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Oyasumi Punpun


Alt Names: alt おやすみプンプンalt İyi Uykular Punpunalt Boa noite Punpun!alt Bonne nuit Punpun! (French)alt Buenas noches, Punpunalt Buona notte Punpunalt Dobranoc Punpun!alt Good Night Pung Pungalt Goodnight Punpunalt Noapte bună Punpunalt Oyasumi Pung Pungalt Selamat malam, Punpunalt 晚安布布alt Спокойной ночи, Пунпун
Author: Asano Inio
Artist: Asano Inio
Genres: Drama DramaPsychological PsychologicalRomance RomanceSeinen SeinenSlice of Life Slice of LifeTragedy Tragedy
Type: Manga (Japanese)
Status: Complete
Description: Witness the titular Punpun - who is depicted as a tiny, caricatured bird in an otherwise normal human setting - as he copes with his dysfunctional family and friends, his love interest, his oncoming adolescence and his hyperactive mind.
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The following content is intended for mature audiences and may contain sexual themes, gore, violence and/or strong language. Discretion is advised.


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200 Comments

That was one hell of a ride, this is the first manga ive read in six or so years and i do not regret it.

Best manga i've ever read, very relatable to me,

 

Overall 10/10.

I already feel the incoming hat I'm gonna get for this, but oh well. Also, disclaimer here. I have not read Punpun beyond the first few chapters. That being said, between those and the comment section here, I can kinda get the gist. This is just a generalized question aimed not towards this story in particular, but rather all stories like what I perceive it to be.

So here's my question. What is the point of exceedingly tragic stories? I'm being serious, I really want to know. I get that tragedy is an easy way to illicit big emotions, and that triumphing over adversity is storytelling 101. What I don't understand is the draw where EVERYTHING is going wrong all the time, or when EVERYONE is either depressed, depraved, or damaged. It feels like I'm being swindled out of all the parts of a story that make it good.

I know that these "tragedy bomb" stories have their bright points, as well as other things like romance, comedy, etcetera. It's just so overshadowed by sadness and grief that I can't find any enjoyment in those rare occurrences, mainly because I ALREADY KNOW IT'LL END BADLY. There's no tension of hoping things go well, no wondering if maybe this time it'll all work out. I already know it won't. The story's just letting me catch a breath before it beats me up again.

To me, tragedy is the negative of any story, something to be used to either motivate the protagonist to move forward, or to show the depth their character through how they handle it. It absolutely has it's place, but that really shouldn't be center stage. It goes along in equal parts with other elements in order to paint a picture that is not only beautiful, but far more compelling and relatable. Then there are the stories that seem content with throwing one emotional gut punch after another, and calling it a complete picture. Yes, I may be bawling my eyes out, but that doesn't mean I am any more invested in the story, nor am I enjoying myself.

So I ask again, in all seriousness, is someone able to tell me what I'm missing? Is there some little detail that makes these "tragedy bombs" more than an exploitation of my bleeding heart?

No, I completely understand. I'm in the same boat--I hate "tragedy bombs" or "sob stories" that are deliberately trying to elicit an emotional response. The first time I tried to read Punpun, I could not get through it because the story felt so heavy and so burdening at times that I took a break before trying to finish the manga. 

 

I did finish and I have to say that it doesn't end tragically, although admittedly, it's not so happy-go-lucky that everyone is satisfied. For me, the manga ending felt complete and brought everything full circle. It was not one of those gut punches where the reader deliberately left to sob (at least, it wasn't for me). I don't want to spoil it for other readers, so in a vague overview of the manga, Asano described it in his interview as a sort of deconstruction of a traditional romance and a subversion of the pop appeal of a "normal" reality drama. So you're not entirely off about emotional manipulation, but at the same time, I think more than his desire to manipulate readers was his desire to explore how far he could take this genre.

 

But like what others have said, if this type of manga isn't what you normally enjoy, I don't think you are missing out too much. It's your decision whether or not you want to read it, but for many of its fans, Oyasumi Punpun is trying to break away from a clichéd tragic tale. Much of this manga uses repetition and surreal symbolism to explore this theme of growth, finding a place in the world, depression, and skewed perspectives. Admittedly, the way it goes about doing is pretty dark and "depressing" (Asano thought the word was an oversimplified label for his work, but I digress). However, it is unique in the sense that these characters are all extremely flawed and in some cases, pretty pitiful or downright awful. Asano explained the irony that the manga that do well financially are the ones where the protagonists are role model heroes, even though in honesty, how many of us can really be called perfect role models?

 

So to answer your question of why we read works where tragedy takes the center role, it's probably because sometimes, we need works that balance out those with perfect role model heroes, works that show how pitiful humans can be and how terrible the world can end up as. Even though we know how tragically they will end, the pages between the beginning and ending are the ones that make or break the story. They're generally more about exploring human nature rather than for enjoyable fodder in our free time. It's like Shakespearean tragedies in which we already know the protagonist will die. We read it because the people that we read about can reflect the worst sides of ourselves. 

 

Again, this might not be the manga for you, and that's fine, since I'm sure I can nitpick flaws in the manga too, but this is one of the better manga tragedies out there. It's not really meant for an enjoyable read like a comedy manga, but it did leave me sitting there, relieved that I finished the manga, and unable to put into words the heavy thoughts that the manga had left in me.

I already feel the incoming hat I'm gonna get for this, but oh well. Also, disclaimer here. I have not read Punpun beyond the first few chapters. That being said, between those and the comment section here, I can kinda get the gist. This is just a generalized question aimed not towards this story in particular, but rather all stories like what I perceive it to be.

So here's my question. What is the point of exceedingly tragic stories? I'm being serious, I really want to know. I get that tragedy is an easy way to illicit big emotions, and that triumphing over adversity is storytelling 101. What I don't understand is the draw where EVERYTHING is going wrong all the time, or when EVERYONE is either depressed, depraved, or damaged. It feels like I'm being swindled out of all the parts of a story that make it good.

I know that these "tragedy bomb" stories have their bright points, as well as other things like romance, comedy, etcetera. It's just so overshadowed by sadness and grief that I can't find any enjoyment in those rare occurrences, mainly because I ALREADY KNOW IT'LL END BADLY. There's no tension of hoping things go well, no wondering if maybe this time it'll all work out. I already know it won't. The story's just letting me catch a breath before it beats me up again.

To me, tragedy is the negative of any story, something to be used to either motivate the protagonist to move forward, or to show the depth their character through how they handle it. It absolutely has it's place, but that really shouldn't be center stage. It goes along in equal parts with other elements in order to paint a picture that is not only beautiful, but far more compelling and relatable. Then there are the stories that seem content with throwing one emotional gut punch after another, and calling it a complete picture. Yes, I may be bawling my eyes out, but that doesn't mean I am any more invested in the story, nor am I enjoying myself.

So I ask again, in all seriousness, is someone able to tell me what I'm missing? Is there some little detail that makes these "tragedy bombs" more than an exploitation of my bleeding heart?

I'm not an English speaker, so I may misunderstand your comments, but here is my answer: It's just like Sachi said. This manga isn't about escaping reality, it is to fight reality. His life is difficult to live, but he's not strong like some shounen manga. His attitude is weak, he cannot be like Sachi. His mind is full of negativity. I have to say Sachi's so gold it's rare to see someone be strong after struck by many bad events.

 

I was once hoping good things happened to him after he met Sachi. I hope he'd be stronger after 1year he spent with her. But no, after he met Aiko again, things went wrong. His past come haunting him again (that damn God). That's the real tragedy of his life (previous chapters are just life difficulties because of his own attitude; searching for Aiko, running away after her mom died blah blah) If only he moved on from Aiko and just commited to Sachi, his life will be much much better. He won't have to kill and running away with guilt and Aiko won't kill herself and he won't try to kill himself either.

 

In the end, he did get stronger. He decided to let go of Aiko, the symbol of his past. However, he never got what he wanted-- a carefree, loner life. That's another tragedy, but from our perspective as audience, it's quite a happy ending.

Christ almighty this series hurts. Every time I read it, or even think about it, it feels like putting a knife in my brain and heart and slowly twisting them.

Stories shouldn't be this good. They shouldn't be able to hurt this much.

Probably my favorite Japanese tragedy after Dazai's No Longer Human. Brilliant in all regards and a must read for manga fans!

just a few weeks now until the english release. can't wait!!

Was in the mood and binged this from beginning to end in 4 hours. Some really great moments are contained within, with high/meh moments in between. 420/420. Will remember for all time.

 

Click the spoiler for my full impressions of the story with hindsight.

Spoiler

I already feel the incoming hat I'm gonna get for this, but oh well. Also, disclaimer here. I have not read Punpun beyond the first few chapters. That being said, between those and the comment section here, I can kinda get the gist. This is just a generalized question aimed not towards this story in particular, but rather all stories like what I perceive it to be.

So here's my question. What is the point of exceedingly tragic stories? I'm being serious, I really want to know. I get that tragedy is an easy way to illicit big emotions, and that triumphing over adversity is storytelling 101. What I don't understand is the draw where EVERYTHING is going wrong all the time, or when EVERYONE is either depressed, depraved, or damaged. It feels like I'm being swindled out of all the parts of a story that make it good.

I know that these "tragedy bomb" stories have their bright points, as well as other things like romance, comedy, etcetera. It's just so overshadowed by sadness and grief that I can't find any enjoyment in those rare occurrences, mainly because I ALREADY KNOW IT'LL END BADLY. There's no tension of hoping things go well, no wondering if maybe this time it'll all work out. I already know it won't. The story's just letting me catch a breath before it beats me up again.

To me, tragedy is the negative of any story, something to be used to either motivate the protagonist to move forward, or to show the depth their character through how they handle it. It absolutely has it's place, but that really shouldn't be center stage. It goes along in equal parts with other elements in order to paint a picture that is not only beautiful, but far more compelling and relatable. Then there are the stories that seem content with throwing one emotional gut punch after another, and calling it a complete picture. Yes, I may be bawling my eyes out, but that doesn't mean I am any more invested in the story, nor am I enjoying myself.

So I ask again, in all seriousness, is someone able to tell me what I'm missing? Is there some little detail that makes these "tragedy bombs" more than an exploitation of my bleeding heart?

I don't know if I'd be able to help you find the answer you seek.
All I can really say is that if you don't find this enjoyable, it's just not something that fits your preferences. You might not be missing anything at all.

However, I would highly recommend that instead of this, you should try the author Inio Asano's other work, "Solanin". It's not tearjerk after tearjerk, gutpunch after gutpunch. Instead, Solanin focuses much more on how the characters get their life back on track after a major tragedy. It's also significantly shorter than this, so it doesn't really drag out.

It's difficult to explain what draws people to certain types of stories. Reasons are usually too personal to generalize. My own reason for liking this is the attention to detail in Asano's storytelling at artwork. Dear fucking god, the beautiful artwork. While it's the first work I read by him, it was only about 10 chapters in when I started and I continued out of loyalty because I ended up liking Solanin and What a Wonderful World.

I believe by this time you would have read the comments for this manga but I still have to say it.

This manga is beautiful. 

It is true that you need to take a break once you start reading this unless you are mentally prepared. It took me weeks to finish this masterpiece and it is all worth the angst, sadness, and realizations that I felt along the way.

 

I can say that this is now my most favorite manga that I have ever read (beating Full Metal Alchemist)

I already feel the incoming hat I'm gonna get for this, but oh well. Also, disclaimer here. I have not read Punpun beyond the first few chapters. That being said, between those and the comment section here, I can kinda get the gist. This is just a generalized question aimed not towards this story in particular, but rather all stories like what I perceive it to be.

So here's my question. What is the point of exceedingly tragic stories? I'm being serious, I really want to know. I get that tragedy is an easy way to illicit big emotions, and that triumphing over adversity is storytelling 101. What I don't understand is the draw where EVERYTHING is going wrong all the time, or when EVERYONE is either depressed, depraved, or damaged. It feels like I'm being swindled out of all the parts of a story that make it good.

I know that these "tragedy bomb" stories have their bright points, as well as other things like romance, comedy, etcetera. It's just so overshadowed by sadness and grief that I can't find any enjoyment in those rare occurrences, mainly because I ALREADY KNOW IT'LL END BADLY. There's no tension of hoping things go well, no wondering if maybe this time it'll all work out. I already know it won't. The story's just letting me catch a breath before it beats me up again.

To me, tragedy is the negative of any story, something to be used to either motivate the protagonist to move forward, or to show the depth their character through how they handle it. It absolutely has it's place, but that really shouldn't be center stage. It goes along in equal parts with other elements in order to paint a picture that is not only beautiful, but far more compelling and relatable. Then there are the stories that seem content with throwing one emotional gut punch after another, and calling it a complete picture. Yes, I may be bawling my eyes out, but that doesn't mean I am any more invested in the story, nor am I enjoying myself.

So I ask again, in all seriousness, is someone able to tell me what I'm missing? Is there some little detail that makes these "tragedy bombs" more than an exploitation of my bleeding heart?

And.. if you didn't start reading already: Don't rush it. It's a really bad idea if it's Punpun we are talking about.

 

I wish I read this comment before binging this over two days; way too much all at once. Seriously, I feel like I was hit by a truck. Guess I'll see you in the next generic reincarnated in another world webnovel where I'm the protagonist.

I had a junk of text prepared for this, but yeah.

Those last chapters were like finding something I hadn't looked at in all my life.

This is the best manga I have ever read. 
 
 
Also, I have a question for the ending...

Spoiler

To give some sort of answer, I believe that PunPun's character design is supposed to be a symbolic reflection of his inner self, and his reversion to his former state is indicative of a return to a happier state in his life. PunPun is more often than not drawn in his bird form as he is in a positive state, and his character design warps and darkens as his inner mentality does the same. 
He doesn't have the same innocence or ignorant outlook on life as he did before, but now he is able to accept both the faults and rights of himself and reality. His acceptance (instigated by his climatic meeting with girl Asano Inio) allows him to once again, not be so cynical about the world and to be able to live life positively. 

I had a junk of text prepared for this, but yeah.

Those last chapters were like finding something I hadn't looked at in all my life.

Good Vibrations will be the last thing you can expect from this manga

Spoiler

This is the best manga I have ever read. 
 
 
Also, I have a question for the ending...

Spoiler

EVERYONE EVERYONe. BIG NEWS: https://twitter.com/VIZMedia/status/624659365123985409 IT'S BEING LOCALIZED. BY VIZ. YESSSS

Piece of advice: Read something cute/funny after this. You will need it. For example Yotsuba.

 

And.. if you didn't start reading already: Don't rush it. It's a really bad idea if it's Punpun we are talking about.

 

As for me: Started it back in 2010 and it has been my favorite piece of manga work ever since.

One of the best stories I have ever read. (The reason as to why that is the case can be seen in the comments below.) Find it kind of funny though that this is labeled as comedy. Someone must have a really dark sense of humour.

Why?! I can't handle these emotions!!! I feel so broken... Why that person?!

This is a personal review, I just feel motivated to do it (sorry bad grammar, english not native language):

 

Spoiler

Ow.

Damn.

I feel like I've been to the edge of the universe and now I'm permanently stuck in another dimension after reading.

But I want to tell the world what the edge of the universe looks like, and it's beautiful.

So beautiful that my heart is broken.

Asano Inio, you've broken my heart with your manga. Thank you and Good Vibrations.

could someone spoil the story for me?


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