Bald is Beautiful! And so is this anime!
The time has come for me. I have arrived.
Yes, Anniemeniacs, I have finally watched One Punch Man. This is an anime I have been itching to binge for years, and today I can say the itch is thoroughly and satisfactorily scratched.
One Punch Man follows Saitama, an overpowered superhero whose power packs a punch–literally! He has grown bored by the absence of a challenge and in his fight against evil he seeks to find a worthy opponent. He takes on Genos, a justice-obsessed cyborg, as a disciple and together they become professional heroes.
Review: / 5
I should probably start off by saying I watched all of this show today. Yup, your girl has a three day weekend, and she’s spending it binging the best of ways.
Perhaps the greatest asset to this anime is its satirical nature. From Saitama’s personality to his animation, Murata playfully mocks the typical shonen action tropes. We would get the standard build-up for a fight: the formidable foe which seems to have bested the strongest allies, the music, the atmosphere– all of the classic components for a hard-fought battle to-be–only to have Saitama walk in and settle it with literally one-punch. It was hilarious, refreshing and unexpected. I mean, just look at this meme-worthy masterpiece:
I should mention his face here is made during the main-boss battle.
He is iconic. A legend.
This anime had me crying from laughter too many times: the quick asides, the subtle details, everything. Were the things that were said so amazing? Probably not, but how comedy was handled in this anime was unlike the majority of shonen stuff I’ve seen. It was subtle and quieter (at least in dialogue) and reminded me of Cowboy Bebop, which is a high compliment as that show ranks in my Top Picks.
Satire aside, the animation was the second masterpiece in this work. I’m not referring just to the juxtaposition of derp-Saitama and badass-Saitama, either, but to the work as a whole. How scenes were constructed were balanced–cinematic, but not overly so. In many instances, the style mirrored comics, specifically with reference to the shading and foreshortening.
Here are some shortcomings for me, because every thing has a weakness, and I try to keep these reviews balanced.
The most important item in storytelling to me is characterization. It is through characters and their individual personalities that I’m able to connect, empathize and have a genuine interest in the story at hand. Without solid, round characters, I simply don’t care about what happens. It doesn’t matter how great a plot you have if I don’t want to be with the person experiencing it. Saitama, however hilarious, is a bit flat for me. Forget about character arcs and growth for a second. What he lacks is the basic grounds of an action-series protagonist: a goal. I found myself wondering where the series was going to go because I wasn’t sure what his motives were. What was it he valued? What were his faults and how did he attempt to overcome them? These were questions which never really had a straightforward answer, and why I feel the ending fell a bit short and anticlimactic. We could say, like I have above, that his goal is to find a worthy opponent, but to what extent does Saitama actively seek that goal? For the most part, he doesn’t. He’s simply in the right place at the right time.
Ultimately, the serious was awesome. I think my concern on Saitama’s character will be solved in the second season–there has to be a second season, amiright? If his character developed too quickly, it would feel unauthentic, so it’s always better to go slowly with these things, anyway.
Thanks for reading! Let me hear your opinions below!
Watch on, Annieme Addict!