I once again fell behind on reviewing Choujin X, and so I have decided to keep my reviews for the manga similar to my My Hero Academia reviews, where I only review chapters that significantly impact me, as the reader.
Well, I think Chapters 14 and 15 suit this definition perfectly, with me quite enjoying the chapters and how they both set up the future of the story and build up the character arcs.
Chapter 14: Sinker, Part 6 – Sayonara.
Chapter 14 sees the end of Tokio’s fight with transformed Shiozaki in fantastic fashion.
Most of the fighters are out for the count against Shiozaki, however Tokio is still standing, ready to play Shiozaki at his own game.
He also has a better chance than the others, since, as he has beastified into a vulture, he can see the rocks Shiozaki throws, even when they get up to speeds of 200 kilometers an hour.
Although, in order to hit Shiozaki’s throws he has to use what he learned in Little League, so that’s raises some concerns for his chances.
These concerns grow worse when Tokio’s arm is broken by a 300 km throw from Shiozaki but, thankfully, for whatever reason, Tokio does not start to sink.
Desperate, Tokio asks Momoma if he can use the Raise technique that Simon used to try and defeat Shiozaki.
Momoma warns he could die if he gets it wrong but Tokio is insistent.
What follows is Tokio begging Momoma to help him, while Simon yells at her not to.
This conflict Momoma is facing ends when Tokio says he wants to try Raise to save Shiozaki, causing Momoma to remember a Choujin who appears to also have had super strength rescuing her, maybe her father?
Momoma then runs to Tokio at full speed, before jumping and kicking him in the head with such force that it breaks his neck.
However, this allows Tokio to use the Raise ability to restore himself to his complete Beastified form, before he challenges Shiozaki, yelling at him to throw a sinker at him.
This is another ploy from Tokio, as it is revealed that he watched Shiozaki’s sinker throws online, almost obsessively, which plays into his favor because “I’m unbeatable when it comes to worshipping someone!”
Tokio believes that this knowledge of Shiozaki’s sinkers, along with his Beastified abilities, may just give him the edge to win.
In some great paneling from Ishida, Shiozaki throws the sinker and Tokio hits it… only for him to immediately sink into the ground.
However, as Tokio is silently berating himself for being a garbage Choujin, Shiozaki catches the ball he hit, only for his sinking ability to redirect on himself because of this, with him crashing into the ground and returning to normal.
In the aftermath of this battle, Ely arrives to congratulate a still sunken Tokio, Simon shows off his petty side by calling what Tokio did obstruction, while Momoma thinks he did a great job.
Speaking of Simon’s opinion on this, though, I can see him butting heads with Tokio in the future.
Not long after, Ichiiro Sato, a Yamato Mori Keeper, arrives to deal with the situation and considers recruiting Tokio and Ely by force if necessary, however, he knows Sandek will be stubborn about this.
Then, we get the most intriguing and horrifying moment of the chapter, when he states, “the creature of the tower kindles the flame once again,” as we see a leaning tower, emittng smoke.
Next, presumably inside this tower, we see Chandra Hume kneeling before a giant monster right out of a Lovecraftian Horror story.
The monster is gigantic, and has two clasped togethor hands holding pearls for a face.
It also appears to have wings.
Then, the unknown creature says that it has felt the birth of one of its beasts, as the final panel of the chapter shows a pile of decomposing corpses, all with weird markings on their foreheads.
This is quite a horrifying cliffhanger, one which made me quite interested to see where the story will go from here now that this monster that is supposedly the source of the Beast Choujins has appeared.
Who and what this monster is remains to be seen but I am already eagerly anticipating the answer.
That said, the pile of corpses raises some pretty terrifying implications, since in Chapter Two Hume offered to take Ely with him and teach her everything about Choujin.
If he had taken her to this monster, would she have ended up as just another corpse in the pile?
Overall, Chapter 14 was a great chapter that ended the Shiozaki fight well and delivered a horrifying cliffhanger than raises many intriguing questions for Ishida to answer in the future of this story.
Chapter 15: Fly.
While Chapter 14 is a mostly action chapter, which built the story up with its cliffhanger, Chapter 15, “Fly,” is one that builds up Tokio and Ely’s characters in fantastic ways.
Ironically enough for a chapter named “Fly,” it begins with, well, birds flying, before we see Tokio wake up after his fight with Shiozaki.
Only he wakes up with the same exaggerated face as he did in Chapter Seven, but this time he’s screaming about being the Giant baseball team’s cleanup hitter.
It seems that Tokio waking up from nightmares with an exaggerated, horrified face is going to be a recurring gag in this story, not that I’m complaining.
After wrapping up Ely in a blanket when he sees she is also suffering from an unpleasant dream, Tokio goes outside to rest on a playground, where he is met by Shiozaki.
Shiozaki talks about how he wishes he had not quit baseball, but knows he only has himself to blame for all of the illegal things he did.
Tokio attempts to console him by asking him to play baseball with him in the future.
Shiozaki jokes that Tokio would not even be a good warmup for him but agrees to play a game of catch when his ledger is cleared and he is living an honest life.
It is good to see Shiozaki is changing, although a bit weird that he is not behind bars since his bank robbing was most likely discovered.
Then, we get the most shocking moment of the chapter… Ely’s age!
We see both her and Tokio’s Choujin registration and it turns out that Ely is actually older than Tokio.
She looks like a 12-year-old but it just turns out she is just short, go figure.
Sandek congratulates them on getting their Choujin registration and later talks with Tokio, who asks him what he gets out of being a Choujin.
In a classic moment of Ishida metaphor, Sandek compares happiness to a road where, if the rules are broken, chaos ensues.
Then, is a moment that is definitley a Spider-Man reference, Sandek says that “with great power… come the potential for great chaos.”
Sandek views it as a pleasure to defend the road from this chaos.
After stating this, he turns the question onto Tokio, asking what his heart is telling him to do?
Remembering how he helped Shiozaki, Tokio wonders if he can become a Choujin who helps people.
The look of relization as he thinks this is excellently drawn.
It would seem that Tokio may very well have finally discovered his dream, which he was struggling to find earlier.
This fantastic moment is then followed by a tragic one, which shapes Ely’s character.
She goes to give a replacement skooter to the kid she took one from to escape Hume in Chapter Two.
However, when she reaches the boy’s house, she is met with his grandfather, who reveals that the boy was murdered by Hume.
The scene then cuts to the murderous Smoke Choujin himself, who is at the tower, sitting with his back turned to the pile of corpses.
In Hume’s inner monologue, he mentions how each day “Mother” weakens, and how the beasts they are looking for could be her salvation.
This “Mother” is almost certainly the giant monster seen at the end of the last chapter.
So, does this mean that the many corpses behind Hume are Beast Choujin who were used in an attempt to save “Mother” but were failures and died as a result?
It would also seem that the Noh Mask Choujin works for “Mother” as well, and he and Hume are at odds, with Hume planning to find Tokio first for recognition.
Unbeknowst to Hume, though, he is firmly on Ely’s mind, as she sees his wanted poster while at the airport, along with the reward money for his capture.
This mixes in Ely’s two key motivations, which she brought up in Chapter Eight, taking out bad guys and money.
She wants to stop Hume because of the people he has hurt, most notably the boy, and also because of the reward money she could use to live comfortably.
It is not just Ely who has become more defined as a character, though, but Tokio as well, since after his relization and development through the Shiozaki fight, he has become more skilled, catching a piece of chalk his teacher throws at him in class when he is not listening.
It is that moment that Ely storms in, transferring to Tokio’s school, but walking into the wrong class.
Tokio then begins to follow her, wondering if it’s really Ely, peaking Azuma’s interest, as his eyes seem to prickle.
Could this be Azuma’s Choujin powers finally manifesting?
This is a brief moment, though, and it is cut off by the joke of Tokio still following Ely, wondering if it’s her, only to confront her and for Ely to humorously state, “obviously.”
Meeting to talk on the rooftop of the school, Tokio asks her what she’s doing here, and Ely says she is going to make money taking out bad guys.
She says this with the smoking tower framed in between them, pretty much confirming that a showdown with “mother” is innevitable, as the chapter comes to a close.
“Fly” was another great chapter of Choujin X, building up the character development of both Tokio and Ely excellently.
It seems they are being set up to fight Hume soon, but I do wonder where Ume and Ricardo went, since those two were built up before the Shiozaki fight, but have yet to face off against Tokio and Ely.
It’s just a matter of which villainous Choujin the two fill face off against first, Hume, Noh Mask, or Ume and Ricardo?