Title: Goodnight Punpun Vol. 7
Author: Inio Asano
Publisher: Viz Media
Genre: Slice of Life, Drama
Publication Date: September 19, 2017
The end of Goodnight Punpun has arrived and I have to say that the manga wrapped up very nicely. Here, Punpun and Aiko are still on the run as the news began broadcasting the discovery of Aiko’s mother’s body. Aiko has an uncle that is a doctor that she wants to go to since the medication is no longer helping her with her fever. Punpun suggests that they avoid the roads and while walking through the woods, Aiko suspects that Punpun dragged her out there to kill her. Punpun assured her that he has no plans of doing so.
On the flipside of things, we are also taken to the explosion that happened during Pegasus’ mass suicide attempt. Among the flames of the explosion, we see Pegasus’ silhouette burn away, thus confirming his death. Seki finds Shimizu inside of the fire with a head wound and rescues him. Later on in the volume, both Seki and Shimizu get treated at a hospital and released. Seki seems to reaffirm his friendship with Shimizu, but there’s one little problem: Shimizu had lost his memories.
Finally, we get caught up with Kanie who is getting an assistant to help her with her new manga project. She finally comes to realize that she loves Punpun and will accept all of him if they were ever to meet. On a whim, Kanie decides to go out and look for Punpun and she ends up finding him after Punpun had returned from being on the run with Aiko. Punpun also had a self-inflicted wound in his left eye in which “God” was residing. It was at this moment where Punpun seemed to have achieved his ideal state of mind. Punpun was resting in the hospital when the police confronted Kanie, asking about Punpun because he was suspected in being part of a murder. After the police question Punpun, we begin to do some time skipping.
The volume ends with a class reunion. Harumin, from the beginning of the series, became a teacher. He runs into Punpun and the two of them catch up despite the fact that Harumin couldn’t remember his name. As Harumin is teaching a class, he receives a transfer student. A boy in the class is mesmerized by her and thus, Goodnight Punpun ends the very same way it began!
All the loose ends have been tied up with Punpun’s character. All of his experiences shaped him into the person he is and while he came to the realization that he had achieved his ideal life, his head was still depicted as a dark, soulless bird. It symbolized that Punpun was lying to himself about his life finally being ideal. However, while in the hospital, for the first time in the manga, we got to see Punpun as a regular human being. Despite this, we still couldn’t see his face because he was dressed up in bandages from the surgery on his eye, but his depiction as a bird was no longer present. The transformation had to be due in part to Kanie and while the two of them are not confirmed to be dating, it’s heavily implied that they will probably end up together. Kanie’s child even regards Punpun as a father, but Punpun himself isn’t a hundred percent convinced it’s his. It’s left up to the reader’s interpretation when it comes to the two of them, which I think is a smart move.
That was the only real major character development. Shimizu’s amnesia was never confirmed to have been cured, but we do learn about what he’s doing with his life. Seki hasn’t really changed all that much and even Harumin mentions that everyone he ran into at the reunion didn’t really change all that much, either.
I will be quite honest. When I was first sent volume one of this series, I had no idea what I was in for. I had never heard of this series and when I saw the name and took one look at the cover, I thought it was going to be some children’s story or something cutesy. I decided to open the cover and begin reading and I was floored by what was actually on the pages. At first, I thought this series was nothing more than perverse, dark humor, but as the volumes continued to come out, I began to realize that this was a manga about life. It teaches you that not everyone’s life is glamorous and that life will never go the way you want it to. You are faced with trials and tribulations as a person and it’s how you accept and deal with those trials that will shape you into the person you will become.
While the humor and writing was dark and edgy, this series wouldn’t have worked any other way. Inio Asano took us through a brilliant journey and watching Punpun grow up from his background to what he had become shows that there can be light at the end of the tunnel, although, Punpun’s life still isn’t glamorous or something that rewarded him well for all the things he had to endure. He’s still in the process of earning his happiness, but at least the volume ends in such a way where you can feel confident in believing that Punpun will be just fine from here on out.
This is a very powerful series that I would highly recommend to anyone. There are moments in here that will make you shake your head, but in the end, it is a profound example of life itself and the journey of one man through it. In my opinion, Goodnight Punpun is a rare masterpiece that is not only entertaining, but can be extremely relatable to a lot of people. I’m sure there is a little piece of everyone somewhere within the seven volumes of this series. This is the first time I have read something from Inio Asano, but thanks to this series, this will not be the only series I read from him.
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This item was provided for review by Viz Media.