Sunny Vol. 3 by Taiyo Matsumoto (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

April 1, 2014 by  


A realistic manga series on the life of a group of orphans struggling with the fact that they have been abandoned or have no family members to take care of them, and their longing for family.  A “Slice of life” type manga series, Taiyo Matsumoto’s “Sunny” is recommended!

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Image courtesy of © 2011 Taiyo Matsumoto. All Rights Reserved.

MANGA TITLE: Sunny Vol. 3

STORY AND ART BY: Taiyou Matsumoto (松本大洋)


PUBLISHED IN USA BY: VIZ Media, LLC/Shonen Jump Manga

RATED: T for Teen

RELEASE DATE: April 15, 2014

What is Sunny? Sunny is a car. Sunny is a car you take on a drive with your mind. It takes you to the place of your dreams. Sunny is the story of beating the odds, in the ways that count. It is the story of beating the odds, in ways that count, for a group of orphans who discover the care and let it take them to better places in their imagination.

For the orphans of the Star Kids Home, the children who dream about having a family after being abandoned by their own parents or lost their parents, can only hope that life will become much happier.  But for now, all they have is each other.

In volume 3 of “Sunny”, camera men come to the Star Kids Home to shoot a news documentary, meanwhile Megumu visits Rie’s home and realizes after seeing Rie and her mother, about how she once had a mother and parents.

Meanwhile, a former child from the Star Kids Home returns for a visit, but how did this “bad boy” turn out as an adult?

Junsuke takes his little brother Shunsuke to the mall in hopes that they can see the only family member they have, their Uncle Saeki in hopes they can visit their sick mother at the hospital.

In Japan, mangaka Taiyo Matsumoto is well known for his work in manga series such as “Tekkonkinkreet”, “GoGo Monster”, “Ping Pong” and “Number Five”.

Read about the lives of these orphans at the Star Kids Home in the latest volume of Taiyo Matsumoto’s “Sunny”!

What is “Sunny”?

While his work has been released in the U.S., “Sunny” has received the Viz Signature treatment and is printed in hardback.

“Sunny” is a series that revolves around a group of children and teenagers who live at an orphanage and each chapter deals with a children’s life, with other orphans and also the heartbreak they endure of being left by their parents.

The title of the manga series is derived from a broken down Nissan Sunny 1200 in front of the orphanage which the children use as a getaway vehicle for imaginary adventures, a clubhouse and more.

Another heartfelt volume of “Sunny” as the orphans of Star Kids Home begin to miss their own families and wonder how long they will be stuck at an orphanage.

If there is one aspect of Japanese culture that many westerners never get to see in manga or anime, it’s life of orphans at a Japanese orphanage.

With Taiyo Matsumoto’s manga “Sunny”, the manga gives readers a chance to read a slice-of-life manga series of various children of different ages living at an orphanage and the challenges they have. May it be in school, with other children and also the feeling of one’s self-worth after being left behind by their family.

What I found very interesting with “Sunny” is that in this volume, we get to see how Megumu deals with seeing her friend Rie and her mother so close but also feeling a bit spiteful because her mother, who she had a close relationship, is no longer there for her.

Also, we get to see a former orphan from the Star Kids Home return.  A former bad boy who got into major trouble and was nearly kicked out, what happens when this boy makes his return.  Has he changed?

Also, we get to see the orphans being captured on camera by a TV film crew and the melancholy that surrounds the children who are without a family.

The artwork of Taiyo Matsumoto is always interesting to see. His style is unique and some girls, the way he makes those rosy cheeks look like uneven smudges that change from page to page, but it’s the uniqueness that I have come to appreciate about Matsumoto’s artwork. But of course, it’s his stories that are captivating and while “Sunny” is a slice-of-life manga series, it’s a fresh manga style to have released in the US, something different and unique.

As with the last volume, Viz Media is giving “Sunny” the Viz Signature hardback treatment for each release, thus the series does cost a bit more than a standard manga series.

Overall, “Sunny” is an innocent, real slice-of-life manga series about children at an orphanage and the experiences (happy and sad) that each have to deal with in their young lives. You don’t really find these type of manga in the U.S…. So, for anyone wanting some real, different or unique, then I definitely recommend Taiyo Matsuoto’s “Sunny”.

“Sunny” vol. 3 is recommended!

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