One Punch Man started life as a webcomic, which is currently still ongoing. It was then remade as as a digital manga, and finally received an anime adaptation. The studio responsible for the anime was Madhouse, and it has a total of 12 episodes.
The anime can be streamed for free legally on Daisuki, though obviously that will depend on your location.
The plot of One Punch Man focuses on Saitama, a man who is a self-proclaimed hero. However, he possesses immeasurable strength and is easily able to defeat any foe with a single punch. This has caused him to become disillusioned, as he is unable to find a worthy opponent to fight.
After meeting with the cyborg Genos, Saitama comes to realise that he has to register with the Hero Association to be officially recognised as a hero.
Heroes are split into four ranks, from lowest to highest; C, B, A and S. Turns out being a hero means something quite different for those in the higher ranks, and that plays a key part during the events of the anime.
Though Saitama possesses immense physical prowess, he’s lacking in everything else and barely manages to become a C rank hero. However, as you might guess, he begins to quickly climb the ranks.
This results in other heroes accusing him of cheating his way up the ranks, though there are a couple of others who actually acknowledge Saitama’s strength.
The characters are an interesting and varied bunch. Of course, Saitama serves as main protagonist, and he just wants to get on with life. As long as he can get to the sales in time, he’s happy – oh, and if he could find a worthy opponent, that would make his day.
The cyborg Genos idolises Saitama, and fits in with your more typical Shonen hero – he’s hot-blooded and seeks to continuously improve himself. However, being around Saitama results in him beginning to change his outlook.
Many of the higher ranked heroes are only in it for themselves, though there are a few who are worthy of respect. It’s the lower ranked heroes that strive towards what a proper hero should be, with Mumen Rider being a fantastic example of this.
The theme of what it means to be a hero runs strong throughout this show – it’s not all about defeating enemies with a single punch.
However, the actions scenes definitely deliver – sure, they mostly boil down to a monster causing havoc until Saitama arrives to destroy them with a single punch, but the events playing out are great fun to watch – particularly when the other heroes get involved.
One Punch Man is a parody of the whole superhero thing, and it manages to pull that off pretty well, whilst still displaying many tropes that you would expect to find in the genre – there are definitely moments where it gives off a comic book feel.
It shouldn’t need to be said, but One Punch Man isn’t something to take seriously. It’s just a really good romp about a man who has become disillusioned with life due to his strength.
A parody of the superhero genre that works really well, and will appeal to fans of both comic books and manga.