One-Punch Man 94-96 – Manga Review
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. Things take a dire turn as not only do the heroes have to contend with a wave of monsters, but Garo, the hero killer. However, just as the heroes close in around Garo, it appears the Monster Association, the horrible beings behind the attacks across the globe, have other plans for the great and deadly hero killer.
Chapter 94-96 gradually build back up in quality. 94 continues from where 93 left off, detailing the efforts of Flashy Flash to infiltrate the Monster Association’s base. This chapter offers little in the way of writing worth praise, and exists I think primarily as an art showcase. While the art is still one of the manga’s greatest assets, thankfully this little side-jaunt is over in just two chapters, and we’re back on the path towards better, more clever, writing.
Chapter 95 turns attention to Child Emperor, working his own way through the depths of the Monster Association’s underground labyrinth. Not only do we touch on Metal Knight’s disinterest in sharing important information (Which Child Emperor stumbles upon) but this chapter plays with tropes and expectations. Child Emperor makes short work of several baddies in a row, before coming across G5, who turns out to be far and away above what Child Emperor can handle. It’s not terribly clever, or a commentary on typical Shonen tropes, but at least it offers a few twists more than the last couple chapters.
Chapter 96 improves again, offering a much bigger twist in the form of Phoenix Man’s resurrection, the back and forth in his fight with Child Emperor, and the reveal that Child Emperor’s massive battle robot, which he summons as things look grim, only operates for a few minutes before it shuts down. Again One-Punch Man hardly feels like it’s at its best here, but it at least feels above where we were just a few chapters ago.
As someone not entirely familiar with what’s been added for the manga version, vs the original web comic, I don’t know for sure how much of this is padding over the original material, but a lot of this certainly feels like content added to take advantage of Murata’s incredible artistic ability. I suppose that’s where the divide comes from on how well the new additions hold up over the original version: How big a factor is incredible art for you? There’s no denying that Murata makes this series look amazing, even when it’s floundering. The trouble is that as someone who appreciates art only to a certain degree, and feels more passionately about quality writing, the artistic wow only goes so far. Here’s hoping the steady climb back towards clever twists and reveals continues.
Please do comment below on what you thought of the latest One-Punch Man Chapters!