In City Z on modern-day Earth, a monster born of the planet to destroy all of humanity. Enter Saitama, a man so devoid of purpose that he decides to become a hero just for the fun of it. A single punch is all that is required to defeat even the greatest of foes. Sounds absurd? It is. You will love Saitama.
With his incredible strength, Saitama has defeated many foes. He drags himself through every dull day in hopes of finding a foe that may withstand his amazing strength. Soon, Saitama’s skills draw the attention of a lone cyborg called Genos. Will Saitama ever find an enemy that can take more than just one punch? The volume contains a bonus manga in which we get a glimpse of a younger Saitama dealing with the struggles of being a preteen.
Saitama is not your average run of the mill hero. He became, for all intents and purposes, a hero for fun. Saitama has the oddest way of doing things and I find him a little unorthodox in his heroic pursuits. He does not appear to be serious in any sense, but who can really blame him? He is capable of destroying any foe with just a single punch. With a power like that, he has earned his lackadaisical demeanor. Though Saitama does not take anything seriously, this series is centered around the satire of being a hero for fun. The continuous fights can become a little redundant, but it is natural given the nature of this series. One-Punch Man is a superhero satire after all.
This is not a bad manga, it just may not be for those who aren’t looking for an overpowered superhero. Some readers may find it to be dry and without content, and while that is a valid point of view, taking this series exactly for what it is, helps to alleviate that perspective. However, in this volume alone, Saitama had 6 fights, and each fight had the same outcome.
Though all the fighting may become tiresome, it is the enemies that he is fighting who make this volume worth reading. All of Saitama’s enemies different and have their own unique powers and backstories. This aspect makes the fighting a little less repetitive and gives us a fresh experience each time.
Aside from the evident redundancy in defeating foes with a single punch, (or consecutive punches), I would honestly say that that only accounts for 20 percent of the book. This manga truly shines with its humor and character development. The well fleshed-out characters become more interesting because of their humorous backstories.
Murata has truly outdone himself with the art. The characters, fight scenes, and environments are all heavily detailed. Even in the traditional black and white format of manga, the art is full of life and jumps off the page. The art is one of the best aspects of this series. There is a great attention to detail.
One-Punch Man Vol.1 certainly gave Saitama an explosive entrance and set the way for a humorous, and action packed series. I will not say that this series is for everyone. However, if you’re looking for a funny series with a crazy plot filled with countless unforgettable characters, this is right up your alley. If a more serious plot with more drama is your preferred genre, this may not be for you. Saitama doesn’t take himself seriously, and neither should you.
One-Punch Man is a fantastic read that will put a smile on your face.
Manga ‘One-Punch Man’
VIZ Media, LLC.
ONE-PUNCH MAN © 2012 by ONE, Yusuke Murata/SHUEISHA Inc.