Boy and the Beast, The (2023)


The Boy and the Beast is an animated Japanese movie. It’s about a lonely nine-year-old orphan boy named Ren (voiced by Aoi Miyazaki) who prefers to wander the dangerous streets of Tokyo than live with distant relatives. While walking the streets alone one night, Ren discovers the entrance to another universe called Jutengai, which contains many beast-like creatures. Among these beasts is a warrior bear named Kumatetsu (Koji Yakusho).

Ren admires Kumatetsu’s fighting skills and asks to learn from him. Kumatetsu takes Ren under his wing as an apprentice, although they clash a lot and spend a lot of time arguing over small issues. Eventually, they learn to get along and live together for many years.

At the age of 17, Ren ‘Kyuta’ (now voiced by Shota Sometani) begins to feel drawn to the human universe once more. He begins to visit sporadically, but eventually meets a kind-hearted girl named Kaede with whom he enjoys spending time. Torn between his potential relationship with Kaede and his friendship with Kumatetsu and life as a warrior, Ren must decide between living as a human or as a beast.


The supernatural, good versus evil, being an orphan, relationships


The Boy and the Beast has some violence. For example:

  • Characters often fight physically. They punch each other and often bleed as a result – for example, from the nose.
  • Characters use weapons like swords and katanas in fights. One character has a katana stuck in his chest. He has a bloody wound, but he’s later shown in hospital recovering well.
  • There are explosions in one of the cities – no-one is injured, but property is destroyed.

Sexual references

None of concern

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

None of concern

Nudity and sexual activity

The Boy and the Beast shows some partial nudity and mild sexual activity. For example:

  • Ren and Kaede hold hands and embrace at one point. They are romantically interested in each other, but the movie doesn’t show any overtly sexual content.
  • Ren’s buttocks are shown in some scenes, when he is wearing traditional Japanese clothing called fundoshi.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in The Boy and the Beast: Starbucks.

Coarse language

The Boy and the Beast has some coarse language.

Ideas to discuss with your children

The Boy and the Beast is a touching story about a young boy’s journey into adulthood, and the way he learns about relationships, responsibility and morality. Ren transforms from a lonely and angry child into a young man who cares deeply for others, and he’s willing to make sacrifices to help them.

The movie’s story and themes make it more suitable for older children. It also has some violent scenes and scary characters that are likely to disturb younger viewers. The movie is screening in both dubbed and subtitled versions – the subtitles might be hard for younger viewers to follow. At 119 minutes, the movie is also rather long for younger children.

Messages from this movie that you could discuss with your children include:

  • the importance of not judging people before you get to know them
  • the idea that family doesn’t have to be based on blood relationships
  • the importance of learning respect, asking for help when you need it, and listening to people who are wiser and know more than you do
  • the way that strength of will and determination can enable you to do things that you thought were impossible.

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What is revealed when Jack says we don t need the conch anymore? ›

What is revealed when Jack says, "We don't need the conch anymore. We know who ought to say's time some people know they've got to keep quiet." Jack is gaining power as a leader. The conch is beginning to lose its power.

Who reports to Ralph that they saw the beast while tending to the fire? ›

Sam and Eric (Samneric)→ fell asleep and let out the fire, saw the “beastie” and ran to tell Ralph. Ralph→ as Chief he wanted to find the “Beastie”. Jack→ wants to find the Beastie, but more for hunting then keeping everyone safe (unlike Ralph's reason).

Where does Jack make his new camp? ›

Jack is degenerating from a civilized boy to a primitive, near animal level. Where does Jack make his new camp? Castle Rock.

Why does Jack say that they don t need the conch any longer chapter 6? ›

When Jack puts down the conch, it is symbolic of his rejecting the rules of civilization and democracy. He is also rejecting the legitimacy of Ralph's leadership, which the conch represents. The conch is losing its power to keep the boys unified and connected to civilization and rules.

What is the deeper meaning of the conch in Lord of the Flies? ›

The conch represents unity, order, and authority. The conch in Lord of the Flies is a symbol of unity, authority, and order.

What is the thing that the boys mistake for the beast? ›

In the flickering firelight, they see the twisted form of the dead parachutist and mistake the shadowy image for the figure of the dreaded beast.

Why is it significant that Simon doesn t believe in the beast? ›

Although the other boys laugh off Simon's suggestion, Simon's words are central to Golding's point that innate human evil exists. Simon is the first character in the novel to see the beast not as an external force but as a component of human nature.

Who saves Ralph at the end? ›

Although the naval officer saves Ralph, the ending of Lord of the Flies still is not particularly happy, and the moment in which the officer encounters the boys is not one of untainted joy. The officer says that he is unable to understand how upstanding British lads could have acted with such poor form.

Why did Jack beat up Wilfred? ›

Jack learned that Wilfred fell asleep while on guard duty, and wants to make an example of him. Jack wants to punish him for turning a boulder into a giant trap to crush intruders. Jack doesn't give a reason for restraining Wilfred or for beating him - he just does it because he feels like it.

Who insists Simon's death was an accident? ›

What do Ralph and Piggy say about Simon's death? Ralph says it was murder; Piggy insists it wasn't. Ralph says it was an accident; Piggy calls it murder. They both refuse to talk about it.

What do the boys do when they realize they ve been rescued? ›

The conflicting feelings of relief and sadness are evident at the end of the novel when the boys begin to cry on the beach upon realizing they are rescued. Through the eyes of the naval officer, they see what they have become and know they will never be the same again.

What does Jack say about the conch in Chapter 2? ›

Jack asserts that the conch has no power once they are on the mountain, but clearly it didn't have that much power on the platform either: Ralph shouted for order while holding the conch but lost the crowd in the excitement, foreshadowing how later he loses his authority completely.

What does jack mean when he says the conch doesn t count at this end of the island? ›

Golding is showing us that by saying that the conch doesn't count, Jack is stating that order doesn't count at this end of his island either. Piggy is to represent order on the island as well, which could be the reason Jack despises him so much.

What does Jack say about the conch in Chapter 9? ›

When Ralph arrives, Jack asks the gathered boys who will join his tribe. Ralph says that he's still chief and has the conch, but Jack says the conch has no authority on this side of the island.

How will Jack rule without the conch? ›

How does Jack propose to rule without the conch? He rules through terror and offering protection from the beast. He promises to provide food and fun.

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