Manga: Oyasumi Punpun

Last post of the month. Phew.

I’ve posted late so many times and done so many back posts… Even though by posting this on the last day of month I’ve technically completed the challenge, it still feels like I half-assed it somewhat. HAHA. Had fun though. I’ll probably never do it again. At least not with such long posts.

Not sure when the next post will be since I’ll be pretty busy for the coming week or so. But will be back to introduce more stuff other than manga next time. Yayy ~ Thank you for making it through this Nov NaBloPoMo challenge with me. I hope you continue to enjoy reading the stuff I share.

Here’s the manga I had planned from the beginning to finish with. Actually wrote about it on Tumblr when I had just finished reading it early this year. I’m sorry if you’ve read that before, but this is just an expansion so there’s a lot that’s the same.

Manga: Oyasumi Punpun 「おやすみプンプン」 Goodnight Punpun

goodnight_punpun_v01_ch01_entropy_ms.goodnight_punpun_v01_000_cover

Oyasumi Punpun is a Seinen, adult, psychological, slice-of-life, comedy, drama written and illustrated by Asano Inio. It was serialised from March 2007 to Nov 2013 and is complete with 147 chapters compiled into 13 tankobon volumes.

Oyasumi Punpun follows the story of titular character, Onodera Punpun — a young boy living in Japan — as he copes with his dysfunctional family and friends, love interest, oncoming adolescence and his hyperactive mind. The series is split up into four stages of Punpun’s life experiences as he grows up: Elementary school, Middle school, High school, and his early 20s.

Throughout the whole series, Punpun is portrayed as a tiny, caricatured bird (along with his relatives who are also portrayed as birds) in an otherwise normal setting. Don’t let the ‘cute’ fool you.

WARNING: Immensely psychological and philosophical with very heavy themes. NSFW. Very explicit. Abuse, trauma, violence, depression, suicide, death.

I have a number of friends to thank for getting me on this series. Well… ‘thank’ might be too happy of a word for Oyasumi Punpun, but I’m really glad I read it. Though there’s no way I was ‘glad’ when I was in the middle of reading it.

Ever since the completed scanlations were up at the beginning of the year, those friends had been bugging me to pick it up. When I tried asking them what it was about, all I managed to get was that it was:

  1. Super depressing
  2. Life-changing
  3. Slice of life, Comedy, Seinen genres
  4. Indescribable
  5. YOU REALLY REALLY NEED TO READ IT. YOU HAVE TO. 

FAT LOT OF HELP THOSE GUYS WERE… 

So after putting it off for awhile, curiousity got the better of me. There I was, after 3 days of 147 chapters, intensely jabbing at my phone touch screen, spouting gibberish to one of those friends on how my heart was stuck in my throat.

Here’s my take on those 5 points above:

1. Oyasumi Punpun is an extremely depressing series. It’s not sad in the way that it tugs on your emotional heart strings or something simple like that. I never openly sobbed throughout the manga. Nope. I shed a few tears, but not enough that they run down my face. (And I’m one who gets emotional really easily). Oyasumi Punpun is the kind of depression that you feel in your bones, your nerves and most of all, in your head. It’s a roller coaster ride going up and down, up and down. Most of the time though, you’re just going down and it doesn’t seem like you’re going to come back up.

2. The way I thought definitely changed after reading it. As I’m sure my friends have too. Even just a little bit. You can’t help thinking about the many philosophical viewpoints presented in the course of the series.

3. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at how it’s considered a ‘Slice of life’ and ‘Comedy’ considering how… ‘heavy’… it is. But there’s no doubt it’s a Seinen.

4. I’m already doing such a ‘good’ job describing it. Help. /slaps myself

5. This is one manga I’d actually like to recommend to everyone. But with it’s immensely detailed, realistic art style and multitude of heavy life themes, I don’t think everyone can absolutely understand and enjoy the manga for what it is: An exaggeration on the everyday darkness found in just about anybody.

oyasumi_punpun_v02_090_091

Oyasumi Punpun vol 3 chp 17 pg 14

This manga digs up insecurities and troubles and shoves them into your face. It sheds light on thoughts you’d never imagine could be brought out from the depths of your head and heart. The sadness and depression will always be with you, but you’re not alone in this world. Everything will be alright.

‘A manga that fights reality instead of providing an escape from it.’

I think that’s a pretty accurate description of Oyasumi Punpun.

It’s… it’s definitely a work of art. That’s what it is. Asano-sensei is a genius, and Oyasumi Punpun is an ingenious work of art.

Go read it. Try it out. And if you manage to get all the way to the end, you’ll understand what I mean.

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