The first chapter of the new series Sakamoto Days dropped on Shonen Jump today. Sakamoto Days is a tale as old as time—man becomes incredibly effective assassin; man becomes world-renowned for his prowess; man suddenly falls in love and gives it all up. Wait, what?
The introduction shows readers quickly, without being too pushy, Taro Sakamoto’s backstory as an assassin. Wam bam, thank you killer. But he gives it all up for love and opens a small convenience store and in so doing, goes from svelt underworld hitman to overweight dad.
The first chapter also introduces a clairvoyant hitman named Shin who used to work with Sakamoto. He arrives at the convenience store and begs Sakamoto to to rejoin the criminal underworld. Sakamoto refuses. When Shin returns to kill Sakamoto for refusing, he stops Shin, covers it up, patches all of Shin’s wounds, and serves him dinner with his family. The turnaround leads to Shin realizing that Sakamoto deserves to be protected.
Chapter one ends with Sakamoto protecting Shin from the very criminal organization that was trying to kill him and convincing Shin to work for him again—but this time, as a convenience store clerk.
The entire premise is preposterous but, frankly, I found myself audibly laughing at some moments. A family man former assassin who, despite looking nonthreatening, is still the most power assassin around is a fun concept. I wasn’t sure what to expect out of this first chapter, but it hooked me very quickly, with a fast pace that covered a lot of ground without feeling like it was shoehorning in too much. I appreciated the pacing and the characters so far.
So, add another one to my queue of weekly reads from Shonen Jump! Hope this one is able to keep up this premise in a fun and exciting way.
Sakamoto Days can be read at Shonen Jump. The most recent chapters are always free.