BNA could well be Studio Trigger’s Devilman: a story boiling over with racial tension and supernatural action, and yet still, undeniably, a Studio Trigger anime: just bloody good fun.
The world is split between humans and anthropomorphic creatures called beastmen. Humans hate the beastmen, whose lives are made miserable everywhere but Anima City, where they can live without fear of being hunted by blood-thirsty mobs of humans. Even still, the peace in Anima City is fragile: in the middle of a festival, a bomb is planted. Into the middle of all this walks the tanuki Michiru, enjoying her first taste of Anima City, and Shirou Ogami, a wolf with a strong sense of justice.
Is it any good?
The latest anime from Studio Trigger couldn’t be any less than good, could it? Just look at how gorgeous the lighting and colour palette for BNA is. I really love how it looks. It’s such a fully realised and immersive world, a clear different class to most anime. One gets a strong Devilman vibe from it too, given that both play up the racial tensions and the heartlessness of a mob mentality: watching Shirou rip the antlers off the head of a deer turned against its own kind simply sealed the deal (what a great action scene, by the way!)
What are you worried about?
I haven’t found the time to watch director Yoh Yoshinari‘s Little Witch Academia yet, which I know is highly regarded, but story-wise, seems to skew younger than I typically enjoy in anime. I just hope that the writing in BNA is as rousing and emotional as it is fun, and to be fair, writer Kazuki Nakashima is particularly good at this type of balancing act, with his past works like Gurren Lagann a great example of how a cartoon-ish, elastic aesthetic can be just as emotional as it is fun. Truthfully, I’m not worried at all. I think BNA is going to be a cracking anime series.
(So, “Where can I watch BNA?” you should be asking yourself right now. Netflix, my dear boy, is the answer. And, as always, pack a tin of beans or two, because you’ll be waiting for a while. Alas, the first 6 episodes have already aired in Japan and you should know where to go if you want to watch this, but only if you’re a bad, bad person like me.)