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KAGURABACHI: THE NEW GOAT OF MANGA

Numerous series have recently exited Shonen Jump’s catalog, creating an opening for Kagurabachi. Despite its newfound status, Kagurabachi currently holds the fifth position in terms of popularity on the MANGA Plus website. It has outshone well-established series like Dragon Ball Super and My Hero Academia, with only Boruto: Two Blue Vortex, Jujutsu Kaisen, Chainsaw Man, and One Piece surpassing it. This sudden surge in popularity has given rise to a running joke within the anime community. Nearly anyone familiar with this series playfully hails it as the ultimate masterpiece.

However, amidst all the hype, the future success of Kagurabachi remains uncertain. It could potentially span hundreds of chapters, or it might face cancellation after as few as 14. Shonen Jump’s reputation for ruthlessly discontinuing underperforming series only adds to the irony of its exaggerated acclaim. Whether this manga genuinely merits such praise is a matter for its readers to decide. While everyone hopes for the next big thing, only time and sales figures will determine its longevity. Until then, the internet will continue to subject this series to the same level of scrutiny that it once did to Morbius.

Kagurabachi’s Popularity Surges To The High Ranks

Kagurabachi has made a remarkable entrance into the top 5 manga on Manga Plus, the official manga reading app by Shueisha, achieving this feat after just two chapters. Along its journey to claim this prestigious spot, it outperformed many beloved manga titles, including Kaiju No. 8, Oshi No Ko, Dragon Ball Super, and, most notably, My Hero Academia. My Hero Academia is currently in its final and potentially finest arc, so Kagurabachi surpassing this powerhouse of a series signals a significant victory for the NEXTWAVE campaign. Even within Japan, people are expressing shock and astonishment at the manga’s international popularity.

In just a single chapter, Kagurabachi has taken over social media, spawning numerous memes and even fake anime announcements. While these external factors undoubtedly contributed to the frenzy surrounding the manga, the manga itself is responsible for the exposure it has garnered. The enigmatic and visually striking protagonist of the series has captured the audience’s attention, but it’s the story and its unique early 20th-century Japan with futuristic elements that have truly captivated readers. Kagurabachi weaves a dark and compelling revenge narrative, with the main character being the son of a murdered swordsmith on a quest for vengeance and to recover his father’s prized magical katanas.

The first two chapters have successfully seized the manga community’s interest, and the upcoming chapters must maintain this momentum if Kagurabachi hopes to challenge the likes of One Piece and Chainsaw Man. Takeru Hozano’s Kagurabachi boasts several strong elements, and now, with the manga in the spotlight, expectations are on the rise as more chapters are anticipated. While Manga Plus rankings may not provide the definitive measure of a manga’s popularity, Kagurabachi surpassing My Hero Academia serves as a promising indicator of what lies ahead.

Does Kagurabachi Deserve Any of It’s Praise?

Determining the quality of a series based on its initial two chapters can be quite the challenge, which is where the humor lies. No one can predict whether Kagurabachi will become a smashing success or face cancellation within its first 18 chapters. However, it’s worth assessing the limited story content on its own merits rather than what it foreshadows.

On the visual front, Kagurabachi boasts solid artwork. Its clean line work and shading harken back to the style of Naruto, suggesting that Hokazono may have drawn inspiration from Masashi Kishimoto. This stands out in an era where many Shonen Jump artists tend to create main characters with rough sketches, as seen in series like Jujutsu Kaisen and Demon Slayer. Even the more recent chapters of One Piece have exhibited a similar trend. Whether this artistic quality can be maintained over the course of a long-running series remains to be seen.

The characters in Kagurabachi are quite likable, with their down-to-earth and friendly demeanor. Their dialogue feels natural, and even Chihiro, who can be somewhat of a stick in the mud at times, has his moments of relatability, given what he’s been through. This character dynamic sheds light on Chihiro’s unspoken respect for his father and helps explain his unwavering determination to avenge him.

One potential factor that could influence the series’ longevity is its pacing. Nowadays, Shonen Jump readers tend to prefer a fast-paced narrative with plenty of action, especially at the beginning. Elements such as characterization and world-building are often better suited for later in the series. Kagurabachi has only featured one fight sequence in its initial two chapters and appears to be taking its time before diving into a significant battle. To maintain high sales and popularity, the series must ensure that its characters make steady and discernible progress with each chapter. If the characters don’t achieve their goals swiftly, it may be challenging to convince Shonen Jump to keep the series running.

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