Friday, April 1, 2016

One Punch Man review


I'm a huge fan of shounen anime. Watching cool heroes throwing flashy moves makes me squeal every single time. One Punch Man looks like your generic hero themed shounen anime, but at the same time being a parody of the said genre. This is a show made solely for fun, and it is masterfully done so. 

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. (Source: MAL Rewrite)

The setting of One Punch Man is Fairly generic; a world where monsters are widespread thus a hero organisation was established to counter the threat by sending heroes to defeat the monsters. The one unique twist added to the mix is that our main protagonist, Saitama is so overpowered, that all it takes for him to defeat his opponent is basically a single punch. This is definitely poking fun at your normal shounen tropes where usually the heroes had to get beaten up, train and get stronger to eventually outpower their enemies. But nope, One Punch Man totally disregard that element completely, by making the main protagonist so powerful that he himself are having his own dilemma to find someone that could actually give him any challenges. There is no cliche like latent ability, being a chosen one, acquiring special weapons or involved in an accident. All it takes for him to be that powerful is just plain ol' training which is ridiculous in its own right. The story follows his normal everyday story, along with his disciple Genos, a straightforward yet cool-looking cyborg as they work to become a real hero. The term 'normal' is an understatement; for them to encounter monsters and defeat them outright is basically like a chore. One may think that a story that ended up with its protagonist punching their villain into oblivion with a single punch might be boring and repetitive because where is the fun in that? For sure, it is predictable; viewers will see that every time that Saitama appeared, the fight will end soon leaving splattered remains of his enemies behind. However, before that kind of stuff usually happens, there will be some kind of battle shown between the other lesser powerful heroes trying to fend off the powerful monsters, coupled with awesome fight animation and dramatic, hot-blooded battle line. Such spectacles are a treat to the eye, before the fight eventually end with Saitama's epic single punch. Speaking of a single punch, in theory, it may sounded bland, but each single punch are delivered with such meticulous impact that it never cease to look so amazing. The overall plot is really linear; trouble shows up, monsters rampaging, some background story, some fight breaks out and finally Saitama enters to save the day. It does not need to be complex because it is an anime purely made for fun by being a parody while having bit of serious moment here and there. There are some drama, portrayed through the struggles of weaker heroes, which are effectively presented. As for the comedy, every single punchline (heh) are delivered to guarantee makes the viewer crack a smile, and Saitama's hilarious reaction face are golden. His indifference expression when facing giant menacing monster are contrasted with over the top reaction when dealing with normal everyday problem, like forgetting a sale for example. The pacing in the anime is marvelously carried out in a way that it is not too fast nor too slow Scene with slow, long winded talking are replaced with heavy action scene short after. The anime perfectly capture the essence of the manga, by faithfully adapt it panel by panel with some addition on its own. The only complaint that I have is that there is not enough story, but that itself is not really a huge problem at all since the anime is coupled with several special episodes and a promise of second season soon to come.

One Punch Man features a huge cast of characters, yet every single one of them are unique and memorable. The main protagonist, which is also the title character himself is Saitama. He is just your average bald dude with the strongest power any fictional characters would've dream off; absolute plot armour. No matter how strong his opponent is, it is given that he will defeat them effortlessly, with his bare fist. Saitama whole character design are a parody in itself. His motivation for being a hero is that he does it as a hobby, and never take it seriously. His face are usually drawn in the most simplistic design as you can imagine, heck even someone who drawing skills ranges from drawing stickmen at best could draw his face. At time however, when he become a bit serious his expression will change and a powerful aura will engulf his body that even his enemy will think twice about facing him. That is when you know where things will get down, fast. He is however, intended to be a joke character, and he had done so splendidly. Every moment with him is absolute joy, and viewers will find him to be both awesome and humorous as a whole. Genos, his loyal disciple, is the opposite of him. Genos is a cyborg with long winded history and has personalities typical of the shonen trope. He is a lot more uptight and take every single thing seriously. As a battle cyborg, he is very cool and his battle scenes usually involve lots of high-speed action and loud explosions. He want to be as strong as Saitama, and to do that he believe that he must follow his exact foot step. Thus, he does everything Saitama entrusted him, which is mostly house chore and believe that it is one of his master's training regime. Both Saitama and Genos make up for a dynamic duo of heroes; an enjoyable one at that. Other characters include the people from Heroes Association and all the other villains, or monsters. On the top of the Heroes Association is the S-class heroes; the bratty psychic user Tatsumaki, lean and mean old geezer Bang, hero using machinery and powerful armament to overwhelm his enemy Metal Knight, the 'strongest' hero King, samurai that slashes his opponent to atomic level Atomic Samurai, strong muscled heroes Puripuri Prisoner, Tank Top Master and Superalloy Blackluster as well as some other powerful heroes. There are also casts of lower class heroes like the Mumen Rider, a hardworking, courageous heroes whose main quality is to never give up no matter how much stronger his adversaries is, which at the same time give the show a more serious shounen-like feel into it at time. The villains design are no less amazing. Most of them looks really goofy, like the old tv show monsters; from a bipedal lobster wearing spandex, a parody of another villains from other series to a bald villain whose motivation is to not work at all. Some of them are actually rather cool looking, such as the ninja Sonic who boast his speed only to get ridiculed by the protagonist later. Other are a lot more menacing; a giant titan, an ancient dinosaur, the sea king himself and also invaders from outer space with power enough to wipe out an entire city or even the planet itself if left unchecked. Nevertheless, One Punch Man is filled with a huge variety of cast which never looks dull and always be entertaining in their own, unique way.

The art and animation is nothing short of masterpiece. It is not refined, but rather strong and impactful which blows away the viewers with its fluid fast action scene violent explosions. Every single detail are brought out in the most amazing way as possible, from the shiny metal armours to the internal organs that got blown out. The camera angle are utilised to its maximum potential, so that every single bit of the action could be captured perfectly. The manga itself feels like an anime in its own right, with its panel by panel movement of beautifully drawn art, but the anime takes it up by a notch by having colours and sounds to compliment with the art. Considering this is a medium budget anime shows that how so much effort the animators had been putting into this anime so that the viewers could enjoy it to their fullest. The final episode especially, are just epic; one of the best battle animation I've seen for a long, long time. As for the sound, it is no less impressive. The OP is probably the best one of the season yet, that gets you hype with its heavy metal rock music and hardcore animation. It is one of the opening where I could hear it so many time and scream "ONE PUUUNCH!" from the bottom of my lungs every time I listen to it, or doing punching exercise during my usual Taekwondo session. It is that good. The ED song is a lot more slower, so that the viewers could finally calm down after 20-minutes of heavy action scenes, and signify the wait for the next until the new episode come out. The soundtrack used are masterfully done, each compliment with every single scene; a darker sinister theme when the enemy was revealed to the heavy metal background music when the battle is started. In short, I could say that both the animation and sounds for One Punch Man are simply, legendary.

Arguably the best anime of the season, and the one that you must watch at all cost if you still haven't seen it yet. Ignore the people who are cynical about this anime because of the growing fanbase, because what matters if can enjoy watching it. It may not have a deep, thoughtful story because it is a parody of shounen anime at core that's out so that viewers can simply have fun and revel in the absurdity. Plus, the art, animation and sound are one of the best there is for a while and there are varieties of characters that are all fun to watch. One Punch Man does what it sets out to deliver, that is to entertain. And it does so in style.

1 comment:

  1. I love saitama too he is my favorite character.



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