Story/Art: Paru Itagaki
Translation/Adaptation: Tomo Kimura/Annette Roman
What They Say
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?
Gray wolf Legoshi confirms the identity of alpaca Tem’s murderer after a Drama Club member is maimed during rehearsal. In the wake of the incident, the Cherryton Academy administration resolves to segregate classrooms and disband interspecies clubs. The edict causes an uproar, and the absence of red deer Louis’s leadership is keenly felt. However, Bengal tiger Bill and Angora goat Els, as well as gray wolf Juno, gain insight into themselves and their relationships. Plus, a flashback to Legoshi’s tragic childhood and family.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Itagaki-sensei packs a ton into this volume, starting with a real jaw-dropper of an illustration on the third page of the opening chapter. I won’t give details, but it’s the most shocking thing to happen to the Drama Club since Tem’s murder. In certain respects, it’s worse because the entire club witnesses it. Then before you’ve even had a chance to catch your breath, another bomb drops: Legoshi confronts Tem’s murderer.
Not surprisingly, Legoshi’s boldness lands him in a pinch, but interestingly, it’s pretty boy herbivore Pima that gets him out of it.
Having these two events one after the other leaves you reeling, but the new incident also serves to frame the circumstances of the night Tem was killed. Just as what happens to Kibi is an accident, Tem’s murder wasn’t premeditated. Far from it. Seeing the tragedy unfold from the killer’s viewpoint, while it doesn’t excuse his actions, does evoke sympathy for him.
You’d think this would be sufficient drama for a single volume, but it goes further with Legoshi running afoul of the Shishigumi and their new boss Louis. Itagaki-sensei somehow packs this chance reunion with both tension and hilarity (thanks to Legoshi’s tail). The subsequent dinner between Legoshi and the Shishigumi maintains that engaging interplay of comedy and tension as Louis’s prior and current worlds collide.
The volume closes with Cherryton Academy making an announcement: the separation of herbivore and carnivore students. Given all that’s happened, their decision seems a belated one. Surprisingly, though, it triggers an uproar among the students. But not everyone is against the proposal, and Juno especially can’t comprehend why her classmates want to maintain the status quo.
Extras include the story thus far, the cast of characters, character design notes, bonus comics, and storyboards.
There’s never a dull moment in Volume 9! From a new unnerving incident at Cherryton to the sad details behind Tem’s death to Legoshi meeting Louis as the head of the Shishigumi, it hits you with one thing after another. Overall, it’s an exhilarating read with cool developments that have me in eagerly anticipating the next volume.
Content Grade: A
Art Grade: C
Packaging Grade: B+
Text/Translation Grade: B
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Viz Media
Release Date: November 17th, 2020