One Punch Man Vol. 1 Review

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Think of all your favorite heroes from Shonen and Seinen titles that you love and know: Some have awesome hair, some have flawless one-liners, and some have solid physiques. They may have attitude, fierce love for their comrades and weapons that are extensions of themselves. Most certainly if you see their likeness on a poster you’re sure to stop and look, right?

Here’s the hero of this manga.

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Yes that’s him. He’s bald. Seemingly ordinary. Forever forgetful of special sales at the market and what days to take out the trash. His name is Saitama and he can kill anything that goes up against him in ONE-PUNCH.

Set in a world where the population is constantly plagued by evil: everything form super powered humans to alien conquerors—-Saitama seeks to be a hero for the people. He also seeks a challenge.

A piece of his origin story is revealed: some three years ago he underwent special training that allotted him his strength that he currently has…it has robbed him of his hair, leaving him bald.

We are also introduced to Genos, the “lone cyborg fighting for justice” who in this volume witnesses Saitama’s amazing strength and begs to become a discipline of his.

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If you love Genos straight off the back, good for you! *Hint Hint* He’ll stick around and you’ll learn more about how he become a cyborg later down the line. Hilariously, he acts as a foil to Saitama: where Genos is effortlessly cool (even when he getting limbs blown off), Saitama is easily overlooked and plain to most people.

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(This is Japanese Manga: So Read the panels from Right TO Left, Folks)

Another flashback to the hero’s youth (grade school-12 years old) shows us a bullied kid, misunderstood and just damn right unlucky. He struggles with the position he’s in—not being strong enough to protect himself physically from older students who take his pocket money and from the troubles of the world, of not fitting into society.

As a fan of the manga while it it was still a web comic, I am happy that Viz picked it up. ONE is the man responsible for the story, we have him to to look to as the story unfolds: Saitama may seem point blank boring and one dimensional, but deep down he’s a man with goals, with dreams and a lament for losing his hair. He has a thirst for defeating justice and a desire for an worthy opponent.

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Artist Yusuke Murata of “EyeShield 21” fame does not disappoint: panels of destroyed cities from battlefields are exquisite and very detailed. Pages that showcase the heart of a fight just scream “TAAAALLLENNNT”

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Saitama is the king of dead pan humor. Be warned that the action can go from serious to humorous at the blink of an eye.

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(This is Japanese Manga: So Read the panels from Right TO Left, Folks)

I’d score this as a 9/10. This is a great adaptation of the web comic, it can serve as an introduction to new readers and an welcomed addition to the collection of any seasoned manga reader who loves Shonen goodness with a kick of hilarity. To quote Saitama, “Overwhelming Strength is Boring” and so is a long review: so go ahead and buy volume one of this manga and enjoy!

ONE-PUNCH MAN, Vol. 1 · Rated ‘T’ for Teens · MSRP: $6.99 (U.S. / CAN) · Debut Volume Available Across All Platforms! Viz Manga

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  • Carrie McClain

    Reviewer/Editor/Magical Girl

    Carrie McClain is writer, editor, social media maven and media scholar. Other times she's known as a Starfleet Communications Officer, Comics Auntie, and Golden Saucer Frequenter. Shuri is her favorite Disney Princess. Nowadays you can usually find her buried under a pile of Josei manga. She/Her

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