Yo, it’s Wumzum – this is my first write up… I’m not much of a writer.
But I suppose if i write 100 sentences daily, read 100 books every week, and listen to 100 literature podcasts every week I would become the One punch man equivalent of a writer. At least in ONE PUNCH MAN Logic.
The show does a pretty good job of parodying the completely nonsense theatricalness of most Shonen/Marvel/DC characters, while still being able to tell a somewhat consistent story. I think this is why I bothered to watch it. I’ve watched and read a lot of the essentials, Naruto, Bleach, Dragon ball, X-men, Power rangers, Kamen rider, Superman Adventure… and they all led me here.
I know the usual story and a lot of the character archetypes and, to be honest, it can start to get stale. Even for a comic animation guy like myself, it’s easy to lose interest when these shows take themselves too seriously. There are so many superheroes in slick costumes and state of the art weaponry that it’s hard to stay excited.
But that’s the strange thing: One Punch Man does all of these things. It makes ironic and over the top tropes the central theme and spins it on its head. The main character, rather than being super cool, in that signature primary colour scheme, is wearing what would quite frankly be summed up as mustard pyjamas, gloves that look like something you’d find in your kitchen and a bed sheet for a cape. It carries on the super hero aesthetic, but an bootleg version. So why is it good?
ITS REALLY FUNNY.
ONE, the creator of OPM started the webcomic as a hobby. It has this naive style which is very different to the “serious” comic stuff, but is the perfect style when trying to make a joke. I think this is part of the genius. It didn’t take itself so seriously, but was formed through a genre that does.
It grew a massive following until even the artists of these super serious hero comics started paying attention. And now its become this even bigger Animation project, they even include some of ONEs original naive style to add to the point. Heck… Saitama doesn’t even take it seriously, even when millions of people are threatened…
One could mistake it as just another show that just has outlandish action scenes and your typical action narrative. But the whole thing is like a metaphorical joke about how silly the seriousness of these hero flicks can be, while at the same time entertaining your eyes with the very over the top animation that you’re never too sophisticated to enjoy. Its so self aware it doesn’t seem like you’re watching just an old action show, but instead a humour driven analysis of the state of these shows.
Theres actually even a decent story there that you piece together in amongst the humour and heaps of Dragon Ball references. Our ‘Hero for fun’ is actually dissatisfied with life. The things he spent all that time training for has come to give him a sense of discontentment.
I kept thinking ‘Why am I finding this so entertaining, when I know he’s going to beat the bad guy in the end’. Its because the villains aren’t the main problem. Its about If he can actually learn something about himself through all the opportunities to be a hero. Are you really a hero if you don’t have to work for it? are you really a hear if you only do it for fun? Do heroes even set out to be heroes? does that even really make sense? Heck, coolest looking character in this show isn’t even important.
Its all so meta. so Oxymoron.
One Punch Man works pretty well because of the subtle things. How even visually Saitama isn’t made out to look like something so powerful. he’s like an oxymoron of ultra powerful super hero’s, much like how the show is an oxymoron of the whole superhero genre. He affirms the tradition and a wittingly challenges the traditions. Because we all know that hero anime battle tropes are over the top and take themselves to seriously.
Like you know when the main character shout out their move before they do it?
ONE PUNCH MAN HAS A MOVE CALLED “Serious punch” (Laughs out loud)
Maybe I should actually write over the top things as see if that makes me an international success over night.
In the meantime. Here is a clip from one of my favourite episodes: