Onepunch Man Manga Review - The Ultimate Shonen Cliché
Onepunch-man is a webcomic created by an author using the pseudonym ONE, which began publication on his personal homepage The series quickly went viral and has since surpassed 10 million hits, with an average of 20,000 hits a day.The name is an obvious play on the long-running children's character Anpanman, as punch (パンチ panchi) is not usually shortened to pan.
A stylized digital manga remake of One-Punch Man illustrated by Yūsuke Murata began publication on Shueisha's Young Jump Web Comics website on June 14, 2012. The idea for the remake began when Murata approached ONE on Twitter to discuss a possible collaboration.
What the heck?
The story takes place in a the fictional Z-City. The world is full of mysterious beings, monsters and villains that causes destruction and havoc. A hero association has been established to protect the citizens from all these dangers. Individuals with superhuman ability can register themselves to the association. There, they will take a series of test to determine what class they are. Class C being the lowest and S the highest.
Saitama is the titular Onepunch-man that's is so strong that he can defeat very powerful monsters and villains in just one punch. We see him as he "struggles" in his unfulfilled and boring life as a superhero. Being too strong proved to be boring as hell.
The manga doesn't really have large encompassing arcs like what other shonen mangas have. Instead it contains mini-arcs focusing on a group of villains and monsters as they attack Z-city.There are also some minor political talks on the effects of having heroes in the city is like and all that crap.
There are a lot of characters in the manga. Heroes and Villains alike have interesting abilities and colorful personalities. However most of them are featured as background and support characters.
Saitama used to be your typical Salaryman. He's middle age and lived a rather boring and normal life. One day however, it all changed when he saw a kid being attacked by a giant lobster monster. He decided to helped and somehow defeated the monster.
From that day on he decided to be become a hero. He trained every single day for three years with an "inhuman" workout routine of 100 push-ups, 100 sit-ups, 100 squats, and 10 km running. Shortly thereafter, he gained superhuman strength and speed and lost his hair.
Saitama is a seriously entertaining protagonist. He's laid back, he always have a goofy look on his face and he's bald. Somehow that turned me off when I first saw this manga since we have tons of protagonists out there with insane hairdos and then there's Saitama.
Genos is a cyborg and once seeing Saitama's capabilities, assigned himself as his student. He is your typical avenger-type Shonen character. He's became a hero to find and exact revenge on a mysterious robot that killed his entire family. He now follows Saitama in hopes to gain the strength he needed to accomplish his goals.
Why should I bother?
Well for one thing it's full of shonen manga cliché. I did not mean that at a bad way at all. This series makes fun of the traditional tropes we usually see in an action manga. You'll see over powerful villains for some reason introducing themselves again and again much to Saitama's dismay.
The comedy is gold and solid. Saitama's attitude and reactions to the villains is one of the main source of comedy. You think it will get stale after more chapters but NOPE.
The art is gorgeous. Seriously one of best illustrations I've seen in a manga. The art is well detailed and some of them even breath taking. Definitely one the best art I've seen in a manga. Murata really outdone himself this time. This is him at his finest. One factor that probably helped him is the fact that OPM is released only twice a month. This gives him a lot of time to polish and perfect his artwork and deliver us some stunning action sequences and character designs.
Check out these images.
The Knight of Darkness
Check out this amazing AMV created by a fan
Onepunch-man is steadily growing popular in Japan. It's currently at number 17 of the manga sales in Japan for the first half of 2014. Not bad at all for a fairly new series.