Manga

My favorite 7 manga that started (and for some ended) in 2021

7) Candy Flurry

Candy Flurry is a manga series that began in April of 2021. Unfortunately, it’s already been cancelled. The series followed Tsumugi Minase, a “sweet user” who uses a lollipop as a weapon. In the world of Candy Flurry, a corporation called the Toy Toy Candy, makes confections that grant those that eat them magic candy powers. After five years, Toy Toy Candy became restricted and the “Sweet Police” were formed to stop Sweet Users. Each user can’t have the same powers but somehow Minase and a mysterious criminal both can use lollipop’s. She must hide her powers to avoid getting arrested for a crime she didn’t commit. Candy Flurry only reach 2 full volumes, but I think it’s worth a read.

6) The Hunters Guild: Red Hood

Like Candy Flurry, The Hunter Guild got the axe. A manga from Yuki Kawaguchi, Hunters Guild tells the story of Velou. From the small village of Kasoka, Velou calls the Hunters Guild to deal with their werewolf problem. Grimm is a hunter that arrives. At first she’s a little then she becomes a tall woman. Hunters Guild was always a gamble. Based on the fairytale (Little Red Riding Hood), the series was potential going to feel unoriginal. It liked what Kawaguchi did with werewolf lore, but it wasn’t enough.

5) Ayashimon

Ayashimon is a new series written and illustrated by Yuji Kaku. Maruo Kaido is a manga fan with dreams of becoming a “manga hero”. Blessed with superstrength due to special training inspired by manga he reads, Maruo meets Urara. An oni ayashimon, Urara is on the run from the ayashimon yakuza. Using his strength, Maruo saves her from the gang. Impressed, Urara recruits him into her yakuza group. The first question that came to mind after reading the first chapter of Ayashimon was, do we really need ANOTHER series about demons? I think the genre is becoming bloated. That said, making the ayashimon yakuza is an interesting twist. I don’t think it will be enough. But, I’ll give it a try.

4) Choujin x

Sui Ishida is best known for the series Tokyo Ghoul, which collectively sold 34 million copies. This year Shueisha’s Tonari no Young Jump released Choujin X. The story focuses on Azuma Higashi and his friend Tokio Kurohara. Polar opposites, the two friends live in the Yamato Prefecture, a district overwhelmed by Choujins. After an encounter with a Choujin, Tokio and Azuma decide they must become Choujin themselves. Tokio injects himself with a mysterious syringe, transforming into a vulture form. His life will never be the same.

3) Seven Deadly Sins: Four Knights of the Apocalypse

A spinoff of the popular Seven Deadly Sins series, Four Knights of the Apocalypse follows Percival, a young boy who’s prophesized to become one of the Four Knights that will destroy the world. Unlike sequel series like Boruto, Four Knights was deliberately separated form the cast of Seven Deadly Sins. Instead of using the son of Meliodas and Elizabeth, Tristan, Nakaba Suzuki created Percival. Son of the Holy Knight, Ironside, Percival was raised by his grandfather until his father tried to murder them both. Percival is set on a journey to find his father and get revenge.

2) Bleach: One Shot

Like most Bleach fans I was eagerly awaiting the return of one of the best manga series. This year the Bleach One Shot was released. As Soul Society prepares for Soul Funeral Festival, a “ritual that takes place every 12 years after the death of a Captain.” Kubo attempts to explain the reason we never heard of this festival is due to how rare Captain deaths are. After the Thousand Year War, Captain Commander Genryusai, Captain Unohana, and Captain Unitake all died. The One Shot introduces several new characters specifically, Vice Captains Rindo and YuYu. I wouldn’t recommend it for those new to Bleach. The One Shot is worth reading especially if you’re a fan of the series.

1) Dandadan

I was first drawn to this series when I saw the art on Twitter. Dandadan is a series written and illustrated by Yukinobu Tatsu. It focuses on high school girl Momo Ayase. She believes in ghosts but not aliens, contrasting her with Okarun, who believes aliens but not ghosts. The two decide to prove each other wrong by heading to separate locations where the occult are known to exists. They both prove the other right, as they encounter aliens and ghosts respectively. Manga isn’t short on demon, ghosts, and the other occult imagery but I think Dandadan has a unique spin on this genre. I love the creative design of the various creatures, they’re so well done and imaginative. Dandadan blends sex comedy, action, and humor with beautify art. I think it’s the best new manga series of 2021.

Manga

Candy Flurry Chapter 1: What happens when you turning candy into weapons

Candy Flurry Chapter 1 Cover

It’s easier to eat a lollipop when you break it

Candy Flurry Chapter 1 introduces us to Tsumugi Minase. A cute girl who loves candy, specifically lollipops. She loves how they look and of course how they taste. Candy Flurry takes place in a world where the candy company ToyToy’s Candy sold 100 pieces of limited candy. No candy is the same. If you consumed a candy, you gain the ability to create the sweet. The consequence of the candy users was the “decimation of Tokyo.” The user was a lollipop user, who remains unknown. The ToyToyCandy company stopped selling the candy but sweet users increased their criminal activity. Minase heads into an alleyway after receiving cream puffs for lunch. Suddenly, a bank robber with a donut ability attacks her. Minase reveals she’s a lollipop user.

Minase is caught by several men. However, they are quickly defeated by a recette armed with a fork. His name is Misaki Midori. The recette (sweets police) are responsible for arresting sweet users. Misaki is polite towards Minase, but he suspects her of being a sweet user. In class, Minaski is introduced to her new classmate, Misaki Midori. It can be difficult to tell how old characters are in anime and manga, but Misaki and Minase seem to be in high school. It’s strange to see an underage student (Misaki) is involved in a policing organization that subjects him to potential harm.

Minase uses her lollipop ability, exposing herself as a sweet user.

Lollipops are the devil’s candy

Misaki is you’re typically boy scout type. He follows the rules all the time, even outside his work. On top of that, he hates candy, especially lollipops making him the perfect foil for Minase. Candy Flurry’s chapter 1, sets up an inevitable clash between these two. A lollipop user is responsible for the destruction and harm that occurred in Tokyo five years ago. However, if no two users of ToyToy’s Candy can have the same ability then who did it? Minase is then put in an impossible position when the donut user from earlier escapes and seeks revenge. She refuses to use her power but when Misaki gets hurt she has no choice.

Minase rushes up to the roof of a building. She jumps off and clobbers the donut user, exposing herself as a sweet user. Misaki thanks her for saving him but claims he has no choice but to arrest her. Candy Flurry is going to be instantly be compared to One Piece. Particularly the mechanism for acquiring powers. That’s where I think the similarities end. I wonder why the donut user went mad. He keeps referencing a pain in his head, and Misaki notes that he’s “lost control.” I like this series, it may not become a game-changer, but a manga series that fun, with good art, is enough for me.

Check out Candy Flurry on Viz.com.

Weekly Anime Round-Up

Weekly Anime Round-Up (June 7th – June 13th, 2021): Race and Power in the Great Pretender, Elitist anime, and Candy Flurry

Great Pretender advertisement

Great Pretender‘s animation looks good but I haven’t been able to get into it. A “crime comedy” anime produced by Wit Studio, Great Pretender follows Makoto “Edamame” Edamura as he enters a life of crime. When he swindles a swindler (Laurent Thierry) his life changes for the worst. Beata over at Anime Feminist explores how the series focuses on race, class, and power dynamics.

Makoto takes on a robin hood role, as he steals with the goal of helping others. Beata examines how the series depicts the negative effects of “structural oppression.” The bodyguard of the drug trader Eddie Cassano, Salazar, is trying to escape his life of crime and create a safe home for his son. Eddie exploits the benefit of his privileges or as Beata puts it:

Eddie chooses to continue his criminal activities because his whiteness and wealth give him the power to navigate both the criminal and legitimate world without experiencing many repercussions.

Beata

Mob Psycho 100 art

Elitist Anime

Scott over at mechanical anime reviews discusses what he perceives to be “elitist anime.” Basically, elitist anime is supposed to be “intellectual.” These anime generally begin in 2010. Elitist is considered an insult, suggesting someone is out of touch. While Scott doesn’t wish to pass judgment or take things too seriously, he does create a list of the anime he thinks fits the “elitist” label.

Personally, I don’t have an issue with “elitist anime” if it means anime that makes you think. I have an issue with gatekeeping by fans who believe you’re not a “true” anime fan if you only watch “mainstream” series. I don’t know how the two concepts compare and they may overlap. The list includes some anime I’ve seen, some I heard of, and some I’m unaware of, Vinland Saga, Mob Psycho 100, are among my favs.

This is the concept behind this post. I don’t want this list to be taken seriously, ok? Please don’t. Let’s just enjoy anime together and not point fingers at each other at our own tastes.

Scott

Cover page of Candy Flurry chapter 1

Candy Flurry

Demon God Thadeus hopes to give the new Shonen Jump series Candy Flurry some attention. A new series with less than 10 chapters, Candy Flurry is written by Ippon Takegushi and drawn by Santa Mitarashi. The corporation called “Cyndy Toy Toy,” sell Toy Toy Candy magical sweets that grant the consumer’s candy powers. There are 100 of each type of sweet. DGT loves the Power System:

I love how simplistic it is in execution- but how much potential it has for strategy and combat. I hear about all of these complex @$$ Nen abilities and these……….ridiculous overpowered Stands, and I end up thinking “Whatever happened to the days where I can just hit someone REALLY hard and they go down?” Seriously; what the h#ll is up with Knuckle’s “Chapter 7 Bankruptcy” and that stupid “Golden Spin” bullcr@p? That……may have just turned everyone who loves the complex mechanics in a power system away, but I can assure you that this is a really cool way of fighting.

Demon God Thadeus

Demon God Thadeus sells the series, making me interested and the art style appeals to me. So I’m going to give the series a read. I hope I like it. I’m always looking for another good manga series. Check out Candy Flurry.