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Dragon Ball's Hero Trope Evolves in Shuiesha's Most Underrated New Manga

Dragon Ball's Hero Trope Evolves in Shuiesha's Most Underrated New Manga Image
  • Posted on 09th Aug, 2022 10:29 AM
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Chapter 8 of Make The Exorcist Fall In Love is moving away from the Dragon Ball trope of a weaker hero finding hidden power to defeat the big bad.

style="text-align: center;">Warning! Spoilers ahead for Make The Exorcist Fall In Love chapter 8!

A trope popularized in Dragon Ball  has been revolutionized in Make The Exorcist Fall In Love, a manga delegated to Shuiesha's spinoff online version of Shonen Jump. Although physical fights can only result in a select few outcomes, Dragon Ball's overuse of this formula to an almost absurd degree has made it an unofficial staple of modern shonen.

The moment when Goku, initially overpowered by Frieza, finally transforms into a Super Saiyan to defeat him became iconic for a reason. All of the big-name Shonen Jump titles still unabashedly recreate the trope, and yet the publication's online spinoff, Shonen Jump+ in Japan and MANGA Plus internationally, has a new manga that gives this expected development a much-needed twist.

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In chapter 8 of Make The Exorcist Fall in Love by writer Aruma Arima and illustrator Masuku Fukayama, the currently unnamed and titular exorcist is in the midst of a long-awaited rematch against Lord Mammon. Although the battle just began in the previous installment, it quickly concludes in chapter 8 with the exorcist easily defeating Mammon. But instead of a finishing blow, a girl named Imuri Atsuki randomly yells out that she would like the exorcist to cook her fried rice tonight for dinner. After having recently shared with Imuri that he always wanted to be a chef, the exorcist eventually decides to engage with her instead of finishing his battle against Mammon, resulting in the villain getting sucked back down into hell.

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On the surface, the scene subverts the reader's expectation for a triumphant reversal. But this twist works on a whole other level when realizing that the main conflict isn't the battle against Mammon--it's actually the complicated relationship with Imuri Atsuki, which is consequently what separates Make The Exorcist Fall in Love from Shonen Jump's mainstream series: elements of romcom. Even though they're in the middle of a battle, this creates a different type of tension.

Romance fans want Imuri to have feelings for the little priest, but they also know that if this happens, it means she will be able to betray him for Satan. The second reason relates to another major theme of Make The Exorcist Fall in Love, which is that the religion has scared the titular priest into fearing love. After struggling with the concept, it's tragic that the first time he opens up in this way after being taught to vehemently reject will end up being part of a massive plot to defeat him.

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Regardless, what's incredible is that readers don't even care that the little priest won effortlessly against Mammon because there are so many other dynamics at play besides just fighting. The same can't be said of Dragon Ball where the entirety of the series revolves around it almost exclusively. But it's important to note that it's only because of Dragon Ball why there's even well-established trope for this budding manga to improve in the first place.

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