One-Punch Man 61-62 – Review
Chapters 61-62 – Review
Reviewed by: Tom
Synopsis: Saitama one day decided to abandon chasing the life of a salary man and instead work towards becoming a hero. Years later he grew so strong that there’s no villain that can stand against him, for he finishes every single fight with just. one. punch!
(Warning: Spoilers to Follow)
Monsters have begun showing up across the globe, causing all sorts of havoc. As the situation worsens, and the monsters assault each city by storm, where are Genos or Saitama? At a Martial Arts Tournament of course! Will Saitama finally find a challenge?
Continuing with the tournament, Sneck goes up against his opponent and makes quick work of the guy, despite all his bluster about Sneck being a low-ranking hero. I complained before about the rather lengthy introductions each of the tournament’s contestants got and as we’ll see over these three ‘chapters’ it only further exemplifies why those were such a waste of page space as most match ups get less than a page!
Meanwhile Genos defeats one of the many monsters plaguing City C and the citizens around him warn that there are plenty of other monsters running a muck. He calls into the Hero Association, specifically Division C’s office and asks for the location of the other monsters so that Saitama’s tournament doesn’t get interrupted. I love how we’re constantly reminded throughout that Genos isn’t exactly doing this for noble reasons, it’s really just so Saitama won’t be bothered. Some hero huh?
We briefly flash back to the tournament and it’s progressing quickly as yet another match up is concluded. While I do think in hindsight it’s super ridiculous we spent so many pages introducing all these fighters who now end up concluding many of their matches on the sidelines, I actually really like how we’re barely focusing on the tournament. We don’t know these characters, we don’t care about them and the truth is most tournament arcs in shonen can be rather boring. We’re usually introduced to a bevy of new characters we don’t know, or care about, and without some solid character development that remains engaging it often turns tournaments into a sluggish bore as characters we aren’t attached to end up squaring off one after another. I think the only tournaments I truly feel were done right are the Tenkaichi Tournaments from Dragon Ball. So I’m thrilled that One-Punch Man cuts all that padding and keeps us slim and on track.
Genos charges up for another attack and uses his High Voltage Fist to bring an end to yet another of the swarm of monsters running around City C. Again, the dual page art is amazing and solidifies Murata as, I think, one of the greatest modern manga artists. He’s no Muira, but he’s definitely up there as one of my favorites.
It’s back and forth as Genos cleans up City C and the tournament goes through one match up after another. Again, we’re just plowing through this, keeping the story flowing at a brisk pace without getting bogged down in the details and with characters we care nothing about. As the tournament nears Saitama’s next match, Genos manages to get one of the monsters to spill the beans as to where one of the last monsters attacking City C has run off to.
Meanwhile Sour-Face prepares for his match against the Gisa Pro Wrestler Jakumen. It’s not looking good, although Saitama’s rooting for him.
Genos finds one of the last few monsters plaguing the city, Face Ripper, another threat level: Demon quality monster. Genos tries to take him out with one shot but when that fails their battle gets intense and Genos quickly finds his arms aren’t quite up to snuff for this match up, Face Ripper’s blades easily tearing through his armor. Genos lets Face Ripper get a hit in so he can get close and finished him off with a palm explosion attack. The whole fight is superb to look at and is another excellent art moment.
With that finished there really is only one monster left and the Association gives Genos the coordinates to meet up with the other heroes currently engaged in battle. When he arrives however, Roach Awakening, our final monster, has already defeated all the heroes. He kind of looks like a cross between the Terra Formars Roaches and Devil Man from Dragon Ball. Genos hopes to finish the fight quickly so he can watch Saitama’s match up.
Saitama returns to the tournament just as we do, having missed Sour-Face’s match up for a bathroom break (he won by the way.) One is great at the little comedic gags like this, weaving them into the over the top narrative to help ensure that amongst all the epic brawling it’s comedic center is still very much there. Saitama gets into the ring, but can’t quite remember how to tie his karate belt. His opponent is Bakuzan, the reigning two time champion of the tournament. Everyone’s betting money on Bakuzan, and getting worried they won’t be able to stop the match up in time to save Saitama’s life.
Bakuzan attempts to taunt Saitama, who is still struggling with his belt and that only angers him. And trust me, as someone who took Karate throughout high school yes, those belts are a hell to tie properly.
The match begins and Bakuzan notes that Saitama isn’t even trying to put up a defense. He walks over to him and begins to demonstrate exactly how he’ll dismantle Saitama with a series of attacks. Unfortunatly Bakuzan makes the mistake of touching Saitama’s wig, which would give the game up if it came off, and Saitama punches Bakuzan telling him not to touch his head. The punch is too strong however, and Bakuzan goes flying out of the ring! I feel like this could give the game up a bit, but I don’t think Saitama’s quite that self-aware.
Everyone is stunned at this ridiculous and sudden turn of events, save for Suiryu, who’s only growing more and more excited at the prospect of who he’ll be fighting in the tournament’s final match up. I’m very interested to see where Suiryu is going and how he’ll play into events moving forward. He’s clearly being billed as a potential rival to Saitama, perhaps someone who won’t go down with just one punch?
Meanwhile Busaiku, the kid who was unwittingly aiding Garo previously, is reading his book while listening to the TV news when a flash news update reveals all the heroes who’ve been presumably defeated by monsters, however Busaiku knows the truth and becomes horrified with the budding realization that he might’ve lead each hero into their present condition by giving Garo information. It’s an interesting character moment, although I don’t really see how Busaiku fits into the narrative going forward, and it makes me wonder if this is more a cool aside and a way to remind us that Garo is out there and dangerous?
Meanwhile, Hero Association operatives find Mohican, last defeated by the big Rhino monster previously, and learn that Waganma, the son of VIP Narinki, has been abducted by the monsters. The Association meets to discuss the events and argues over what should take priority, focusing on recovering Waganma, as Narinki is a big financial backer, or fighting back the flurry of monsters attacking the world. They quickly realize they simply don’t have enough heroes for a crisis like this.
Jumping back to Genos, he’s still in a tough match up with Roach Awakening and it’s beginning to look like Genos might not have the strength to actually win this one.
Going forward I do wish One-Punch Man would release more frequently, it was a good two months between 61.2 and 62! As for the story however, I’m hoping in the next few chapters we wrap up the tournament and tie Saitama and Genos back into this main monster plot line. I’m also dying to know what their ultimate goal and plan is, but I feel those revelations are still quite a few chapters, if not years, off at this rate.
Please do comment below on what you thought of One-Punch Man Chapters 61-62!
One-Punch Man is published weekly in Shonen Jump. Chapters 41-47 will be available in Volume 9 coming out November 1st, 2016. Chapters discussed today (61-62) will be released in Volume 11, coming out sometime next year.