Hello, otakus. Today we’re talking about my favorite anime of 2015 – One Punch man and why is it so damn popular. If you haven’t seen it yet … we can’t be friends. We cannot live on the same planet or in the same dimension. But on a more serious note, I’m going to be giving out free spoilers so if you haven’t seen it. Go binge watch it now. Come back and thank me.
So we start out with an overpowered no-named hero that can destroy anything and anyone with one punch. Our main character Saitama is pretty plain looking, bald and usually oblivious to everything around him. He worries more about how he’s going to pay this month’s rent than a 12-story monster springing up in his neighborhood.
In the One Punch universe, there are well heroes and villains. The good guys come equipped with powers that range from normal human being status to all-encompassing telekinesis. Heroes must be registered with the Hero Association. The villains are either from space (more often than not), mutants and your occasional sub-terranean species that became overcrowded and are looking to take hold of the surface. Cliché? Slightly. I’ll give you that.
So why all the hype and enthusiasm around this anime? Sounds like your run of the mill Shounen so far. Oh, it is indeed a shounen anime and yet it is so much more. Exquisitely more. I’ll give you 3 reasons.
Massive amounts of sakuga
Now sakuga is a term used to describe an exceptionally fluid anime scene. Anime generally are produced on a really tight budged, so only every other frame gets drawn by hand. Sakuga is when every frame is drawn in order to make a beautifully fluid and realistic pattern of movements. Sakuga is specifically used during action scenes. And let me tell you, One Punch Man is filled to the brink with action scenes. The animation itself is bomb. It sucks you in, takes you for a ride and leaves your mind blown.
Parody of the Superhero Genre
One Punch Man essentially deconstructs the classic superhero journey and thus makes a highly intelligent but also very amusing parody of this genre. Deconstruction implies taking the plot of an anime and extrapolating what would happen if it occurred in real life and the consequences that would go along with it.
The very fact that the Hero Association exists is a great example of how this world would treat heroes. It is beaurocratics, competitive and saturated with politics so much that it just ruins your heroness. But here comes
Saitama, who transcends all of that by not giving a crap about being accepted or loved by the public, neither does he have a directive to save the universe. He does it because he wants to. Not because he needs to.
These traits actually enable a reconstruction of the hero genre within the anime simply because Saitama’s only motivation to fight villains is for his own delight. That is a more genuine and noble drive than wanting to be a hero for the recognition.
Oh, juicy juicy situational comedy, where have you been looming all of these long dreadful years. Apparently in the mind of One Punch Man’s creator. The comedy in this anime is often situational and requires more than 2 neurons to fully comprehend. Trust me, it’ll tickle your funny bone however up-stuck you mind be.
I have hyperventilated over this subject long enough. My fellow readers, I rest my case.