Originally posted on Wednesday, 22 January 2014 at ROPL.org.
By Taiyo Matsumoto
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Review by Sarah Nagelbush, Adult Librarian
Taiyo Matsumoto’s newest series to be translated into English is Sunny. The second volume comes out at the end of 2013 and third in 2014. Sunny is about kids, but it is not for kids. It’s the story of kids (young adults to little kids) who live in what appears to be a foster home, called Star Kids. Matsumoto fills the home with kids who are from different walks of life, but who all have their own sets of problems. The first volume of Sunny explores these stories, but leaves you longing for more (and luckily we’ll be getting more).
While the story (like much of Taiyo Matsumoto’s work) is strong, it’s really the illustrations that bring the book to life. The graphic novel itself is in black and white, as with most manga. But sprinklered through out the story are panels that are in vivid colors — it makes you feel like the whole thing is in color. Taiyo Matsumoto’s drawing is exceptional and his characters are as real as if you were watching them on screen.
The home is the central location of the first volume, but the title comes from the car many of the children hide in. It’s named Sunny and serves as a clubhouse/safe place to hide, to smoke to pretend the kids are anywhere else. The stories take place in and around Sunny, as much as they take place in and around the home. We get a glimpse into the lives of these children, and while many of them are miserable, they are full of life.
If you like Sunny, look forward to the new volumes and be sure to check out Taiyo Matsumoto’s other works, they’re different from Sunny but the art and stories are always excellent.