With Great Power, Comes Great Boredom

-There be spoilers ahead-

What does it take to be a hero? The drive to do the right thing? The will to make things right? The need to protect others? There are lots of reasons, and to each hero they are the right reason. But what about a hero who is doing it for fun? Would you ever imagine that someone who is just trying to find some excitement in their life would become the most powerful super hero the world has ever know? Well that’s the case here for Saitama or One-Punch Man. Saitama is so strong that all it takes is a single strike of the fist to end any enemy that stands in his way. But what sort of challenge is that for the guy who is a hero for fun? And that is where we find our premise.

One-Punch Man focuses on a single, bored hero who is just trying to become excited about something. But sadly no enemy seems capable of even making him work, so he just obsesses over his other hobby, finding a good sale at the supermarket. It leads to many funny moments when the villain thinks they have the upper hand only to find our hero distracted as he thinks about something else he should be doing. Of course for someone so powerful everything must come quite easily to him. Well, not exactly. You see he is actually quite the idiot and sort of lazy. Most of the time he just finds himself in the path of a monster while trying to get his shopping done or take care of something at home. Our bumbling hero isn’t even recognized by the people he constantly saved because he never registered as an official hero.

You see in this version of earth super heroes are state licensed and are more like products, similar to Tiger and Bunny (Another great anime about super heroes). And the heroes squabble amongst themselves over popularity rankings and fans and all sorts of other distractions. But now that Saitama has learned that he could become recognized and possible have fan girls changing him he seems more inclined to become an actual hero. But what is a hero without a sidekick? Saitama has his trusty friend by his side, Genos the cyborg. Genos is… well… an idiot also. He means well and is driven by the want to become strong like his idol Saitama. But his overzealous nature  tends to get himself into more trouble than he can handle.

It’s a fun series that is rich with parody of the hero mythos and other common anime fighting tropes. But it also has it’s surprisingly deep moments that don’t detract from the context. The fight scenes are wonderfully drawn out, with the art style shifting to strange dynamic imagery to just plain badassery, and then random hilarious moments that seem to pop up and take you by surprise. I found myself invested very quickly within the first three episodes. The series is currently showing on Hulu and I can’t suggest it enough. If you like heroes, comedy and anime then this is the super hero show for you.


 

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