The One Bucket
I remember when I was 8 years old, I used to be excited for a new Pokemon episode everyday. I used to run from school to my house so that I wouldn’t miss any single moment. Then as you grow up, such excitement starts to fade away. No matter how good a show is, only a few shows can generate such an excitement for a viewer. I never would’ve imagined that an anime would make me feel that excitement again at 18 years. And here’s the reason why:
The advertisement for the show: "A superhero who can beat any villain in one punch?
Me: This is going to get really old really fast.
But just out of curiosity, going back to One Punch Man, I really thought of something. Something that can make or break this show to several of its viewers. And that's the joke. The one prominent singular joke.
One Punch Man’s story is simple- The story of an average guy who’s a hero for fun. Now what makes this unique is that this show is a parody. For people new to that genre, it’s an imitation of other work. Basically what this anime does is it makes a parody out of shounen genre, where you have a male protagonist who gets beaten down, and then trains or in some other way defeats the bad guy. Here, the main character is just over-powered to the extent that he gets depressed there’s no one strong enough to challenge him. You might think that such a strong person would be revered as a God by the people. Sadly, you’re mistaken. The people don’t even know he exists!! . This really plays a major point in the later episodes, when Saitama has to show his strength in front of the public, and becomes one of the highlight of this series. This show was created to poke fun at all tropes in anime. This is a story made to enjoy, not to be taken seriously. Anyone who is open-minded will enjoy this anime to its full extent.
Then, about the animation because it’s an anime ( ;-) ).It has a meticulously high standard set by Ufotable in the Fate series and Kara no Kyoukai movies. But by no means is it far behind. In most anime, usually the main character has some kind of weapon; you can just add some flashy effects to go with it. But here, we have a hero who’s weapon are just his fists. The fights had to be carefully drawn and animated. And when you have a studio like Madhouse doing it, you know they rarely disappoint. Fluid motion, spectacular effects, no weird faces, nothing overdramatic. Simple, yet awesome. The best part of this anime has to be the “Saitama Expressions”. If you didn’t smile atleast a little when you saw the “OK” face, then just one punch yourself out. Madhouse knows how to make the viewer enjoy the anime to the full extent. The way they used Tatsumaki’s “chibi mode” expressions from the webcomic, and boldly animated it in the anime deserves separate praise. Also the landscape for OPM universe is also brilliant. Even the ordinary people are drawn with careful details. Another important aspect here is the design for the villains, especially Sea King and Boros, each having something unique, and they give out the “strong, badass” vibe when you just look at them. Also, the art in the final episode is simply jaw dropping.
The background score is simply eargasmic. When you have an opening theme that makes you want to shout “ONE PUUUUUUUNCH!” every time you hear it, you know the soundtrack’s gonna be amazing. For me, the first thing I’d hear in my mind every morning when I wake up is someone shouting “ONE PUUUUUUNCH!” That’s how much I love that opening theme. From character bgm’s to fight themes, the music suits every situation perfectly, making them more epic. I would rewatch every episode again just to hear the music, that’s how good it is.
Once in a lifetime you watch shows where every character in it makes an impact. I can probably name every single character that appeared in these 12 episodes. That’s how much of an impact they make. Saitama with his care-free attitude, the loyal cyborg Genos and all the others have a uniqueness that makes you remember them. And when you have such a strong character cast, the anime rarely falters.
This anime was made to enjoy, and One Punch Man nails the formula. I enjoyed every second of it. 24x12 minutes of pure awesomeness. It makes you laugh, the “wow” feeling when you watch those spectacularly animated fight scenes, even the simple dialogues between the characters make you laugh hard. This anime makes me remember that Charlie Chaplin didn’t have to talk to make people laugh and enjoy his movies. Just his reactions and expressions were enough. And Saitama’s expressions and reactions reminded me of that again. And no matter how many times you rewatch it, you’ll never get bored. That’s the kind of masterpiece this is. So, just for curiosity’s sake or simply just for the reason “why not”, enjoy this out and out no brainer which you will eventually fall in love with..