ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘Beastars,’ Volume 9

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Beastars Volume 9

Beastars by Paru Itagaki is a genre-bending series published in English by VIZ Manga’s Signature imprint and is currently in its ninth volume. Beastars Volume 9 continues to prove the depth that this series has to offer.  Last volume, the gray wolf Legoshi trained to take on Tem’s killer and began the process of learning how to survive without meat in order to truly protect herbivores – namely his love interest Haru, the petite dwarf rabbit. While Legoshi is pushing away meat, the red deer Louis is embracing it as the leader of the Shishigumi, an organized crime syndicate made up lions. However, the two haven’t interacted since Haru’s rescue in volume six from the Shishigumi which sets the stage for Beastars Volume 9. 

Drama and intrigue fill this volume of Beastars. After investigating every carnivore in the drama club, Legoshi has been able to confirm the identity of alpaca Tem’s murderer. When a drama club member is maimed during rehearsals, Legoshi takes the moment to confront the killer and quickly learns that when it comes to strength he can’t beat him. If it wasn’t clear when the two fought in volume 8, it’s beyond clear now as the two attempt to intimidate each other. While Legoshi tries to focus on bringing the killer to justice his own way, the Cherrytown Academy administration resolves to segregate the students and disband all interspecies clubs. Tem’s death coupled with the accidental maiming push the school’s hand, and ultimately allow for the surrounding cast to get moments of self-expression in relation to species dynamics.

That said, the meat of Beastars Volume 9 comes from the backstory we receive for Legoshi and how his chance meeting with Louis in the Black Market. In the former, we get a chance to learn more about our favorite gray wolf and finally see him interact with his family. While we’ve spent a lot of time with Legoshi as the main character, readers don’t know who he is beyond his love Haru and dedication to protecting herbivores. In this volume, we learn the tragedy in his past and we finally get to see a more dynamic image of this lead in the same way Itagaki has been able to present Louis.

Now, with all this being said, Louis and Legoshi’s reunion is one that will set ships sailing, but also adds more interesting elements into mix. When we see Louis commanding the Shishigumi, it’s extremely easy to forget that he is a teenager, and that not that long ago, was still in high school. When he’s reunited with his former clubmate, Itagaki works to show glimpses of Louis’ vulnerability and true age. This part of Louis conflicts with his manicured and meat-eating Shishigumi facade and continues to make Beastars more than just attractive anthropomorphized animals.

Ultimately Beastars Volume 9 is a volume that is stuffed with content. We learn who Tem’s murderer is, we learn Legoshi’s backstory, love triangles evolve, and we get to see Louis be a teen again, if even for a small moment. If you fell in love with Netflix’s original anime, we’re only two volumes past where the anime left off, so it’ll still be easy to jump right in. And if you’ve been enjoying the series in its English manga format, this volume won’t disappoint.

Beastars Volume 9 is available from booksellers on November 17, 2020.

The translator and letterer information was not included with the digital ARC of Beastars Volume 9. 

Beastars Volume 9
5

TL;DR

Ultimately Beastars Volume 9 is a volume that is stuffed with content. We learn who Tem’s murderer is, we learn Legoshi’s backstory, love triangles evolve, and we get to see Louis be a teen again, if even for a small moment. If you fell in love with Netflix’s original anime, we’re only two volumes past where the anime left off, so it’ll still be easy to jump right in. And if you’ve been enjoying the series in its English manga format, this volume won’t disappoint.