How does one describe Sonny Boy? I’ve lost more sleep over this thought than you would imagine. Actually, that’s a lie. I haven’t actually lost sleep, but I have spent quite a bit thinking about it.
The thought of writing this review actually scared me in a weird way. Despite doing episode reviews of the series, and a top 10, I don’t really trust my ability to coherently talk about whatever the hell this anime is.
Because you see, Sonny Boy is weird, but weird doesn’t even really cover it all. Sonny Boy is like nothing I’ve ever seen before. It’s a single story, that wraps so many different ideas and feelings into it. I hesitate to even call it a story. It’s a collection of concepts and worlds thrown together to make something somewhat whole.
The premise is very simple. A bunch of students from this high school go adrift. And by “adrift,” I mean they all end up floating in the void with superpowers. That’s basically it. That’s Sonny Boy, everyone.
So how does a story that can be summed up in a single paragraph intimidate me so much? Well, for as simple of a plot as that is, that doesn’t even tell the half of it. Why do they have powers? Why are they in a void? Why did they go adrift? What do their powers mean? There’s a lot to dig into, and Sonny Boy does it in about the oddest way possible.
See, I’m not even sure if I consider this series to be “good.” I liked it, but I don’t know if I should. Sonny Boy is definitely fascinating, creative, and insane, but is it good? That I really don’t know.
The story often feels like an excuse to attempt to tie everything together. Because of that, we randomly have time skips. We have some episodes completely focused on the plot, then ones that come seemingly out of nowhere. The entire series is built like a collage. It’s all over the place but somehow manages to make something complete.
Really, given the way the plot progresses, a collage is a pretty good analogy. Every image is a unique world all glued together by the characters and plot. And I mean that literally. We do world hopping.
The main character, Nagara, like most of the characters, has a power. His power lets him travel to different worlds within this alternate world. And these worlds are insane. Like really crazy. Like think about something insane and then triple it. Sonny Boy is a verb and an adjective at this point. Oh, they really Sonny Boy’d it! That’s Sonny Boy right there!
These worlds are insane for many, many reasons. Sonny Boy just bleeds weird. But, of course, I have to mention the art. Both the actual art and the art direction is this complete trip known as Sonny Boy.
The art itself is odd. I think it looks incredibly clean most of the time. Sure, there are a few hiccups, but it’s a very unique, very charming-looking series, much like the actual show. But by far, what I have to commend so much more is the art direction.
I do not know what these people were on when they made this, but I really want some. These worlds are some of the most imaginative things I’ve ever seen, and for them to be so consistently absurd and out there is an amazing feat.
Sonny Boy has everything from Satan toilet world, to giant cliff world, to world where everyone gets bloody tumors, to upsidedown ant land, to giant ice place with clones fighting.
This is why I was so concerned about discussing this series. It’s impossible to explain what it is. It’s an absurd collection of worlds that craft an even crazier experience. Every episode will make you scratch your head in either blind amazement or confusion.
I have never seen anything like Sonny Boy, and I truly don’t think I ever will. It’s not just an anime, it is an experience. It’s just raw, unfiltered, creativity. That’s why I call it less a story and more a collection of ideas.
It feels like some kind of writing exercise. Like a bunch of writers all sat down and wrote something, be that a setting, plot, character, superpower, what have you, and they all tried to fit it into something coherent. Sonny Boy would be the result of that experiment.
I love and adore this series. I honestly think I’ll remember it forever, or at least as long as anime stays relevant in my life, which better be forever, damn it. I think anytime I see a similar series, my mind will immediately go to Sonny Boy.
It has impacted me in ways I never expected. That is not me being dramatic. This series is creativity itself. This is what I hope the inside of my skull looks like. I absolutely love Sonny Boy to death, but that is not to say that it’s perfect, or again, even good.
People have been quick to point out how all over the place it is. Yup, you are right. I can’t and won’t defend that. The ending’s rushed, many things aren’t fully explained, and the things that are lack a bit. The story is almost nonexistent. The character could be fleshed out more. There’s a ton of problems as far as Sonny Boy the anime is concerned.
But Sonny Boy the experience and Sonny Boy the concept is perfection in my mind, and I really don’t think anything could ever change that. I don’t love it despite its oddities. I love it because it’s weird as hell. I love it because it doesn’t make a lick of sense. I love it because it’s Sonny Boy and all the absurdity that comes with it.
I saw a while back that there exists commentary on the series and why episodes were structured certain ways and what they mean. I have yet to read it, and I don’t know if I ever will. I want to keep things as mysterious and unknown as they are now because I feel like that’s the most fitting end for the series.
Sonny Boy isn’t supposed to be understood. It’s just supposed to be there. It’s supposed to exist, and you are supposed to experience it, and that’s it. At least, that’s my takeaway from it. Everyone that feels different, more power to you, but this is a series that I don’t think I’ll forget anytime soon. Good god, Sonny Boy, you were a trip. I don’t know anything else I can say.
Thank you very much for reading
What did you think? That’s it. Sonny Boy’s over for good. Weird.