From the darkling woods they come,
On cloven hoof and twisted claw
The Beastmen they are called, these ones;
Less than human, yet also something more.
— From the Strange Tale of Doctor Malfeasant
The beast man (or woman, this is a gender neutral trope) is a human who has several animalistic physical and behavioral traits. They will have claws (even on the toes), fangs
, either heavy hair or actual fur, possibly horns
or even scales
, and the eyes will usually be structurally different or yellow
. Also, don't expect them to shave or wax, or have good oral hygiene
They'll usually behave aggressively with limited impulse control and attention span. If they have super powers, these will usually include Super Senses
, Super Strength
, Wall Jump
, Running on All Fours
and an enhanced immune system coupled with a Healing Factor
. Oh, and they can speak with animals
, of course. They may or may not be evil, but a good beast man will have to fight their base impulses very often. Good Beast Men will be in tune with nature, evil ones will just embody everlasting rage.
If this isn't the character's default, natural form, it can result from a Werewolf
using a Partial Transformation
into a Wolf Man
, or genesplicing/magical transformations. This person is basically a Wild Man
who has become part of the natural world.
Subtrope of Monstrous Humanoid
. See also Half-Human Hybrid
, Fauns and Satyrs
, Little Bit Beastly
and Petting Zoo People
. Overlaps with Different Orcs
. Compare All Cavemen Were Neanderthals
and Crown of Horns
. Contrast Plant Person
, with whom they might team up into a "Nature Duo
". Often overlaps with Animal-Themed Superbeing
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Anime and Manga
- The Beyblade franchise features a Nekojin team known as the White Tigers, who possess some physical feline characteristics which includes golden eyes and fangs. Two such examples are Ray Kon of the Beybreakers and his best friend-turned-rival Lee Wong.
- About half of the population of Vision in Brave Story, most notably the lizard merchant and cat girl (but not a Cat Girl) Meeia.
- Franken Fran's Gavrill is a "transformer", a person with a sectioned body and complete control over its shape, is capable of turning into giant wolf-like beast with two rows of teeth. She also possesses Super Senses and acts the part, being the vicious leader of a gang of murderous outlaws.
- As the series carries on in Fullmetal Alchemist the Chimaera stop being Mix-and-Match Critters and end up becoming more like these, by the end of the series we have a gorilla, a hog/porcupine mix, a frog or toad...thing, and a lion.
- Additionally, the first human-based chimeras introduced were people (special forces soldiers in the 2003 anime) who were combined with a dog, a bull, a snake, a lizard, and a crocodile, respectively. Except for Bido the lizard chimera, they all killed rather quickly, though.
- In Mahou Sensei Negima!, these, together with Petting Zoo People, Demons, and other non-human humanoids, make up most of the Southern Empire in the Magic World. Specific examples include the chief waitress Apron Matron bear woman named Mama and the tiger man in Negi's first match as a prized fighter. Kotaro can turn into a Wolf Man in his demon form.
- Kiba of the Inuzuka Clan from Naruto is sort of like this, and he uses it to full advantage in his fighting style.
- Hoshigake Kisame, an antagonist from the same series, is a more literal Beast Man, with distinct sharklike features and an attitude to match.
- The antagonists in the first half of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann - They're even called Beastmen. They were uplifted from regular beasts to provide Lordgenome with an army that couldn't harness Spiral Energy due to not undergoing evolution.
- Zazie The Beast from the Trigun manga.
- Tony Tony Chopper's Third and Monster form from One Piece. Most Zoan's halfways forms count too.
- Beast from X-Men is a subversion; he has the requisite appearance, and people expect him to be this way when meeting him, but is an extraordinarily intelligent, polite, cultured soul.
- Beast originally was a more or less normal appearing note muscular stocky guy with enormous hands and feet. He still got much the same reaction though, because people didn't expect a guy with gorilla hands to be sensitive and well-educated.
- Wolverine and more so, his old enemy Sabertooth. Interestingly Wolverine didn't start out this way, but fell into it as writers delved into his character. Then Sabertooth was introduced, and he was deliberately turned into this (from a non-powered Serial Killer with fake claws in Power Man and Iron Fist) to act as a Not So Different Evil Counterpart to Wolverine.
- Marvel's New Men are animals evolved by the High Evolutionary into intelligent humanoids. The Ani-Men are humans mutated into humanoid animals.
- The DC series Kamandi has the title character as the only human in an After the End world of humanoid animals inspired by Planet of the Apes.
- Beast Boy, who can turn into any animal he thinks into. He's more animalistic in the cartoon than in the comics, though.
- Every few years Spider-Man winds up more spider than man. He always gets better. His enemies The Lizard (usually animalistic) and The Jackal (usually a Mad Scientist) definitely qualify.
- Batman's recurring foe Killer Croc falls into this quite often, but can get quite silly considering his official origin is a "skin condition", which doesn't really explain why some versions of him have a tail. Hand Waved by having Hush infect him with a virus that speeds up his 'devolution', causing him to develop more bestial traits.
- A few turn up in Last Man Standing as genetic experiments made by Armtech.
- Mad Scientist Dr. Robidoux creates these in Wynonna Earp: The Yeti Wars.
- There's also Tigra.
- The Beast from Disney's Beauty and the Beast. He's sometimes less like this trope in different adaptations. It's notable as one of the few versions where he is more beast than man, in both appearance and temperament.
- Barf, the Mog (half man, half dog) from Spaceballs.
- Wolverine. Though not as exaggerated as Sabretooth.
- Hank McCoy/Beast. Duh.
- Victor Creed in X-Men Origins: Wolverine has claw-like fingernails, fangs instead of canines, and by X-Men he's basically an animal.
- The Big Bad of The Wheel of Time has the Trollocs, a breed of humans bred to be closer to animals, with hawk's heads, goat's heads and whatever you can think of.
- Perrin is a rather good example as well, as his status as a Wolfbrother means he constantly struggles to stop his wolf side overwhelming his human side.
- The Cthons from Michael Reaves' The Shattered World and The Burning Realm sure looked like Beast Folk, and had the usual abilities associated with this trope, Healing Factor and communication with animals in particular. Subverted in that they were demonic creatures rather than bestial humans.
- In the Kate Daniels universe, the more powerful shapeshifters can develop a form halfway between human and beast, known as the warrior form. This form is more dangerous than either of the others, and being in this form is legally equivalent to being armed with a lethal weapon.
- In the Mercy Thompson universe, when a werewolf's wolf side and human side have the same goals, they can act together to make a halfway form, which is supposedly more dangerous, intelligent, and dexterous than the normal forms, although they haven't been shown much.
- In Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian story "Rogues in the House", Nabonidus
“Conan”, he whispered, “it was no man that stood before me! In body and posture it was not unlike a man, but from the scarlet hood of the priest grinned a face of madness and nightmare! It was covered with black hair, from which small pig-like eyes glared redly; its nose was flat, with great flaring nostrils; its loose lips writhed back, disclosing huge yellow fangs, like the teeth of a dog. The hands that hung from the scarlet sleeves were misshapen and likewise covered with black hair. All this I saw in one glance, and then I was overcome with horror; my senses left me and I swooned.”
“What then?” muttered the Cimmerian uneasily.
“I recovered consciousness only a short time ago; the monster must have thrown me into these pits. Conan, I have suspected that Nabonidus was not wholly human! He is a demon — a were-thing! By day he moves among humanity in the guise of men, and by night he takes on his true aspect.”
- In "Shadows In The Moonlight", an ape-man attacks them — out of lust for Olivia.
- In "The Hyborian Age", the Back Story to Conan, ape men, snow-apes, etc are a major driving force in history.
- In Fredric R. Stewart's Cerberon, hackals are essentially humanoid hyenas. Most people consider them an Always Chaotic Evil Proud Warrior Race, but the ones encountered in the book range from civilized Beast Men to Always Chaotic Evil, depending on their tribe, clan, and individual disposition.
- Mike Resnick's Stalking the Unicorn featured a catgirl named Felina.
- Tim Marquitz has the Grol and Tolen, who are a race of werewolf-orcs, more or less, as a major race in his The Blood War Trilogy. The Grol are Always Chaotic Evil, though this is subverted by the fact they're the same species as the Tolen, who seem to be decent enough sorts.
- There are a whole buttload of these in the second season of Dark Angel, but the most notable example is probably Joshua.
- See the picture for the page: Beauty and the Beast, the 1980s drama where Ron Perlman is obviously the Beast Man and Linda Hamilton is the Beauty.
- The 2012 version on CW subverts this by introducing a female beast. Unlike others on this show, however, she was actually born as a beast, rather than genetically engineered in a laboratory.
- Even though he's fully human-looking and arguably even attractive, Dave Bautista is regularly referred to as "The Animal", implying that he is basically this (in the Kayfabe imagination, at least). Being well over 6 feet tall, weighing nearly 300 pounds, and having a surname that's almost an anagram of "beast" all certainly help.
- Beastmen are a playable army in Warhammer, they are human/animal mutants created by the warping influence of Chaos and look like humanoids with animal heads, hooves, tails and other animal parts.
- Apparently there's also a handful hiding in the Eye of Terror as well. Whether or not they're the same kind of beastman is debatable.
- Beastmen do exist in the Warhammer 40000 canon, and are generally considered a stable but extremely varied type of Abhuman also known as Homo Sapiens Variatus. Unlike their fantasy counterparts, they are generally loyal to the Imperium and are inducted into the Imperial Guard as cannon fodder, but given the setting, there are a lot of them who swear their loyalty to Chaos instead. They dissapeared from canon with the squats when they decided to move away from the Warhammer Fantasy in space deal before being mentioned again in the 6th edition rulebook.
- Beastmen, in this case the half-human, half-animal offspring of Lunars. Oh, and they're produced the old-fashioned way. Yeah...
- Beastmen can in fact be produced by any union between humans and animals, so long as they take place in the Wyld (as well as some people who started out normal and acquired animal mutations).
- Lunars themselves are capable of transforming into forms like this. The Lunar known as "Seven Devils Clever" is a Kitsune. Very cute.
- The D&D setting of Eberron has the Shifter race. Shifters have a lycanthropic heritage.
- "Beastmen" or "beastfolk" are an actual race in the World of Greyhawk setting. They're mostly human-shaped, but covered in color-changing fur.
- Dragon Dice has the Feral - a race of beasts granted sentience and enough anthropomorphic traits/intelligence to use tools and fight in the name of Mother Nature.
- Gamma World has an endless supply of beastmen of every species.
- The Broos from Runequest are like this, with especially Squick-tastic origins.note
- Nearly all of the less civilized races of Talislanta fit this trope, to a greater or lesser degree. Even Archeans, the setting's human-analogs, are descended from Beast Folk who used magic to eliminate their more animalistic traits.
- The World of Darkness has whole slews of these:
- The Gangrel from Vampire: The Masquerade and Vampire: The Requiem. They have a clan-specific Discipline that allows them to grow claws and turn into beasts. they're short-tempered and feral, and in Masquerade, they start taking on animalistic features whenever they go into Frenzy. Members of the Nosferatu clan from Vampire: The Masquerade often embody this trope as well. They are the vampires who become monstrously deformed during their transformation. While the deformity can be of any sort (anything from a merely off-putting aura to a virtual Quasimodo appearance to a traditional Count Orlok look), Nosferatu often suffer from fur, claws, bestial teeth, scaly skin, pointed ears, maned hair, an animal stench, reptilian eyes, or some other outwardly animal trait.
- And in one of Requiem's Sourcebooks, Shadows of Mexico, there's a Gangrel Bloodline called Dead Wolves, who have some werewolf-related powers, can transform into a hairy, ferocious and literal Wolf Man. Considering that they can only use this power when they are "riding the wave" the savage part is quite intense.
- Werewolves in both Apocalypse and Forsaken, but that kind of comes with the territory. Notable that in both lines, werewolves who grow more powerful grow more bestial and fierce, to the point that it freaks normal humans right the fuck out.
- The Beast Seeming from Changeling: The Lost, who were taken by the Gentry and made into pets and prey. They're much more human when they escape from Arcadia, but they still have trouble thinking logically and have an easy time understanding animals.
- Devourers from Demon The Fallen, who were originally in charge of the sixth day of Creation (when all the animals came into being). They have control over beasts, flesh, and plant life, and they're quite angry about the current state of the world.
- Pooka from Changeling: The Dreaming subvert the trope. They may have an affinity with animals, but they're more often than not The Trickster.
- TSR's Ravenloft campaign setting has the Broken Ones, the results of (and offspring from) experiments by Darklord Frantisek Markov, an Expy of H. G. Wells' Doctor Moreau.
- The Wildmen from GURPS: Dungeon Fantasy are incredibly stupid (long spears are too complicated for them) but they aren't inherently violent.
- Anamnesis has the appropriately named beast men.
- Blanka from Street Fighter II is one of the earliest examples in fighting games.
- In Mabinogi, the elves and giants can attain a Beast Mode transformation after a small number of quests. (Humans have transformations, but it doesn't really count for this trope.) To be honest, the giant's transformation fits this trope better than the elven one, though.
- Bloody Roar.
- Beastmen were a unit/general type in DragonForce, with the country of Bozack being primarily made of them.
- Xenogears contains a race of beast men, including cowardly merchant ratman Hammer and Blanka Expy Rico. Unfortunately, die to the infamous time and money constraints, their story arc is never completed.
- The main force of the Beast armies in Armies Of Exigo (often referred to as Kobolds) are this to a T. They're humanoid with vaguely animalistic features, a tribal culture, and savagery that seems ingrained into them. Their troop-types include Witches, Minions, Warriors, and Berserkers. They favour axes as weapons, have longstanding alliances with Ogres, Trolls, and Lizard Folk, and utterly despise humans.
- Phantasy Star Universe has an entire race of Beast Men, simply called "Beasts".
- The Final Fantasy series has quite a few as playable characters.
- Moogles, appearing first in Final Fantasy III and then every game from V onwards, are generally a gentle, small, and comical race as befitting their mole / bat inspiration as opposed to most examples of this trope.
- Final Fantasy V has the werewolves of Quelb, who aren't very bestial besides appearance.
- Final Fantasy VI has Umaro, a Yeti.
- Final Fantasy IX has Freya which is more of subversion since she and her rather cultured race are more Petting Zoo People than Beast. There's also the bizarre, food-obsessed, frog-like Qu.
- Kihmari and other Ronso from Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy X-2 are probably the race that plays this trope the straightest in the whole series.
- Final Fantasy XI has the Galka and Mithra PC races which fall under Petting Zoo People, but also sports a large number of evil enemy beastmen races including fairly beastial Orcs, Bugbears, and Trolls.
- Final Fantasy XII and other Ivalice games have a number of beast men races including the ill-tempered Lizard Folk Bangaa, the Type I Orc-like Seeq, and the insectoid territorial Urutan-Yensa. Subversions include the wise and sagacious Nu Mou and the peaceful, plains-dwelling Garif.
- Final Fantasy XIV as an online game like FFXI, has a few beastmen enemy races like the Kobolds and the Ixal.
- The Castlevania series, despite werewolves being a common enemy, have tribes of multi-animal shifters called beast men, Cornell from Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness and his rival are a werewolf and a werecat, respectively. They don't serve Dracula, being nomadic from what little backstory the tribe itself gets.
- Golden Sun: Dark Dawn introduces a race of Beastmen who were transformed in the wake of the titular event at he end of the second game. The somewhat odd difference is that some Beastmen were transformed from Humans, while others were once animals.
- The Phanfasms, who are the antagonists from Emerald City Confidential, have animal heads and human bodies. The Big Bad himself has a bear's head.
- Reptile from Mortal Kombat is a interesting example as he is a reptilian humanoid (hence the name). He is supposedly the last of the Saurian race until Khameleon was revealed in Mortal Kombat 3, but as of the reboot to the series in Mortal Kombat 9, he's back to being the only Saurian.
- In The Gamers Alliance, the Beastmaster (aka Maiyr Korath) looks beastly due to a magical transformation which turned him from elf into a beast, and he has the ability to mutate and command various beasts of the forest with his chaotic magic. He puts his skill to good use when he sends his beastly minions to openly attack the elven capital Sanae during the Great War.
- The creepypasta creation known as "The Rake". A furless dog-man...creature...designed to land smack in the middle of the Uncanny Valley. Oh, and he's started showing up in Everyman HYBRID. As if The Slender Man wasn't enough for those guys to worry about!
- Beast-Man from He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983)! Skeletor's most loyal and incompetent minion!
- Beast Boy from Teen Titans, the animorphic Shape Shifter. He has Cute Little Fangs, Pointy Ears, the messiest room in the T-Tower, and he can speak to animals (when he has transformed into that kind of animal). After accidentally turning into a huge werebeast in one episode, he suggested that he be called Beast Man, but Raven told him to be serious.
- ThunderCats has two prime examples: the felinoid, generally heroic Thunderians, and their more varied but decidedly less ethical arch-enemies, the Mutants of Plun-Darr.
- In ThunderCats (2011), the title Cats and Big Bad Mumm-Ra are the most Humanoid Aliens of Third Earth's Animals, while most other Species are Petting Zoo People.
- The shaggy, cave-dwelling Beast Men in Filmation's Flash Gordon. Dr. Zarkov theorized that Ming was deliberately keeping their civilization from advancing just because he enjoyed having a tribe of savages who would worship him.
- An episode of Batman Beyond invokes the genesplicing arm of this trope, oddly enough as a popular fad among teens ranging from Animal Eyes and noticeable horns, scales, fangs all the way to a humanoid chimera and repulsive mass of mixed up flesh.
- Artist David Nutter, who appeared on Cats 101, photoshops the faces of his Cornish Rex cats into famous paintings, turning the human figures into this trope.