*THIS REVIEW IS SPOILER FREE*
One-Punch Man by ONE is a comedic young adult supernatural action series that uses satire to poke fun at a lot of over done themes and tropes in superhero and action fiction. Formerly a popular self-published webtoon, ONE’s comic has been adapted into an on-going manga series as well as adapted into a 12 episode anime. It’s centered around a young adult named Saito who, after failing to become a successful working adult and coming across a villainous crab-man-thing targeting a child for revenge, decides to become a superhero. The humour in this series comes from it’s over-exaggeration of overused tropes and in the main character’s predicament. Saito, despite being a normal average looking human, is much too powerful. Much to his dismay he often defeats all his opponents with a single ‘normal’ punch, and leaves most battles unscathed, unchallenged, strangely unrecognized by the general public, and feeling bored to the point of near apathy.
I can’t say too much about it without spoiling anything, but this has been a very enjoyable series so far and is filled with tons of hilarious scenes, interesting characters, great battle scenes and a very well paced story-line that snowballs into a good amount of suspense. At first I figured this isn’t a story filled with anything thought provoking as it’s primarily just a comedic action series, but the lighthearted tone at times took a surprising turn into something a bit darker and more meaningful. That is something that has made this really stand out for me. Comedy like art is subjective, but I think this is one of the better of it’s kind. Speaking of art… Yusuke Murata did, in my subjective opinion, BEAUTIFUL work. The artwork is very clean. I often worry about how well I’ll be able to understand an action packed scene with a lot of fighting going on, but everything was always clear and very detailed.
I’ve only read the first volume, but watched the anime adaptation. As far as I can tell it was well done, and follows the general story-line closely only making minor changes in dialect and adding events to details that don’t interfere with the original story.
Verdict? Story 8/10. Characters 8/10. Art 9.5/10. Overall 8/10 Unicorn Horns.
I’d recommend this series to anyone looking for a good laugh and great action. I will defiantly keep collecting and reading this series, as well as check out his other series Mob Psycho once it’s released in English. I may up-date this review once I’ve read more.