Welcome back to the 18th edition of our manga recommendation series. After going to something rather bright and motivational for the anime recommendation this week, I wanted to do something dark and depressing. I haven’t really covered that much dark manga till now but, this one will probably suffice for a long time. I recently stumbled across this and holy hell, it’s grim.

You have read the title; you know we are talking about Oyasumi Punpun this week. Do not let the childish-looking cover image or name fool you. This is definitely not for a child. Before we really get into the details though, remember that this is a recommendation and not a review. Hence, I won’t be pointing out any negatives. With that said, let’s get started.

Introduction

Oyasumi Punpun is a psychological slice of life. It was published in Big Comic Spirits from 15th March 2007 to 2nd November 2013. Asano Inio wrote and illustrated it. It is 13 volumes or 147 chapters long. That is really short, should not take you more than a week to complete this even if you don’t have that much time.

Oyasumi Punpun may sound really childish but it’s the complete opposite of that. It tells a very serious, dark, and depressing tale. What is even more disturbing is the fact that many people go through the stuff described in the manga. The manga doesn’t even bother to make its characters likable. Sometimes Oyasumi Punpun is strangely relatable and that realization is enough to send shivers down your spine.

Plot

Oyasumi Punpun follows the life of Onodera Punpun from his elementary school time to his early 20s. It shows how Punpun came to early adulthood because of the happenings in his life. The events from his elementary school time plague him even later in his life.

As simple as that, Oyasumi Punpun is literally a life story of a completely normal boy. The only thing wrong with Punpun is that he has a few psychological problems from the beginning but, they are nothing too major nonetheless. He is almost completely shaped by what happens throughout the story.

Characters

Sticking to what I said earlier, Oyasumi Punpun does not have any likable characters at all. You feel sympathy for Punpun but, you can’t bring yourself to like him. Every character has their problem and defects and the author does an excellent job of bringing them out. Punpun himself changes drastically throughout the story. He goes from a shy boy to a recluse. He becomes a bit mean and annoying over time but, when you see what he goes through you can’t blame him.

There is also this “god” character in Oyasumi Punpun that is presented as Punpun’s imaginary friend. He never gives any useful advice to Punpun and mostly just makes his situation worse. Elementary school time has a huge effect on Punpun’s life and character.

Oyasumi-Punpun

Art

Oyasumi Punpun’s art is great. One thing I really like is that Punpun and his family are represented as these 2d bird-like things. Of course, they are normal humans but, their real faces are never shown to us. This gives the author the freedom to show even more emotions than normally possible. Oyasumi Punpun has one of the most expressive art styles I have ever seen and it is not just because of Punpun. Characters can appear ugly or beautiful depending on the situation even though they are drawn in the same way.

Why you should read Oyasumi Punpun?

Some quick points on why you should check out this manga.

  • Really short
  • Simple plot
  • Well written characters
  • Awesome art
  • Dark, depressing, and sad

Conclusion

That is it for now. Let me know your thoughts down in the comments. Also, drop any recommendation you may have for me down there. Stay tuned for more content and I will see you later.

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