I’ve been reading around the inter-webs, recently, about a new show just released this fall called One-Punch Man. I’ve read things like “You NEED to watch this show, it is AMAZING” and things like, “I don’t understand why everyone thinks this show is so great– it is alright I guess…” and then we get to insane folks that focus more on the main characters appearance being akin to Caillou or praise the fact that Ikkaku Madarame, from bleach, finally got his own show (thanks to the population that make up the ACEN page). But no matter the type of coverage given, the show is being received fairly positively and I figured it was worth a watch.
And I was not disapointed! Let me be clear, I had literally no idea what type of show I was getting in to. All I had seen prior to watching the first two episodes of the series was some screenshots and stuff– nothing at all helpful. But the show is a combination of awesome and troll and leaves you with the feeling of “what the fuck did I just watch?”. Which is amazing! And what is even better is that the show doesn’t slack off in the artwork department, visually the show works very well and looks top-quality.
The anime takes place in the Japan at a city called “City Z” that is chalked full of monsters that come out of nowhere to wreak havoc on Z’s population. Saitama, the shows main protagonist, is an insanely powerful person who is a “hero for fun”. In reality, however, he became a hero after he was filled with a sense of purpose three years prior when he saved a douchebaggy little kid who messed with the wrong monster. He threw away his thoughts of working as a normal salary-man and spent the next few years training like crazy to become the strongest hero alive. However, there is only one problem… now that he has acquired limitless strength, every foe he faces dies with a single blow (hence the name “one-punch man”) and this has caused him to lose the initial feeling of inspiration he had. Being the strongest also means that you’re incredibly lonely, a fact that Saitama learns first hand as he struggles every day to find a worthy opponent.
The best part about this show is how it turns the common shonen character trait on its head. We see countless characters in anime like Ichigo, Naruto, Goku and Kirito, practically be the gods of their world and are super strong but are able to find worthy opponents constantly. However, Saitama has the opposite problem in that he has become so strong that fighting has now become boring. The world is full of insanely strong and often ridiculous creatures but no one can withstand a single punch against the seemingly ordinary looking hero.
What I find even more awesome is that Saitama looked like the standard male protagonist-type before he became a hero. He looked strong, handsome and was seething with passion. But after training three years straight, he lost all of his hair and his face rounded and he looks laughable– which I love by the way because his usually facial expression is one that shows an utter lack of fucks given. And I do really think that he gives exactly zero fucks at any given moment. There is one instance when Saitama and his newly acquired disciple are battling creatures hoping to kidnap Saitaima. A surprise attack leads to Saitama being grabbed by his ankle and pushed into the ground, seemingly trapped with nothing but his neck and head showing above ground. Instead of allowing his disciple to assist him he just says “Oh no thanks! I’m fine– I feel like a bamboo shoot!” and then calmly continues to allow the monsters to monologue before deciding to easy vanquish him.
But don’t take that to mean the fights are boring– they aren’t in the slightest. The show does an amazing job of balancing Saitama’s bad ass-ness with the weakness of other characters. This is accomplished either by Saitama himself allowing his opponent to feel like they are superior or by allowing other characters to fight one-another. Either way– the action sequences are amazingly well times and visually well-done. A certain dream-sequence in the first episode, in particular, gives the viewer a sneak-peak of what the show is capable of and what the audience can look forward to seeing more of in the future.
In addition to a ridiculous main character, the show also houses a slew of ridiculous villains which give the show a bit of charm as well. We are used to seeing villains that you can take seriously, One-Punch Man displays villains that are odd-balls rather than menacing. We see creatures like a man who turned into a crab– but still wears underwear and only underwear, a person who is half car half man, a blue Piccolo, a she-demon who controls mosquitos and much much more. It gives the whole show a feel of craziness and you cannot help but laugh at.
I look forward to seeing a lot more of this show and I really cannot wait to see where they take it. I hope to see Sataima find an opponent that he actually has to try against but, if he doesn’t, that will be fine too. He is enough of a troll to his would-be villains to make the show entertaining enough!
Also here are a couple of unused pictures =)