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Sunny, Vol. 1 Hardcover – May 21, 2013

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Product Details

  • Series: Sunny (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: VIZ Media LLC; First Edition edition (May 21, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1421555255
  • ISBN-13: 978-1421555256
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.7 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #115,441 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

To adults, the Nissan Sunny 1200 may look like a broken-down old car in front of a Japanese home for orphans. To the children and teens of the orphanage, though, the Sunny is a clubhouse, a spaceship, a getaway vehicle, and one of the few places that is truly theirs after they are abandoned by their parents. Readers catch glimpses of each of the orphans’ lives, both the imaginary adventures they devise while in the Sunny and the sometimes heartbreaking ones outside of it. Matsumoto is probably best known for his Eisner Award–winning title, Tekkon Kinkreet (2007), about orphan street kids trying to protect their town from invading Yakuza. He returns to those themes in this latest work and combines evocative art and concise dialogue to tell the melancholy story of the kids and teens who use the Sunny to escape their problematic home lives. This title would appeal to fans of atmospheric titles such as Benjamin’s Orange (2009) and Yuki Obata’s We Were There (2013). Grades 9-12. --Candice Mack

About the Author

One of the most influential and innovative manga artists currently working in Japan, Taiyo Matsumoto is best known to English-reading audiences as the creator of GoGo Monster, Number Five, and Tekkonkinkreet, which was made into a critically acclaimed animated film of the same name. In 2007, Matsumoto was awarded a Japan Media Arts Festival Award for Excellence, and in 2008, he won the prestigious Eisner Award for the English publication of Tekkonkinkreet.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Tsuyoshi on May 29, 2013
Format: Hardcover
"Sunny" is Japanese manga creator Taiyo Matsumoto's latest work that has been serialized in monthly manga magazine "Gekkan IKKI" since 2011. The semi-autobiographical comic describes the lives of a group of children at "Hoshinoko Gakuen" (meaning "Star Child Home"), a privately-run facility for children who cannot live with their parents for some reasons.

The first volume contains six episodes. The first one is about a young bespectacled boy Sei, who has just moved in the home. Aloof to other kids, Sei dreams of himself going back to his old home driving on his own, though somewhere deep in his heart he knows this is not going to happen.

Each kid's personal background will be slowly suggested as you read on. Set in the 1970s Japan, "Sunny" is like a Nick Adams short story, with realistic characters and pithy dialogue. Told with humor and pathos, the graphic novel offers vivid portrayals of the resilient children. These carefully drawn kids have their own stories to tell, which may be funny, bitter-sweet, or even poignant, but never depressing.

The titular "Sunny" refers to an abandoned yellow-colored Nissan Sunny that sits in the yard. No adults are allowed in this old, half-dilapidated car, which serves sometimes as a platform for children to let their imagination fly, or as a place where they share some secrets.

The comic is created by Taiyo Matsumoto known for "Tekkonkinkreet" and many other critically acclaimed works. His unique art style has been described in various ways - "kinetic," "European" etc. - but I think there is one thing certain about it. His is a kind of style that grows on you, even though you prefer a sharper drawing style. Also, his impressionistic illustrations of the streets are not just the backdrop for the story.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Xeokym on July 30, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I got the hard cover version of this book, I don't know if it comes (or will come) in paperback, but the edition I have is really nice. It actually looks like a book from the 1970s, I don't know if that was intentional or not. This manga almost reads like a book, a continuing collection of encapsulated chapters that center around a group of foster kids living in a home, sort of like a small orphanage or wayward house. It's not explained why any of the kids are there, though it's clear they come from broken homes, dysfunctional families, and possibly abusive pasts. It takes place in the 1970s and there are occasional references made to popular culture of that time, so if you're in your 40's, like me, you might find some things stir up sentimental memories. And even though it takes place in Japan, people from anywhere can relate.

The title of the series comes from a broken down yellow Nissan Sunny in the yard of the orphanage, where the kids often go to escape from reality. When asked if it runs, one of the kids responds, "yes, it runs on telepathy!" Then they climb in and imagine the car taking them places, from outer space to fantasy lands. The kid on the cover, nicknamed "White," often imagines himself as a gangster trying to evade the law.

The kids go through typical kid stuff, from crushes and bullying to dealing with abandonment and death. The art style is very unique and utilizes a kind of controlled scribbly chaos. I couldn't get enough of it, and when I got to the end I went right back to the beginning and reread it!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Michael Czobit on January 25, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
For the most part, I enjoyed the first volume of this manga. But I did find myself lost a few times, not sure who was who and what the story was. I'm willing to give the second volume a try.
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Nicola Mansfield on July 29, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I had no idea what I was getting into when I started reading this book. I was startled to receive such an attractively published quality hardcover for a start. (I just assume manga is going to be paperback). The publiher's summary appealed to me because I am naturally drawn to stories of boyhood (even though I'm female). I just love a good story about boys growing up especially if it is in the past and "Sunny" takes place in 1970s Japan. First off we realize that Sunny is an abandoned car on the Home's property and not one of the children. The kids go here, where no adults are allowed, to dream they are driving and visualizing themselves into their imaginary stories. This is a consistant theme but a small part of the story. Containing six chapters each one is separate from the others, more like vignettes, and concentrates on different children in the Home, mostly the boys, but there are girls here too. Each kid has there own unique circumstances for being here, most have at least one parent but for some reason they can't take care of the child. Each vignette presents a different child as the centre of attention and we learn more of his background while an everyday event is happening. The stories go straight to the heart, are full of emotions, are sometimes feel good, often bittersweet, but never sad.

I was a bit puzzled when I first statrted to read as I thought I was reading a children's book. The rating is T for ages 13+, but I was soon aware that was incorrect. The boys often look at pornography magazines but more than that, these stories are obviously aimed at an older audience, one who has been through boyhood, one who will feel the deep nuances in these stories and feel their poignancy.
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