In writing this second review/post for this week, it really is going to be some manga that are on the SJ+ app, but don’t belong there or just aren’t action battle shonen series. Blue Flag isn’t a battle shonen, but a well-crafted drama, this manga about artists, and the next manga that will appear tomorrow is also about artists. This manga is something else. It was cancelled and yet it feels complete in the message it wants to convey. I honestly can’t imagine it going any longer at all because if it ran weekly for longer then 15 chapters, then it wouldn’t hit as well as it did. Or maybe it would, who knows. There was that controversy of it being a manga about plagiarism, but that isn’t the point of Time Paradox Ghost at all. This is a manga about mangaka and their life styles.
Time Paradox Ghost Writer is a manga about one specific manga that lacks something mentally to make it big into the world of Shonen Jump. Teppei Sasaki is a great artist who has worked with various successful mangaka, but has failed to get a series of his own after very many failed attempts. One day Teppei’s microwave prints out copies of a manga called “White Knight”. A manga created by the msyterious Itsuiko Aino that is one of the best manga he has ever scene. Why is that happening? We don’t know. Copying some of it and giving the transcript to Shonen Jump, he finally gets his series. (Yes, he does his own style and variation of it afterwards.) He gets a group of artists to help him including a younger to be mangaka in the future called Itsuiko Aino. A passionate mangaka that creates a challenge between both of them that makes them better.
Of course, that happens until one day the manga from the future stops and one day, Teppei actually sees that Itsuiko Aino died creating her manga. There is also warning signs of this happening sooner with Aino working on her new manga by herself. The time entity in microwave thought that Teppei beating Aino with her own manga was the way to stop her, but it only pushed her further. Eventually, that sort of thinking doesn’t work. The answer comes later. Teppei becomes more thoughtful and motivated with unlimited amount of time to create the perfect manga at his own pace. I really like that aspect of all of this. A manga in SJ about giving mangaka more time to create manga really does feel like something that needs to be practiced in the manga itself. Proper time and rest are valuable when creating art.
This isn’t a complicated piece of manga. It has simple characters for this simple story, but I think that is what makes it more emotionally resonant. Teppei is a young mangaka that learns what it means to be responsible for his health and the health of others. Itsuiko Aino is an even younger mangaka that spends so much time on her manga that will make people happy by herself that she eventually forgets what the fun of creating manga really is. She lost her purpose and suffered through the manga making machine. In 15 chapters, these are the only characters that really matter and it’s a great character drama for this. I know that I spoiled it, but I honestly don’t have as much to say about it. The manga is still held a bit down by SJ and some of those tropes. As I said before, it is also held down by its short length though I don’t know what else the mangaka would do beyond this point.
The art in Time Paradox Ghost Writer is also pretty basic shonen too. That doesn’t mean that it is bad at all. Far from it. It flows very well from panel to panel, has great character designs, and so many things here. Also has a great way of showing the mangaka working on their art on so many levels here. You can see the passion this mangaka has for creating all of the art they are working on. Nothing experimental, but that is ok. Not everything has to be. Time Paradox Ghost Writer is just good. It has a great style and means a lot to what it represents. It just doesn’t reach as far as it could, but the premise is great. It’s not a manga about plagiarism. It was read incorrectly by a lot of people. That’s ok. Read this manga if you get the chance. It’s not long at all.