Is One Punch really all it takes?

Is One Punch really all it takes?

Saitama does superhero work as a hobby. He trained for three years and has lost all of his hair as a result. But more importantly, Saitama became so strong that one simple punch with his fist will send the bad guys flying or literally pop their guts out. He’s the main character who has much more screen time than character development. OP main character alert: ON!

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This series popularity is undeniable, everyone and I mean just about anyone, even people who have not watched a single anime before know of this title…..unless you live in a cave of course. I finally decided to pick it up and watch it, definitely not half-bad at all.

As you can imagine, Saitama must be pretty bored if he’s got no competition. Though when meets Genos, a cyborg who became his disciple after he saved his life, things begin to change. After that, the two both join the Hero’s Association and the epic kick ass action ensues….drum roll please……..!

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Let’s see…..we’ve got Huge humanoid monsters, evolution augmentations, a variety of sea creatures, and aliens trying to destroy the world, hero’s from different classes such as class C, class A, and Saitama, the inconspicuous figure in the background. He would be popular right now if not for every hero he encounters looking down on him. And he is so powerful that many people simply won’t believe him and shun him for getting in the way or straight out call him a cheater.

And there’s this question that the plot tries to avoid all together, instead focusing on how awesome Saitama was. That is……How the hell Saitama got his powers in the first place. The plot should have been a lot more cohesive if they gave as a clue, a hint of some kind alluding to why Saitama got his godly powers (if not more) could make the story more sensible and enjoyable too. Several episodes in, I couldn’t laugh at the jokes anymore and they weren’t that good to be honest (i.e to me).

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Wonder what every superhero anime would be without some epic destruction and villains being subdued in style? No there wouldn’t be any. You would think that the story goes around Saitama punching some goons, that’s true, the whole thing is packed and done when he butts in and handles the problem. It’s like waiting for the finishing blow. They do add some comedic effect and overall coolness to the punch, we’re just eagerly awaiting that punch, and at the same time it makes it seem like Saitama is an intimidating person as well as a funny one at that. At the end of the day, it boils down to how many variations they can get out of a simple punching move. I was expecting a blad protagonist, your A typical bad guys and a boring plot. Expectations were off by a mark or two.

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The villains are not a bunch of stupid monsters that get beaten down like garbage bags, they are increasingly more powerful as the story progresses and it might take more than one hero to put an end to their plans. Most if not all of them get pummeled when they fight with Saitama though. There’s some corruption between the heroes and most of the high level heroes don’t even go out until a city or two are destroyed, guessed it right? The losers at the bottom do all the small cases like theft while the pros at the very top deal with the bigger cases that get more public coverage. Although they’re all screwed cause Saitama has raised the bar to unimaginable proportions. Who would’ve thought that this guy is the strongest man on earth?

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Are you looking at me!?

Say all you want but Saitama is not a particularly good protagonist for sure. Form what I see, I’m not convinced that we saw enough, aside from the slight glimpse of greater character development, not much. That’s the problem with OP characters, you’re absolutely certain nobody can beat him and there goes the enjoyment, down the drain. They can get seriously get repetitive, at most annoying and a pest to other character’s development. What did they show us? Ok, Saitama could be hiding some scars under his persona, he might actually be super wise, he might be……..damn, ran out of ideas……… Well we’re not constantly reminded of how he trumps everyone so you won’t probably notice anything wrong.

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Honestly, I think Genos will be a better fit for Saitama’s role. He has been saving people for several years now and he’s also calm, calculating and most of all has more faith in his job. He’s also very powerful in his own right. I would love to see a spin off realize this idea. Likely won’t happen.

Not much re-watch value in this show as there is very little substance aside from the characters and the wow factor. I couldn’t care less about a majority of the cast who only have their superhero call sign and five seconds of fame plus placeholder personality. I’ll be following the webcomic for a while I bet. A second season has recently been announced so I’m optimistic as to what changes they’ll bring to the table.

Final Thoughts

I somewhat get the feeling that this anime is overrated. It’s obviously not a masterpiece but better than most at what it does. The heroes need to be more memorable and Saitama needs to be fully fleshed out. The more I think about it, the more my impression goes down. You could get bored if you’re not into this kind of stuff and you’ll likely feel that there’s just not enough complexity to the story. I could pass this on as an average superhero anime, no one will know. There’s no reason not to watch this show (mostly because of how popular it is), the heroes, the monsters, and everything in-between fill in for its obvious flaws. Now all that’s left is to wait for One Punch Man 2 I guess. We haven’t got an exact data though.

-KKSparrow

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