The Afro God which Punpun, the titular character of the manga Oyasumi Punpun, worships is quite an enigmatic entity. The design of Afro God, with his photorealistic floating head and standout smile, still stays fresh in the minds of manga readers.
However, Punpun’s personal God wasn’t always meant to look so striking, or surreal. In his recent tweet, the manga’s author Inio Asano, revealed the initial storyboard for the first chapter of Oyasumi Punpun, in which Punpun’s personal God makes an appearance.
The design, in comparison to one that was eventually published, is quite different. Asano too remarked on this initial design, saying it scares him.
“Part of the script for the first episode of Punpun. I didn’t remember it at all, but God looks different and it scares me,” the author wrote in the tweet.
Twitter users who saw Asano’s draft, replied that the manga would not have been same without Afro God. Some even pointed out that the God’s design in the initial draft was very close to that of Buddha.
Asano’s Oyasumi Punpun (Goodnight Punpun) was published in Shogakukan’s Weekly Young Sunday between 2007 and 2008 and later in Weekly Big Comic Spirits from 2008 to 2013. The manga’s 147 chapters were collected and compiled into 13 tankobon volumes.
The North American release of the manga was licensed by Viz Media, who announced it at Otakon 2015. They describe the plot of the manga as follows:
Meet Punpun Punyama. He’s an average kid in an average town.
He wants to win a Nobel Prize and save the world.
He wants the girl he has a crush on to like him back.
He wants to find some porn.
That’s what he wants, but what does he get…?
As of January 2019, Oyasumi Punpun had 3 million copies in circulation.