Reviews: Oyasumi Punpun

Overwhelmingly Cynical

When I first started reading this series, I already knew from the start that this story would be dark. But the way it tells its story is unlikable through its ability to be constantly filled with negativity. Which rubs me the wrong way admittedly, and will affect my review of this series.

The story is about punpun, a shy child living with his parents and his uncle. As his life goes on, punpun grows up and becomes an emotionally isolated man, due to several sad and unfortunate events that happen throughout his life.

The series tries to make punpun feel sympathetic, through showing him with his rough home life, and at the beginning, it works. He feels lost, sad, and you can truly feel sorry for him when things utterly go wrong. However, it eventually turns it up to eleven, making punpun go into a depression over the smallest things, which decreases his likability to the audience. Eventually getting to the point where it's very hard to take him seriously or like him anymore due to his overwhelming angst. The story tries to show that the world is an awful place and that there's very little hope. But it does so by hammering it into almost every tragic event, ruining the message of the manga.

Despite this, the side characters are great, with Uncle being the best and most interesting character imo, his side story is some of the best chapters of the manga. Seki and Sachi are also enjoyable as well.

The art of this manga is practically scenery porn, with several panels of the manga being absolutely a blast to look at. The author manages to turn everyday city buildings into works of art. Aside from the side characters, it's the biggest strength of this manga.

Despite all the negatives I listed earlier, the series never really has any broken plot elements aside from the built up negativity until the very end. It's just kind of dull and uninteresting, and for the most part, I was just reading to get to the next chapter.

Overall, it's a disappointing experience, had the series focused more on its side characters and less on punpun, I truly believe it could've been great. But for now, the series is just okay, it could've been a lot worse, but I just felt like it missed so many opportunities.