In a world where overpowered monsters seem to be a regular occurrence, it makes sense that there be an overpowered hero to take care of them. Our protagonist Saitama, however, is not merely ‘overpowered’ though – he wanted to be a hero so badly that he accidentally made himself too strong. So strong, in fact, that he can defeat any enemy, no matter how ludicrously gigantic or strong, with a single punch.

To others, this would be a good thing, but to Saitama it’s a source of great frustration. He used to like being a hero, you see, but nowadays it’s honestly just boring to him. The fights are so dull and mundane that they’ve even rendered him mostly emotionless through sheer tedium.

This first episode of the sleeper hit super-hero parody has Saitama face off against a few different enemies of varying degrees of ridiculousness as he tries to find the exhilaration he lost a while ago.

I suppose that happens when it’s too easy.

Do you have any idea how good it feels to finally get to watch something funĀ for a First Impression this season? It feels pretty good, andĀ One Punch Man is the best thing I’ve watched so far. I mean, that wasn’t exactly a hard contest to win, but I do have high hopes on this being one of the main stars of the season.
Unlike what seems to be almost everyone else, I actually haven’t read the manga yet, as it was one of those titles I kept putting in the ‘need to get around to soon’ pile (which I never end up getting around to). It might be a bit too early to say but it seems like it could be a great adaptation so far. Madhouse have definitely put a lot of love into it – the silly scenes are done well and the fight scenes are a great example of making fights look dynamic and impressive even with somewhat limited animation. (I’m not saying the animation is bad by any means though – Madhouse just went beyond what they were capable of with some neat tricks)
There’s a lot about the story and characters that are vague and things happen ‘just because’ – but its important to remember that One Punch Man was based on an intentionally ridiculous webcomic, and the ‘then this happens I guess’ was, I assume, part of the charm. In other words, there are multiple monsters destroying cities left and right (Saitama may be all-powerful but he’s still not the most timely of super heroes) and who knows how many people dying horribly – yet it maintains a relatively upbeat and quirky mood. There isn’t any explanation given as to where these monsters came from (well, there is, but they’re ridiculous reasons) or how Saitama managed to get so strong beyond ‘training so hard he became bald’ – but…it honestly doesn’t matter. With One Punch Man, you don’t ask questions. It’s very much a ‘just enjoy the ride’ kind of show.

If anything surprised me about this, it was how violent it was. For some reason I expected it to be a little more slapstick, but when Saitama punches his enemies they literally explode in a shower of organs and body parts. It’s..uh, kinda gross (queasy people may want to look away when he pulls the crab-man’s entrails out through his eye socket) and makes the tone of the show even more surreal.

Opinions on gratuitous gore aside, it’s a promising first episode, and there were parts where I actually had to pause it because I was laughing so hard.It’s also set to run for one cour instead of the two I assumed, which makes it also a blogging candidate, but I guess we’ll have to wait and see whether or not I end up covering it.

Madhouse sure were channeling their inner Gainax for some of these action scenes.

Out of 5,