Astro Royale Chapter 1 Review: Sets up a Supernatural Sibling Rivalry!

During its first few seasons, Tokyo Revengers, a delinquent fantasy series, was the talk of the town in the anime community. Sadly, the manga’s popularity declined in its final arc, leaving the fan base in disarray. However, it did not stop the creator of Tokyo Revengers, Ken Wakui, from giving up on the delinquent genre; instead, he has put a spin on it with his new series called “Astro Royale.” Astro Royale made its debut in Weekly Shonen Jump just yesterday, and here are my thoughts on the first chapter.

Astro Royale Chapter 1 Introduces Us to Hibaru Yotsurugi

Astro Royale color page
Image Courtesy: Astro Royale by Ken Wakui (X/@AniNewsAndFacts)

As the battle to decide the next leader of the Yotsurugi gang that runs Asakusa is heating up, a meteorite strike suddenly awakens superpowers in the people of Japan. How will Hibaru Yotsurugi, the son of the previous gang leader, come out of this?!

Now that you’ve gone through the synopsis, the chapter begins with the introduction of the heart of this series, the Yotsurugi family. We meet our MC first, Hibaru Yotsurugi, the only blood-related son of Kongo Yotsurugi. As the introduction of the family members expanded, we got a clear view of how this series was going to pan out — an all-out power struggle between the sons (at least 12) of Kongo Yotsurugi for the throne of Asakusa.

I’m a huge fan of shows involving power struggles, such as Game of Thrones, Succession, etc. Thus, although the power struggle this manga sets up in the first chapter may seem generic, that is when Ken Wakui sprinkles some supernatural spices to this mix.

A meteorite crashed into Japan and unexpectedly bestowed superpowers on many people, and well, you are right to think it includes the Yotsurugi family members. So, we are all set to witness a Tokyo Revengers x My Hero Academia-esque showdown from Wakui in Astro Royale.

Recycled Tokyo Revengers Character Designs?

Image Courtesy: Astro Royale by Ken Wakui (X/@shonenjump)

I’m not going to mince words when I say that many of the character designs from Astro Royale look so similar to Tokyo Revengers, don’t they? Hibaru, the Astro Royale protagonist, looks like a fusion of Takemichi and Mikey from Tokyo Revengers. Wakui’s previous works faced severe backlash for character designs, but I don’t really mind it.

The characters can still stand out with their newfound powers and charisma. And as long as we get a compelling delinquent story with fantastic art, the similarities in character design can be overlooked at the end of the day. Furthermore, reusing character designs is a common thing for mangakas. Ken Wakui doesn’t deserve the non-stop hate the community has been sending his way ever since Astro Royale was announced.

Our Verdict: Astro Royale is Full of Potential

Image Courtesy: Astro Royale by Ken Wakui (X/@shonenjump)

Now, the question is – Should you read Astro Royale or pass on it? Well, Astro Royale’s Chapter 1 successfully lays the groundwork for a wild ride filled with incredible battles, touching moments, etc. It is a fascinating mashup of well-known Yakuza tropes with sci-fi elements like superpowers. So, in my opinion, this manga falls into the must-read category if you are looking for a unique power struggle-based manga.

We hope that Wakui learns from his previous mistakes with Tokyo Revengers and doesn’t repeat them in Astro Royale. If that is to happen, there is no stopping Astro Royale from becoming a hot-selling manga in Shonen.

Read Astro Royale on Viz Media’s Shonen Jump & Shueisha’s Manga Plus for free.

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