Viz Media announced this week that they would be publishing Beast Complex, a one-volume spinoff manga to the popular funny anime manga series Beastars by Paru Itagaki. The series is a high school drama with a difference – it's set in a world of anthropomorphized animals where the population is divided into two classes: carnivores and herbivores.
Beastars is set in a high school where the students are literally divided into predators and prey, while friendships maintain a fragile peace. Who among them will become a Beastar – a hero destined to lead in a society naturally rife with mistrust? Here, high school drama takes on an added layer of metaphor – an already-intense situation is made even more so because everyone is literally an animal and it can literally Life or Death, hunter, and prey. Themes of racism, discrimination, and bullying, tolerance, and acceptance, already common in many manga set in high school, have an even more charged meaning in the series.
The 20-volume manga series has spawned a popular anime series and now a new spinoff manga set in the same universe. Beast Complex is a one-volume anthology of short stories: A tiger and a beaver who grew up together defy peer pressure to end their friendship and join forces to fight injustice. A camel journalist who passed judgment on carnivores for years spends a life-changing night with a seductive wolf. A crocodile and a gazelle must find a way to work together as chef and assistant on a cooking show with flagging ratings. A fox and a chameleon wrestle with stereotypes about each other—and themselves. And much more! In these seven stories from the creator of the Eisner-nominated, best-selling series Beastars, a menagerie of carnivores and herbivores grapple with conflicts based on their differences and—sometimes—find common ground.
Beast Complex is published on March 16th from Viz Media.