Welcome to This Week in Shonen Jump, our weekly check in on Viz’s various Shonen Jump series. Viz has recently changed their release format, but our format will mostly remain the same. We will still review the newest chapters of one title a week, now with even more options at our disposal. The big change for our readers is that, even without a Shonen Jump subscription, you can read these most recent chapters for free at Viz.com or using their app.
This week, Rowan checks in with “The Ichinose Family’s Deadly Sins!” If you have thoughts on this or any other current Shonen Jump titles, please let us know in the comments!
The Ichinose Family’s Deadly Sins Chapter 1
Written and illustrated by Taizan 5
Reviewed by Rowan Grover
There’s always a palpable excitement whenever a new series hits Shonen Jump that makes me wanna dive in without context. What if I find the next “Chainsaw Man”? What if I find a gleaming gem that gets canceled before its time? What if the chapter is a steaming turd? The chance for any of these options makes for an exciting read, nonetheless, especially going in without any prior context. That’s why I had a tonne of fun with the first chapter of “The Ichinose Family’s Deadly Sins”, a debut that twisted and turned around my expectations several times over.
The basic premise is fun: what if a family survived an accident but all ended up with amnesia upon waking up? Taizan 5 plays with manga tropes and heavy exaggeration well in these opening pages alongside this plot hook. Tsubasa, our initial focal character, awakes from his sleep to strangers all around him greeting him with exacerbation and joy. In any other of this manga’s contemporaries, this would be par for the course, but once the reveal of collective amnesia is dropped, the mood changes. Instead of over-ecstatic stereotypes, the family feels like a desperate, hollow collective trying to establish any kind of emotional connection in a void of none, a band-aid over a bullet hole.
As the chapter continues, it starts to play off like a gag manga, with each character attempting to craft some ridiculous identity from whatever they can find but running into issues like not knowing their phone passcode. Taizan 5 paces these out with so much tension and tight dialogue that each moment drips with massive epiphany potential, before deflating comedically. As we move forwards, we see Tsubasa and his sister Shiori fallout over their attempts to recall fake family holidays, and the manga swerves into a dramatic soap opera. Taizan again uses this weighty pacing to express how deeply these characters wish for any kind of emotional connection, which really took me by surprise! There’s a final twist later that is excellently executed that I don’t want to spoil, just go and check it out if you’re interested thus far!
Taizen 5 not only proves they’re masterful with characters and dialogue but also with the exaggerated art style. The characters in this manga warp and shift to match the mood, most blatantly with their eye shapes and sizes. Again, it’s taking the manga “big eye” stereotype and stripping it down to its raw form of effectively conveying emotion. The first color splash page we see in this chapter shows the Ichinose family looking down on the freshly awakened Tsubasa. Taizen 5 draws the heck out of each family member, all reacting differently in body language, but with eyes that look so shocked, they’ve shaken out of their natural facial positions.
Taizen 5 plays with character page real estate well to convey mood in a similar way to the eye situation. Whenever a character is the focal point of a serious moment, their whole body will take up a panel, like they’ve been zoomed in on whilst the larger panel stays the same. This occurs with the Tsubasa and Shiori interaction, with often their heads outsizing their bodies in an uncanny but expressive effect. As an inverse, Taizen 5 sizes down his characters for comedic effect, often having them look as deflated as a burst balloon next to their serious counterparts.
It’s hard to know if “The Ichinose Family’s Deadly Sins” will sustain momentum beyond this first chapter, but everything in here is promising. There’s nothing immediately groundbreaking, but everything here is cooked to perfection: great twisting of expectations, and great warping of conventional manga art. The twist is perfectly placed at the end with enough potential to seed a sizeable run, and I hope that it gets to fulfill that. In the meantime, this debut chapter was a hoot, and worth checking out.
Final Score: 8.9 – A delightful and surprising debut, I can’t wait to see where the series goes from here.