Manga Review: One-Punch Man V 6 by ONE & Yusuke Murata @shonenjump

May Contain Spoilers

I don’t know how this happened, but One-Punch Man has catapulted into one of the top spots on my favorite manga list. How did this happen?! I remember being totally unimpressed with V 1 & V 2, but now, wow! The art is spectacular, and the story, while firmly shonen battle manga fare, is so much fun! There’s humor, edge of your seat battles, and clueless Saitama, cheerfully meandering from one adventure to the next. He always seems like he’s in somewhat of a fog, but he really comes through when he is needed the most.

An unprecedented prophesy has caused the Hero Association to call together all of the Class S heroes. Because Saitama just happened to be at Silverfang’s dojo, he tags along with the older hero and Genos to City A. There, we finally meet most of the Class S heroes, and it’s a wonder how they haven’t turned on each other and destroyed the world themselves. I can hardly wait to see how these heroes interact later in the series. They bicker, allow their enormous egos to get the better of them, and bemoan being called suddenly away for a calamity that may or may not happen. Of course disaster, in the form of deadly aliens in a monstrous space ship, quickly descend upon the Earth, destroying everything in City A but the heroes’ headquarters.

While most of the heroes are busy attempting to defeat Melzargard, a super strong alien with regeneration powers, Saitama infiltrates the star ship, merrily causing havoc with every step. I love how every character except Saitama is drawn with expressive detail. Saitama, on the other hand, is basically an egghead. He is simply rendered, with few realistic features, and little emotive detail. He usually appears unaffected by the events going on around him, regardless of how dire they may be. Detailed emotions are sparsely parsed when events are dire.   I used to hate how he looked, but over six volumes, it has grown on me, and I look forward to his steady resolve. He never gets the accolades he deserves, but I think that bothers me more than it bothers him.

The pacing for this volume is phenomenal.  After the quick set up, we have battle upon battle upon battle. Things look grim for all of our heroes, but they manage, somehow, to put their bluster behind them and work together. Even Puri-Puri Prisoner got a thumbs up in this volume. He is such a caricature that he normally bugs the snot out of me, but he got down to business and tried so hard to protect the men of City A that I have to give him a few props. This ends on a cliffhanger, so I’m happy that I have the next volume already loaded on my Kindle.

Grade: 4.5 stars

Review copy borrowed from my local library

About the book:

Nothing about Saitama passes the eyeball test when it comes to superheroes, from his lifeless expression to his bald head to his unimpressive physique. However, this average-looking guy has a not-so-average problem—he just can’t seem to find an opponent strong enough to take on!
An emergency summons gathers Class S heroes at headquarters…and Saitama tags along. There, they learn that the great seer Shibabawa left the following prophecy: “The Earth is in danger!” What in the world is going to happen?!