God I love this series.
Listen, I am addicted to this series. There’s so much nuance and clear metaphor’s to how the Beastars world treats those of a certain background that lines up with the racism, sexism and homophobia of our current society, and that intrigues me on a continual basis.
For this volume of Beastars, Legoshi is starting to come into his own as a teen forced to grow up quickly, and his good heart and nature allow him to get on the radar of people like Yahya, the current Beastar. Yahya is getting old and starting to think about the future and his legacy, but also is thinking about Gosha and how the two were supposed to rule together as joint Beastars. Yahya still doesn’t accept that Gosha gave up on everything in order to raise an inter-species family and resents Legoshi as a symbol of what Yahya and Gosha could have had together. He challenges him and there’s a good little brawl because of course Legoshi is too kind and prideful to accept defeat or hurt someone, so the only person who ends up hurt is Legoshi.
Aside from that storyline, Haru comes back into the picture and honestly, as this series goes on and starts to introduce new characters, like Legoshi’s neighbors, I find myself finding Haru more and more insufferable. Back when they were in high school their relationship was front and center to the conflict of the story, but now that Legoshi is learning more about the world I feel like Haru showing up consistently puts the story on pause, which is weird because she is clearly a huge part of his story. I’m not sure how I feel about her as a character anymore, as she’s showing a lot of growth, especially in this volume, but I’m just not sold. She’s no Louis and Louis is my favorite.
We do get some joy in this volume as Legoshi is reunited with his pals from school and they have a fun little day out, and we see Yahya fail to take down a new villain who is killing large creatures. He calls himself Melon and is half herbivore and half carnivore, so you know him getting away from Yahya is going to push him closer to the edge of blaming everything on Legoshi and inter-species characters. I feel like Yahya, who is supposed to be the united of all, is clearly connecting with some prejudices so perhaps we will see him be overthrown for the Beastars crown. Intriguing!
Title: Beastars (Vol. 14)
Author: Paru Itagaki
Three Descriptors: Captivating, Dark, Dramatic