By: Paru Itagaki
Illustrator: Paru Itagaki
Translator: Tomoko Kimura (Tanslator); Annette Roman (Adaptation)
Release Date: September 17, 2019
Publisher: VIZ Media LLC
Series: Beastars #2
Received From: Publisher
(All reviews are our own, honest opinions.)
A truly fantastic manga, Beastars, Vol. 2 by Paru Itagaki centers on Legoshi, a wolf, attending high school with both predators and prey. Tensions are high between the two groups; peace is something that could be broken at any moment despite many rules and regulations being in place. If you haven’t read the first volume yet, or are interested in my thoughts on it, please check out my review of Beastars, Vol. 1.
Tensions are still at a breaking point after the murder of a student on campus. However, the plot focuses much more on the play Legoshi’s club is planning to put on and Louis, the club’s president.
This volume is the first to truly delve into the character of Haru, a rabbit. While a quick glance might make her come off as stereotypical, there is a lot more to her character than meets the eye. Haru isn’t a soft, sweet creature despite her looks. She sleeps around very willingly with pretty much anyone, to the point that that’s what she assumes Legoshi is looking for when he arrives at her rooftop garden—not that the theater club needs some flowers.
Legoshi’s confusion and discomfort is palpable in this scene.
And this is one of this volumes greatest strengths. Raw emotion is something Itagaki is fantastic at portraying in both art and text. This is probably most easily identifiable in the scenes involving the school play. When the cast gets reshuffled for the last performance, Legoshi finds himself on stage. The choreographed fight scene with Bill, becomes less choreographed and quickly dangerous, to put it mildly. The clash of ideals between predators turns potentially deadly. A flurry of tense scenes ensue which are utterly engrossing, drawing the reader further into Legoshi’s world.
The art in this manga is wonderful in many respects as well. There is a way the mangaka has of portraying characters that can transform how they are viewed not just by those around them, but by the reader as well. There are times when Legoshi looks truly terrifying, and the whispers of his classmates don’t seem quite as far off base as they have previously.
Beastars, Vol. 2 by Paru Itagaki is an amazing look at nature vs nurture. Are we more than we are born as? How much of a choice do we have? Can we fight our true nature? Do we have a true nature at all? I certainly can’t wait to see where this series is going, and will certainly be reviewing further volumes in the series.