For fans of Beastars that are sad about the series conclusion, hold on, there’s more. Paru Itagaki’s work that came before Beastars, Beast Complex, is finally getting officially translated and published in English by Viz Media. The stories aren’t about Legoshi or Haru, but Beast Complex gives a wider look at life in the animal-filled universe.
Wait, Paru Itagaki has another manga?
Yes! Beast Complex was Itagaki’s original series, but she ended it before working on Beastars. Now that Beastars is over, she’s returning back to her original series to continue expanding the universe.
What is Beast Complex about?
Rather than focusing on one set of characters, Beast Complex is filled with short arcs showing off different relationships between different animals. Each chapter focuses on a different duo who are typically very different from each other. Whether they’re an herbivore and carnivore or just a duo with very opposing personalities, they learn about each other and come to new understandings.
Is there any required reading?
Nope. Since technically Beast Complex came first, you don’t have to read Beastars before starting it. You can, and it’ll provide more information about the animal world, but it’s not necessary at all.
Is Beast Complex good?
Yes! Though Beast Complex focuses on the cliche message of “don’t judge a book by its cover,” the characters’ personalities and motivations are all very real and heartwarming. While Beastars showed the animal world from a pretty big lens, focusing on the relationship between carnivores and herbivores as a whole, Beast Complex focuses on the micro, showing smaller, more realistic issues that readers can relate to, even if you’re not a talking lion.
Since each chapter showcases different characters, it shows a variety of different lifestyles, fun character dynamics, and a pretty wholesome story each time.
One panel that popped
Image: Paru Itagaki/Akitashoten