The anime adaption of One-Punch Man is faithful to the manga work so some people that watched the first series of the anime will probably wonder or ask why they should then even bother with the manga. Because the art is just so damn good. Granted there’s slight differences in the story and the manga has the advantage of providing further information that the anime didn’t, but it’s all about the art. Madhouse can’t touch the manga and paired with the story it’s truly a better product. The fifth volume is the second part of the “Deep Sea King” storyline which is one of my favorites thus far. This storyline is frankly pretty incredible because it builds up every character that’s in the story. No matter how brief their appearance in the story may be they leave stronger because of this arc. They’re forced to be heroes against immeasurable odds and their outcome is frightening. The Deep Sea King is one part of their development, but the way that Saitama handles the situation is the other part of their development.
The reason is because of the Deep Sea King who has come to take over the land and stop all the polluting and basically to establish that he and the sea folk are better than us humans. He’s very flamboyant with his presentation and look, but there is something menacing and evil about his design. If Aquaman had a Joker style character, it would be the Deep Sea King… also that’s a great idea someone get that over to DC stat!
The volume begins with Puri-Puri Prisoner going up against the Deep Sea King and it’s a battle of absolute ridiculousness. Mostly because both characters are so flamboyant, but also Puri-Puri is a rank S hero who isn’t able to defeat Deep Sea King. After the battle, DSK moves on to fight Sonic, but when he runs away to get his equipment DSK finds civilians to mess with. Enter a batch of heroes that were mixed in with the civilians because of their low rank. They’re forced to go up against DSK because otherwise he’s going to kill everyone. I mean that. That’s what makes him great as a villain, he never backs down from who he is. He wants to kill everyone. He’s not just there for a fight against the best, he’s there to murder and kill all humans.
I don’t want to spoil the rest for you. The battles continue to build and build and frankly the pacing is the best of any shonen style story I’ve ever read or experienced. It’s why this is my favorite battle and volume of the manga thus far.
I cannot stress how good the art is. This is by far the best looking manga on the market and while my exposure is limited when you think of the hundreds of stories out there, I think you’d still be hard pressed to find something that’s so detailed, so realistic looking and able to change style at the drop of a hate. The action scenes are the best in manga/comics because of how much detail goes into each panel, but then how each page is constructed. There’s a real flow to the battle and while there’s a lot going on it’s never confusing or difficult to follow. It’s simply stunning.
If you’re not reading One-Punch Man by now, then you really are missing out on one of the best current running manga. While it’s one of those rare manga that comes around and shakes up the industry it’s even rarer that it has the potential for mass appeal to American comic readers. If you like your superhero comics then you’re not reading the best one until you’re reading One-Punch Man.
[button btn_url="" btn_color="primary" btn_size="large" btn_style="default" btn_outlined="no" link_target="blank" link_rel="" icon_left="" icon_right=""]Score: 5/5[/button]
One-Punch Man Vol. 5 Writer: One Artist: Yusuke Murata Publisher: Viz/Shonen Jump Manga Price: $9.99 Release Date: 3/1/16 Format: TPB; Print/Digital