Tokyo ESP apparently likes to jump around. Nothing is more evident of that than with the 4th volume in the series. Skip forward a year and a half following the incident granting everyone powers, we are introduced to two new protagonists (because forget Rinka and Azuma, right?) and things start off in a very harrowing way.
Now it does feel a bit abrupt that the two main protagonists from the other three volumes aren’t there considering how things were left off from the last volume (with the romance and what not). I would recommend keeping an open mind with proceeding with this one as I am sure by the end of it, you’ll appreciate the new characters just as much. This time around we have Ren, the new girl with the power to create ice and a “locking space”, who has a similar personality to that of her predecessor Rinka. Ren is a bit more panic stricken though and tends to internalize quite a bit of emotion. More often than not, Ren behaves like a Shojo character and constantly thinking about Zuesu (and therefore trying to get with him). This aspect of her personality can get rather tiresome. However, by the end of the volume she begins to develop into a stronger character. If the white girl manages to come back I can foresee the two of them opening a can of whoop-ass together.
The other new protagonist that is introduced is Zeusu. A member of the ESP Police force and with about as colorful of a personality as a rock. That being said, he is a crazy powerful metal bending ESP that manages to (almost) get the new main character out of precarious situations. Considering how emotional Ren is, it’s nice to have a stoic bad ass backing her up at possible moment.
The social dialogue within this volume is pretty interesting. Similar to that of the X-Men (actually more like a direct clone, but in a good way), we have good and bad people within the ESP population. Compounded with some of them being involved with crime, this drives the bulk of the conflict between the humans and their respective evolved counterparts. This general lack of trust between humanity and ESP-ers is causing major conflict within Tokyo, and at some point the social tension is bound to hit a breaking point. When it does, it will surely cause absolute chaos.
Tokyo ESP‘s pacing is insane. Each chapter usually starts out rather calm and then escalates very quickly. This is to its advantage though. If the story spent more time with Ren’s internal dialogue and waiting it out until the next bit of action, the book wouldn’t be nearly as engrossing. We can comfortably say, Tokyo ESP is a fun journey, with the perfect blend of high school drama, romance, and coming of age moments we don’t think it will ever hit a point of stagnation.
From terrorists, high school, teenage emotions, to a plethora of western pop culture references Tokyo ESP is its own special grab bag of fun. From panel to panel the pacing never slows down. Unlike the pacing pitfalls that other manga fall in to, Tokyo ESP will never be boring. Which is why it is certainly worth your time to pick up a copy and try it out.
Written by: Hajime Segawa
Publisher: Vertical Inc.
Release Date: April 9, 2016
Disclaimer: A copy of Tokyo ESP Volume 4 was provided to BentoByte by the publisher for the purpose of review.Tweet