Sakamoto Days is a manga series that I’ve been really looking forward to checking out. The premise sounded funny and I was anticipating a lot of action and laughs.
And, Yuto Suzuki’s action/comedy series pretty much delivered on my expectations.
Taro Sakamoto was a legendary hitman, unrivaled in his field and feared by everyone in the criminal underworld. Then, one day, he met a beautiful girl and fell instantly head-over-heels in love. He gave up his life of violence to be with her and the two settled down, got married and started a family. Years later, Shin, a former colleague, shows up at the convenience store Sakamoto and his wife run and is disgusted by what he sees. Sakamoto – who was once his hero – has totally let himself go. He’s sporting a chubby dad bod and spends his days dealing with obnoxious customers and quietly serving his community.
Shin begs Sakamoto to return to being a hitman so that they can work together again, but Sakamoto flatly refuses. This puts Shin in a difficult position, as his boss has ordered him to bring Sakamoto back into the fold or kill him if he refuses! Shin steels himself for what he must do, but Sakamoto isn’t as rusty and out of shape as he appears and Shin finds out the hard way that he shouldn’t have underestimated the master.
Sakamoto Days is an action-packed comedy about a badass, tubby man who must defend his normal life with his beloved family. Seeing such a deadly and hardened criminal become a doting father and loving husband who’s terrified that his wife will divorce him if he starts killing people again, is a funny and cute setup. I thought the Sakamoto family were adorable and I got more than a few laughs out of watching our stoic lead kick butt while sporting a shop apron and a pot belly.
And Sakamoto isn’t defending his new life alone!
Shin has always idolized Sakamoto and, when is becomes clear that his friend hasn’t gone soft in his new life as a family man, he also decides to leave behind his life of crime. Shin starts working at the convenience store with Sakamoto so they can be co-workers again and, thanks to the fact that he is clairvoyant, he becomes an indispensable ally to Sakamoto. Together, they fight off their former gang, rescue people they encounter in need and try to avoid getting caught by the local policewoman, who doesn’t want a bunch of vigilantes running around using violence in her town.
Rounding out the cast is Lu, the daughter of a triad leader who’s parents were murdered in a power struggle between triads. After the boys save her life, she joins the crew and uses her martial arts skills to help out in fights and her culinary skills to help out at the convenience store.
Sakamoto is going to need all the help he can get, because it isn’t long bore a hit is put out on him and all the biggest hitmen in the industry start coming after him. Will our hero and his motley crew of employees/friends be able to fend off all of these deadly assassins? And will they manage to keep Sakamoto’s wife from discovering that they’re fighting so she doesn’t end their marriage?! I feel like the former will be manageable, but I think it’s only a matter of time before Sakamoto’s wife finds out that something is up and lets him have it!
The action scenes in this manga are on point. They’re fast-paced and manage to be both thrilling and funny. Sakamoto’s abilities are insane and he’s able to pull off silly stunts like spitting a cough drop with enough force to deflect a bullet. Despite Sakamoto’s overwhelming level of skill, the fights never feel dull or uninspired, and there a some genuine thrills sprinkled in there amongst the more ridiculous moments.
I’m looking forward to seeing how Sakamoto will contend with the host of assassins that are coming for his head, and to see how his two underlings will fare in the fights. Shin and Lu are both pretty tough in their own rights and are determined to help their friend/boss. Shin’s psychic abilities make him an interesting addition to the cast and it’s even more fun to watch him and Lu take on the bad guys, since they’re not exactly at the same level of godlike fighting prowess that Sakamoto possesses. It should be a lot of fun to see them try to keep up with all of the madness.
I found this first volume of Sakamoto Days to be an entertaining romp and I’ll definitely be continuing with the series. I feel like it would appeal to fans of action comedies like Spy x Family (though I wouldn’t say this is as cute as that series).
Final Score: 8 out of 10
For more information on this manga, visit Viz Media’s website.
What did you think of this manga? Let me know in the comments.
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