Wanpanman TV

Title:Wanpanman TV
One-Punch Man
Keywords: , , , , , ,
Notables: Animation - Madhouse
R1 License - Viz Media (Shopro)
One-Punch Man is a super hero who has trained so hard that his hair has fallen out, and who can overcome any enemy with one punch. However, because he is so strong, he has become bored and frustrated with winning all his battles so easily.
(Summary Courtesy of Anime News Network)

12-episode TV series that premiered on October 4, 2015.
Animated by Madhouse.

See also: Wanpanman OVAs & Specials and sequel, Wanpanman 2.
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Buy 8 8 8 7 7 7 Ggultra2764 [series:3101#1552]
One Punch Man is a parody of the superhero genre featuring ridiculously powerful superhero Saitama being able to finish off nearly any foe he confronts with a single punch and having a sort of existential crisis over the fact that there isn't a foe strong enough to pose any challenge for him. Much of the humor in the series revolves around Saitama being completely indifferent to any enemy threat that opposes him due to knowing how overpowered he is, many of the over-the-top superhero personalities and gimmicks that he encounters and dealing with any random villain showing off their power and getting full of themselves before they are inevitably slaughtered by Saitama. The series revels in the fact it doesn't take itself seriously and knows it with how over the top the fights and characters can be, which offered One-Punch Man consistently entertaining humor for me throughout its 12-episode run thanks to how original its premise was. Fans of action and comedy-based anime should definitely give this fun little series a look.

Last updated Sunday, December 20 2015. Created Sunday, December 20 2015.
Unevaluated 8 9 8 8 8 9 Anonymous #3446 [series:3101#3446]
First, I'll justify my ratings. I left this as unevaluated because I haven't watched the whole series yet. The scores are good, but I gave a higher animation score because of the awesome-ness of some of the action scenes. I gave a higher episode story score because the use of humor in the individual episodes is stronger than the overall story.

This show is a pretty funny parody, and that is coming from someone who doesn't like most anime parodies. This is a good one. I've watched 5 episodes so far and I've had at least couple of chuckles in every episode I've watched. Some episodes had me laughing hard.

I recommend this one to any anime/manga fan. I look forward to the next one.

Last updated Sunday, November 01 2015. Created Sunday, November 01 2015.
Buy Stretch [series:3101#628]
(Buy- or Rent+)

(All episodes watched):

Well, this was clearly the first new anime of the season I had watched which had an even vaguely interesting story to it and a good deal of effort applied to the backgrounds, character designs, animation, etc. Up to this point I had been worrying that this might be the season in which not even one new show worth watching comes out, but One Punch Man finally put that fear to rest. The only problem is that it leaves me confused. Why does 1PM have such a generic, undetailed face (most of the time)? Is it indicative of the boredom he feels nowadays? How does an ordinary human acquire such devastating strength without being bitten by radioactive spiders or something like that? And then become bored with it? What was that bit about 1PM waking up--was everything that happened just part of a dream? Is this all a joke, or parody? Maybe I wasn't supposed to ask questions, I was just supposed to laugh; but confusion makes it hard to 'get' the jokes. The reviewers at ANN loved this show, so maybe my need to understand what's going on is unusual. The villains are more freakish than frightening (and where did they come from?). It was amusing at times, but not really enough to be a full-fledged comedy. Perhaps the best indicator of the problems I had with this show is that at the end I had no idea where it would go in episode 2. No basic problem had been established, except a man of inexplicable strength fighting monsters of inexplicable origins in a fight(s)-of-the-week manner. The brief appearance of a 'cyborg' after the credits did give a hint, however. I felt a vague frustration at how few things had been definitively revealed in this first episode. If the show remains as bewildering as this, I might lose interest, but for now this show has a novel premise (whatever it is) and I am willing to watch some more in hopes of making sense of it.

Whereas episode one seemed somewhat confusing, I found episode two to be crystal clear and a lot more fun. In fact, perhaps episode two should have been the opening episode of the series; it would make sense even without all the nonsense from episode one. Anyway, One Punch Man strikes me as a truly novel and original show rather than another retread. The animation is exciting and the characters strange yet believable. Funny, too--more humorous than most shows that are pure comedies. I appreciate that the duels here tend to come to a quick resolution rather than being the 'fight endlessly' matters we usually get from anime. It's so unusual, in fact, that it's sort of a joke. This will almost certainly be the best show of the season.

I guess whenever a new superhero show comes along, you have to get a grip on just what the proportions of seriousness to comedy are, and until you do that it's easy to be bewildered. This seems to be principally a clever comedy with some sort of ongoing plot, which is a major plus. Episode one did more to confuse me than clarify things, but now that I finally know where I am standing I am enjoying the show a lot. Usually 'heroes' are near-perfect people, being strong, honest, determined, totally dedicated to justice, etc. Genos is much like this. But Here Wanpanman sometimes gets bored, sometimes ignores major crimes because he just doesn't care, wants to be famous and admired, etc. This show sort of reminds me of Astro Fighter Sunred, except that he was far more slovenly and irresponsible.

It seems that numerous new characters are introduced, but rather than being part of new, ongoing plot strands, they are gone after one episode. Will they return later? The issues they brought up seem unresolved. In the meantime we can enjoy the amusement of things like the Hero organization which you can join by passing a test. Still, I have little idea what the main thrust of this show's plot will be--maybe there won't be one at all. In episode six I get the feeling that maybe some sort of plot is coming together after all. There's the frequently amusing lives of One Punch Man and Genos as the work as Heroes, and now there's also something about a Hero management organization tracking a major problem in 'City Z', where they live. For some reason it's easier to enjoy the jokes when I feel that there's a credible plot as well.

Still, this is without doubt the best show of the season. The show has a sly wit to it; like the way One Punch Man can casually make mincemeat of people who think they are very tough. These incidents are cleverly used as the punch lines (ha!) of good jokes. Indeed, I would say that the quality within One Punch is greater than that of most of the other shows of the season combined (it has been a pretty mediocre one). Perhaps it's just my imagination, but there seems to be a formula to One Punch Man: in each episode, a new villain--each bizarre in its own way--appears, and trashes several respected Heroes, thus demonstrating that it poses a serious threat and had better not be taken too lightly. And then Wanpanman comes along and casually dispatches it, almost as an afterthought. It's all a big joke, skillfully re-used time after time in a manner which remains fresh and fun.

And there's a long-term plot running in the background, too! It's amazing how few shows have one of these, or at least a good one which elicits interest. Here, I'm genuinely curious about what's going on back at the Hero Association. And why does Wanpanman deliberately try to deceive people into thinking he's a fake who they should hate? It doesn't make sense, but I can tell from the quality of the series in general that there will be a rational and intriguing explanation someday. According to the ANN survey of favorite anime of 2015, One Punch Man was without a doubt the single blow-out winner.

I was somewhat surprised and disappointed to learn that this would be only a twelve episode series. All sorts of unresolved plot strands had been created which clearly weren't going to be wrapped up by the fight with the alien in the final arc. Stuff like how Genos is warned in the final episode not to trust a certain character that we barely meet. The series conclusion was clearly an arc conclusion, not the end of the story as a whole, and as such it does a good job of putting the story to a temporary rest. Surely additional seasons will be added (and there is at least one 23-minute OVA, basically an extra episode). These days I tend to prefer that most anime be over in three months, since they have often already overstayed their welcomes, but not this time. At first glance you would think that a superhero who can take down any opponent with one blow would be like Superman without Kryptonite, but this show manages to be both funny and intriguing as it delves into the politics of the hero business. I'm looking forward to more of One Punch Man.

Last updated Sunday, January 03 2016. Created Saturday, October 10 2015.

Other Sites
Official Japanese Series Web Site http://onepunchman-anime.net/

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