Written by: Nicole Castro
Published on: December 28, 2021 at 17:01 PHT (GMT+8)
Ho Ho Ho! Merry Muscular Christmas!
(Yes, welcome to another manga discussion on muscles. But this time, with Christmas! And Santa!)
Beastars author Paru Itagaki is back with a new manga series called Sanda. The manga is ongoing serialization in Akita Shoten's Weekly Shōnen Champion, and volume 1 began sales in Japan last Dec. 8, 2021.
So yes, this manga focuses on a very buff Santa in the form of 14-year-old protagonist Sanda. Sanda lives in a near-future version of Japan where children are cherished due to the low birthrates and are kept in special schools. For some reason, their universe no longer celebrates Christmas and snow during the winter is considered rare. Sanda is a descendant of Santa Claus but whose powers were sealed; thus preventing him from knowing about his true identity. But one day, his classmate Fuyumura lifts the curse so she can ask Santa to find her missing friend, Ono. Since Fuyumura is still considered as a child, Santa is strongly compelled to make her wish come true.
Disclaimer: Minor spoilers moving forward for Chapters 1-2 of the manga.
This was supposed to be an insightful review, but wow that is a very, very buff Santa.
Anyone see Sanda's resemblance to Silver Fang from One-Punch Man?
Okay, muscles aside, what's interesting about this manga from the get-go is how it compels readers to read through the first chapters as fast as they can to answer many of the plot's burning questions. Why is Santa no longer a thing in this universe? How did Sanda become a descendant of Santa Claus? What's causing the abnormally low birthrates?
Well, fear not because Fuyumura is going to help us get to the bottom of this. Violently.
Since Fuyumura is determined to find Ono and Sanda had no idea to being Santa Claus prior, Fuyumura is going to make sure she learns about Santa's true abilities, even if she has to resort to drastic measures. We kind of feel bad for Sanda, but in her own twisted sense, Fuyumura has a point.
Since Sanda's true identity must remain a secret, he and Fuyumura end up spending a lot of time together, causing some…misunderstandings.
Or are they?
We can't wait to see how this unlikely relationship unfolds (along with a potentially more-serious-than-it-seems plot). The first issue of Sanda is available on Amazon Japan.
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