Lenni Reviews: “Beastars” Vol. 11, by Paru Itagaki

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*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.

I trust this isn’t spoilers for you at this point so, in this volume, Legoshi and Riz have their final showdown and Legoshi will have to pray the training he’s been though will help him stand up to a bear twice his size.

I like the way this panned out. It makes sense given the personalities and characters involved in all this mess. I also have to assume it’s not spoilery to say, it’s about damn TIME the police got involved. A student was murdered and eaten! I’m shocked Legoshi didn’t have regular run ins with a police investigation in progress. That would have made for some interesting conflict… But, as is, this was good. Great art in the fight scenes and even in battle, Legoshi is his goofy self. 5 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Beastars” Vol. 9 by Paru Itagaki

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*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.

While this volume starts with the mundane Winter Performance for the Drama Club. But the real meat (no pun intended) of this volume is Legoshi finding out who killed Tem WAY back in volume 1. Which, honestly, I thought they forgot about.

Somehow, I expected the reveal of Tem’s murderer to take longer and be a big battle but I respect how this volume handled it. It makes sense that Legoshi would have to train hard to face a killer and since his side gig helping Dr. Gohin is making him stronger, it makes sense that he would have to keep doing that in order to get his skills up. It also makes sense that Legoshi’s little side job would land him in Louis’ path. It was great to see them interact again.

Juno also got some focus with her bonding with Haru for a bit of girl time. And I need to perhaps spoil a bit here when I flat out rejoice in the discarding of the generic “mean girl” trope and they come to terms. It’s so refreshing.

Yet again, I love this series and I can’t wait for more. 5 out of 5.

 

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Lenni Reviews: “Beastars” Vol. 8 by Paru Itagaki

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*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.

Vowing to protect his friends and fellow students, Legoshi has Gohin train him to control his desire for meat. Meanwhile, Louis wants to cut ties with school and his father and in his mob dealings, he meets an herbivore stripper named Cosmo. The final story features Sheila, a predator who is tired of being used as a social media prop for herbivores wants a real friend.

I keep ending these volumes wanting more. One day, I’m sure the omnibus editions will fly off the shelves. Haru pops in to remind us how adorable she is, Legoshi is on his way to being a cute but badass wolf, and Sheila’s shopping trip with a sheep names Peach is sweet and genuine. I hope the series keeps on getting better in the future. 5 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Ajin: Demi-Human” Vol. 13 by Gamon Sakurai

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Sato demands to rule Japan from a hostage situation and Kei goes face to face with Sato at last. Meanwhile, the government tries a coverup of the anti demi-human activities despite the taskforce mobilizing anyway.

This volume had that great balance of plot and action that I’ve come to enjoy from this series. Smart displays of strategy, interesting use of the demi-human’s abilities, and just enough of a cliffhanger that I’m interested in the next volume. Very awesome. 5 out of 5 for just being shamelessly entertaining.

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Lenni Reviews: “Beastars” Vol. 7 by Paru Itagaki

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*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.

In this volume we get to meet the Council of Living Beings; where the adult representatives talk about how every school has to present a Beastar every year but Cherryton hasn’t presented one in five years. All of the Beastars are supposed to compete to become the next “Valiant Beastar.” Cherryton is usually the one to present this and win by popular demand but Principal Gon has been hesitant to put a kid in this position. The Council overrules him; deciding which ever Cherryton student solves the murder (the one from WAAAAAAYYY bak in the first volume) will be declared Beastar.

I think we need a slow clap for Principle Gon for being the only one to finally remember that these are a bunch of teenagers who probably shouldn’t be saddled with what an adult would have trouble dealing with. Finally, a sensible adult. So, of course he’s overruled…

We also have Legoshi dealing with some issues and needing Gohin to help him out. There are a couple new students, a badass security guard snake named Six Eyes, and finally getting back to the inciting incident of this series. I was wondering when they were going to get back to that because it’s barely been addressed since volume one. I mean, did this kid not have parents what may wanna know? Or are any police involved? Not that I’m not invested in Legoshi and Louis and all that drama but; yeah. There’s a murderer out there. Might wanna get on that. 4.5 out of 5.

Lenni Reviews: “Smokin’ Parade” Vol. 6 by Jinsei Kataoka & Kazuma Kondou

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With the frequent losses the Northern Jackalopes face, Captain Kukuri launches a full-on hunt of the massive spider they have named Lord.

Spoilers but I like how Kukuri and Youkou go to gather data on Lord and have no idea exactly how to get it or what the data means. We see these types of “gather intel” scenes all the time and the characters magically know how all the tech works and what part of what they find is important. It was nice to see that trope played with.

This volume is paced better than previous ones with a fair balance of action and backstory. It’s dark, touching on the implications of gear technology and the advances and consequences of playing with such things. Got some twisted stuff in here, too, so if that’s not your thing, I’d avoid it if I were you. 3.7 out of 5.

Lenni Reviews: “Beastars” vol 1 by Paru Itagaki

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*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.

*This review is cross-posted to Otakus and Geeks.

In this comic, the high school is divided into predators and prey and one student among them is selected to be a ‘Beastar’ – essentially their version of valedictorian as they exemplify the best of both predator and prey. But when a prey student is found dead, tensions are high and loner wolf, Legoshi – a friend of the murdered student – is struggling with his control with so much fear around him.

As I was reading this very sketchy drawn book, I didn’t think I would like it. I was concerned it would be to “on the nose” with the predator/prey aspect only to find it more nuanced than I’d assumed. This is one of the more original manga outings I’ve read in a long time. While the art style may feel strange at first, the characters draw you in. An impressive first volume and I do hope to continue this series.

And yup, totally got the Bella Legosi reference.

4 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “To Your Eternity” vol 4 by Yoshitoki Oima

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Fushi has found a quiet life with his makeshift family, going four years without transforming and living in peace. But at Rean’s 16th birthday party, a monster attacks and Fushi is forced to face facts: he is not human and he will not be able to live a simple life as long as the Nokkers are pursuing him.

Whelp, I got out the tissues because this volume is a downer. I’m intrigued by Fushi and his “creator” and everyone in around Fushi is so damn likable, I almost want some stories about his four years with them. This series has had some great characters so far. I love experiencing everything with them and I hope this keeps up in future volumes. 4 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “To Your Eternity” by Yoshitoki Oima

 

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Gugu is a young boy with terrible scars on his face who comes upon Fushi when he enters the shop where Gugu works. As the two grow closer due to the fact they are both “monsters,” Fushi finds he would like to stay instead of moving along as he normally does. Unfortunately, Fushi must face the fact that such happiness is fleeting.

The best parts of this volume for me were the scene with Gugu and Fushi. Watching them grow together is adorable but there is still the lingering shade of the hooded figure skulking after Fushi. I get the sad feeling Gugu and his friends won’t come out ok when he comes to claim whatever he wants from Fushi.

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