If you’ve been into anime at all between now and at least October of 2015, there’s a 98 percent chance that you’ve heard of this show that people can’t stop raving about. People screaming “ONE PUNCH!” because of reasons. You’ve probably seen memes of an animated bald man who looks shockingly unimpressed with everything. If you have come into contact with any of these, you have come into contact with the phenomenon that is “One-Punch Man.”
“One-Punch Man” is a shounen battle parody anime that premiered in the fall of 2015. Its genre descriptions accurately describe the show. It’s a show about a man named Saitama who has the power that if he punches something once, he can destroy it, hence the name “One-Punch Man.” It follows his story as he attempts to become a heroic figure recognized by the people of this fictitious Japan that it is set in. Also, in case you were wondering how he got the power to punch anything once into an instakill, all he did was 100 sit-ups, push-ups, squats, and run 10 kilometers, every day.
There is a lot to this show, though you might not have thought that given all Saitama has to do to kill anything is punch it once. But with the introduction of other hero characters and a plethora of villains to defeat, viewers get to go on this adventure to find out if there’s someone Saitama cannot beat.
This anime has become immensely popular in the last few months. There are many factors that have played into its popularity. For starters, “One-Punch Man” was not originally in an anime form. Almost all anime come from the form of manga, meaning a Japanese comic. But not this one. This beloved series started as a web comic with ironically terrible art. It was never consistent but it was still popular. As its popularity rose, illustrator Yusuke Murata requested to do the art for "One-Punch Man" to make it the beautifully ridiculous manga/anime that we know today.
You might be asking yourself why this anime has become so popular. Sure it sounds funny, a guy punching anything once into submission, but is that really it? Of course any good series has a lot of layers to it, and “One-Punch Man” is no exception. There are many factors that have made this one of the greatest animes of 2015.
1. The parody style.
When I say parody, you probably think about someone parodying a song on YouTube. The parody aspect of “One-Punch Man” takes a similar effect. In anime, if it is “parodying” something, then it is paying homage to other media — whether it be anime or manga — and puts bits of what it parodies into the show.
If you’ve seen “One-Punch Man” you’d have seen many villains that look strikingly similar to other villains. Well that was the intent. Even in the first episode, we have our protagonist fighting someone who looks like he dove straight out of "Dragon Ball Z."
2. The comedy.
The comedy in this show is something that the audience can write home about. It’s absolutely gut-busting without looking like it’s trying. One of the signature jokes throughout the entire show is how Saitama always has this deadpan expression on his face whenever he does just about anything. But there are moments when he gets his “serious” face on because there’s something really important that he needs to do that isn’t actually important. Take for example, forgetting that there was a half-off sale at the supermarket that he forgot about. Yes, this actually happened, and yes, it was hilarious.
3. The action.
Perhaps one of the best things about this show are the action scenes that are produced in it. They are in a league above most that I have seen in recent years. A lot of fast-paced movement and ridiculous powers put together make the action in this show unreal. It’s hard to put into words just how good the action is, so watch the video that I’ve put in and you’ll hopefully see what I mean.
So that’s “One-Punch Man.” It’s an anime about a bald guy punching things and if that description doesn’t pique your interest even a little, I’m shocked. If it does, I encourage you to go watch it, even if you’ve seen the show three times already.