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Chōjin (超人, Supermen) is the Japanese word for Supermen. It is also the name of a fictional race 

from
Seigi Chojin
Yudetamago's manga and anime series Kinnikuman and its sequel Kinnikuman Nisei. This article focuses on the latter meaning.

About

Chōjin are people whose abilities far surpass that of normal humans. Most, like Kinnikuman and Terryman, were born with these abilities while some, like Geronimo and the Brocken Clan achieved it through special means. Most of them reside on Earth. In earlier chapters they were known as Super Heroes (スーパーヒーロー), but it was changed to Chōjin after the first Chojin Olympics.

In Nisei, the Zangyaku, Akuma, Perfect, and Jikan Chojin are collectively referred to as Akugyō Chōjin (悪行超人, Evil Supermen). There are also anime and movie original Chōjin such as the Goku'aku Chojin, Kakure Chojin, and the Senshi Chōjin.

History/Origin

Ancient Times

The ancestral origins of the Chōjin breed predate humanity, and most of the iconic artefacts and features of the world are traces of the Chōjin passage (Ayers Rock being an ancient arena, the Leaning Tower of Pisa built in imitation of a tower overseeing an ancient ring in Campo dei Miracoli).

The very first Chōjin civilisation was described as noble and just, living under the Chōjin Gods' rule, until their pride in their physical prowess led them to quarrel and fight. [1] They adopted a Might is Right mindset with the strongest Chōjin oppressing and discriminating the weakest ones, building an highly elitist society marred by pride, greed and envy. This caused the Chōjin Gods to decide upon wiping out the entire Chōjin race, returning the mortal plane to a vacant and lifeless lot by bathing the universe in the deadly Capillaria Ray, a godly energy able to melt the flesh of the Chōjin sparing every other life form. [1]

A Merciful God rose among them, pleading to be allowed to save the most righteous Chōjin and teach them how to be a new [Perfect Origin] for a new wave of their species: the God allowed the Merciful God to descend in the mortal plane, choose some Chōjin and carry them in a space between Heaven and Earth. [1]

The Merciful God, unable to return to Heaven, became The Man, aka Chōjin Enma, aka Perfect Zero and taught his newly christened Perfect Origin with great hope. Unbeknownst to the Chōjin Gods and the Merciful God, some of the Chōjin fated to die managed to survive the Capillaria Disaster, hiding under the branches of a mystical tree on Earth, the Unforgiving Yggdrasil. In that moment. the Perfect Origin broke as dissent spread among his elements: while The Man still held in his original belief than only the Perfect Origin could be be considered worthy of creating a Chōjin Race obedient to the Chōjin Gods, the two brothers Goldman and Silverman, the closest allies and disciples of The Man, left his side to reach Earth.

Goldman and Silverman took great interest in the surviving Chōjin, and wished to teach them, feeling the Merciful God had lost his mercy and had become obsessed into denying them a new lease at life. Goldman left first, then Psychoman asked Silverman to follow his brother and spy on him: however Silverman learnt by Goldman about the untapped possibilities of the Chōjin left in the mortal plane and decided to stay there.

Goldman then taught those who, in the future, would become the Akuma Chojin while Silverman, believing peace and mercy had to be preserved, started teaching the Seigi Chojin and, by taking a family in the mortal plane, became the forefather of the Kinniku Clan, natural-born leaders of the Seigi Chojin themselves.

Despite The Man and Psychoman homed the Seigi Chojin and the Kinniku Clan to be loyal servants of the Perfect Origin and just a tool to keep Goldman in check, Silverman had different plans for them, hoping they could rediscover the ideal of Mercy and Justice the first generation of Chōjin lost.

Goldman and Silverman eventually fought one last time, under Justiceman's watch: the Quarrel in Heaven ended up with the two brothers decapitating each other, becoming the Gold and Silver Mask kept in custody by the Kinniku Clan, inheritors of Silverman's teaching but oblivious to their connections to the Perfect Origin. A series of lies and fabrications were put in the Chōjin Archives, describing Goldman and Silverman as Chōjin Gods on their own, unrelated to Chōjin Enma, and allowing the Akuma and Seigi Chōjin to flourish and rebuild their society.

Modern Day

In the subsequent millennia, Chōjin and humans started living side by side, with the Seigi Chōjin acting as heroes and protectors and the Akuma Chōjin as villains and heels caring only for battle.

By modern times, or rather the eighties, Chojins were a common sight on Earth and the Cosmos, with entire planets populated by Chojin themselves, like Planet Kinniku, and with Earth hosting one or more Chojin for every nation, acting as protectors of humanity.

Silverman's inheritance resurfaced in that era when his latest descendant, Suguru Kinnikuman, prince of the Kinniku Clan, developed the Kajiba no Kuso Djikara and the Yujo Power, two faces of the same coin, the ability to reach a greater strength in times of need and for the sake of justice and friendship.

Such a power, and the possibility that Kinnikuman could spread it among his brethren, piqued the interest of the Evil Gods, sending the Fated Princes to strip Kinnikuman of his royal inheritance and the The Man himself, who sent the Perfect Chojin to deal with Kinnikuman and attempt to eradicate the Kajiba no Kuso Djikara and the Yujo Power forever.

Finally, Kinnikuman managed to ascend to the throne, defeat the Fated Princes and the Perfect Origin itself.

It took Goldman however, now known as Akuma Shogun to finally defeat his former master Strong the Budo, aka The Man, aka Chojin Enma. However, Kinnikuman in a display of his ideals of Mercy begged Akuma Shogun to spare The Man, letting him return to the Chojin Hakaba.

Finally, Chojin Enma remembered his former Mercy, and accepted. However, before returning forever to his role as a God of the Underworld, he warned Kinnikuman that, if her ever strayed from his ideals of Mercy, he would send his disciples, now stationed in the Hakaba, to check on him.

Future Times

In the future continuity (actually, the 2010s) of Kinnikuman Nisei a lengthy period of peace left the Chojin weak, living as peaceful, untrained human beings on their respective planets: when a faction of Akuma, Perfect and Zangyaku Chojin rebuilt the dMp to wage war to humanity, the Muscle League, the alliance of Seigi Chojin decided to train their newest members, leaving to Mantaro Kinniku, son of Kinnikuman, the role to rediscover the ancestral power of his family and lead the new generation.

Physical Features

There's no uniformity in the physical features of the average Chōjin. A Chojin may look perfectly human, as Terryman and his son, humanoid with some non-human features (like Buffaloman with his Long Horns or the faceless Black Hole) or humanoid with distorted features (as the comically stereotypical Ramenman). He may also look as a common appliance, like Mixer Taitei, Benkiman and Stereo Cassette King, some kind of monster, like Gepparland and Sneagator, a robot (like the cyborg Warsman), or being a utterly non-human creature, like Sunshine.

The Kinniku Clan is composed by fully human looking muscular beings, however they're forced to wear an iconic, Ultraman-like mask on their faces, never meant to be shown to anyone else: if they did, they'd be sentenced to death (or, in the american dub of Kinnikuman Nisei, stripped of their rank, status, forbidden to wrestle or fight again and reduced, by every standard, to un-persons without any right).

Chōjins are usually far stronger than human beings, [2] save for some exceptions, as the comically weak Kani Base, the bumbling Kinkotsuman and the very early Kinnikuman himself. It is said that chojin aren't any different from humans, until they fight, and - at this point - their chojin power takes effect. [2]

Most of them exhibit stereotypical superhuman abilities: in the earliest part of the series the wide majority of Chōjins, included Terryman and Kinnikuman themselves, were shown able to grow in size and fly through the air. Those powers were never mentioned or seen again when the series shifted to a story based on wrestling, but the Chōjins were left some other abilities tied to their physical form, like Buffaloman's ability to manipulate his horns or Sneagator's ability to transform, or Pentagon's ability to fly using his inborn wings and alter time and space themselves.

Chōjin's powers are defined by their Chojin Kyodo, a number measuring their inborn power. The Kyodo isn't an absolute measure though: A Chōjin like Canadianman, for example, is shown as strong in its kyodo, but lacking in technique and abilities, thus inferior to lesser chojin whose kyodo is lesser, but with more technique and finesse.

Kinnikuman has shown the to increase his kyodo when in a pinch, and other Chōjins have developed forms of the same ability.

Chōjins are physically stronger and more fit than humans, able to withstand a bigger deal of punishment and heal much faster: [3] Ramenman shrugged in a few days wounds that a human doctor described as needing months to heal. This ability may be linked to their power and training, as an earlier Kinnikuman witnessing Ramenman's healing quipped that he takes even more time than a human to heal, but as Kinnikuman is a bumbling, happy-go-lucky joker, it could also be read as a joke.

Even a fully human Chōjin is fundamentally different from a human being: Ramenman broke a MRA machine and other human diagnostic devices just by being examined, explaining the doctors that human western medicine was no good for a eastern Chōjin like him, and Chōjin bodies in the series were shown able to withstand surgical and medical procedures impossible for a human being (like Kinnikuman getting a prosthetic bone made by Buffaloman long horns, or Terryman getting a fully functional prosthetic leg made by his farrier).

Despite this, Chōjin and human may interbreed, and the result can be both a human, both a Chōjin, but never a crossbreed. Terryman's son, Terry the Kid, is the half Japanese son of the Chōjin Terryman and the human Natsuko Shono, and he's a full fledged Chōjin, while Victory Ramenman's sister is fully human.

Chōjins and human beings remain though two separate species, tied to a different afterlife and even subjected to different gods: some Chōjins however are born as humans. The Brocken Clan, for example, is made by human beings that, after a gruelling training, are granted a mystical item (a skull or a small eagle, according to the continuity) granting them a Chōjin body, and after his physical death the human Geronimo was granted from the Human God the boon to be able to meet in spirit a Chōjin God and petition him to be reborn as a Chōjin.

Chōjins possess an immortal soul, and they're subjected to several gods: after their death however their souls are sent to the Chojin Hakaba, overseen by the fallen god Chojin Enma, first of the Perfect Chojin, where they can be revived by gathering enough Chōjin Kyodo turning the Mortier du Pileur, an ancestral machinery able to turn magnetic power into Chōjin Kyodo. As for the Perfect Origin Arc, Akuma Shogun forbid Chōjin Enma from using it ever again, damaging the Mortier du Pileur beyond repair and prompting Enma to become again a righteous god caring for the fallen souls of the Chojin and granting them eternal rest.

A Chōjin can - however - still be revived if enough Chōjin spare with him their kyodo, as chojin can transfuse their power (just like giving blood), [4] and they can also be revived by the Face Flash, the elusive power that some talented members of the Kinniku Clan may shine on their bodies. Is still uncertain if Akuma Shogun's ban on resurrection affects those ways to cheat death too.

Save for Kinnikuman Lady and Kinnikuman Nisei ~All Chojin Dai Shingeki~, the series lack any actively fighting female Chōjin, the only notable exception being possibly Bibimbap. It is worth noting, within the anime, it is stated that Chojin are 'neither male or female', and that is possible that Chojin have a different concept of sex and/or gender. In the American dub of the anime, Jacqueline expresses a desire to wrestle, as such it is possible that there could be cultural reasons among Chojin why female-identifying Chojin are not seen to battle, despite it being explicitly shown in various manga series that it is possible for them to fight. [5]

Organisation

Chōjins are usually organised among their groups.

The Seigi Chojin answer to a central Committee, in which the Kinniku Clan has always a prominent role, deciding about their roles, position and ruling over their actions. However, in the earliest part of the series, when the Chōjins were monster hunters for hire, they answered to their governments.

The more experienced Chojin are meant to teach the younger ones, and, as told by Akuma Shogun and Silverman. The younger chojin are also taught in chojin schools throughout the world, although this seems to have been retconned into just one establishment in Kinnikuman Nisei: the Hercules Factory.  When an old Seigi Chojin is too old to continue fighting or being able to serve in any facility, he's given an ornate walking cane as a prize for his efforts.

The Akuma Chojin answer to a looser organisation, usually flocking around the strongest and more charismatic of them, like Akuma Shogun, Buffaloman when he is an Akuma Chojin and not a Seigi Chojin or Sunshine.

The Perfect Chojin answer to Strong the Budo: however, there's a vanguard of them who never saw their true leader, and followed instead Big the Budo.

Culture

A chojin's outfit - whether shorts, tights, or a body-suit - is said to be a chojin's life; when Soldierman rips his attire, it thus causes immense shock to Brocken Jr. [6]

Main Chojin Classifications

Seigi Chojin

Seigi Chojin (正義超人, Justice Supermen) are Chojin who use their powers for the sake of justice, mainly battling Kaijuu in earlier chapters. There are said to be 1,000 of them on Earth.

Particularly popular Seigi Chojin are referred to as Idol Chojin (Kinnikuman, Terryman, Robin Mask, Ramenman, Warsman, Buffaloman, Geronimo, Brocken Jr., Wolfman, Asuraman, Neptuneman).

Friendship is absolute for Seigi Chojins, and if for some reason a crack begins to appear in their friendship the ancient Iron Sweat (アイアン・スエット) begins to flow from their bodies. It continues to flow and weigh them down until their friendship is restored.

Zangyaku Chojin

Zangyaku Chojin (残虐超人, Brutal Supermen) are Chojin who fight brutally and kill their opponents for their own amusement. They are basically Seigi Chojins gone bad, and are even allowed to compete in the Chojin Olympics. Later on, they are divided between those who aid the Seigi Chojins (Seigi no Zangyaku Chojin (正義の残虐超人, "Good" Brutal Supermen). This includes Ramenman, Ilioukhine, Warsman, Kinkotsuman, and others. Although very brutal after entering the ring, they are essentially Seigi Chojins) and those who oppose them (Aku no Zangyaku Chojin (悪の残虐超人, "Evil" Brutal Supermen), this include the entire True Team Soldier, Shimaou, and others. They mostly appear in the sequel series).

Akuma Chojin

Akuma Chojin (悪魔超人, Demon Supermen) are Chojin who have sold their bodies, minds, and blood to demons, and fight under the control of Great Demon King Satan (大魔王サタン, Daimaō Satan). To them, winning means killing your opponent and losing means "death". Ex: Buffaloman, Springman, Asuraman, etc.

Originally the Zangyaku Chojin were included with the Akuma Chojin, but this was later changed.

Perfect Chojin

Perfect Chojin (完璧超人) (Read as Kanpeki Chojin in the first anime, Kanpeki being the non-ateji reading of the character 完璧) are Chojin who were so strong that nobody in this world could oppose them, so they exiled themselves to the heavens. There they sparred with each other for thousands of years, transcending emotions and gaining power that rivalled the gods. They follow many strict rules, such as "Never use weapons", "Never show your back to an enemy", and "Defeat is absolutely inexcusable". Ex: Neptuneman, Neptune King, Seiuchin, etc.

Five Fated Princes

The Five Fated Princes (運命の五王子, Unmei no Go Ouji) are five Chojin who are succession candidates for the Planet Kinniku Throne and are being controlled by the Evil Chojin Gods. Because the possess the powers of a god, each one has a Chojin Kyodo of 100,000,000 Power. Ex: Super Phoenix, Zebra, Big Body, Mariposa, Soldier.

Most of the Chojin who compete on the Five Fated Prince's teams are never classified as a specific Chojin. Some exceptions are Team Phoenix's The Omegaman (Perfect Chojin), Team Phoenix's Satan Cross, (Akuma Chojin), and the members of the True Team Soldier (Zangyaku Chojin).

Jikan Chojin

Jikan Chojin (時間超人, Time Supermen) are mysterious Chojin whose true identities are unknown. A mutated breed of Akugyou Chojin, they have revealed themselves to Meat and the others, but their origin and background is still unknown. When the Majikaku (魔時角, Demonic Time Horn) that sprout from their heads are broken off, they gain the ability to travel a single period of time from within their own lifetimes. At present, only Thunder and Lightning have appeared (although it has been hinted that Chaos may be one as well). They also have the ability to transform parts of their bodies into pieces of a clock (bells, minute hands, etc.), but whether this is an ability exclusive to the Jikan Chojin is unknown.

Classified by Physical Features, Jobs, etc

Robo Chojin

These are chojin that are part robotic in nature, such as Warsman and Meltdown. They usually have characteristics based on electronic items or mechanical items, or are designed after robots or cyborgs, and - despite sometimes being fully non-organic (or partially non-organic) they can still reproduce. [7]

Warsman describes these chojin as being calm in nature, as well as having a refusal to lose to 'living' chojin, and states that their wild instinct can often impede their judgement in battle. [8] 

Masked Men

Masked Men are, as the name implies, supermen who where maskes as part of their costume, or to conceal their identity. Some Chojin, like Kinnikuman and Robin Mask, have been masked snce birth or childhood as part of a family tradition. While others, like Neptuneman are masked to impower themselves.

Yohei Chojin

Yōhei Chōjin (傭兵超人, Mercenary Supermen) are, as their name implies, Chojin who work as mercenaries. The only confirmed one is The Hawkman, however Team Zebra member Parthenon, who had only joined with Zebra for money and a cabinet position, could possibly be one as well.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Kinnikuman (2011): Chapter 59
  2. 2.0 2.1 Kinnikuman: Chapter 183
  3. Kinnikuman: Chapter 185
  4. Kinnikuman: Chapter 189
  5. Ultimate Muscle: The Kinnikuman Legacy, Episodes 52-54
  6. Kinnikuman: Chapter 295
  7. Kinnikuman: Volume 37: Warsman Begins
  8. Kinnikuman: Chapter 313
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