It’s been some time since I’ve had a brand new shonen sequence to assessment for the location, partly as a result of we’re presently inundated with isekai and romance titles. In the present day I’m right here to try Tokyo Aliens Quantity 1, the most recent debut from Sq. Enix, to search out out if it’s vital for followers of the style.
The story follows first-year highschool scholar Akira Gunji who loves manga and desires of following in his late father’s footsteps and turning into a police officer, regardless of his subpar grades. On the best way house from faculty sooner or later, he finds himself caught up in a battle between an alien and Sho Tenkubashi, a member of a secret division of the police that offers with aliens.
The alien (known as Tomiko Fujiwara) will get away from Sho earlier than being captured and takes Akira house, having mistaken him for an alien too. Because it seems, Tomiko is being hunted for nonetheless being on Earth regardless of having an expired visa, however together with her human husband moments away from dying, she doesn’t need to go away his aspect.
Having misplaced his father, Akira sympathises with Tomiko and resolves to face as much as Sho when he finds her house. However now he’s caught up on the earth of aliens and secret organisations, Akira’s life can’t return to the best way it was earlier than and actually, the most effective factor for him to do could be to hitch the workforce himself…
Thus far, so normal setup for Tokyo Aliens. An unsuspecting scholar finds themselves caught up in one thing fantastical, however to the sequence’ credit score, the start is comparatively nicely thought out in comparison with others within the style. Because of Akira’s father having been a policeman, he already has all of the understanding of the job Sho and his teammates (that we meet later) do. Plus, having been getting ready to work the identical job sooner or later, Akira already has loads of the talents required to hitch the workforce.
Not solely are the characters and premise comparatively nicely thought out, however the setting of Tokyo completely suits the sci-fi angle the creator goes for. In a crowded metropolis like that, it’s no shock that one thing extra-terrestrial could possibly be taking place within the darker underbelly. Nor that there’s a particular police pressure tasked with coping with the issues that will come up. It really works nicely as one thing we are able to relate to in our on a regular basis lives, however nonetheless has the leeway to lean into the fantastical.
It helps that earlier than we get into Chapter 1, we’re handled to a brief motion scene with Sho that provides us a style of what’s to come back as soon as the preliminary setup is over. Mangaka Naoe is proficient, having honed their expertise on long-running Aoharu x Machinegun (obtainable from Yen Press), so the motion scenes are putting and straightforward to comply with. Tokyo Aliens runs in Sq. Enix’s GFantasy journal (Black Butler, Rest room-Certain Hanako-kun) so maybe it comes as no shock that the art work could be an enormous promoting level of the sequence.
The mangaka’s drawings are detailed and engaging. I like that Sho and Akira’s character designs distinction fairly drastically, with Sho having black hair and Akira white, maybe symbolic of their standoffish and caring natures respectively. It helps that Akira doesn’t look fairly human, which ties into the very fact characters preserve offhandedly mistaking him for an alien (clearly one thing we’ll be taught extra about sooner or later!). Each Sho and Akira are pretty typical archetypes for this style, however nonetheless, they each show likeable inside this primary quantity. It’s arduous to not root for Akira when he’s so earnest and a little bit of a goofball, one thing the creator does an incredible job of conveying with the art work.
The one downside with this quantity is that a lot time is spent establishing Akira and Sho that it’s not clear what the way forward for the sequence will appear to be. Will we get loads of motion scenes? Will it go tougher on mysteries and investigating? It’s actually troublesome to say since we’ve seen a little bit of every part, however when you just like the style and the characters, that is unlikely to place you off.
Tokyo Aliens Quantity 1 involves the West because of Sq. Enix Manga and has been translated by Andria McKnight with lettering by Bianca Pistillo. The interpretation reads nicely with no problems with word. This launch features a color web page at first, which is at all times a welcome sight! The sequence is ongoing in Japan at 5 volumes and Quantity 2 of the English launch is presently scheduled for February 2023.
Total, when you’re a fan of the shonen style then Tokyo Aliens is very really useful. Whereas it’s unclear what the long run holds for the story and there’s nothing we haven’t seen earlier than, it has a stable basis to work from and I feel the time spent establishing the solid and setting will repay down the highway. There’s loads to love right here, that’s for certain.
A free preview may be discovered on the Square Enix website here.