Happy Monday BaddaBing BaddaBlog readers! Finals are over! We are back! And we are better than ever! As always this is Manga (And also Anime) Monday. The place where any and everything anime related is delved into. To kick things off, here is a review of what is undoubtedly the best anime of the fall season, One Punch Man.
One Punch Man is the story of an unemployed salary man named Saitama. One day, after failing to find employment, Saitama comes across a boy being attacked by a monster. In saving the child and killing the monster, Saitama realizes that it was never his dream to become an office worker. He had always dreamed of becoming a hero, one that was strong enough to defeat any evildoer with a single punch. With this seemingly unreachable goal in mind, Siatama sets sets out to achieve it with his unshakable will and determination.
Three years later and at the beginning of the series. Saitama has achieved his goal. He trained so hard that he lost all of his hair and can now best any opponent with a single blow. And he hates it. The reason he became a hero in the first place is so that he could find purpose and enjoyment in his life. However, crime and monster appearances are not going down whatsoever and the fights are no longer fun. This is where the story begins, with the universe’s strongest man lamenting his existence.
From a technical standpoint, One Punch Man already has a lot going for it. The animation in this anime is astonishing. It is beautiful, fluid, and filled with incredible detail. In several episodes, if you pause in just the right places, you can find that the animators took the time and effort to create an entirely new image for a single frame. I also very much appreciate how Saitama’s usually derpy expression seamlessly shifts to a badass heroic one subtly and smoothly when necessary. The music in One Punch Man is also incredible. Not only does the general background music perfectly fit whatever scene it is placed into, but the action music is often crafted for each particular fight. This means that the music in nearly every action sequence perfectly matches that individual fight. An incredible amount of detail and effort was put into this program and it is very apparent.
The story of One Punch Man also manages to be rich and enticing. The show’s main hook is that it is very much a parody of most Shonen anime storylines and, in many ways, a parody of the concept of superheroes in general. In those stories the main character is usually the under dog who, over the course of the narrative, has to fight stronger and stronger opponents until they are the unquestionable strongest. Then the story ends, evil has been vanquished, and everyone lives happily ever after. Once Punch Man plays off of this by having the main character be already impossibly strong. Saitama also very much does not have the personality of a main character in this kind of story. He is far more concerned and worried about figuring out how to pay for his rent and making it to his local grocery store’s special day than he is about vanquishing evil. Other characters also personify tropes found in superhero and anime storylines. There is Saitama’s vengeance seeking cyborg disciple Genos, the incredibly wise and incredibly old martial artist Bang, and the morale ambiguous rival character Speed of Sound Sonic. Any of these characters can be found in most Shonen anime, but their over-the-topness in One Punch Man is incredibly humorous and very appreciated.
One Punch Man is not all parody, however. This program is packed with a lot of societal and philosophical commentary. Saitama is desperately trying to find purpose and happiness in life. He worked hard and achieved his goal, but as soon as he did he realized that he preferred trying to achieve his goal than the actual goal itself. At this point he’s put in far too much time and effort into this profession/hobby to simply change it, so he is left with a sense of melancholy and a longing for excitement. Much of the societal commentary comes from the anime’s organization of heroes, the Hero Association. The Hero Association is run very much like a modern day business, with tiers of employment and preferential treatment given to those at the top. It is through the Hero Association that One Punch Man makes poignant comments about how hierarchies are more designed to maintain a status quo than reward actual skill or effort or about how we live in a world where results are held in a much higher regard than the time and effort that went into achieving them.
One Punch Man is truly a brilliant anime on all fronts. My only criticism is that the program is only twelve episodes long. Many other people share my praise for this work of animation. Currently, One Punch Man is rated number 17 one IMDB’s list of top rated TV shows. If you want to check this show out, which I highly encourage that you do, you can find it on Hulu. Enjoy.
I wish I could say more about this spectacular anime, but if I make this much longer no one will read it. I hope you liked this article and I promise that there will be man more to come. If you would like to read any of these, you can go ahead and subscribe using your email in the upper right tab. You can also stay up to date by liking the official BaddaBing BaddaBlog Facebook Page or by following me, @LucasDeRuyter, on Twitter. I hope all of you have an awesome day and be sure to come back Wednesday for an intergalactic Pop Culture Wednesday.