MANGA REVIEW | "Sakamoto Days" - Volume Six
If too many cooks spoil the broth, do too many assassins spoil the hit? With everyone and anyone putting a target on Taro Sakamoto, it would seem like the overweight weapons master would grow tired of constantly having to avoid the Grim Reaper. Turns out that may be the case in the sixth volume of Sakamoto Days. However, it’s a more literal tired than a figurative one!
Continuing where the fifth volume ended, Lu and Shin take a much-needed visit to an acupuncturist. It’s here where Taro learns that he’s been too reliant on his thinner self, resulting in his skills being only a quarter of what they used to be. But with a little bump and stab, the acupuncturist works her magic to give Taro an extra boost on the battlefield. There’s just one slight problem with it…
But there’s no time to waste, as both Minimalist and Apart are hot on Sakamoto’s trail. Apart goes to war with both Heisuke and Taro, whereas Minimalist winds up facing off against Nagumo. The latter showcase a battle of speed and strength, with each fighter one-upping the other with their own set of skills. While Minimalist is one terrifying foe, Nagumo appears to never break a sweat during the fight. And that confidence shows, with him grinning ear-to-ear while trading punches, stabs, and slits. It’s an impressive showcase of action, one that’d fit well with one of The Raid movies.
Sakamoto Days runs on all its cylinders during Apart’s fight with Taro and Heisuke. Although it’s the former Apart’s after, Heisuke shows that he’s no louse when mixing it up with other assassins. Once Taro realizes that he can’t get skinny anymore, he uses his current physique to a great advantage. The entirety of the battle uses Tokyo SkyTree as their playground, with onlookers in awe of the wildness that’s occurring around them. (Although it gives a couple people a chance to get their stamp rally card filled with some killer help!)
It’s after the battle with Apart when the real juicy stuff is revealed, and it’s not just Taro who should be concerned. In fact, the whole Japanese Association of Assassins finds themselves watching their backs, as two men named X and Gaku start making their way up the headquarters. What happens then is another fine example of a spectacle of violence, with X and Gaku painting the walls of the building with blood, guts, and some chunks of brain. Needless to say, it’ll be interesting to see what happens when Taro and the gang go face-to-face with this duo of interest.
While the narrative is still focused on the assassination process, the action in Sakamoto Days reaches new heights in Volume Six. Yuto Suzuki has a knack for making some inventive spectacles, in ways that maybe Hollywood directors and fight choreographers should take note of. Or, and this is just a crazy idea, maybe put Hiroyuki Sanada in a fat suit and make a live-action Sakamoto Days movie for real! Either way, filmmakers better start getting as wild and imaginative on the screen as Suzuki does on the page!
Promotional consideration provided by Chantelle Sturt and Mandy Earles of VIZ Media.