Time Paradox Ghostwriter is a new manga series from author Kenji Ichima and artist Tsunehiro Date that began this week in Shonen Jump. The premise is super simple: A young mangaka’s microwave pumps out copies of Weekly Shonen Jump from 10 years in the future.
Wait. Let me take a step back.
The first chapter introduces Teppei Sesaki, a struggling manga artist who has been working for years on different manga series as an assistant. He had came onto the scene years earlier with a second place win in a manga contest, only to have countless scripts and pitches rejected. The first chapter shows him being rejected twice before the magic happens.
After his second rejection over the course of 48 hours, Sesaki returns home and lightning strikes his apartment. It seems to destroy his microwave/fridge combo, melting them together. With everything in his life going wrong, Sesaki is about to give up when suddenly a copy of Weekly Shonen Jump falls out of the microwave—an issue from the year 2030.
Sesaki can’t put it down as he reads through and becomes enthralled in a new series. When he tries to go back to the book, it appears to have disappeared. Sesaki, not knowing if this was some kind of fever dream or reality, begins to draft a new pitch for a manga series based on what he just read. This time, the editors accept his pitch.
The first chapter ends with a twist since the manga he is reading are really from the future and really written by actual human beings.
This look behind the curtain on the manga industry with a science fiction twist looks like it could be a really fun read. The first chapter did a great job introducing us to Sesaki, his life, and the entire situation he finds himself in. This is time travel/science fiction that feels more at home in the world of Hot Tub Time Machine than as more serious approach to the topic; yet, that’s what I think will keep me interested.
A series about time traveling manga volumes sent to an unsuspecting mangaka a decade in the past doesn’t need to take itself too seriously to keep me engaged. I am definitely checking out the next chapter when it drops next week.
You can read Time Paradox Ghostwriter at Shonen Jump. The most current chapters are always free.