Hello, everyone. It’s time to start the second series of episodes review I’m doing this season. This time on Sonny Boy, the series I decided on first. Much like Remake Our Life, I really had no reason for picking Sonny Boy. I just thought it looked fascinating and like the type of series that would be easy to pick apart on an episode basis.
Will it be? Beats me. Let’s see what happens. For those of you who didn’t read the reviews for Remake Our Life, these are broken up into pretty much two sections. The first, where I type as I watch what’s happening in real-time. It’s my unfiltered first opinion of what I see. Next is after I sit with the episode for a bit and give my more complete thoughts in a more normal episode review way. Let’s go.
So we’re immediately thrown into things. The date is August 16, and some student named Nagara is lazing on the floor of a classroom with some snotty cat. Not that the cat’s a snob, it literally has snot dripping down, but that’s not the important part. It seems like some of the students have acquired powers of some kind, but not all of them. This creates some kind of a divide in the student body, it seems, which probably isn’t good since one side could just murder the other.
To make matters worse, all teachers have disappeared from the school, and the entire outside world seemed to have vanished into a black void. So now, all of these kids, some with powers, are left to roam the school on their own. To stop this from being a problem, possibly evil star birthmark unnamed guy tells everyone that they need to choose a leader and creates rules with penalties. This is basically turning into Lord of the Flies, which I always approve of.
Everyone seems to elect the big friendly guy, Cap, to be the leader, who I’m certain won’t die in the near future, but he really seems to be a figurehead that birthmark guy can push around to get whatever he wants. We also got our first taste at powers, which was done pretty well, I have to say. Even though glass breaking is all that happened, it was almost eerie, and the punishment for that was long division. Truly hell. I’m sure the penalties won’t get any crueler at all.
The girl constantly hanging around Nagara for some reason, we learn is Nozomi, decides to openly disobey the new rules the students have established because everyone should be free. While I get that what’s going on is a bad idea that will lead to them all killing each other, you do need rules—no way around that. So Nozomi gets to run a hundred laps around the school.
The students with powers are rightfully a little angry about this, so they decide to take down their new leader with their powers. That somehow involves bending the school into crazy shapes and getting them stuck in basketball hoops, but anything goes, I guess. But birthmark guy was lying about not having powers, so he frees everyone, and Cap starts dishing out penalties. But the one trouble maker from earlier didn’t actually break any rules, which pisses Cap off, so he beats him with a freaking baseball bat instead.
More penalties ensue that may or may not involve getting naked, and Nozomi decides to jump off the school into the void because why the hell not. Nagara tries to save her, but they both fall, and instead of dying, they reveal an entire ocean with islands around them. Look like they really were “adrift,” in something, just not a void. Ok, that’s a wrap.
What immediately grabbed me about Sonny Boy, besides the confusing name, was the art of the show. It’s extremely unique, and it goes with the very surreal vibe the series gives off. I mean, it’s about a bunch of students, some with powers, drifting seemingly endlessly in a black void. What about that makes you think this will be your run-of-the-mill story?
But while I do like the art a lot, it’s something that looks better when not in motion. During some animations, things feel a little sketchy or look a little awkward. This first episode also had quite a few bad frames to pause on. Tons of characters are also guilty of losing their faces at a little closer zoom than I think, but in a weird way, I actually do think it fits the show. Whether that’s on purpose or not is up to you to decide.
In particular, I really enjoyed the few instances of these powers the students have. They’re very stingy with how much they show us, and I’m happy about that. The unknown of it all is far more interesting than the powers themselves. But from what we did see, it was pretty damn cool. I want the ability to bend a building into a pretzel and lock people in basketball hoops. Imagine how many very specific things I could accomplish!
The distorted screen that accompanies these powers is awesome. Thematically, Sonny Boy has a whole lot going for it right off the bat. It’s eerie. It’s mysterious. It’s harsh at times, and it’s, again, very surreal. The entire series bleeds this surreal vibe, and they’re really going all-in on it, which makes me very happy for the future.
What I’m mixed about is whether I like the decision to already ditch the trapped in school idea. It seems like they’ll eventually go to an island, and it will still be a cramped survival situation, just on a larger scale. On the one hand, I like that all hell broke loose, and they exhausted the school setting right away. I think having a bigger island survival will make the plot more interesting, but I also think not having everyone live close quarters will make it lose something as well. Only time will tell.
What is certain is that people will die. I mean, nobody has yet. A few people had their social lives ended from penalties, and a guy got a concussion from getting smacked in the head, but nobody is actually dead yet. But it will happen. It’s just a matter of time. This is surreal Lord of the Flies, but with superpowers, more or less. I make no secret of the fact I love that book, so I think the idea has a lot of potential.
What I hope is that the story continues down the same road it is now. How thematically well-done it was isn’t just because of the art or story. The pacing of the first helped a lot. It managed to be both really slow but fast-paced at the same time. The same episode with flashbacks of guys using the bathroom also had the entire structure of the school’s society built and destroyed in the span of 20 minutes.
But those more, guess what word I’m going to use, surreal scenes are necessary for Sonny Boy to have the feel that it does. It almost gave me SSSS.Dynazenon vibes, for those of you who watched that last season. It seems like a trip. I have a feeling Sonny Boy is the type of series that will make me rethink life by the end. Or it could just suck after this. That’s always a possibility.
But overall, this was a pretty solid first episode. It was intriguing above all else, and that’s important. I’m curious about why this world exists and why these students were picked over the others. Why some have powers. What they’re going to do from here. I’m left with a ton of questions, and I’m excited to get answers.
I do think the series needs to focus on being a little more consistent with its art, but there’s not much I disliked. Sonny Boy strikes me as a series that was made knowing exactly what it wanted to be. Like original anime usually are. Sonny Boy isn’t an adaptation, and those kinds of series generally get a spot in the anime hall of fame. Whether this will be another, we’ll have to see.
Thank you very much for reading
I’ll ask again, what anime are you watching this Summer? I’m watching more than I’m reviewing, but so far, it looks like I picked some good ones. I’m having a fun time.