'BNA: Brand New Animal' Season 1: Why did Michiru avoid her most significant transformation?
Fans are left scratching their heads as to why Michiru avoided that change though some have their own theories
Spoilers for 'BNA: Brand New Animal' Season 1
Michiru Kagemori (Sumire Morohoshi) was turned into a beastman against her will, and through most of the first season, she seeks a way to recover her lost humanity. Her unique genetic modification gives her the ability to shift into other kinds of animals beyond her default tanuki state, letting her take on the traits of birds, gorillas, cheetahs and even wolves. But there's one species she seems to be avoid turning into — a human.
At first, it was because she was unable to. Later on in the series, however, she found herself suddenly and inexplicably able to turn back into her human form. However, she only does so for a single episode. Even back on Anima City, where beastmen are used to turning into their human forms during their day-to-day lives, Michiru stands out for remaining as a tankuki 24/7. This seems to be at odds with her stated desire of becoming human again or at least returning to her life.
Fans of the series have definitely questioned this, leading to a discussion on Reddit. "This bothers me on a few levels, first because she keeps saying how she wants to be human again but also because it’s normal for all of the beast-men to regularly be in human form. I get that this is probably hinting at her not actually wanting to go back to being human but it still bothers me that she doesn’t go back a single time," writes the original poster, adding that, "This has been gnawing at me for practically the entire run time of the show."
Fans were quick to post their own theories as to why she might have done so. "I think that shapeshifting beast form is kinda like a drug and she uses it as much as possible and only when she takes the cure she will find her human form comfortable," writes one user while another pointed out, "See, when I watched it, I thought she said that it took effort to go into her human form, like that was the transformation and being a beastman is being her original form."
"I think for part of it, you need to consider the psychology of an older adolescent as well as Michiru being a 'stranger in a strange land,'" one fan writes. "Whereas most beastmen stay in their human forms, Michiru wasn't socialized to do that. The whole series involves her not knowing how things work and pushing against the system."
One fan believes that her relation to her transformations reflects her journey through the series, writing, "That's the point, at the start of the show, she's kinda racist toward beastmens and her only objective is to turn back. Throughout the series, she's becoming more focused on beastmens problems. At the end of the series, she realises that beastmens and humans are pretty much the same and she wants to stay as she feels more comfortable as a tanuki."
By the end of the series, Michiru not only chooses to remain in her tanuki form, but chooses to decline the cure to her "beastman disease," which would allow her to become fully human and see her family again. She has found a new home in Anima City, and seems, for the moment, to be completely happy with who she is.
All episodes of 'BNA: Brand New Animal' Season 1 are now available to stream on Netflix.