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Tokyo ESP Omnibus Vol. #02 Manga Review

4 min read

Tokyo ESP Volume 2 CoverPenguins and hippos and pandas…oh my?

Creative Staff:
Story/Art: Hajime Segawa
Translation: Kumar Sivasubramanian
Production: Risa Cho, Tomoe Tsutsumi

What They Say:
Schools of flying, glowing fish, a flying penguin, now a flying hippo?

As Murasaki wrestles with how to effectively use her newfound powers, Rinka and Kyotaro continue to train with the wise (and wicked) Youdani, who introduces a boy with a unique type of precognition, which is put to the test when he has to make a difficult decision when a conservative family member is threatened by supernatural powers.

The enigmatic Professor, the ringleader of the delinquent superhumans, appears with a tantalizing piece of the ESP puzzle and an invitation to the other side.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Faced with enemies with strange powers that seem to terrorize everyone in front of them indiscriminately, the normal people of the world are put into a fear mongering position where the best option they see is to change the laws already set in place in order to get this minority group under control.

Sound familiar?

Now that that’s out of the way, I’m not talking about X-Men (though the parallels, as I previously said, are numerous), I’m talking about…well, the whole of human history. From the dawn of time, a majority group have found themselves higher and better than a minority group for differences that ultimately amount to very little. X-Men disenfranchises because mutants are different than regular people, because they THEM and we’re US. Tokyo ESP has much better reasoning behind their witch hunts is because the biggest showcase of these ESPer powers has been in a terrorist attack. A ship was dropped on a city. 40 people died and 200 more were injured. That’s a way to get attention.

Ayumu’s mom rallies against the ESPers and with the fear mongerers in her campaign. Her reaction upon finding out her son is an ESPer is not to change her tone, but to fear what a scandal like this would do to her reputation. It’s sickening, yet rings so true.

The question is the end goal for the man calling himself the Professor, the foster father of Kyotaro. He’s the one that dropped the entire ship in the middle of the city, but his goal is an…uprising of the ESPers over the normal people? An evolution of humans? It’s not clear, and since he’s the one sending the fish out that give the powers, it muddles things further. What’s your game, professor?

Besides the threat of the end of the world as we know it, the characters seem to be progressing along with their powers quite nicely. Rinka’s learning from her dad’s pervy master the CPC method of fighting, which of course stands for Close Panda Combat because manga is weird. The master is also a Yoda look a like dressed in a panda suit.

Manga is weird.

But her training mostly involves the hand to hand combat; it’s the development of Kuroi and her relationship with Rinka that’s interesting. It’s also why I like Tokyo ESP so much more than on its story values, which are interesting but not particularly strong. Both Kuroi and Murasaki have found themselves never in the loving family that Rindo provides for Rinka. Thrust, pushed, suggested their way into this place, their hearts are warmed. They realize what a real home is.

Tokyo ESP’s strength is in its heart.

In Summary:
I have a strong personal grasp on why I like Tokyo ESP so much, but it’s hard to verbalize a critical reason why. Stories like this, especially the first few chapters of this book, hit at my heart and don’t pull punches. While the plot is still ramping up, the characters are richer than ever. Rinka is more than enough reason to read.

Also I love the color pages at the beginning of each volume (these are omnibuses, so that means two color page segments in each book!).

Content Grade: B+
Art Grade: B+
Packaging Grade: A-
Text/Translation Grade: A

Age Rating: 14+
Released By: Vertical Comics
Release Date: 12/8/2015
MSRP: $15.95

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