By Raymond Cepeda
The Boy and the Beast is a Japanese animated movie Directed by Mamoru Hosoda a well know film director in Japan who began directing in 2005. The Boy and the Beast is a film regarding a young boy who just lost his mother and his father is nowhere to be found after the accent. His grandparent offered to take him until he was no longer a minor. He felt that everyone was insincere to his feelings and ran away from home as he ran into a beast and became his apprentice. The boy and the beast passed through this alternate universe where the young boy lived among beasts, pigs, wolves and other animals for a number of years and fulfills his dream to become strong so he can be able to take care of himself and later on matures into a young man.
Flat and Round Characters
The two main characters described throughout the film where called Kumatetsu who was the beast that took care of Kyuta. Kumatetsu can be considered a flat character throughout the film his personality never really changes he can be summed up as prideful and a tough love kind of person he never shows any emotion of sadness. Kumatetsu even gives his life protection his apprentice in the end and tells him to “shut up and not to cry because he still lives inside his heart”.
Kyuta is considered a round character. In the beginning, we see him as an immature boy who doesn’t listen to anyone nor respects them and wants to do things his way and just wants to get stronger. He ends up becoming an obedient student who wants to become strong to a point where all he did was impersonate Kumatetsu movements to the point where he knows them without looking and this made him become more mature he also begins to desire to know more about different things, for example, he goes back to Japan and wants to go back to school and learn how to read and write because he was never taught as a kid.
Color plays a huge part in this film particularly the color black. In the beginning of the film when Kyuta ran away and before he meets Kumatetsu he began to be filled with anger, anger that his mom passed away, anger that his dad left him, anger that he was all alone. Kyuta slowly began turning into darkness and when he saw himself in the mirror he was terrified of who he saw as he ran away from his shadow and his shadow chased after him it was like two different people.
Later on in the movie, Kyuta faces off against another character named Ichirohiko who was consumed by the same darkness. Later on, as he came to he didn’t remember what he did nor why he did the things he did. The director uses the color black to attract and express the negative thoughts and feelings the characters has and how sometimes these things can make you do evil and hurtful things off of impulse. We can use this as a lesson in our personal life. Many other colors are also distributed in this film to emphasize the supernatural. When Kyuta defeated Ichirohiko everything around them turns blue and white to show a sense of cleansing since Kyuta defeated Ichirohiko he lost all of the darkness inside him and this showed how the darkness dispersed around them. It was sort of ironic because it looked so beautiful. How can something so evil look so beautiful?
Sound and Music
Sound and music play a big part in this film just as in any film. In the intense parts when can hear the music and sound rising louder and louder. WhenKyuta was being chased by the cops in the beginning of the film you can hear the instruments of violin and piano rising as if you were watching an old 90s film of cat and mouse. The same also goes for the relaxed scene where Kyuta was getting used to living with Kumatetsu and he started becoming stronger day by day the instruments were soft, calm as if everything was going ok.
The film is directed in third person. The director shows us the viewers different point of view just like the film we watched in class called Pop culture. Mamoru Hosoda the director focuses on Kyuta one of the protagonist in this film and his struggle of losing his mother and father and the feeling alone. Many things happen to Kyuta, for example, he re-encounters his father and is in a dilemma between living and staying with his real father or staying and living with Kumatetsu the beast that raised him. Another point of view we see in this film is Kumatetsu. He is a beast that is training to become the next headmaster of the place where they live. Everyone treats him as an underdog that always gets in the way of everything and no one seems to acknowledge him. The current headmaster tells Kumatetsu and the other beast that he faces off for headmaster they both must have an apprentice. Iouzen the character Kumatetsu is facing off against for the headmaster has apprentice and Kumatetsu bumps into Kyuta and that’s how they become master and apprentice.
The director even goes as far as telling the point of the villain in the film. Ichirohiko which is the villain of the movie is Iouzen’s apprentice. Ichirohiko becomes consumed of envy. Ichirohiko is jealous of how Kyuta, a human, can become so strong, and how his master gives him so much attention. He finds it unfair. During the battle for headmaster between Iouzern and Kumatetsu, when Iouzen loses, Ichirohiko stabs Kumatetsu because of anger.
The director really went far to explain the reason of Ichirohiko actions. The director also explains bits and parts of minor character throughout the film. For example: Kyuta meets a girl and we are shown how she feels alone and how her parents don’t pay attention nor listen to her.
Another minor character is Kyuta’s father. He is filled up with regret. He tells Kyuta that he went looking for him immediately after his mom death and he’s sorry. He begins to tell Kyuta to stay and live with him that they can start anew. Another character explained throughout the film is one of the two friends that help raised and guide Kkyuta as a young boy one this person is a Japanese pig monk named Kon. The director made this as a joke to be funny to the audience he purposely made a pig as a monk is ironic because pigs are usually begin killed for their skin. Kon is what you can call a resolver. Throughout the film he’s always breaking up the fight between Kyuta and Kumatetsu. When Kumatetsu had second thoughts of begin Kyuta master he told Kumatetsu to be patient with him and he’s only a kid and he usually guided Kyuta through the problems he had with Kumatatsu.
Another character is Kumatetsu best friend, Leu. Leu is a monkey that can be described as a hard-headed funny and gullible . He tells Kumatetsu to forget about the kid: he shouldn’t pick a human to be his apprentice they should just go back to the way things where. You can say he is a round character because later on in the film he changes the way he begins to think about Kyuta. They become great friends. The director made it significant to make Kon and Leu the way he did he made them as a negative and a positive point of view as some sort of conscience for Kumatetsu.
During the fighting scene in the end of the movie where Kumatetsu gives his life to be Kyuta sword, that’s where the narration of the movie begins. Kumatetsu begins to guide Kyuta throughout the fight and tells him to “dodge right, go left duck!! And with his help, he ends up defeating Ichirohiko. As stated earlier when Kyuta begins to cry because he lost his master and pretty much his father Kumatesu tell him to shut up that he lives inside his heart”
The film took place in Japan even though the film was animated the director put into depth the work of animation to make it look like the real Japan. When Kyuta traveled to the parallel world the director made it as an old fashion Japan but instead of people in charge animals where they were walking and talking as if they were humans. The director claims he did this to “elaborate the difference between old Japan and new Japan and there new and old traditions. The camera work changes a couple times throughout this film they first start off in modern Tokyo which is the heart of Japan with cars, trains and plains, to this parallel universe where everything is old fashion horses and carriages, no buildings cars hotels and subways only mountains, sheds. Now that Kyuta is 18 years old and goes visit Tokyo he sees it as a whole new world as when he saw it as nine years old. The director states that this scene shows how rapid technology grows over the years.
The Boy and the Beast is a well made movie that you can watch with anyone or even alone. There are many hidden messages seen throughout the film. .The young boy obsessed with becoming stronger becomes one of the strongest warriors to be seen and much more mature. In the beginning, we see this immature and stubborn kid that doesn’t agree with anything and learns how to live like his master and becomes obedient. I seriously recommend this movie to anyone. Most people automatically deny a Japanese animated movie just because it animated. They would think it is just for kids. I strongly disagree. Give it a chance: you will enjoy it.