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- mangaka : Ishida, Sui
- Publisher : means media
- Style : Action, Comedy, Supernatural, Scene
- published : February 2023 – Present
For nearly a decade since 2011, there was only one seinen manga that stood at the pinnacle of popularity. That was Tokyo Ghoul, as well as its sequel, Tokyo Ghoul: Re. This manga series, and its anime adaptation took the world by storm and stole the attention of every manga reader and anime viewer around the world. Tokyo Ghoul elevated the status of its creator, Sui Ishida, into the upper echelon of manga creators. And now, he is finally back with a new series. The name of this new manga is Choujin X. It was actually first published on Manga+ in May 2021, but we’ll see a physical version of this series from Viz in February 2023. Only the name Sui Ishida would make it. Fans flocked to watch this new series en masse, so let’s see if it lives up to the incredible hype. This is our review for the first volume of Choujin X.
Tokio Kurohara is a shy and awkward high school boy who is always in the spotlight in some way or another. After all, he always hangs out with his best friend, Azuma Higashi, a brash boy who excels in both academics and sports. Not only that, Azuma also has an incredibly strong sense of justice, which is why he is always the first to run into any kind of danger to save people and punish evil, with Tokio meekly following him. Stands up Unfortunately, they soon learn that being a hero of justice can be extremely dangerous. One fateful night, when Tokio and Azuma walk home together, they encounter a thug who can turn his body into a rubbery substance. These types of people are called Choujin, a unique group of people blessed/cursed with strange powers. Needless to say, Tokio and Azuma are beaten senseless by the Choujin. When the situation appears dire, they stumble upon some syringes that the bad guy claimed to be Choujin serum. Without hesitation, the two inject the contents of the serum into their bloodstream. While Azuma still feels nothing, Tokio instantly transforms into a bird-like beast with a large beak on its face. And that’s just the beginning of his story as a Choujin.
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1. Tokyo Ghoul, but with a positive vibe
For those of you who have read Tokyo Ghoul before, you may notice that there are some similarities between Tokyo Ghoul and Choujin X. After all, both of them are basically the story of an awkward boy who suddenly turns into a terrifying creature, and is forced into a hidden world he’d never imagined before. The main difference between the two is how the story progresses after the initial premise. You see, Tokyo Ghoul’s Kaneki has to go through countless brutal tragedies before finally accepting her new destiny as a Ghoul. Meanwhile, it seems that Tokio finds himself in a rather quiet and uneventful situation. There are even some funny scenes happening, like when Tokio talks to a pair of pigeons about his plight. Which is why the overall vibe of Choujin X is definitely more positive than that of Tokyo Ghoul. This approach allows us to enjoy a carefree and leisurely journey instead of navigating through the story. So if Tokyo Ghoul is more like a nerve-racking rollercoaster, then Choujin X is more like a really exciting Ferris wheel. This means that Choujin X manages to offer something familiar to those who’ve read Tokyo Ghoul before, but also something unique that makes it different and interesting in its own right.
2. 2. Mind-Blowing Art
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If you’ve ever seen a page from Tokyo Ghoul before, you’ll know what to expect from Choujin X’s art. Because, as always, the pictures are simply spectacular. Sui Ishida has a knack for drawing anything with intricate detail, but she is particularly adept at using light and shadow. That talent first blossomed during his Tokyo Ghoul era, but he spent years honing the skill to the point that he could basically draw a few simple lines and turn it into a vibrant and dynamic blast of black smoke. This first volume of Choujin X contains many examples of Ishida’s brilliant illustrations. However, one panel in particular stands out from the rest – one that we can see right at the start of the story. A Smoke Choujin uses his power and produces a sudden burst of smoke that instantly melts anything it touches. Ishida has created this panel in such a way that it feels like you can see where the smoke is coming from, how fast it travels through the room, how much power this sudden puff of smoke generates, and how much power it generates. How does it affect the surroundings, and how scorching is the smoke to the touch. All through a single panel. What a wonderful illustration.
1. A Slow Motion Story
Like Tokyo Ghoul, Choujin X takes its time to deliver its story. The action sequences are still incredibly fast and exciting, but in between those fight scenes, everything moves at a turtle pace. Tokio will spend a lot of pages wandering around different places, contemplating what has happened to his body and what he should do from now on. There are pages with no words, and there are panels where characters lay down some thick walls of text that we have to read in order to understand the story. Things like this bring down the overall pace of the story a lot. So if a slow paced story with many well done fight scenes along the way doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, then Choujin X might not be for you.
Choujin X is the long-awaited new project from Tokyo Ghoul creator Sui Ishida. Tokyo Ghoul fans will definitely find some similar story elements in this new series, but Choujin X also introduces new things that make it unique and different from its predecessor. It goes without saying that the art is also absolutely excellent. However, like Tokyo Ghoul, Choujin X also uses Sui Ishida’s trademark rollercoaster pace, alternating between short bursts of fast-paced action sequences and a long and winding road of slow drama. One thing’s for sure, Choujin X is definitely a worthy successor to Tokyo Ghoul and we can’t wait to read the next volumes. Have you read Choujin X? If you have, what do you think about it? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.
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