One-Punch Man 65 + Specials – Review

One-Punch Man:

Chapters 65 + Specials – 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?

Review:

Chapter 65:

We open with more of the tournament as the finals draw near. We get a brief glimpse of the aftermath of the last couple matches before denoting the final four. I’m glad we’re wrapping this tournament up. It’s easily been the weakest link in the story so far, with plenty of pages dedicated to characters who, ultimately, didn’t matter. It reeks of padding, keeping Saitama on the sidelines. There’s potentially some pay off coming up, but I really feel like this part has been dragging down the better parts of the manga.

Elsewhere Genos wakes from that last attack and is forced to admit that he was soundly beaten by a monster far stronger than the others. It really makes me curious who or what this particular monster is and when they’ll appear again. Meanwhile Drive Knight appears in another monster infested area and slays a handful of weak monsters, saving one to interrogate on the situation.

Again elsewhere in City Y, Bold Hero Dogman appears to challenge the Medusa type monster. She tries to poison him, but none of it works– because Bold Hero Dogman is nothing more than a robot created by Child Emperor to collect data on all of her poisons. Unfortunately Medusa catches on and finds Child Emperor. Fortunately another hero, Pig God, arrives and quickly devours the Medusa whole. It’s a fun and silly break from the others high octane content.

Sometimes you just need a big meal. No shame.

As for a ‘real’ dog hero, Watch-Dog has defeated the menace against City Q and sits atop a pile of dismembered monsters. Unknown to him, he’s being watched by Garo who is impressed with how brutal Watch Dog is in combat. While Watch Dog’s fans are adoring him, taking photos and everything, Garo lunges in for the kill. Watch Dog definitely has a goofy look to him, and to see him clash with Garo, our bad ass villain, is going to be interesting. Unfortunately, with One-Punch Man’s release schedule it’s going to be a bit. Instead we’ve got a couple extra one shots to tide us over.

Chapter – Tornado’s Day Off:

Taking a break from the main story we’re treated to a couple bonus chapters. The first focuses on Tornado’s pseudo daily life as she makes quick work of another monster. She complains about how easy it is to take down these things and snaps at her agent, asking why she’s called in for such trivial matters. Unfortunately the girl gets her wish, as the next day she’s told she isn’t needed. This chapter is cute, although its humor is perhaps too obvious. One-Punch Man isn’t always deeply clever, and its subversion of expectations can often be of the most obvious nature, but here it feels especially on the nose and wholly predictable.

Tornado quickly finds herself bored and goes looking for trouble. She discovers, thanks to the News, that there’s been a number of monster sightings in City Z. But by the time she gets there she’s discovered all the supposed monsters have been killed– by a single punch! Gosh I wonder who it could be?

Frustrated she quickly jumps at another monster sighting and obliterates a small fry just to satisfy herself. Elsewhere Saitama decides to decides to lay down for an afternoon nap.

My new favorite hero.

What saves this special, I think, is the art and Tornado’s obstinate persona. Otherwise the chapter is largely forgettable. I will say that I enjoy, both in this special and the next, the brief bits of monologue and backstory provided to our one shot monsters who are both dealt with quite quickly. I miss that aspect of One-Punch Man, which seems to have been sidelined of late.

Chapter – Sense:

In another side story Saitama watches an anime, Baked Potato Monga, with King, who insists that it’s incredibly deep, hence why both children and adults watch. King tries to convince Saitama to keep watching, but apparently he’s busy today– with a costume contest!

Saitama’s had his hero costume cleaned for the big contest, but when he arrives he finds a poor kid stripped of his clothes and ticket. Saitama gives up his costume, offering it to the kid to cheer him up. Genos wonders what Saitama can do without his costume as he can’t possibly enter the contest without it. Or can he? For beneath his costume he had another prepared! And it’s hideous.

It’s hideous.

The judges are harsh, offering strong and near abusive critiques. When they get to Saitama they’re fervently unimpressed, even with his special ear wiggle ability. As they’re about to announce his score a giant turtle monster appears. The other contestants try to fight it back, but near everyone here is a low-ranking hero. Thankfully, and expectedly, Saitama kills the monster in one punch.

Of course no one realizes Saitama actually is that strong and chalks it up to dumb luck. It won’t even count for his score! After the contest the kid returns Saitama’s costume. We then learn that the young man is the son of one of the judges and was beaten up for wearing his father’s, rather tacky costume. He then imparts on his father the wisdom Saitama bestowed on him: To find his own style and wear that proudly. The judge briefly ponders the same advice, and wonders if he should have applied it to Saitama and his ugly shirt– but decides it was indeed far too hideous.

It really is hideous.

Meanwhile Saitama comes back to King having read the Baked Potato Monga manga and finds it ridiculously dumb. King realizes Saitama isn’t busy at all!

Overall I feel like this special suffers more than the first. Tornado herself is cute and that gives the Day Off special one shot a saving grace. Here? Everything plays out exactly as you’d expect and if you’re fine with the One-Punch Man formula that’s oay, but if its coming down between adapting the main line manga and generating special one shots like this? I’d prefer we get more of the main series faster. These specials don’t feel original and interesting enough for me to want them over the main story.

Please do comment below on what you thought of One-Punch Man Chapters 65 and the One Shot Specials!

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 (65 + The Specials) will be collected and released sometime next year.

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