Manga Review: BEASTARS Volume Three

BEASTARS Volume 3 focuses on Legoshi’s struggles of being a carnivore and how he is seen by the herbivores.

Written by: Paru Itagaki
Publisher: Akita Shoten
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: November 19, 2019

The volume opens with a special edition of the school newspaper being published after what happened at the second performance of Adler. This has suddenly thrust Legoshi into the spotlight, which is something he is not comfortable with at all. Louis is chewing him and Bill out for their real fight on the stage and tells them they are banned from the drama club, but they are interrupted by a group of reporters from the school paper bombarding them with questions. Louis has to change course after the reporters make it clear in their questioning that they liked the performance, and he starts telling some lies to make it seem like the changes were intentional. But Legoshi, along with the reader, notices the look on Louis’ face when he realizes that Bill and Legoshi are getting the praise that Louis feels he so rightly deserves and expects from the other animals. I have a feeling that this will become important for Louis’ character later in the series.

Legoshi spends a lot of the volume struggling with his feelings for Haru, the small rabbit he almost devoured. He has plainly developed a crush on her, and this volume sees the two of them finally talking with one another and learning each other’s name. But there’s a brief scene that the reader sees that makes it clear that this will not end happily for Legoshi, especially since this scene involves Haru and someone that Legoshi knows well. It’s inevitable that Legoshi is going to experience some heartache later in the series, and who knows how he’s going to deal with it when the time comes.

After a grey wolf and some other carnivores attack and kill a herbivore in the nearby town, the herbivores are on edge around the carnivores again. However, a group of herbivores tries picking on a first-year gray wolf named Juno. Legoshi comes across this incident and manages to save her, even though he kind of bumbles his way through it. It turns out that Juno is a first-year student in the actors pool in the drama club. We see that Juno develops a crush on Legoshi after he saves her, but due to his inexperience with love, he doesn’t realize it. Itagaki seems to be setting the stage for a love triangle, and after the scene I referenced above, Legoshi’s life could be turned upside down. And Juno could also be hurt emotionally in the process.

The second-year carnivores on the production crew of the drama club are assigned to help set up the Meteor Festival that will be taking place in town. This is a festival to honor dinosaurs, since they are revered by the animals due to being their predecessors. The festival is to remember the fact that they were killed off by a meteor in the past, but there’s also a superstition that couples who put candles on a certain object during the festival will be together forever. Before they head to town, Louis warns the carnivores not to go to the Black Market.

Unfortunately, the carnivores get lost as they’re trying to head back to the station to return to school, and they stumble into the black market… which is a place for carnivores to buy meat of herbivores. Bill and most of the carnivores want to get money from the ATM and pool it in order to buy some. Legoshi, however, runs away… but he is caught and taken by a large panda. The panda is a psychotherapist who looks for carnivores who run away from the black market. The panda gives Legoshi a session by talking with him and showing him pictures. The ultimate thing that comes out of it is that the panda warns Legoshi that he needs to stay away from Haru, because being attracted romantically to a herbivore can manifest into a desire to devour them. By the end of the volume, Legoshi has a lot to think about.

But, wow… when the volume gets to the black market and the scenes that follow, the series get even darker than it had been up to this point. This isn’t a bad thing, and it’s a realistic progression. And with some of the hints that are dropped in this volume, I expect that the series will likely continue to get even darker as it progresses. Itagaki’s depiction of Legoshi makes him a relatable and interesting character, and I found myself legitimately concerned for his mental health and well-being by the end of Volume 3. I’m looking forward to reading the next volume in order to find out how this story is going to continue and to see what will happen to Legoshi.

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