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Choujin X Chapter 1: They Became What They Hated

Sui Ishida rocked the world with his work “Tokyo Ghoul”. Even now, it continues to be one of the most popular Seinen Mangas with a whopping sale of 47 million copies worldwide. Of course, the Anime is a different story when it comes to how accurately it adapted the Manga. Let’s pretend the Anime never existed. What if they did a more faithful remake of the Anime? I can go on ranting about Tokyo Ghoul, but that’s for another day.

In November 2020, Ishida made a surprise announcement that he’s back with a new Manga called “Choujin X”. And today, on May 10th, 2021, the first chapter has finally come! Read the first chapter legally on Shounen Jump.

As expected, with the burnout the Mangaka faced while writing Tokyo Ghoul, Ishida mentions that he’ll write it according to his own pace.

The Manga series will have an irregular release schedule whenever Ishida has the time and that’s quite understandable. Tokyo Ghoul:re took so much out of him and the comments he gave at the ending of the Manga were very sad indeed. I hope he does well with this new series and has fun writing it.

Fans were speculating whether Choujin X has anything to do with Tokyo Ghoul. It seems it won’t be the case, but it will have some similar elements I suppose.

A Fiery Start

Chapter 1 begins with a kid farmer named Ellie who is traveling alone on a plane to attend a farm fair. The fair is a competition to decide the best produce. She chose to contest in that fair by carrying a “tomayto” as an exhibit. Basically, she and her grandpa are planning to expand their business by increasing their customer base and orders. So this fair might help them reach their goals.

Apparently, she isn’t that much interested in all this farming stuff. But on the inside, she’s a simp and wants to live a grand life. However, things took a different turn when a mysterious man woke up as he was disturbed by the air currents shaking the plane. This man was later shown to be a Choujin but we don’t know what his exact goals are.

Basically this whole thing was a set-up to introduce the most crucial element of the series, “Choujins”.

It looks like these Choujins are bizarre creatures who have special powers which differ from person to person according to their inherent qualities and characteristics. Just like how in Attack on Titan, Eldians become Pure Titans through a spinal-fluid injection, humans become Choujins in a similar way.

Choujins and Syringes
Do these Syringes convert a human being into a Choujin?

Things turned bleak pretty fast as the mysterious man shot flames from his fingernails, burning many people in the process. Their faces were on fire, including Ellie’s face and her fruit. The plane started emitting smoke and was about to crash land. Trauma this early in the series already huh?

Not exactly. As we learn later in the chapter, the plane hardly received any damage! Only the hull was burnt up and the rest of the parts seem intact. What’s more, TWO HUNDRED PEOPLE SURVIVED this mishap. HOW?? What stopped the fire?? This whole incident looks major sus. Maybe someone in the plane nullified it? Or was it the air currents?

Enter the Main Characters -The Junpei and Haise Sasaki look-alikes

The main characters of the story are Tokio Kurohara and Azuma Higashi. They work together to save others from getting bullied, harassed, etc., basically beating up bad guys.

Tokio Kurohara and Azuma Higashi
Tokio Kurohara (left)
Azuma Higashi (right)

Tokio Kurohara is a 16-year-old second-year high school student at Tsuru High who thinks classes are pointless (preach my man). He has a knack for giving accurate nicknames to his teachers (Mrs. Bazonkas. Hehe. Hehehehehehe).

He seems to be a soft-hearted person who doesn’t know how to fight (a coward maybe?). You might have seen these duos where one guy does most of the work and the other simply calls the other guy for help. Looks like Tokio is that “other guy”. Will he end up like Junpei from Jujutsu Kaisen?

On his way home, he saw a couple of thugs harassing a lady. Two of those Thugs look intriguing. Their design is very familiar…

Two JoJo look-alike thugs harassing a lady

Hmmm…..
Should I say it or is it getting annoying? Well, as long as there are JoJo fans in existence, this running gag will not get old.
Heh.

Jojo meme

At that moment, Azuma calls Tokio on the phone. The latter explains the situation and Azuma immediately appears on the scene (pretty convenient so to say). The one thug with the Mohawk moves to strike Azuma. However, the white-haired hero quickly stops him by kicking his arms, breaking them in the process. A few bones sprouted out as well. Classic Ishida Seinen elements. Seeing the boy’s strength, the thugs ran away.

Azuma Higashi. His hair resembles Haise Sasaki’s in Tokyo Ghoul although he doesn’t seem to be as soft-hearted as Haise. He seems to be more confident than him. He is very popular in town as he’s an expert martial artist and gets the best grades in class. No wonder the girls swoon over him.

Azuma and Tokio were friends since childhood. Once, they went on a school trip to the zoo. The others compared Azuma to a lion whereas they made fun of Tokio by comparing him to a buzzard. The Junpei look-alike felt insulted and was left in tears. However, Azuma consoled him by saying “Vultures are pretty cool too”. Also, Azuma once saved him from a couple of bullies.

Azuma and Tokio get a Kaneki-like Power up

One day, on their way home from school, they see Mr. Mohawk and his goons, looking to get their revenge. Mohawk’s arms were magically healed as well. Unlike their previous encounter, things happen differently this time as he starts whacking the heck out of Azuma. What’s more, he has this weird power that resembles Luffy’s Gomu Gomu No Pistol.

The seedy guy who turned up with the syringes to heal Mohawk couldn’t have been a passerby now, could he? Are the syringes turning people into Choujins easily available? Was he a special case? Someone important probably? The plot has a lot of loose ends worth building on!

Mohawk's weird powers
Mohawk’s queer-looking powers

Since he was injected by the mysterious syringe, he became a Choujin. However, he started losing control of himself and even brutally killed his own men, the JoJo characters. He’s now got a taste for blood and is in a hurry to kill the heroic duo.

The choujins and their superpower feel more like quirks from MHA, or the devil fruit powers from One Piece.

Tokio desperately picks up Azuma to escape. Ensuring they’ve distanced themselves from their enemies, they breathe in relief. However, to their surprise, two syringes are found lying next to them (how did they end up there from Mohawk’s hands?). Even though he hates Choujins, he sees no other way than to become one to defeat the Mohawk. One question that can be raised here is, how does he know about the Syringes and their properties?

With no turning back, they injected the syringe on each other’s necks.

Tokio and Azuma use the syringes to become Choujins
Azuma and Tokio inject each other to become what they hated.
(Junpei and Haise working together. Is this how a JJK – TG crossover will look like?)

After this, we see Tokio’s Choujin form. It looks quite like the mask Renji Yomo wears in Tokyo Ghoul. There are many similarities to Tokyo Ghoul and I like it.

comparing the looks of Tokio Kurohara and Kenji Yomo
Tokio Kurohara and Kenji Yomo

Tokio has changed from being a non-fighter and a coward to a badass. He whacked the living crap out of Mr. Mohawk, sending him spiraling upwards (just like the guy from the NANACA†CRASH!! game). Azuma is still down flat. Some speculate that he’s dead. If that’s the case, then it would instill a psychological trauma of sorts in Tokio, which is again a classic Sui Ishida style.

But according to me, he’s alive and his Choujin will have a lion-like appearance. Tokio was compared to a buzzard and Azuma to a lion. Tokio’s Choujin looks like a buzzard so Azuma’s Choujin looking like a lion seems to be a natural conclusion.

Thoughts

I think it’s one heck of a chapter for a Manga debut. It seems pretty interesting so far and Ishida’s artwork is spot-on as always. I’m very excited about this new Manga which has the potential to become something great. The characters have a lot of similarities to characters in Ishida’s earlier work and got inspired by the works of others. The theme seems pretty dark, just like Tokyo Ghoul.

The concept of Choujins and their origins are intriguing. More information about them will come in the future so I’m really pumped to see Ishida back in the game. I hope he takes it easy this time and does his work comfortably. He should enjoy his work and that’s how it’ll turn out to become something spectacular. I’m looking forward to this new Manga from the Tokyo Ghoul creator.

What do you think of Choujin X? Will it be another Tokyo Ghoul-like masterpiece will it become a generic piece? Let us know in the comments below!

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