Deadpool Samurai Volume 1 by Sanshirō Kasama and Hikaru Uesugi is a fun collaboration between Marvel and Shōnen Jump, and it shall feature characters from both universes! However, the series specifically follows my favourite Merc with the Mouth (he’s my favourite because we’ve got the same awesome mouth 😁) as he drops into Tokyo with a magnificently foul bang, breaking all the walls in existence, after Iron Man invites the merc to join the Avenger’s Japan-centred group, Samurai Squad. With a free trip to Tokyo and all the extra cash, DP decides to give it a shot. After all, Japan’s one of the safest countries in the world, what could possibly go wrong?
I love Deadpool. He is such a kindred spirit with his jokes, sarcasm, and absolutely delightfully filthy mouth. I cannot express how much I relate to him (which is probably why I had such a joy writing this fan fiction short story that has him in it). When I saw he had his own manga, it was so effortless to pick it up, walk it to the cash register, and toss my money at the bookshop lady (I didn’t literally throw money at her, I gave her my debit card, I’m not that rude, y’all). When I came home and read the volume, I laughed from start to finish. If you haven’t picked this up yet, here are a few reasons why you should read Deadpool Samurai even if you’re not necessarily into Marvel comics things.
The Shōnen Jump References & Shade: There were so many references to many SJ serials and characters, most of which I actually understood, and I was floored by it. A lot of them are big name titles of the industry, so the shock of seeing them not only being name-dropped here but also being run under the shade bus was awesome. I feel like a lot of the thoughts that older anime fans have about these famous series just get pulled out and slammed on the pages of this manga and I adored it. Deadpool has zero fucks to give. It’s magnificent.
Borderline Adult Stuff: I don’t mean like graphic sex scenes or anything, but the obvious, crude adult humour that references sex (or the lack of ability to successfully engage in sex) was surprising. While there are SJ serials that do tend to get a bit risqué with their fanservice-infused, lewd humour, but never blatant words and specific descriptors. There isn’t much of it, it’s sporadically balanced from start to finish, but they sprout up at the perfect moment to break the tension or add some spice to a situation where we’re all thinking it (all of us with pervy minds), but don’t expect anyone to actually say it. Until DP blurts it out. It’s classic Western Deadpool humour and it fits phenomenally within the world of Marvel superstars and villains in the bustling city of Tokyo.
Breaking All the Walls: It’s no surprise that one of the funniest aspects of DP comics is that he’s constantly breaking down all the walls. The fourth wall, the fifth wall, the wall’s mum—all of it. There’s a marvellous (pun yessssh) aura of entertainment that comes from content that isn’t afraid to poke fun of itself or the industry it’s in. The way that DP talks about some of the more formulaic issues in manga-creation, especially that which is specific to the Shōnen Jump platform, is what made me laugh more than anything else.
I tend to have a few issues with how manga is written for Shōnen Jump. In many ways, they are all the same exact thing and while the premise may be intriguing to me, the actual storytelling and dynamics fall into blasé categories. Deadpool Samurai does a good job of explaining why these things are annoying and contribute to lower audience counts. Mind you, this is stuff that if a fan said online in Twitter (for example), the haters and wanna-be elitists would lose their shit. But, again, since DP gives absolutely zero fucks, he gets away with telling it like it is, and it’s bloody refreshing.
Other thingermabobs: There is nonstop action, from the heroes doing their hero-esque gigs and kicking butt, or DP just ticking off the wrong folx and walking into trouble and everything in between. If you don’t typically read action manga or comics, all of the sound effects, dialogue, and almost constant movement of the characters can feel overwhelming. But if you’re a regular to action graphic novel stuff, the only thing that may bother you is all the dialogue.
Art-wise, there aren’t a lot of background details or in-depth environmental builds unless it’s necessary for the specific scene. I thought it fit the comedy rather well, however, I also would’ve preferred a tiny bit more environment building to set it apart from other DP titles, mostly that it was uniquely set in Japan, aside from all the wise-cracks about Japanese pop and otaku cultures.
All in all, if you need a laugh, you should pick up Deadpool Samurai. There will only be two volumes, with the second one hitting stores in June. So, if you wait, you can just binge the whole, short thing in one go. I’d definitely RECOMMEND this to fans of Marvel comics, Deadpool, or just break-the-wall humour. If you’re not really into Marvel, but enjoy action comedies, then I think you’ll get a kick out of it too, especially if you’ve read other shōnen manga titles.
Genre: Action, Comedy
Publisher: VIZ Media (Marvel Licensed)
Total Volumes: 2
Content Warnings: Action and violence. Crude humour. Brief cursing.
AniList: Deadpool Samurai