Japanese comics, which are commonly known as manga, encompass a wide swath of different genres ranging from historical fiction to slapstick comedy. As a huge fan of this medium, I thought I’d spotlight one of my favorites.
Sakamoto Days is an ongoing manga that started in November 2020 and is written and drawn by Yuto Suzuki. It follows the day-to-day life of a former hitman turned civilian after he found love and retired to start a family.
The synopsis of the manga reminds me of the premise of the John Wick series, which followed an equally legendary and capable hitman that became a civilian after he fell in love. I’m sure the author was inspired by that, but this story differs in that it doesn’t have its main character on a path of violent revenge.
Instead, the main character, Taro Sakamoto, is simply working in a small convenience store trying to protect his family from the people attacking him due to his past while also trying to follow his wife’s no-kill policy.
Those people are coming after him, because a bounty has been placed on his head after he broke his organization’s policy and left on his own accord. Killers of all kinds keep trying to come after him but fail for one reason or another.
Despite the tension of weekly chapters revolving around assassins attacking, the series has managed to keep itself both lighthearted and thrilling with its well choreographed action scenes.
Within the 13 chapters currently released, the author has been able to introduce and establish a likeable cast of characters. These include Sakamoto himself, a former partner from his hitman days that can read minds, a former rival of his that is obsessed with looking hard boiled and more.
There’s a lot of potential with where the story can go from here and not too much to read for anybody who wants to give it a try. It makes for a great read while on the bus to class, eating a snack or relaxing at home.
The manga is currently available to read officially in English at two different sources that are both being simultaneously published as the original work, so there’s no time lag between releases. The two sources are Mangaplus and Viz.
Both sources have the first three chapters free to read for those that want to try this and have smartphone apps available.