I’ve been trying for a while to think about how I should begin this post, but honestly I am not exactly sure how I should introduce it, I don’t exactly know what I should say to describe just what the manga is about beyond just saying ‘this manga is about a man who one punches the bad guys away…’. Now the manga is much deeper than that description but that description summaries perfectly what this manga is about…a man with the ability to defeat someone with one punch. Absurd I know, but beyond how the manga initially sounds, the actuality of your reaction when you begin reading it is that it is absurdly good.
Saitama is the name of the protagonist, one day he decided to follow his dream of being a hero and after years of hard work and training he attained a power which can be said to be within the realms of god. No matter how strong, how fast, how ferocious, how terrifying, how brutal, how monstrous, how insane the enemy is, they all get taken done in one punch. It’s such a ridiculous concept to base a story around, it’s unbelievable that a story can actually build itself around it AND be this satisfyingly good, entertaining and enjoyable! The basis behind having a [weaker] hero face a stronger opponent is to induce excitement, suspense, surprise, drama, accomplishment, but in Onepunch Man we have a hero who literally one punches his opponents, yet as a reader, I completely don’t mind at all, in fact I love it…I love seeing the way Saitama destroys his opponents hopes of winning and their notion of strength by one punching them down. And having a story about a hero having such an overwhelming power is just so interesting to watch unfold and develop.
The way Onepunch Man is presented is the reason why it makes for such an enjoyable read (even among other action gag manga’s). It’s not too serious that the manga becomes devoid of humour, but it’s serious enough that it pushes character development and a story forward. The way Saitama is drawn/presented is another reason why, and the way Saitama is presented is as a bald average superhero, one who is trying to live his daily life and find a way to fill the emptiness he feels from being overpowered. Saitama himself is an awesome character, he may not have an overly apparent drive for being a superhero, but his laid-back hero-for-a-hobby personality is such a refreshing way to handle the main character for an action manga. And there is something ludicrously epic about seeing a bad guy/person pull out their strongest moves/abilities against Saitama only to be slapped in the face with the realisation that they just got owned…in one punch…
The art style is amazing, Yuusuke Murata compliments ONE’s story writing so well, it’s a pleasure seeing how Murata-sensei’s simplified presentations of Saitama add an extra dimension of depth to the manga and to my enjoyment. Murata-sensei could have presented Saitama in some badass detailed way but his approach of simplifying Saitama’s presentation works much better as it highlights the character and persona of the manga much strongly and pushes Saitama’s character to an even higher level of awesomeness then what detail could have achieved (funny how things work out). Normally main characters of action manga’s have badass hair styles and super cool designs, but Saitama is bald and has an average design, yet just by his personality and character, he pushes passed that barrier and trashes the notion that main characters have to look badass to be badass. Man Saitama is awesome, and hilarious, can’t wait to see how he develops in future chapters.
Continuing with the art style I have noticed that Murata-sensei loves to illustrate scenes in extreme progressive detail, meaning rather than showing a character throw a punch in one panel and in the next having it land on a character, he illustrates the attack/scene across several pages to the point that it reaches the realms of animation when you flip through the pages quickly and my goodness, it is beyond awesome. I haven’t seen many scenes/battles handled in this manner in manga before, so this is relatively unique, but it is extremely effective in conveying the epicness and intensity of a battle, as you get to see it unfold in a way that is almost animated (check out the scenes in chapter 15 and chapter 17). I also should point out that the way Murata-sensei illustrates females is so insanely good, they sure are sexy!
Onepunch Man takes a very unique and refreshing twist on the superhero genre in the sense that it feels both like a superhero story and something entirely different. It may not take itself completely seriously (as expected of a gag manga), but the manga is driven by the story and the characters within and while it may appear simple there is quite a bit of depth and purpose to be found.
Also one last thing to note, but Onepunch Man does remind me of the American Comic Empowered (which I also love immensely), they both take an interesting twist on the superhero genre and handle it in such humouress and entertaining ways.
Enjoyment value: 9.5/10
Thanks for reading.