The hottest anime of the season is undoubtedly One Punch Man (OPM). A series which follows Saitama, a man professing to be nothing more than “a hero for fun.” It’s hard not to believe him, Saitama is the most average (i’m being generous here) looking hero you will ever see. A friend of mine and I even joked about how he looks like a random anime background character. The kind that’s crudely and hurriedly drawn to make a scene look populated.
Don’t let the way he looks fool you though. This is a classic case of appearance’s being very deceiving. Saitaima is in fact one of the most overpowered (OP) anime characters ever. He is literally a one punch man, that’s usually all it takes for him to end a fight. That shouldn’t deter you from watching. At first I struggled with wrapping my head around how the show would be able to create perilous situations for such an OP hero and have that payoff in the end actually be worthwhile. Then I saw the genius of One Punch Man. It’s not a show centered around powers or abilities (power means nothing if you are the strongest by a looooooooooong mile); it’s centered around moral philosophy. Right and wrong, and the age-old question what really makes someone a hero? Is it something as tangible and empirical, like a Hero Association membership? Or something else, something ethereal? One Punch Man is a parody that successfully uses satire to bring this and a few other questions to the forefront for discussion. In one episode Saitama finds out all of his heroic exploits so far (which include defeating rampaging monsters and saving residents of the city from said monsters), don’t count for s**t because, wait for it, (in true shonen fashion) he’s not “registered with the Hero Association. And any person who’s not registered in the National Superhero Registry is not recognized as a hero and as such is always looked upon as a delusional weirdo, regardless of how many times they save the world.” Hahaha, i died of laughter when I heard this and to this day the mere thought of that scene kills me. Luckily for us Saitama-sensei takes the entrance exam and we get to see how he compares to other entrance-level heroes.I’ll give you a hint…it’s not even close.
OPM is very tongue-in-cheek at times and you don’t know whether to take it seriously or not. Like the time Saitama tells us just how he got so strong (I won’t spoil it for you, you just have to see it for yourself; It’s pure gold!). I’m still a little bit skeptical, but can’t say I haven’t tried to get stronger using the Saitama-sensei method. Hahaha, Genos’ reaction when he found out was priceless. Things like that are what make the show charming for me. That self-aware, sitcom-like humor is refreshing in anime. I think its quite fitting that the writer of OPM (who goes by the pseudonym ONE) describes himself as a manga artist for hobby, because like his creation the one punch man Saitama (who is a hero for fun), he is also exceptionally good at what he does and deserves much more credit and recognition than he gets.