As we enter the first few weeks of another new year, manga fans are already debating what will be the major breakout series of 2023. At the moment, one of Shonen Jump's newest titles, Ichigoki's Under Control!!, appears to be the frontrunner.
Under Control!! by Ichigoki shares some intriguing similarities with One-Punch Man, another manga that quickly became a popular breakout hit. Here's what it's all about and why it could be one of the biggest new series in 2023.
Ichigoki's Shonen Jump Plot Is Under Control!
Ichigoki's Under Control!! by Seiji Hayashi centers on the titular child, Ichigoki, who leads a fairly typical life. This quickly alters when Misao, a want tobe mad scientist and his childhood friend, shows up at his house and explains that her most recent creation has reduced her to the size of a doll.
Misao begs Ichigoki to assist her in finding the items she needs to reverse the transformation because she is desperate to change back. Unfortunately, Ichigoki is killed by a gorilla while looking for these things. Misao makes him into a robot in order to save his life. But Misao does more than simply revive Ichigoki; she also creates a cockpit in his head that gives her control over him.
Of course, Ichigoki can't miss school or let anyone know he's a robot, so chaos ensues as the two friends try to come to terms with their situation and learn how to work together on a deeper level. But trouble seems to follow Ichigoki everywhere, making it much harder for him to hide his new body.
Ichigoki is in check! Interestingly Reminiscent of One-Punch Man
Ichigoki's Under Control!!, which shares many similarities with the wildly popular One-Punch Man, seems destined for shonen stardom. Both works deftly point out that having a powerful body isn't as simple as it seems by subverting the typical shonen superhero narratives. Due to their new forms, both protagonists are dealing with a variety of issues, such as how isolating it can be to be the only person in the area with a particular condition. However, while Ichigoki's Under Control!! uses its super-powered protagonist to shed light on school issues, One-Punch Man depicts how these problems would manifest in a world full of heroes.
Misao and Ichigoki's relationship is another reason this manga will do well. While the characters and their situation are wacky, Misao and Ichigoki are still highly relatable characters with understandable teenage motivations. Their frequently differing desires open up loads of fun opportunities for comedy, meaning the manga will have plenty of material to work with moving forward.
Ichigoki's Under Control!! shares a distinct goofy and surreal sense of humor with One-Punch Man. While Ichigoki takes it further than its counterpart, this more surreal bent fits its setting perfectly because the chaos really helps capture how difficult and confusing growing up can be for people, even those who are not half-robot. Additionally, Ichigoki's arbitrary robot abilities enable jokes to completely blindside readers, transforming cliché manga jokes into absurd laugh-out-loud sessions as events repeatedly take unexpected turns.
Ichigoki's Under Control!! is looking like it could easily be 2023's breakout manga hit. It twists expected tropes and builds on several concepts that other popular manga series have used, and it's all wrapped up in a fun overarching plot with plenty of room to grow. The manga's fantastic lead characters are lovable and memorable as well, so they'll likely quickly cement themselves as fan favorites.