Kagurabachi is a new series on Shonen Jump, who despite just releasing its 2nd issue this week, is already coming off a week of virality.
When it was released, Kagurabachi overtook Spy x Family, Boruto, and Dragon Ball Super in the Manga Plus rankings.
Similarly to Morbius, the sudden popularity of Kagurabachi was caused by countless Internet memes, with many ironically considering it to be the inheritor of the Big 3 title, which can make it confusing to tell if the praise is genuine.
Story And Setting
Kagurabachi gives off a similar feel to Jujutsu Kaisen and Hell’s Paradise, with sorcery and swordplay being the main elements of the manga.
The story itself is quite basic, being a generic revenge story. Chihiro, the main character, sets out on a journey to reclaim the 6 enchanted blades that were stolen from his father by an evil sorcerer organisation. As the story is still developing, it has potential to grow into something much more, thus I don’t consider it to be much of a detriment at the moment.
As for the characters, Chihiro is edgy, but in a fun way. He has little to no character other than the fact that he’s serious, even during the comedic moments. Shiba, a friend of Chihiro’s father, plays a similar role to Gojo from Jujutsu Kaisen, a nonchalant mentor figure that can be serious when he needs to be. The dynamic between these 2 characters was fun to see, and I look forward to more of their interactions.
Admittedly, there are no big standout features from the characters, but the art itself is gorgeous. Panels of scenery were detailed and beautiful, while the sword-smithing scenes were gritty and intense. The Mangaka put his versatility and skill on full display with the variety of scenarios he was able to draw.
This manga shines especially bright with its fight scenes, where the action is beautifully drawn, and is able to properly convey the sense of brutality through the pages. Even though there wasn’t much dialogue being exchanged during Chihiro’s battle with the Yakuza, I found myself hooked by the action. After the battle was initiated, it was non-stop carnage, every action that Chihiro performed conveyed the sense of momentum, speed, and power, with every slice sending blood and limbs flying, having levels of gore that is comparable to Chainsaw Man.
Despite all the memes, I still consider Kagurabachi to be a worthwhile read, as I found myself being invested in the story after just 2 chapters.
Kagurabachi has the foundations of what makes a successful Shonen manga, with an intriguing plot, fast paced action, and likeable characters. I can definitely see this being a part of the Big 3 if it continues moving in the right direction.
The future state of this manga will be determined by how it is handled by the author. Chihiro’s character can get stale fast if he continues to be a brooding edge lord, but if the manga is able to keep a good cast of supporting characters and maintain the intrigue behind the story, it’s hard to see the series not succeeding, especially with all this momentum backing it.
Kagurabachi can be read on MANGA Plus by Shueisha.