…It’s funny how karma comes to bite you in the butt sometimes, yeah?
(Also, minor spoilers ahead for the Hypnosis Mic drama track Mixed Up.)
Hear me out: one day, I was translating this Hypnosis Mic fan comic:
…That should be the end of the line, really. An open-and-shut case.
However, the punchline for that fan comic is a shot of what appears to be an octopus with a flower on its head and Jakurai’s hair. The tweet calls this creature “Jakupi”.
Fast-forward about a month or so and I see “Takopi” in my trending topics on Twitter (which are set to Japan’s, for language immersion purposes). Chainsaw Man part 2 had begun and it started with a headless chicken known as Bucky in the English version…or in the original Japanese, “Kokepi”.
My heart sunk as I clicked on the trending topic and realised I’d made a huge mistake. “Jakupi” wasn’t just the fan comic creator making up some cutesy alien as a punchline – he was a reference to a series called Takopi’s Original Sin! Worse still, this series was fully available in English on Manga Plus and in Japanese on Shonen Jump+.
So…not only did I read the first chapter of Chainsaw Man part 2 (when I hadn’t even finished part 1), I ended up reading Takopi’s Original Sin as well.
So…why was I compelled to talk about this here, you ask?
Well, Takopi’s Original Sin starts out as a pseudo-Doraemon but clearly hides darker stuff under the surface. (By the way, the “Jakupi” I mentioned earlier has the Happy Flower, which allows Takopi to disguise itself as a dokudami flower…the Jakurai part is likely a reference to the doctor’s clueless yet chipper disposition in Mixed Up when he recounts the story of Magic King Heaven and Jakupi’s great sin appears to be “telling Saburo about when Hitoya wanted to be called Magic King Heaven in middle school”.)
Even without spoiling what happens past the initial bits in the series, Takopi’s Original Sin is a real rollercoaster ride. Although it has a lot of triggering content (which will hit like a truck much more if I don’t reveal what that content is), it’s short enough that you can finish it in an hour or two.
Once you’ve read it, you can see exactly why Chainsaw Man referenced Takopi’s Original Sin – the two sit in roughly the same sort of ballpark, so to speak, and they almost shared the same Japanese and English publishing space, now that Chainsaw Man has moved to Jump+.
It’s rare a series of this length will make me write about it, so…better capitalise on this, while I still have the will to write about anything…