Whoo boy! This volume of Beastars was a real emotional-rollercoaster ride! We have torrid love affairs, the reveal of a tragic backstory and violent plots, all sandwiched in between high school hijinks, as everyone prepares for a summer festival. Be warned, this review will include spoilers.
The members of the Drama Club are hard at work preparing for the Meteor Festival, which is held in honour of their dinosaur ancestors, and love is on everyone’s minds as they scramble to find a date for the ceremony that launches the festivities. Legoshi, who has been struggling with his feelings, finally comes to understand that he loves Haru when he discovers that she likes Louis and has been secretly carrying on a physical relationship with him. Even though he knows that it might be pointless to confess to her now, Legoshi is still determined to tell Haru how he feels about her. Romantic complications might be the least of these teens problems however, as there have been a string of murders in the area and all of the victims have been young herbivores!
Where to begin with this volume? First, Legoshi finally comes to terms with his feelings for Haru when he experiences a surge of intense jealousy upon realizing that she likes Louis. The fact that Louis and Haru have been carrying out a secret love affair adds even more juicy drama to the story, but I’m a bit annoyed with the fact that discovering this is what led Legoshi to understand his feelings, as this equates possessiveness with love. Legoshi is also rather condescending to Haru at one point in this volume and tells her that she should “respect herself more” when they are discussing how she’d offered to have sex with him during their first meeting. Way to slut-shame the girl you love, Legoshi! Haru, thankfully, doesn’t put up with this and tells him off for lecturing her. She proceeds to tell him what everyday life is like for her as a prey animal constantly living in fear, and I felt like I gained a better understanding of her character right alongside Legoshi in this scene. I was also happy that Legoshi decided to confess how he felt to Haru, instead of just obsessing and moping about it because she already liked someone else. I think that shows some positive growth for his character.
Meanwhile, Juno, the fourth point of our romantic quadrangle, declares war on Louis and reveals that, not only does she intend to win Legoshi’s heart, but she plans to take the coveted position of Beastar! This is quite a bold move for Juno, who previously seemed somewhat shy and had been having troubles with her classmates. But Juno proves that she has the charisma to match her ambitiousness and she is quickly gaining admirers thanks to her bright and cheerful attitude and her determined efforts to win people over. I’m really liking this turn to Juno’s character. When she was first introduced, I thought she was just going to be a typical rival character who was there for no other reason than to throw a wrench into the Legoshi/Haru relationship, but making her both a romantic rival and a Beastar rival makes her much more interesting. I’m excited to see how her campaign to become the Beastar will go. I was also just happy to see the topic of the Beastar position come up again, as it feels like it’s been awhile since it’s been mentioned at all. This position seems like it is even a bigger deal then I had thought, as there are a number of carnivore students who’re apparently so against Louis taking the position that they’re ready to resort to violence!
Speaking of Louis, this volume includes a flash back to his horrific past and we learn that he had spent his early childhood in a black market facility that sold herbivore children to carnivores to be devoured alive. He was saved from death when a wealthy red deer, who wasn’t able to have children, bought him for the purpose of adopting him as his heir. Louis is haunted by memories of this place and of the other children that he had to leave behind when he was taken out of that facility. This goes a long way towards explaining Louis’ intense drive. He longs to change the world because he knows firsthand how terrible it can truly be. I’ve liked Louis from the start of the series and, now that I’ve seen how much he’s suffered and had to overcome, I only love him more. He’s my absolute favourite character!
This was a thrilling and emotional volume and, despite a few quibbles, I thoroughly enjoyed it and am hungry for more. This volume also left off on a doozy of a cliff-hanger so I’m even more eager than usual to get my hands on the next volume!
Final Score: 9 out of 10.
For more information on Beastars Volume 4, visit Viz Media’s website: https://www.viz.com/read/manga/beastars-volume-4/product/6145/paperback
What did you think of this volume? Who do you think is going to win the position of Beastar? Let me know in the comments. You can also check out my reviews of the other volumes in this series:
- Beastars Vol 1 Review
- Beastars Vol 2 Review
- Beastars Vol 3 Review
- Beastars Vol 5 Review
- Beastars Vol 6 Review
- Beastars Vol 7 Review
- Beastars Vol 8 Review
- Beastars Vol 9 Review