One Punch Man — Being too strong is boring
When I read the name of this show I assumed it was about a boxer who defeated his opponent with one punch. And I was mostly correct. Our superhero is so strong that he can defeat or kill even gigantic extraterrestrial beings with a single punch. He is so powerful that the only thing he struggles with is boredom! In every episode we see other heroes struggling to fight the monster, then he steps in and defeats the monster with a single punch. That’s it. Done. Over. He ends the struggle so easily as if he is as powerful as the storywriter (and also as bored as the storywriter?).
Due to his omnipotent nature, the one punch man (real name of the character is Saitama) essentially becomes a God-like figure who will definitely come at the end and rescue our heroes. This makes Saitama a wallflower in the show that has him in its title. The show prefers exploring the journey and struggles of other heroes who, despite their limitations, don’t give up and even in their defeat inspire us deeply (my favorite was the hero on a bicycle). Saitama also doesn’t chase fame and continues to help out as and when he is needed.
Another interesting aspect of the show is the organization of heroes (like we see in The Boys, Avengers, and Naruto) with clear rankings and well-defined threat levels. There’s also a fight between B-class heroes to reach the A-class and A-class heroes to reach the S-class by taking on more challenging projects and proving their worth (very similar to The Boys). Yet we see the fighting spirit of every hero, irrespective of the class, as they sacrifice themselves to save the city and its people. The class differences are strict however these differences pale when all the heroes face a higher level of threat (Dragon level and God level). In my opinion, Saitama could defeat any threat with a single punch, yet other heroes are given a chance to shine and Saitama stays in the shadows as much as possible to ensure that they don’t become too dependent on him for taking care of all the threats they face.
The humor in this show is deliberate but also well-written into the narrative of the story. The conversations between Genos (Saitama’s apprentice) and Saitama, and between King (Saitama’s hero friend) and Saitama packs some of the best funny moments in the show.
Just like The Boys and Cobra Kai (till season 2), I am not sure about the fate of this show in the next season. Cobra Kai Season 3 proved to be its best season so far. Hoping the same for The Boys and One Punch Man. (Fingers crossed)