one-punch man 1

“The exhilaration of a real fight!”


One-Punch Man started as a webcomic, and it was later picked up and redrawn (LOL) into a serialized manga. The anime is a subversive take at American comic books. The main character isn’t a teenager tasked with piloting a giant mecha while maintaining a harem, isn’t a teenager suddenly forced to live with a newly unearthed little sister, isn’t a transfer student into a magic academy where he is the lowest-ranked commoner yet spends a lot of time with the hot fire-based high-ranked princess. Nope. Let’s wait for Marvel’s, DC’s, Image’s, and Dark Horse’s subversive take on manga where Batman is an angsty teenager trying to recover the 7 batballs to revive his dead parents, Wolverine is a Gundam piloted by a Kurdish/Japanese teenaged boy, and Sex Criminals is about a man who gets superpowers whenever he fights off the advances of his hot harem.

One-Punch Man subverts the traditional superhero formula in two ones. One, his origin story is the least interesting part of him. He basically says, “I tried a lot, lost my hair, and became super powerful.” And that’s it. There’s no grandiose fantasy or fabrication that comes with a Stan Lee hero. Saitama is a hero in the most boring and pedestrian way. Moreso, he became a hero because he thought it would be fun. He’s not out for revenge or saving lives, he’s just bored. Luckily for us, he chose to be a hero to relieve his boredom instead of doing what everyone else does: shitposting on 2chan/4chan.

The second way is that the fights are the least interesting part of One-Punch Man. Since he always wins with one punch, there’s no suspense to the action. It’s just a question of when or how he will punch someone. It’s the Superman problem taken to the logical extreme: Superman is already so powerful, what could possibly stand in this way? One-Punch Man doesn’t care. It revels in this fact.

As a bonus subversive trait, One-Punch Man depicts the havok it causes on the common populace as a matter-of-factly. It’s not a Superman Returns that revels in watching people die and suffer nor an Age of Ultron that goes out of its way to save civilians. No, One-Punch Man just acknowledges shit will happen when superheroes and supervillains collide. The end.


That being said, there’s nothing unpredictable about the show. There’s no curveballs. There’s a villain who looks like a crab? You can guess how that happened. You can also guess how Saitama will deal with the situation. You know exactly which beats are going to happen next, and you actually can’t wait for it. It’s a bit like No Game No Life where the winning doesn’t stop.


There’s also the whole Saitama looked better as a normal human thing. Being a superhero didn’t turn him into a Golden God, instead, it just turned him into a lower polygon model. Madhouse is doing a fantastic job with the animation. There’s a lot of vibrant action, and the scenes are very kinetic. While a lot of action is taking place, it is understandable. It’s the incomprehensible garbage shoveled at us in K Return of Kings. Though I hope Viz uses that quote for their BD back cover for K: “blog好き calls K ‘Incomprehensible garbage!'”


Take notes, Aldet. That’s how you become the strongest man in the world. Using smoke bombs or cheap traps? Pfffft. Try one punching a giant titan. The solution is just so simple. Why bother with 3D maneuver gear and swords when all humanity needed to do was train for three years and develop a devastating punch? I’m a convert. I’m a disciple of One Punch.


It’s also a bit funny how the villains get a chance to tell their backstory only to be instantly obliterated with a single punch. I’m not sure how this concept will work out over a twelve episode series, but I have confidence that the story will find a way to make it interesting. It’s the exact opposite about how I feel about Lance N’ Masques.

(Director is Shingo Natsume, who directed Space Dandy. While Space Dandy was hit or miss, it did have good moments. Saitama is, at the very least, more interesting than Dandy.)


Totally not a commentary on Drago’s training regimen from Rocky IV.


Three quotes…

1. “In this age of declining birth rates, I can’t just let you kill a kid.”

2. “What’s wrong? Why does my heart feel so empty?”

3. “Drink this, and you will obtain the power you’ve been seeking! I added strawberry flavoring to make it go down easier!” “Onii-san~”

One Response to “one-punch man 1”

  1. Ah, glad you would be blogging this. Sadly I was weak and looked up the manga instead of waiting for more anime.

    One popular theory in the fandom is that Saitama is being who he is because he is trying to hold on to what little humanity he has left. For all intent and purposes he is already a god, but he knows the dangers of forgetting what being human is like. That is why he doesn’t live in a superhero hideout and insist on going shopping for groceries like the rest of us.

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