You know, let’s just begin with this little awesome sound……
If there is one genre of anything that I will never get tired of, despite the many bitchiness of some people complaining about it, it’s the superhero genre…or anything related to that but in recent years with success with MARVEL and DC (despite them sucking recently with BvS and SS) coming out with a movie or 2 a year, anime has delved into that before with Tiger & Bunny and Heroman, but in the year 2015, there was one anticipated anime of the fall season that most anime fans were pumped for.
And ladies and gentlemen, that anime is One Punch Man.
And per usual, you wonder……what is this show about?
(FIRST PART OF SYNOPSIS)
On Earth, in the metropolis of Z-City, strange monsters have been mysteriously appearing and causing disasters resulting in the world’s superheroes rising to combat them. Saitama, the protagonist of the series, is the strongest hero who easily defeats the monsters or other villains with a single punch where the monsters are automatically killed. However, due to his immeasurable strength, Saitama has become bored with his power and is constantly trying to find stronger opponents who can present a challenge to him.
Within that paragraph above, I found something to be very invested in this series. He is a ultra-powerful hero that single-handedly kill his opponents with one punch.
But he is BORED with that power. He may knock a villain dead but he wants a challenge because he knows if it’s too easy, then it’ll get boring. Hell, that is how I feel about most anime that have these OP heroes that does that shit and yet I feel no intensity from those characters and the cool factor drops rapidly for them. With Saitama, it’s funny for him since we know what we are getting into considering for the past 3 years of his life, he did a training regiment of 100 push-ups, 100 sit-ups, 100 squats, and a 10 km run every single day with no AC and all heat.
In other words, something I don’t meet most of us would do. Or quit the first few times.
Plus, Saitama has this chill personality when it comes to his fights, which is quite effective when it comes to the comedy of the situation and it’s hilarious how lax he can be with against someone.
(SECOND PART OF SYNOPSIS)
As Saitama is active as a hero, he meets various other heroes and villains. He gets a disciple in the form of the cyborg Genos and consequently joins the Hero Association in order to gain official recognition. Despite defeating many strong monsters that even the Heroes Association’s top members are unable to defeat, Saitama struggles to gain respect. Most people look down on him due to his plain physical appearance and some accuse him of being a counterfeit hero. Only a small number of individuals in the series recognize his talent and humility towards others.
Now with the rest of the heroes…..yeah, we got some good standard type of heroes like Genos, the cyborg that often hangs with Saitama in his home and has the cliche hero story of being made from his master after an incident….so the basic hero elements of him and Genos and Saitama are a good team together, especially once he moves in with him and often play off each other with Genos’ serious manner to Saitama’s carefree demeanour.
As we go into the Hero Association, we meet a few heroes and I’ll give you some short thoughts about most of them. Mumen Rider is possibly my other favorite hero in there because while he may not be the strongest (he’s Class C – pretty much average), the dude does have a lot of heart when it comes to helping people and he can be a pretty cool dude to hang out with. Hell, even though Saitama could easily fuck up someone, he knows it might not be good news from heroes like Rider, who does deserve more credit in his heroics.
Now, the other heroes:
Terrible Tornado – Yeah, she looks like she’s 12…..she’s 28 and will fuck you up. *in silent voice* Also, her sister Fubuki is fine as hell an–ERRR, I mean, she has a younger sister named Blizzard from Hell (although we don’t get much from her in the series — OVAs on the other hand…)
Puri-Puri Prisoner – The hero that loves himself some cute boys and quite the strong motherfucker.
Silver Fang, Atomic Samurai, Drive Knight are good as well but the one hero that I say “fuck that guy” is Amai Mask. Man, this pompous motherfucker that acts like he’s the hot shit with his bi-shounen boy looking ass and mostly he acts like a prick to the other heroes and acts like a prima donna asshole.
Yeah, that’s all I’m getting into heroes. There is a lot of them that I’m not going to remember that quick but overall, I’m pleased with the majority of characters and the story. Oh, and I forgot about ‘ol Speed-o’-Sound Sonic aka the one villain in the show that made quite a big impact….particularly that one scene…..you all know that scene.
The animation is here is by far, the most incredible I have ever seen by studio Madhouse and I know people would get on some folk for overpraising Madhouse and I would, too because Madhouse isn’t all that grand but in here……the animation is precise to every level in the action, the art style and the character design. I get why people get all hooked on Sakuga but this is sakuga I can get behind…or at least sakuga where it counts, meaning do it for a scene that left me breathless and wanting more. It’s not just “oh, let’s look all pretty and colorful and shallow”, it’s actual work that you see a lot of passion put into it.
Another incredible feature in here is the music and I got to start with the opening theme with “THE HERO!” by JAM Project and man, we know these dudes have been doing a lot of anime opening themes for a long time now and they know how to get you hyped watching an episode and even if you’re not into much metal or rock, this shit will get you hyped. Now the ending theme is so contrasted from the rocking energetic rock theme, we get the slow, melodic choice of “I’ll Find It Before the Stars for You” by Hiroko Moriguchi, which is not a bad song at all, just a weird mood whiplash out of every episode. Not a bad song but feels like something you hear out of Toradora or Sailor Moon.
Now for the English dub of the series as this show premiered on none other than Toonami and most anime people on my TL (especially known friends of mine) did predict one particular voice actor for the role of Saitama and as usual……they were wrong. Super wrong. Yes, this is a Bang Zoom dub (which I thought Studiopolis would get in the first place but I’m good with Bang Zoom) and they pulled out some rookies and fresh voices for this one and there were some surprises for the ADR director and writer…the director is Chris Cason, who has been directing some BZ projects for a while with this, Seven Deadly Sins, and Iron Blooded Orphans with some past FUNimation projects and speaking of that, Mike McFarland, a fan favorite of FUNi ADR director, is the ADR writer of this and yeah, the voice direction and writing here is spot on with some small meh points
Some thought Ben Diskin would take the role (he would’ve loved it) but didn’t get it, although he did get a small role in there. The voice of Saitama is Max Mittleman and I believe the guy nailed it from the first appearance. As for Genos’ voice actor, Zach Aguilar, he was spotty at first and a bit underacting but in the end, he did a good job as him. Other actors I would give a mention to are Robbie Daymond, Erik Kimerer, Kyle Hebert, Chris Jai Alex and also some fresh voices (at least, to anime AFAIK) I mentioned earlier like Marieve Herrington, Rich Brown, Ben Lepley among others in here with some appearance by Christopher Sabat and Bryce Papenbrook…and you’ll never guess what roles they get (although I know you’re smart so you will). This is another superb dub I heard from these guys.
FINAL VERDICT: You know what? I’m going to say it although I said it before and I’ll say it again……this was excellent and probably why this anime earn all its hype from the beginning. It’s the fact that we have a premise of something that could’ve been easily bad but ended up being a great anime enriched in all its epic mode from the battles, the humor, the understanding of what a hero is, and I am so glad that I watched this in the original JPN and on Toonami. It’s possibly my second favorite show that aired on the block, among anime like Kill La Kill and Space Dandy. This is a highly recommended on anime that people should watch, even if you’re not into anime that much. GET ON THAT SHIT!
So, yeah, I loved this show and I’m giving this the highest honor….
THE KING SEAL OF APPROVAL!! I love this shit, man!!! Worth all the hype and worth getting on disc!
Speaking of that, as of October 9th, 2016, One Punch Man has not been issued a physical format release as of yet from Viz Media. Streaming-wise, it is on Hulu (well, the paid version), Yahoo! View and Daisuki for those that live in Canada. Reruns of the dub are airing at 3AM on Toonami on October 16, 2016.
Oh, and let’s not forget…..Season 2 has been announced as of lately so expect more from Saitama soon…..next year….I think.
That is all from me. I’m One Punch MAK and if you feel like I give this one a too-high grade….
ONE PUNCH MAN – animated by MADHOUSE / licensed by VIZ MEDIA