Why Is Ghost Reaper Girl Considered a Problematic Manga in Shonen Jump?
Akissa Saiké penned and illustrated the Japanese manga series Ghost Reaper Girl. Starting July 2020, it has been published on Shueisha’s Shonen Jump+ service, with chapters compiled into three tankōbon volumes since around September 2021.
Despite not being graded 18+ similar to Shonen Jump’s Dandadan, Ghost Reaper Girl’s idea is somewhat provocative. Shonen Jump manga is aimed at young boys, thus new manga series Ghost Reaper Girl, the work from the writer of Rosario + Vampire, is problematic for its primary audience and just about everyone else.
The plot, which revolves around a want tobe celebrity who goes face to face with a legion of annoying spirits, has some highly problematic features thus far.
The main character Chloe Love is a normal girl who only aspires to become an actress, however, her body actually attracts all kinds of spirits that want to use her as their vessel. Chloe encounters two spirits early on, allowing them to utilize her body like a vessel, causing her to alter. Whenever the spirit Iod takes possession of Chloe, she dresses up like a dominatrix and holds a chained scythe, while Kai emerges in an amusing manner.
So, here are the issues that the manga is just ignoring.
A Highly Delicate Topic With Poor Management!
This story opens with Chloe Love, a young upstart celebrity who is attempting to break into the entertainment scene for the second time. Regrettably to her, the filmmaker she’s dealing with is possessed by three filthy ghosts that stick disgustingly phallic out of his lips.
Chloe manages to repel him, but he retaliates with the whole army of spirit perverts. Although the references to the uncomfortable truth of dressing room grooming and abuse in the film industry are timely and topical, they aren’t taken seriously.
Considering how sensitive and mature this subject is, seeing it treated in such a shallow, exploitative manner is dull at best and unpleasant at worst. Even the appropriate presentation of this topic in a series geared at young males would be dubious, and it is not the appropriate treatment.
Furthermore, because his activities were carried out within the aegis of possession, the Harvey Weinstein-like producer is practically free of any guilt. Regardless of the fact that She states that she has dealt with this before, it is not an issue that can be attributed solely to the ethereal.
Characters From the Strange Side!
Chloe discovers that she is being pursued by other ghosts. Kai Iod, a spirit from Underworld who has adopted a human form, saves her. He shows out to have seen all of Chloe’s movies and is a huge admirer. Kai explains to Chloe that she possesses the genetic composition of a spirit channel and could be controlled by any kind of spirit, and so all of these spirits are after her.
After being saved by Kai once more, Chloe agrees to let Kai into her body in order to vanquish the ghosts because she’s glad he’s a fan, very stupid! Chloe changes together into a ghost reaper girl when Kai takes possession of her, and Kai transforms into a scythe that she wields to murder the ghosts.
Kai refers to himself as a “gentleman,” implying that he is concerned about Chloe’s modesty and well-being, well that’s a big question!
He is, though, a self-described “lolicon,” or someone who has a sexual attraction to teenage girls. This is in reference to Chloe’s appearance as a teenager despite her age of nearly 30.
It’s terrible enough that the heroine is vulnerable before even being rescued by this so-called nobleman whose design calls for the biggest pervert, but turning him into a child predator is terrifying.
Wait it’s not over. In the form of a ghost reaper girl, Chloe frees Noel, the soul predator, from the evil spirit that has been controlling him. Noel is so pleased with Chloe that he pledges himself to be her familiar. That gratitude, however, does not grant him the right to possess her at any time.
According to what is intimated by just how spirits attempt to push their way inside Chloe that although they only want to possess her, Ghost Reaper Girl appears to be worrisome. This only becomes bad when both Kai and Noel, the main characters display overtly disturbing pleasure at the possibility of her becoming their vessel.
Then there’s the sexual abuse Chloe has to put up with from Kai’s associate Nyarlathotep, a spirit that takes her fixation with Chloe to an entirely new level of offensiveness. Simply put, it’s not the type of content that many people may consider suitable for the intended audience.
A Bad Storyline Spoiled an Amazing Art!
Whenever it comes to the art, the transition phase in which Chloe transforms into the ghost reaper girl stands out to us. Even though the acts before involved a lot of bad stuff. In essence, it’s similar to something like a magical girl transition scenario, with the nudity just hinted at. While the possibility of her taking on a new form is intriguing, the reality that she is doing so is even more so.
In making Chloe Love a heroine who can take multiple forms every moment another spirit possesses her, Ghost Reaper Girl already has proven to have changed the heroic host theme. With Kai, she first took on the role of the scantily clad scythe-wielding spirit reaper. She then became a nimble and high-jumping cat girl alongside Noel before becoming a murderous nurse when Nyarlathotep possessed her.
Everything that changes for Chloe is her outfit, which goes from whatever she’s wearing to something a little more revealing. There’s also the occasional action panel that pops out, and the occasional panel that’s a close-up of Chloe’s face.
Notwithstanding this impressive panel, the storyline contains a significant amount of sexual harassment stuff that is inappropriate for the target audience. Shonen Jump would not have ruined as much if the series had been classed 18+ and the target audience changed.
It’s not the first time that Shonen Jump is criticized for mishandling the sexual content. Though the magazine didn’t change that much, this calls into doubt the magazine’s management of sexual misconduct, and it just adds to the weirdness of Ghost reaper Girl.