I wasn't expecting much of this manga at first, but it got really good pretty fast, and it keeps getting better with each chapter, so I can currently say that it is very much underrated.
The characters, specially the main ones, are very deep and interesting, so it's always exciting to get to know more about them, their personalities and their secrets, as the story progresses.
It's a bit ironic how they all feel much more human than the average character from any other high school story, even though they're all animals... but I really mean it, it's very easy to relate to them and
their struggles, one way or another.
The world in this manga is very interesting as well, it has many layers to it and many aspects of it contribute to a feeling of dread, while it addressees the topic of discrimination and "cultural differences" in very interesting (and sometimes gruesome) ways. To put it very, very simply, it's like the dark and gritty version of Zootopia we never got to watch, but with differences that add to its complexity and originality.
My only complaint would have to be the art, or at least it was at first, but I've grown to like it quite a bit so it's not really that much of a problem, it's charming and very distinct, and it doesn't fail to send the message across, specially when it comes to its visual cues, which might be my one of my favorite parts of this manga, they're really well executed and make me feel like they'd be great in anime form because of how dramatic and meaningful they are, and there's plenty of them, since the story keeps jumping from one dramatic scene to another almost constantly, specially during the latest chapters.
My point with that is, do not dismiss this manga right away, because it's definitely worth a read.
Are you a furry? Do you love Zootopia? If you answered yes to either of those questions, give this manga a shot. Need any more info? Well, ok...
Beastars is about animals living in a very human-like society. The story centers around Legosi, a sensitive, honorable young wolf who struggles to overcome his nature and form meaningful relationships. His story begins at Cherryton high school, and that comes with a murder mystery, a taboo romance, tested friendships, bloody brawls... things you might expect from a shonen. But the strong writing and characters always keep it engaging.
Once he leaves school, the world-building really expands and we get
to see the darker and stranger sides of the animal world. Without spoiling anything, let's just say street gangs, cannibalism (sort of), slavery, sex abuse and organ harvesting are involved. Despite all this, it's never explicit.
There's a lot of social commentary to be found here, and it's delivered in a refreshingly subtle manner. There's a large diversity of animals (mammals domesticated and wild, small and large, various reptiles, avians, marine life later on) with their unique struggles, like a komodo dragon who's shunned because of his poisonous mouth, or a small lamb who's always talked down to ...uh, literally and figuratively. But it's also quite funny at times, and has no shortage of funny panels to show out-of-context like, for example, a large, hairy carnivore in heels and a dress.
The art style is certainly unique, possessing a more sketchy and cartoony style than typical manga, but to the artist's credit, she's great with drawing action shots and large, intimidating animalistic figures with gnarled fingers.
If I had one complaint, it's about the ship-teasing. You know, when two characters are about to confess their feelings to one another, or a big reveal is about to be made, and something always comes up, or we shift focus to another character for a while. But maybe that's just a problem with manga in general.
I was going to give it a high score. I really was going to. But I just can't anymore.
The story is very mediocre, non existent in consistency and the backstories just come in big bulks later on in the manga. Very bad development, nonsensical motives for everything that happens. It just is not enough to hook me on.
This is one of the manga that tries to be seinen, as the genre suggests, and some very philosophical elements were showing up. But then all of that was ditched for a mediocre plot that was bland and lacked any real value for reading
Random things just pop
out of nowhere, to a point that it is fairly nonsensical
Now the main thing is how the story is name BEASTARS yet for some reason it isn't mentioned anywhere other than the start. Oh my fk I'm just going to kill my self from this lack of consistency
Art is good, characters are made well, just some psychological parts are drawn pretty weirdly
For some reason, I can't get a good grasp on characters as they always have a shift in personality
But something interesting I noticed was their correlation to sin
The wolf character is enduring a self conflict as he has the role of a carnivore, he must not act upon his desires to eat meat and has to follow by societies rules, were the carnivores are mostly considered outcasts, the people who always commit crimes while herbivores and such hold a high status. He tries to eat the bunny yet is not able to do so, and starts liking the bunny. This character is pretty annoying and pestering and the bunny seems to start h aving feelings for him. Overall he is a badly made character and I am fairly disgusted at the sight of him yet...
This character represents gluttony, lust
The bunny is the worst of the lot, a slut, someone who has a lot of sexual partners. She hides everything through her innocent looking face, and then turns seinen mode by stripping and doing random shit with everyone. It seems a lot of people have fallen victim to her and so she is constantly bullied for being the primary person in peoples affairs. She just claims she wants to be an equal but it is pretty obvious she is trying to aim higher up in status, as if her status as a herbivore was not enough. She is evil and my eyes would definitely bleed at the sight of this character.
This character represents envy, sloth
The deer dude is the student council president that is seen to be the boss for things the wolf enrol in, and he wants to be a beastar, something that allows the student to get a free pass to a high social status and such. He is a pretty annoying character.
This character represents pride, greed, wrath
Sorry if this hypothesis is wrong.
I was still able to read this in one setting, so this should be slightly enjoyable, as it is not seinen to the point where it is disgusting
This manga is not decent, which is a four, so I am giving it a three. It could have been better, but it was executed very very poorly. Very poorly. And so, I suggest that you don't read this shit.
An incredibly complex manga about humanity's many facets, portrayed in an unusual way. At first glance, you might not expect this to be a deep series, but it dives into the core of society, interactions between individuals and how cruel and beautiful the world can be. The thing that surprised me the most is how incredibly well written all of the characters are, everyone has an interesting side in this story. The narrative is exciting, has many unexpected fun twists and turns, as the main protagonist Legosi faces many challenges in this wild world he lives in. The art has a very uniquely strange feel
to it, but it manages to be striking and effective at showcasing a huge range of emotions, the mangaka really managed to master drawing facial expressions.
This feral world of animals is very similar to our human world, but the peculiar relationship carnivores and herbivores have was a very different perspective for me.
The carnivores have to suffer because they can't eat the food that is the most nourishing and delicious to them, they can substitute meat with other things but it is never satisfying enough and they have to always struggle with a unique type of hunger, an endless painful hunger that drives many of them mad.
Herbivores have to live in a constant painful fear since most of them are much weaker than carnivores and because the carnivores can randomly go crazy from their thirst for their natural source of nutrition, there is this constant danger that you'll be devoured by a beast gone insane.
Both the carnivores and the herbivores are suffering, but in different ways.
The whole society is restless because of these core factors and there doesn't seem to be an easy way to fix these problems and that's what makes this story so shockingly captivating, emotional and breathtaking.
I had a lot of expectations going into this from friends who had recommended it to me. Beastars delivers on the expected hype on almost every mark. It is one of my all time favorites now and I hope it keeps the momentum up.
Overall it is well paced and pushes you to binge all that's currently out. Itagaki is skilled in creating a world that enthralls the reading and constantly reveals more of itself while leaving intrigue. She does struggle with juggling the characters at times, as some abruptly lose attention and development. There are some filler chapter, but they had good placement to
lighten the tone and ease the story back from its sometimes breakneck pace. From the shaky start, the story quickly settles and knows what it wants to do and embraces it.
I'll admit, initially I did not like the art especially how hands and feet were drawn on animals. This eventually grew on me and now can appreciate the rest of the art, which is truly stunning at some parts given that character designs are very distinct from each other. The style almost perfectly shifts to match the tone of what's going on, both for comedy and to show tension.
Legosi is truly the goodest of boys. His naive psychology may turn some away but his sensitive nature and drive are both admirable. It is engaging to watch him develop and it's hard to find a reason to root against him. Louis is a complex individual who interacts with Legosi well and provides a key foil in the story. Other than these two, most of the characters are written well but are handled poorly. This might be because of how little story is actually out, but once a character serves their purpose they are almost forgotten. I will give her credit, because when characters reemerge she writes it gracefully and it makes me feel warm seeing how the characters reconnect. Another issue created by this is side character development seems sudden and loses its value. This being said, the stunning outweighs the annoying and there is enough to love about most of the cast.
In case it wasn't obvious, I love this series. It has elements from enough stuff to enjoy without bogging itself down. Slice of Life and Shounen elements never (in my opinion) carried on for too long. The manga is admittedly dark at parts, but never reaches an edginess to it, and it is sad to think that many people will think that it is solely furry bait. The series is not carried by its heart alone, but also the incredible talent behind it that continues to surprise.
I will continue to read this as it comes out and I hope that you may have been convinced to give it a shot. Thank you for reading!
I would suggest his story for people over 16 because damn does it mature later but as soon as I read this manga I couldn't put it down it has politics, mystery, romance, a bit of gore and action mixed in all rolled up into one. Even though the characters are beast creature humanoids if they were humans I can guarantee this story would work with racial tensions and the politics is beyond amazing. the way how this story mixes a slice of life now with these beast creatures is pure genius. The art could use some work but since I've read this story from
the beginning to now I can say that there have been major improvements with the art work.