I make no secret of my affection for shoujo manga, but occasionally even I want to read shonen manga featuring kicking or punching, preferably both. One Punch Man, as one might suspect, is centered on punching. This is available on the Viz Digital site for your various devices! One Punch Man provides an amusing twist on the typical shonen manga plot about a young protagonist who has to work hard to develop his extraordinary abilities. In this case the hero of the manga, formerly unemployed salaryman turned hero Saitama has already train to develop his powers with such intensity that all his hair has fallen out. He is called “One Punch Man” because he is so strong he can easily defeat any opponent with just one punch, and as a result is incredibly bored.
In One Punch Man, Saitama’s town seems to be an unfortunate focus of giant villains or monsters with satirical origin stories. One Punch Man punches Vaccine Man, who exists due to pollution, a crustacean made angry by graffiti, and a group of subterraneans. Throughout the manga, One Punch Man is vainly hoping for a non-boring battle, only to be disappointed every time. As drawn by Yusuke Murata, One Punch Man often resembles a slightly perturbed superhero with an egg-like head, which only serves to highlight the ridiculousness of his opponents. Towards the end of middle of the volume One Punch Man even takes on a sidekick Genos, “a lone cyborg fighting for justice.”
I found One Punch Man‘s send up of superhero conventions amusing, the art was well executed, and it perfectly fit in my desire to read goofy fighting shonen manga. The send-ups of villains and heroic origin stories mixed in with some spectacular punches made this manga fun to read, and I hope it does well for Viz as a digital first release. I’d buy the next volume, for sure.