Creativity Magazine

One Punch Man

Posted on the 06 February 2016 by Aritrasen
MAL rating-8.99/10
No of episodes -13(1season +2 OVAs)One Punch Man, savior of anime or just a creator of an idiotic fanbase?
So its over, the most anticipated anime of fall 2015. An anime which generated so much fanbase that it routinely got subreddits of the day and had a subtopic created in meme pages. But as experience teaches us, popularity does not automatically convert to quality but we also cant deny if we act as hipsters and start dishing outbad reviews just because they are popular, it makes us look like the fools. So where does One Punch Man stand really?
First of all the manga deals in a lot of themes, there are gags, there are subtle references to society, there are fights and there is "man of steel" esque destruction. It is a shounen action at heart and never tries to be something else. you will find over the top action, lots of dialogues in fights, lots of punches and kicks thrown, yeah, until the protagonist comes in.
Yeah One Punch Man is about this, it just shows the futility of the powerup times in dragonballz, the "deep philosophical talk" in between fights and even takes a jab on people talking in space. It is telling you, "look there are so many tropes in shounens, but you know what at the end of the day its all about one finishing move, one punch" and to do so they created an insaney op hero as a jab to all the OP badasses out there, and then giving a hilarious backstory of how he got his power. Which serves twofold, naive watchers and kids might try to follow his regimen and get fitter(of course some adult discussion is necessary so that the kid doesn't overwork himself), and this has actually happened in japan and secondly more seasoned watchers can understand this as a parody of all the various training regimes in different shounens.
However as you can already imagine, you know from beforehand how each fight will end, you know whatever be the opponent he is going to kill him by one punch, and that no matter how you look at it will reduce the thrill of the anime. But the anime intends to be that. Its almost as if it is telling you "I am not you standard shounen with great fistfights, so if you expect sudden twists, you better drop me, I aint for you". But then in-spite of this the anime hooks a large section of the watchers, even watchers which are calling this one a shit anime. Why is that? it is because "one punch Man" isn't about One Punch Man, it isnt about Saitama killing villains, its not how whether he can recreate a big bang with his punch, its about something else. but to show that something else the author needed to put the obvious story-line in the way he did, and at the end, that cannot count as positive, even when I understand what his intention was.
One punch Man is about Saitama getting recognition he deserves, you root for him, want him to show the others how good he is , but then suddenly you find someone else to root for, a hero with no powers, trying his hardest, because "its not about winning and losing its about whether you stand up to somebody", and OPM delivered this to perfection in 1 line better than any other shounens have done in 200 episodes. And as more and more heroes get introduced, starting from the tsundere loli to the ninja and the martial artist, you tend to harbor some affectionate feeling for some of them as well(the names are sometimes hilarious as well Puri puri prisoner) and hate when they don't recognize saitama. this anime makes you either love/hate the characters, and unless its indifference that's pretty much a job well done for an anime.
And then in the final episode, MADhouse delivered one of its finest animation masterpieces. It elevated the manga by linking some stuff with the very first episode itself, created such fluidity in animation without much CGs that ufotable will be proud of them and used the correct soundtracks at the correct moment to create an epic final battle, a battle which lasted more than one punch. It is very rare for the anime transition from manga to be so brilliant even during the gags, but this last episode exceeded all expectations. When I read the manga , because the story wasn't that interesting(already said why), I wasn't really sure about the anime, but based MADhouse took that and created an anime which will rank among its best animated works for years to come(yeah you can fuck off hipsters, I have seen people saying the animation was bad trust me, either they are idiots or don't know English).
Oh yes one last thing, episode 12 actually makes you feel for the hero and villain both, in a way very different from any other anime out there.And the screenshot you will find everywhere is actually a great depiction of how it is very lonely at the top. One came searching for a fight of a lifetime and got it, while the other at least had some enjoyment but still couldn't use his full potential. The last gag after credits was genius as well.
But as with all half decent anime, the problem was a cancerous fanbase which increased exponentially given the nature of the anime. the anime was fun, there were fights and OP characters with great animation and blood pumping music. Goku and Superman vs Saiatama posts flooded the groups and memes flooded the pages which resulted in antagonism towards the anime by a certain section. But is a cancerous fanbase the right parameter to judge how good an anime is? because then you are judging an anime not by the anime itself buy by the people who watch it, which is preposterous. I urge all the people to ignore all the OPM posts and judge the anime just as itself without the fanbase and you will see that even if it has created such a fanbase, it is still a damn good shounen, which makes you feel without melodrama and gets your blood pumping without shouting for one episode.
So in the end what is the answer to my original question. Saviour of anime? No. "Just a creator of cancerous fanbase? No. this is an anime which made the world look up again. This is an anime which taught the world there are anime beyond DBZ. This is an anime which made the common mass who only watched DBZ look up and see how "compactly" an idea can be presented.
This is an anime which finally started putting the wheels in motion, so that the world can now move on from Dragonballz and realize even in that genre, even with just fistfights and no psychological battles, you can make a good anime and probably the anime which will inspire many more to actually delve more into the medium as such. And thats why probably it is a "New Wave" in the world of anime, even if it is not a savior.
actual rating- MADHOUSE/10

If you still want ratings then out of 10. Story-7,Characters-7, Art and animation-9, Sound-9, Enjoyment-9(41/50)

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