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Sonny Boy Release Date, Cast, And Plot - What We Know So Far

Fans of "One Punch Man" have been waiting for "One Punch Man 3" since at least 2019, and it looks like the wait is going to last a while longer. But the good news is that in the meantime, fans can check out what "One Punch Man" director Shingo Natsume has been working on instead: the first season of the upcoming anime "Sonny Boy."

It's a much different anime for Natsume this time around, trading the world's strongest superhero for a group of ordinary high school students. Natsume is working on the series along with Madhouse, the same studio that made "One Punch Man." Beyond Natsume, Madhouse has assembled an impressive roster of talent to make "Sonny Boy," and you can read about these people below. Based on all the names involved, "Sonny Boy" has as good a chance to be a hit as any anime these days. 

Here's everything we know about "Sonny Boy," which is just around the corner. 

What is the release date for Sonny Boy?

It's nearly here. In May 2021, the Anime News Network reported that "Sonny Boy" will premiere on July 15 — technically, it will be on the 16th because it premieres on Japanese TV at 12:30 a.m. If you're watching in Japan, it will air on Tokyo MX, KBS Kyoto, Sun TV, BS Asahi, and the RAB Aomori Broadcasting Corporation.

For English-speaking viewers, the anime website Funimation has acquired the streaming rights to the series. As for when it will be available, English-language versions of Japanese anime usually come out about two weeks after their Japanese premiere dates, in both dubbed and subtitled versions. That means those from English-speaking countries should expect "Sonny Boy" to arrive around July 30.

"Sonny Boy" will be an original anime, so it's not based on an existing manga. Director Shingo Natsume surprised fans by announcing the series in late April 2021, via ASAP Land.

Who is in the cast of Sonny Boy?

Anime News Network announced the main cast of "Sonny Boy" on May 13, 2021. Aoi Ichikawa will be playing Nagara, the hero and a high school student in his third year. Saori Ōnishi will play Nozomi, a new classmate who just moved from Berlin. Aoi Yūki will play Mizuho, one of Nagara's classmates who's always accompanied by her three cats, which belonged to her grandmother. Chiaki Kobayashi will be playing Nagara's rebellious classmate Asakaze. 

Behind the camera, there's the aforementioned Shingo Natsume ("One Punch Man," "Space Dandy"), who wrote and directed it. Norifumi Kugai (ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept.) did the anime character designs, based on the manga versions created by artist and illustrator Hisashi Euguchi, who worked on "Perfect Blue," "Roujin Z," "Eiji," "Stop! Hibari-kun," and "Mujin Wakusei Survive."

The theme song, "Shōnen Shōjo," ("Girls and Boys" in English), was composed and recorded by Kazunobu Mineta, guitarist and vocalist for the bang Ging Nang Boyz. 

What is the plot of Sonny Boy?

"Sonny Boy" is a science fiction ensemble drama anime with a classic setup. It's about a group of 36 high school students on summer vacation who are suddenly transported to an alternate dimension, which gives them superpowers. The main characters are: Nagara, a third-year boy; Nozomi, a "mysterious transfer student"; and Nagara's classmates Mizuho and Asakaze, as reported by Anime News Network. Some of the students try to organize their classmates to survive, others look for a way to return home, and some of them just enjoy their newfound superpowered abilities. 

As various Redditors have pointed out, that's a very similar setup to existing anime like "Grimgart: Ashes and Illusions" or "Arifureta: From Commonplace to World's Strongest." Depending on your tastes, that can be a good or a bad thing. But those same fans also noted that it's from the studio Madhouse, which has a proven track record thanks to "One Punch Man."