REVIEW: ‘Choujin X’ Volume 1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

choujin X - But Why Tho

When it comes to comfort manga and anime, my choices are a little weird. While many people find cozy stories to curl up with, I reread Tokyo Ghoul by Sui Ishida. The darkness, the humor, and the beauty of the art keep me coming back to it over and over, which made me beyond excited for Choujin X. Dark humor and quirky horror fill the pages of Choujin X Volume 1 as you dive into a world of transformed humans and what they do with the power, for good and for bad.

Choujin X was created, written, and illustrated by Sui Ishida. The series is localized and translated into English by VIZ Media through the manga publisher’s Shonen Jump imprint. Unfortunately, the Shonen Jump Edition of Choujin X Volume 1 review copy did not feature a credits page to credit the letterer or translator. In this new series from the iconic mangaka, best friends Tokio and Azuma do everything together, even if most of the time Tokio feels like he is just stumbling along in Azuma’s cooler, more talented footsteps. Considered a vulture just hanging around a popular friend and picking up his scraps, Tokio is defined by everyone else around him, making him ultimately feel alone even with the person he cherishes most. But when they’re attacked one night by a superhuman mutant called a choujin, Tokio finally has a chance to shine—by turning into a choujin himself to save Azuma.

Much like Ishida’s other work, Tokyo Ghoul, Choijin X builds an entire world of monstrous humans. They have their own structure and different powers and ultimately show darkness in the world or, rather, in the people who transform. With transformations driven by the innermost desire of the person who changes, choujins give a glimpse into psyches and society. There is a lot to love about Choujin X if you loved Ishida’s other works, and in just this one volume, it becomes clear, especially with our lead Tokio.

Even when Tokio gets the power of a choijin, his change is apparent, and he has to hide his transformation from his family and everyone else. The focus of Choujin X is clearly the powers and shapes that choijins take, but it’s told through Tokio’s loneliness and isolation from society. He is a sad teen, dwarfed by a strong one, and then pushed into power as a last resort. He is a reluctant hero with no idea what to do with his newfound choijin abilities.

That said, Tokio is just one facet of the story. There is a serum peddled by a mob that changes people into choijin, a child who can take on choujin abilities from others, and even a superhero. It’s all an interesting mix for sure, and at times can feel like too much going on for one story. However, even with that, Ishida’s masterful artwork keeps you entranced. It’s weird, dark, and filled with horror inspiration. The story’s intensity is pushed by the stakes that each choijin monster raises as they enter a chapter. The power helps remove the foundation of safety you usually feel with protagonists and makes for fantastic storytelling.

The best part of Choijin X is that Ishida doesn’t waste time on exposition. Instead of explaining what choijin are and where they come from, Ishida doesn’t give you any answers in the panels of the main story. As an alternative, he includes an appendix-like afterward at the end of the volume that provides backgrounds and information for each of the main characters we see, a breakdown of history in the world of Choijin X, and a quick explanation of what the lore in the series is. We get an explanation that easily clears up any confusion from the series’ debut volume.

Overall, Choijin X is a great series, and Volume 1 has a lot to offer, even if, at times, it’s too much. If you’re a fan of Ishida’s other work, this is an easy, must-buy title. That said, the density of the lore is something to read about before you start the main story. So, flip to the afterward and then start your journey into Choujin X. 

Choujin X Volume 1 is available wherever books are sold both digitally and physically on February 23, 2022. 


Choujin X Volume 1
4.5

TL;DR

Overall, Choijin X is a great series, and Volume 1 has a lot to offer, even if, at times, it’s too much. If you’re a fan of Ishida’s other work, this is an easy, must-buy title. That said, the density of the lore is something to read about before you start the main story. So, flip to the afterward and then start your journey into Choujin X. 

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