Choujin X, Chapter 21, A Cloaker Review: Antagonist Payoff.

Ever since the first Chapter of Choujin X, readers have been wondering what role Azuma would have in the story, with many, including myself, theorizing that he would go on to become an antagonist.
Well, Chapter 21, “A Cloaker”, seems to have confirmed this theory.
I have not reviewed many of recent Choujin X chapters but I have really enjoyed them, as it felt like something big was coming, what with Tokio’s kidnapping by Ume and Ricardo, followed by Azuma’s brutal death at Ume’s hands.
However, I and many others did not believe Azuma was dead because he had been built up quite a bit beforehand, and had seemingly awakened some of his Choujin abilities, what with the escaped Hyena being able to talk with him.
Sure enough, “A Cloaker” begins with Azuma’s resurrection, as his Choujin power finally acitvates, and in the most horrifying way, at that.
This resurrection appears from a dying Azuma’s POV, as we see a statue looking down on him, presenting its hands, almost as if it is gifting him his Choujin power.
Along with this religiously symbolic image, we also see a fly coming down to land on Azuma’s eyelid and walk across it, reminding Azuma of a time when he saw jets flying in the sky as a child.
While this is happening, we get narration from an unknown person explaining that Choujin are given the form that most becomes them, often based off their emotions and feelings, like that of hope, fury, love, etc.
This creates a complex, which Azuma was apparently lacking up until this point because he could not become a Choujin without it.
Now, however, as the dying Azuma looks up at the moon, he gains this complex, allowing him to transform into the titular Moon Beast we saw at the end of the previous chapter.
So, great, Azuma is here to help save Tokio, right?
Well, not exactly.
He certainly starts off doing so by brutally dispatching Ricardo and Ume, decapitating Ricardo, and kicking Ume in the back so hard that his foot ejects out of her chest.
The reason Azuma so easily defeats these two is explained by the narrator to be because his fighting strength was already strong before he become a Choujin, so it has been amplified.
Ely realizes the Moon Beast is Azuma, yet, before she can do anything, Azuma is upon her, punching through her stomach, even though she is trying to help Tokio.
At this point, Tokio and Azuma seem to notice one another, and Azuma is shown to be baring his teeth towards Tokio in a look of surprising hatred.
Azuma easily beats Tokio aside when he tries to help Ely, and breaks Momoma’s neck and slices Simon’s throat when they try to stop him as well.
With Tokio being the last man standing, Azuma then turns to him and speaks his first words as a Choujin: “Tokio… Fight… Me.”
The chapter then ends on Tokio’s horrified, “why?”, which, in my opinion, is Tokio asking both why Azuma would hurt all of his friends and why Azuma wants to fight him.
As for the answer to the latter, I think it is because Azuma has an inferiority complex directed towards Tokio.
For so long, Tokio had relied on Azuma for almost everything, yet he was the one to become a Choujin first and do heroic acts.
With Azuma’s penchant for fighting for justice, this may have caused him to feel inferior to Tokio, leading to him entering a chaos state when he first transformed, much like Shiozaki, resulting in him attacking everyone and wanting to fight Tokio to prove himself.
My question, though, is why Azuma was able to speak with the Hyena a couple of chapters ago?
Beast Choujins are able to talk to the animals that their transformations are based off.
So, Tokio can talk to birds as a Vulture Choujin and Nari can talk to snakes as a Snake Choujin.
Given that Azuma could talk to the Hyena, I thought that meant he would turn into a Hyena Choujin but he has instead transformed into a Moon Beast.
This makes sense because Azuma was looking up at the moon when he resurrected and transformed but I still wonder how he was able to talk with the Hyena?
Hopefully, this will be explained in a future chapter.
Another obvious question I am sure all of us readers have after finishing this chapter is how many of the characters have died at Azuma’s hands?
I am sure all of our main characters who were injured will survive, these being Ely, Simon, and Momoma.
Ume and Ricardo, however, are another matter.
Ume looked quite dead when Azuma kicked her off the roof, yet Azuma also looked dead and he was just resurrected.
Also, Ricardo was decapitated but in one panel it looks like he is groaning, so he may make it out.
Honestly, I hope the both of them do survive, along with our main characters because I quite like them as antagonists.
As for how the fight between Tokio and Azuma will go, I honestly don’t see Tokio winning.
Azuma just straight up massacred dozens of other Choujins who are stronger than Tokio at this point.
The fight might be interrupted by the Noh Mask Choujin, though, who may see Azuma as a better candidate than Tokio for what the monster in the tower has planned.
Either way, the future chapters of Choujin X will be quite interesting, since Azuma has apparently emerged as an antagonist, like many of us predicted.
Overall, “A Cloaker” is one of the best chapters of the manga so far, and I am extremely interested to see where Sui Ishida takes his story next.

Choujin X, Chapters 14 and 15 Review: A Dream Discovered?

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?

Choujin X, Chapters Eight and Nine Review: Dreams of the Choujin.

Chapter Eight: My Benefit.
The eighth chapter of Sui Ishida’s Choujin X, “My Benefit,” is another solid chapter that picks up well with the aftermath from Tokio and Ely’s fight with the Snake Choujin, Nari.
It starts off by immediately dismissing my theory that Tokio’s name being mistaken for Zaven in the last chapter would allow him to hide his true identity from the Choujin organization, while continuing to help them.
It actually turns out that whole Zaven thing was just a gag because the organization of Yamato Mori knows who Tokio is and have given him the story that he is now a witness for a secret agent, so his family and people at school will not learn that he is a Choujin.
The only one who does know from Tokio’s life is obviously Azuma, who takes the time to apologise to Tokio for yelling and not helping him when he needed it.
Tokio forgives him and admits Azuma was right about him constantly relying on people.
Things seem good between the two but the next panel displaying the light reflecting off Azuma’s glasses, hiding his eyes, does raise some suspiscion.
I wonder what is truly going through Azuma’s head?
After this, Tokio goes to Yamato Mori to learn about his registration.
It’s here that he meets up with Ely and two other Choujin, Simon Kagomura, who was the Choujin who saved them from Nari last chapter, and Maiko Momoma, the woman seen with Ely in the last few chapters but who had her face hidden previously.
The two inform Tokio and Ely about the registration system.
Simon and Maiko, along with others at Yamato Mori, have Class A registration, meaning they can use their powers for research or the betterment of society, like protecting people from Choujin attacks like Simon did with capturing Nari.
Tokio and Ely are about to receive Class B registration, which will only allow them to use their powers if they or others are in danger, or by accident since Choujin powers are connected to emotion.
Tokio does express some interest in getting Class A registration but Simon’s scolding gets him to meekly relent.
We then get our first look at Maiko’s powers when she uses super strength to clear a fallen tree.
She makes Tokio and Ely look away when she does this though, so she must be shy about it for some reason.
Either that or there is a practical reason for her trying to hide her power, which could be revealed later.
Following this, Tokio and Ely are interviewed by Sandaq, who drills them on what they consider to be good and evil, and who they consider their allies and enemies to be.
He then hits them with the impotant question that shapes the chapter and possibly Tokio’s life going forward: what do they hope to benefit from their lives?
For Ely, the answer is easy: money.
That’s right, we got another Ochako Uraraka on our hands here.
Although, the dream for money to make them and their loved ones happy is pretty much the only similarity between the two.
On another note, I’m interested to see what the other character’s thought about Ely’s declaration, since it could be interpreted as not being noble and the reaction panels we get from Tokio, Sandaq, Simon and Maiko are interesting.
Yet, this bit is cut short for a comedic moment when Sandaq questions if it will make all of her wishes come true and Ely says most of them, reminding us again of her crush on Sandaq.
I wonder if this will become a running gag or if Ely’s crush on Sandaq will become disillusioned in the future?
Maybe like how Tokio and Azuma’s friendship could become broken if their bond is going the way I think it is.
Once this comedic moment is over, Sandaq turns to Tokio and asks him the same question but, unlike Ely, Tokio has no idea what he hopes to benefit.
It is interesting how most other protaganists in manga have some kind of goal or dream to achieve at the beginning of their stories.
Izuku from My Hero Academia wanted to become a hero, Eren from Attack on Titan wanted to exterminate the Titans, Denji from Chainsaw Man wanted a good life and to touch some boobs.
Tokio, on the other hand, does not know what he wants and it is a pretty good change of pace.
He and Ely really are complete opposites.
Whereas Ely is already certain about what she wants in life, Tokio is hesitant and uncertain.
Ely later confronts him about this, asking what’s the point of living without a dream, probably coming off more insulting than she intended.
With this scene expanding on the opposites dynamic of Tokio and Ely, it also offers a possible character arc for Tokio in the future, as he could slowly begin to sperate from needing Azuma and discover his own dream and strive towards it.
This could also be foreshadowed in the next scene where a news report states that a vulture and a tiger remain at large, having escaped from the zoo Tokio and Ely fought Nari in.
Tokio is definitley being represented by the vulture and Azuma most likely the tiger.
Whatever Tokio decides his dream is though, there will probably be complications to achieving it, no doubt mostly caused by the enemy Choujin out there.
We get our first look at two of them after the zoo symbolism, and these Choujin are revealed to be named Ririka Umezawa, or Ume, and Richard, or Ricardo, in the next chapter.
These two dangerous Choujin have been sent to clean up after Nari, probably by the masked Choujin who started this whole thing.
But, because this is Choujin X, there has to be some comedy so, instead of ending on this ominous note, the chapter instead ends with Tokio curiously asking his sister what dreams she has, only for her to shout that it is to marry into money.
I guess her and Ely would get along then.
Overall, “My Benefit” is another solid chapter for Choujin X. 
It formly introduces us to some interesting characters and excellently sets up the future of Tokio’s character arc, wherever that may take him.

Chapter Nine: Sinker, Part 1 – Grounder Boy.
Chapter Nine picks up from “My Benefit” in an interesting way because, while it continues to expand on Tokio’s lack of a dream, it seems to contrast this with a new character whose dream was destroyed by him becoming a Choujin.
This contrast starts with two sets of characters, Tokio at his home, and the Choujin Ume and Richard in what appears to be a motel, watching Azuma’s baseball match on TV.
On a side note it is intriguing to see how this world differs somewhat from our own through the portrayal of baseball, with the bases seemingly being in the shape of a hexagon.
The main focus is on how this sets up the introduction for the new character though, with Azuma’s skills being compared to that of a student who was even better than Azuma.
However, Richard says that he had to quit because he turned into a Choujin in the middle of a match.
This student is then revealed as Tezuya Shiozaki, who will clearly be a big focus of the next chapter, if the Part 1 in the title refrencing him is any indication.
From his introduction, we cut to an expansion on Richard and Ume, as Tokio sees their wanted posters.
Noticing this, another new character, Ichiro Sato, who is explained by Simon to be Sandaq’s protege, tells Tokio that Ume is the Paper-Cutout Choujin who is responsible for numerous bank robberies.
As for Richard, he is a Tentacle Choujin who works as a bodyguard for criminal organizations, but also betrayed one of these groups, killing all of the members.
Since we have seen Richard working with Ume, I wonder if that means she hired him to help her in whatever job she has been tasked with?
Back to Tokio, he sees Ichiro taking Tezuya for his latest Choujin evaluation and Tokio becomes intrigued when Simon tells him that Tezuya used to go Tsuru High, like him.
This intrigue is interrupted by anoter great gag when Ely wonders aloud if Yamato Mori could make her some cash, and her eyes become coins, much to Tokio’s exasperation.
From here, we get a brief look at Ichiro’s evaluation of Tezuya, during which he claims to not be interested in baseball anymore, and afterwards has a brief interaction with Tokio.
Following this, Tezuya goes home to his siblings, only to take part in a bank robbery later.
It would seem losing his dream of baseball thanks to his Choujin powers caused Tezuya to go down a dark path.
Once this is displayed, we get another showcase of Tokio and Ely’s days at Yamato Mori, with them watching a presentation on what the consequences can be if they lose control of their Choujin powers.
Maiko also falls asleep during this, which is comedic since it seems she was supposed to be supervising.
In the next scene, we then get an expansion on Tokio and Ely’s growing friendship, with Tokio teaching Ely how to use a phone so she can call her grandfather.
The two then walk out, with Ely consoling Tokio, telling him it does not matter if he does not have a dream, motivating Tokio begin trying to find his own dream .
This causes Ely to ask if he can help her find something, but we don’t hear what.
Then, for the last scene, we cut back to Tezuya, who discovers one of Ume’s cutout dogs, which shocks him when he grabs hold of it.
This is concerning because if Ume and Richard learn of Tezuya’s darker side then they could try to recruit him, maybe even blackmailing him.
Yamato Mori certainly would not be pleased if they learned of Tezuya’s nightly activities, after all.
Still, Tezuya has a chance of redemption from Tokio and Ely, as the chapter ends with the two of them seeing him illegally use his Choujin Powers to steal a soft drink when the vending machine won’t accept his money.
How fitting that the chapter ends with the Choujin whose dream was destroyed by becoming one about to have a conversation with the Choujin who does not have a dream and the one who does.
This could lead to some interesting growth for all three characters, so I am intrigued to see where Chapter Ten will go.
The ninth chapter of Choujin X is another solid one from Ishida.
He has yet to release a bad chapter for this series.

Choujin X, Chapter Seven, Broiler Review: Where Does the Story go From Here?

In the previous chapter of Choujin X, the cliffhanger was of Tokio about to use his Full Bestifaction transformation for the first time.
There was quite a lot of speculation about what he would look like but the general consensus was that it would be something like the very first panel of the story.
As opposed to that, what Tokio transforms into appears to be a different variant from his initial Choujin transformation at the end of chapter one, only much stronger.
Chapter Seven of Choujin X, Broiler, centers around the aftermath of Tokio’s first transformation, with him using this power to take on the Snake Choujin Nari with Ely in what is both a well drawn and quite funny battle.
The first gag comes right after Tokio deals a good blow to Nari and lunges at her again, naturally assuming that his second punch will have the same effect… only for him to injure his hand in the process, forcing Ely to temporarily take over, but her smoke attacks have no effect.
She is saved by Tokio, who jumps in to save her from getting crushed by Nari and appears to temporarily float, making me wonder if Tokio could grow wings like an actual vulture later on.
He is inexperienced with his beastification form, after all, so there are a lot of areas he could grow in.
Back to the chapter, Ely convinces Tokio that it would be better to fight rather than flee, and Tokio suggests broiling Nari from the inside, hence the same of the chapter.
Running right at her, Tokio has a pretty cool moment for him as he takes on the Snake Choujin with some quips, saying that if she’s still testing him then she should give him his score.
Well, I would think she should score him pretty highly considering how easily he gets the best of her, grabbing a hold of her Medusa hair to fling himself to her mouth and then yank it open, yelling at Ely to broil her.
It was a good plan, if it wasn’t complicated by the fantastic comedic gag of both Tokio and Ely’s powers failing at the exact same time.
Thankfully, the two are saved by a Choujin with incredibly powerful knife powers arriving on the scene.
It’s not clear if this Choujin is a man or woman yet but they make an intimidating first impression as they march towards the badly wounded Nari, telling her they intend her to tell them everything about who hired her.
This knife Choujin user also seems like a very official person, used to rules and regulations, unlike Hoshi, who seemed quite a bit like a super hero when he was introduced back in chapter two.
It will be interesting to see if there could be some conflict between the two.
After capturing Nari and lecturing Ely about escaping from her teacher Monoma, who I assume is the woman Ely was wirth at the beginning of last chapter, the knife choujin then demands to know who Tokio is.
Tokio, however, can only get out his last name before he remembers he has been poisoned by Nari, only being able to say “the ven-” before collapsing.
This causes Ely to think his name is Zaven Kurohara, although I’ve been informed that a more accurate translation may be Dokuga Kurohara, but it’s only one person who I’ve seen say that.
We then get a quick look at a Choujin facility Tokio has been taken to following the battle with Nari, which has a flag with three arrows, possibly refrencing an earlier moment in the chapter when Tokio brought up a story about three arrows before being cut off by Ely.
Waking up, Tokio deleriously shouts that he has to go to school in an exaggerated panel.
Being met by Hoshi, the Choujin explains that they gave Tokio some serumn to deal with the poison and that the Choujin facility he is at is called Yamato Mori, then offering Tokio some apples.
Tokio narrates that this is the sweetest apple has ever tasted while Ely and supposedly Monoma, whose face is still hidden, sneak a peak from outside, brining an end to the chapter.
Broiler is another good chapter for Choujin X, with some great action and especially funny moments.
The question is, where does the story go from here?
Well, I think Sui Ishida has perfectly crafted a situation where Tokio could begin to live a double life.
The Choujins now think his name is Zaven Kurohara, so this could allow him to go back to being Tokio Kurohara at times, without his family figuring out he is a Choujin.
This would make Azuma only person from his true life who knows he is a Choujin , however this could have plenty of unforseen consequences for Tokio.
Many have speculated about Azuma’s potential darker side, which could become more apparent as Tokio begins to move further away from him.
Tokio may state how much he wants to be like Azuma at the beginning of Broiler but by taking action without relying on him he has already taken his first step to seperating from him.
This could eventually push Azuma into the clutches of the masked Choujin who sent Nari after Tokio.
Think of it as a darker version of the friendship between Kaneki and Hide from Tokyo Ghoul. 
Other than these predictions, though, I’m fairly clueless about where the story is going to go from here on out, so it will be interesting to see what Ishida has planned for subsequent chapters.

Choujin X, Chapter Six, Apostasy Review: Full Bestification Time!

Sui Ishida is continuing to put out some great chapters for his latest manga, Choujin X, as Chapter Six, “Apostasy” centers around a fun action sequence with some excellent artwork and good character development.
After Chapter Five, I figured that the next chapter would start with a flashback explaining how Ely located Tokio and I was right on the money with that because this is exactly how “Apostasy” starts.
We first see Ely walking down a street with a shaded figure talking about her powers.
It’s revealed to have been less than ten days since we last saw Ely in Chapter Two, and whoever this new shaded in character who she had befriended is, she does not seem to be a Choujin based on how she does not sense the powers like Ely does.
It is this Choujin homing beacon that draws Ely to Tokio’s side, where she immediately accesses the situation before trying to save Tokio by using her smoke powers to blast off with him, away from Nari.
Unfortunately, still being pretty new to her powers, Ely cannot get them far and Nari quickly catches up, wondering if Ely is Sandaq’s trainee before launcing another attack at her.
Ely is ready though and, after a tense moment where her power temporarily seems to fail, she manages to blow a blast right at Nari, engulfing her head in flames.
However, this does not put Nari down because she has one more big trick up her sleeve: Full Bestifcation.
With these words, Nari transforms into a giant snake in a fantastic panel, which Ishida actually colours in with a red background, potentially highlighting Nari’s deadly personality.
In this form, she easily defeats Ely but at a cost because it is explained that in this form she is way dumber than she usually would be.
This results in her getting stuck in the cage to a monkey enclosure, giving Tokio enough time to react now that Ely is too injured to fight anymore.
So, what does our hero do?
Well, wonder what Azuma would do, of course!
It’s what Tokio always does when he gets in dangerous situations and it’s no different here, however, this may actually be the start of him breaking away from this mindset.
One reddit breakdown of the chapter I saw speculates that the title “First Apostasy” hints at the beginning of many instances of Tokio moving away from Azuma.
This seems to be the case in the chapter as well because, after Ely tells Tokio to run, he instead looks up at the sky and sees a vulture, apparently causing him to come to some inner realization.
Not only does this moment show him going from thinking about what Azuma would do, to making his own decisions, but it is also another instance of great artwork from Ishida, as the vulture panel is coloured green, much like Nari’s was coloured red, potentially hinting at Tokio’s cautious personality.
Well, Tokio quickly throws this caution to the wind because, as Nari finally breaks free, Tokio makes his own effort to unlock his Choujin powers, trying to go Full Bestification in another really good cliffhanger panel.
So, next chapter we are most likely going to see what Tokio looks like in his full beastial Choujin mode.
It seems likely that he will look similar to the vulture monster we saw in the first panel of the story.
Another thing that will be interesting to see is if transforming will make him less intelligent, like Nari.
Speaking of, could this lessening intelligence for Nari be something similar to how the Johnny character went crazy after he became a Choujin?
Maybe it has a different mental effects on people.
Either way, I am excited to read Chapter Seven when we get it and see just how far Tokio will go with this new transformation.

Choujin X Chapter Five Review: An Anticipated First Meeting.

Sui Ishida is still maintaining his quick pace with releasing new Choujin X chapters, and chapter five is another good one.
After last chapter’s cliffhanger, I thought the snake Choujin would try to eat Tokio, like Rize tried to eat Kaneki in Tokyo Ghoul, since both the snake Choujin and Rize cornered their prey in similar ways.
However, the opening panels of this chapter instead reveal that the woman, whose name is Nari, was hired by the masked man to hunt down Tokio and kidnap him if his abilities are dependable.
From here, the chapter cuts to the present, where Nari begins her testing of Tokio.
But first, she reveals an interesting tidbit about Choujins, that they can sense one another when their powers are used.
Nari used this to her advantage by allowing Tokio to sense her last chapter.
This technique is also probaly how Hoshi found Chandra attacking Ely in Chapter Two.
Once this information is revealed, Nari gets down to buisness and provides the rules of her test for Tokio.
He gets three attempts to prove his worth to her and if he fails then she kills him.
So begins yet another chase sequence, only this time Tokio is far less competent with his Choujin powers than Ely was in her chase scene, as he cannot find himself to muster any defence against Nari.
What results is a scene that is full of both great comedy and intriguing flashbacks.
First comes the comedy, with what is undoubtedly the funniest moment in the manga so far.
This moment comes when Tokio is fleeing from Nari and hears the birds surrounding him begin to make bets on who will win, him or Nari.
I laughed my head off at this gag.
Also, I do feel kind of sorry for the lone bird who bet on Tokio, the guy clearly was not going to win anything.
This is the same in the intriguing flashback as well, with a young Tokio shown to be losing a relay race for his team.
The reason this flashback is intriguing is because of Azuma.
Not only does this moment serve to again highlight his strengths compared to Tokio, as he wins the race single-handedly, despite Tokio holding him back, but it also potentially highlights his darker side once more.
As Tokio runs towards his friend, we get a close look at Azuma’s face and he does not look happy at all.
In fact, I would say his look towards Tokio is rather disdainful.
Yet, this look completley vanishes when he wins the race and goes to help Tokio.
Interrupting this flashback, which gives us further insight into Tokio and Azuma, Nari continues to torment Tokio, catching him twice and infecting him with toxic venom to motivate him in this chase.
Unfortunately for Tokio, this has no effect and he is captured for a third time and dubbed “ordinary” by Nari.
She goes to kill him, when suddenly an unexpected person literally falls out of the sky to help.
Ely bursts onto the scene, tumbling through her Choujin smoke before salvaging it with a suitable superhero landing.
She and Tokio look at each other and both with confusion ask,”a person?” bringing an end to the chapter.
This cliffhanger is interesting because not only does it finally result in our two main characters meeting but it also highlights how they are different from the other Choujin in the story.
The two of them have both been called Choujin constantly by others, Ely by Hoshi and Tokio by Nari, yet here they are the first ones to refer to the other as a person.
Along with this, Ely’s appearance does raise a few questions about what happened in between her being rescued by Hoshi and now.
I assume she was alerted to Tokio’s situation, either by his cries for help, her sensing Choujin powers or both, and rushed to help.
Now that she is finally here, I wonder how Nari will react to her?
Chandra said Ely was full of potential and Nari could see this and try to recruit her as well.
I also wonder where Hoshi is, since Ely was with him last we saw of her?
Not to mention the question of how much time has passed for Ely since Chapter Two.
If I am not mistaken, she is wearing the same clothes from that chapter and canonically speaking that was at least three days ago, unless the time difference between her story and Tokio’s is different, which could be elaborated on later.
Either way, I expect that what led Ely to Tokio will be explained in the beginning of the next chapter.
Overall, Chapter Five is another great chapter for Choujin X, as it provides another fun chase sequence, an interesting flashback, hilarious comedy, and the long awaited meeting between out two main characters.
I am intrigued to see how Tokio and Ely will interact with one another next chapter and in the future of the story.

Choujin X Chapters Two-Four Review: The World of Choujins.

I have been quite surprised at the rate of speed Sui Ishida has been releasing chapters for his latest manga, Choujin X. 
When I heard that there would be no set timeline for release dates so he could focus on his health this time, unlike with Tokyo Ghoul where he was really overworked, I thought that we could expect a few months between each chapter.
So, it was a pleasant turn of events to see Ishida release Chapter Four not long after Chapter Three.
I do hope he is continuing to keep healthy, though.
In any case, I have been falling behind on reviewing these chapters since I reviewed Chapter One, so now I’m going to review Chapters Two, Three and Four in one big post.
I will also be sure to write more reviews as the story goes on.

Chapter Two:

The second chapter of Choujin X picks up with our secondary protaganist, the little girl from the plane crash that happened in the first chapter.
Her name is revealed to be Ely Otsuta, and it is explained how she helped her adopted grandfather with farming tomatoes, showing that she is a child prodigy in that regard.
However, this backstory is interrupted by a tomato Ely picks up screaming as it bursts into flames, as she wakes up in a construction site with a concerned construction worker standing over her.
A dazed Ely asks for directions, only for the helpful construction worker to be burned to death right before her eyes by Chandra Hume, the Choujin who attacked the plane.
Que the big chase scene of the chapter as Ely makes a break for it after Chandra offers to escort her.
It is during this chase where we once again see how Ishida is going in a more comedic direction with this manga, as we get plenty of gags from Ely riding a skooter, to her miraculously finding a tractor and then using this to escape from Chandra and a group of gang members wearing sheep masks for some reason.
These comedic gags are quickly cut short when Ely and the gang members begin falling to their deaths and Ely uses her newly aquired Choujin powers to save them all.
She obtained these smoke powers through being infected by Chandra’s, or so he says, claiming this was just a “first attempt.”
It will be interesting to see why Chandra is so interested in creating other Choujins.
Not to mention that the way Ely became a Choujin seems to be a completley different from how Tokio did since he did so by injecting himself with the strange serumn.
Coming back to Chandra, he offers to teach Ely everything he knows about her power but she obviously does not accept this offer, thinking back on the kind elderly woman who Chandra murdered in the first chapter.
However, she does seem to hit a nerve with Chandra when she calls his power “worse than a turd.”
Chandra is clearly a very insecure person because this insult causes him to nearly go all Firelord Ozai on her face.
He would have succeeded too, had it not been for Hoshi Sandek, “Yamato Prefecture’s Choujin Protector,” or as I like to call him, Captain Chin.
Seriously, his chin is so freaking gigantic it takes up more than half his head.
Ely is clearly enamored by him, based off the heart eyes Ishida draws her having.
Not to mention that this guy resembles her imagined husband she talked about in the first chapter pretty closely, so of course she would have an instant crush on him.
Hoshi’s arrival on the scene also proves one of my previous theories to be false.
I predicted that because of what Azuma said in Chapter One there were no good Choujin, but there clearly are based off Hoshi.
We will probably get more information on the Choujin system when his character returns, along with Ely.
It would also be good to know what exactly his power is.
We seem to see him use it but I cannot quite tell what it is yet.
Following Hoshi and Ely’s first meeting, we get a pretty cool cut to Tokio’s story, as Hoshi asks Ely, “What’s your name, little Choujin,” only for us to then see Tokio’s sister calling her brother’s name.
Tokio has reached home after his transformation into the Beastial Choujin but his vulture-like appearance has not dissipated yet.
As he rests in the shower, Tokio wonders if he has become a Choujin, which should be pretty obvious to the guy, given what his face looks like.
This brings an end to what is a pretty good chapter.
The chase between Ely and Chandra is entertaining and quite funny at times, especially one joke where Chandra’s car is hit by a truck that says “we love saftey.”
Along with this, Hoshi’s appearance raises some questions about the Choujin system that I am interested to see answer.
One criticism I do have is that the action is a little bit hard to follow during the chase scene.
The artwork is still great, though, so it mostly makes up for that.
So, overall, Chapter Two does a good job of continuing Ely’s story and I am intrigued to see how it will progress further.

Chapter Three:

Out of these three chapters, Chapter Three is definitley my favourite because of how it handles the aftermath of Tokio becoming a Choujin and its impact on his and Azuma’s friendship.
The chapter begins with a flashback to Tokio helping Azuma after he collapsed due to the injection.
However, Azuma wakes up after Tokio falls over and looks horrifed at his friend’s appearance.
Tokio is just glad that Azuma is okay and says he will take him to the hostpital.
Azuma is quick thinking, though, and tells Tokio that if people find out he is a Choujin then he will never have a normal life, so he should just go home while he goes to the hostpital.
Tokio takes this advice, yet I am not so sure that Azuma’s actions were quite so innocent here, especially given how he acts later on in the chapter.
Also, keep in mind that the two still did not know if Azuma had Choujin powers here, so Azuma going to the hostpital could have exposed him to being a Choujin if he was one, yet he suggested Tokio go home.
From here, the chapter cuts to the present again where Tokio’s vulture face mask has still not come off.
Tokio fakes being sick so he will not have to go to school and be revealed as a Choujin to everyone and we get some really good artwork of what his face looks like now as he tries to eat breakfast.
This makes it really funny when, in subsequent panels, Tokio’s Choujin face honestly looks pretty derpy.
I am sure this is intentional by Ishida and it has great comedic affect.
Again, Ishida cuts the comedy short, this time by Tokio breaking down into tears because he is scared he will look like this forever.
This leads to him going to see Azuma for reassurance after he doesn’t pick up his calls, acting like he is going out shopping to his father and sister, while hiding his face.
He calls Azuma outside his house and this time his friend picks up but is very standoffish.
Azuma claims to have gone to the hostpital and got a bloodtest, only for nothing out of the ordinary to be found.
Azuma then makes the connection to Tokio looking like a vulture because it is the form he desires.
This leads to Tokio asking Azuma what he should do, only for Azuma to yell at him to think for himself for once.
Tokio hangs up and leaves, even more depressed, before Azuma can apologize.
Azuma says to himself that it isn’t Tokio’s fault, but his actions make me wonder if he is jealous that Tokio got these Choujin powers instead of him.
It seems many other readers are starting to suspect Azuma and Tokio may turn out to be rivals in the future of Choujin X and I am beginning to think so too.
Think of it as the opposite of Kaneki and Hide’s friendship from Tokyo Ghoul.
After this great scene, which may be hinting at a potential rivalry between Tokio and Azuma, we then cut to the Mr Fantastic Choujin, Johnny, and the masked man who gave him the injection.
It is here that I see what may be another Tokyo Ghoul refrence, since the man’s mask looks a lot like the ones the Clowns would wear.
The masked man learns about Tokio turning into a Choujin but not who or where he is, and kills Johnny when he refuses to say anymore.
His Choujin power seems to be related to cutting people up, since he decapitates Johnny fairly easily.
This looks to be the main antagonist of the story, or at least this part of it, as he seems to be preparing to hunt down Tokio, maybe for the same reasons that Chandra wanted to recruit Ely.
Overall, Chapter Three is a great chapter that does a really good job of characterizing both Tokio and Azuma, while getting us hyped for the future of this story, as we get more insight into the mysterious masked villain who is now after Tokio.

Chapter Four:

Okay, so Ishida had to have had a terrible first date, right?
I mean, first he has Kaneki nearly get eaten by Rize in Tokyo Ghoul, and now Tokio is currently being eaten by a snake Choujin in Chapter Four.
It can’t be a coincidence.
Jokes aside, Chapter Four is another good chater of Choujin X that starts off by continuing to expand on Tokio’s power set as a Beastial Choujin.
This comes through the comedic surprise of Tokio being able to talk to pigeons, who refer to him as the bread atelier, due to how much he feeds them.
It seems that talking to animals is not just a power only Tokio has, though, because the snake girl also appears to talk a snake in the chapter.
This makes me think that there are different categories of Choujin.
For example, the Beastial Choujins, which includes Tokio and the snake girl, would be in its own category and those who have it can talk to animals but only the ones that resemble their specific Choujins.
Tokio is a bird Choujin so he can talk to pigeons, and the girl is a snake Choujin so she can talk to snakes.
If only Tokio was observant about this, it may have saved him from becoming snake food by the end, as the girl lures him into a zoo and leans in to kiss him, only to take a bite, just like Rize did in Tokyo Ghoul. 
Again, it really seems like Ishida is trying to tell his readers how awful his first date was.
Much like Kaneki, I do expect Tokio to get out of this one, he is the main character after all.
Maybe he will be able to gain help from the vulture he couldn’t communicate with at the zoo.
Maybe he will unlock part of his Choujin powers to escape.
Or maybe he will be tracked down by the masked Choujin currently after him.
It will be interesting to see if any of these happen or if it will be something different entirely.
All in all, the fourth chapter of Choujin X is another solid one, with a great blend of horror and humor, which seems to be the norm for this manga.
If I had to rank the chapters we have got so far, I would probably go with Chapter One, Chapter Three, Chapter Four, and then Chapter Two.
They have all been really good reads so far and I am excited to read more of Choujin X and keep reviewing it.
So, you can expect a review for Chapter Five whenever that comes out.

Choujin X, Chapter One Review: A Promising Start.

4 stars
Writer of
Tokyo Ghoul, Sui Ishida, had been slowly hyping up his new manga Choujin X for quite a while.
Teasing us with some panels and revealing character designs, he did a pretty good job of getting us excited for his next project.
As someone who loved Tokyo Ghoul the first time I read it and has only come to love it more as time has gone, I was quite excited for it.
I figured there would be some announcement about when it would be released, but nope, it just dropped out of the blue.
It was a pleasant surprise to go online and come across the news that the first chapter of Choujin X was out.
After reading the chapter, and then re-reading it a few times, I can say that Ishida’s new manga is off to a promising start.
It does a great job of introducing us to the characters, setting, and themes of the story.
The manga is set in a world where super powered individuals known as Choujin exist.
However, given how they are pretty much only referred to negatively throughout the chapter, it is pretty safe to say that most of these Choujin are bad people and there are no heroes among them… yet.
This could change very soon based on who becomes a Choujin and who is hinted to be one in this first chapter.
Speaking of, the story begins with an eerie panel, which was teased by Ishida (seen above), which shows our main character, 16-year-old Tokio Kurohara, standing naked and rising to meet the gaze of a vulture-like creature with the narration, “It’s something of an affliction.”
How this opening imagery will tie into the future of the story, or if its just symbolic foreshadowing, will be interesting to see once we get more chapters.
From here, the chapter cuts to a plane, where a little girl is talking excitedly with an old woman about how she’s going to a fair for her grandfather to enter a produce competition.
It is here that the lighter tone Ishida mentioned he was going for can clearly be seen, as the little girl starts off stating how she would want use the prize money to help on the farm, before comedically going straight into dream land, wanting a mansion, a dog, a handsome husband and nine kids.
However, this is the writer of Tokyo Ghoul we’re talking about, so even if this story is going to be more comedic, there will definitely be dark moments.
This is proven when another passenger awakens and threatens the old woman, who the little girl defends, only for him to set the entire plane alight with flame, incinerating many people, including the old woman, and supposedly the little girl.
That said, I highly doubt this is the end for her.
We have seen the girl in some character concept art released by Ishida, where she is shown wearing the same military looking uniform as Tokio.
It is also later revealed that 200 passengers miraculously survived the plane crash, making me think that the girl either became or always was a Choujin and used her power to save the surviving passengers.
This could lead to her meeting Tokio later if both are captured and put to work by the military or government, although this is just speculation based on the concept art I mentioned.
Anway, following this attack on the plane, we get our first good look at Tokio, as he sees the plane crash from his seat at school.
This causes his teacher, who has comically large breasts and is referred to as Mrs Bazonkas by Tokio, to call him out for not paying attention, leading to some more comedic paneling from Ishida.
He’s going to do quite a good job with the comedy if this opening chapter is any indication.
Now, it is time to talk about how well he manages to set up Tokio as a character in this chapter, which sets him up as someone who doesn’t like to put much effort in and is vulture-like, seen as leeching off his friend Azuma Higashi by others.
Speaking of Azuma, he strikes me as a mixture between Arima and Hide from Tokyo Ghoul, a fantastic fighter who is also a great friend to the main character.
This is seen when Tokio witnesses a woman about to be raped by a group of thugs and calls in Azuma for help rather than getting involved himself.
Following a superhero landing, Azuma easily beats the head thug, breaking both his arms with a devastating kick.
After this save, we get our first look at the setting, a heavily damaged Yamato Prefecture, and given how Azuma says Choujin should do something good with their power instead here, it can be assumed that the damage is related to them.
This is why I think that there aren’t really any good Choujin in this world yet.
It is then that we get the classic Ishida symbolism, as Azuma compares Choujin to roly-poly’s, wondering if they gather under damp places because they like it, when they’re supposed to be used to dry places.
There could be multiple meanings to this, like maybe that Choujin are gathering in and destroying cities because they enjoy it.
I’m just spitballing, though, there could be another meaning to it.
In any case, this symbolic moment not only reminds me of a lot of similar scenes from Tokyo Ghoul but also the country and town mouse allegory from Chainsaw Man.
Makes me wonder if Ishida was influenced by Tatsuki Fujimoto somewhat.
With the symbolic scene over, the chapter progresses back to the overall plot with the thug whose arms were broken by Azuma being given an injection, which turns him into a Choujin.
We are also introduced to Tokio’s father and sister, who acts like a mother to him, even paying his tuition.
Tokio also says that Azuma being popular makes him feel popular too, furthering the interpretation of a vulture who leeches off others.
This allegory continues with a flashback, where Tokio is literally compared to a vulture by the other children at school, while Azuma is compared to a lion.
Azuma, however, is there to cheer up his friend, telling Tokio how vultures can soar higher than any other bird.
Before this, though, Tokio says that he could have been a lion too and he gets his moment to do so in the following scene, where the Choujin thug ambushes him and Azuma on their way home.
We get some more great paneling from Ishida as he does a great job depicting the fight between the martial artist Azuma and the seemingly Mr Fantastic inspired Choujin.
During this scene, we also seem to get an explanation for why there are supposedly no good Choujin, as the thug goes crazy to the point that he brutally murders his own friends, popping their heads like balloons.
It could be that that becoming a Choujin drives the person insane and it will be interesting to see if Tokio, Azuma, and the girl from the plane (if she is indeed a Choujin) have to deal with this danger in the future.
As the fight continues, Azuma realizes he can’t beat the Choujin, who will almost certainly kill them, so suggests injecting himself to become a Choujin and have a good shot at beating the thug.
However, Tokio will not let him do it alone, becoming a lion in the moment as he offers to inject himself alongside his friend and stick by his side.
The following panels really highlight Ishida’s fantastic art style, as the two friends, lion and vulutre, point the syringes at one another and vow not to have any regrets, while a dandeline is shown blowing in the night wind.
The symbolism for that last point is anyone’s guess but the results of Tokio and Auma injecting themselves are interesting, to say the least, as only Tokio’s body seems to be reacting to becoming a Choujin well.
He transforms into a beastial Choujin, with a head like the skull of a vulture, and sends the Choujin thug off with a punch that sends him flying, before going to help Azuma, who has collapsed to the floor, ending the first chapter.

This conclusion raises questions about why Azuma was not able to successfully transform, like Tokio, and I expect we’ll get the answer, along with the answer of what happened to the little girl, in the following chapters, whenever those release.
Ishida has not set a specific time for when the next chapter will come out and this is due to him wanting to go at his own pace, which is entirely understandable given how overworked he was when he was writing and illustrating Tokyo Ghoul and Re.
Let’s hope he continues to put his health first and pace himself well.
Overall, I found the first chapter of Choujin X to be quite a promising beginning.
It does a great job at introducing us to its characters and the world they live in, along with the symbolism of the roly-polies and the vulture allegories.
I look forward to seeing how Ishida will continue this story at his own pace.