Saturday, January 2, 2016

Anime review: One Punch Man season 1

You are probably thinking to yourself, "Why the hell is this music reviewer doing a review of anime, is he secretly a weeb (or whatever that is called)?". Yeah, it feels out of place, and I rarely watch anime in general, but this is probably the first anime series that really got me hooked since the original Yu-Gi-Oh series (gotta believe in the heart of the cards). It is a show that is crazy, fun, and unique. I am of course talking about the super hyped "One Punch Man"

The show is about Saitama, a guy in his young twenties that is a lot like myself. He is lazy, poor, and seem to have little to no future. One day, he encounters a gigantic lobster monster that is on a killing spree hunt of a kid who drew nipples on him. Saitama comes across this kid later, just before the lobster man, and he ends up killing the lobster, thus saving the kid's life. He got a lot of satisfaction from it, so he decides to start working out and become a super hero for a hobby, helping his community whenever he can.

Fast forward three years, and one will instantly notice that the training Saitama has done did bear fruit. Wearing a yellow jump suit with cape and red dishing gloves, he now is a strong hero that time and time again saves his city from monster attacks. However, the hard training did have its side effects. For starters, Saitama has trained so hard that he has become completely bald, making him look like a egg head. He also posses so much strength that he can easily defeat his opponents with a single punch, which makes him frustrated since there is no one strong enough to match up to him and give him the thrill of saving the world. In other words, he is bored of having so much power.

Now, one would think that the story would be boring and predictable with a protagonist that is way overpowered, but this show is more than a Power Rangers knock off in which a new bad guy enters every episode only to be beaten at the end. No, instead of a lot of action and fighting we get to follow Saitama's journey to become a real certified hero, a journey in which he encounters several interesting guys, like the human cyborg Genos who is so amazed by Saitama's strength that he begs to become his apprentice. Of course, we do get some bad guys thrown in here and there, but the action level is not that high in this series, which actually is quite fine with me.

I like the overall plot, but what makes this show so special is the comedy. Saitama himself is just amazing, his laid back style is incredibly funny when he interacts with other characters, and he can also deliver some fantastic one liners. But the thing that steals the show is the animation style, which is incredibly diverse and hilarious. One thing that is still burned into my eyes is the fitness test that Saitama takes in his try out for the Hero Association, it is so over the top and crazy that I cannot stop laughing out loud. Also, some of the faces that Saitama expresses are insane.

Saitama at a modern art gallery, he is looking at the piece called "Smashed Genos"
But it is not only Saitama that makes One Punch Man so amazing. Almost all the characters in the show has at least one trait that makes them lovable, either it be the courage from Mumen Rider, the confidence from Speed-o'-Sound Sonic, or Silver Fang, whom is your typical "old wise man that can still kick your ass" that is common in animes. The best thing is that we have a ton of heroes that we have yet to know their personalities and their back stories to why they became who they are. It is going to be interesting to find out.

This season consists of 12 episodes, each episode being around 24 minutes long, and every episode is certainly exciting and fun. Usually when a episode starts, I try to skip the opening intro because... well, I am here to watch the show. But the intro to One Punch Man is so god damn epic that I have to watch it, and sing along to the amazing and catchy hard rock tune "The Hero!!" by JAM Project. Screw that I do not know any Japanese, I will still sing my lungs out to it.

So, are there anything negative with the show? Well, they are few in numbers, and they are not too significant. Just like any other anime, the smack talk before and during battles tend to be fairly cheesy and overly long, especially the fact that every new villain has to introduce himself to the world of how he and his henchmen will take over the world and show that he is the strongest alive. The confidence is really overflowing in animes, and One Punch Man is no exception. Then we also have the fact that Saitama is completely indestructible. I am having a hard time seeing how he would ever get hurt at all, which makes me worried that when he finally do get hurt, it will be a disappointing moment that destroys the rest of the show. Oh well, I will do what Saitama says, I will leave those worries to tomorrow's me.

So in conclusion, One Punch Man is a lot of crazy fun, and not so much action that one would expect (at least until the final three episodes, then all hell breaks loose). The character designs are lovely and the animation is so amazing and diverse. Season 2 is yet to be confirmed, but all indications points towards that the show will go on, which I cannot wait for, because if the show will continue to follow the manga, I am sure it will hold the same quality as the first season. Now if you excuse me, I will leave and do my super hero work out, every single day!

Rating: 9,5/10 Punches

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