Cynical Asshole Who Loves Anime Reviews One Punch Man

One Punch Man Review

 

One Punch Man is one of the most overhyped and overrated anime that I’ve ever seen. And if you don’t believe that then just take a look at this:

Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at 6.00.48 PM

Now don’t get me wrong. I love One Punch Man. It’s a fun show with a very likable main protagonist and great (sort-of) animation, but it’s really not THAT good. It’s great, maybe awesome, but it’s not perfect (definitely not better than The Wire or Firefly perfect).

 

But wait, if it’s not that good, then why did so many fans vote it all the way to the top of IMDB’s highest rated series list? Well, a better question would probably be “Why do you care about IMDB or MAL rankings? Do you not have a life?”

I don’t particularly care about IMDB or MAL listings, well, maybe I do care a bit about IMDB listings but I’ll explain that in a bit. What I care about here is the psychology of the typical anime fan. What do I mean by that? Am I about to say that anime fans are stupid and possibly create a shit-storm? Am I shilling for clicks?

No and no.

 

I don’t think all fans of anime are stupid. A staggering majority sure, but not all. But even then, I think that it’s really just the fans who refuse to expose themselves to anything but anime that give the anime fandom a bad name and causes stupidity like this. The reason as to why I care about One Punch Man’s place in IMDB is because I care about the image of anime.

Again, what the fuck am I talking about?

What I’m talking about is this: Anime is a niche. It’s a medium of storytelling that not a whole lot of people are actually familiar with. Most people know about Pokemon, Sailor Moon and Dragonball, and even in that majority, most people acknowledge that the show’s I’ve previously mentioned are categorized as anime… Or as “Chinese Cartoons” as one of the girls I was trying to hook up with once referred to them as.

And because it’s a niche, a niche that I have a lot of love for and want to share to others that I want people to take it seriously. When people who are new to anime decide to go ahead and watch anime, I want them to enjoy it and appreciate just as I do. They don’t need to be in the same level as me, but I’d love for them to still at least get an idea as to why I love these “Chinese Cartoons” so much.

The reason why I care about One Punch Man being in IMDB’s top-ten list is because if Joe Schmoe looks through that list, sees OPM at the top, says something like, “What is this Cartoon that I’ve never heard of? It’s better than that show everyone loves so much. Maybe I should go watch it,” and then proceeds to watch it only to be disappointed, he’d be pretty disappointed or even ticked off. He might then go and say something like, “What the hell was that? That wasn’t better than that show everyone loves so much. It was okay but why is it number one? If this is the best Chinese Cartoons have to offer then forget it!”

I understand that that’s a hypothetical scenario, and truth be told, an idealistic one. Because let’s face it, what would have really happened was that Joe Schmoe would have seen that list and gone like, “The fuck is this Chinese Cartoon doing here? I’m going to get my buddies who all love this one show and we’re all going to give One Punch Man 1 STAR without even watching it! HAHAHAHAHA!”

And you must be thinking. “Wait, that’s really stupid.”

And my response would be, “Yeah. Yeah I know. Almost as stupid as making multiple fake accounts and bombarding a show with 10/10 scores.” Because as I’ve mentioned earlier, One Punch Man is just a great show and not a perfect one. And here’s why I think that.

 

God Saitama

Screen Shot 2015-12-23 at 12.22.53 PM

OPM’s story is simple. Saitama, our bald-headed protagonist, was once an employed young man seeking to live a life of heroism and greatness. And so, one day, he started working out a lot and a couple of years later, he’s become the ultra-powerful One Punch Man. Each episode typically has Saitama doing amazing things and destroying monsters with ease. There’s some story that ties everything together, but really, the first season didn’t really feature any kind of substantial plot. It felt more like a “slice-of-life” of a superhero story than anything.

I didn’t particularly mind this because I like Saitama. He’s a lovable protagonist who can come off as a crouching doofus whilst being a hidden badass. And by Zeus, what a badass he can be. It doesn’t matter if it’s a Godzilla sized monster, asteroid or alien armada, Saitama can pretty much obliterate all of his opponents in one blow, and not only does he do it all in one blow, but he also does it in a very impressive fashion.

… However.

Screen Shot 2015-12-23 at 12.27.06 PM

The best part about Saitama isn’t his strength. It’s his personality and silent questions about life. Yes he’s funny and adorkable, but I think that what really sold him to me as a protagonist was his line from the first episode, “Overwhelming strength is boring”.

Saitama originally wanted to become a hero to experience excitement in his life and find meaning in it, but upon achieving the great power that he has now, he’s slowly come to the realization that being able to easily defeat his opponents without even trying has made being a hero uninteresting to him. He’s since shrugged off this thought and decided that he’d continue to live this life regardless of how fun it is because in the end, to him being a hero isn’t about fighting or being powerful, it’s about doing the right thing. Yes he’s kind of a generic good guy protagonist, but it’s nice to actually get into the head of someone like that.

Screen Shot 2015-12-23 at 12.33.49 PM.png

The fights and animation are flashy and cool, but really, it’s in One Punch Man’s quiet moments where I actually stop and hone in on our protagonists’ face and try to figure out just what it is that he’s thinking.

 

One Note Joke (Mostly)

Screen Shot 2015-12-23 at 12.35.46 PM.png

Saitama’s frustration with being too strong wasn’t just an internal dilemma. It’s actually the show’s main joke. And while I found it amusing the first time, it’s not hard to ignore the fact that the show has a formula that gets stale after a while. For instance, an enemy will show up, wreck havoc and scare some folk. Saitama runs into them. They either tell him their backstory or ramble on about how Saitama doesn’t stand a chance. Then Saitama either tells them to shut up or just straight up destroy them in one hit.

It was funny the first time, and though I still found it to be mildly amusing towards the final episode, it does lose it’s steam after a while. There are other jokes in the show, but I don’t really care for them the same way I’d care for and remember jokes from either Gintama or Osumatsu-san. Though in OPM’s defense, those shows are more comedic in nature…

And OPM does have other jokes, it just relies too heavily on the aforementioned one.

 

 

Trapped In Its Own Genius

Sort of like how other stand-alone Marvel movies can’t just call on The Avengers to solve everyone’s problems, One Punch Man can’t just have Saitama showing up and destroying his enemies in an instant. If that was the case, then there will be no show. Sometimes the anime does a decent enough job of making sure that there is drama and tension, and other times it just feels like they’re wasting my time.

This again goes back to One Punch Man’s core hook and possible deadweight, Saitama’s strength. The show goes out on it’s way to try and show off just how powerful enemies are by letting them face off against side characters and kicking their asses. Genos, Saitama’s self-proclaimed disciple, in particular has yet to prove himself in any substantial kind of way. He’s cool and cool looking, but almost every time he gets into a fight he just keeps getting his ass kicked only to be saved by Saitama in the end.

And it’s this repetitive nature that makes me wonder sometimes just how long can One Punch Man really keep up in quality and stay fresh without ever being too repetitive and boring.

But.

Most people don’t see this is a problem. And that’s what disappoints and bothers me the most. Not that I have a problem with people having fun and I’m not the type to hate on something for being “popular”. I’m just the type that likes to give credit where credit is due.

 

Cool Animation

Okay, first off, the animation isn’t as cool as it is in the manga. The manga chapters feature sequential panels that looks as if they’re ripped right from the production of an actual anime. But translated to an actual anime… That gimmick quickly loses steam and just comes off as, “normal”. That’s not to say that the show lacks slick animation, because it does have it’s moments, but for the most part it’s just standard fare for an anime really.

However. Fans love it. They eat it up and they enjoy the cool fight scenes, and I can see why. It’s pretty well done and it looks really cool. And as cherry on top of it all, Saitama always ends it with a spectacular bang.

Again. However, that’s pretty much it.

 

Verdict

Screen Shot 2015-12-23 at 12.42.32 PM.png

To most fans of the show, seeing Saitama do cool things is all they need to be satisfied and similar to how I’m not going to take away how much fans enjoy pairing characters up and dreaming up of harems for protagonists in shows like Oregairu, I’m not going to try and take away how much people enjoy the animation and cool fight scenes the show has to offer. Because there is a WHOLE-LOT of fun to be had with OPM. Sure the story’s a little weak, but watching One Punch Man and just enjoying it for what it is makes one feel like they’ve grown an extra ball of manliness! So if that’s your cup of tea, go ahead, but if you’re looking for something with a deeper story and more substance, go check out Rokka no Yuusha or something.

 

However. Before you go do that. I want to say something.

 

I get that One Punch Man has a lot of passionate fans. Really I do. And I’m aware that they might see this, read the first sentence and give me shit for it. But I care more about anime than I do care about One Punch Man. Because I love anime.

 

I see anime as just another form of storytelling. It’s specialized genres and quirks are more culturally ingrained in it’s creators and domestic audience than something that that’s inherently tied to medium. But I think that anime as an aesthetic style that can be utilized by outsiders (ala Avatar and Boondocks) without being bogged down by its narrative style.

 

Which means that it needs to have standards just as any medium of storytelling. Saying that someone should just shut up and not criticize anime period because anime is just anime is like saying that anime is dumb and is for kids. It’s not. And I’m sure that the very same people that have told me to stop criticizing anime too much are also the same people who would argue that anime is the best and that it’s not just for kids.

 

As a community, anime fans shouldn’t be easily offended like that. There are people with different tastes. And the world isn’t binary. We don’t either just love or hate something. There are numbers between one and ten. Scores between A and an F. A one and a five. Zero to a hundred. We don’t either just like things or dislike them. We have favorites. Things that we like, but don’t think are good enough to be our favorites.

 

I used to do scores, but the more I look at IMDB and MAL, I just see the pointlessness to them. They become a measure of judgement, not solely for the show itself but for whether or not someone will attack someone else. If a reviewer were to score something too high or too low, people will get mad. If a show or game or movie were to get a middling score and not a 9 or 10, then that automatically means that the show is not worth people’s time period.

 

I think that that’s unfortunate. Which is why I’m not doing scores anymore.

That said, it doesn’t mean that I’m going to stop being critical and stop loving anime.

One Punch Man Episode 4 Review

“What an innocent smile!”

The Humor In Saitama

As a joke, Saitama’s overwhelming strength is kind of wearing down on me already. At first I snickered out loud when I saw him destroy the giant dude from the first episode with ease, but by episode four the joke’s starting to feel tiresome. There was that one bit where Saitama punched Sonic’s crotch, which I thought was funny. And I’m not going to lie, I like that a lot primarily because someone got punched in the balls and I often have the mind of a 12-year-old boy.

LMAO.

LMAO.

However, and I can’t believe that I’m just noticing this now, the show’s humor really comes more from Saitama’s aloofness. Whether it’s him forgetting that there’s a sale in the supermarket or whether it’s him lamenting his lack of fame, Saitama and his general goofiness is definitely my main reason for watching the show.


The Speed O’ Sound Sonic Or Whatever

Speaking of humor, I thought the villain of the week—Sonic, not the Paradisers was hilarious. Though I do think that the Paradisers had their moments of hilarity as well. Sonic just really took the cake, primarily because of his innocent smile. It’s Saitama being aloof, but I can’t wait to see more of this guy and witness as his rivalry with Saitama escalates… if it even does.

Sonic's innocent smile.

Sonic’s innocent smile.


Plot Progression

Two more things about this episode.

One, we saw some scenes with Genos and the scientist that gave him his robotic body, as well as get some foreshadowing of Genos’ upgrades.

Mushroom Hakase

Mushroom Hakase

Number two, but not really number two, we saw some scenes with some goons that killed the Paradiser leader, talking about stolen equipment. I don’t actually consider this as plot progression since I have a feeling that whoever the next group of villain’s going to be they’re just going to be throw away. Or not, not sure yet.

I wonder if Saitama's also going to one punch these two goons.

I wonder if Saitama’s also going to one punch these two goons.

But real number two in terms of plot progression—Saitama signing up for the hero’s guild. It’s a small tidbit of the episode, but it does set up something more interesting than another group of useless villains.

#Saitamaproblems

#Saitamaproblems


Stray Observation

One more thing. At the very end of the episode we see Saitama lamenting the fact that if he hadn’t trained as much as he did, he would have become one of the Paradisers—a lazy NEET. It was a short bit, but an interesting character moment.

Thank God he got better.

Thank God he got better.


Verdict

Overall it was a great episode filled with many laughs. The humor did wane on me, but at least now I have something more interesting to look forward to. THE HERO’S GUILD!

Saitama fan girls... Imaginary fan girls.

Saitama fan girls… Imaginary fan girls.

One Punch Man Episode 1-2 Review

2015’s Attack on Titan? Probably.


The Former Half of Episode One Was Meh

Relax... I didn't hate it.

Relax… I didn’t hate it.

Maybe it was just me, but I didn’t really enjoy the first half of episode one. It had some nice chuckle-worthy moments but it was a little lackluster in terms of anything engaging. I don’t know, I just didn’t like the whole lobster guy bit.

However, after the first commercial break the show got awesome.


Issues With Strength

I hate overpowered characters. I find them boring and pointless. There’s nothing thrilling, nothing exciting or engaging about them since there’s no tension with powerful characters. Don’t get me wrong; it can be fun to watch a character kick ass and demolish his/her opponents a few times, but at some point it’ll get boring since you know that they’re just going to win anyway.

Pay it or else.

Pay it or else.

The best kinds of characters are the ones who have the odds stacked against them. I just find it more interesting when a character has to figure out how to win rather than just brute force their way to victory. But One Punch Man’s Saitama is just pure glory—he’s an overpowered character, but the fact that it’s played for laughs more than it’s played for the Rule of Cool makes him that much more enjoyable.

Plenty of Saitama’s enemies and the other characters have convoluted backstories, but One Punch Man’s backstory is simple—he wanted to be a hero because he was bored with life and so he trained for three years straight, lost all his hair and became super powerful.

ONE PUNCH... man... that's all he needs.

ONE PUNCH… man… that’s all he needs.

That’s it.

And really that’s all you need, because it’s enough to make his internal struggles interesting. Due to Saitama’s relentless training, he became a boring and overpowered hero—all his enemies are weaker in comparison and can be destroyed in one hit, making being a hero boring for him. It feels like a bit of meta-anime commentary and I like that. Because really… It is kind of boring even for viewers to watch a character that doesn’t struggle.

Hilarious

He's fast!

He’s fast!

As mentioned earlier Saitama’s overwhelming strength is played for laughs, but the show doesn’t just rely on that one joke (at least right now it doesn’t). There are plenty of other jokes and I found it all to be rather amusing—from the kid with the weird chin, Saitama not caring about other people’s backstory and him trying to kill a mosquito (and failing), there’s plenty of laughs to be had with this.

I love this guy.

I love this guy.

Sweet Animation

Other than the good laughs and interesting concept, One Punch Man’s animation is pretty sweet. Like seriously, the action and fight scenes are pretty awesome and badass. If you don’t care about laughs or meta-commentary, check this show out even just for the kickassery.


Verdict

Definitely going to be in my “To-Watch-List”. If you can only watch one anime this season, I recommend that you go watch this one.

9.5/10 – Excellent

  • Pros
    • Hilarious
    • Badass Animation
    • Meta-Commentary
  • Cons
    • Lackluster first half of episode one.
Our hero.

Our hero.

Fall 2015 Anime Impression

We’re in the third (or second?) week of fall, at least according to the anime industry, and so I decided to watch eight new shows that I can maybe talk about and waste my time with. And since I’m the “I need to watch 3 episodes before dropping a show” type of person expect me to keep tabs on shows that I might not even like all too much for the next few weeks. For the most part though, this season’s looking pretty good so far.


Attack on Titan: Junior High

Chibi Attack on Titan because I don't know.

Chibi Attack on Titan because I don’t know.

  • What is it?
    • Attack on Titan: Junior High is an anime that’s existence perplexes me. It’s like Attack on Titan, but cuter.
  • I wrote stuff down.
    • Somehow this works.
    • It’s adorable and funny. Though it might not work for non-AoT fans.
      • There’s just too many in-jokes.
    • Fans should definitely give it a watch though.

Cliche: The Animation (I mean… AntiMagic Academy 35th Test Platoon)

I betcha ten clams that this broad's going to be all over the main guy by the end of this one.

I betcha ten clams that this broad’s going to be all over the main guy by the end of this one.

  • What is it?
    • A waste of time.
  • I wrote stuff down.
    • I got up to make lunch and when I got back the show was doing exactly what I predicted it would be doing.
      • Nothing new.
    • There’s like this squad of underdog witch-hunters and they get the super elite cool girl to join their team who’s like the youngest person to become “Cliche Cool Title” in history. The super elite cool girl is super elite and cool, so elite and cool that she doesn’t think that she needs to be friends with the underdog team or something stupid like that.
      • Also, witches killed her family or something. Shocker.
    • The end of the episode showed them all kind of working together or something stupid like that.
    • The show just wasted my time.
    • Watch it if you need fap material or whatever. I don’t care.

Comet Lucifer

At least the cliche anime had decent pacing in it that kept me entertained...

At least the cliche anime had decent pacing in it that kept me entertained… “entertained.”

  • What is it?
    • A fantasy adventure with mecha elements.
  • I wrote stuff down.
    • Not much really happened in the first episode. The main character’s an adventurous but innocent kid (think Gon from Hunter X Hunter rather than Luffy from One Piece). His mom’s dead and he kind of wants to continue his mother’s research or something.
    • There were some other characters that were fine I guess, but I worry that they might just be the generic useless side characters that annoy me.
    • The main plot itself seems to involve an evil corporation that’s involved with the main kid’s mom’s research.
    • Comet Lucifer’s first episode reminded me of Zoids: Chaotic Centuries first episode. Both main characters have some sort of hover-board thing, they scour ruins/mines and their adventure began when a mysterious girl gives them the ability to pilot a mech/Zoid.
    • I said a lot about this, but it’s kind of boring. I’ll keep an eye on it though just in case it actually develops a plot.
      • Right now the cliche anime did a better job than this at making things “fun”.

One Punch Man

Tell that to the fanboys of Bleach and SAO. They love OP characters who are

Tell that to the fanboys of Bleach and SAO. They love OP characters who are “BEAST” or something stupid like that.

  • What is it?
    • An anime about a super hero that’s too powerful. And the struggles of being that awesome.
  • I wrote stuff down.
    • The first half of the episode had some laughs, but it was kind of boring.
    • BUT. This is probably one of the most unique shows I’ve ever encountered in a while. It’s main character’s design is unique, his backstory is unique-ish and his inner struggle is interesting from a stroy perspective and a meta-anime commentary perspective.
    • Plenty of anime fans love super-powerful characters (think favorites like Ichigo from Bleach and Kirito from Sword Art Online) because they’re so BEAST! Or something stupid like that. And One-Punch Man looks at how boring overpowered characters can be… and the show’s thoughts on overpowered characters are similar to mine.
      • When a character can just defeat the bad guys with minimal effort then there’s no tension, no thrills, it’ll be no fun.
    • And though I didn’t like the first half of the episode too much, I still can’t wait for the next episode since the animation in the latter half of the episode was pretty sweet.

Osumatsu-san

I find the word

I find the word “sextuplets” hilarious.

  • What is it?
    • An old show that’s new.
  • I wrote stuff down.
    • Osumatsu-san’s first episode is one of the best and funniest episodes I’ve ever seen in an anime. Being a very dated show, the cast rightfully worried that their humor and style may no longer work with today’s audiences… so they decided to turn themselves into BL style hunks.
      • It’s amazing.
    • But as the show itself mentioned… This is not how the regular show’ll be like. Again, another one to keep my eye on but not gonna recommend it just yet as a series.
    • Anime fans however should definitely go check out the first episode just for the lulz though. Even if they won’t touch the rest of the series.

Sakurako-San (Or… A Corpse is Buried Under Sakurako’s Feet.)

Already one of my favorites. I hope they don't fuck it up.

Already one of my favorites. I hope they don’t fuck it up.

  • What is it?
    • Probably a mystery anime.
  • I wrote stuff down.
    • The first episode introduced us to Sakurako-san and her assistant, Boy A.
      • Sakurako-san is awesome and cool. Due to her obsession with death and skeletons, she possesses a great mind, eye and knowledge on possible causes of deaths, thus making her a pretty good homicide detective.
      • Her assistant is annoying though.

Subete ga F ni Naru: The Perfect Insider

It's slow, but I found it engaging and interesting. Can't wait for more.

It’s slow, but I found it engaging and interesting. Can’t wait for more.

  • What is it?
    • I looked it up and apparently it’s a murder mystery.
  • I wrote stuff down.
    • I found the show to be intriguing.
      • I had no idea what was going to happen but I liked it.
      • It felt like I was reading a novel (it’s based on a novel).
    • It’s a slow show that requires the audience’s full attention.
    • The characters are interesting, but nothing has “WOWed” me just yet.
    • Again, gonna keep my eye on it. Too hard to judge this one right now.
      • It does, however, feel like a show with mature sensibilities and respects it’s source material and itself. Which I like.
        • When I say “mature sensibilities” I mean that it seems like a show that isn’t just made to sell body-pillows. It has a story that it wants to tell and that’s pretty much the main reason it was made.

Utawarerumono: The False Faces

Fine. I'm a big fan of cat girls.

Fine. I’m a big fan of cat girls.

  • What is it?
    • An anime about a young human man trapped in a mountain village filled with neko people.
  • I wrote stuff down.
    • I’m still kind of interested, but the first episode was just kind of boring.
    • I learn about the characters, sort of, but not much happens.
    • The main dude looked like he was dressed in hospital patient clothes at the beginning of the episode, so I’m hoping that this whole thing isn’t a “guy in a coma” anime… I mean it could be and it could still be good, but I’m still hoping that it’s not “a guy in a coma” anime.