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Choujin X Chapter 2 Review: Identity Crisis

I guess I was too excited for the chapter to drop on the release date. I had my phone on the entire day, waiting for Manga plus to show “Choujin X #002” under the latest updates.

I’d like to call this feeling the Ishida effect. He leaves us with such big cliffhangers in his works that you can’t wait for the next chapter. Too bad there’s no fixed schedule for Choujin X. But it’s for the best you know; Ishida can get really creative and work at his own pace to give us the best of his talent. I kinda like it this way. You never know when he’ll take us by surprise by suddenly announcing that the next chapter is almost done.

Fans, however, can’t stay silent during the wait. With the info of just one chapter, the number of theories posted on r/ChoujinX is over 9000!

A funny meme about the fans in Choujin X subreddit
A meme in the Choujin X subreddit posted by u/LaotianDude

With the release of Choujin X Chapter 2, fans will come up with over 18,000 theories and painfully wait until Ishida drops that jaw-dropping Tweet “Choujin X Chapter 3 almost done! Catch the new chapter on XXXX!”. Now without further ado, let’s get right into it!

The mysterious farm girl is still alive!

Previously on Choujin X, we witnessed a short-tempered Choujin ignite some flames (hot smoke, to be precise) within the airplane. It pretty much looked like everyone’s faces were on fire, including our cute little farm girl Ely. She’s a brave girl actually; stopping the crazy guy from whacking the poor granny. Ely is quite knowledgeable about farming and a sucker for hot, charming men who come to save her. Also, did I mention how cute she is? (Please don’t label me as a lolicon).

Anyway, a thick black smoke consumed the plane, making it crash behind a hill. Surprisingly, most of the frames did not get damaged. What’s more, 200 passengers survived the accident! This was the big mystery that confounded us in Chapter 1. So what the hell happened?

Chapter 2 didn’t give us an exact lead but my theory is, all 200 survivors got infected by Chandra Hume’s powers and became Choujins. Now, this could be over-the-top, but hear me out!

Ely’s hands are smokin’ adorable!

All of a sudden, we see Ely waking up on a construction site in south Yamato, far away from her prefecture. If you notice carefully, her left eye and hands were burning up in the previous chapter. But now she seems to be perfectly fine! So how is this possible?

The face and hands of Ely from Choujin X magically healed up
Smoke Choujin Ely in the making

To our surprise, Chapter 2 reveals that Ely has been infected by Chandra’s powers simply by being exposed to them. I guess Chandra’s plan was to hijack the plane and convert everyone in it into a Choujin. If so, maybe that’s why he uses the words “First attempt”. In other words, Ely has become a smoke Choujin and the smoke which covered the plane from the outside was coming from her.

Comparing Ely's eyes with Chandra's in their Choujin forms
Ely’s and Chandra’s eyes look very similar in their Choujin forms. Chandra announcing to her that she indeed has become a Smoke Choujin

Remember that Mohawk guy (Johnny Kiyoshi) who got his hands broken by Azuma? After getting injected with some strange serum and inheriting the characteristics of a Choujin, his hands were magically healed. Probably the same thing happened to Ely and the surviving passengers of that plane. Choujins seem to have the ability to heal themselves. That’s why I think Azuma is still alive; unless there were some adverse reactions from the syringe.

Incidentally, Ely piercing her hand with a knife to save the thugs chasing her could mean the following – Choujins need some sort of trigger to activate their powers. Injuring her hand to unleash the smoke from her fingernails seems to imply that. This is very similar to how Titan shifters turn into their Titan forms in Attack of Titan. But, as you get used to the power, a separate trigger might not be needed (as shown by Chandra in the plane).

The chase

When Ishida told that Choujin X would be lighter than his previous work, I never expected it to be this light! The whole scenario of Chandra chasing after Ely was hilarious, to say the least. After locating Ely in the beginning, Chandra asked if he wanted to escort her. And then Ely pulled a Spiderman by jumping from rooftops to rooftops, trying to get away from the evil Choujin.

Now I’d like to raise the following question.

Why was Chandra interested in Ely and not the other survivors?

Two reasons cropped into my mind:

  • When she got out of the plane with smoke emanating from her hands, Chandra could quickly identify the source of the smoke covering the outside of the plane. He saw in her the talent and skills required to become quite the smoke Choujin. What’s more, he noticed her tough resolve, her quick judgments and her persistence. These qualities are ideal for a human vessel to carry Choujin powers. That is why he’s ready to teach her the ways of a Choujin.
  • Or it maybe just because he was in the vicinity and he happened to find her, all healed up. This gave him the suspicious that she’s become a Choujin.

There’s an interesting analogical link between Chandra and Ely. In Sanskrit, the name Chandra translates to “the Moon”. The Moon is correlated with the night, plants, and flora & Ely and her adoptive family are in the business of farming. So now you see the connection. Ishida, you genius you…

The fast and the furry

ALL HAIL THE ROLLER BOY YAY-YAYS! From now on, Roller Boy Yay-Yays will be our mode of transport! Now start those Roller Boy racing clubs! Could this chase BE any weirder? No wait… It does!

After hopping into a tractor (her version of a BMW), Ely kicks starts the contraption to speed ahead of the scary Choujin chasing after her. While Chandra analyses the flaws of the Roller Boy Yay-Yay, he stumbled upon a rock and falls down into a dumpster. Now comes the strange part.

Apparently, Ishida has some kind of a weird goat fetish? The area where Chandra (The Roller Boy) is now located is populated by goat-like humanoids. And they have some weird Kanjis written on their clothes. Some of them translate to “Truth, unpleasantness, demon, etc.”

Maybe they’re some kind of Choujin I suppose. Roller Boy began to bribe them with a flip phone to chase after Ely. Now, why would a bunch of strong, well-built goat creatures listen to a guy who just fell into a dumpster? That’s the impression I had until Chandra grabs one of them by his neck and smokes his head. After this, the goat-like humanoids get on their bikes and zoom towards Ely without any delay.

A midnight tractor chase seems more fun than car chases. The Bikers are vrooming behind Ely, followed by Chandra in a car. As she ponders her cursed fate, Ely attempts to ameliorate it by demonstrating her legendary driving abilities. Neat for a 12-year-old looking girl isn’t it? Don’t forget how adorable she is.

Refusing to believe that she’ll give him the slip, Chandra zips forward, almost catching up to her. But fate has different plans for him as Truck-Kun crashes into his car, sending him flying. By the way, is that a dog driving the truck? Ishida does love his furries, isn’t it? Ironically, the truck has the words “We love safety” stuck on it.

Ely begins to rejoice but she doesn’t have her eye on the road. Her happiness is short-lived, as her tractor collides with a road fence and falls from a steep cliff. Fortunately, the goat bikers too fall in different directions and they’ve seemed to have given up on the chase. Good going girl, you rock!

Ely’s affliction

Now, this is when the previously mentioned unexpected turn of events occurs. Ely’s fingers start fuming with smoke and release it to save the bikers from cracking their skulls. Chandra comes and tries to escort her. But she refuses.

We can see that Ely’s quite similar to Azuma when it comes to remarks about Choujins. She hates them and their cruel nature & she feels devastated by the situation she’s in. Ely wants a normal life (A palace-like home, a big ass dog and an alluring husband doesn’t seem like a typical normal life) with normal people as friends and family. Unfortunately, a sudden transformation into a Choujin endangers her dream. This would disturb her quite a lot as we see in the last panel of chapter 2.

Chandra is enraged by her words and holds her by the neck. A big cloud of smoke erupts from his head and hands, threatening to scar her face. With strong determination to fulfill her wish, she desires to put Chandra in his place. But she’s so weak so what can she do? Her desires become a reality as some hero-like character drops by them.

Enter Hoshi Sadek, a Choujin protector

I don’t know about you but doesn’t he look like the handsome, goldilocks hubby Ely imagines? Do these events have anything to do with the desires of a Choujin? Or is it just a gag?

Comparing the looks of Hoshi Sadeki and Ely's image of an ideal hubby
Hoshi Sadeki looks conveniently similar to Ely’s vision of a perfect husband

Hoshi seems to be a psychic Choujin, as he moves his hands to separate Chandra and Ely without even touching them. In the same way, he clutches his fists together and raises them down to knock down Chandra to the ground. As Chandra targets Ely by sending a cloud of smoke on her way, Hoshi squeezes his body to create a barrier for Ely, protecting her from the smoke.

He seems to be the All Might of Choujin X, the protector of Yamato Prefecture’s civilians. A symbol of courage and bravery. Like the simp she is, her eyes sparkle at the sight of the man. Ely can become quite the heroine if she trains under him.

But looking at Hoshi’s character design. Bruh. That chin reminds me of James Leno (former host of NBC’s The Tonight Show with Jay Leno). Hoshi’s body design looks like Mr. Incredible. If the former added some weight, I bet the resemblance would be uncanny. Looking at his face, one of my colleagues said it looks like a bloated Johan Liebert from Monster. I’m still laughing while writing this.

His outfit looks like a combination of Twice (My Hero Academia) and Deadpool. Another anti-hero character?

Final thoughts

Choujin X Chapter 2 was wacky. Something I’d never expect Ishida would do, not gonna lie. Although, he did say it’s going to be a light-hearted story, at least compared to Tokyo Ghoul. But man, I wanna know what he was smoking on while writing this chapter. It was nuts. However, the artwork was not as good as his previous works.

There were some odd sketches here and there. Ely in one panel was drawn really peculiar and I was like “Is this really Ely?

An odd design of Ely in Choujin X
Ely looks like a bird with a tiny beak

Regarding the ending, I wanna focus on the mindsets of Ely and Tokio. Man, a distraught Tokio looking at the mirror reminds me of Kaneki and his traumatic circumstances.

Tokio and Kaneki, similar fates
Comparing Kaneki with Tokio

It seems Ely and Tokio might go through the same difficulties Kaneki experienced in regards to leading a daily life. In other words, both of them will be seen as abnormals or outcasts within the human community. Striking a balance between the two groups (Choujins and humans) will be quite the challenge. As a result, an identity crisis has entered their minds. Was this foreshadowed in chapter 1? Take a look at what Tokio’s sister once said:

Tokio's sister foreshadowing Tokio becoming a Choujin
She’s obviously kidding here but you know what they say, “don’t jinx it”

I think Sui Ishida is going towards the path of softening his dark vibe by adding a comedic aspect here and there. Maybe like a dark comedy genre perhaps? Who knows…

Over and above, this chapter was quite entertaining. Loved the charisma of Ely and how she was determined to give her chasers the slip, without succumbing to nervousness and anxiety. Definitely looking forward to her character development.

But I can’t help but be disappointed that Chapter 2 didn’t pick up from the previous chapter’s cliffhanger. Azuma’s exact condition is still a mystery. However, in a recent YouTube stream by Ishida where he gave us a sneak peek of panels of Chapter 3, Azuma is alive and seems surprised at Tokio’s appearance. Did Azuma not become a Choujin or has he forgotten everything?

I’m stopping it here. If I go on speculating with just 2 chapters worth of content, there wouldn’t be any end to it. So what do you think of Choujin X Chapter 2? How will Tokio take things from here? Let me know in the comments below!

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