Genre: Horror Seinen
Year Release in English: 2018
Source: Viz Media
Fire Punch is the first manga by Tatsuki Fujimoto, best known for Chainsaw Man. This dystopian horror in which certain humans are blessed with elemental powers feels scoured directly from the litany of things I like in my fiction. It’s hyperviolent, it’s bleak as all get out, there’s an ice witch who destroyed the world, there are people with powers and completely irresponsible ways of using, it’s complete Jo bait.
I’m only two volumes in, and I am definitely continuing with the series as the need for treats come in because wow.
Content warnings: Attempted bestiality, attempted child sexual assault, rape (not depicted, but implied), cannibalism, immolation, death of a relative, gore, violence, misgendering, dismemberment, blood, genocide
Agni is a young boy who feeds his village by cutting off his regenerating limbs. He has a sister, Luna, with the same ability, but not with the same strength. An army from Behemdorg arrives and, disgusted in the village’s survival cannibalism, destroys it. Doma, their leader, sets Agni on fire, a blaze that can only extinguish when the fuel’s run out.
There’s a lot going on here. It’s bleak, it’s frosty. We get to cannibalism real quick. This manga does not fuck around with the darkness in its pages. The art, however, is incredible. The way Fujimoto illustrates Agni’s flaming state is really effective and clear.
The characterizations are blunt and to the point, adding emotional
Content warnings: Attempted child sexual assault, rape (not depicted, but implied), threats of sexual assault immolation, gore, dismemberment, torture violence, blood, genocide
The fuckery continues in Volume 2. We think Agni is done for because he’s been decapitated, but defeating a man who can’t die despite being entirely on fire shouldn’t be that easy. Enter Togata, a film fanatic who has lost access to humanity’s visual media and sets out to make his film. Agni is the perfect muse, and Neneto, the perfect camera-person.
As with every broken person in this series so far, the new character introductions are absolutely unhinged. The fight and massacre in the train to dispose of Agni’s head is a lot, so please heed the content warnings. But it does a great job introducing more of Togata, as wild as he is. The tension in his relationships is something that has me by the throat. The English lessons that they share feel so organic and ridiculous, it’s a good bit of levity.
This plan to make Agni a protagonist in a fake movie that fuels his revenge quest is going to end so disastrously, I love it.