BEASTARS Volume 5 focuses on Legoshi’s attempt to rescue Haru after she was kidnapped in the previous volume.
BEASTARS Volume 5
Written by: Paru Itagaki
Publisher: Akita Shoten
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: March 17, 2020
This volume opens with Haru at the headquarters for the Shishi-Gumi, a group of lion gangsters who kidnap and eat herbivores. When the boss of Shishi-Gumi asks Haru to strip so he can see the quality of her fur before he eats her, and then inspecting her, gave off a similar kind of vibe of a rapist and a victim. It was uncomfortable to read, but it should be uncomfortable. If a rape scene in a manga makes a reader feel uncomfortable, then this scene should solicit a similar reaction.
Meanwhile, the mayor of the town (a lion who has undergone a lot of surgeries and procedures to tame down his image) has tried hard to improve the lions’ reputation, so he plans to just ignore what happened. He doesn’t want a ruckus to destroy everything that he’s worked for. When he communicates this to Louis, who he talks to as the potential future BEASTAR and as a representative for Cherryton Academy, he does not take this well. However, the mayor uses blackmail to make Louis do as he asks. But as we see later in the volume, Louis is going to do something unexpected.
After this encounter, though, Legoshi runs into Louis, and the two of them get into a scuffle because Louis is trying to convey the mayor’s wishes. However, as he does, Louis finds himself trying to convince himself of what he’s saying. Legoshi gets pissed off at Louis, and the two of them get into a fist fight. At the end of the fight, Legoshi decides to go it alone to try to find Haru.
Most of the volume focuses on Legoshi’s attempt to find the Shishi-Gumi hideout and rescue Haru. He runs into some trouble at the Black Market, and is saved by Gohin, the psychologist Legoshi met in an earlier volume. Even though Gohin thinks Legoshi is on a fool’s errand, he decides to help out the young gray wolf anyway. Between the two of them, they are able to get Legoshi into the hideout so he can rescue Haru.
The fight scene between Legoshi and the boss of Shishi-Gumi was very well done. There’s just the right amount of tension, and we get to see Legoshi in a light that we normally don’t get to see him in. The art is also very striking during the actual battle.
The last little bit of Volume Five takes place after Haru is rescued, and it focuses on Legoshi and Haru trying to figure out what to do after they discover that the last train to the academy has left for the night. The awkwardness and tension between these two characters as they try to figure out what to do is realistic for the type of relationship that these two characters have. The volume has a great ending point, and it leaves the reader in suspense as to what will happen next.
BEASTARS continues with its darker themes, and this volume is working on developing the relationship between Legoshi and Haru. This particular volume takes the reader on a bit of a whirlwind of politics, action, and character interactions and relationships. While I have watched the first season of the BEASTARS anime, I’m still interested in reading Volume Six in order to see what happens next.