This month Shonen Jump added a new manga to their mix in the form of the exquisite Sakamoto Days. A manga that at face value seems to be your standard slice of life comedy series and in a way it sort of is but it’s also a whole lot more. Sakamoto Days follows the life of Taro Sakamoto, the Ultimate assassin who chose to abruptly retire for the mundane life of a married man and father.
The author doesn’t spare time to establish just how effortlessly dominant Sakamoto is as a character. He – Yuuto Suzuki paints a very vivid image of the one man army that is our main character, then quickly shifts to him falling in love, retiring, getting married, having a child and turning into an out of shape dad. From there the perspective changes to that of Sakomoto to his former junior – Shin.
Aside from being able to read minds, Shin serves as the reader’s barometer for what counts as elite in this world. Once established, the author proceeds to destroy that concept at every turn by way of Sakomoto’s nonchalant way of handling him. Ultimately culminating in an all out fight between the two main characters in Sakamoto’s convenient store and oh is it good.
Sakamoto Days – Convenient Store Combat
I won’t go into much details of the fight itself but just know that Shin stood no chance against his senior. Not a single percent. The entire thing was used to reestablish that despite giving up his profession and putting on the pounds, Sakamoto is just as dangerous as he’s ever been. From there the story follows in line with a familiar narrative structure to a certain superhero manga series… And though it may be a new series with just two chapters, it affirms its position as a must read.
The artwork is also of a high caliber, comparable to that of My Hero Academia or One Punch Man. It delivers clean dark linework with a relatively high amount of detail given to the backgrounds and character shadows. This all achieved while maintaining a clean easy to follow panel structure. With the first chapter we got a nice 55 pages, while the second cuts that figure in half to about 25 pages. Completely understandable of course given that this is a new series on a weekly release schedule. Having to prepare 50+ pages per week would either come at the cost of quality and or the health of the mangaka, so a solid 20+ chapters is what we can realistically expect from Sakamoto Days going forward.
It must be admitted that I was initially sceptical of this series prior to reading it. Sometimes it’s not easy to take recommendations from the young seriously but that’s just ego talking because if it comes from a One Piece fan, it’s very likely good. So there you have it. Sakamoto Days is a good manga series that you should have on your reading list. If not for any other reason than how endearing the character of Sakamoto is. His actions speak louder than words nature tied together with his notably buxom body shape, makes for a comical dynamic not too dissimilar to that of One Punch Man’s Saitama. It’s essentially viewing a character you’d not expect to be as physically dominant yet being exactly that from the perspective of a more grounded character.
Sakamoto Days is available on the Shonen Jump manga app. Manga recommendation by my son. Feel free to recommend any other series you think I should cover in the comments.