• Pablo Lario

The Number One Hero: ONE PUNCH, The Watch Anime Review

What would happen if you were the most powerful superhero of all time and, at the same time, you were one of the most unknown, which people just consider some kind of cheater or fake? That's a good question and, fortunately, Saitama answers that just with his life.

Saitama is the main character of the anime we are about to review: One Punch!

One Punch Man is an anime that currently consists of two seasons and a couple of extra special episodes that serve to introduce us the world of superheroes, orchestrated by Japanese anime studio "Madhouse", which has brought us other great anime like Death Note (Note for the readers: It's about a note and death. Simple, right?). And I'm not lying when I say this, One punch is one of the craziest and most hilarious series I've seen in my life, and that is coming from a professional otaku anime critique, licensed in the University of Massachusetts of course.

From the web comic created by ONE (an actual guy of mysterious identity), One Punch Man is about an alternative world where superheroes, super villains and monsters exist everywhere. The story focuses on Saitama, a losing superhero, but not because his powers are too weak, on the contrary: his powers are the best, making him the strongest living creature in the world. No enemy poses a threat to him, just with a simple punch he can destroy them all. And you will ask yourself: then, what is the problem with Saitama?

Firstly, all his ideas are simple and he's a good-natured man who has never worried about governing the world or being the best superhero; he's a clueless guy who just cares more about buying food at the supermarket when there's a great offer rather than taking the superhero duty seriously. Secondly, and as I mentioned, no threat is a challenge for him anymore, so the guy has fallen into total boredom. However, his life suddenly changes with the appearance of an enigmatic character.

The character that will put some order to all this (or a little bit more of chaos) is Genos, a powerful cyborg that has one mission: Find the robot that killed his family. But, that's not all: Genos is just a tormented soul, unable to summarise his dramas in less than twenty words, and who (after some interesting events) decides to become Saitama's student. Genos considers Saitama an invincible "sensei" (Teacher in Japanese. YOU'RE WELCOME!) and will be incredulous at revelations such as the origin of Saitama's powers (Making a normal training every day for years without stop and eating one banan... I need to start doing this sh****! Mom, I'm quitting the gym tomorrow!).

This successful anime has a very singular style, with lots of humour (sometimes gross and other times absurd). And the best thing is that, it also includes satire, a shadow of truth in each laugh, which makes us rethink some of the typical themes in the genre of superheroes.

It's good to see a different take on superhero series. For example, moments like the villain revealing his great drama and the superhero not really caring about it, are what make this anime so great. Not to mention those special episodes, where in one of them poor Saitama is traumatized because someone stole his "long" fried potato and thinks it has been the villain of the day (It was f****** Genos all along!).

Saitama is possibly the closest anime character to Goku, a goofy idiot who is super powerfull and likes to eat a LOT.

In all aspects, One Punch is a very fresh, entertaining and fun series to watch alone or with the family, which also includes a series of interesting dilemmas, at the same time that it presents us with unbridled madness and knows how to take it seriously only when it deserves it, as in the season's closing, with the alien invasion, that reminds us about the superhero comics and movies. It is, in that episode, when Lord Boros (the closest thing to Thanos they could find in the Japanese market) appears, a warlord from an alien planet, who has destroyed worlds in search of someone who could give him a challenge...

While Boros is evil out of boredom, Saitama has decided to be a hero just as a hobby and both sides of the coin collide in a colossal final battle.

The animation, design, music and other sections are just great: From its catchy intro, that opening that makes you say from time to time the "Power, get the power", that clamor with a metal touch suggesting that the adventures of Saitama have only just began in the vast world of superheroes, where the biggest threat might also be the greatest superhero of all time: Sweet Mask, a young hero, actor, model, with blue hair, but who is just a promising psychopath, hiding something more evil for the future to come. Hopefully, Saitama will "One Punch" him right in that sweet face!

After watching the first season, I basically joined the legion of fans who are now following the next season of this charismatic and bald superhero (Yep, he's bald, Johnny Sins' type of bald), discovering the great world of Saitama & co. So if you have not yet discovered Saitama and the amazing One Punch Man, I recommend you do not hesitate and give this superhero a big chance (I don't know why you are still here. Run and go watch it!).

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