Big Comic Spirits (2007-2013)
Story/Art by Inio Asano
Summary: This is a story that tells the tale of young Punpun, a normal boy living a normal life, except with one small twist: he sees himself as an anthropomorphic bird, and he sees his family in the same way. So follow Punpun as he journeys through life complete with heartache, heartbreak, family issues and a rather peculiar connection to God. While everyone else seems normal, Punpun is rather unique.
Review: After a tear-jerking volume 6, I feel as if Inio thought “why not give everyone a break for awhile?” So while volume 7 IS depressing, compared to most of the volumes before it it’s also one of the least feelsy volumes to date.
Following mostly Punpun by himself, which is strange to say after he’s shared so much screen time with other characters so far, this volume focuses more on leaving the nest and learning how to be an adult living on your own.
Punpun does have a better set up than most lower class kids as they go out on their own, mooching off the remainder of his late mother’s savings and he has his Aunt Midori who is trying to help him wherever she can. But it’s still depressing to watch as poor Punpun is haunted by the memories of his past and the events that have led up to his worsening depression.
It doesn’t getting any better when he has a fleeting run-in with Aiko. Keep in mind this is after yet another 2 year time-skip, so Punpun hasn’t seen Aiko in a very long time. Personally, I’m not a fan of Aiko but the hold she has over him and his emotions are easy to understand. There’s actually a couple of pages in particular that really struck me when Punpun remembers all the women in his life who hurt him badly.
The precipise of Punpun’s desire to be loved is reached when he decides that if he cannot find Aiko in two years, he’ll kill himself.
That may sound like a bit much, but we’ve watched Punpun grow from a young tike that is just discovering sex through porn to a young adult who nearly rapes a girl on his first date.
The level of weight on this guy’s shoulders cannot be understated. Inio knows this too, so this volume is focused more heavily on the slow build and I can really only imagine what depressing events are in store for volume 8.
Volume 7 isn’t the best arc this series has presented thus far; reaching hump status as the lull in the middle of the series before the storm that comes in the later half.
Defined mostly by what came before and what will come after, this volume could’ve done better. But at least it’s still not bad. And that’s the main thing to me at this point.
Final Score: 2.5 Sexually Active Neighbors out of 5
You can find more of his writing at IndieComix.net