It’s finally happening! Volume 11 of Paru Itagaki’s Beastars, the official midpoint of the manga, FINALLY features the climactic battle between Legoshi and Tem’s murderer! And boy, do things get coco-nuts!
As with my other reviews of the Beastars manga, be warned that this review will contain spoilers for this volume and events that occurred in the previous volumes. Specifically, I’ve decided that I’m going to stop being coy about the identity of the murderer, going forward. So, If you don’t want to be spoiled, I suggest that you catch up to this point in the story before you read the rest of this review.
Legoshi and Tem’s murderer have made arrangements to meet on New Year’s Eve to settle things, once and for all, with a fight to the death. There’s nothing left for Legoshi to do to prepare, it’s time to see if the strength of his ideals can standup to the raw power of a carnivore who’s willing to consume herbivores.
Louis has been invited to observe the fight, but he doesn’t feel like he can stand by Legoshi’s side while he’s the leader of the Shishi-gumi. Having reached another turning point, will Louis fully commit himself to his new life of crime? Or will his worry for Legoshi help him realize that he has friends and a life worth returning to?
I was a bit underwhelmed when Riz was originally revealed to be Tem’s murderer. Prior to the big reveal, he was something of a non-entity. Just someone who was hanging around in the background of drama club scenes. In this volume, however, I am finally appreciating the choice to make him the villain.
Being a bear, Riz is large, strong and more then a match for Legoshi, despite all of the training and soul-searching our favourite wolf has been going through. Their fight is brutal, and Legoshi comes close to being torn to pieces. Riz makes for a truly terrifying foe; he controls the flow of the battle right from the start of their clash and he’s only defeated because Legoshi is able to get inside his head and make him question the narrative he’s been feeding himself regarding what happened with Tem.
Tem’s murder appears to have been a crime of passion, not a premeditated assault. Riz’s had stopped taking his strength-sapping medications, because he wanted to be his authentic self with his friend, Tem. This scared Tem, and Riz wound-up losing control, getting worked up into a frenzy and ultimately devouring someone whom he had considered dear to him. In order to justify his crime to himself, Riz has been indulging in delusions, believing that he and Tem had truly understood each other, and that eating Tem had allowed them to become one. A lie that is called out by Legoshi, who knows that killing Tem wasn’t some rite that made them true friends; it was an act of violence and Tem didn’t consent to being eaten, regardless of whatever Riz might want to believe.
Juxtaposed against Riz’s insane and self-indulgent ramblings, is the relationship that Legoshi has with Louis. While they’ve butted-heads in the past, Louis and Legoshi have a more honest relationship then the one Riz had with Tem and, in the end, Louis does show up to offer Legoshi his support. He leaves the Shishi-gumi behind in a dramatic (and tragic) parting of ways that effectively burns all of his bridges with the black market, all in order to go to Legoshi’s side when he’s in trouble.
The fight is starting to look hopeless for Legoshi at this point, but with Louis there and in need of protecting, he can’t just give up.
This is where things get really crazy!
Louis makes the ultimate show of trust and friendship – proving that theirs is the superior bromance – and Riz is forced to admit defeat.
In the middle of this heart-pounding showdown, Louis lets Legoshi eat his leg so he’ll have the energy to win the fight and save them both! It’s a shocking turn of events, and an oddly satisfying conclusion to both the battle and the trajectories of Legoshi and Louis’ character arcs, up until this point. Legoshi is able to consume meat without losing control of himself and becoming a monster, and Louis has allowed himself to be completely vulnerable with someone else. This was an exciting and weird and very Beastars way to wrap up the murder sub-plot and I am pumped for whatever is coming next.
Speaking of which, I have no idea where Beastars is going to go from here.
We’re just the mid-point of the series and it feels like all the big plot points have been resolved. The murderer has been found and defeated, Louis is coming back to school and Legoshi seems to have achieved inner-peace and is comfortable with his identity as a carnivore. I guess, the love-triangle with Haru and Juno hasn’t been completely tied-up, and I’d like to see Legoshi meet up with his estranged grandfather and finish making amends with him. Other than that, I have no idea what to expect from the rest of the series. I guess I’ll have to wait for the next volume to see what direction the series will head in next!
Final Score: 9.5 out of 10
For more information on this manga, visit Viz Media’s website.
What did you think of this volume? What was your favourite part of the fight? Let me know in the comments!
Check out my other reviews of the Beastars manga series!
- Beastars Vol 1 Review
- Beastars Vol 2 Review
- Beastars Vol 3 Review
- Beastars Vol 4 Review
- Beastars Vol 5 Review
- Beastars Vol 6 Review
- Beastars Vol 7 Review
- Beastars Vol 8 Review
- Beastars Vol 9 Review
- Beastars Vol 10 Review
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