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Shonen Jump: Candy Flurry's Heroine Is a Real Treat

May 07, 2021 09:02 AM

Female characters in anime and manga are usually defined by a set of standard tropes for their personalities and their roles, from tsundere to "childhood friend." Shonen in particular has a bad habit of turning women into damsels in distress, the girlfriend of the main character and just generally relegating female characters to playing second fiddle. But this certainly isn't the case with Tsumugi Minase in Candy Flurry, the latest manga from Shonen Jump.

Candy Flurry's premise is already incredibly bizarre on its own, but its main protagonist is also pretty unique herself. Minase is selfish, self-obsessed and anything but a wide-eyed girl next door. Here's how the heroine of Candy Flurry is so different from what readers might expect, and why that's so great.

In Candy Flurry, five years ago the ToyToy Candy company introduced a special line of 100 candies to Tokyo. These candies gave whoever consumed them the power to create gigantic versions of whatever they had eaten, and it didn't take long before people began using them to do evil. Candy-powered crooks started springing up all over, and the end result was a Tokyo decimated by gigantic lollipops.

Shonen Jump: Candy Flurry's Heroine Is a Real Treat

While society began to rebuild soon afterward, people couldn't look at sweets -- and especially sweets users -- quite the same. Tsumugi Minase, however, still loves them, though she's forced to hide her candy ability. Though there's only one type of each sweets user and Minase wasn't the one who leveled Tokyo, she can somehow still manifest lollipops -- a power that would make her an instant target of the Sweets Police. Instead, Minase hopes to coast through life by manipulating others with her looks and winning personality -- quite unlike any previous female protagonist in a shonen series.

Despite only using her lollipops sparingly, Minase still draws the suspicion of Misaki Midori, who suspects her of being a sweets user. Though dimwitted, Misaki wants desperately to stop the illegal sweets users in the city. Tsumugi, for her part, isn't keen on playing hero, believing the only way she can stay free as a lollipop wielder is to not be seen using them -- to not go out of her way for others. What moves her to actually help Misaki is his hatred of sweets. She only wants to stop the evil sweets users to give sweets a good name again.

This makes Minase an incredibly unique character for a shonen protagonist, let alone a heroine. She's not a sweet-natured second fiddle pining for the male hero, and her vanity and selfishness really sets her apart. Minase relies on her looks and charm to get ahead in a world where she'd logically be shunned if the truth about her got out. Though she helps people and saves the day, she's less interested in showing off her strength and being "good" than she is in rebuilding a world where sweets make people smile. This continues Shonen Jump's trend of introducing more colorful and proactive female characters, like those seen in Spy X Family. It'll be interesting to see how Tsugumi will develop as the series continues.


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