Welcome, one and all, to my continuing episodic review series for the anime, Beastars. With episode 9, things got dark. Really dark. Let’s discuss!
Louis And The Past
Louis has been a fascinating character, simply because he has always seemed like he was shouldering a heavy burden. After this episode, we now know why. Thirteen years ago, Louis was five. He was kept in a cage, unable to speak or write. One thing he did know though was that if he left the cage, he would die. One day, an adult deer came in and, when Louis tried to protect his friend, the deer decided to buy Louis. He tested him by placing him in a room full of carnivores with nothing but a knife to defend himself. Louis tried to cut his own throat, but the deer saved him. He liked Louis’ sense of justice and pride. He explained that he was President Oguma of the Horns Conglomerate, and he was unable to have children. From hereon in, Louis would be his son and use his anger and sadness to change the world.
Louis has seen the dark underbelly of society from a very early age, and when he escaped, it wasn’t a full release. He has been raised to succeed, to be a saviour of sorts. He clearly has some pressure placed on him by his adoptive father, but there seems to be more to it than that. Three months after his death, Louis is still leaving flowers for Tem, and even stated at his grave that he made a vow to change the world, and will never forget Tem. It was good to get this insight into where Louis comes from. There would be more to come later too.
Legosi And The Present
Legosi remains sullen, uncertain what to do about his feelings for Haru. When he sees Louis at Tem’s memorial, he spots a cheetah lying in wait. Rather than let Louis get attacked, he saves him in secret and learns that several carnivores are planning to kill Louis. Why? Because he is expected to be named Beastar, and that will weaken the carnivore’s position in society. Legosi pondered that and realized that Louis is trying to do everything, while he only solves things with violence. He decides to protect Louis, and live a life of unrequited love, but not before letting things out, just once.
What followed was an adorable scene where Legosi, now with tissue up his nose to stop the bleeding from the fight with the cheetah, tried to confess his feelings to Haru. Haru, sensing what was coming, kept interrupting him. Eventually, he said that he doesn’t want to ruin anything with his feelings, and both Haru and Louis are important, but he wants to say it just once, so she can hear him. They agreed to meet the next night at the Meteor Festival.
The interesting thing here is that Legosi is attempting to do what he thinks is best for society. Yet, in doing so, he is placing himself lower in worth to himself. Part of him must know that he and Louis tackle things differently for a number of reasons, and he does at least give himself the mild reward of finally confessing his feelings. But still, the poor boy is definitely low on self-esteem.
Haru And The Present
Haru was unsure what to do about Legosi. She felt like it was impossible not to hurt someone with your feelings, not with the way instincts guide them, but she never got to make a decision. She was kidnapped by the Shishigumi, who appear to be a group of lions that eat herbivores, even though it’s against the law. Haru was tormented by the initial group as they caught her and tried to look up her skirt, but the leader soon stepped in.
That didn’t improve things though. He tried to make awkward small talk, then told her to strip. He told her she could do it of her own free will, or they could force her. She did, and he revealed a bath. He wanted to make sure her meat was perfect before they ate her.
This whole section was harrowing. There was a very clear difference between Haru stripping because she was voluntarily living up to her reputation and what happened here. And the way the lion spoke about her with terms like “It’s all part of the manufacturing process” really hammered home how cold a world herbivores live in. She’s scared, and rightfully so. After all, what can a dwarf rabbit do against a pride of lions?
Legosi, Louis, And The Future
Things ended with a switching of roles in a way. Haru’s shoe was found, along with a Shishigumi card. The Mayor agreed to look into it and called Louis aside. He explained that he had his fangs removed and replaced with dentures, and then had plastic surgery to make himself seem more friendly, all so he could become Mayor. He told Louis outright that his ‘lions are friendly’ image being ruined would simply lengthen the divide between herbivores and carnivores. So, Louis must help cover up Haru’s death. He even tells Louis that he’s still technically listed as Black Market product and that, if he helps the mayor pull this off, he’ll have him erased from the list.
Legosi, having overheard about the kidnap then finds Louis and tries to get him to help rescue Haru. Louis tries taking an aggressive stance, telling Legosi that it’s too late and that he can try saving her on his own if he wishes. Louis end sup hitting Legosi and admonishing him, telling him, “We have to lie for the sake of peace! You yourself represent that, don’t you? You hide your strength to blend in.”
That got Legosi angry. He vowed to use his true strength to show his true feelings, and the two came to blows. When they were finally separated, Legosi told him outright what would happen now: “If you want to live your life obsessed with reaching the top, that’s your choice But in exchange, I will take Haru from you.”
This was an excellent end to the episode. We got to see the full weight of the world on Louis’ shoulders as he tried to maintain the status quo. It’s clear that he doesn’t believe it’s right either, because he had to remind himself that he needed to believe it himself before talking about peace. Meanwhile, Legosi was shocked. He had placed Louis on such a high pedestal, and now, he had to face the reality that Louis was focused on nothing more than being the best.
You could see the difference between them in the final shot, with Legosi now determined, and Louis shocked at his reaction. In a way, they are now at opposite ends to where they started. Louis is unable to do anything to achieve what he would want to, while Legosi is pushing forward on sheer belief that he is right. Legosi is now a real hero, while Louis is the weak one, staring into the light without actually seeing what’s there.
This was a fantastic episode. Dark , yes, but really important in terms of pushing things forward. We now have a much better idea of why Louis is the way he is, and Legosi has a reason to grow. That anger that I suspect they will both now fall into may be the best thing for them.
But what about yourselves? Did you enjoy this episode, and do you agree with my interpretation of the story so far? Let me know in the comments below.
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