I’m literally lost for words. A terrifying way to start an opinion piece, but a reality that I simply cannot avoid for any longer. I’ve sat at my work desk and I’ve pondered the first episode of One-Punch Man for longer than I care to admit, yet here I am still stuck, unable to express the intense emotion that this Anime has built up inside of me with just one episode. I feel as though I may burst if I do not express to the world just how much I truly love this Anime, and just how necessary it is to the evolution of the industry. I feel like I have to start from the very beginning by asking; what makes an Anime good? What’s funny is that the answer to that question is essentially…One-Punch Man, simply because it has all the traits of an Anime you can enjoy on almost every single level.
One-Punch Man, for some background knowledge, is a brand-new Anime series based upon a Manga series that was, let’s say, “inspired” by a young man’s attempt at digitally publishing his very own Manga. This individual’s pen name is ONE, and he started writing and illustrating One-Punch Man in 2009. Gaining mediocre online success, an established Mangaka by the name Yusuke Murata, most famous for the Shonen Jump Manga EyeShield 21, discovered the work of this young man and proposed they came together to create a new One-Punch Man; one that would find it’s home in between the pages of Shuiesha’s Weekly Shonen Jump. It’s now 2015 and the Anime studio Madhouse have come along and picked up the adaptation writes of this Manga; something many fans of the series have been waiting for ever since the amazing first chapter.
The story is simple; One-Punch Man is about a part-time hero who can thwart any foe with a single punch. It’s not that he simply believes he can do it, he has proven to be one of Earth’s most powerful heroes, and he’s gotten to a point in his life wherein which defeating monsters with a single punch just isn’t enough to satisfy him. Episode takes us on an amazing journey through the past and present, with every single story advancement developing not only the setting of the world but the entirety of the main character. One-Punch Man features just about as much action as it does comedy, with an over-encompassing story that naturally plays host to the both of them comfortably alongside enough character depth to keep someone interested, if the incredible action scenes and the gut-busting one-liners don’t have enough of your attention.
Madhouse, as many seasoned Anime fans may know, is an incredible animation studio that has worked on some of the greatest series’ of all time. One-Punch Man is another of those series’ to add to the list, and this time I’m talking about visual quality alone. Not only is the animation crisp during every scene, including stagnant dialogue ones, but when it comes to having to witness the insane action that goes on throughout the series, it’s almost hard not to want to get up out of your seat and physically deliver your excitement to the world. There’s never been a fight scene between a bald man in blue-striped pyjamas and a race of subterranean dwellers that has looked so damn good, yet here it is, in the very first episode of One-Punch Man.
Backing up what I would consider to be some of the best visuals I’ve ever seen in a modern Anime is what I’d like to call a soundtrack perfected. Not only was it populated by one of my favorite music genres, hard rock, each and every track was also strategically placed for maximum exposure, making already scenes of intensity so much more intense, which made the countless fight scenes so much more invigorating! One would assume that music placement in Anime wouldn’t be too hard but the fact that only some can occasionally hit the mark like One-Punch Man did makes me think that’s it is indeed quite a difficult task. Regardless of how other Anime, One-Punch Man’s soundtrack is wonderfully hardcore, which perfectly matches main character Saitama who goes from being your average looking, middle-aged male, to a devastatingly powerful hero that, if he so chose to, could turn on the world and make a dent like nobody has before.
One-Punch Man proves many things: It proves that a highly comedic story can be full of hardcore action, it proves that high quality animation can act as a tool of utter transcendence, it proves that music is an absolute necessity in making a series enjoyable, and it proves that the new age of Shonen Jump Manga can make for some explosively exciting Anime series’. One-Punch Man, for the right viewers, should hook you in within the very first scene, and have you wanting more by the very final, all the while making you believe that what you’re seeing is nothing more than an extravagant dream. One-Punch Man will be seen as the greatest Anime of the new season. Mark my words; if you don’t believe so now, you will by the very end. Madhouse have, once again, produced a wonderfully rounded Anime series, the likes of which will surely recruit more viewers, and introduce more people to the world of Shonen Jump productions. One-Punch Man is a new addition to the contemporary list of series’ that are slowly but surely saving Anime. You’d be silly to miss out on it.
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