When ‘One Punch Man’ the webcomic came out in 2009, it was instantly a viral hit. Just 3 years later it was remade into a manga series in Shonen Jump and another 3 years after that an anime. The series follows ‘Saitama’ a man who “is a superhero for fun”. After saving a young boy from a crab monster he trains himself to the point of becoming bald. Ultimately becoming the world’s strongest, and most overpowered, superhero – defeating evil in just one hit! The series follows him in his quest to find someone he can battle properly, joining the Hero’s Association and attempting to train his loyal disciple, Genos.
What Makes One Punch Man So Good
Every anime fan has heard of the ‘The Big 3’, and in fact many debate what the Big 3 are. You can read a run down of what I think ‘The Big 3’ are and their features here. But what makes ‘One Punch Man’ so interesting is how different it is to these ‘Big’ manga. It’s a parody of them, in each of the ‘Big 3’ series the MC is always overpowered and he may struggle a bit, but always comes out on top. But in ‘One Punch Man’ Saitama is just as overpowered and hates it, he’s missing out on the ’emotional’ aspects of the fight. The struggle and adrenaline, the sweet backstory (which can go on forever), the fight is ended quickly. There’s also the fact that Saitama hates small talk, while in many other series character’s will openly say their plans or backstory, Saitama asks everyone to summarise it in “20 words or less”. It’s the humour of One Punch Man that makes it special, a series that doesn’t take itself too seriously.
Manga Vs. Anime
Every time I’ve read a manga and then watched the anime, I’ve always preferred the manga. But surprisingly for ‘One Punch Man’, I really adored the anime. I found the manga, while still quite good, to just be a quick mash of battle scenes and wit. Whereas the anime managed to draw a lot more of character development out. In the anime Saitama’s journey as a hero is clear – he does it because he wants to. He doesn’t care about what the people around him think. But in the manga this was a little bit lost in the constant jokes about him destroying monsters in one punch.
Overall I really did enjoy ‘One Punch Man’, even more so than I enjoyed ‘Mob Psycho’! The series has the right balance of humour and action to make it a great watch. I’m interested in how Saitama’s character will develop in season 2. I’m not completely sold that I can go through another season of Saitama destroying everything in a single punch. I highly recommend this series to anyone who is a fan of shonen anime, at only 12 episodes long, it’s worth the watch!