Shonen Jump’s Candy Flurry Is a Sweet Surprise

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Chapters #1 & #2 of Candy Flurry by Ippon Takegushi, Santa Mitarashi, Junko Goda and James Gaubatz, available in English from Viz Media.

Shonen Jump's latest series, Candy Flurry, written by Ippon Takegushi and illustrated by Santa Mitarashi, takes place five years after Tokyo was destroyed... by giant lollipops. As is explained in Candy Flurry's opening pages, a limited-edition confection called ToyToy Candy gave anyone who ate it a unique sweets-based power, allowing them to manifest giant versions of the dessert they ate.

Unfortunately, it didn't take long for some "sweets users" to figure out how to weaponize their new abilities, and a lollipop user reduced Tokyo to rubble. It's with this premise and some strong writing and artwork that makes Candy Flurry a manga worth keeping an eye on even just two chapters in.

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Five years after the intro, Tokyo still hasn't been repaired, and most people have come to fear and loathe even ordinary sweets. One exception is protagonist Tsumugi Minase, a self-centered girl who readers first meet as she takes advantage of her looks to get free cream puffs from boys. But Tsumugi has a secret: she is an undocumented sweets user. Not only that, she's a lollipop user, which should be impossible. No two sweets users are supposed to be able to manifest the same sweet, so if anyone knew about Tsumugi's ability, they would assume that she was the one who destroyed Tokyo.

Tsumugi's been able to keep her secret for five years, but things get complicated when she meets Misaki Midori, a member of Recette, the Sweets Police in charge of stopping hostile sweets users. Misaki is serious and not very bright, but he still immediately suspects Tsumugi of being a sweets user. Not only that, but he transfers to her class, and a series of incidents cause Tsugumi to wonder if it's worth exposing her powers to help put a stop to the criminal sweets users.

Candy Flurry is a comedy-action series, but part of the fun comes from the fact that the characters take their ridiculous situation completely seriously. Tsumugi is hurt when Misaki calls lollipops "the devil's candy" without a hint of irony, and her decision to fight against the criminal sweets users is driven as much by her desire to give sweets a good name again as it is by her wanting to help others -- despite her seemingly selfish attitude. Misaki may be sharp when it comes to his job, but he completely lacks common sense, proudly announcing to a group of bullies that he won't fight back against them and managing to get a zero on a test. Candy Flurry's two protagonists are silly, unrealistic and completely sincere in their convictions.

Other promising details in the first two chapters tease Candy Flurry's potential as a long-running series. According to the backstory, there were 100 pieces of ToyToy Candy total. Including the mysterious lollipop user who destroyed the city, we've only seen four so far, meaning that many more characters could be on the way.

The donut and macaron users Tsumugi has fought so far are inconsequential starter villains who don't even get names, but there are 96 more possible chances for her to meet enemies and allies alike, building up to her finding and confronting the other lollipop user. In Chapter 1, Tsumugi also meets a strange dog that looks exactly like a pig. Although it appears only briefly, its scene is given enough focus that it seems likely to return as a mascot character, perhaps with a secret of its own to explain its unusual appearance.

In its first two chapters, Candy Flurry is off to a promising start thanks to its unique premise and endearing characters. If it keeps up its combination of shonen action and silly comedy fun, it could be the next big thing in Jump, but it's just as possible that its offbeat premise will confine it to obscurity. But whether Candy Flurry becomes a hit or not, it's definitely worth a read so far.

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