Story/Art: Tomohiro Hasegawa
Translation: Paul Starr
What They Say
Third-grader Shota Aikawa’s pet beetle evolves from a larva to a pupa to a superhot human! The wacky adventures of the Aikawa family and the fabulous beetle who would be king now begins! You’re gonna LARVA this new comedy manga!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Moriking has its moments where I do wonder if it’s intent on a long run or just something that’ll be a couple of volumes overall – which is fine. Tomohiro Hasegawa makes mention in this installment that there are just three king candidates left for Moriking to face and I can imagine them dealing with it fairly quickly overall, even with a bit of padding with side stories and the like. This chapter focuses mostly on Ko, our cockroach addition to the household, and his struggle to fit into everything. Ko makes some folks uncomfortable in knowing what he is but placing in him cute boy form really does complicate that.
Shoko’s pretty surprised to learn that Ko moved in as she hasn’t seen him anywhere yet but that’s because he’s hiding in the cracks and small spaces of the, popping out on command. His mission has been to serve Moriking and that’s involved a lot of observation in order to understand who he serves now. It plays out well enough as it’s amusing to see how simply Moriking lives these days. But it also leaves Ko feeling like he’s not the right person for this and is intent on moving out of the house and finding another path. Which Shota isn’t all that keen on and even Shoko feels a little bit bad about it. She’s still struggling with the whole thing to some degree but has been harsher on Ko and understands that because of what he is. But moments like this help, for a few seconds, to shift her perspective a bit.
Naturally, they have to find a way to get Ko back on track and staying there and luck has it that Shoka’s mother has lost her wedding ring while doing chores in the house. This lets Ko show off his abilities, which is being super fast as he’s like a bullet train scouring the house to find it. It’s amusing seeing mom wail about the lost ring and the panic that sets in and then the realization of just how useful Ko can be with abilities like this. It’s just not a day to day kind of thing that’s useful for a lot of things in serving Moriking because he’s all about kicking back and just relaxing until another real or something fun to deal with.
Moriking is cute and fun here as we get another low-key character-oriented chapter. It’s something that plays well as it focuses on Ko but taps into the family dynamic pretty nicely. I do like the offhand mention of how many other king candidates are out there as that gives us an idea of just how quickly this series could go and what challenges lay ahead. It’s still just a weird little quirky title that hits a particular sweet spot well enough to stick with but it’s hard to see a big fanbase rallying around it after these first nine chapters.
Content Grade: B-
Art Grade: B
Text/Translation Grade: B
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Shonen Jump
Release Date: June 21st, 2020