While One-Punch Man is on hiatus, fans need to check out Sakamoto Days – a Shonen Jump manga that ticks all the same boxes. One-Punch Man is currently on hiatus in preparation for its next arc, leaving fans in desperate need of another series to read in the meantime. Sakamoto Days can be that series.
One-Punch Man became extremely popular largely because of how well it balances humor and epic fights. While the central premise of the series – a superhero who can defeat any enemy in just one punch – could have easily grown stale in the hands of lesser creators, somehow ONE and Yusuke Murata consistently keep it fresh, partially by often focusing on the various other heroes who inhabit Saitama’s world. The art also plays a large factor, as while it is often goofy, in moments of extreme intensity, Murata shifts to a much more serious style. There is one other Shonen Jump manga that is doing these same things that have made One-Punch Man a mega-hit, although it has unfortunately not seen the same level of success.
Sakamoto Days is a manga by Yuto Suzuki following the extremely skilled hitman Taro Sakamoto, who has retired and now runs a convenience store with his family. However, after a bounty is placed on his head, he is forced to re-enter the world of assassins to take down those responsible. The series is able to maintain a perfect balance between serious fights and hilarious moments, just like One-Punch Man. But that’s not where the similarities between the two manga end.
Just like Saitama, who acts ridiculous most of the time but can shift into a serious mode when fights get intense, Sakamoto has two different forms. One is his goofy and lovable appearance as a chubby family man, and the other is a slim and serious figure that he had during his days as a professional assassin. Also, like Saitama, Sakamoto can perform seemingly impossible feats that enable him to defeat pretty much any enemy he goes up against. While the outcome of his fights are less inevitable than those of the bald hero, Sakamoto often feels as awesomely overpowered as Saitama when compared to the rest of the cast. The manga also does a great job of following the various assassins it introduces, oftentimes showcasing their fights and antics instead of Sakamoto’s. This is also a technique that One-Punch Man uses to flesh out its world when Saitama would make certain challenges too easy to deal with.
Of course, it’s not watching an overpowered hero that makes One-Punch Man great, but rather how the manga continuously makes following such an impossible character feel fun and engaging. Sakamoto Days does an amazing job of accomplishing the same blend of humor and action that makes One-Punch Man great while also feeling like its own unique series. While One-Punch Man is deservedly well known, Shonen Jump readers who love Saitama’s adventures should check out Sakamoto Days for a second helping of everything that makes it a fan favorite.
Sakamoto Days is available to read from Viz Media.