Beastars Vol. 18

by Paru Itagaki

~~ SPOILERS ~~ the biggest are white, highlight to read

More and more depth to this story. Volume 18 opens with flashbacks to Legoshi’s early days at the boarding school, which he started just after his mother died. Now Legoshi is hiding out there while waiting for his fur to revert to its normal hue- which apparently it will do after he sheds. He’s surprised to see all the changes that have occurred since he left- with the segregation of carnivores and herbivores tensions are higher. Carnivores are more openly aggressive and speak freely of the black market, herbivores act glum and skittish. Legoshi is very uncomfortable, feeling an acute longing for peaceful co-existence. He runs into Pina (gorgeous as ever) and the tiger Bill. He fraternizes with the drama club members, who are still meeting even though they’re supposed to be disbanded. Jack is very down about some things he’s learned of Beast history (before the war and the genetic engineering happened). Jack is upset about his natural mild-mannered attributes and complete obedience (genetic temperament). He cuts onions to force himself to cry. He tells Legoshi more history behind the war. There’s this weird part in the middle about an enormous whale. And then an even more unexpected scene where the current beastar Yahya meets with the whale- so apparently it’s still around?

Then an episode with Bill the tiger at home, who cracks an egg and is faced with a sudden shock, and a moral dilemma- there’s a chick embryo inside. Can he eat it?? (No mages of this, but immediately I thought back to the hen and yeah, if she wasn’t um, careful with her private life, a fertilized egg could be in the batch unknowing). Bill, Pina and Aoba- an eagle with the sternest face- tenderly raise the chick until it’s old enough to go into official care- and now Bill vows off ever eating chicken meat again.

The lions of the gang commiserate about how things are changing in the black market (more mild). A bunch of different gangs face off with each other- it looks like these red fox vixens will prevail over the lions, but the mixed one Melon steps out as their leader and makes a shocking display of his unhinged violence- combined with a super-disturbingly casual attitude. Louis’ father sternly questions his reluctance to marry- and wonders aloud if he’s even attracted to females of his own species. Angered, Louis goes back to the black market, where Legoshi tracks him down. Trying to convince him to accost Melon together as a team (again). Which is weird, because I swear they had done this already. And failed. Well, Louis reminisces (not in a good way) about his childhood trapped here, and finally shares with Legoshi where that actually was. They are surprised to run into Louis’ childhood companions, who survived all this time against the odds. Well, the rabbit Kyu because she became a tough, quick fighter, summoning the aura of a larger, fiercer beast (chimeara) when she faces an opponent. She challenges Legoshi but he can’t make himself attack her- because of Haru. And Kya surmises she can do something to help Legoshi overcome his reluctance to confront female rabbits.

Borrowed from the public library. Completed on 4/19/24.

Rating: 3/5
208 pages, 2020

More opinions: Al’s Manga Blog
anyone else?

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