Comics / Manga

Goodnight Punpun: Volume 3 manga review

By Leroy Douresseaux
Sep 28, 2016 - 14:10

Goodnight Punpun Volume 3 cover image

Rated “M” for “Mature”

Goodnight Punpun is a manga from creator Inio Asano (Solanin, What a Wonderful World!).  The series is a coming-of-age story that focuses on Punpun Onodera, a boy in middle school and his adolescent trials and tribulations.  VIZ Media is publishing Goodnight Punpun as a seven-volume graphic novel series.  Each volume is an over-sized manga paperback containing two individual volumes (called “parts).  Goodbye Punpun Vol. 3 contains Part 5 (Chapters 47 to 56) and Part 6 (Chapters 57 to 67).

As Goodbye Punpun Part 5 opens, Punpun decides that he wants to have sex.  Back to reality:  Punpun, Mama Onodera, and Midori Okuma (girlfriend of Punpun's absentee uncle, Yuichi Onodera) move out of the old apartment and into a new one.  Now, it's time for high school.

In Part 6, Punpun is 15-years-old and freshly deflowered.  A newly-minted high school student, he meets a girl, Azusa Kanie, and it's love at first sight.  Of course, one must wonder how she feels.  Plus, love, crushes, marriage and death.

THE LOWDOWN:  If I did not know that the Goodnight Punpun manga is fiction, I would be heartbroken.  Calling it teen angst or tragic does not come close to describing this drama; such descriptions are likely shallow.

Goodnight Punpun Volume 3 defies description, which is what I wrote about Vol. 2.  For all the loneliness the narrative depicts, the series is hopeful.  Most of all, I think that it is about exploration.  Creator Inio Asano is always digging in his characters, finding the sweet, sour, and unrelenting pungent.  Poignant and heartbreaking:  I think Asano finds beauty in the struggle and mystery of life.  Drawing some of the characters as tubular-like caricatures does not blunt the power of this exceptional manga, Goodnight Punpun.

POSSIBLE AUDIENCE:  Fans of youthful drama will want the VIZ Signature title, Goodnight Punpun.


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Last Updated: Jun 26, 2018 - 9:28

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