Beastars Vol 18 Review

Here we are at the 18th volume of Paru Itagaki’s Beastars manga, and the plot seems to finally be getting back to the unresolved problem of who will be the next Beastar!

As with my other reviews of this manga, this review will contain some spoilers for both this volume and earlier volumes in the Beastars series.

Synopsis:

After failing to catch Melon and getting suckered into a situation where it looked like he was attacking an innocent herbivore in the middle of the city, Legoshi needs to lie low for a while. So, he naturally decides to head back to Cherryton Academy and crash with Jack and the other canines in Room 701! They’re all ecstatic to see their old pal again, but Legoshi soon notices that Jack is behaving oddly.

Due to his high test scores, Jack has been put into an exclusive advanced class where he’s being taught the complete history of beast society. Jack is struggling under the pressure and having an existential crisis regarding how, as a dog, he was bred to not experience intense negative emotions. Not even when he’s hearing about horrific events like the war between herbivores and carnivores! Since he isn’t able to discuss any of this with his friends, Jack has become withdrawn and melancholy. When Legoshi pushes him about what’s going on, Jack unloads and reveals the true history of the conflict between the herbivores and carnivores!

You and me both!

Review:

The history of the worsening relationship between carnivores and herbivores that Jack relays to Legoshi is less shocking than one might expect by Jack’s lead in. Most of the information we get in this volume just fleshes out the brief summary that Melon gave Haru’s university class in the previous volume. The only big revelation we get here is learning that the war only ended because of the intervention of a giant whale!

Now that was a huge surprise! It has already been established that marine animals have a more chill philosophy about consuming other animals, so I can see how they might have a unique insight into the war. That said, it’s still nuts to imagine a massive whale surfacing from the depths of the ocean to deliver a lecture to a bunch of blood-thirsty animals in the middle of slaughtering each other.

This wise creature apparently said something to the two warring sides that was so earth-shattering that they suddenly managed to come to a peace agreement. What exactly was this history-altering proclamation? Apparently no one knows. Guess we’ll just have to wait and hope that this gets revealed later…

While I was a little disappointed that there wasn’t much new information revealed during Jack’s history explanation, there was still a lot of fun and exciting moments in this volume that kept me plenty entertained.

I especially enjoyed seeing a bunch of Legoshi’s old classmates again as he hangs out at the academy. It’s always nice to see Jack, who’s a total sweety and a great friend to Legoshi despite the fact that our favourite wolf-boy cannot stay out of trouble for more than two seconds. We also get the chance to catch up with Pina – who I confess I had completely forgotten about.

Bill is also reintroduced. He’s taken over running the drama club and seems to have grown a bit since his first introduction. My absolute favourite part of this book was the side story about Bill finding a chick in one of his eggs. Bill, Pina and Aoba end up caring for it until it’s strong enough for them to take it to a police officer. Aoba becoming the chick’s temporary surrogate mommy was priceless!

Not everything at Cherryton Academy is fun and games, however. Herbivore and carnivore students have been segregated into separate classes and tensions at the school are high. Seeing how much things have changed seems to remind Legoshi of the whole Beastar competition. This is undoubtedly what leads him to make a bold proposal to Louis later on in the volume. I can’t say I’m surprised by the direction the manga seems to be going with the question of who will be the next Beastar, but that doesn’t make me any less pleased by the developments in this volume. Legoshi’s plan is both logical and narratively satisfying, and I hope things will indeed play out along these lines.

Louis meanwhile, has his own concerns, and they don’t currently include worrying about who will be the next Beastar.

After returning to the black market, Louis is flooded with memories of his tragic childhood and has to finally contend with his dark past. The flashbacks we see of little Louis and the other children being held by the meat dealer were heartbreaking! I hope Louis will be able to find closure regarding his past and gain a deeper understanding of how his trauma has affected him. Confronting his memories has already led to a significant discovery that has the potential to both help Louis heal and assist Legoshi with preparing for his next confrontation with Melon. I’m looking forward to seeing more of how Louis deals with the ghosts of his past in the next volume

With so much happening, and the return of so many characters who we haven’t seen in quite some time, this wound up being an especially exciting installment in the Beastars manga. I enjoyed this volume from start to finish and I definitely feel that this is a book that you won’t want to miss!

Final Score: 9 out of 10

For more information on this manga, visit Viz Media’s website.

What did you think of this manga? Any theories on what the whale said to end the war? Let me know in the comments!


Be sure to check out my reviews of the other volumes of the Beastars manga!

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