Sakamoto Days, vol. 1 | Review
Sakamoto Days, vol. 1
By Yuto Suzuki
Viz Media, $9.99
Age rating: Teen Plus
A tale as old as time.
Imagine being one of the top assassins in your field.
You’re good at what you do.
You fall in love and decide to leave your old life for a hopeful, new one.
And you all know the rest.
From John Wick to The Way of the Househusband, we have another story of an assassin trying to live a normal life, until the old life decides to return because you don’t leave by choice. In Sakamoto Days, it’s the same story, but with a fun and hilarious twist.
Mr. Sakamoto, our titular assassin, becomes a convenience store owner with his wife, Aoi and raises their young daughter, Hana. Instead of being a lean, emotionless fighting machine, he is an overweight, laid-back, emotionless fighting machine. All’s well until a former protégé, clairvoyant Shin, steps into Sakamoto’s shop to take out his former mentor. If he fails, Shin dies as per code of the gang. However, Sakamoto has not lost his touch. Not only does he defeat Shin, he takes out his former gang, and takes Shin on as his protégé… and an employee at his store. Later in the story, the duo is joined by ex-Triad Lu Xiaotan, a young woman out to avenge her father’s death at the hands of the gang she served. She is also recruited by Sakamoto as a protégé and employee at the store.
Definitely not what Shin imagined, but it promises to be a fun ride for him and for readers as the story progresses.
Now, just like John Wick, expect violence but not on an extreme level. There is a scene where a pair of murderous brothers decapitate a guy and use the victim’s head as a model for their drawings (ew), but overall the violence is pretty muted. Think of Dragonball fight sequences in a grocery store. What prevents this manga from being extremely dark is that some of the scenes where Sakamoto is punishing Shin are imagined in his head, and Shin is (hilariously) reacting to what he sees due to being a clairvoyant. It’s hard to see who’s the comic relief in the trio since each one brings their own niche to their newfound team. Adding more to the story is Sakamoto’s family. Hana is adorable and her father’s new protégés take to her immediately, while his wife makes sure that Sakamoto doesn’t break his promise to not kill again. However, when Aoi is in danger, she’s very calm because when you have a former yakuza hitman as a husband, you know you’re good. It’s really a laugh-out-loud, action-packed ride from beginning to end that I highly recommend.
I can’t recommend Sakamoto Days enough, and look forward to what volume two brings.
About Renee Scott
Renee Scott is a young adult librarian based in NYC, as well as a dedicated otaku and gamer. She is a lifelong fan of comics, anime, and manga. She can be found on Twitter at @libraryladynyc, and on her review blog, The Library Lady of NYC Reviews.
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