Beastars (TV 2)

Title:Beastars (TV 2)
Keywords: , , , , , ,
Notables: KOBAYASHI Chikahiro
ONO Yuuki
Second season of Beastars.

Series premiered on January 6, 2021.
Animated by Orange.
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Buy 9 9 9 7 9 9 Ggultra2764 [series:4233#1552]
Continuing where its first season left off, Beastars continues exploring the developments of Legoshi and Louis attempting to come to terms with their carnivore and herbivore natures respectively that lead them into different directions with Legoshi trying to solve the mystery of a slain classmate eaten by one of the carnivore students at his school and Louis finding himself unwillingly becoming the leader of a lion crime syndicate. Both their characters undergo their developments related to their natural animal roles with Legoshi assessing his predatory nature and bond with herbivores as he learns more about the suspect of the animal case having a more darker path in their relations with herbivores and Louis contemplating his relations with carnivores as he spends more time with the members of the lion syndicate. Both plot developments gradually come together by the second half of the series with showing development in Legoshi and Louis' bond and coming to terms with their animal natures. If you enjoyed the first season of Beastars' look into exploring the relationship dynamics between predatory and prey animals, this season continues that exploration with the developments that Legoshi and Louis have in their natural roles.

Last updated Friday, March 26 2021. Created Friday, March 26 2021.
Rent Stretch [series:4233#628]
(All episodes watched):

I wasn't sure what to expect as season two of Beastars began, but I was nevertheless slightly surprised at how low the tension had fallen. The main issue is unconfirmed reports of a ghost appearing on campus. I was exasperated when the first episode cut off just as we were about to get an explanation. Was this all a joke or will it play a significant part in the plot (and what exactly is the plot? What is the basic message of this show?)? Louis returns after being missing for two months, and promptly leaves the theater club that he had previously been the hard-driving star of. Haru appears only briefly and episode one is mainly about Legosi. Whatever exactly happened at the end of season one, it seems that things have largely (but not completely) returned to normal.

OK, it's actually episode two which lets us know where we stand. Legosi undertakes his own investigation of the murder of Lem, an alpaca, which happened way back in episode one of the first season. I was pleased to see that there is some continuity to the plot and I hadn't lost all track of what was going on after all. The most startling revelation of the episode is what Louis has been doing with his time recently. He's a ruthless person who has lost all faith in morals and justice and is surprised and amused by what he can get away with. Being a serious candidate to become the 'Beastar' must be a big deal, since it basically saved his life. Again, when I first heard of this show, I thought it would be a lightweight children's anime, but it is anything but.

Many shows have plots that fit loosely together--cause and effect are simplistic, little is original, and in general we get few surprises (or the surprises we get don't make much sense). Here a lot of effort has clearly been made to compose an interesting and intriguing plot. We don't know what will happen next, but when it happens it makes sense--or at least we are willing to accept a few strange developments because the bulk of the plot makes sense. This show feels like a genuine work of literature while most are hastily composed and quickly forgotten B-novels. There seem to be two subplots running in parallel: who murdered Lem and what will become of Louis and his recent venture? Based on season one you would think that there would be a third subplot, namely how is Legosi and Haru's romance going, but it's not until episode six that we hear much about that, and it still seems a subsidiary issue. Louis' tale, meanwhile, expands in several directions, ranging from the girl whose life he saved to his domineering (adopted) father. But eventually things start to contract as well, as a conclusion (of at least an arc) nears. Legosi finally discovers what Louis has been up to, and Louis is intrigued by his claim to know who killed Lem. A number of plot strands are simultaneously nearing a climax: Lem's murderer (who is strangely deranged) vows to do the same to Legosi, and it looks like Louis' right-hand man in the Leo syndicate, Ibuki, will have to choose between the organization and his loyalty and admiration for Louis. Most anime have only one strand to their plots. This show about animals is more realistic and gripping than almost all that are about humans.

...and then everything falls to pieces in the final episode. Basically, the author seemed to make the wrong choice in nearly every decision about how a particular conflict would work out. Why did Ibuki do what he did? It had been made clear that he feared he might lose control at some point, and had taken a precaution, but what happened didn't seem to make any sense to me. Namely, what was the lesson to it? I didn't get it. Most absurd and inexplicable of all was the tactic Louis and Legosi used in the climactic fight with the main villain. Hadn't the whole season been about Legosi training so that he'd never need to do something like this ever again? Yet it turns out to be just what he needs to miraculously bulk up just in time for the fight? What does this portend for Legosi's relationship with Haru? And, not only that, the act somehow lifts a 'curse' off of Louis? This episode was unsatisfying, to say the least. It could have been worse, but the last two seasons had given us every reason to expect that this story knew where it was going and would end in a cathartic and moving manner, which it didn't. Why was all the trouble taken to portray the characters as animals when the conclusion was going to be so confusing and mediocre? It might not be going too far to say that you would enjoy the two seasons of Beastars the most if you don't watch the final episode at all.

Last updated Friday, April 02 2021. Created Tuesday, January 19 2021.

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