November 17, 2016

Anime Review: One Punch Man

The seemingly ordinary and unimpressive Saitama has a rather unique hobby: being a hero. In order to pursue his childhood dream, he trained relentlessly for three years—and lost all of his hair in the process. Now, Saitama is incredibly powerful, so much so that no enemy is able to defeat him in battle. In fact, all it takes to defeat evildoers with just one punch has led to an unexpected problem—he is no longer able to enjoy the thrill of battling and has become quite bored.

This all changes with the arrival of Genos, a 19-year-old cyborg, who wishes to be Saitama's disciple after seeing what he is capable of. Genos proposes that the two join the Hero Association in order to become certified heroes that will be recognized for their positive contributions to society, and Saitama, shocked that no one knows who he is, quickly agrees. And thus begins the story of One Punch Man, an action-comedy that follows an eccentric individual who longs to fight strong enemies that can hopefully give him the excitement he once felt and just maybe, he'll become popular in the process.

Review may contain spoilers. Proceed with caution.

One Punch Man is an engaging anime that has action, comedy, and unpredictability. Each time Saitama faces a new, bigger, and badder enemy, we expect this to be the moment that he fails to defeat his enemy in one punch. However, he continues to surprise us over and over again right up until the last enemy.

Saitama is a unique hero in that he does not care about his popularity, only about doing the right thing. Although some people may consider Saitama a weird hero, his passion for hero work makes him a compelling character. Whereas other heroes become heroes to make money or to become famous, Saitama considers himself an ordinary civilian who is trying to do the right thing. Saving people is his hobby, not his job. Saitama is a character we can learn from.

 In comparison, his sidekick Genos appears incredibly dependable at first glance. That said, he is prideful. He will risk his life to defeat overpowered enemies instead of asking for help when he needs it. Genos may seem like a trash character compared to Saitama; however, Genos is a character with whom we can relate. Whereas most people may give up their dreams upon seeing how OP Saitama is, Genos seeks discipleship under Saitama and works hard with the hopes of one day achieving even a fraction of Saitama's strength.

The best part of One Punch Man is the humor. Although Saitama considers his hero work important, the audience cannot take take it seriously. It is ludicrous how Saitama is able to defeat everyone in a single punch. Whereas so many of our favorite anime heroes, like Goku, have to work hard to prepare themselves for each new enemy, Saitama has already broken the limits of the human body. Most heroes would love having the power to defend their loved ones as easily as Saitama does, but Saitama views it as a curse because he cannot find an archenemy with whom he can enjoy battle. The irony of his situation makes this an enjoyable anime because it trashes the Shonen genre as we know it. No longer must heroes train to defeat their next enemy; they are either Saitama, or they are foils to show off Saitama's strength.

One thing we didn't enjoy as much is how Saitama defeated the Deep Sea King so easily. Because the civilians were making fun of the heroes, Saitama made himself out to be an opportunist who was able to defeat the Deep Sea King in one punch merely because the other heroes had exhausted it for him. We wish that Saitama was able to get due credit for his heroic endeavors.

In conclusion, One Punch Man is an incredible anime because it brings joy, humor, and suspense in twelve heart-racing episodes.

Jointly written by the Otaku Knights core team (Javier, Carlos, Daniela, Karina, Marcos, and Andrew)

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