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Sakamoto Days Manga Volume 1 Review

Sakamoto Days Manga Volume 1 Review

-Written by: Will

An assassin enters a convenience store. He eyes the manager, Sakamoto, sitting at the store counter and sucking on a cough drop. The assassin draws his gun and fires. With a "Ptoo," Sakamoto rockets the cough drop out of his mouth. The bullet and cough drop collide in midair. The cough drop wins the battle, deflecting the bullet out of harm's way into a bag of chips.

If that sounded silly but also cool, you're in luck: Sakamoto Days is an action comedy filled with moments like these. One of the newest series published in the hallow pages of Weekly Shonen Jump, this manga has quickly rocketed to one of my favorite ongoing series in the magazine. Thanks to its characters and creative action sequences, it has built its own space in the crowded lineup.

Sakamoto is the world's best killer. Feared and revered in equal measure, he's considered the greatest of all time. Then one day, he meets Aoi, a convenience store clerk. They fall in love, get married, have a kid, and open a convenience store of their own. Sakamoto is living the quiet life that people of ambition would hate but strive for deep down. That describes Shin, an old partner of Sakamoto's. When he visits Sakamoto, both of them are soon tossed into a crazy world of bus jackings, triads, and their former assassination organization that wants them both dead.

This book wouldn't be anywhere without the characters. Sakamoto is a mostly silent protagonist, but he has a huge presence. He's always in the center of the frame and takes up the most space. Plus, he is able to "talk" via Shin. Shin is a telepath, and so we get to see Sakamoto's thoughts...mainly about how Sakamoto could kill Shin at that moment. While it may look like the series is piggy-backing off Spy x Family, the aforementioned telepathy and some other surprises make it fresh. Plus, it turns out Shin's not the only one with superpowers, but that would spoil things. But a special mention should be given to Sakamoto's wife, Aoi. In the volume's best chapter, we learn just how a person could love one of the world's most prolific killers. It turns out it takes a really special person, and what makes her special is an absolute riot. For someone to get into a relationship that seems crazy, it takes a little insanity for it to work. Why should you be worried about a hijacker pointing a gun at your face? Your hubby will no doubt be here soon. It is the characters that make the action that much more fun!


What fun action there is! The cough-drop-bullet fight is just one instance of the hilarious action among the volume's pages. Much of the action starts as an act of surprise, so Sakamoto has to use the objects around him to fight back. That can mean using a road-closed sign to stop a bus, or Dango sticks to throw at pursuers. It never stops being funny, and can also be purposefully cool. It reminds me of Assassination Classroom and how they avoided using guns and were more creative with their battles. In fact, the last chapter of Sakamoto Days kicks off an arc at an amusement park. It's just the first chapter of a new arc, but it already reminds me of when Korosensei visits Kyoto and Red Eye tries to assassinate him. That's one of my favorite chapters in Assassination Classroom, so that's no small praise.

In the author's notes, Yuto Suzuki talks about how he was inspired by action movies, and Sakamoto Days is a hilarious send-up of those inspirations. The manga takes the best parts of those films, combines them with slapstick action, and adds a dash of that Shonen Jump flair for a special blend worth savoring. Manga fans who pick up this book will be eating well. Trust me, Sakamoto will leave you a satisfied customer.

Sakamoto Days Manga Volume 1

Taro Sakamoto was once a legendary hit man considered the greatest of all time. Bad guys feared him! Assassins revered him! But then one day he quit, got married, and had a baby. He's now living the quiet life as the owner of a neighborhood store, but how long can Sakamoto enjoy his days of retirement before his past catches up to him?!

Time has passed peacefully for Sakamoto since he left the underworld. He's running a neighborhood store with his lovely wife and child and has gotten a bit…out of shape. But then one day a figure from his past pays him a visit with an offer he can't refuse: return to the assassin world or die!

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