Current mood: SO COOOOL!!!!!
I already have this movie in my watch list for a long time now. I just keep putting off watching the thing cuz YOI and DIU are more important. In the end I played myself because I didn’t have time to watch anything… until recently. All my reports are finished, events are over, finals are near, but hey what’s the fun of finals if you don’t procrastinate?
Ren was 9 when he ran away from home to avoid living with shit ass relatives. While hustling in the alleyway he adopts a smol mouse which he named Chiko. While wallowing about his late mother a beast comes and jokingly suggests Ren to be his apprentice, then leaves. Not long after Ren gets chased by police officers (who wanna bring him home but that kid having none of shit today). While trying to lose the officers Ren catches a glimpse of the beast in a narrow alleyway. He follows suit and arrives in the world of beasts.
A monk offers to take Ren home, but not before being spotted by none other than the beast which Ren followed: Kumatetsu. Ren, having no where to go, follows him back to his home. Since Ren doesn’t want to reveal his name Kumatetsu gives him a new one based on his age: Kyuuta. The next day Kuma fights with Iozen (one of the candidates to succeed the title as Grandmaster), and Ren sees that Kuma continues to fight even though he doesn’t have anyone supporting him. Ren is impressed and decides to stay and become strong.
Kuma is really bad at teaching. Kyuuta can’t learn shit from the bear. However the kid is relentless and tries imitating his master from scratch, so much so that he could predict Kuma’s movements without even looking. In the end they teach each other how to fight (in different ways) and years go by.
Fast forward to 9 years later. Kyuuta has grown to be a competent fighter, but he and Kuma still fight like babies. One day he stumbles upon the exit back to the human world. And boy that kid is shook! Ren realises he can’t read for shit and consults a girl next to him. After that he witnesses an event where said girl silences a bunch of classmates who are making noise in the library. Like all shitty teenagers, the classmates attempt to bully said girl after she leaves the library. Ren appears and the guy classmates think they’re so tough and throws a sissy punch at Ren… only to get rekt. The girl classmates see that things are going south and flees.
The girl introduces herself as Kaede and befriends Ren. She also acts as his tutor and suggests him to go to university. Ren meets his father, and decides that he wants to continue life as a human after all. Unfortunately things are not going well with Kuma’s side where they fight and subsequently Ren lets his emotions get the best of him. Darkness lurk within his heart and he panics. Kaede consoles him and gives Ren her lucky charm, a red string she ties on her wrist.
Kyuuta returns to the beast world to find that the date of the tournament has been set. He meets up with Jiromaru, Iozen’s second son and they chat. They promise to remain as friends no matter the outcome. Ichirohiko sends Kyuuta to the gate… NOT! Kyuuta is attacked by Ichirohiko and he sees the same darkness within him… but how???
Kuma is in low spirits during the tournament. He fights sloppily and has almost lost when Kyuuta shows himself and screams some sense into him. They bicker (not really) and Kuma gets up to fight Iozen once more. Eventually he wins, and Iozen is content with losing, commenting that Kuma has a ‘great son’. However before anyone realises what was going on, Iozen’s sword (which has been stuck on the Grandmaster’s chair) pierces through Kuma. Iozen is devastated to see Ichirohiko, consumed by the darkness, using his telekinesis powers to kill Kuma.
Enraged, Kyuuta gives in to his darkness, summoning his sword too, despite everybody’s pleas. Chiko, bless that little mouse, interferes with Kyuuta. He sees the red string Kaede gives him and snaps out of his negative demeanor before the sword could kill Ichi. Ichi disappears and Kyuuta passes out.
He awakes next to Kuma’s sleeping and bandaged form. He also eavesdrops on the Grandmaster and Iozen’s family. Ichirohiko is a human Iozen found and decided to keep it a secret, thinking that nothing would go wrong if he raised the human right. Knowing this Kyuuta leaves for the human world to end Ichirohiko.
Ren meets up with Kaede to return a book, in the case he loses the fight. Kaede refuses, Ichi shows up and gives chase. Hell breaks lose in Shibuya. Ren decides to sacrifice himself to defeat Ichi… and then Kuma shows up as a sword, to fill what Ren doesn’t have: the sword inside his heart. Kuma has reincarnated as a God of Tools (I think) to aid Ren in defeating Ichi’s darkness. The darkness is defeated, Ren gives the red string to him and Ichi returns to Iozen safe and sound.
Ren leaves the beast world and never holds a sword ever again, living with his father and attending university. His mentor and foster father, the brave bear who became a God of Tools, lives within his heart, as his sword.
I have to say this movie is not what I expect it to be. I expected it to be really tear jerking but this movie has nothing of that. NOTHING. I AM SHOOK??? There are a few scenes which made me go ‘oh no’, but that’s it.
It is interesting to note that in the movie, there are two sides of our protagonist: the human Ren and the beast Kyuuta. In the first half of the movie we see more of Ren developing Kyuuta in the beast world. Ren slowly transitions into Kyuuta and won’t resurface until he stumbles back into the human world and meets Kaede in the second half. In the human world, Kyuuta reverts back to Ren who is thirsty for knowledge and human contact. Since Ren and Kyuuta have different lives, our protagonist assumes he has to choose one, and decides to leave Kyuuta and become Ren. However Ren becomes emotionally unstable (after seeing his own darkness).
In this sense the human persona Ren has darkness within him, while Kyuuta, being the beast persona has none. But after returning to the human world our protagonist feels conflicted about his identity and thus, the darkness of Ren taints Kyuuta (idk how to explain this concept). When Ichirohiko harms Kuma, Kyuuta allows Ren to resurface as darkness.
Apparently the darkness in human hearts can gain form in the beast world (you don’t see the humans destroying public property with psychic powers any other day… or are they???) due to magical reasons I assume??? So what seems to be harmless in the human world (Ren’s darkness) taints Kyuuta, and this darkness manifests itself (as black holes in your body like Dio’s fatal punch to Kakyoin pls leave me alone) in the beast world through Kyuuta. (Make sense?? I don’t even know.)
What about Ichirohiko though? He was raised as a beast, so surely he wouldn’t have any darkness in him? Remember that the Iozen said it himself, that humans can develop darkness in their hearts, most probably due to the absence of ‘the sword in the heart’. It doesn’t matter if Ichirohiko is raised in what world, darkness will develop with the slightest negative thought. The difference is that Kyuuta left his in the human world, which stayed harmless while Ichi developed his in the beast world.
The tragedy is that nobody noticed that the kid is a human even with his telekinesis. The Grandmaster knows that telekinesis powers are the result of human darkness but that rabbit just goes meh and turns a blind eye. WTF.
Enough of my rambling about self-discovery. This movie just goes on to show that being a negative shit is a choice, we cannot be so quick to put the blame on bad parenting/education etc. Kuma is a really bad foster parent, but Kyuuta turns out fine. Iozen is a caring father but look how Ichirohiko turned into??? Insecurities man, those things are brutal!