Now that One Punch Man has been airing in Japan for a little while it seemed like a good time to talk a little more about this amazing series from Madhouse and how it’s been travelling so far.
One Punch Man is an ordinary guy who, wanting to be a hero in his spare time, trained to such a truly ridiculously high level that he can now defeat any enemy with a single punch. The first few episodes are a little episodic as they introduce us to the characters and the world they live in, full of heroes and bizarre monsters that wreak huge-scale havoc on Japan’s cityscapes. Now that the series has gotten some momentum it seems like it’s starting to have more of a storyline, with Saitama and Genos joining a Hero Registry and working to rise in the ranks. The way the Hero Registry works tends to put me in mind of ‘Hero TV’ in Tiger & Bunny, though the OPM manga does predate it.
There are so many good points about this show. The humour is great, with the naïve and overly serious Genos being a perfect foil for self-effacing, deadpan Saitama. Saitama himself, aka One Punch Man, is a pure gem of a character. He can alternate between lazy, irresponsible everyman to supreme badass at the drop of a pin and remains utterly matter-of-fact about it. There are parodies of fighting anime tropes, puns, and many laugh out loud moments per episode. Not only that, but the animation is utterly fantastic. It’s decadent, impressive, fluid and over the top, with lightning-quick shifts in styles for comedic and dramatic effect. If only Madhouse had been animating Dragon Ball Super instead of Toei! One Punch Man’s animation is everything I ever wanted a modern Dragon Ball series to be – but I bitterly digress.
The online manga went viral and is wildly successful in print, going to number one on the New York Times Manga Best Sellers list (who even knew that was a thing?!) and the anime seems like it’s enjoying similar levels of popularity. There’s already an OVA scheduled for release with the 10th manga volume on 10 December 2015, and there are six more OVAs in the works for home video.
All in all, One Punch Man is far and above my #1 anime of the year and everyone I talk to seems to feel the same. I find myself eagerly awaiting the weekend so I can get in another dose of Wanpanman before facing the daily grind again.