Manga Monday: One Punch Man Volume 1 Review
One Punch Man is written by One and illustrated by Yusuke Murata. It is published through Shonen Jump and distributed through Viz Media. It originally was a web based manga before the team brought it to paperback in 2012. It is famous for the anime that grew very popular last season(Which I managed to stay spoiler free from so far.
Spoilers: Meh, not really any huge ones.
Plot: Saitama was a man who had lost the will to live three years before the very first panel. In the first chapter he fights a piccolo looking character who is a manifest of earth sent to kill all humans for polluting. Yeah, manga takes a very “Defend Earth” stance early and does not really let it go through out the volume. Chapter two gives us back story about Saitama when he was a dead beat who killed a mutated crab(Yet again from pollution like some Fallout stuff). This is when we learn it’s been three years since he decided to train to carry on the Baldy Balds tradition(I love you if you get this reference). Early on this feels very western world comic style. By that I mean no apparent cohesive plot like tradition mangas. Most of the early chapters just feel like days-in-the-life kinda things where he goes around easily defeating villains. Combine that with almost a deconstruction of Shonen manga’s main characters and you have an entertainingly funny, but boring action comic. The volume does end on a high note as they introduce what I presume to be the bad guy organization.
Characters: Saitama and Genos seem to be our two main characters so i’ll focus on them
Saitama- Saitama could not get a job to save his life. He even commented he failed 3 or 4 interviews that day alone. When a mutated crab tries to kill a little boy, Saitama rushes to the rescue and discovers he wants to be a hero. For fun and all. Saitama is pretty much how you would expect Goku or Luffy to to fight. Saitama is so overpowered it’s crazy. Goku is crazy stronger than anybody in Dragon Ball but still struggles against folks he should not. Saitama, on the other hand, obliterates the opposition. Logically, this how I imagine most fights going. One Punch Man shows how, while very funny, just how dull these worlds would be. The cool part about him though is that he seeks a rival as strong as him and how he feels empty without the competition. The sad part, I do not think he will find that rival anytime soon.
Genos- Genos is a pretty cool character. He is an cyborg but is fully capable of emotions. He is seeking revenge and hoping Saitama can help train him(Sandy would be disappointed to learn this). He once was a young boy in a small town. A cyborg went crazy and killed everyone in the town except him(Like a synth. Man, I have Fallout on the brain). Anyway, a doctor for justice preformed a procedure on him to turn Genos into a cyborg that seeks justice.
The World: One of the first mangas I really get to talk about the world. The world is overrun by monsters and villains. Saitama hopes that by donning his cap(For fun) he would cut down on the monstrous behavior. He’s wrong. Most of the villains seem to be manifestations of science or the earth herself. Pretty cool world, scary to live in though.
Action: One punch worth
Romance: None at the moment.
Plot: It’s there.
Characters: We’ve really only done surface level scratching
The World: I feel this is going to be explored a little more. Cool for the time being though
Humor: The series does this right. It’s pretty funny.
Verdict: Seems the chapters are more western style than tradition mangas for now. It’s a funny read but it’s very fast pace.
Score: 6.5 out 10. One Punch Man is hard to buy into after just one volume. It’s a satire and deconstruction of a genre I’m just not sure how well it translates into manga form. The best part from the mangas One Punch Man seems to be inspired by is the rivalry between main characters and villains, think Naruto and Sasuke. One Punch Man does not have that, but it does have potential. A solid start, a good enough middle, and cliff hanger ending makes me at least want to give volume 2 a try(which I will when I can).