Hello all. I have a book review for you.
I hadn’t read manga in a reeeeeeeeally long time. It was so nice to change that.
It was a nice easy read; something I needed at the time.
One Punch Man by ONE and Yusuke Murata (illustrator)
Synopsis: Our main character is Saitama, a young, unemployed and rather cynical Japanese man, who trains to become a superhero after defeating a villain following an unsuccessful job interview. Saitama gains superhuman power and the ability to defeat villains with one punch (hence the title, One-Punch Man) at the age of 25 and becomes a ‘hero for fun’. However, in the process, he lost all of his hair. Saitama’s abilities are impressive; unfortunately, the ease with which he defeats his foes causes him to lose any meaning from his deeds.
I must state from the start that this manga is a wonderful parody of the shonen, action and hero genres, with many references made to other anime/manga series such as Dragonball Z, Sailor Moon and Naruto to name but a few. The creator ONE makes fun of the cliches we are so used to in such a hilarious way that I wanted to read Volume 2 straight after – but I didn’t/still don’t own it so, I couldn’t. 😦
Now, I must confess – I watched Season 1 of the anime before starting the manga. So reading this was even easier – however, it didn’t make it boring AT ALL. This manga made me laugh out loud in public. Even though the anime made me laugh out loud also, seeing things in this format gave me a new lens with which to look through.
In terms of the story, it’s great. While this is primarily a comical take on popular genres, there are some serious messages within the story. For instance, some of the villains represent real-world problems that we should probably be trying harder to ‘defeat’. Also, Saitama’s cynicism is refreshing to see in a superhero. A lot of the time, heroes are portrayed as determined, super happy and positive individuals. Saitama is, at his core, an ordinary person and one that I can definitely relate to.
The artwork is also incredible. I found myself staring at the intricacies of the a lot of the panels for minutes before carrying on with the actual story. The action just bursts through the pages in such a captivating way.
I don’t want to say too much more as I think that if you do decide to try either the One-Punch man anime or manga series, it’s nice to go in not knowing too much. You’ll be in for nice surprises!
What have you been reading recently? Have you read One-Punch Man? Do you have any manga recommendations? Please leave your comments and questions below as usual!
Thanks for reading!
SSJ Time Lord