One Punch Man
Aired: October 5th, 2015 – December 21st, 2015.
Opening: THE HERO !! ～怒れる拳に火をつけろ～(THE HERO!! ~Okoreru Kobushi ni hi wo Tsukero~ / THE HERO !! Set Fire to the Furious Fist) by JAM Project.
Ending: 星より先に見つけてあげる (Hoshi yori saki ni mitsukete ageru / I’ll Find It Before the Stars For You) and 悲しみたちを抱きしめて (Kanashimi Tachi wo Dakishimete / Embracing Our Many Sorrows)
Ah~ The ever so popular One Punch Man. This is probably the most talked about anime of 2015 since its release. It even has popular memes. This anime scored a 9.01 with almost 160k votes on MyAnimeList, and it ranked #11 on their anime list.
One Punch Man – it sounds both badass and corny, and that’s exactly what it is. This action-comedy anime is originally a web comic, about an ‘average’ hero looking for tough opponents. It’s a superhero parody.
Saitama, the main character, who is able to defeat anyone with simply one punch (hence “One Punch Man”), is your regular nobody: He has lifeless expressions, does nothing with his life, is bald and basically the most uninteresting person you will ever meet. But because of his extreme power, he has not found a single worthy opponent to fight, and became bored. Because of his boredom, he decided to become ‘a superhero for fun’ in his free time.
At first glance, this anime doesn’t look special; the art is simple but of similar quality as many other anime of 2015. One thing that stands out about the quality of the art is the main character’s design: It’s probably the most simple design for a main character I have ever seen. In fact, it’s so simple, that some might call it ‘stupid’ or ‘bad’. That’s exactly why it fits the character so well, though, since Saitama is a very simpleminded person, and definitely not the smartest person around. The rest of the characters have slightly more ‘complicated’ designs, that are more on par with other character designs of 2015.
The characters in One Punch man are all different, but a lot of them fall under the well-known ‘archetypes’. There’s the cocky good-for-nothing, the overpowered tsundere girl, and the relaxed but badass grandpa. Each of the characters brings something funny or cool to the table, and they create many funny and interesting moments.
The main characters in One Punch Man are Saitama and Genos.
Saitama is your regular Joe: A random bald guy who literally doesn’t do much other than eat, sleep, watch tv and pick his nose. He’s not handsome, has a stupid look on his face all the time and during battles he’s only focused on food and other random things. The one thing about him that stands out is his inhuman strength. He is so strong he can defeat (and kill) an enemy with just one punch, hence “One Punch Man”. This bothers him, however. In fact, it bothers him so much that Saitama became ‘a hero for fun’ in order to find worthy opponents to fight when he’s bored.
Aside from his inhuman strength, Saitama is quite daft and dull, and hardly anything truly interests him (other than food and a supermarket sale).
One day he meets Genos, a cyborg who wishes to kill the cyborg that killed Genos’ family when he was just a human child. While Genos is fighting a monster, Saitama shows up. Genos believes Saitama is a random civilian and tells him to evacuate.
Genos, despite being quite overpowered himself, loses and Saitama ends up punching and killing the enemy. The cyborg then decided he wants to be Saitama’s disciple. Saitama agrees, because he thinks that will help him get rid of Genos, which it doesn’t.
Genos is a very serious character who strives to be stronger. He likes to analyze battle, and calls Saitama ‘teacher’ all the time, much to the other’s annoyance. His design is more complicated and ‘handsome’ looking than Saitama’s.
The voice acting in One Punch Man is quite good. The voices fit the characters well and the actors really bring the characters and the situation those characters are in to life. The background music is also very fitting for the situations, and the theme songs are fitting.
The opening theme, THE HERO !! ～怒れる拳に火をつけろ, really fits the anime. At first, I didn’t know why they picked this song, but as soon as you hear the lyrics and read the translation, you realize how well the lyrics fit the story. It’s an exciting intro, and the animation used in the opening is very interesting. The English used in this song is also pretty good.
The anime has two ending themes: 星より先に見つけてあげる (Hoshi yori saki ni mitsukete ageru) and 悲しみたちを抱きしめて (Kanashimi Tachi wo Dakishimete), which are both performed by Moriguchi Hiroko. The first song is used for the first eleven episodes of the anime, and sounds like some kind of elevator music that plays in Saitama’s head when he thinks about food instead of focusing. At first it doesn’t seem to fit the anime at all, but as you listen to it and imagine Saitama with the music, it seems like something that would play in his head for no reason. The second song is very relaxing, yet it didn’t strike me as the perfect song for the ending. It takes away the epicness and fun of the final episode, but it’s not a bad song in the least.
The anime is based on some of the volumes of the manga, and this is the first season of the anime. Through the story you see the different sections of Japan, called “A City” till “Z City”, being attacked by monsters. There is a “Hero Association” that sends out different Heroes to deal with the monsters in the right City. There is a ranking system that ranks heroes based on their abilities. C is the lowest, followed by B, then A and lastly, S rank.
During the attacks, you get to witness Saitama and Genos kick some serious ass (though, mainly Saitama).
The ending of this season is really nice; There’s an epic battle, and funny and somewhat dramatic moments. It’s clear that this will not be the only season of One Punch Man we will get to see, as the manga is still ongoing, and so is the webcomic. I think we can expect at least one new season of this amazing show, and I hope that new season will reach us soon.
All in all One Punch Man is a very entertaining anime to watch. It has a nice sense of humor and some cool fighting scenes. The characters are hilarious and the voice actors have done a great job. I highly recommend this anime to our readers as it will not disappoint you.
If you like funny anime with characters that pack a punch, you should watch One Punch Man.
Did you know:
- One Punch Man is originally a Japanese webcomic created by an author known as ONE, in 2009. It went viral. A digital manga remake was illustrated by Yusuke Murata, and was published in 2012. It was then turned into an anime in 2015. Both the webcomic and manga are ongoing.
- The Manga creator wanted to make Saitama look more handsome and cool than the original design, but decided against it later on because he realized it didn’t fit the character. In the end he kept Saitama the way he is in the webcomic.
- All the characters in the anime – including minor charactors or one episode characters – are voiced by Japan’s top voice actors.
Review by: Mariëlle