By Dustin Cabeal
I had quite a few problems with the tenth volume of One-Punch Man, and some of that is echoed in this volume. There is a lot of improvement even if there’s still too much of a dependency on “Bonus” stories to keep the thickness of the volume consistent.
There’s a lot happening in this volume. It's intentionally overwhelming because writer One is attempting to give the reader a sense of desperation. A sense of needing… a hero. It’s building it up for Saitama to make a big splash that will likely only bump him to A-Rank… if he’s lucky.
On the one hand, the story is following metal bat and his battle with the giant fucking centipede. In the middle of his fight, Garo shows up and wants to fight him. Let’s just say that I have a new-found respect for Metal Bat, he’s not a total badass, but damn. They fight… while the giant fucking centipede destroys shit and the entire time Metal Bat is like, “I gotta get back to the fight so hurry up.”
While all this is going down, we see a huge uprising of villains that are laying waste to every hero they come across. The heroes are being overwhelmed, and this adds to the desperation. It makes you want Saitama to jump into action, but instead, he’s at a tournament. Which is entertaining on its own. Mostly because he’s still a bit clueless and talks mad shit. Sure, it’s inadvertently, but that’s what makes it great.
While the story doesn’t follow Saitama nearly enough, in a way, I understand why. If he rushes in every time, then he’s no different than Superman and Superman is boring as shit. One’s writing is building this anticipation within us as readers so that when there is a big battle, it has value. It means that things have gotten so bad that they have found Saitama or more than likely that he’s stumbled into trouble. That doesn’t mean that this volume is perfect because it’s not very well balanced. It shifts from one side of the story to the next, and when you get to the villain's introduction it starts to read like the back of a trading card, be it a beautiful trading card.
You’re probably tired of me talking about the art and how beautiful it is. Well, I’m tired of telling you about it. Why aren’t you just reading this for fuck’s sake? I don’t think there’s anything funnier in this volume than Saitama’s shitty wig. It’s extremely shitty. You can tell that One designed some of this because the wig is very similar to the shitty wig in Psycho Mob 100. Also, the way that Saitama defeats his first opponent is hysterical as well. Thinking about it makes me laugh, like for real, not just in my head.
At the time of writing this, One-Punch Man vol. 11 is only available digitally, but if you’re not buying them individually, then that’s a great option. Hell, you can buy all eleven volumes in one fell swoop that way and get caught the fuck up on the series. Actually, that’s like $76.89, so maybe you should just try the first three volumes for $20.97 and kick yourself for not getting them all later. My point is, One-Punch Man is worth the money, the time and the enjoyment it’ll give you is priceless.
One-Punch Man vol. 11
Artist: Yusuke Murata
Publisher: Viz Media