One Punch Man: Does it live up to the hype?

NON-SPOILER SUMMARY:  Saitama, the protagonist of this superhero parody, is an average guy who serves as an average hero. A nonchalant and somewhat clueless man in a very serious world, he finds himself in many situations that he just couldn’t care less about. His massive strength leaves both him and his opponents baffled as he fights for fun, to make a name for himself, and to find a worthy opponent who can withstand more than just one punch from him.OPM

GOOD INTRO ANIME FOR NEWBIES?: If you like comedic action, the answer is yes.

OVERALL RATING:  (It’s only six episodes in so I may update this ranking as it goes forward but for its manga & for how the show is going right now it gets) An Amazing A Minus 

Ah, I love the smell of a fresh anime! Especially when I get to catch them young. Why it seems like it was just yesterday when I was watching my first Naturo episode when it first came out way back in the 90s. But back to the topic at hand: One Punch Man.

This anime is quite the phenomenon and a testament to what technology can do for writers in this century. It started off in 2009 as a web-comic. A WEB-COMIC GUYS! After reaching almost 8 million views in 2012 the studios took a peek and said “hey, we need to hit some of that punch.”  From there, it was turned into a digital manga and, as of October 2015, we got ourselves a new anime tv show.

So what exactly makes this anime amazing? Why should you connect to the story of Saitama and his journey to find someone who can actually withstand a fight with him?

ACTION
To start, much like Kill la Kill , it’s got some great action. I typically only watch animes that showcase a lot of gruesomeness. That being said, this one can get a little bloody at times but it’s definitely not more than your average video games nowadays. Each episode typically has enough action to keep your Michael Bay meter satisfied.

BACKSTORY 
If you read enough of my reviews you’ll find that story is something that makes or breaks an anime for me. Story is what got me hooked into Blood +. But where this anime loses points for me are all of the long-winded stories.

I like a good backstory as much as the next guy but I prefer to see some punching. However, the constant backstories are supposed to be a part of the joke in this superhero parody. Even our protagonist, Saitama, complains at one point at the long, drawn out stories; the writers use him to poke fun. I didn’t laugh though. I felt Saitama’s frustration. If you play along with the joke then this won’t bother you much. For me? I’m like “that’s great now will something blow up, please?”

STORY-TELLING
I made this a separate heading than backstory because I find the way the writers chose to share One Punch Man episodes unique and worth a mention. Unlike most animated shows, this anime switches drawing styles constantly. Usually, when shows do this, it is simply because a different artist directed that episode or just plain, sloppy work.

Another reason artists do this is to show emphasis. When this happens in anime though, it’s typically one or two changes in artistic style and it may noticeably occur twice or less in an episode. Not in One Punch Man.

In One Punch Man, the artistic style is used to drive the story as much as the actors’ script is. Sometimes it seems that almost each moment is drawn in a contrasting artistic style to convey tone, mood, and plot point.

For example, when Saitama is bored, the drawings are more relaxed and have a more American animation style. When he is excited and serious, the style converts to hard-lined anime. His facial features are outlined heavily, shadowing is added, classic anime-style sharp jaws are given to characters. When there is a mixture of moods being portrayed in the scene, the drawing style becomes mixed as well. Some characters may have little-to-no detailing while characters who are more serious in the moment are given sharp angles, heavy black-outlining, detailed clothing, the list goes on.

….So far so good. But I need to see more before I can give this anime a solid A-mazing.


The anime is only on episode six right now as it started last month so I am going to purposely leave this review incomplete. I will be adding more later and updating it’s grade. 

 

If you like what you’ve read so far and would like to jump on the bandwagon and look at what seems to be shaping out to be an #AmazingAnime, then check out One Punch Man. It’s not out dubbed (with the actors speaking English) yet but check out a subbed (subtitled) version here.

Be sure to comment and let me know what you think so far. I’m curious if this anime knocked you out. 

 

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