Beast Master Review
- Mangaka : Motomi, Kyosuke
- Publisher : VIZ
- Genres : Comedy, Romance, Shoujo
- Published : June 2011
Beast Master Vol. 2 Introduction
Following the events of volume 1, classmate Sasamoto treats Leo and Yuiko to a meal to apologize for what he put them through. As the friends chat, it comes up that Leo’s birthday is the day after tomorrow. Plans for a fun celebration have to be put on hold when Leo is hit by a car and ends up in the hospital. Yuiko learns the tragic secret of Leo’s past. With people more dangerous than wild animals out for him, Leo may have to disappear for his and Yuiko’s sake.
The one-shot titled Cactus Summer Surprise included at the end of the Beast Master story deals with two childhood friends turned enemies that can’t be honest with each other. A fight over a cactus ended their relationship but a different, mysterious cactus might be what brings them back together.
Discussion Time: Beast Master
Over lunch, Sasamoto comments on Yuiko and Leo supposedly dating which launches Yuiko into a rant about how immature Leo is. This puts him in a bad mood, arguing that his birthday is soon and he’ll be older than Yuiko. He clearly doesn’t want Yuiko to think of him as a child when he harbors romantic feelings for her. Yuiko manages to cheer him up by promising him a proper, fun birthday. Instead, Leo is injured in a hit-and-run and ends up unconscious at the hospital. Yuiko meets Toki there who finally reveals Leo’s past to Yuiko in the form of a storyboard, feeling that that was the only way to give the tragic and beautiful tale justice. Leo’s maternal grandfather wrote in his will that Leo would inherit the old man’s entire fortune once he turned 18. Other greedy members of the family decided they could kill Leo before his 18th birthday and take the inheritance for themselves. This terrible greed is what caused Leo, Toki, and Leo’s father Taiga to have to live in the wild away from people that might try to hurt them.
The vicious family captures Yuiko in the hospital and tries to force Leo to sign away his inheritance to ensure her safety. Yuiko can’t stand to be a pawn in their manipulation scheme and lashes out, getting smacked by the man holding her. This sends Leo into a rage that’s only quelled once he’s disabled everyone there and Yuiko snaps him back to reality. Taking this opportunity, the bad guys regroup and prepare to kill Yuiko and Leo but Toki and a mysterious stranger cover them as they escape. The stranger reveals himself to be Taiga, previously thought to be dead. They settle things with that side of the family… at least for the moment.
Yuiko is constantly worried about Leo’s safety which makes Leo both happy yet concerned. His worries are compounded after a surprising reunion with his father reveals that Taiga thinks they should return to the wild so Leo will be safer. Unable to bear the thought of him getting hurt again, Yuiko encourages him to leave. The two try to put on a brave face but as they part, their regret is evident. Leo makes up his mind to take control of his own fate and follow the path he wants, which leads him straight back to Yuiko.
The final chapter is set a bit in the future and Yuiko finds herself overcome with jealousy as Leo gets more and more popular. While he easily says that he likes other girls, he refuses to say it to Yuiko. After getting in a small fight, Leo comes to Yuiko’s rescue as another student tries to extort money from her. While she realizes Leo must love her whether he says it or not, Leo decides to tell her flat out that she means more to him than anyone. After his embarrassed confession, they share a kiss.
Discussion Time: Cactus Summer Surprise
In Cactus Summer Surprise, students Kaito and Akira have turned into bitter enemies despite being so close as children. Unable to admit their true feelings for each other, they hide behind their cruel words. After getting mixed up with a spirit inside of a cactus, Kaito and the spirit switch places. Atsuko ends up possessing Kaito’s body and Kaito becomes stuck in the cactus. Atsuko promises to return Kaito’s body if Akira will help her with some unfinished business. Atsuko seems care-free, but she helps Akira and Kaito come to terms with their feelings. At the same time, they help her to find the courage to say to her daughter the things she couldn’t say before she died. She relinquishes Kaito’s body and the two start communicating honestly for the first time in ages.
1. You’ve Got a Wild Side
There’s something both frightening and exciting about someone so compelled by their violent instincts that they can’t control themselves. A lot of girls also love the beauty and the beast trope and being the only one who can see potential when everyone else sees danger. Yuiko’s also a fun protagonist because she doesn’t just cry or stop Leo, she also instigates things and is fiercely protective of him.
1. You Don’t Like Completely Unrealistic Stories
If you need your manga to be at least somewhat believable in the real world, this won’t be for you. While it’s quite funny and interesting, there are so many things that are just very over the top like Leo being the only one to inherit 12 billion yen from a guy who barely knew him, or getting in an actual fight in a hospital and no police are called. It’s very much a fanciful story with some poignant thoughts thrown in.
You can’t take the story too seriously, but Beast Master vol. 2 is a nice wrap up to a story that adds a little variety to the boy-meets-girl narrative. Despite the whole thing being done in 2 volumes, Leo and Yuiko manage to have some depth even with the whole ‘wild boy’ theme being pushed so hard. With light comedy and some dark themes, fans of shoujo manga just looking for something interesting will enjoy.