Beastars – Volume Five – Manga Review

Beastars Vol 5: Volume 5: Amazon.co.uk: Itagaki, Paru: 9781974708024: Books

The vast majority of volume five of Beastars is set outside of Cherryton Academy. After Haru is kidnapped while preparing for the Meteor Festival, Legoshi sets out to find and rescue her. It turns out that a gang of lions, known as the Shishigumi, have kidnapped Haru in order to eat her. To save her, Legoshi goes back to the black market and stumbles his way into finding information about Haru’s whereabouts.

After the last volume, which was pretty slow, this one is full-on action from the first page and that continues right through to the cliff-hanger which promises to be just as exciting. Even with all of the action there’s still plenty of time to develop characters, and some nice world building. The Mayor is introduced, a lion who had a lot of surgery completed (including having his fangs replaced with fake teeth) in order to come across as likable and non-threatening to the herbivore animals. He’s been trying hard to bring equality and peace to the city and the Shishigumi are a threat to that image he’s cultivated. Even so, he’s a slimy politician and his character adds just another interesting layer to the world of Beastars.

When I first started reading the first volume, I wasn’t that taken with the art style. I thought it was a little rough around the edges, but I’ve really grown to love it over the course of the first five volumes. It’s completely unique and more importantly it’s perfect for the type of story that Paru Itagaki is telling through the series. It’s gritty and not always clean, which matches the characters and world they inhabit. That being said, this volume has the first full on fight and it was a little hard to follow what was going on. It’s far from the best fight I’ve read in a manga.

As always, as soon as I finished the volume I wanted to pick up the next one straight away. Beastars has quickly become one of my favourite series and I can’t wait to see what happens next. It side-steps so many of the usual pitfalls in manga, and has one of the most vibrant and interesting worlds I’ve ever come across. The characters are fully realised, complex and completely authentic. It’s definitely worth checking out, even if you’re not a manga fan. It’s something completely different.

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About ashleymanningwriter

Young Adult Fiction writer. Horror and fantasy blended together.
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