One Punch Man Review (Collab)
Warning: The following review may contain spoilers of the (most likely) first season of One Punch Man. If you wish not to know some plot details, or simply don't wish to find out what happens in the series, please exit the tab, and join me once you've watched the show. Or you know, you can continue to read, since you don't care about spoilers.
Anyways, with that said, thank you, and onto the review:
It's been a while, but I'm ready for another collab review with Luke! In August, we tackled the 3rd season of Uta no Prince Sama, and in November, the first season of Snow White with the Red Hair (the second season we finished recently). Now, it's time to talk about the most hyped show in the Fall 2015 season. To combat the fact that Luke's favorite character from the series was Genos, his text will be dark yellow. So Luke, whenever you're ready.
Ummm, hello? Anyone there?
Need I ask what the sparkly aura is for? I get that you REALLY liked this anime, but let's try to wait until the end of the prologue to tease that, alright?
What do you mean, 'wait until the end of the prologue'? Let's talk about this show right now, okay? IT WAS GREAT! IT WAS PHENOMENAL! IT WAS FUNNY! GENOS HAD GREAT HAIR AND HE WAS BEAUTIFUL AND EVERYTHING....
Alright, fine. Way to ruin the party mood *blows raspberry*.
Sometimes our fangirl sides need to be kept in check. Both of us first heard about this show in the early months of last year, and were pretty interested in watching it. I mean, a comedic turn on a hero defeating villains with just a single punch? This could be pretty fun. Also, I felt like watching it now instead of later since it's already proving to be a mega-train filled with hopes and dreams, with lots of people raving about it, and the manga doing fairly well here.
As I've mentioned twice now, Luke loved this show. I wasn't as big of a fan in the fun, but I still ended up really liking it. The main characters were pretty funny, and some of the foes are wonderfully stupid. It's great to have incompetent villains to poke fun at in a parody series. Though I feel like some of the jokes run stale (especially the main one) and had WAY too many side characters to keep track of, I still had fun with what this show had to offer.
Luke's going to start off with the story, so we're moving on to that now.
*dramatic narrator voice* THIS IS CITY Z, home to the world's greatest hero. He's a man who can defeat the scariest of foes all in just one punch. *clears throat* However, this strength is in fact the man's worst enemy. He wants to find a worthy opponent that he can beat with more than one punch.
Because of this, Saitama finds that fighting monsters that plan to take over the world is getting REALLY tedious. One day, he meets Genos, a cyborg with some pretty cool powers, who is fighting against Mosquito Girl, a hybrid from the House of Evolution (our first stopping point in this series, which was rather odd, but still nice that that problem was taken care of). When Saitama manages to step in later and defeats her, Genos is so impressed by this that he resolves to become Saitama's disciple. At first, Saitama isn't too keen on the idea, but he changes his mind when Genos offers to pay some of the rent where he lives.
Eventually, Saitama realizes that he isn't getting recognized since he's not an "official" hero, as he is, plain and simple, a hero for fun. He and Genos later decide to take the Hero Association exam, so that they can be classified as heroes and officially fight evil. While Genos does perfectly on both the written and strength parts of the exam, getting automatically into Class S, Saitama struggles with the written portion, but trumps records in the strength exam. Because of this, he is ranked into Class C, the lowest class system in the rankings.
However, despite defeating monsters that even Rank S heroes can't defeat, Saitama still isn't able to get the credit he deserves. The citizens of the cities (besides just City Z) mainly find him to be a cheat, only going up the ranks because he seems to take all the credit for himself, though other heroes manage to fight before him. Of course, Saitama doesn't care. He's a professional hero now! PARTY!
Don't bring out the glasses just yet. Dazz. There's a bigger danger than Saitama's critics: aliens planning on taking over the world (just like every villain in this series, LOL)! When the S Class heroes are called in for a meeting at the Hero Association building in City A, Saitama comes with Genos and just sits in on the discussion about the aliens without partaking in any comments (however, he does ask to go to the bathroom). However, when the aliens attack the headquarters, Saitama is off and ready to fight the leader of these abnormal beasts, who might actually be competent enough to be defeated without one punch.
Overall, One Punch Man easily excels at its parody elements. The show pokes so many holes in the shonen genre and does so for laughs. One of them being the typical overpowered lead, who has so much power that would be absolutely impossible according to the world they live in, but my favorite are the incompetent villains. Sometimes, these types of characters can get really irritating (Karneval had 2 characters that did just that), but One Punch Man makes them absolutely amusing. They announce their plans in broad daylight, but it's like they don't give 2 f**ks. It's so hilarious.
And while the show also parodies other things, these 2 are the most commonly used. I don't have a lot of qualms with the incompetent villains in each episode, because each one was humorous in their own right. But the stereotypical lead trope is used so often, that it doesn't become as laugh out loud as it did before. Especially when the show just keeps on adding new characters and delaying fights just for the sole purpose of Saitama swooping in, and having all that struggle be for absolute not. It's dull, tedious, and can really make them tiring.
Come on Dazz, the fights weren't THAT bad. I really liked seeing all the heroes showcase their moves before Saitama would swoop in and save that day. It was those little bits that gave development to them so it wasn't entirely focused on our hero who can end things swiftly in one punch. Sure, the viewer will get bored waiting, but they'll also be entertained and maybe even start rooting for our side characters.
I'm glad to see you still really liked the battles even with the repetition of the main joke, because they lost their sparkle. Also, the final fight stretched on for God knows how long, and that was annoying.
Whatever *rolls eyes*.
Let's move on to the character section:
Before we officially start this, do you mind if we just talk about Saitama and Genos, Luke? I think we can both agree that we really liked both of them, and some of the other characters seemed rather pointless.
True, although I wouldn't say the other characters were pointless. I do agree that Genos and Saitama are very likable characters (especially Genos, MY BABY!) and that they're more important to the story than the others. Plus, there's plenty to talk about with both of them (including how amazing and beautiful they are).
Again, I agree with you. So let's say we get this show on the road, staring with:
I'm pretty sure Saitama needs no introduction whatsoever. He's very powerful, a hero just for fun, and has the most iconic facial expressions known to the anime world. I could link thousands of them, but I think I already did the job in my Fall season wrap-up, so we're good on that front.
Saitama was an unemployed salesman who was barely hanging by until he stumbled upon a crab monster who was looking for a two-chined boy who drew nipples on him. After finding the boy and doing the best he could he could to get him out of danger, he decided to become a hero so he could save the world from evil. He then developed a routine: 100 sit-ups, 100 push-ups, 100 squats, and a 10 kilometer run, which he did every day over the span of 3 years. This explains his hair loss.
Despite his overwhelming strength, Saitama ends up in the C class for failing the written part of the Hero Association exam, which held more weight. But after stopping an asteroid from colliding with Earth and defeat the Deep Sea King, he was promoted to the B class. Some members of the Hero Association and normal citizens find wrong with this, mainly because of Saitama's played up attitude, and the fact that he seems to take credit away from heroes who fought a particular villain before he showed up. As I mentioned earlier, he doesn't care whatsoever on what the public thinks about him, as he's still defeating evil.
In my opinion, Saitama's a great protagonist. Not only is he very effective at getting the job done (even though we do wait a while in some things), but he's also classically funny and pretty much a deadpan pro. He holds the weight of this show's comedy from his dialogue, whether it'd be sarcastic remarks, or just simply realizing when the next sale at the supermarket is, like in Episode 3's fight at the House of Evolution. I also like how some of the heroes trust him due to his strength, even though most don't give him a second glance due to him being in Class C (later Class B).
I completely agree with Dazz about Saitama. He provides much of the deadpan humor for this show and keeps us on our toes constantly. He can be pretty epic in fight scenes and yet still somehow be so casual during them that it can get comical. This just makes Saitama a super ridiculous and fun character, and I really enjoyed him being our protagonist.
Luke's going to head Genos's section:
This is Genos. ISN'T HE GORGEOUS ^_^?
*coughs* I should probably get serious. There'll be more fangirling to come after I sum up Genos as a whole. He was originally a human whose village was attacked when he was 15 by an evil cyborg, killing his family and leaving him alive if barely hanging on. A doctor named Professor Kuseno stumbled onto the boy, who asked if he could become a cyborg himself. Now, Genos is on the lookout for that same robot that demolished his town, but he gets caught up in a fight with a woman/mosquito hybrid in the process. Saitama easily defeats her, which causes Genos to immediately ask if he could become Saitama's disciple.
After joining Saitama, Genos immediately wishes to be as powerful as him and hates when the civilians and other heroes immediately discredit him. However, once he joins the Hero Association, Genos quickly gains the notoriety and fame that he believes Saitama deserves, becoming a favorite among young girls and immediately being put in S Class after the exams. He knows that Saitama is more deserving of it than him, but strangely enough, Saitama doesn't care. He'd rather be kicking butt than be worried what other people think of him, and Genos is both surprised and admiring of this fact.
Genos is definitely my favorite out of the show because I love his seriousness and his somewhat creepy if kind of adorable devotion to Saitama (IT MAKES YOU WANNA SHIP THEM!). A review I watched of this show called him the normal superhero show protagonist, and I actually kind of agree with that because his story of success is what we'd expect. However, since Saitama's our star, a different picture is painted and we have to see our One Punch Man work to get to the top. This contrast is incredibly interesting and definitely worth watching to find out more about.
Also, one last time, I <3 GENOS!!!!!!
Though Genos isn't my favorite out of the show (it's personally Saitama) I still found him to be pretty enjoyable. I like his loyalty to Saitama, even though it's basically an over-dramatization of the sort, and I thought his design was pretty cool. There were also several times where he did manage to kick ass, so applause to that.
Glad to see you back up your strength.
And now for a moment of silence to the fact that he did absolutely jack squat in the final battle besides commentary on certain heroes.
Now that Luke's massive fangirling is all done, let's talk a bit about the side characters of this anime. This anime has a similar problem with Gangsta with its supporting cast. BlazBlue Alter Memory and Gakusen Toshi Asterisk did a good job at establishing who was a lead and who was a supporting in terms of characters. Gangsta and One Punch Man struggle with this. Who cares about the Hero Association members that we meet if most of them are uninteresting? Though I have to say my favorite was Tornado of Terror. She has some awesome superpowers and is quite the hoot.
Dazz, don't give the supporting cast so much crap. Although they don't make as much of an impact as our leads, the background characters are a colorful mix of traditional heroes and some ones that could be found in the loony bin. For example, we have a guy with lightning bolt hair and electricity powers representing our normal people and a sparkling homosexual who rips off his jail uniform a la magical girl style and calls himself "PuriPuri Prisoner" for our weirdos. If that doesn't sound entertaining, I don't know what is. Surely we can expect viewers of the show to pick their favorites, right?
I'm going to be honest; I need a scan to confirm my philosophy:
|One Punch Man: The 4 Characters that Really Matter|
The animation for this series was done by Madhouse, most known for Paradise Kiss, Death Parade (LOVE!), and No Game No Life (all of which Dazz has talked about, so go check out those reviews in this shameless plug). I think this category is easily the strongest of the show, most notably because there's a lot of quality. There are no obvious errors, no lazy covering up, and no loss of quality. Instead, we have great facial expressions, nice and intense animation, and absolutely beautiful and fluid fight scenes. Plus, we have a really nice color scheme with both light and dark colors ^_^.
Hey! I'm the only person who gets to make shameless plugs of my reviews here.
But aside from that, I agree with Luke. The animation of this series is very well done. Some people were discussing this show as being very high budget even though it was middle of the road. Fights look great, the characters do a great job with standing out from some bland environments, and some awesome Saitama faces. Basically, this anime could be worth its weight in gold based off of Saitama's faces alone.
I do wish at some points that the animation was slightly stronger, but I think we got the best possible animation for this series. Madhouse is still proving to be an animation powerhouse with some of their animation, and I hope they will continue to do that for many years to come like they have been.
The score for this series was composed by Makoto Miyazaki, who's also known for working on the scores for Dragon Crisis!, and Triage X. He's also got some opening composition under his belt, for series like Maken-ki! and Hyoka.
If there's one word to describe the OST from this series, it's boring. It's very similar to Snow White with the Red Hair with the fact that it all starts to blend together that I can hardly remember it, outside of a few pieces. There was one dubstep one that I really liked, along with some small ones here and there. But overall, it's probably one of the flattest music scores I've had the pleasure of listening to in an anime.
Now, let's move onto the voice acting. For me, this is definitely one of the strongest parts of the series. The majority of the side characters who appear play their parts well (most very comically), and the more "important" characters have some pretty good voices. But easily Makoto Furukawa and Kaito Ishikawa were the shining stars of this series. Both of them played their parts spectacularly, and Makoto Furukawa also plays up Saitama's range to comical levels at various points, mainly when he starts yelling. Best guest character goes to Miyuki Sawashiro as Mosquito Girl.
I also really enjoyed Makoto Furukawa and Kaito Ishikawa's performances as Saitama and Genos. Furukawa's Saitama is beautifully deadpan and full of dry humor that crackles every time he speaks, but I also loved the moments when he got into a fight. He was not always serious most of the time, but I didn't mind it because Saitama really doesn't take a lot of things seriously. Meanwhile, Ishikawa's performance captures the dedication of Genos perfectly while still being earnest and just so darn lovable. You buy into his praise of Saitama, and although he doesn't have nearly as much dry humor as his sensei, he's a lot more serious during fights and it makes you pumped up and excited. The ensemble cast is also very fun, comprised of both veteran actors and some people that I haven't heard before. Personalities are captured with flair and color, and there's a lot of versatility from a young aspiring boy lord to a guy wearing a polar bear suit that seems not to care about anything.
As for the potential for an English dub, I have no doubt that Viz Media is planning a dub and will release it sometime later this year or in 2017. Expect a California based cast either from Bang Zoom or Studiopolis, but I honestly have no predictions of who will play who. Part of me aspires to be Genos, but I'd probably need more experience first XD.
There's always fandubs, Luke. When you get a better mic. :P
Highlights go to Makoto Furukawa, Kaito Ishikawa, Aoi Yuki, Kenjiro Tsuda, Minami Takayama, Katsuyuki Konishi, Masaya Onosaka, Mamoru Miyano, Yoshimasa Hosoya, Saori Hayami (cameo appearance in one episode), Yuichi Nakamura, Wataru Takagi, Yuki Kaji, Takuma Suzuki, Shinya Hamazoe, Rikiya Koyama, Miyuki Sawashiro, Shota Yamamoto, Koki Uchiyama, Toshiyuki Morikawa, and Kimiko Saito.
Since Luke liked this show more than I did, I'm going to give my verdict first. The show may not be as good as people may be hyping it, but I still thought it was a very good anime. If the last few episodes weren't as dragged out, if the humor wasn't as stale at points, if some of the characters were more memorable/important, and if the score wasn't as boring, this would have been an awesome anime.
I am slightly curious to seeing some of the OVA's in the future though, as some sound good for development of characters we didn't get a lot from. But I'd definitely recommend this anime for fans of shonen manga and anime, as this is definitely directed towards that market.
I will agree that most of the humor in One Punch Man is mostly one punch line repeated over and over again. However, there's something undeniably clever and exciting about the show. From its story mocking the superhero genre, to the memorable and varied cast, to the daring and sometimes crazily action packed animation, and lastly, the great voice acting, there's a lot of fun to be had with this show and definitely things to be enjoyed by everyone. Hopefully you find a fan in Saitama and Genos and their partnership, ridiculous and over the top battles, and, of course, the versatile group of superheros.
Story is great at being comical.
Some parody elements work very well.
Main characters (mainly Saitama and Genos) are hysterical in the best way.
Fantastic incompetent villains.
Good voice acting,
Episodes start to drag in last half.
Comedy begins to fall a little flat.
Some characters feel like they don't really belong or matter.
Score is very boring.