One-Punch Man been on fire in 2015.
First, it has an anime adaption coming in the fall season. Second, it got nominated for an Eisner Award (didn’t win, but still). Third, Viz Media is putting out a print adaption after it was a digital only title for quite some time. With the second volume hitting stores in print format alongside the first, let’s take a look at it. Is it good?
One-Punch Man Vol. 2 (Viz Media)
Written By: One
Drawn By: Yusuke Murata
Translated By: John Werry
Saitama, our titular One-Punch Man, has recently saved the life of a cyborg by the name of Genos, who now wants to become his disciple and learn the secret behind his immeasurable strength. Saitama’s also been targeted by a mysterious organization called the House of Evolution, which has been creating genetically strong and advanced monsters/animals/mutations. He and Genos need to shut the place down for obvious reasons.
The second volume of One-Punch Man is where things start to really heat up and change for the series. We go from one-shot tales about Saitama fighting random baddies to regular story arcs and an actual main storyline/direction for the series. It’s a great volume, especially for those who were a little concerned about the series’ earlier formatting with its stories.
I feel like danger is around me for some reason.
Story-wise, the manga wraps up the House of Evolution tale from the last volume. The first tale involves the heroes breaking in the bad guy’s base and fighting his ultimate monster, Carnage Kabuto, but also revealing the secret to Saitama’s strength. It’s quite interesting and intriguing hearing his explanation, which doesn’t seem like it would make much sense given everything about him (like everyone points out). However, you can buy into it given the outrageous and silly nature of the universe. The only misstep to the whole story is the ending, which, while really funny and fitting the tone of the manga perfectly, doesn’t offer up much resolution considering some of the villains are still around.
The second arc involves a radical group of bald men called the Paradisers, who are out to change the world for the “better” (while wrecking a city) and a new character, Speed-O’-Sound Sonic, a bodyguard for one of the radicals’ targets. Saitama himself fits into the situation because he doesn’t want the bad guys to wreck his image, since everyone who is completely bald is considered to be a Paradiser. It’s a different tale than usual, since our lead is barely in the story for the first half and only gets in on the action in the second half when he finally catches up with the others. It’s a lot more serious than the previous chapters due to Sonic’s more vicious and violent nature. However, it’s still pretty engaging due to Hammerhead, the leader of the Paradisers, Sonic’s personalities and actions, and of course when Saitama arrives. The ending to it is also a lot better than the previous arc’s since it has a stronger conclusion and hints at what is to come.
Sorry about that boss, you do know I have trouble reading maps in the first place.
One’s writing continues to impress with this volume. The characterization is solid and just about all of the characters are memorable in their own way. Even if they aren’t big players in the story, like Mumen Rider, they stand out and feel unique from one another in the way they act, behave, or talk. There’s not much in the way of growth for Genos this issue, though Saitama gets some development between us learning more about his past and seeing him expressing his concerns about his image (maybe not a positive trait, but one that ensures some good comedy). The humor is still very entertaining and hilarious due to the manga’s fantastic sense of timing and expressive art. Probably the funniest moment is when Saitama takes down Sonic with a punch to the crotch accidently. Just the way the visuals look and how the scene flows from page to page sells that gag way better than any person could explain it.
Lastly, there is the artwork by Yusuke Murata, who just continues to deliver. Even beyond how well he draws his characters and their expressions, every person is really memorable and unique-looking in their own way, from the hulking behemoth Carnage Kabuto to the lanky Mumen Rider. The action is incredible, intense and flows so well from panel to panel. A lot of the imagery is undeniably striking, like in the scene where Kabuto senses an aura around Saitama that looks incredibly ominous (despite how goofy looking our hero is). The humor is depicted well like stated before, making for lots of funny moments throughout the book. This is easily one of the best drawn mangas for teens currently out there right now.
…what the hell do you dream about?
Is It Good?
One-Punch Man Vol. 2 is a great continuation from the first volume. It’s just as exciting, funny, action-packed, and engaging to read about (while also being amazing to look at) — but it also gives more backstory on the main character and lengthy story arcs. Definitely be sure to grab this and the first volume when you see them.