OPM is…a thing.
To be honest, I’m not entirely sure how I should look at it. On one hand, it’s a clear parody of superhero tropes and the idea of the overpowered hero. On the other hand, its premise and ideas are so ridiculous that I’m not entirely sure whether I should take it seriously or just have fun with it (much like Deadpool, actually, now that I think about it).
Either way, unfortunately, I wasn’t a huge fan. I liked the idea of taking all of the existing superhero characteristics of strength, weakness, backstories, and such, and then turning them all into mocking points; that part worked well. In particular, what few real action scenes there were (i.e., scenes where the monsters fight other heroes because Saitama is OP) had some excellent moments, absurdity removed.
The problem I had was with Saitama himself. I understand that his story is of a hero bored with the lack of challenges because of his physical abilities, but the anime never quite dealt with that boredom. The only thing we really got was an equal opponent for his ultimate battle, but we never really saw into his mind regarding his disillusionment with the entire hero industry. Granted, he’s not the type of person to not be a hero for the sole reason of boredom, but it would have been nice to have had just a little more depth.
I understand that because it’s a superhero anime – moreover, it’s a parody of a superhero anime – it’s going to be superficial, especially with only twelve episodes to introduce and expand on each character. However, I feel that it’s too superficial for my tastes. Granted, I’m the type of person that actively tries to look for underlying themes and emotional connections, but I felt that Saitama’s struggles as a bored, overpowered entity were taken too lightly. I would have liked to see more frustration on his end, and more questioning by his part of what it means to be a hero.
At any rate, One Punch Man is still fairly enjoyable to watch – for the action scenes, if nothing else. I also appreciate the slapstick comedy and over-the-top abilities, as well as the most ridiculous heroes I’ve ever seen. Unfortunately, its emotional breadth does not appeal to me. While I’ll still watch the second season when it comes out, I don’t think it will be part of my top anime of all time.