One-Punch Man (Japanese: ワンパンマン Hepburn: Wanpanman) is a Japanese superhero webcomic created by ONE which began publication in early 2009. The series quickly went viral, surpassing 7.9 million hits in June 2012. The Japanese shortened name Wanpanman is a play on the long-running children's character Anpanman, wanpan being a contraction of wanpanchi ("one punch"). One-Punch Man tells the story of Saitama, a superhero who has grown bored by the absence of challenge in his fight against evil and seeks to find a worthy opponent.
A digital manga remake of the series, illustrated by Yusuke Murata, began publication on Shueisha's Tonari no Young Jump website in 2012. The chapters are periodically collected and printed into tankōbon volumes, with twenty volumes released as of July 4, 2019. Viz Media has licensed the remake for English serialization in its Weekly Shonen Jump digital magazine. Its English release received a nomination for an Eisner Award in 2015, and a Harvey Award in 2016.
An anime television adaptation by Madhouse aired in Japan between October and December 2015. It was dubbed in English during the summer of 2016, and later that year a planned second season was announced. On September 25, 2017, it was announced that they would be changing both its production company and director. The second season aired between April and July 2019.
On an unnamed Earth-like super-continent planet, powerful monsters and villains have been wreaking havoc in the cities. To combat them, the world's government created a Hero Association that employs superheroes to stop them. The heroes are ranked from Class C to Class S. Saitama, an unassociated hero, hails from the metropolis of City-Z and performs heroic deeds for his own entertainment. He has trained himself to the point where he broke his "limit" and can effortlessly defeat any opponent with a single punch while slaying monsters the same way. But he is now bored with his own omnipotence and frustrated from his lack of sensing challenge.
Over the course of the series, Saitama encounters various superheroes, friends, villains, and monsters. He becomes a reluctant mentor to cyborg Genos, who moves in with him and is seeking revenge against another cyborg that slaughtered his entire family and hometown. Eventually, the two join the Hero Association in order to gain recognition. Genos proves to be a prodigy and is instantly placed in Class S, while Saitama barely passes the written portion of the Hero test and is placed in Class C. Saitama performs many feats that go mostly unnoticed and unappreciated by the public because of his rank, but he is promoted to Class B after defeating the powerful Deep Sea King, who rains destruction on City-J. Rumors surface that strong monsters are gathering in City-Z.
Soon after, the great seer Shibabawa has a vision that the world is in danger before she dies. Panicking, the Hero Association calls all S-Class heroes to a meeting, begging them to protect the world. Immediately after the meeting, the leader of the Dark Matter Thieves Boros invades the planet and destroys City-A. The S-Class heroes fight the invaders outside the ship, while Saitama finds their leader and defeats him. The S-Class Hero Metal Knight quickly repairs the damage done to City-A in the aftermath.
Saitama begins to gradually meet other superheroes, such as the martial artist Bang and King, the "Strongest Man on Earth", who is actually a fraud unassumingly taking credit for Saitama's deeds. Growing aware of monsters' increasing rate of appearance, the Hero Association tries to recruit more heroes and even begins recruiting villains. When the Hero Association executive Sitch tries to do so, Bang's former apprentice Garou begins beating heroes left and right to break their morale. Garou's ruthlessness earns him the title "hero-hunter" and the threat level "Dragon", the second most dangerous threat level.
In order to support himself financially, Saitama enters a martial arts tournament in disguise as Charanko, a disciple of Bang. During the tournament, the Monster Association attacks various cities and kidnaps the child of one of the Hero Association's executives. The Monster Association offers "monster cells" to various groups of people, which will turn people into monsters when eaten, while the Hero Association stages a rescue for the kidnapped child.
One-Punch Man began publication in 2009 when One became interested in creating a comic super hero who was already the strongest in the world. One wanted to focus on different aspects of storytelling than those normally relied on in standard super hero stories, such as every day problems. One said, "Punching is oftentimes pretty useless against life's problems. But inside One Punch Man's universe, I made Saitama a sort of guy who was capable of adapting his life to the world that surrounded him, only armed with his immense power. The only obstacles he faces are mundane things, like running short of money." One self published the series on the website Nitosha, a Japanese site for publishing online manga.
The series was an instant success online, where One generated thousands of viewers and comments within weeks. According to One, the series really began to take off by the time he had written the fifth chapter. On Nitosha, a series was considered popular if it consistently received at least 30 comments, but by the time One had published chapter 30, he was receiving nearly a thousand comments per chapter. In February 2010, One put the series on hiatus in order to focus on work for his family.
When One returned to drawing manga in 2011, he was contacted by artist Yusuke Murata about a possible partnership, where Murata would redraw the manga for One. Murata had been an enormous fan of One-Punch Man, and was ill at the time. Fearing that he was going to die, he contacted One. Looking back he said, "Around that time, I was actually really sick. I broke out in hives, my inner organs were infected, and I couldn't breathe well with my windpipes swelling. I was in the hospital when I thought, 'Ah, I guess people die just like that.' If I'm going to die, I want to do something I really love to do. I want to draw manga with Mr. ONE. That's what I thought."
Murata, an already successful manga artist, used his connections in the industry to get a publishing deal with Weekly Young Jump comics.
TagsBased on a NovelActionFantasyDramaSuperpowersMature ThemesViolenceWarMysteryRomance
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