The creator of my new manga obsession is an Elden Ring fan preparing for the DLC by "only leveling up Strength" because "power is everything," and yeah, that tracks

Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree screenshot
(Image credit: FromSoftware)

Almost as beloved as their avatars, mangakas often leave a personal note with each new work they produce. Few, though, are doing it better than Undead Unluck creator Yoshifumi Tozuka.

Tozuka recently caught the internet's eye by revealing he's replaying Elden Ring on PC to prepare for the DLC, Shadow of the Erdtree. "I'm only leveling up strength," he said. "Power is everything." Unfathomably based.

We're no strangers to single-minded challenge runs. After all, the wait for DLC has seen Elden Ring fans do plenty - horse-only, bow-only, no arrows, just mounted attacks, you name it. But Tozuka? He's only playing the game, just with the exact power-focused build I'd expect after seeing Undead Unluck's fight scenes and character designs.

If you've missed the manga and anime so far, Undead Unluck is a supernatural comedy that has been in production since January 2020. It's about a woman cursed to bring misfortune to those around her, and decides there's little she now wants from life. Fuuko Izumo has been in seclusion for 10 years since an incident left over 200 people dead, including her parents, and her favorite long-running shōjo manga series has run its course, so what else is there left to do? 

In a turn of events, she bumps into an immortal chap with regenerative abilities who isn't one for living either, desiring the best death possible. It's a union that makes enough sense, so they begin to work together before a mysterious group decides to give chase. If not for the manga itself, come along for Tozuka's gaming musings.

See more

Putting aside how much of a pain that is, it's not the first time Tozuka has spoken about Elden Ring. At another point, Tozuka revealed that he grinds levels in the open-world RPG while awaiting opponents in card battler Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel. 

That's only scratching the surface of Tozuka's gaming credentials, too. Another of Tozuka's manga signoffs reads, "I played Street Fighter 6 with Terasaka Sensei! My first fighting game friend. I was all alone in Street Fighter 5. I'm so happy." 

It's extra wholesome, though, reading Green Green Greens mangaka Kento Terasaka's snippet, which reveals another side. "I got smashed by Tozuka Sensei's Kimberly," they say. All those great techniques … wall splat … rest … oww … Let's play again, sensei!" 

Tozuka isn't all about crushing his enemies, mind you. The mangaka also picked up the Pokemon Sleep app as "sleep is so important," and he hoped to "learn a lot." Here's hoping he got what they wanted out of it. Of course, Tozuka doesn't solely use Undead Unluck's pages to talk about gaming. He recently paid respects to Dragon Ball icon Akira Toriyama, who passed away earlier this month. 

If you want more good reads, check out our list of the best manga of 2023.

Deputy News Editor

Iain joins the GamesRadar team as Deputy News Editor following stints at PCGamesN and PocketGamer.Biz, with some freelance for Kotaku UK, RockPaperShotgun, and VG24/7 thrown in for good measure. When not helping Ali run the news team, he can be found digging into communities for stories – the sillier the better. When he isn’t pillaging the depths of Final Fantasy 14 for a swanky new hat, you’ll find him amassing an army of Pokemon plushies.