The seemingly ordinary and unimpressive Saitama has a rather unique hobby: being a hero. In order to pursue his childhood dream, he trained relentlessly for three years—and lost all of his hair in the process. Now, Saitama is incredibly powerful, so much so that no enemy is able to defeat him in battle. In fact, all it takes to defeat evildoers with just one punch has led to an unexpected problem—he is no longer able to enjoy the thrill of battling and has become quite bored.
This all changes with the arrival of Genos, a 19-year-old cyborg, who wishes to be Saitama's disciple after seeing what he is capable of. Genos proposes that the two join the Hero Association in order to become certified heroes that will be recognized for their positive contributions to society, and Saitama, shocked that no one knows who he is, quickly agrees. And thus begins the story of One Punch Man, an action-comedy that follows an eccentric individual who longs to fight strong enemies that can hopefully give him the excitement he once felt and just maybe, he'll become popular in the process.
Going back to One Punch Man, I really thought of something. Something that can make or break this show to several of its viewers. And that's the joke. The one prominent singular joke.
I'm not saying this is going to be a completely balanced review. And most of you might get upset over that fact, and even start to hate me for it too. And I can understand why. I would hate it if someone didn't provide both sides to the argument for my favorite show, but keep in mind that I am not authoritative force, and I cannot dictate how or what you should
think. For all you know, you might just stumble a 4 paragraph post by me describing how shoving hotdogs up your ass is actually a good thing. But I'm hoping that maybe next time you go to the grill, you can ponder on what you're going to do with that hotdog. Or maybe you still won't do that, but you'll at least know why some people might like sticking hotdogs up their ass. But anyways, let's get on with this review.
One Punch Man has got to be one of the most commonly talked about show I've seen this year, even impacting the smash community when one of the smash player's shaved their beard and started using Ryu. In all honesty, how many shows can you say do that? But does this fulfill the hype, and is this the savior of anime?
If you are like me, and expected One Punch Man to be a satire, then you will be disappointed. Rather than making fun of its tropes directly, One Punch Man parodies it instead by over-exaggerating them to the point where it becomes funny. Is that a bad thing? Not necessarily, but there are problems with that. With the already ridiculous start of the series, it makes it hard to enjoy the jokes when they are virtually indistinguishable. You can't top off something so exaggerated, similar to how you can't top off beating an enemy with a single punch. Because of this, as the series went on, the joke lost its charm as it wasn't special anymore. After seeing a couple of episodes, you know what to expect from it, which really damaged the comedy effect. And yes, the final episodes did stray away from that, but even that was just a elongated scene of what was soon going to happen. If you really look at it, it was just Saitama getting beaten up with a variety of attacks.
The problem of One Punch Man getting repetitive may seem like a small thing, but in fact, it really isn't. When a comedy starts to get unappealing, there isn't much that can save that. The parody is all that One Punch Man seemed to offer, and if you don't like that, than you definitely won't like the show.
Near the end, it was hinted that the focus will eventually shift from the parody aspect to the side characters, something that would benefit the series as the more "Slice of Life" aspects where the strong suit of One Punch Man, but for now, the first season is all we got.
You could say that being repetitive and anticlimactic is the point of One Punch Man, and it in itself is actually also parodying the repetitive nature of most action shows, but I disagree. There should be something that would want to make the watcher come back for more. Your daily life as a human being isn't characterized by the same exact thing each time. Maybe the steps building up to 'the punchline' are different, or maybe you don't exactly engage with 'the punchline' each time. The moment in this case is the same exact thing, with the only differences being how the villains look or where the fight is taking place. What kind of show is engaging, but doesn't have an engaging story? Even if that was the point, how is it fun to watch the same thing 12 times?
If you enjoyed the parody aspect of it, then the repetitiveness of the joke shouldn't be a problem for you, but if you wanted a bit more than just that, then you won't be getting that from One Punch Man.
If anyone tells you that the animation of One Punch Man is bad, then they're just trying to shit on the show for the sake of shitting on the show. Though inconsistent at times, the show looked amazing when it called for a fight scene, and average at least when it called for a more Slice of Life moment.
The music did a good job in making you hyped and excited for each fight and episodes. It's not something I could see anyone listening outside from this anime, but it's good nevertheless in enhancing the show.
There isn't much to say in such a simple show like this. I'll ask once again if it wasn't clear the first 100 times. Did you like the joke, or did you not? After you found that out, you'll know what to do.
This is a complete review after watching all 12 episodes of One Punch Man.
**CONTAINS MINOR SPOILERS**
I remember when I was 8 years old, I used to be excited for a new Pokemon episode everyday. I used to run from school to my house so that I wouldn’t miss any single moment. Then as you grow up, such excitement starts to fade away. No matter how good a show is, only a few shows can generate such an excitement for a viewer. I never would’ve imagined that an anime would make me feel that excitement again at 20 yrs. And lucky for me, it aired on
One Punch Man’s story is simple- The story of an average guy who’s a hero for fun. Now what makes this unique is that this show is a parody. For people new to that genre, it’s an imitation of other work. Basically what this anime does is it makes a parody out of shounen genre, where you have a male protagonist who gets beaten down, and then trains or in some other way defeats the bad guy. Here, the MC is just over-powered to the extent that he gets depressed there’s no one strong enough to challenge him. You might think that such a strong person would be revered as a God by the people. Sadly, you’re mistaken. The people don’t even know he exists!! . This really plays a major point in the later episodes, when Saitama has to show his strength infront of the public, and becomes one of the highlight of this series. This show was created to poke fun at all tropes in anime. This is a story made to enjoy, not to be taken seriously. Anyone who is open-minded will enjoy this anime to its full extent.
Now the only reason I gave this a 9 is because of the meticulously high standard set by Ufotable in the Fate series and Kara no Kyoukai movies. But by no means is it far behind. In most anime, usually the MC has some kind of weapon, you can just add some flashy effects to go with it. But here, we have a hero who’s weapon are just his fists . The fights had to be carefully drawn and animated. And when you have a studio like Madhouse doing it, you know they rarely disappoint. Fluid motion, spectacular effects, no weird faces, nothing overdramatic. Simple, yet awesome. The best part of this anime has to be the “Saitama Expressions”. If you didn’t smile atleast a little when you saw the “OK” face, then I guess your sense of humour is locked up somewhere. Madhouse know how to make the viewer enjoy the anime to the full extent. The way they used Tatsumaki’s “chibi mode” expressions from the webcomic, and boldly animated it in the anime deserves separate praise. Also the landscape for OPM universe is also brilliant. Even the ordinary people are drawn with careful details. Another important aspect here is the design for the villains, especially Sea King and Boros, each having something unique, and they give out the “strong, badass” vibe when you just look at them. Also, the art in the final episode is 11/10.
God-level. Simply eargasmic. When you have an opening theme that makes you want to shout “ONE PUUUUUUUNCH!” every time you hear it, you know the soundtrack’s gonna be amazing. For me, the first thing I’d hear in my mind every morning when I wake up is someone shouting “ONE PUUUUUUNCH!” That’s how much I love that opening theme. From character bgm’s to fight themes, the music suits every situation perfectly, making them more epic. I would rewatch every episode again just to hear the music, that’s how good it is. The voice acting is also brilliant, especially Aoi Yuuki, who brilliantly brought out Tatsumaki’s bratty voice, and Yuki Kaji, whose voice fits Sonic’s character perfectly.
Once in a lifetime you watch shows where every character in it makes an impact. One Punch Man is mine. I can probably name every single character that appeared in these 12 episodes. That’s how much of an impact they make. Saitama with his care-free attitude, the loyal cyborg Genos, Jack’o Lantern Panic, Brattymaki, Justice Rider, the S-class heroes like Silver Fang, Metal Bat, Pri-Pri Prisoner, King, and all the others have a uniqueness that makes you remember them. Even characters whom play a cameo like Carnage Kabuto, Mosquito Girl, Snek, Stinger, Amai Mask manage to leave an impression, which is something most anime fail to do. And when you have such a strong character cast, the anime rarely falters.
This anime was made to enjoy, and One Punch Man nails the formula. I enjoyed every second of it. 24x12 minutes of pure awesomeness. It makes you laugh, the “wow” feeling when you watch those spectacularly animated fight scenes, even the simple dialogues between the characters make you laugh hard. There is no walking in on naked girl scenes, boob-grabbing, fan service and other shit like that. This anime makes me remember that Charlie Chaplin didn’t have to talk to make people laugh and enjoy his movies. Just his reactions and expressions were enough. And Saitama’s expressions and reactions reminded me of that again. And no matter how many times you rewatch it, you’ll never get bored. That’s the kind of masterpiece this is.
Overall rating: 10/10
One Punch Man is a masterpiece. I’ve been watching anime for about 8 years, watched around 400 anime series, and I’d only have around 5 anime which I’d give a 10/10. But this show is just simply that good. If I could I’d have given this a 999/10 for enjoyment. Studio Madhouse is just leagues ahead of any anime studio. I wish I could go to Japan and personally congratulate them for making such a great anime. While I’m at that, I could also beg them to make a Season 2 of the anime when the manga has enough material for it. Natsume Shingo, the director of this anime, deserves all the credit for bringing together an amazing team, and voice cast to create this anime. Overall, One Punch Man does what it sets out to deliver, Entertain. And boy oh boy it does so in style!!
There are only two types of people in the world: one who absolutely love One Punch Man, and other who strongly dislike it for being too predictable. Now finally that the anime is over, I can review it properly.
One Punch Man is an action-comedy anime which tells a story about a man named Saitama who is 'a hero just for fun' in a world where monsters and heroes are quite common. He is quite overpowered and manages to kill anyone in just a single punch, which has made his life quite boring. Soon a new cyborg named Genos is introduced who is in
search for another robot who destroyed his village and he later requests Saitama to become his master after seeing his strength.
At first the story sounds quite predictable and the idea of killing anyone in a single punch adds more to it. Yes, it's true! It becomes a little predictable and the humor of killing anyone in a single punch dies off quickly. But the anime doesn't has only that much to offer. The story starts developing from 5th episode with the introduction of Hero Association and a ranking system which classifies heroes into C class, B class, A class and S class having rankings in each class. New characters are introduced and the story becomes more interesting. The last two arcs were very good, so just don't drop the anime in your early episodes thinking that it's getting predictable or is not worth watching.
This is the best element of One Punch Man! The art of this anime is fabulous. Madhouse has again done a wonderful job. The backgrounds are really well done and the fighting scenes are amazing. Infact One Punch Man and Fate/Zero are the best graphics anime I have seen in my life! One Punch Man is actually a pretty average budget anime. The secret behind One Punch Man's amazing graphics lies behind the fact that it has been directed by Shingo Natsume (Key animator of Gurren Lagann, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Hachimitsu to Clover), assisting Kazuya Murata and with the legendary Kenichi Konishi supervising the animation, Sejoon Kim (animator of Gundam) as a regular animation director. Another notable element of One-Punch Man's visuals is the digital animation, something also tied to Natsume's presence. Other than the animation staff, there is someone else who deserves special credit. People who have read Yusuke Murata's version of One-Punch Man – the one the anime is based on – know that even before the anime, the series already was animated. Sort of. Sometimes rather arbitrarily, Murata would go on to draw sequences step-by-step with a ridiculous level of detail, almost as if they were key animation sheets. Something he is capable of putting off because he's an exceptional and dedicated artist, but also because he is a fan of animation.
Another element of One Punch Man which makes the show amazing! Opening and Ending song, both are wonderful. I keep listening to both of them over and over again because they are that awesome. All the OSTs are also worth listening to, and some are just superb which may give you goosebumps! Voice acting is also top notch. Many talented voice actors like Miyano Mamoru, Sawashiro Miyuki, Kaji Yuki, Sakurai Takahiro, Nakamura Yuuichi, Hayami Saori, Namikawa Daisuke etc are there and they have done a great job.
All the characters are quite likeable. They have unique personalities and possess a unique charm in themselves.
I will write a few words on my (and people's) most favorite characters from One Punch Man:
1. Saitama - Our favorite hero, the protagonist of the show, quite humorous.
2. Genos - Saitama's partner, best disciple, cyborg and cool.
3. Mumen Rider - C class hardworking hero who rides a cycle but is physically pretty weak to fight with monsters but is very courageous and hardworking/
4. Sonic - A ninja! What more? Everybody likes ninjas (Naruto haters please keep it low! -_-)
5. Tatsumaki? - You know what I am talking about if you have seen 11th episode of One Punch Man! ;) [If you still don't understand, let me know -_-']
I really enjoyed One Punch Man because of it's intense action which were beautified by amazing graphics and coated with amazing soundtracks.
If you like action-comedy (with frequent serious arcs), adventure and superpower anime, and elements like graphics and sound are an important factor for you then you MUST WATCH this anime! Even if you don't like all that, you can give it a try. I assure you that One Punch Man is NOT some random cliche anime which has random power boosts which makes it impossible to watch. It is quite entertaining.
When it comes to satires and parodies alike, there really isn't any sort of arithmetic equation or analytical evaluation needed to determine its value. To put it as simply, it all boils down to a rudimentary question: were you kept amused and were you entertained?
If you said "no" then that's fine, there really isn't any need to justify that answer any further, same also applies if you had said "yes." You see, shows geared to keep you amused are that simple, the same way disliking or liking a specific genre of music doesn't inherently determine its worth to the next person to listen to
it. Of course, there are many different brands of comedies out there, some sub-genres of which can be measured by its degree of writing and comedic timing, but this should also come with the understanding that within the marginalizing of "comedy" as a genre, there are also room for low-brow humor that relies entirely on dick jokes and crass observations. I say all this to make this point, comedy, like music and other forms of interests that determine an individual's taste, is at essence, a subjective thing. And when something's worth is dependent entirely on whether someone is amused/entertained or not, it's automatically a magnet for contention. For everyone that finds a joke funny, there will be those that stand in opposition.
One Punch Man is a joke that's rather predictable and repetitive if you only care for the punchline but at the same time, a great deal more satisfying if you're keen to the subject matter that's following up to its inevitable destination. In a way, it's an inside joke among friends, just done so for everyone else to hear. It isn't trying to hide it, there's no workaround into deciphering any deep seeded message. What you see is precisely what you get. One Punch Man is a lineage carried over from super sentai/superhero/shounen stories that took a look at itself in the mirror and came to a simple conclusion; that conclusion being that super sentai/superhero/shounen shows are hilarious.
No really, think about it for a second. It's a form of storytelling that was forged from the need to give moral messages by embodying everything in basic "black or white" terms, where you either stand for good or evil. What makes it funny is that these absurd stories are often played straight with no witticism or awareness of its laughable morality message whatsoever. It's a stone-faced, Bible thumping message on morality that's delivered to its audience by grown men and women wearing brightly colored spandex. It's the kind of irony that's only feasible within the realm of fiction, but hilarious in real life when examined. Of course, the inherent silliness of superhero stories have given rise to many satirical outlooks on the subject matter, but for the most part, those aimed more so to poke fun of that form of storytelling, rather than laughing along with it. But every now and then we get a show that isn't out to sully the impact of the subject matter being satirized, instead, it embraces it to its full extent. Rather than teetering between comical nonsense and serious commentary, it decides why to bother holding up that facade, to begin with. It's a show that comes to the conclusion that if you're going to be bat shit crazy, you might as well go all the way.
Ladies and gentlemen this long winded intro is written for the sole purpose of introducing an anime that does just that, One Punch Man. Not only is it aware of the utter nonsense that populates the super sentai/superhero landscape, but it figures that there's no point in trying to deny it. It's a show that revels in the stupidity with no shame or care for onlookers. It's an anime that's comfortable in its spandex suit and flaunts it for all to see. It's a joke that tells you to put away the analytical scrutiny, loosen up your thinking cap, and just come along for the good ole dumb ride that's about to take place.
As I've already previously stated, your individualistic feelings for the show is the deciding factor on its inherent value. So with that being said, this review is written from the point of view of someone who, for the most part, found the journey with OPM to be satisfactory. Whether you disagree with this statement or not isn't important. I'm not here to tell you OPM is great, and I'm not here to tell you it's anything deeper than what it is; rather, I'm here to explain what kinks OPM managed to properly iron out, and where I as a viewer found noticeable bumps on the journey.
While OPM provided a great deal of entertainment, it also had its fair share of issues that detracted from the overall experience. For one, if this anime was created with less effort on the part of the studio (Madhouse) with its audiovisuals, there would be little to credit it for otherwise. The driving force behind OPM is how pristine and well-oiled it looks and feels as a product. This is an anime that relies heavily on the platform of storytelling it is using. This is an anime that works so well because it IS an anime. It's the sense of scale behind every action being taken by our characters. The impact and fluidity of every animated movement. The hyper-detail behind every intricately choreographed action set-piece and moments of high-octane clashes. The flurry of saturated color that follows every frame. The elastic expressions of the personalities in motion. This is an anime that takes full advantage of its medium, and had it been a show that coasted along to a by-the-numbers checklist, there wouldn't be any need to discuss it at all. This was a passion project brought to life in spectacular fashion. Everything from the traditional heavy metal guitar riffs in the background, to the highly detailed shading of the character designs, makes this feel like more than an assembly line production simply made for profit, it became a work of passion.
It stands to reason that the audiovisual presentation and aesthetic appeal was what propelled this show to instant stardom. So the question remains, why is it so aggressively detested by others?
If you've seen the arguments from detractors of the show, you've undoubtedly caught wind of the "One Joke Man" mantra, and to be quite honest, that isn't a bad assessment of the show in a nutshell. Saitama, our lead character and resident impersonator of Mr. Clean, is a man that has grown bored of his acquired strength in pursuit to become a superhero. For reasons vaguely explained, he has reached a point where he can obliterate his foes in one punch. And if you were expecting a "but" at the end of that sentence, don't hold your breath, this is the joke. It's like the climatic end to a battle shounen, where our main character goes through his training arc and defeats the antagonist, after he hit his ultimate form of over-powered potential... but instead of simply ending the story there, we're given an extended "what if" prologue that asks the question: what happens after the final conflict is over, after our hero reaches the apex of the beat 'em up food chain?
And from that question emerges this product; this joke. And while there is an overarching story unfolding in the background, it's the joke that takes precedence and placed on center-stage for our amusement. And it's this joke that creates the split among those who adore the show and those that carry around the "One Joke Man" picket sign in protest to its popularity. As trivial of an argument it may seem, this comedic gag is the reason for the rift among anime viewers, which has become a joke within itself (super meta shit).
There are two main parts to the overarching story: one of which involves Saitama and his ironic post-climb to the top of a superhero organization to gain recognition, while also trying to fulfill his excessive need to seek out an enemy that can finally put up a challenge. And the other subplot revolves around his apprentice and eventual friend, Genos, who's goal can be seen as the stereotypical hero story of vengeance. And while both stories are played straight, it's the awareness the show has for its content which lets everyone in on the joke, and also what makes the parody of the subject matter both amusing, and in a weird way, self-indulgent. While the show follows these narratives in a fashion expected, it does so with a constant sense of witticism and deliberate elbow nudging. This, as a result, can lead to scenes where expository dialogue is given, while our lead is trying to dismiss it, the equivalent of which is like the character breaking the fourth wall and looking into the camera saying "isn't this shit boring? I wish he would shut up already!" It's these moments that make what can be seen as a fairly common story, into one that's not only fun to follow, but also something like brownie points for the viewer that are keen to the observations. It's an anime that actively interacts with the expectation of the audience watching it. And while these moments still play second-fiddle to the constant beat 'em up action on screen, it's those moments that give OPM its sense of identity.
Speaking of the beat 'em up action, OPM effectively nails this aspect down without much debate. While the satirical moments sprinkled throughout shines in its own way, it's the fight scenes that elevates this title to a growing household name. It's the fuel behind the hype if you will. And while that may be a superficial reason to bolster its value, it's still a viable reason for the sake of consumable entertainment. One of its primary genres is action after all, and when it comes to action, very few shows can stand as competition to the consistent level of quality encapsulated in OPM.
The characters of OPM are just that, characters. You're not looking at them for any profound message or character depth, rather it's the eccentricity of the personalities themselves that works. From the typical hero of justice stereotypes found in characters like Genos and Mumen Rider, to the more obvious satirized ones like Amai Mask and Metal Bat. It's comic book personalities brought to life and set loose, all for the sole purpose of wacky antics and populating the setting with a garden variety of personas. The villains can range from the ultra-silly like a lobsterman wearing underwear (similar to something found in the likes of super sentai works), to the more maniacal dimensionless baddie who's sole purpose in life is to fight strong opponents (similar to that of most battle shounens). It's this variety of Saturday morning cartoon level characters that keep things fresh. And with the over-exaggerated character designs, it becomes even more elevated than what would typically be seen from this kind of show.
Although, this, as a result, creates the most shallow cast imaginable, and while they're still endearing in the already goofy backdrop they're placed in, they're not in any way new to what would come out of this brand of storytelling. The more you buy into the comedic outlook the show presents everything in, the easier it is to buy into their placement in the story.
This, of course, leads to one of the more noticeable problems the show can't seem to get a grasp on, and that's that nothing it does can be taken seriously. The show goes out of its way to paint everything in clown makeup, so when it does try to take things down a more serious route the final result is more of an apathetic shrug and resounding "who cares," than anything you can deem potent. This isn't to say that those more serious moments don't hold meaning, but that in the context of a parody that has been doing nothing but laughing along with the audience, the moments are simply unwarranted. It's like if a stoner comedy stopped everything dead in its tracks to present a D.A.R.E speech against the use of drugs. Thankfully these moments aren't ever-present throughout the show's run-time.
Another issue that many might have with OPM is quite obviously the joke itself. Being that it's a repetitive comedic gag, many might find the novelty of the gag to have less impact as the show goes on. This, of course, is a reasonable concern, since variety is what keeps long-running sitcoms and comedies on the air. The show attempts to alleviate that concern with the involvement of characters like Genos, who serves as the duality to Saitama's placement in the story.
And then there's Saitama himself, who is a deadpan protagonist for a majority of the show's run-time. Those unfamiliar or simply indifferent to deadpan humor will of course not find anything in Saitama, making him uninteresting to most, and rightfully so. And like the concern of the run-on joke losing its luster, the myriad of other wacky characters introduced are the show's defense to keep the attentiveness of those who simply can't be bothered with the uncaring and often cynical outlook Saitama is given. This isn't a case where the lead is a blank slate, but rather he's a character that should have already been done with his arc and involvement in the story. This is the follow up to where a typical hero story should have ended, the downward spiral of a man who has already achieved all that there is to do in his given universe. Which of course is the point of this prolog inspired series, but like I've already stated, the inherent value of OPM rests with the viewer's taste in comedy, so this problem may not even register at all to a lot of people.
But despite these indeterminate shortcomings, the show still manages to do enough to keep itself together. Because it's so self-aware, a great deal of these issues is often made to be null and void. It's hard to dissect a show that is so honest about what it is. This doesn't wash away the issues it may have, but it certainly makes it more palatable to a consumer that isn't necessarily concerned about it.
I can go on and on about what the show had working against it, but at the end of the day, I walked away with a title that constantly kept me entertained. The fights were great fun, the animation was handled with care, the OST was kickass, the satirical jabs kept me cackling, and above all else, I was more than satisfied as a viewer and fellow enthusiast of anime. Sure the run-on gag lost steam at times, and yes the plot wasn't always engaging, but as far as enjoyment is concerned, OPM scratched an itch that previously only Jojo of the same year was able to.
Is One Punch Man over-hyped? Yes, it certainly is. But does that make it inherently bad? No, it doesn't. While it may be blown out of proportion due to the fact that its contemporaries are of less than stellar quality, there are still merits to the appraisal it receives. It isn't a title that will break new ground anytime soon, and partially, it's a Frankenstein who's existence can be credited with the recent high demand for superhero stories in pop culture. But as an action-comedy that's out to simply have fun and revel in the absurdity of its story, One Punch Man is a show that can keep even the most jaded of audiences entertained, and if only for that aspect alone, I think it's worth trying out.