Jan 17, 2019
DoktorHaus (All reviews)
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.