By Dustin Cabeal
Having already read most of this volume on the Shonen Jump Weekly App, I wasn’t expecting much. At least not in terms of story surprises. There is something to be said about seeing Yusuke Murata’s artwork in print though. It translates to the page better. Thinking back on some of the digital pages, I feel like I was just reading the story and not taking in the artwork like I usually do. When I realized that, it made it worth it to read this volume again as a whole.
This volume of One-Punch Man tackles three storylines. There are the monsters attacking everyone aspect, in which we not only see the “king” monster, but the person creating the monsters. It also looks as if the robo-guy that Genos is after has been captured by them. Another part of the story is the sword group of heroes meeting to discuss the hero killer. They decide that they’ll help Silver Fang until one of them interrupts and tells them all they have to become monsters. The third aspect of the story is Saitama and the tournament he’s entered into. He’s still faking as the one dude which means he’s wearing a shitty wig… the wig is so shitty, and there is no explanation given to why it’s just floating on the top of his head. The guy he’s going up against is very strong, but they both mostly fool around the entire match. It’s not until nearly the end that anyone displays true power.
This is a quick read. There’s so much going on, and the attacks are so massive that the artwork ends up telling a lot of the story with the visuals. By no means is that a complaint, but it makes for a fast read even if you soak up every inch of the page. The story is good. It’s funny, it has heart, there’s a shit ton of questions floating around, and you have to wonder how it’ll end. That and if all these monsters are killed… then who will Bald Cape fight? It’s a damn good volume, but it's setting the stage for the next volume to be even better which is the one I’m looking forward to now.
Again, Murata’s artwork is incredible. It’s just on another level of detail. I don’t know if anyone in manga or even comics can touch this guy’s artwork. It’s detailed; it's beautiful, it’s realistic looking and yet there are incredible scenes of humor involving Saitama. If you’re familiar with the “Okay” scene from volume 7 (I think it was volume 7), there’s a bit of a sequel to that scene in this volume. Saitama’s simplicity in this detailed world is what makes him so damn funny, but then his simplicity is probably the hardest thing to illustrate and present correctly. Even if the story were to taper off and dip in quality, I would keep reading for the amazing artwork.
The bad thing about this volume is that it’s a fast read. You’re not likely to get another volume for several, and I mean several, months. Try to pace yourself. If you’re not reading this series, but you loved the anime, then you should jump on. It’s one of the best manga/comics being printed in the world right now.
One-Punch Man vol. 13