One of the Summer Season's latecomers, Sonny Boy, an original by Studio Madhouse, is among the anime that will stick with you, for good reason. From the simply drawn, unique animation, to the mutable, terrifying setting, the survival anime recreates the isekai genre. So, how many episodes until it all makes sense (or not)?
Sonny Boy follows 36 students, who suddenly find themselves drifting away to a different, wholly dark dimension, along with the entire school building – but without any teachers or other adult school employees to begin with.
Stranger still, several students develop supernatural abilities while others do not. The student council vainly tries to impose order, but they soon clash with magically gifted and non-gifted students alike, as their attempts to control others aren't appreciated.
Following the lead of Nozomi, a lonely girl, students and a school building end up on an island that is part of the other dimension. While much better than the totally black, impenetrable setting of before, the island is almost a character in its own right, and if students disobey its rules, even accidentally, things get scary.
At its heart, the show seems to be about power struggles: between gifted and non-gifted individuals, popular students and misfits, adults and adolescents. The setting might remind you of Lord of the Flies or Battle Royale due to the sinister, dangerous island setting, but at the end of the day, this is a unique show, and we can't know where it's going.
The anime airs weekly on Funimationand Hulu, while a dub can't be ruled out in the near future. It has been confirmed that Season 1 of Sonny Boy will have 12 episodes. This hardly comes as a surprise, as many first seasons of anime have between 11 and 13 episodes.
It's a bit early to tell, but Sonny Boy seems to fit in the pattern of clever, mind-bending anime that use fantasy as a means to discuss important social issues. Of course, if it does follow such a pattern, this could mean that Sonny Boy – which gets stranger with each episode, might have as begging for a satisfying conclusion that makes sense. Wonger Egg Priority, I'm looking at you.
But this is mere speculation at this point – especially since it's early to rule out a potential Season 2. For now, Sonny Boy is several weeks' worth of good entertainment that will make you think.