Synonyms: Kemono no Soujya Erin, Kemono no Sou-ja Erin, The Beast Player Erin
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Jan 10, 2009 to Dec 26, 2009
25 min. per episode
PG-13 - Teens 13 or older
L represents licensing company
Score: 8.471 (scored by 6219 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
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SynopsisErin is a young girl who lives with her mother in a village which raises war-lizards, called Touda. We see her daily life, which changes as she grows up. Meanwhile, there is growing tension between the two provinces of the country she lives in.
Based on the fantasy series written by Uehashi Nahoko, also known for Seirei no Moribito.
Related AnimeAdaptation: Kemono no Souja
Summary: Kemono no Souja Erin: Soushuuhen
Characters & Voice Actors
Kemono no Souja Erin (The Beast Player Erin), is a surprising anime. Not in the way it looks or sounds, or in any aspect of it's production. Not even because of it's story or characters (which are wonderfuly by the way). No, it's surprising for being the most recent example of a genre that is slowly disappearing in anime.
Many people will be confused by that statement, especially as the show is very clearly labelled and marketed as a children's series, and as everyone knows, kids shows are rife in anime. The problem, however, doesn't lie in the fact that this series was initially aimed at children, no, it lies in the fact that this is one of those rare anime where age boundaries are no longer relevant.
The majority of people may not consider that to be a problem, however one should remember that whenever a series is labelled as a kid's show, the majority of older audiences will automatically avoid it, regardless of how good it is (and before you ask, yes, I have done this too).
Kemono no Souja Erin is based on a series of light novels by Uehashi Nahoko, a name that fans of Seirei no Moribito should recognise. Directed by Hamana Takayuki (Toshokan Sensou, Sisters of Wellber, Chocolate Underground), the anime adaptation, like SnM, follows the plot of the light novels as much as possible.
The story is about a 10 year old girl with green eyes called Erin. She lives with her mother Soyon in Ake Village, a place where creatures called Touda (large, lizard-like animals with horns), are bred, reared and cared for. Soyon works as a "beastinarian", and is considered by many in the village as the best, and Erin, who is a quick learner and very clever, wants nothing more than to follow in her mother's footsteps.
Fate, however, is a cruel mistress.
This series is truly remarkable in several aspects, not the least of which are the scope and complexity of the plot and the huge amount of detail in the story. At 50 episodes though, it's not surprising that the series would have a good deal more depth than the norm, however in this case the fact that the show is based on a series of books also plays a major part. The story itself covers a number of disparate, seemingly unconnected, threads and, as the plot progresses, these are deftly woven together to create a tale the likes of which hasn't been seen in anime since the advent of The Twelve Kingdoms.
Now one would think that an adaptation of a novel would feature some decent writing, and Kemono no Souja Erin is no slouch in this department. The pacing and dialogue are all exceptionally well handled, and the plot is allowed to flow rather than to stop and start. That said, there are some recap episodes scattered throughout the series, however rather than simply being a simple cut and paste episode, there has been a conscious effort to include these as part of the narrative.
And speaking of narratives...
One big surprise while watching this series (at least for me), was the narration of the story. Throughout each episode there is a voiceover providing summaries of certain events and occurences, both historical and otherwise, however it's the style of the narration that is surprising as, at times, it can make one feel like they're listening to a fireside fairytale rather than watching an anime.
One of the sticking points for many people is the look of the series. Goto Takayuki's character designs, while being charming and expressive, reinforce the perception that this is simply a kid's show due to their simplicity. The backgrounds and settings are unusual in that the series adopts a simplistic, yet stylised, approach, giving the anime the feel of a picture-book for the most part.
The animation throughout the show is very good, and both characters and creatures move in a very natural manner. There is also a small amount of cel shaded CG in the show (they just couldn't resist - it's a Production I.G. series after all), however this is limited to the Touda and Beast Lords. There are also some extremely good visual effects throughout the series, especially where creatures are concerned, and these add to the quasi-mystical element of the series as a whole.
One unusual aspect of the visuals is the artwork, and by this I don't mean the backgrounds. While Kemono no Souja Erin is marketed as a children's show, some of the artwork, while being stylised, is actually quite graphic at times. Violent scenes are sometimes depicted in a manner similar to animated cave paintings or aboriginal works, however there are also occasions when death and violence are shown in a straightforward, no nonsense manner.
I've heard it said that this series is sanitised in certain respects in order to appeal to children more, however I have to disagree with this argument. The depiction of how the kingdom of Ophalon fell is, by the standards of any kids show, very graphic indeed.
In terms of sound and music, both are very good throughout the series. The show makes great use of aural effects, from the crooning and growls of Beast Lords, to the rumbles and wistling screams of the Touda. The effects provide the anime with a depth that is often missing from other "kid's shows", making the world more alive, more real.
The voice acting throughout the series is exceptional, with the biggest plaudits going to newcomer Hoshii Nanase. Her protrayal of Erin possessed a charm and brevity that is surprising given that this is her only anime role. The rest of the cast, all of whom are experienced seiyuu, are equally as good, which makes Hoshii's achievement all the more impressive. As far as seiyuu go, one can fairly expect good things from her in the future.
Kemono no Souja Erin is one of those shows that not only uses music as an emotive tool, but also as an integral part of the story. Thematically the music ranges from some rock style guitar tracks to melodic piano and harp pieces, with a number of different styles and renditions used throughout. While this may seem like a haphazard approach, the wide variety of tracks available works extremely well throuhgout the series, often enhancing the mood in an extremely subtle manner.
One key thing about the music though, is the OP and ED, as the series has two of each. The OP for the entire series is called "Shizuku", and from the beginning up to episode 30 the track is performed by Sukima Switch. From episode 31 though, the track is then performed Hajime Chitose, and adopts more of a kabuki style than the previous Peruvian flavour. The first ED, "After the Rain" by Cossami, is an upbeat, yet slightly bittersweet, ode that has a distinctly childlike feel to it. However, from episode 30 onwards the ED changes to "Kitto Tsutaete" by Takako Matsu, a track that is both more melodic and more mature. This change is actually significant in terms of the series, and not something that has occurred on a whim, and by the time you reach episode 31 you'll understand why the ED was changed before the OP.
As for the characters, suffice to say that Kemono no Souja Erin has some of the best development I've seen of a main character in anime. While the majority of characters are developed to greater or lesser degrees, the show is focused on Erin in particular, and her growth from a ten year old girl to a mature young woman is handled in a sensitive and realistic manner. Granted the series has periodic time leaps and some episodes focus on other characters, but these are very minor deviations from what is effectively a continuously developed character. I haven't seen this much concerted growth of one character, well, ever to be honest, and that's part of the beauty of the show. The fact that it devotes so much time and care to Erin, but doesn't ignore the other characters in favour of this, makes for a character that you can truly care about.
One thing that did standout for me though, was the amount of symbolism ascribed to each of the major characters. The Queen's symbolic nature is mentioned heavily in the series, as is that of the Beast Lords and Touda. However, there is one major symbolic aspect that many people miss because it's so obvious. Erin's name means "wild apple", and as everyone knows, the apple is the forbidden fruit from the tree of knowledge. When one considers Erin's life throughout the series, her inquisitive nature, curiosity, and non-conformity make far more sense
A point about Nukku and Mokku though. While their inclusion is very much comic relief, they are noteworthy for providing Erin with a sense of continuity, and their continued presence is more to help with her development than to amuse the audience.
So don't hate them too much please.
I will be honest and admit that I was both surprised and enthralled by Kemono no Souja Erin. The series is both charming and original, and while there is a degree of sanitisation to make it appeal to children, this never actually goes to the point where adult would be put off watching the show. The anime is adventurous and playful, yet sombre and deeply political at the same time, one of the many dichotomies and conflicting ideals that occur within the series, and it's great to finally watch a series that harks back to those around when I was a child (e.g. The Mysterious Cities of Gold, Ulysses 31, etc). Nowadays they may not be considered decent viewing because of how they look, however those shows, like Kemono no Souja Erin, all had a deep and complex tale to tell, one that was far more mature than most would initially believe.
That said, it's a given that some people may not enjoy this show. Fans of Seriei no Moribito should definitely try it, as both series are equally enjoyable for very different reasons. The show may also appeal to those who want something charming, yet with a little bite to it, or to those who are looking for worldbuilding in the style of Twelve Kingdoms.
A word of warning however. Younger children may not enjoy this series as even though much of the violence is stylised, the aural effects and music enhance the visuals, and all three give the imagination a good old kick. Older kids may enjoy the series though, especially as it's one of those rare anime that doesn't assume it's audience is made up of morons who need everything explained to them.
This show has pretty much everything one could want from a series: politics, love, betrayal, assasination, history, religion, war, friendship, joy, sadness, terror, a touch of mysticism, and more besides.
Given the content though, I can only wonder how anyone could consider this to be simply another "kid's show".
I'm sure that most of you have heard of anime such as Naruto, Bleach, and Sword Art Online, but haven't heard of Beast Player Erin. Truly a shame which anime are becoming popular and which are becoming overlooked and forgotten these days. Beast Player Erin is a series that isn't nearly as popular as other modern shows, but it's one that once you know about it, you're going to want to watch it, then you're going to love it, then wish you had known about it before and then be overwhelmed by the urge to re-watch it; this was certainly the case for me. I've seen plenty of anime, and nearly none are as unique as Kemono no Souja Erin. Kemono no Souja Erin's anime "style" is one that is becoming more and more less common - becoming extinct which is very depressing to say. When I first heard that this was written by Nahoko Uehashi, the person who wrote Seirei no Moribito, I knew that I would be in for a great story, and I was not to be disappointed.
The story revolves around Erin, a 10 year old orphan who lived with her mother in the Tai-Kou region in the small village of Ake. Her mother, So-yon was originally of the Mist People, an ancient clan who have members with green hair and eyes, and is rumored to follow in the ancient ways, practice magic, and hide in the mist. But despite her origins, Erin and So-yon stayed in the Ake village because Erin's deceased father was the son of the village chief and So-yon was the head Touda (dragon-like creatures used in the war) doctor. Erin's fascination and love for these creatures becomes the start of her journey to following her mother's footsteps to becoming a beast doctor herself. But through twists-and-turns, touching-tragic events, Erin becomes so much more; she works her way through to literally becoming a Kemono no Shouja. Unfortunately for her, she realizes that achieving dreams and ideals, while always maintaining happiness and innocence isn't something that's easy to do in reality. One night, the Kiba, the Grand Duke's strongest Touda, mysteriously die. According to law, since So-yon was the person who was charged with caring for the Kibe, the Kibe, she was sentenced to death. Erin the young child that she is, tries to save her mother, but So-yon refuses rescue, and Erin is swayed along the river as her mother is killed/eaten. The devastated Erin is taken into the Shin-Ou region and is found and adopted by a beekeeper. There, she learns of the "King of Beasts" the Ouju. Erin's spark for learning takes her to the Kazalm Ouju Breeding School, and leads her befriending a baby Ouju, Lilan. As Erin stays at Kazalm and spends more time with Lilan, she develops a miraculous bond with Lilan (and other creatures) that is said to be impossible and the result of this miraculous event? A civil war between the Tai-Kou and the Shin-Ou regions.
When you first look at the overall story, it seems like a childish fairy-tail story about a young girl and all the wild-life creatures that live alongside humanity. And then there's the classic friendship bond development, and in the end there is a battle where the main characters fight through trust and love and eventually win. Well, this is not entirely wrong, but Kemono no Shouja Erin is just so much more. There is no age limitations for this series, anyone from all ages can enjoy this series, whether it be 8 year old kids, 18 year old teenagers, 30 year old adults, or 70 year old seniors; this series has appeals for every ages taste. Kemono no Souja Erin is not a short series though; 50 episodes, which could have been the show's downfall (boring with fillers) but this was not the case. This series takes full advantage of it's fifty episodes; it takes us though many years of Erin's life, allowing us to watch her develop slowly in a variety of situations, befriending and bringing happiness, peace towards species until finally the world around her is turned upside down, tragedies unfold, and we see the grand finale of what happens in the end. Although there are occasional brutal, grim and "evil" battles and and violence, the overall series was made for "children audience", so it's not a main aspect of the series. The series intentionally keeps itself friendly and relaxing the covert use of narrations, memories, and quiet-smiling peacefulness, making it a loving family series. But the great part of the story is that despite it's friendly and relaxing scenes, it also retains a certain subtlety in its ambiguity towards its ideological dilemma and in certain relationships. As I've said before, it's not entirely incorrect to call this series a fairy tale, but it's just so much more.
Indeed, as you would expect from a 50 episode drama, the start of the series progresses rather slowly. But this story has just so much to offer; from a little girl's dreams, to societal laws that confine people and destroy people's lives, to heartbreaking tragedies, to losing one's will to live (psychological depression), to having loving people bring back your hopes of "life", regaining your dreams, to befriending a "true best friend", remembering what your late beloved parents taught you (memories~), to finding your true happiness, only to be threatened by events that could possibly crumble down everything that you've spent your life building up, and all the meanwhile overcoming all the obstacles that are in your way, both physically and psychologically. The beginning of the series (6 episodes) centers around Erin’s daily life with her mother So-yon, and her interaction with the Touda and there is almost an ecological tone in the way we delve into the care of these beasts. At this point, nothing much happens other than the beauty or the nature/background art and design of the Touda, and the bond between Erin-So-Yon-Nature. And so... obviously some people will be hesitant to invest a full fifty episodes worth of time for a nothing-happens-much series... But I'm going to warn you right now that if you drop the series, you will regret it for the rest of your somethings-missing lives. Starting from episode 7 until the end of the series, this series will for sure captivate you, and make you actually think, despite it's seemingly simple synopsis, the story is more genius and deeper(I don't want to sound like an English teacher but...) than it seems. The fundamental questions of human's connection with nature, and whether or not it's possible for humans to coexist with other creatures. In addition. Also delves into the concept of there being "fate" and "destiny", or perhaps we decide our own lives? And perhaps the biggest concept of "friendship" and "family". What does it mean to be a family? The series does not present a cliched or predictable conclusion to this ideological conflict, it maintains a sense of ambiguity and pragmatism that the show stays true to until the very end.
Furthermore, one of the best things about this series is that it never fails to answer all plot-questions; there are literally no plot-holes despite there being so many things that occur, and [philosophical] questions that arise. The series honestly doesn't bluntly come out and use tons of symbolism like Neon Genesis Evangelion, and doesn't make it all that confusing to figure out such as Yojouhan Shinwa Taikei, and doesn't have a straight-out answer/writer's belief to it's questions such as Serial Experiments Lain (btw this was confusing as hell), but the themes/questions/thoughts are left to the viewer to just decide for themselves what they think. It's not questions about world destruction, evil, corruption, and the universe itself, but more towards the beauty of relationships, human nature, nature itself, trust, children's dreams, finding happiness, and growing up (I said the audience was intentionally for kids). The story is easy to follow, so don't worry about being all confused with weird plot-twists, time-skips, etc... To briefly sum this series up: one of most heart-warming, brilliant, enjoyable stories ever written both inside and outside of the anime community.
A story like this is nothing without the characters. Kemono no Erin has one of the best character developments I've ever seen, with Erin as the basis. Erin is a wonderful, distinctive character – beginning the story with a great deal of optimism, far-fetched dreams and ideals, but through events, grows into a multi-faceted, intelligent, and admirable person who retains her fundamental optimism while being able to recognize contradictions in her morality and confront them head-on. Erin has to face the loss of loved ones, learn that life isn't necessarily fair the hard way, but through it all has to force herself to maintain a strong face in order to keep others from worrying to much, and eventually overcome the hardships and prevail. When her mother dies in the beginning, you can see her deal with psychological grief in a very realistic, sympathetic manner. It tempers her and makes her stronger in her determination and dreams than ever before. And even when she does make a mistake- a very permanent, painful one- she acknowledges that she was at fault and learns from her mistakes. Through constant struggles and lessons, this series will undoubtedly develop a bond between the audience and the characters, especially Erin which will only lead to a greater attachment to this series (I certainly developed an eternal-strong attachment). Considering this series is 50 episodes primarily focused on Erin, I'm sure that you'll see what I mean by developing a bond with her once you watch the series.
There are a plethora of other characters, but none nearly as touching or significantly developed as Erin. But that's not to say that the series does a bad job developing these characters, because they honestly do develop their characters well. Each character plays an important part in the overall scheme of the story. One character I was very fond of was actually Erin's mother, So-yon who does come up throughout the anime through countless flashbacks of Erin's past happiness and struggles. So-yon clearly shows motherly affection for her daughter as she conceals Erin from the harshness of society/reality. When Erin questions some things about life itself and why people treat others so cruelly, why human beings and creatures are never "united" as companions, Soyon never fails to explain it with heart-warming "deep" meaning words that stay with Erin her whole life and serves as her wisdomatic teachings. There are other important characters such as the Seh-Zan who fights for neither sides of the war, eventually faces someone whom he's very close with to find out his answer of "right and wrong". Other character's clashes and struggles truly bring life to this rather quiet story. Lilan, the Ouju was honestly the highlight of the series (heh... next to Erin): The beast's bond development with Erin-humanity is just touching/beautiful to watch~
The art was magnificent. The art was honestly surreal; it made the series in it's entirety seem "alive". The portrayal of nature itself, the lush forests and plains of green to the beautifully designed portrayals of all the creatures in this series, especially the Ouju, Lilan, just breath-taking. Erin herself as well as the other characters were all pretty uniquely drawn up in my opinion. The animation's seem like they're for a children's story show (bright and colorful), but I can full-heartedly say that the art is consistently of high-quality, not in the sense of Fate/Zero HD quality, but a different kind of high quality; you won't be disappointed. The soundtrack as a whole was average at best, and the series repeats a lot of the soundtrack over and over again. Furthermore, I'm not exactly the biggest fan of the opening/ending themes, although I have to say that they were really unique and intriguing. But it's the "other" uses of the sound that this series really excelled at. The music was played at the perfect of scenes, and adds just so much emotion to each moment. The music enhances each event in a subtle manner, which most shows fail to do. The "sounds of nature" was perfection; The bristling of leaves/tress, The roars of the animals, The cries of despair; great use of aural effects. The voice acting in this series was phenomenal. Not much more to say.
The show is one of the most pertinent examples of underrated anime I have ever seen which is why I'm writing a review for this show; to spread word of it's greatness. With it's combination of heart-warming story, touching characters, beautiful animation, and old-style soundtrack, Kemono no Souja Erin is a show that is undeniably an interesting and wonderful watch. read more
Both shows are based on their respective light novel series by Uehashi Nahoko, and both are presented in a style that is somewhat different from the norm.
Awesome animes made by Uehashi Nahoko. Fantasy worlds with great characters and great stroylines, Uehashi is really good at making me fall for his stories, I get stuck after just one episode. Both these animes are special and definetly favs of mine, so if you have watched one of them give the other one a shot!
Based on fantasy novel series written by the same author, both the shows have numerous subtle similarities in theme as well as the characters. The biggest difference between them is that serei no moribito is much more mature.
Both series are adaptations from novels by the same author(Nahoko Uehashi), made by the same studio(I.G).
Although Seirei seems more mature from the start and Erin has more of a pastel different sort of animation, both animes have a similar feel to them. They both take place in an historical fantasy world and heavily focus on the character development of both the child and their parent/guardian. Sometimes when Balsa's motherly side shows through reminded me of Erin's mother. There also seems to be quite a bit of herbology in both.
Both are made based off of epics by Uehashi Nahoko... Both transition pretty heavily into a larger-scale political epic, and both have women who are extremely strong. Albeit, Erin is stronger in a different way. If you liked Seirei no Moribito, you should appreciate the wonder and awe a new fantastical epic tale will give you. I believe Erin is a little more emotional, though, so be careful, this anime will make you feel things.
If you enjoy your anime in a fantasy setting, with good world-building, then you'll enjoy either of these series. Plus they both happen to have well developed, female protagonist.
Kemono no Souja Erin features world building on a scale similar to that of Twelve Kingdoms, and both shows feature a female lead who grows and matures through various trials and tribulations.
both are fantasies about girls that have hardship and are destined to be great people. Id say Juuni kokuki is more action based, but both have a nice timeline of the each characters life.
> Medieval fantasy world with monarchy and social inequality.
> Protagonist is an extraordinary and broad-minded girl with a very strong personality. She matures and adapts to the world and learn it's cruel rules. She fights for her ideals. In the first series she is unknown person but later she plays her specific role in the world's destiny.
> People's life is showed in details. Many attention is paid to characters, their feelings and thoughts.
> Beautiful fantasy creatures.
> Many series (>26); plot can be splitted on the few parts, each part shows different period of protagonist's life with different problems and different secondary characters.
If you liked the Morales of the Twelve Kingdoms, then you'll love Erin, this anime teaches you a lot about good and evil, about growing up and caring for people, I initially thought it was an action-war anime, but was quickly turned around, I continued watching it and I was amazed, it's a must watch!
Opening Theme#1: "Shizuku (雫)" by Sukima Switch (eps 1-30)
#2: "Shizuku (雫)" by Chitose Hajime (eps 31-50)
Ending Theme#1: "After the rain" by cossami (eps 1-29)
#2: "Kitto Tsutaete (きっと伝えて)" by Takako Matsu (eps 30-49)
Which fansubbers do you like the best? Click + to approve of their subs for this show. Click - if you don't think they did such a great job.
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