The King’s Beast has been hit or miss. Despite teasing a romance early on and an emotional story of revenge, the series has been timid in both regards. When it leans into romance, the edge of revenge is completely forgotten, and when there are more antagonistic elements introduced, the romance is thrown to the wayside. Uneven to say the least, I’ve struggled to keep pushing forward with the series. But as more characters in the palace have discovered Rangetsu’s gender, the tension has ramped up. Granted, The King’s Beast Volume 6 has gone a different way than I expected.
The series is created, written, and illustrated by Rei Toma based within their existing world from the Dawn of Arcana. The King’s Beast Volume 6 is published and localized in English by VIZ Media, translated & adapted by JN Productions, and features touch-up & lettering by Monaliza De Asis. This volume is focused on Prince Kougai’s growing interest in his brother’s new beast-servant, Rangetsu.
Determined to out her true gender, Kougai drugs Rangetsu with an aphrodisiac and assaults her. Thankfully, Rangetsu is able to fight him off but that doesn’t negate the event. With Kougai’s suspicions confirmed, Rangetsu is forced to forge an uneasy truce. She works with her only friend outside of Tenyou to build up a resistance to drugs. But her past isn’t the only thing the third prince has been investigating, and the palace holds many dangerous truths that are hinted at throughout the volume.
Additionally, The King’s Beast Volume 6 offers up Tenyou exhibiting jealousy. There are some fan service elements of Rangetsu in shackles and her exploration of new clothes as well that get a little revealing. And while none of this is wrong, having this happen in the same volume as an assault just doesn’t sit well. I like problematic stories as much as the next person, especially when you look at more mature manga offerings. That said, here, The King’s Beast seems to have lost complete sight of its lead, her agency, and even her purpose in the story.
I don’t know how to feel about The King’s Beast Volume 6 or why I’m still holding on to the series with hope. At this point, Rengetsu has been sexually assaulted, used as a pawn, and treated more like an object than the young woman who has dedicated her life to revenge. While we see her take control of the narrative at certain points, she quickly loses it and I don’t even know the Rengetsu we’re following now. The problem here is that her agency seems not only taken from her but also cast aside when she does get it back. The men around her aren’t only steps ahead but using their knowledge of her true gender to maneuver her, whether out of care for her or out of a desire for personal gain.
The art of The King’s Beast Volume 6 remains sublime but the story is going places I’m not sure I can follow. Additionally, at six volumes, I can’t help but be taken aback that Rengetsu keeps being harmed and has her body used against her will, instead of actually moving forward with the romance plot with Prince Tenyou. Toma is a beautiful artist, but I’m wondering how much of the story is just being written for the hot princes and not the story’s central character.
The King's Beast Volume 6
At six volumes, I can’t help but be taken aback that Rengetsu keeps being harmed and has her body used against her will, instead of actually moving forward with the romance plot with Prince Tenyou. Toma is a beautiful artist, but I’m wondering how much of the story is just being written for the hot princes and not the story’s central character.