Ayashimon Is the Series Like Jujutsu Kaisen & Chainsaw Man That Fans Needed

For as long as most anime and manga fans can remember, there has always been at least one demon-fighting series in publication. Whether it was Yu Yu Hakusho or Bleach back in the day, these series share many of the same fundamental aspects that make them a fun time. In the past few years, content about demons has surged even more with notable titles such as Demon Slayer, Jujutsu Kaisen and Chainsaw Man all becoming huge hits.

One of the newest publications within the demon-fighting subgenre, Ayashimon, is already shaping up to be the next big series. The manga centers around a young boy named Maruo Kaido, whose dream is to become a "manga hero." By performing the training regiment in one of his favorite series, he actually obtains a superhuman body -- complete with insane strength and durability. Unfortunately, Maruo becomes so strong that no human is powerful enough to fight him, which makes his life even more boring.

Ayashima Chapter 1 Cover page

This all changes when he helps a young girl named Urara who was being chased by the yakuza, or organized crime syndicate. After Maruo easily beats her pursuers, Urara tells him that the Japanese yakuza groups are actually secretly made up of demons known as "Ayashimon" -- including the ones he beat up, and most criminal enterprises operate in the same fashion. She then invites Maruo to be the first officer in her up-and-coming yakuza group. Realizing that this is his best chance to fulfill his dream of becoming a "manga hero" and face tough opponents, he excitedly accepts the offer.

Fans of recent shonen hits like Jujutsu Kaisen and Chainsaw Man will probably find certain aspects of this premise largely familiar, but hopefully not in a bad way. For the past few years, demon-hunting series have become increasingly ubiquitous, especially after the recent releases. While the Jujutsu Kaisen and Chainsaw Man are quite different from one another, it is hard not to group them together due to the similar themes and concepts in the series, and Ayashimon seems to share these common threads as well.

That being said, Ayashimon is worthy demon-fighting manga for fans to check out. It features a character who is something of a lovable doofus with incredible physical abilities, much like Yuji Itadori and Denji from Jujutsu Kaisen and Chainsaw Man, respectively. Also like them both, Maruo has a relatively simple wish. While Yuji wants to help people die "good deaths" and Denji wants lose his virginity to a girl he likes, Maruo wants to fight tough opponents so that he can get stronger.

The real difference between the two and Maruo is that they fight people to achieve their ultimate goals, while Maruo's ultimate goal is to fight tough battles. He's not like Yuji who harbors guilt about Sukuna's murders and chooses to fight, even kill, in order to make up for them or to stop murder from happening again. Maruo is also unlike Denji who treats fighting and killing like a chore to be done in order to get his "allowance." Maruo looks forward to these fights, just as much as the reader, which in turn gives the series a very fun vibe.

While it's way too early to tell where the story of Ayashimon will ultimately lead, Maruo's personality and active willingness to participate in the conflict make the story stand out a bit more from its contemporaries. The premise is interesting and unique, which is especially impressive given the over-saturation of demon-themed properties in the shonen market. It might be hard to see what the end goal of this series will be, but it is already off to a pretty great start so far.

Ayashimon can be read on Viz Media.

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