One night at Cherryton Academy, an herbivore student is brutally murdered. Among the members of the Drama Club, the herbivores’ suspicions naturally turn to their carnivore classmates… The prime suspect? Wolf Legoshi. But he wouldn’t hurt a fly. Or would he? Will dwarf rabbit Haru bring out the beast in him? Or are his feelings for her…something else?
It's got sex, gore, and philosophy--the big three. It's set in a society of anthropomorphic animals, at first focusing on the Cherryton School but then expanding to show more of the world at large. The main character is Legosi, a socially awkward gray wolf. The central theme is the difficulties with carnivores and herbivores coexisting, with the intersection of instinct and morality. Vigilante justice is prevalent, but at least it's recognized to be self-righteous and egotistical, which is more than I can say for many stories that just mindlessly glorify vigilantism. I appreciate the moral ambiguity it profers. There's also romance and childish idealism in the face of a cynical, "adult" world. And a healthy dose of humor throughout. The art in the first few chapters is rough around the edges, but it quickly improves. The world is well developed and the characters are distinct and lovable. [Reviewed at chapter 148]
SPOILERS AND RANTS This manga is hard to rate because it gets worse as it goes. It can't even decide what genre it wants to be. They can't even keep the motivations of the main character straight. Honestly, it's like three different people group wrote this manga and no Tne of them could agree what they wanted it to be about. Plot: Mystery -> Romance -> Thriller -> Slice of life *rinse and repeat* CHAPTERS 1-50 It starts out with a thrilling murder. Cool, a nice big mystery and the manga even makes you think that maybe it was our main character that did it for a second. But then the main character catches a rabbit and almost eats her. He feels guilty for her but then meets her afterward and falls head over heels for her. Okay cool, but before their romance can ever start to blossom she gets kidnapped and the genre changes from "slice of life, romance" to "action/shonen" then it switches back after he gets her back. Okay, that was a cool switch up back to the romance. Nope, they completely drop her character because he made a vow to get stronger to protect her. But he completely forgets about her and the manga completely switches to "mystery thriller" for like the next 50 chapters. CHAPTERS 50-100 Louis goes from being a snob to a murderer and a leader of a gang. So they like tripped acid with his character ideologies. And Legosi completely ignores Haru and the authors force him to become a criminal, a decision that doesn't make sense to the point that the author has to admit in the manga that this doesn't make sense. So finally the showdown happens with the mystery murderer... wait they knew for at least 3 months who the murderer was and didn't report it instead they forced Legosi to fight him... because Tem was a good friend? Anyways it ruined his life and he became a criminal because he decided to eat Louis's leg to gain the power of eating meat.... when did they become such good friends? Now he's a predator and legally can't marry Haru, so any romantic reason you were reading this manga completely falls through. After that, it goes back to a "slice of life" and introduces a whole bunch of random characters and shoves the old cast to the side. Oh but still doesn't bring Haru back even though we're supposed to read that he did all of this for the love of Haru. It's also around this time that Legosi's characters' attitude and mindset completely change, to the point where he becomes very similar to a thug... who is well mannered at his part-time job. Additionally, the author annoyed me when it used a moth during the climax battle to give Legosi more strength. It was stupid. Art It's okay, sometimes it's extremely well-drawn other times it's sketchy and looks like it was done in a rush. Characters The author is wishy-washy about what drives his characters forwards, self sabotages them, and all-around fucks up as many characters as he can to be "edgy." A shit ton of characters are introduced only to never appear again or are permanently put to the side even though they were big deal characters that still have an ongoing plotline. They should have kept it simple. Legosi is a shy nerd boy in love with a rabbit and wants to protect her. NOT Legoshi is a shy nerd boy in love with a rabbit and wants to protect her, but then forgets about her to goes to train 24/7 with a rabbit and winds up working for him. But then gets hired by a snake to find out who killed Tem, so he does but then he keeps it a secret for months so he can secretly fight him for no reason. Then he eats his friend's leg. Then he becomes a criminal. Then drops school. Then moves into a ghetto neighborhood. Then he starts a crappy part-time job and forgets about old friends and Haru. Haru is a whoare, who should have realized her self worth from her friend Legosi and as she worked to get over Louis fallen in love with Legosi. NOT dropped as a character after they almost have the smex. Louis is a preppy kid from a rich, with a tragic back story but is grateful for his new life and aims to be the Beastar. NOT all of that but then suddenly, when he loses the girl he loves but treated like she didn't exist, he follows Legosi to be apart of the rescue, but waits until the end and shoots a lion in the face and then becomes a crime syndicate boss. He even starts eating meat, smoking cigarettes, and actively helps the black market become more protected. He completely ignores Legosi until about 1 chapter before he lets Legosi eat his leg, and then decides to go back to school and not become Beastar. They do things that don't make any sense, like introducing a snake security guard that wants to help him catch the bad guy who literally never shows up ever again. Overall This manga can't even get one genre right, let alone the 5ish it tries to push down your throat and the reason is that the authors can't layer plots for shit. They introduce new plots before they're done with the old plots and are constantly changing the motivations and drives of their main characters. Complicating characters and plot can be good if the author has the skills to keep their goals and their personality in check. I'm only one chapter 114, but every chapter gets harder to read, but I'm so far along that I want to finish it. But as far as I can tell everything that happens after chapter 50ish becomes less thought out and more erratic. Such a disappointment. *reads next volume*
I went into this manga without knowing anything other than that it is based on similar premise as Zootopia. I will say that I prefer Beastars over Zootopia now that I have read it, not because Zootopia isn't good, but because Beastars is more daring in the themes it tackles. On top of that I can't help but marvel at the way the author portrays their character and their mastering of the show dont tell concept of storytelling. It is a thrilling story with well written characters that are all complex in their own way, and the plot keeps thickining as the manga progress. I can highly recommend this one to anyone that is in for a good story.
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