12 Days of Anime – [1] One Punch Man

Superheroes have been a hot topic for several years now, from the U.S.’s several comics turned films, to the various superhero anime series in recent seasons. For the most part, they’ve all been predictable in format and body, and based off of One Punch Man’s promotional artwork, I assumed it, too, would follow suit. The first episode very quickly proved the OPM would be a conversation starter for weeks to come.

The gold of the show are its characters, particularly the main duo of Saitama and Genos. Saitama, the namesake of the show, is a man who defies all logic of the universe. His physical power faces zero limits–enemies take a single punch for defeat. Though he only stumbled across his hero career by happenstance, the possibility of a worthwhile foe and the safety of humankind are his only hopes. Unfortunately for him, the ease of his battles have become so predictable that they no longer provide any excitement. His late entry into the Heroes Association also means that all his previous hard work received no recognition.

Genos started out in the show as a young cyborg driven by justice through the eradication of all perceived evils, and by the search for the cyborg who destroyed his past life. Upon meeting Saitama, he dedicates himself to the hero as a disciple bound and determined to learn the secret to his strength. The verbal and physical play between the two turn out the best jokes of the series. Genos’ almost childlike black-and-white interpretation of dialogue has him repeatedly misunderstanding tone; Saitama claims little interest in his disciple’s well being, yet occasionally reveals his concern, like when he rips off the cyborg’s arm in an attempt to help him up.

If you haven’t watched One Punch Man just yet, I strongly suggest you give it a try. Thus ends my 12 Days of Anime; I hope my entries were entertaining and helpful to those of you unfamiliar with any of them.

Happy Holidays!

7 thoughts on “12 Days of Anime – [1] One Punch Man

  1. I am not a superpower or hero kind of guy for watching shows. Outright battle anime leave me cold. But One Punch Man is the show that turns that on its ear. It successfully parodies the genre, and has a wonderful sense of humor driving it. And it’s not just doing it to make jokes, either. Saitama and Genos are great characters, and Saitama’s acceptance of both his ranking, and more than that his role as kind of the anti-hero in their world, brings the earnest feeling to keep you interested in their characters.

    And Merry Christmas to you and everyone, Marina!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you! I hope you and your family had a fulfilling holiday🙂

      I’m really looking forward to a sequel where we can hopefully see both Saitama and Genos develop even more as characters. That final battle has me hoping that the Hero Association will re-evaluate its ranking process and acceptance of heroes. I have a hard time fully enjoying most parodies since I find the balance usually teeters, but thought OPM successfully walked that line.

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      • I think what I really liked was that it sourced its humor from the characters in the show, and on its own, rather than relying on reference and parody to hope for laughs. That latter strategy is always limited, and doesn’t hold up. But if you generate your own humor, then it will hold up much better.

        For a sequel, I don’t really expect too much to change. I realized that in the late episodes of this show, that Saitama doesn’t really expect the recognition, and in fact he even protects the Hero Association by being 1) so lowly ranked and 2) a not-popular figure. That realization went a long way for character development for me for Saitama, even if the others haven’t figured it out.

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  2. This show is so amazingly overrated that I wonder if the people praising it even watched any other good anime this year, or if they’ve all just banded together in one giant hivemind to try to act like a merely-good anime is the best thing since sliced bread. Aside from some fun sakuga animation there was almost nothing to OPM. It did almost nothing with Saitama, even. I can’t wait for all anime to mimic this one now, now that it’s set the bar so low for excellence.

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    • Well, you’re certainly entitled to your opinion, which is the beauty of us all having different tastes. I’ve seen some wonderful shows and movies this year, as well as some truly terrible ones that just didn’t match my own preferences. OPM will have a sequel, so there’s plenty of room for Saitama to evolve.

      Happy Holidays!

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  3. Couldn’t agree more! Easily my favorite anime of the year!

    As someone who generally does not care for shounen or action anime at all, I found OPM’s subversion of expectations coupled with spectacular visual storytelling (thanks, Madhouse!) to make it simply fantastic!

    Liked by 1 person

    • My taste for shonen has changed a LOT over the past few years, I think mostly affected by Hunter x Hunter (2011) and a handful of sports anime. Madhouse did a fantastic job with OPM and will hopefully keep it up with the continuation.

      Liked by 1 person

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