ARC Review: BEASTARS, Vol. 5 by Paru Itagaki

BEASTARS, Vol. 5BEASTARS, Vol. 5 by Paru Itagaki
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

At this high school, instead of jocks and nerds, the students are divided into predators and prey.

At a high school where the students are literally divided into predators and prey, friendships maintain the fragile peace. Who among them will become a Beastar—a hero destined to lead in a society naturally rife with mistrust?

Dwarf rabbit Haru has been abducted by Shishi-gumi, a gang of rogue lions infamous for torturing, murdering and devouring herbivores. The mayor offers to help, but can he be trusted when he himself is a lion? Meanwhile, Legoshi tracks Haru’s scent, determined to rescue her at any cost, while Haru both defies her captors and tries to accept her fate. Elsewhere, red deer Louis is faced with a terrible temptation…

Warnings: graphic violence, sexual assault, gun violence

With Haru being kidnapped by the Shishigumi, the dark side of the Beastars world comes up again, where underneath the facade of herbivore-carnivore peace, lies a seedier world where herbivores are trafficked for meat. Haru, being a white rabbit, is of interest to the gourmet leader of the Shishigumi and as she is prepared for being his dinner, Legosi is trying to find a way to rescue her. Loius refuses to help him after having a discussion with the mayor, who blackmails him into not interfering. Fortunately for Legosi, a certain panda is willing to help him out, and they have a hard battle getting through the fortress of the Shishigumi’s HQ. But after saving her, Legosi and Haru are still stranded in the city and unable to return to the school.

Now, about the world of Beastars, I was excited to see a glimpse of the political workings of the city, and what Loius is up against. As for Haru, this was the volume where she gets to tell her story, about how she was perceived as a kid, as a prey because of her nature as well as her size, and why she wryly tolerates the bullying in the school; for her, she prefers to be hated for being a woman(?) with desires, than pitied for being a dwarf rabbit. I was a bit uncomfortable by the implication that she is ‘thanking’ Legosi by having sex with him, despite her natural instincts of a rabbit fearful of his wolf body. Legosi’s panic at things moving so fast is also natural, but I also wish him saving her wasn’t all about his romantic feelings for her, because it comes across as a damsel in distress scenario. To be fair, she as a rabbit doesn’t have the physicality to escape herself, so I guess a carnivore saving her has a different circumstance. I still have complicated feelings about it, is what I’m saying.

The volume as a whole, though, is an awesome read, with loads of action, some character development, and more insight into the world.

Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review from Viz Media LLC, via Edelweiss.

Previous books in the Beastars series

Beastars, Vol. 1 BEASTARS, Vol. 2 BEASTARS, Vol. 3 BEASTARS, Vol. 4

View all my reviews

Buy links

The Book Depository | Wordery

Releases on March 17, 2020

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