Book Review: One-Punch Man, Volume 1 by One and Yusuke Murata


Image Description: the book-cover of One-Punch Man, Volume 1 by One and Yusuke Murata. The cover foreground focuses on Saitama, a bald man wearing a yellow suit, a brown belt, a golden belt buckle, red gloves, and a white cape.  Saitama’s body language is positioned to look as though he’s going to perform a one-arm punch with his left hand, while his right-hand holds a bag groceries (with a pair of leeks sticking out of the shopping bag). In in the background, there is a large monster with three eyes, the monster stands upright, despite having a giant hole punched through its chest.

Title: One-Punch Man, Volume 1
Creators: ONE (Author) and Yusuke Murata (Illustrator)
Social Media: Goodreads
Publisher: Shonen Jump Manga
Format and Price Paperback from my local library
Stars: 5 stars out of 5

About The Creators:
ONE: Manga creator ONE began One-Punch Man as a webcomic, which quickly went viral, garnering over 10 million hits. In addition to One-Punch Man, ONE writes and draws the series Mob Psycho 100 and Makai no Ossan.

Yusuke Murata: A highly decorated and skilled artist and is best known for his work on Eyeshield 21. Yusuke Murata won the 122nd Hop Step Award (1995) for Partner and placed second in the 51st Akatsuka Award (1998) for Samui Hanashi.

About The Book:
Nothing about Saitama passes the eyeball test when it comes to superheroes, from his lifeless expression to his bald head to his unimpressive physique. However, this average-looking guy has a not-so-average problem – he just can’t seem to find an opponent strong enough to take on! Every time a promising villain appears, he beats the snot out of ’em with one punch! Can Saitama finally find an opponent who can go toe-to-toe with him and give his life some meaning? Or is he doomed to a life of superpowered boredom?

General Observations:
~I’ve Found This Humerus: I consider Ouran High School Host Club to be a series that lampshades and satires the Shojo manga genre and tropes. I definitely consider One-Punch Man to be the exact same thing for the Shonen manga genre. Either Saitama is a parody character in dark grim world or a dark and grim character in a parody world. It’s hard to tell. One of the key elements of this series is the comedy, the absurd melodramatic moments, which is then undercut by Saitama literally defeating his opponent with one punch.

~Art Style: There’s definitely some art style similarities employed for comedic reasons. Anyone who is familiar with Dragon Ball Z will recognise the style in which a lot of villains are drawn. I will point out that the series does make the effort not to go down the path of “Bad Looks = Bad Powers”, there’s plenty of pretty and handsome people apart of the Hero Association that appear to have no moral compass whatsoever.

~Character Dynamic – Saitama and Genos: I really enjoy Saitama and Genos’s “goofy master and serious apprentice” relationship. Genos is one of those few people who are aware of just how powerful Saitama truly is. Genos is also privy to those rare moments of kindness as well. Most of the world doesn’t see or remember Saitama’s good deed, however, Genos does notice, and I think it’s sweet. The art style is a little all over the place so, as with Soul Eater, I can understand why some readers may be put off by the visual aesthetics.

All in all, a satirical manga series about Super Heroes fighting monsters, aliens, and occasionally each other (perhaps the most dangerous force of all).The series is super weird but also super funny. I’m happy to recommend.

 

Available For Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository | Kobo Books

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