It takes a great manga to grab hold of their readers with every word and panel it presents. From the air of the scenery to the deep philosophies hidden in dialogue, an amazing story is one that has you in awe of everything it throws at you. Paru Itagaki’s BEASTARS has reached that moment in its tenth volume, with a tone and narrative that’s impossible to look away from.

Legoshi is preparing himself for the battle against Tem’s killer, with him putting everything on the line. His training reaches a turning point that he can’t walk back from, as his mind opens up to the preciousness of life itself. With Haru in his corner (and hopefully Louis), Legoshi pushes himself to make sure no herbivore is harmed ever again. Meanwhile, Louis gets an eye-opener of what being a mob boss is like, as he’s reacquainted with a nightmare from his childhood.

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There’s been a lot of buildup towards the fight between Legoshi and Tem’s killer, with this volume giving readers a teaser of what’s to expect. The battle in the high school showers brings forth a level of brutality that only two giant carnivores can deliver. It’s bloody, raw, and — above all — riddled with rage and anxiety. Although there are a bountiful of reasons for this fight, it’s easy to see how this battle can be attributed to male hormones, especially from Legoshi’s side.

Speaking of which, there’s some wonderful progress made between Legoshi and Haru. Despite his horn dog ways and questionable dreams, Legoshi wants nothing but to treat Haru with the love and respect that she deserves. Haru’s means of returning these feelings is a sweet moment in BEASTARS, one that has been waiting in the shadows almost as long as the reveal of Tem’s killer. One does not know where exactly their relationship will go after this point, but there’s always the chance that it could be the light in the darkness that Legoshi has been treading in these past few volumes.

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A big moment arrives out of the blue when Legoshi eats a living thing for the first time in front of Gohin. The object of edibility may be just a bug, but the moment gives Legoshi an eye-opening realization of just how precious all living things are. Although he’s born a carnivore and chooses to not eat meat, Legoshi gets a much fuller understanding of the importance of all breathing creatures are. It’s not just an important life lesson, but it’s the final piece of preparation Legoshi needs for him to fight against Tem’s killer.

BEASTARS has been building up towards a big showdown for awhile, and Volume Ten is the pathway to that moment. It’s filled with deep understanding, recollection, and — above all — a focused waltz that’ll lead right up to Legoshi’s battle. Sprinkled with some good laughs (especially with how Legoshi meets with Louis near the end), the tenth volume of BEASTARS will take hold of its readers, with them unable to look away from the growth and build-up that’s itching to explode all over Cherryton Academy!

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FINAL GRADE:

Promotional consideration provided by Gabrielle Dyer of VIZ Media

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