Beastars Episode 12 [Anime Review]

Welcome, one and all, to the final entry in my episodic review series for the anime Beastars. Of course, it’s not necessarily the end. The episode did end with a ‘See you 2nd season’ message. That made me very, very happy. Plus, we now have the dub on Netflix. But for this run, it’s over. Did we get a satisfying conclusion? Let’s find out.

 

All You Need Is Love-gosi

We picked up where we left off, with Haru having tried to leap into Legosi’s mouth. To his credit, he remained still while she removed herself and they had a little awkward exchange about it. Basically, they both felt bad and ended up going to sleep. Haru mostly seemed to be okay, but Legosi had a tear in his eye as they tried to drift off.

This was a decent opening scene, and really kinda set up the idea that instincts are still at play, and will need to be overcome if they are to stay together. I liked how differently they both reacted too, though it was to form. Legosi kinda retreated in his self-depreciation again and Haru tried to chirpily continue in a playful manner. Of course, neither is fully embracing how they feel here.

Juno was the next to interject herself into things. She came to visit Legosi in the infirmary when he made it back to school, only to find that he had no desire to engage in intra-species touching as he was already calm. She then ran into Haru and, after a brief chase, confronted her about Legosi. After sniffing Haru and discovering that they hadn’t had sex, she vowed to defeat Haru as a woman at the Meteroite Festival.

I really enjoyed this exchange. Juno tried taking an aggressive stance at first, but Haru disarmed her completely by simply stating that she was being rude. That’s the thing with Haru, as small as she is, she can command attention when she needs to, and I think that caught Juno off guard. Juno is certainly determined though, and not one to give in so easily.

The Meteorite Festival arrived, and Juno hatched her plan. She turned up in a new, revealing outfit and gave a little speech about everyone working extra hard now that Louis had disappeared. Rather than grab Legosi’s attention though, it actually set him off on another path: he realized that things are changing. People are deciding for themselves whether things are going in a good or bad direction. For him though, some things don’t change. Nor does he really want to change them. In fact, he feels that he can remain just as he is if Haru is by his side.

Haru though was also feeling the strain of things. She felt like too much had happened of late, and that she was faced with both reality and the ideal in the space of a day. She walked off to watch the drama club performance and, seeing Juno dancing, realised that carnivores are strong, beautiful and special. She now understood that it’s not Legosi loving or eating her that scares her, it’s realising how small she is. She can’t move forward alone anymore, or more specifically, without Legosi.

Legosi, of course, found Haru and started to make good on his promise. He began to confess his love but she stopped him, wanting to go first. Neither got to say what they wanted to though as stage two of Juno’s plan kicked in: she had Kai turn the spotlight on Legosi and introduced him as a brave student that tracked down a kidnapped herbivore and risked his life to save her. Legosi was dragged up on stage, leaving Haru unable to do anything other than watch.

On stage, Juno declared a strong carnivore’s need to protect a smaller, weaker animal to be instinctual compassion. Legosi knew that was wrong, of course, but was taken aback by the applause. Juno then dragged him off to light a candle with her. He wasn’t so sure as it’s a couple’s activity, and people would get the wrong idea. Juno pushed on though, saying that she didn’t want to see him crushed by his own burdens, and declaring that she wanted to make the world better, bit by bit.

I have to say, I’m enjoying Juno’s attempts to win her man. It’s a losing battle, of course, but I like how driven she is, even if part of it is rooted in a desire to simply make it easier for carnivores. I also noted the importance of what Haru was thinking: getting eaten was reality, and being with Legosi is the ideal. That was clear. She has clearly fallen for him now, and is realising that.

The clash of world views was interesting too. Juno wants to paint carnivores as naturally harmless, which is actually similar to how the mayor was portrayed. She wants people to accept them as instinctively protective. Legosi on the other hand understands the downsides to instincts, and knows that they can be bad thing sin this society. In a way, his approach is actually more likely to achieve Juno’s desired perception than to simply gloss over the inner struggle.

Haru fled the scene. She felt like she generally dealt with bullying well, but found that display hard to watch. Of course adults would applaud Legosi and Juno, they look perfect together. Nobody would applaud a wolf and a rabbit. She vowed to keep her distance, but Legosi caught up to her. She tried to get him to leave her alone, but he was persistent for a change.

Legosi explained that he and Juno had different values and that he would always be gloomy and anxious, and would always worry. He wanted to worry about something worth worrying about: Haru. They talked a little about the hotel incident and Haru countered that nothing in the world could change one simple fact: she is a rabbit and he is a wolf. Legosi replied that when she got kidnapped, he felt like someone had stolen his prey. He didn’t understand it, and was worried why he wanted to save her. Now he knows for sure though; he would never eat her because…

Haru cut him off, declaring that he could not know for sure and ran. She was struggling because, the more honest Legosi was, the harder it was for her to keep her own feelings in check. Legosi wouldn’t give up tough and said that he has no proof that he wouldn’t eat her, but he does have a good reason to believe it: he loves her. He wants to become stronger so he can fight society and his instincts, and truly make her happy. Haru said she would wait for him as the credits rolled.

Wow. That was a wonderful moment. Legosi really laid bare what he felt, and Haru was left unsure how to proceed. She clearly felt the same way, but was far too scared. That is perhaps best shown by the final scene of them together. As Legosi talked, she reached up to hold his hand but stopped short and pulled away before saying she would wait for him. She is aware of the difficulties they face, and I suspect she is using Legosi’s desire to grow as a means to delay acting on what she wants.

When you look at how she has been portrayed as a character, it’s actually a little change for her. It’s her interactions with men that have left her feeling the most powerful. Now, she has found one that has left her scared again. It makes it all the more real for her, I think. She has gone from sleeping with men to satisfy herself to finding one that she wants to truly be with and that leaves her vulnerable.

In The End

Life went on. Everybody hung out and continued pushing forward towards their own goals, and we even got to see both a more relaxed Legosi and a post credit scene that indicated that the death of Tem would come back into play in the second season. There isn’t much more to say about that other than that I’m excited for what’s to come.

Overall

Well, this was a joy to watch. I had hoped for a more definite get-together moment for Legosi and Haru, but the promise of a second season works too. Now that I’ve reached the end of the series though, I maintain what I’ve said before: Beastars deals with the realistic worries of teenage love far more effectively than many series with human characters. The added wrinkle of a society that is at odds with itself due to biological instincts makes it even more interesting. Honestly, I hope we get season two soon, because I am going to miss these characters greatly.

But what about yourselves? Did you enjoy this episode, and do you agree with my interpretation of the story? What did you think of the series as a whole? Let me know in the comments below.

 

Previous Episode Reviews

 

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