Wholesome action shonen is my happy place, and Sakamoto Days is just that. Created, written, and illustrated by Yuto Suzuko, Sakamoto Days is all about a hitman turned family man and convenience store owner. Sakamoto Days Volume 1 is published and localized in English by VIZ Media via the publisher’s Shonen Jump imprint. The volume is translated by Camellia Nieh, features Shonen Jump series lettering by Eve Grandt, and touch-up art and lettering by Snir Aharon with design by Kam Li.
Taro Sakamoto was once a legendary hitman considered the greatest of all time. A legend feared by bad guys and renowned in his organization and among other assassins, he left it all for a family. He got married and had a baby and turned the dial on his life all the way down to one. He’s now living the quiet life as the owner of a neighborhood store and eating way too much ramen. But in Volume 1, his quiet family life is shaken when his retirement causes his past to catch up with him.
One day a figure from Taro’s past pays him a visit with an offer he can’t refuse: return to the assassin world or die. Shin isn’t only an assassin in the same world, he’s sent on an assignment from the Boss, kill Taro. You see, assassins don’t get to get out of their job by retiring, they have to be killed. Mad that Taro is living a happy life, Shin steps in to use his clairvoyance to get a leg up on Taro only to fail.
But that’s just the first part of Sakamoto Days Volume 1. While the volume begins by building the core of the series, the world-building is never dull because of a copious amount of humor, both in dialogue and in Yuto’s art. The easiest way to sum up the volume is that the seven chapters featured in it can be split into three acts.
The first shows who Taro was, how he got to the shop, and how he lives now. The Second act is all about bringing Shin into the fold, and by fold, I mean the family. Here, we get more information about Taro’s life with his wife, and their number one family rule: no killing…like, ever. Plus, we get to see a unique trait ala My Hero Academia’s Fatgum in the process. The final act is all about helping a young woman named Xiaotan Lu to escape the Triad.
All the while, even more menacing assassins try to push Taro’s buttons to get him to kill or try to kill him. The danger is clear, but truthfully our lead character can’t be bothered by any of it. He just wants to take his family and his new found-family to the theme park.
Sakamoto Days Volume 1 is wholesome and bubbly right from the beginning with Yuto’s adorable art style that lends to make this unassuming shop owner the ideal dad with not a care in the world. At the same time though, Yuto manages to illustrate amazingly dynamic action sequences for every character. From Taro to Shin and of course, Xiaotan and their opponents, all of it works. There are two artistic styles in Sakamoto Days that beautifully complete each other instead of battling.
Overall, Sakamoto Days Volume 1 is filled with heart, fight, and noodle cups to keep you coming back for more. If you want to read ahead before the next physical release in the series, you can catch up on the Shonen Jump App.
Sakamoto Days Volume 1 is available wherever books are sold April 5, 2022.
Sakamoto Days Volume 1
Overall, Sakamoto Days Volume 1 is filled with heart, fight, and ramen noodle cups to keep you coming back for more. If you want to read ahead before the next physical release in the series, you can catch up on the Shonen Jump App.
Kate is co-founder, EIC, and CCO of BWT. She’s also a Certified Rotten Tomatoes Critic, host, and creator of our flagship podcast, But Why Tho? and Did You Have To?. She also manages all PR relationships for comics, manga, film, TV, and anime. She has an MA in Cultural Anthropology and Religious Studies focusing on how pop culture impacts society.