Manga Review: The King’s Beast Volume Two

The King’s Beast Volume Two delves more into the character of Rangetsu and the world that she lives in.

The King’s Beast Volume Two
Written by: Rei Toma
Publisher: Shogakukan
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: May 4, 2021

At the beginning of the volume, Prince Tenyou is trying to convince Rangetsu that he trusts her, but she runs away. Tenyou chases after Rangetsu to try to get his point across. This creates quite a ruckus, and Taihaku, Tenyou’s attendant, plans to give Rangetsu a piece of his mind. But Taihaku catches Rangetsu taking off her bindings and revealing that she’s really a girl. However, it’s not really made clear if Rangetsu knows that Taihaku saw her.

Taikahu is now put in a tight spot. If he tells the prince the truth and it becomes public knowledge, it could be used as a weapon by Tenyou’s enemies. Through Taikahu, we learn that female Ajin have never been officially prohibited from serving in the palace, but past emperors had chosen to be served be female Ajin and this brought about some serious issues. Female Ajin are only able to become a Beast-Servant if they have an exceptional ability. Since Rangetsu doesn’t possess an exceptional ability, the fact that she is in an imperial palace could be seen as a serious crime. In the end, he decides not to say anything to the prince and determines that he can use Rangetsu as a sacrificial pawn. While Taikahu is a loyal attendant to Tenyou, we see through this scene that he’s not necessarily a nice guy.

Meanwhile, after Rangetsu has interactions with Tenyou that seem to prove that he trusts her, she starts seeing him in a different light. In her thoughts, we hear that she seems him as a ray of light. However, as the volume progresses, the expressions that Rangetsu has on her face when she thinks these thoughts make the reader think that perhaps she is developing romantic feelings for Tenyou, but that she doesn’t realize it yet. I know that this is a shojo title, so I figured that romance would figure into this somehow. Right now, it looks like Rangetsu is developing feelings for Tenyou. Tenyou doesn’t know that Rangetsu is a female yet, so we don’t know yet whether he could develop feelings for her or not.

Volume Two also introduces the reader to Prince Oushin, the first prince, and his Beast-Servant, Teiga. Oushin is sickly, so he doesn’t go out much or do much. Because of this, Teiga hasn’t bothered to train himself to get better. Rangetsu discovers this while sparring with him. When Rangetsu overhears Teiga and Oushin talking about a female Ajin who has been accused of murder, but the case against her is going nowhere due to lack of evidence. The noble household that has the Ajin servant asks Oushin to adjudicate. When Oushin simply says he finds the Ajin guilty, Rangetsu butts in argues about the situation. In the end, Rangetsu takes it upon herself to do an investigation. Even though she brings back information Oushin and Teiga already knew, she makes it clear how she feels about them just trying to brush off the innocent Ajin. Oushin has Teiga do something surprising right at the end of the volume, and I think that Rangetsu’s arguments and actions had an effect on the first prince.

I can’t forget to mention that there is also a flashback that gives some backstory and character development for Teiga. I was glad to see this, because it gave me a better understanding of who he is as a character.

Even though there are hints of romance being sprinkled in more noticeably than in the previous volume, there was still a lot going on here that made me think a little bit. I also thought that the various flashbacks, exposition, and action that takes place in this volume helped to expand on Rangetsu’s character, as well as on the world that she and the other characters of The King’s Beast inhabit. This volume gave me a better appreciation for Rangetsu’s determination and her sense of justice.

If you’ve read the first volume of The King’s Beast and enjoyed it, I think you’ll find that volume two does a great job of following up on the story and helps it to progress in a realistic and satisfying manner.

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