Greetings everyone! Today we are covering one of the most recent upstart anime, One Punch Man. Some have even blamed this series for ruining the anime business with it inspiring too many shut ins to forgo anime and exercise instead (I don’t see how this problem though). Nonetheless, whether this is true or not, this review may contain minor SPOILERS! Due to some unforeseen circumstances, B-Ro will not be providing a review for this anime.
Now without further ado, let us begin the review!
Summary: In this new action-comedy, everything about a young man named Saitama screams “AVERAGE,” from his lifeless expression, to his bald head, to his unimpressive physique. However, this average-looking fellow doesn’t have your average problem… He’s actually a superhero that’s looking for tough opponents! The problem is, every time he finds a promising candidate he beats the snot out of them in one punch. Can Saitama finally find an evil villain strong enough to challenge him? Follow Saitama through his hilarious romps as he searches for new bad guys to challenge! -KissAnime
There are two ways to look at One Punch Man. Some view it as a straight action anime, which is not really how it is meant to be. The correct way is as a parody. One Punch Man does an excellent job as a parody, featuring over the top characters and sometimes absurd situations. However, the actual storytelling is a tad bland, with limited continuation between each arc and the fact the show can feel repetitive very easily. The series also ends on a vague note, though to my understanding there is a season 2 in the works, so this point is rendered mute somewhat by that.
Highly entertaining, the cast of One Punch Man has a lot of fun and creative characters, on both the hero and villain sides. This most certainly includes Saitama, who easily receives the most development. Despite being overpowered in terms of combat, this is balanced by certainly not being overpowering in personality. The main problems arise for the same reasons the characters are celebrated. The large cast limits the development of a lot of characters, with some even being introduced but you learn next to nothing about them. The other major problem is that most of the characters are rather static, not really growing at all.
The animation is on point for this series. The action sequences of especial note, being very easy to follow. The characters designs are fun too, and help a lot of comedic value with the simple verses complex design of Saitama designs based on how serious he is.
One Punch Man has a pretty decent soundtrack, though it is not stellar. The soundtrack brings a lot of energy to each scene, especially the battle sequences. The opening may come across as cheesy to some, but still carries that same energy. The ending, however, is a radical change from the rest of the soundtrack and feels a bit out of place.
One Punch Man, as a parody, contains a lot of deeper nods to genres that I am going to label as themes, as does also have some good true themes stressed. The number of references in this anime are enormous, both to other anime and of common tropes. The most obvious trope being made fun of is the over powered main character that is common in many popular anime and manga. As a parody, Saitama’s power is contrasted with his sometimes bland personality and his lack of presence. The show itself also references numerous anime, including DragonBall. While there is plenty of other references, I want to cover some of the actual themes. Looking into the backstory of the author, Saitama obvious represents how even an ordinary person can be a hero. It also stresses hard work and dedication in order to achieve one’s goals. The hype associated with the show can detract from these themes however.
Final Score: 8.6/10
Final Grade: B
I don’t get it, don’t people usually get mad when the main character is OP? One Punch Man is a show that’s sometimes hard to criticize. It dedicates itself to parody and not taking itself too seriously. A lot of supposed flaws in the show can easily be justified as being part of the joke. I’d say one’s enjoyment of the show is somewhat dependent on one thing: do you enjoy the satire? And for the most part, I do. It feels perfect for those with Superhero fatigue, getting a little sick of the unending superhero movies. I don’t hate these films, but I wish Hollywood would slow it down a bit. The world created here almost mirrors our own, with new heroes and villains seemingly coming in by the dozen. I did chuckle every time a villain or hero awkwardly did the exposition dump monologue (and I appreciated Saitama’s reactions to them). The villains were all very ridiculous in the best kind of way. From shellfish and tightey whiteys to bubble armor and attempted communist revolutions, it’s all right here. Then there are the numerous heroes. I appreciated the variety and imagination behind them. The idea of having a hero league added to the show as well. Part of me was hoping for a Marvel Civil War style registration vs. anti-registration deal with this league. But hey, that’s definitely not the show’s purpose. Saitama himself is an interesting character. I liked how they incorporated public perception of Saitama into the mix. His extreme overpoweredness is entertaining, and is used to great effect, but it can also ruin the tension. The show adds other plot points and such to deflect this tension killer, but I still felt that way a few times. However, the action scenes themselves were genuinely fun to watch. I had a great time seeing the combat unfold. The music is varied and full of energy, perfect for the show. The opening has that not taken too seriously hard rock with high pitched screams, and the closing is the exact opposite, which I found funny. I would definitely describe the show as good, but not absolutely amazing. It just didn’t have me on the edge of my seat in awe for most of it. It’s not like the show’s poorly made, and I honestly felt that everything came together quite brilliantly in the end. It just didn’t live up to the insurmountable hype (though I’ll never blame the show for the hype). Overall, I had a good time watching it and I appreciate its creativity and charm. I didn’t really see it as an anime masterpiece, just a really good and fun one.
Final Comments: One Punch Man appeals to a lot of audiences with its action and parody focus, which is full of reference and positive themes. The characters and story arcs may feel repetitive at times, taking away from the show somewhat, and also suffers from being over hyped.
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