Anime Spotlight: BEASTARS Season 2

BEASTARS Season 2 is based on a manga by Paru Itagaki. This season of BEASTARS was directed by Shinichi Matsumi and was produced by Orange. The 12 episodes of this season aired in Japan from January 7-March 25, 2021. As of this writing, Netflix holds the North American distribution rights for BEASTARS.

Season 2 starts out with Legoshi worrying about his relationship with Haru, because it hasn’t progressed since he made his love confession. It’s also revealed that Louis survived his encounter with Shishigumi and is now, in fact, the leader of the group. He returns to Cherryton long enough to quit the drama club and take a leave of absence from school, but he does not reveal what he’s doing. While there is some focus on Legoshi and Haru and how they interact with each other, this is not the overall focus on the season. It’s a different plot point that becomes the major focus for the season.

Meanwhile, there has been “ghost sightings” at the location where Tem had been devoured at the beginning of the season. Legoshi discovers the “ghost” is actually Rokume, a snake who is the only security guard at Cherryton. Rokume tasks Legoshi with finding clues and figuring out who killed Tem. Finally, the mystery that launched the story finally gets focused on! But overall, Rokume doesn’t become a major character in this season. Instead, she is the one who sets Legoshi down the path to solving Tem’s murder and maybe gives a hint or two of advice. But that’s about it.

A new character is also introduced to the drama club: a big-horned Dall sheep named Pina. He’s a first-year, but he’s also a playboy and rather full of himself. I have to admit that at first, I didn’t really like him as a character. However, as he becomes important to the story, I found I could better tolerate Pina. I can’t say I truly like this character, but I can’t really say that I dislike him, either.

As Legoshi starts investigating Tem’s murder, he is attacked by a huge carnivore figure. Legoshi makes a counterattack that allows him to obtain clues about the culprit. After this encounter, Legoshi goes to see Gohin at the Black Market in order to learn how to overcome his carnivorous instincts. We get to see Legoshi’s training and how he starts changing as a character because of it. These changes are important for the climax of the season. But it’s during this training that Legoshi unwittingly discovers Louis’ secret, and this is the point where Louis starts becoming involved with the story.

I will say that Tem’s murder is solved over the course of BEASTARS Season 2. While I don’t want to give the answer away and provide a spoiler, I will say that when we see what actually happened, I thought it was kind of a tragic story. However, the murderer starts romanticizing the event and the meaning behind it, to the point that they start losing it. The climax of the season sees Legoshi fighting with Tem’s murderer, and the role that Louis ends up playing during this fight. Again, without saying who the murderer is, I will just state that I hadn’t correctly guessed who the murderer was. The clues we’d seen seemed to be pointing in one direction, but those were to throw the viewer off.

But while Legoshi is trying to discover who murdered Tem, a tragic event happens in the drama club. Tao, the panther, accidentally uses too much force with the anteater, Kibi, and rips Kibi’s arm off. While Kibi is initially scared, we see that he is able to forgive Tao as he’s recovering in the hospital, even if Tao can’t seem to forgive himself. I liked having this storyline as a counterpoint to solving the mystery of Tem’s murder.

Unfortunately, these events lead to a decision that for the next school year, Cherryton will segregate between herbivores and carnivores. Also, it’s announced that the drama club will be disbanded. But we see that drama club isn’t going to give up without a fight.

At the end of BEASTARS Season 2, we ultimately see an outcome for Legoshi that makes sense for the world that he inhabits, but as a viewer, this isn’t what I’d hoped for Legoshi’s fate. It was recently announced that a third season for the BEASTARS anime has been green-lit, and I expect the story will follow Legoshi and the ramifications of what happens to him at the end of this season.

BEASTARS Season 2 does a great job of progressing the mystery of Tem’s killing. However, in order to accomplish this, the relationship between Legoshi and Haru doesn’t get nearly as much screen time as it did in the first season. I also have to say that Louis got a fair share of character development in this season, and the evolution he goes through is rather impressive.

As a viewer who enjoyed the first season of BEASTARS, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect when I started Season 2. For the most part, I think the story progressed in a logical fashion, and the characters developed and reacted to their situations realistically. This review only touched on some of the major plot points, though, because I knew I wasn’t going to be able to touch on everything. For any Juno fans out there, she’s actively involved in Season 2, although for the most part, her appearances and stories don’t quite leave as much of an impact that the others do (with the main exception being the scene where Juno interacts with Haru).

When it comes to Netflix’s presentation of the series, my main gripe has to do with some of the name changes that appear in the subtitles. Haru being referred to as Hal makes no sense, because you can clearly hear the characters referring to her as “Haru.” Seeing Louis being referred to as Rouis is also annoying, but it’s not quite as head-scratching as changing Haru to Hal.

Outside of the subtitle gripe, though, I enjoyed BEASTARS Season 2. Viewers who watched the first season and enjoyed it should also be able to appreciate what this season has to offer.

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