Since all the cool kids were doing it, I thought I’d finally get around to checking out One-Punch Man.
I read the first volume and I sort of feel like my review could be summed up by this (web) comic strip from Questionable Content: “I can’t tell if it’s a brilliant deconstruction of shounen anime tropes or just garbage.”
Yeah, it’s pretty brilliant parody. I mean, I guess. I don’t fail to see the humor in a guy who “over trained” and can now defeat all his enemies with one punch. I kind of even adore that he got into hero-ing for “fun,” (although the author seems to change his mind about this backstory and there is, at least, some sense that Saitama has a well-honed sense of justice that go him into hero-ing even earlier.)
But, will the joke sustain me?
Eh, I’m not sure.
This is where I get into arguments with people who try to tell me that the best comic book superhero movie of all time was “The Incredibles.” Yes, it’s a good movie. But, to say that “The Incredibles,” which is intended as a send-up, a parody, is the best superhero movie is to actually discount what I LIKE about superheroes, and to only enjoy the ways in which people make fun of superhero tropes.
I feel very similarly about shounen.
I know it’s cheesy. I know it’s melodramatic. I know that so many of the fights are unrealistic and drawn out and could just be over if someone would just Do The Thing (or if the villains weren’t quite so OP, too.)
But, okay, one of my favorite themes is good conquering evil–and part of that story is always how HARD good has to fight to win.
I dunno. Maybe I wasn’t in the right mood for this. Probably it’s better consumed as an anime, even though it was the web comic that went viral.
The robot is cute, though. I now at least understand the copious amounts of fan art of him. And I do kind of love this art style when it crops up:
So, I don’t know. I guess I’m going to go against the grain here and say, “whatever.” Have fun with it, kids. I’ll just enjoy your fan art instead of canon, k?