of redemption in her character arc- at least not yet. She was okay with everything simply because she had dreams of being an idol… say what? I hope that Michiru does grow up a bit and phases out of this stage where she gives her the benefit of doubt and starts really thinking about how shady and selfish Nazuna really is. This is one of those issues with the series that I would like to see explored if there is a continuation of the anime because it just does not sit right with me.

Overall, I enjoyed the story as well as the twists and turns that it took along the way. It was entertaining enough on a number of levels to allow me to binge-watch it easily. Once again, I believe this was solid enough of a foundation that the BNA universe deserves to be explored further. The world the show's creators crafted is an inviting once and I hope to see more of it in the future- and definitely more Silver Wolf.