HomeComics/MangaMANGA REVIEW | "Choujin X" - Volume Five

MANGA REVIEW | "Choujin X" - Volume Five

MANGA REVIEW | "Choujin X" - Volume Five

I pity the studio who’ll be put in charge of Choujin X’s inevitable anime adaptation. The first four volumes of Sui Ishida’s follow-up to Tokyo Ghoul have been a wonder for the eyes. But in its fifth volume, it manages to showcase a wild, acid-induced spectacle that would be truly hard for the average animator to bring to life. If you think I’m overselling this, well, you’ll see for yourself what I’m talking about.

Things start off slow, with Tokio learning how to fly. Each attempt he makes brings him closer to success, but nevertheless, he keeps on meeting the ground. It’s a situation that makes Tokio beat himself up, as he wonders how to motivate himself the same way Ely and Azuma do. But before his newfound friend Simon can give him an answer, chaos ensues.

It’s here when Ishida cranks Choujin X to maximum velocity. The battles Tokio, Ely, and Azuma face against the limb-filled Yubiko, the smoggy Chandra, and death growler Hiroto Mori are, in a word, awe-inspiring! How Yubiko pulls out new arms and legs, the way Hiroto literally wakes up the dead, and the sheer insanity in the face of Chandra are something to behold. Reading through these pages, it’s like a superhero film brought to life by Gerald Scarfe (Pink Floyd The Wall) and Ralph Steadman (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas).

The action shown here is so fast, that almost no one here has the time to think of a plan of survival. Azuma’s constantly having Yubiko’s body parts flung at him, whereas Ely deals with one too many skeletons for the average hero to fight. Only Tokio has the opportunity to think, and that’s only because Simon buys him enough time. Thanks to that little assistance, Tokio figures out Chandra’s weakness, although it’s one that could cause Tokio’s life if not done properly.

Fortunately, Ely gets to Tokio after leaving the death growler fight. And it’s a good thing, because that young tooter has a bone to pick with Chandra. After all, it’s his fault that Ely’s in this mess in the first place! It leads to one epic fight that literally knocks the smoggy wind out off the villain, delivering a final blow that leaves Chandra literally in the palm of Ely’s hand.

However, even when this fight ends, Choujin X just keeps tossing in more landmines for our heroes to step in. Azuma and Ely are taken by a strange force, leaving Tokio with the mysterious masked man. This person of interest has a motive that’s yet to be revealed. Is he a villain, or is he just testing the waters to see if these three can be true heroes to a world in turmoil? A chat with a certain angel doesn’t give much hope for the latter, but comics and manga have surprised us in the past.

If you thought the first four volumes of Choujin X were wild, then Volume Five will no doubt break your brain! Its visuals are straight out of a bad acid trip, yet filled with the fluidity of a ballet performance. “Bat-shit crazy” isn’t a wild-enough phrase to describe what you’ll see in this volume, as it cements Ishida as one of the best illustrators in Japan right now. Again, I feel bad for whoever will be in charge of animating Choujin X when the time comes.


Promotional consideration provided by Chantelle Sturt of VIZ Media.

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The J-POP king of America, Evan has been bringing the hottest sounds of the Land of the Rising Sun to the English-speaking public since his college radio days. He's also an expert in the gaming, anime, & manga realms, never afraid to get critical when the times call for it. Born & bred in Boston, he achieved his biggest dream yet by making the big move to Tokyo, Japan in Summer 2023! For personal inquiries, contact Evan at evan@b3crew.com. For press/band inquiries, write to us at thebastards@bostonbastardbrigade.com. (Drawing by AFLM of Wicked Anime)