Beastars: 10 Things Most Fans Don’t Know About The Making Of The Anime
Lisa De La Cruz
Beastars premiered on Netflix back in March, yet the momentum is nowhere near slowing down. With talks of a second season coming soon and a possible end for the manga series, this 3D CG anime is gaining new fans daily. There are some fans who are coming in fresh off of the manga's heels, others are discovering the anime first and falling in love with Beastars.
While there is not an official release date for the second season yet, fans who are excited about the return are rewatching the first season, noticing things they've missed, speculating in online forums, and scouring interviews for more. Luckily for fans, making Beastars was such a unique process, there is a lot of information to learn.

10 The Opening Sequence Is Inspired By Amateur Dancers

Many anime fans will tell you, an opening sequence or OP is either a "must-watch" every episode or a "skip it to get right into the episode", there's no in-between. With Beastars, the OP definitely falls into the first category for many reasons. The OP is made completely in stop-motion by Dwarf Studios, the creators of the Netflix hit, Rilakkuma and Kaoru.
In the sequence, stop motion figures of Legoshi and Haru are dancing around a fountain before things get dark. For the dancing episode director, and Cyclone Graphics president Michiya Kato stated he saw a video of a Western wedding first dance and realized the dance needed some love as opposed to the coolness of professional dancers.

9 Fan Art Was Used As References For Characters Design In The Opening

As mentioned, the opening sequence is made entirely in stop motion, which requires a completely different process than a traditional animated opening. The team at Dwarf Studios had to get creative to bring the director Michiya Kato's vision of a "fable-like" story to life.
Dwarf Studios studied the manga and the CG animation in order to get the Legoshi and Haru's looks just right. They attempted to do a 3D printed figurine of Legoshi as a start but realized it did not print correctly. The team looked into fan art and fan-made models to see what features fans took note of.

8 This Was The First Time Studio Orange Used Motion Capture Technology On Animals

The studio behind Beastars, Studio Orange, is not a new studio. Founded in 2004 by famed animator Eiji Inomoto, they have worked Majestic Prince, Black Bullet, Active Raid, and other projects. They also provide work for other studios like MAPPA and Sunrise.
For Beastars, Inomoto was inspired to do a 3D CG animation on animals after watching Zootopia. Once he discovered the Beastars manga, he decided he wanted to try this project. The studio was unsure if it would work so they began by buying a facial capture system and testing it for a few months.

7 The Character Designer Studied Animals At A Zoo

In Beastars, the characters walk, talk, and deal with issues just like humans do but at the end of the day, they are still animals. While Beastars mangaka Paru Itagaki designed the characters for the manga, there is a different level of detail required for animating animals in 3D CG.
For the anime designs, character designer Naô Ôtsu who has previously worked on Punch Line and Saga of Tanya the Evil, visited zoos with a stuffed Legoshi plushie. He also used his dog Koma-Maru as a reference for Legoshi's mane.

6 Juno's Face Expressions Were Based On A Dogs'

One of the benefits of the 3D CG animation used in Beastars is the realism of the facial expressions of the characters. A lot of work goes into animating 3D characters, including using 3D models for each one. Due to the time-consuming process, the model used for Legoshi was used for other characters.
In addition, animators had to pick references that would work the best for each character. Tetsuro Tanaka, who has worked on Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?, developed the concept of facials. For Juno's character, her facial structure is based on a dog as opposed to a wolf.

5 Japanese Voice Actors Acted Out Scenes Like A Play

One of the main plots of Beastars is the drama club at Cherryton working hard to put on the school play, "Adler." We see the cast star in the show, set the scene, fight over roles, and all of the issues that go along a school play production. Any fans who were in theater or interested in acting could relate to a lot of the events in Beastars.
A theater play production and making an anime may not have a lot of common initially but there is something different the creators did to liken it to theater. The Japanese cast prerecorded their lines altogether in the style of theater, as the character motions were used to animation.

4 Crew Acted Out The Love Hotel Scene

Usually, for 2D animation, the animation is completed first and then the voice cast will record the lines to match the mouth flaps. In 3D CG animation, the voice acting is usually recorded first and then the animation is based on the character moments of the actors.
As previously mentioned, in Beastars the actors recorded theater style with shotgun mics. This allowed the animators to "act" out the scenes later for the motion capture technology. For the love hotel scene with Legoshi and Haru, producer Hyun-Tae Kim revealed that they had the animators in bed with the lights off.

3 Paru Itagaki Considers The Anime "Like A Reboot"

Beastars is adapted from an on-going manga series of the same name by Paru Itagaki. For many mangaka's, having their manga adapted into an anime is always a great thing. For Paru Itagaki, the same can be said.
In an interview with Exile Sekai, Itagaki stated it was an "incredible experience" for Beastars to have been made into an anime. She felt like she was watching Beastars from a "third-person perspective" and since she was not directly involved, "it was like a reboot."

2 Legoshi's English Voice Actor Lurked On The Beastars Subreddit

Internet communities such as Reddit and Discord serve as virtual hubs for many fandoms and the Beastars fandom is no exception. Over 61,000 fans flock to the Beastars subreddit to discuss the manga and anime, post fan art and cosplays, and obsess over when season 2 will be available. Among those in the subreddit was voice actor Jonah Scott, who voices Legoshi.
In an interview, Scott stated that he was nervous to voice Legoshi as it was his first role as a protagonist. He attributes the subreddit to helping him push to include certain fan-favorite moments like when Legoshi's infamous "male mode" line.

1 Certain Instruments Were Use For Carnivores & Herbivores

What makes Beastars a stand out anime is the fact that every aspect of creation was treated with care and innovation. Everyone involved from directors, producers, and actors knew how special the story was going to be and worked hard to make the project unique. One area in particular where this is seen, or rather heard, is in the composition.
Composer Satoru Kosaki, who has worked on Highschool of the Dead and Lucky Star, stated that for the overall theme of the music, he thought of "Gypsy" music (recognizing, of course, that he presumably is unaware of the problematic nature of this label). Kosaki said that he paired each species with a type of instruments like brass instruments for carnivores and woodwind instruments for herbivores. He also stated that the size of the instrument would match the size of the animal, so Legoshi's is a trombone, and Haru's is a flute.