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Fire Punch Vol. #05 Manga Review

3 min read
Agni learns the hard way that you die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain.
Fire Punch Vol. #05

Elegant insanity.

Creative Staff
Story/Art: Tatsuki Fujimoto
Translation/Adaptation: Christine Dashiell

What They Say
After painful words are unleashed and Togata’s secret is finally exposed, the revelations leave Agni shaken. Knowing he must face his destiny, Agni seeks out the man at the root of all of his suffering!

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
After the stunningly stupid ending of volume 5 of Fire Punch I threw my hands up at the absurdity of it all. Then again, we live in an absurd world. The gods must be crazy, and whose to say that the stupid stories we tell ourselves today won’t become the basis for some daft religion of the future? We’ve seen that to be true in the past, and humans don’t change that much.

Then again, this is just a dumb manga at the end of the day.

Togata storms off, angry that their secret has been revealed. Togata doesn’t want to attempt to explain gender dysphoria and what it means to be transgender to Agni. The conversation degenerates to Togata calling Agni stupid over and over and we get a page or two of them bickering like siblings before Agni finally convinces Togata to return with him. But first, they have to go deal with Doma.

The Doma they find is taking care of many children in a quiet village. The kids are ready to fight to protect Doma, who quietly fishes and hunts to support the children. He doesn’t seem repentant or apologetic for his actions, at first, until Togata learns he was the one who destroyed that precious movie collection. Bloody knuckled, Togata rages and then encourages Agni to take revenge. Agni walks away because killing Doma would mean the death of those children.

Then something strange happens that isn’t clearly explained. A moment of insanity? A lapse in self-control? When Angi comes back to his senses everything around him burns and he walks to a lake intent on killing himself. Togata stops him and we get a vision of the afterlife as Togata envisions it. (Weirdly prescient timing with that mock Avengers poster in the background.)

I do wonder why Togata doesn’t suffer the same fate as Agni when they basically had the same blessing power of regeneration. It was cruel of Togata to tell Agni to keep living. Togata may have gotten the Hollywood ending they craved but was it really what was best for Agni?

In the end, none of that mattered because Judah’s transformation had already begun. While the god was away the devil played, and the town and all his followers, short of three, were consumed by the Ice Witch’s plan.

In Summary
Agni learns the hard way that you die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain. This volume hits some very genuine emotional beats, but does it matter? Togata’s struggle with identity, Agni’s struggle with his desire for revenge, ultimately the chaos of their world renders all meaningless. The Ice Witch’s plan to reboot the world for stupid and selfish reasons is underway, and the end of the world seems to be on the horizon. In this strange, nihilistic fate of mankind what hope for the future could possibly be left?

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

Age Rating: Mature
Released By: Viz Media
Release Date: January 15, 2019
MSRP: $12.99 US / $17.99 CN / £8.99 UK

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