Manga Review: BEASTARS Volume Two

BEASTARS Volume 2 has a strong emphasis on the drama club’s performance of Adler and the various behind-the-scenes happenings.

BEASTARS Volume 2
Written by: Paru Itagaki
Publisher: Akita Shoten
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: September 17, 2019

BEASTARS Volume 2 picks up right where Volume 1 left off, with Legoshi encountering the white rabbit Haru that Legoshi almost attacked because of his instincts as a carnivore. If this encounter wasn’t awkward enough for him as it is, the anteater that came with him suddenly bails. It turns out the anteater has heard about Haru’s reputation and didn’t want to be anywhere near her.

Legoshi is awkward around Haru at first as he’s helping her with some garden club things, and he even slips and asks about the injuries that Haru has. She admits that she doesn’t remember how she was injured. This doesn’t make Legoshi feel better though, and he believes that her not remembering doesn’t absolve him of what he tried to do. And things get even more awkward when Haru comes on to Legoshi, and he has no idea what’s happening. He bolts without getting the flowers to decorate the stage, and when he runs into the anteater, he says nothing weird happened but that they don’t need the roses from the garden club.

The scenes between Legoshi and Haru were kind of interesting to read… until we got to the part where she came on to him. That kind of killed the mood of this section of the volume. From what I’ve heard, this scene has caused some consternation amongst some readers of this manga series. But, as we see later, Legoshi thinks about her and might perhaps be interested… but not necessarily in a sexual way. It will be interesting to see how Itagaki progresses this part of the story as the series continues.

After this, the focus is on the performance of Adler. Louis is still dealing with the leg injury he sustained in the previous volume but is trying to hide this from the club. But after the curtain goes down at the end of the first of the two performances of the play, Louis collapses. It’s determined that he has a fracture and will be unable to perform the next night. One of the carnivores is selected to take on the lead role, which now leaves a villain role open. Legoshi, who has never acted before, is recruited to take it on. But on the night of the performance, when Legoshi discovers that this carnivore has a bottled of rabbit’s blood for “natural doping,” Legoshi becomes upset and uses this anger to fuel his performance.

This performance was quite interesting to watch unfold as I read this section of Volume 2. The students are taken aback, because this was obviously a real fight and not acting. But Louis plays an unexpected role in order to bring some order back to the performance. But this scene has put Legoshi into a spotlight that he really doesn’t want, and I’m wondering how this will affect him at Cherryton Academy going forward.

While Volume 2 is still setting the stage for the series and its world, there was still some character development taking place. I’m wondering if the murder that took place at the beginning of Volume 1 will be an overarching plot point, or if it was just there to set the stage for the story. The murder really wasn’t touched on in Volume 2, but that doesn’t mean that it won’t be later. Whether or not that happens remains to be seen.

BEASTARS has an interesting premise and story going for it, and I’m interested in continuing this series. Hopefully the promise that I see here will continue to manifest itself in future volumes of the manga.

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