- Mangaka : Paru Itagaraki
- Publisher : Viz Media
- Genre : Drama, Romance, Shounen, Slice of Life
- Published : March 2021
In a world filled with anthropomorphic animals, the peace between herbivores and carnivores is constantly being threatened. Despite consistent efforts by animals in power, animal instincts sometimes come out in a very violent burst, which mostly ends up with the carcass of a herbivore. That’s actually how the Beastars manga has started. Legosi’s friend has been devoured by a carnivore, and Legosi, a herbivore lover, is out to find the culprit. A big carnivore adoring herbivore is obviously quite weird. Even Legosi admits to it.
Beast Complex is a one-volume collection of short stories set in the same world as Beastars. It features stories about connections between a carnivore and a herbivore formed in various ways. These connections aren’t necessarily the same as Legosi’s romantic relationship with Haru. Some of these are straight-up fated meetings and one-time things. Nonetheless, all of which shows a touch similar to Legosi’s intriguing feelings towards herbivores.
1. Abundance of Feels
Just like most anthologies, every chapter in Beast Complex is a news story, and all of the stories are completely unrelated to each other. Perhaps all of them even happened in different parts of the world. Even though each story is different, one factor remains the same. It’s the wholesomeness of the relationship between two animals of different species and diet. This is regardless of how long they’ve known each other or how much time they’ve spent together. It’s hard to say that their relationships are pure, but each story ends in an unexpectedly wholesome manner. We may sound cheesy, but the stories did make our hearts go pitter-patter.
2. Each Story Has Something to Offer
A big downfall for anthologies is when the collection feels like it’s just a single story rehashed multiple times. You don’t have to worry, Beast Complex isn’t like that. In fact, there aren’t even two similar stories in this anthology. The collection includes a story about childhood friends, a one night stand, a professional relationship, and… we’ll stop there. We don’t want to spoil more than that. What’s more interesting is that each story isn’t just a different plot, it also brings out a different kind of emotion alongside the wholesomeness.
1. Anthropomorphic Animal Relationships
Let’s make it very clear. Beast Complex, just like Beastars, features a whole bunch of anthropomorphic animals. In fact, humans are non-existent in this world. If you are, for some reason, not into seeing animals act like humans or see them get a bit intimate, then do yourself a favor and drop this book. By intimate, we mean a bit of kissing and some reference to sex, but nothing too mature. Still, we understand if that doesn’t sit right with everybody.
Beastars, to say the least, is different. However, its difference is surprisingly alluring, and for some reason, we find it easier to relate to most of these anthropomorphic animal characters than to human characters in most series. Even the animosity and strange perspective towards carnivore-herbivore relationship is weirdly close to home. We mean, we are observing the same animosity towards certain populations in our modern society.