Prologue: Fire Punch is the story of Agni, a young man with the remarkable ability to regenerate his own body. Agni lives in a bleak frozen world, pressed by howling winds, constant ice and snow, and bitter cold. This second ice age was brought about by the mysterious Ice Witch.
Volume 1 begins with Agni and his sister, Luna, foraging for food for their dying village. The opening scenes immediately set the tone for what is a gratuitously violent story. Agni and Luna feed their own body parts to the town members, and then use their restorative powers to regrow their limbs. The act is repeatedly shown in graphic detail.
In chapter 1, a militia from the neighboring city of Behemdorg approaches the village to claim what little resources they have, but upon discovering their cannibalistic habits, their leader Doma has the village fire bombed. Over the course of several pages, Luna appears to be dead, while Agni continues to constantly burn and regenerate. He eventually learns to control the natural regeneration and keeps actively burning while he sets out for revenge against Doma.
The Fire Punch series is a story driven by revenge. Agni wanders the bleak frozen wastes in his flaming body for several years, hunting Doma with the intent to kill. While his primary focus is on Doma, multiple characters also discuss hunting down the Ice Witch. In the final portion of the book, several characters begin to reveal their individual motives and stories, and the story starts to become quite immersive.
While an unnecessarily large portion of the book is dedicated to showing imagery of burning flesh, desiccated bodies, blood, gore, rape, and torture, there is an intriguing story lying beneath it all. Volume 1 sets up several plot hooks: the nature of the Ice Witch; the survival of secondary characters; and the conflict between Agni and Doma. As a traditional anti-hero it will be interesting to see if Agni, a tortured loner bent on revenge, will be able to reclaim his humanity.
Fire Punch contains very graphic material and is recommended for an 18+ audience. Fans of gore may appreciate how over-the-top the art is, but many readers will certainly be turned off by the intensity of the violence, a slow start, and so far, undeveloped characters.
Fire Punch, vol. 1
by Tatsuki Fujimoto
Viz Media, 2018
Publisher Age Rating: Mature