REVIEW: ‘Beastars,’ Volume 12

Reading Time: 3 minutes

BEastars Volume 12

Beastars is a series about an anthropomorphic animal world of carnivores and herbivores that has captured readers with its varying genres and more importantly, its character dynamics. Created, written, and illustrated by Paru Itagaki, Beastars Volume 12 is the latest in the series and focuses on Legoshi’s ramifications for the events of the last volume, where he devoured Louis’s leg—with his permission of course. But with the society trying to maintain the fragile peace between the carnivores and the herbivores that means that there is no longer a place for Legoshi.

Beastars Volume 12 is published and localized in English by VIZ Media’s Signature imprint. The volume is translated by Tomo Kimura, adapted in English by Annette Roman, and features touch-up art and lettering by Susan Daigle-Leach. In this volume as a consequence of his savage battle with brown bear Riz, doors begin to close for gray wolf Legoshi, and he must strike out on his own. Barred from returning from school and forced to live with the denomination of “meat offender” on his permanent record. Forced into society and into an adult at the same time, Legoshi has to find his own way in the world now. Find an apartment, find a job, and somehow find a way to survive in a world that has now barred him from the future he wants most: marrying Haru.

But that isn’t the most stunning part of Beastars Volume 12. Sure Legoshi’s struggle with temptation after adjusting back to society after eating meat is interesting, as is a new sheep character who literally has a death wish, but it’s what happens in the volume’s last chapters that really set the tone for the series going forward. First, we get to meet the current valiant Beastar, horse Yahya, who shares a history with Legoshi’s family. Like Legoshi and Louis, Yahya strives to make the world a better place—but he does so with a calculated callousness that both shows his strength and his bias against meat-eaters. Then, we get to meet Legoshi’s grandfather, a komodo dragon, and get to see the most explicit display of discrimination because of this.

Beastars Volume 12 is a phenomenal entry into the series and in it, Itakgaki does the heavy lifting when it comes to establishing what the world beyond the Cherrytown Academy looks like. While we caught small glimpses of this with Louis’s time with Shishigumi, and through Legoshi’s time at the Black Market, this volume establishes not only how big the world is, but how much history there is between the species. Itagaki uses Legoshi’s newfound status as a “meat offender” to push him into researching the history between carnivores and herbivores, but more importantly, interspecies marriages, when they became legal, and where reptiles and venomous species fall into it. While it may seem small, these moments of research help define the world that Legoshi now finds himself in and runs contradictory of the world of his old school where there was nothing but peaceful cohabitation, or it at least put that on their facade.

Finally, it’s Itagaki’s art that continues to wow me as a reader. From action sequences, size differences, and stellar first shots of Yahya that took my breath away. There is an ability that Itagaki has to illustrate both attractive and intimidating characters in her world. But she can also illustrate meek characters as well.

Overall, Beastars Volume 12 is another entry in the series knocked out of the park. By expanding the world of Beastars and by adding context to the world as well, Itagaki is on the trajectory for even more masterful storytelling.

Beastars Volume 12 is available wherever books are sold. 

Beastars Volume 12
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TL;DR

Overall, Beastars Volume 12 is another entry in the series knocked out of the park. By expanding the world of Beastars and by adding context to the world as well, Itagaki is on the trajectory for even more masterful storytelling.