Last year, Beastars surprised the anime world with its interesting premise, well-executed art style, and somewhat uncomfortable, explicit inter-species animal sex scenes that made me wonder why I was even watching it. It’s a bizarre show to say the least, but the kind of bizarre that keeps you wanting more instead of pushing you away. Literal lone wolf Legoshi’s story of friendship, love, and lust which spurs from the murder of one of his friends is an intense experience that only becomes more intense in season 2 because it finally aims to address the show’s biggest mystery.
Major spoilers for Beastars Season 2
Why did they wait so long to care about Tem’s killer? It takes six months after our poor alpaca friend is devoured for the cast to finally care. In a way, it feels like season 2 should have been season 1. You would think that people would be more motivated to find the killer right after the murder. Instead, we are preoccupied with the Drama Club’s power struggle and Legoshi and Haru’s strange courtship. Yes, the character relationships season 1 established raise season 2’s stakes, but it just doesn’t make logical sense. What are we waiting for? The principals of all the nearby schools ask the same question, leading to the most forgotten and underrated scene of the season.
When the principals have a meeting to discuss who will be the next Beastar, one suggests using the Tem’s death as motivation for Cherryton students; the animal who discovers the culprit will be the next Beastar. But what is the outcome? Did the principal ever make this announcement to the student body? No, at least, not on screen. Legoshi conveniently decides to care about the murder again at the same time. Does this make him the new Beastar, although he gets arrested and has a criminal record? It’s never mentioned for the rest of the show’s runtime. Season 2 gives us more questions than answers, even if it did answer the series’ biggest question of all.
Riz killed Tem.
What a creepy, creepy brown bear. His beady eyes and sociopathic tendencies are as unsettling as they are entertaining. He is a great character to hate; I enjoyed every moment he was on screen. His skewed mentality on friendship and love is a great foil of Legoshi’s feelings that he established the season prior. The episodes leading up to the final showdown are suspenseful and heavy, filled with thoughts of “will he, won’t he" kill again. But when the faceoff of the season finally happens, there is a lot left to be desired.
Yes, we know who the murderer is but we don’t get much satisfaction or relief. Louis tells Legoshi before the final battle, “Just call the goddamn police.” It would’ve been better if that was the case, instead of raising and then shattering our expectations. Legoshi puts his life on the line for this fight, reaches enlightenment by talking to a ghost moth, and eats Louis’ leg, only to talk-no-jutsu Riz into submission. No great final showdown, no massive battle of the beasts. And that is only one of the many throwaways in this season— Haru is absent for most of it, Jack and friends start to get more development only to ditched again, Legoshi trains the whole time not to eat meat only to do it anyway, and why is the security guard even included when she does virtually nothing? Louis joins the mafia because he feels he should and then leaves it because he feels he should, causing Ibuki’s death in the progress (and he’s the season’s most likeable character!).
I enjoy watching Beastars; it’s a fun, edge-of-your-seat kind of show, but when it resolves in such an unsatisfying way, it leaves a bad taste in your mouth. Luckily, a season 3 has been confirmed so this is not the end of the story. If it was, I would not be looking as “kawaii” as “my kawaii life” suggests.