One Punch Man – It’s Short, it’s Cool, it’s Badass; it’s GOOD
This is going to be another one of those posts where I basically just babble on and on about a show, but also where I refuse to call it a review or an impression (hence the stupidly simple title), and this time, it’s about One Punch Man-the currently airing anime of the Fall season.
The entire premise of One Punch Man is about a seemingly normal, everyday, bored-looking guy who becomes a hero for fun, and he becomes so strong he can defeat his opponents in one punch. Ridiculous, but interesting in concept, and also brought out some great characterizations.
When I first saw Saitama and Genos, I had always compared them to Superman and Iron Man respectively based on looks, style and aesthetics alone. But watching later episodes, I realized Saitama’s character is more of a Batman. He took the fall so other superheroes can bask in the glory, he took the society’s hatred when they need a place to vent their hatred on. He’s Hachiman in a superhero themed show, his supernatural strength had always aroused suspicions from other people-civilians and heroes alike, and it was interesting to see Saitama’s character developed into such a way from this supernatural strength.
But despite that, the real star of the show, is definitely the self-proclaimed disciple of Saitama-Genos. While Saitama played the role of a lazy, unmotivated mentor who defeat his opponents in one punch, Genos is the true protagonist. He played the role of the underdog protagonist you normally see in these kinds of show, who has a more definitive goal and actually develop and get stronger throughout the course of the story. He is a cyborg and is designed like a badass, in contrast to Saitama’s generally bland designs. It’s an interesting “reverse focus” where despite Saitama supposedly being the titular character of the show, it’s actually Genos who is being pushed as the show’s main protagonist.
And really, this mentor/student dynamics between those two is one of the best highlight of the show. Being scrutinized with a critical eye and even being seen as a fraud, Genos constantly played the loyal sidekick/student who would always follow Saitama regardless of how society viewed him. I mean, this guy is so loyal he does everything, from fighting villains to doing housework-he’s the best sidekick ever.
When it’s all said and done, One Punch Man is basically a show about the deconstruction on superheroes, but that doesn’t stop itself from having extremely cool, badass scenes. Speaking of action, I may not sound like it; as I’m not too fond of the actions in light novel anime, and I haven’t watch a shounen action series in years (except for Gintama, though that’s less of an action and more of a comedy), but really, I’m always a fan of the action genre in all kinds of media, and especially so in anime if it’s well-produced, and boy, is One Punch Man’s sakuga top tier. The action scenes are so dynamic, and seeing them animated with such intricate angles and motions is always a sight to see.
Admittedly, I do like cute things as much as the next person, as I’m obviously a fan of moe; but despite that, I had always been someone who prefer balance in the media I consume, and really, One Punch Man satisfies my masculine need of coolness excellently. It’s so over-the-top it’s like Gurren Lagann without the mecha, and the whole show overall just looks so cool and badass. Hell, even Genos equipping new mechanical limbs and transforming looks cool as fuck, which of course, is also thanks to the dynamic animations effectively highlighting these aspects of the show.
And more than anything, the anime’s short. You won’t be seeing lengthy arcs dragged on for weeks if that’s not your thing, which is to be expected since this show is more of a parody first and foremost, and also because our bald protagonist here who can defeat his enemies in one punch doesn’t bother listening to rambles longer than 20 words. After all, he got better things to do-the eggs are on sale.
One Punch Man brings an interesting insight to the fictional world of superheroes, and it has an endearing duo of main characters with an interesting mentor/student dynamic. But more than anything, One Punch Man is just a fun and entertaining show filled with moments of coolness, badassery and great fight scenes, accentuated by it’s sakuga; even if it’s a bit cheesy at times.
To copy my stupidly simple title-it’s short, it’s cool, it’s badass. One Punch Man IS GOOD and if what I described here sound just like your thing, stop whatever you’re doing now and watch it, if you haven’t already at this point.