So I know it’s very unusual for me to be back so soon but I think my material is all piling up because they all just came at around the same time so I should just clear them out as soon as I can.
A week ago, when I went out for dinner with my cousin, we had this discussion on anime. I’ll skip the details on us hotly debating on various anime and just get to the main point. The discussion ended up in an anime challenge: he would watch the first three episodes of Naruto while I have to watch the first three episodes of One Punch Man.
I’d heard of One Punch Man and had already seen clips and images of it here and there on Instagram and Facebook but I wasn’t exactly up for it because of its art and genre – seinen. As I’m first and foremost a shoujo type of person, shounen and seinen never really appealed to me but over the years, I’ve since then come to acquire a taste for certain ones. To me, they had to be really good or else I wouldn’t even go near to its description page.
One Punch Man exceeded my expectations! I didn’t decide that I liked it right after the first episode because I felt that it deserved a second chance so keeping to my promise, I watched two more episodes and One Punch Man had me by the third episode.
Saitama is a regular guy who is looking for a job. One day, on his way home after a failed job interview, he finds a crab monster (who apparently used to be human but turned into this monstrous thing because he ate too much crab LOL) in his pathway who announces that it wants vengeance on a kid who had previously offended him. Unfazed and indifferent, Saitama doesn’t run away screaming in fear from the monster, which surprises him. Feeling merciful because he notes that Saitama has the same set of “lifeless eyes” as his, crab dude decides to spare him and leaves to hunt down his prey.
Still unfazed by the fact that he had just encountered a monster, Saitama carries on with his journey home. On the way, he meets a boy who fits the description of the crab dude’s target and his conscience is pricked: Should he just ignore him and go home because it’s none of his business? Or should he stay and protect the boy because he knows that the monster is coming for him?
Within minutes, crab dude appears, having found its target and lunges towards the boy. Just in the nick of time, Saitama throws himself at the boy and manages to push him out of harm’s way. He gets bashed up at first but in the moment that he decides he wants to become a hero, he finds the strength in himself and kills crab dude by pulling out one of his eyes.
Since then, Saitama gave up searching for jobs and worked hard for three years to train and strengthen his body. Sticking to a strict regime to be done and completed every day, Saitama’s body became stressed until all his hair fell out but in return, he obtained immense strength and invulnerability. Three years later, present-day Saitama does hero work as a hobby – a hero “for fun” as he calls it. He is now so strong that he has gotten to a point whereby taking out his opponents with a single punch has no kick to it. As a result, Saitama has become pretty laid-back and even more unfazed by the unnatural things that happen around him simply because no one poses a threat to him anymore. This situation totally reminds me of Aomine from Kuroko no Basket but Saitama takes the situation a lot better in his stride HAHA.
As the story goes on, Saitama meets various monsters who claim to be the best while he easily defeats them without so much as batting an eye with some comic suspense. He soon meets Genos, a teenage cyborg who after seeing Saitama in action once, is amazed by him and immediately persuades him to take him on as his disciple. Saitama doesn’t give in until episode 5 or 6 however, because he thinks that there’s simply nothing for him to teach Genos because he’s a cyborg and he can’t teach him the strength training routine that he used for the past three years HAHA. Loyal and dedicated to his new self-proclaimed master, Genos’ ability to keep a straight face in everything that he reports to Saitama is absolutely comical and hilarious. Together with Saitama, the duo make up the serious-disciple-and-blur-master pair.
Another interesting character that has appeared so far is Sonic, a ninja who seems to take on work for his own agenda. When he first meets Saitama and fights a little with him, the encounter leaves him very interested in the mysterious bald guy who plays the hero “for fun”. He seems to have an unusual bad habit of smiling a creepy child-like grin whenever he faces strong opponents and he seems to be an interesting character, one to look out for in future episodes. In addition, when I first heard Sonic speak, I immediately recognised his seiyuu’s voice and found out that it belonged to one of my favourite seiyuus, which is Yuuki Kaji. Yuuki Kaji is love, Yuuki Kaji is life.
In conclusion, I think that One Punch Man is fantastic – the idea of an ordinary man who turns into the world’s strongest hero is almost impossible that it’s so fascinating to watch. With his training routine, one would expect Saitama to just get very fit but not build up muscle and such enormous strength and invincibility. He’s not even very buff, just lean and muscular (as you can see in episode 5) so I’m speculating that there’s a secret to his body, which would be the reason why he has such inhuman strength. And the idea of being too strong such that doing what you love becomes something boring because it no longer poses a challenge to you? Fabulous. And what’s most fabulous about it is Saitama’s resulted personality HAHAHA.
I’m sure nobody expected to love a hero like Saitama when they first heard of One Punch Man. Neither did I. But after watching him for a minimum of three episodes, how could you not come to like this blur egg-headed dude?
(Oh yes, I’ve heard from friends who have told me that the manga is even better because One Punch Man’s mangaka is extremely good and detailed at drawing action scenes. When I took a look at one of the chapters and flipped to an action scene, I saw what they meant and THEY ARE RIGHT. The action scenes actually look like they could be extracted and transformed into a storyboard by themselves. How cool is that?)
Anime Challenge: One Punch Man COMPLETED. And results: Exceeds Expectations.