Welcome, one and all, to my continuing weekly review series for the anime, Beastars. With episode six, we’re hitting the half-way mark, and boy is poor old Legosi put through a rough time! Let’s have a look at the core themes.
Rising to Lowered Expectations
This episode started out poorly for the carnivores. While Legosi, Jack and Miguno were hanging out with some herbivores, a news report ran. A Gazelle had had his throat torn out by a gang of carnivores, which included a gray wolf, a hyena, and two large dogs. This prompted the herbivores to get up and leave, leaving Jack dismayed.
Legosi then started making his way to drama club, where he happened upon a new girl, Juno, being bullied. Juno is also a gray wolf and was being harassed by herbivores as a result. Legosi stepped in and, after lying that they were related, got the bullies to leave.
The important thing with this section was how Legosi viewed his place in the world. Before stepping in to save Juno, he acknowledged that carnivores are used to this sort of treatment, especially after news reports like the one they heard. He even expresses this to Juno, saying that by the second year, she’ll be used to it.
Juno was far less accepting than he is though. She breaks down in tears, saying that it’s worse than it was in middle school and that she doesn’t want to get used to it. She doesn’t want to get hurt time and time again. Legosi countered this by saying that feeling pain is a good thing; he couldn’t handle the anguish and started pretending that he’s sued to it. It takes strength to stay frustrated like she is.
This was interesting because is kinda explains a few things. Legosi has a habit of reminding himself that carnivores are used to this treatment, and he was also quick to pick up on Louis trying to convince himself of the things he was saying in an earlier episode. This is really the first time that Legosi has let slip that he maybe doesn’t really believe his treatment is right. For all his attempts to stay calm and follow the rules, part of him really does know that he’s being mistreated.
He still seems submissive to the status quo though and is certainly shy about stepping outside this persona. When the carnivores – in this case, Legosi, Bill, Kai, and a bald eagle named Aoba – go to the city to prepare for the Meteorite Festival, we see this illustrated well. Legosi initially doesn’t want to go as he doesn’t view the outside world as fun, but when he gets there, he sees carnivores and herbivores living peacefully. This excites him, and his tail starts wagging, which Aoba picks up, prompting Legosi to think about getting a pair of trousers that his tail will fit inside.
What interested me with his was that Legosi obviously saw some hope for him and Haru when he looked around at the adults getting along. When his reaction was pointed out though? His mood dropped a bit. I think that this is likely because he doesn’t want to have instinctual things happen without him realizing it. He fears giving in to his instincts and not realizing his tail was wagging by itself was perhaps a minor version of this.
That was a fascinating look into a side of Legosi that we haven’t seen previously. He doesn’t truly feel like his lot in life is just, though he does want to live a more balanced version of it.
This led nicely into the darker side of the adult world. More specifically, the Dark Market. This is a market where meat – sold in secret by hospitals and funeral homes – is sold to carnivores to help them keep themselves in check.
Straight away, we are given the impression that it’s viewed as an expected part of society. Aoba outright states that, as carnivores, he and Legosi will use it when they grow up. Then it gets worse. While getting lost on the way back to the train station, Legosi tries to ask a ram for directions. The old man raises his hands, revealing that he has a few fingers missing. The remaining ones each have a price, and he stinks of the sweat and saliva of carnivores.
Initially overwhelmed, Legosi drifted off into thoughts of Haru telling him that they could be good friends. This prompted Bill to step in and suggest they split the price of a finger and share it. Legosi was against it, of course, and his hair visibly bristled at the suggestion. But Bill – and the others – were willing to accept that this was how carnivores maintain peace as adults.
Legosi ran, running straight through the Dark Market, and Haru’s voice started to cut through the scents a little. Unfortunately, reality hits him when he realizes that the scents made him drool like crazy. He views it as an unsightly desire, and passes out I the alley, right in front of a panda.
When Legosi comes to, the panda, named Gouhin, has him tied up and starts to question him. Gouhin is the watchman and psychotherapist of the Dark Market and takes it upon himself to try to prevent his wall of carnivores from growing. This, as it turns out, it a collection of photos. Carnivores who gave in to their instincts and ended up eating their own arm or self-harming due to their inability to forget the taste of meat.
This is where we got a bit of a clash between what is expected of adults and what Legosi wants an adult to be. See, Gouhin points out that those who pass out in the Dark Market have almost always eaten meat already. Legosi hasn’t, but he certainly came close. That had to hit home in a hard way. Gouhin referenced carnivores wearing masks too, which we now know Legosi understands he’s wearing.
Haru was the major point of contention though. Gouhin certainly did not approve of Legosi attacking her then staying in touch. He outright told Legosi that his romantic urges were simply his hunter instincts warped and camouflaged and that he will eventually try to eat her. The turning point comes when Legosi reveals that he has no experience with girls and so can’t judge love. This prompts Gouhin to give him a bunny porno mag. He tells Legosi to test himself with it; if the magazine turns him on, he’s just a kid with an odd fetish, if it doesn’t, he’s in trouble.
The whole thing was essentially Legosi being forced to look in the equivalent of a psychoanalyst funhouse mirror. All that was said was true, but it didn’t all apply to Legosi, at least not entirely. But there was enough familiarity for him to hurt. The whole thing left him frustrated and wanting to forget the whole day ever happened.
I suspect this has had two effects on Legosi. One is that it will have caused him to question himself and how he expected the world to be. The other is one of hope though. Seeing adults living peacefully, even if he now questions how, was a positive sign for him. That Aoba didn’t succumb in the end and waited back for him too will give him hope that, even if the adults aren’t what he wanted them to be, his generation can be.
In the end, Legosi broke down in tears. This was a tough hit of reality for him I think. He’ll grow though. And it has made him resolute to stand firm on his own clawed feet. That is perhaps a sign of accepting that his nature does not have to be in opposition to his morals.
Some other points here. With regards to Legosi’s new adult magazine…I notice nobody questioned the panda having it or giving it to a teenager. I’m getting visions of Haru accidentally finding it though. Given that she views Legosi as different to the other boys, seeing him potentially fetishizing her species would shatter that. That’s potentially combustible.
Second, Louis barely appeared but his presence was felt. Aoba said that he ran away from the meat because he felt sick to his stomach. He couldn’t stop thinking about Louis and the others. Co-existence with herbivores on campus is important overall, but it’s only Louis that was named. He really is the shining light for them, and that’s going to continue putting pressure on him.
This was another excellent showing from the series. Honestly, this show is going from strength to strength, and I’m yet to see a bad episode. Long may that continue.
So, those were my thoughts. But what about yourselves? Did you enjoy this episode? Do you agree or disagree with any of my observations? Let me know in the comments below.
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