Sunny Volume 1 Manga Review
The jumbled structure of “Sunny” is a turn-off.
Written and drawn by Taiyo Matsumoto, the first volume of the ongoing “Sunny” manga series is essentially 6 chapters of vignettes taking place at the Star Kids Home (a place for kids of varying age unable to live with their parents). Stories involve Kenji and his drunken father, a dead car (Sunny) that is used as a clubhouse, Shosuke looking for clovers, a dead cat burial, Sei’s arrival at the home, Makio visiting the home, and kids at the home such the overweight Taro, Haruo, and Junsuke. Of course, there are more characters than those listed above, but I’m not here to spoil everything.
Let me start off by saying there’s a lot to admire about Taiyo Matsumoto’s acclaimed “Sunny” series. It’s undoubtedly a personal and moving tale about broken homes, the power of escapism, connections, loss, sadness, and so on. Unfortunately, all of those interesting elements are lost amidst a clumsy structure.
Had the story been told in a more standard structure or even in a more concise anthological style, “Sunny” would have been more effective. As is, however, it’s a messy tale filled with rambling conversations about food and poop, jarring panel placements, and a pacing so quick that it doesn’t allow room for much to breathe. Perhaps the most frustrating aspect is that it jumps from character to character so frequently that it makes it difficult to invest in the story and characters. Now, granted, there are more volumes of stories that could further develop everything, but if it’s told in this style, I can’t say I’m eager to read more.
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