I got a new manga and I’m dying to talk about it! This is a review of Hajime Segawa’s Tokyo ESP manga, at least the first volume of it! Here goes!
The series focuses on Rinka Urushiba, a seemingly normal high school girl who suddenly finds herself able to pass through solid objects after an encounter with a flying penguin and glowing fish swimming through the sky. But she’s not the only one to suddenly find herself with a superpower. Her classmate Kyotaro Azuma is able to teleport and he decides to enlist Rinka in his extra curricular activity of Superheroism. After all, what else do you do with superpowers? Other characters possess powers and most of them at this point are antagonists like a red headed vixen with the power of invisibility. Can Rinka and Kyotaro master their powers and defend the city from the forces of evil?
So, I actually have a bit of history with the mangaka Hajime Segawa as I read his previous series, Ga-Rei back in high school. I was immediately drawn to his unique art style and gradual buildup to a greater story, though that last one isn’t saying much as most manga tend to do this. But another thing that I generally like about his style is how well he mixes dark elements with light hearted story telling. While the story of Tokyo ESP isn’t especially dark, in fact so far it’s several shades lighter than Ga-Rei I do very much appreciate that while it takes all of it’s elements seriously it takes time to have some fun with it’s premise. Glowing fish flying through the sky and imbuing random people with special powers? Sounds utterly ridiculous but it’s executed very well.
The characters and their powers are also very fun as well. Kyotaro is living it up as the mysterious masked man Crow Head and finds his powers of teleporting as well as the entire sequence of events some kind of miraculous happenstance. Rinka on the other hand is on the opposite end of the spectrum, scared and confused and desperate to regain her “humanity” and lose her powers in one fell swoop but also willing to utilize them for as long as she has them. The two of them have a very natural chemistry with one another and while no one’s said anything about shipping just yet, it’s clear that this is the direction in which they’re heading. But for now it’s fun to just watch them play off each other. Rinka is completely put off by her own powers while Kyotaro loves his and while he attempts to teach her how to use hers it’s made abundantly clear that he’s got as much of an idea about what’s going on as she does. The other characters are fun too for what’s shown of them. Aside from the main two we’ve got the red headed phantom thief Kobushi who’s utterly ruthless and is set up as a great rival and foil for Rinka, Rinka’s father Rindo who has telekinesis and looks more like your standard villain than a father, and Murasaki a young girl who’s only real concern is treating our penguin mascot as a pet.
I feel that if I were to find anything wrong with Tokyo ESP Volume 1, it’d be that the last couple of chapters get a bit too serious a bit too fast. I was really enjoying the rather light hearted tone and then we’ve got to go and get all serious with our narrative, but this too is a good thing because now we can jump straight into our larger story without wasting time meandering around, even if the “meandering” was really fun. Another minor nitpick but one that I was totally okay with was that our two primary females are total BAMFs. In fact, Rinka vs Kobushi is the best thing about the series so far but I also just feel like these two being so badass is just totally inexplicable. I’m not saying this to be sexist because I’d totally call a male character on this as well because our setting is otherwise very normal and it just kind of comes out of nowhere.
That’s all that I’ve got for now. Sorry it took so long to get this post up. I’m really gonna work on that. I’ve got a bunch of things lined up that I want to review, it’s just a matter of getting to them! See you later! DaWaRou~!