One-Punch Man is the story of a once handsome man who, after training intensely to become a superhero for fun, turned bold and apparently stopped wearing eyeliner and filling his eyebrows to become the ultimate, plain looking superhero that he is today. There’s something very humorous about the dramatic change in the one punch man’s appearance, but that’s obviously not the main point of the story. The premise of the manga is that since peaking in his strength, one-punch man is no longer getting satisfaction from his opponents as they lose the battle with him after just … yep – one punch. He’s now in a state of boredom … or maybe no emotions at all, as he waits for the perfect opponent.
Volume 1 of this manga is, I’m sorry to say, but rather boring. I largely put that down to it being the first book in the series which would naturally mean that it needs to lay down the groundwork for the reader to follow the later, and hopefully more intense, plots. Slow starts aren’t uncommon, so I’m not going to dismiss this manga just yet.
So far in this volume, Saitama (the one-punch man), has defeated every opponent without breaking a sweat (this is the dullest part of the story as it becomes repetitive very quickly); and we have been introduced to a new character who has the typical attractive manga man looks … except he’s not entirely human. I am super grateful for the addition of this new, cyborg, character, because I have a feeling (or a hope) that he will create dimension to the story and will take away the boredom of the – one-punch man wins everything – scenario. I’ll have to wait till volume 2 to see if that is the case.
A couple of other things which I want to mention: 1) the villains and characters have some unique designs. I especially like the mosquito … and that’s all I’ll say about that; 2) the humour is suited to younger readers aged around 10 (give or take a few years). It’s humour that I remember loving as a child, but as I’ve grown older it’s become predictable enough that I barely smiled when I read it. For younger readers, which I believe is the target audience anyway, I think the humour works and that the book’s basic idea makes an interesting manga; but I think that if there is not more to the story in volume 2 than Saitama dominating everyone, then this story will get boring even for the younger readers. After all, even Dragon Ball Z required Goku to increase in power to keep it interesting … or maybe I just expected more than other children.
Heavily contrasting the story, the art is simply fantastic and is captivating to view in every panel. You get the usual varied perspective shots. You get the beautiful toning and inking to create interest. What I especially liked though, and this is something which I haven’t seen before, is the contrast between the typical manga style art surrounding the very plain looking Saitama. It appears that the artist, Yusuke Murata, chose to keep Saitama looking as he did in the original webcomic version, i.e. very simple and plain looking. Rather than detracting from the overall professional appearance of the art, I find it adds to the intended humour of this character.
Although I’m not captivated by the story so far, I’d like to reserve my final judgement until I’ve read a few more volumes. So, if you’re interested in hearing my later views on this manga, please do follow this blog. … So that’s it – “see” you next week !