BEASTARS is an amazing anime. Yes, the art is gorgeous, the OP is great, and the story keeps you interested. But really, the driving force behind it are its three main characters. Each with their own insecurities and other mental health issues caused by their environment, Legoshi, Haru, and Louis go through situations that not only real-life high schoolers go through, but they suffer because of societal, interpersonal, and personal issues even we adults have.
Dark, beautiful, and intellectual, BEASTARS is full of life-changing lessons and realizations that can make viewers realize they are not alone in the way they feel. As we’ll be focusing on our main wolf Legoshi, this article will be full of spoilers so… be warned!
-- Spoilers Ahead! --
As a large carnivore, Legoshi could have it all; friends, popularity, girls, you name it. But even before Tem was eaten, Legoshi lived with crippling insecurity and anxiety. He hates being feared and so files his claws and keeps to himself so as not to make anyone scared or uncomfortable. He would like nothing more than to be greeted with a smile by everyone. Not to be popular but just because his main concern is how he makes everyone feel. He’d rather hide than make his classmates uncomfortable after losing their clubmate Tem.
As sweet as Legoshi is, a wolf is a wolf and like Bill the tiger points out at the Black Market, carnivores have needs, so Legoshi’s instincts kick in when he tries to scare Haru away by chasing her and just can’t stop himself. His mind was telling him no, but his body was definitely saying “Kill”! Legoshi’s somehow able to stop himself but is understandably confused by his conflicting emotions. He wants Haru but… does he want to love her? Or eat her?
Much like some—rare—rich, influential, and/or socially privileged individuals in real life who don’t want to be treated differently, Legoshi almost seems to be ashamed of being a carnivore. He struggles with the burden of being considered superior in some way by society but not wanting to abuse his place in the food chain—which infuriates Louis, who would take full advantage of the situation, were he in it. There are things in Legoshi’s nature that he can’t help because that’s just how he was born, or in humans, being socially privileged is all they know so even when they try to be “normal”, they end up doing things that make others uncomfortable. But they really, truly mean well! Just like Legoshi.
Is It Love? Instinct? A Power Trip?
Then we get to Legoshi’s confusion between love and predatory instinct. It’s easy to understand how a predator in a world where carnivores aren’t allowed to eat other animals would be confused in that situation. But, imagine Legoshi is not a wolf and Haru is not a bunny. It’s not rare to confuse love for a friend with romantic love, especially among teens and young adults, though adults can go through that as well. “I think I’m in love with my friend!” Are you? Or do you just love your friend because they are your friend?
Or is that attraction simply lust because you find them so attractive? Lust doesn’t always go hand in hand with love and that can cause a confusing situation like Legoshi’s—though in his case “lust” is replaced with his instinct to kill and feed—especially when one already struggles with accepting who they are to begin with.
And then there are those situations where one side has issues of their own that translate into a skewed perception of love which involves, for example, being overly possessive or jealous. In the end, Legoshi becomes Haru’s beast to save her, knowing she may find out it was he who attacked her and won’t look at him the same way again. But it’s worth it. So it’s love, right? Well… “she’s my prey” isn’t the most romantic of statements and that’s what Legoshi said as he rescued his girl. Needless to say, that only made Legoshi’s confusion worse, but at least he was able to put it all out there. Now Haru knows he’s broken, Legoshi knows Haru’s broken too and they can both try to fight their natures and fix each other. What a romantic way to begin a beautiful co-dependent love story!
There is so much more to Legoshi and BEASTARS than meets the eye and we can’t wait to see how our favorite wolf continues to tackle all these issues. BEASTARS is a work of art that truly captures the insecurities and social issues we all deal with. Yes, the setup is Japanese, but there’s so much that is relatable to all of us all over the world. Watching Legoshi go through his life realizations and epiphanies is moving and eye-opening to those who have felt some of the emotions this confused young grey wolf lives with.
Legoshi is just one of the three main characters and Haru and Louis are bundles of social anxiety too, albeit for completely different reasons. Did you enjoy this article? Would you like to read one on Louis and one on Haru? Visit the comments below and let us know! And while you're at it, share your thoughts on BEASTARS, Legoshi, or some of the anxieties and mental health issues dealt with in the anime! Thanks for reading!