One Punch Man: Road to Hero (OVA)

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Rather than a punch, I’d say that was more of a good dope slap.

One Punch Man weighs in with its first OVA (another one is coming up at Christmas), and it’s more or less in the vein or an origin story.  And it was pretty successful, though the whole thing feels more or less like a small-scale reproduction of the real thing – everything is toned down from the series except Saitama’s hair.  But that doesn’t mean we don’t still get bald jokes.

To be more precise, “Road to Hero” could be said to be the origin story of Saitama’s hero jumpsuit.  That comes courtesy of an old tailor that’s the nascent hero’s main supporter, right down to fixing the damage Saitama regularly does to his tracksuit during his pursuit of heroing as a hobby.  This Saitama isn’t the most powerful man in the world yet, clearly, but he’s still more than a match for the small-time loan shark who runs the neighborhood and his army of thugs.

I wouldn’t say this story was anything riveting, but it was true to form.  It was interesting to see Saitama’s indifference to chasing money and fame even this early in the game, and his introduction to the freaky sort of monster shit he’s going to be dealing with as a matter of course once he goes bald.  The world  – or at least the little corner of it Saitama inhabits – seems like a lot less bizarre place here, almost as if at some point something happened to make everything go as crazy as it did.  Most of the craziness here is supplied by Saitama’s neighbors, in fact…

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2 comments

  1. G

    I wondered the same thing. There must be some origin event that created all these heroes and monsters. Maybe a meteor or asteroid shower or something to change the world. We know the Hero association was born from Saitama's early exploits but where have all these monsters and heroes been until now?

  2. u

    It's a theory that both Onepunch Man and ONE's other series Mob Psycho are set in the same universe, especially since a very young Tatsumaki and a baby Fubuki showed up in one of the chapters. And if you've taken time to read Mob Psycho, you'd see that the world is very much like the one shown in this OVA — there are psychics, but no monsters or heroes.

    And yeah, the Onepunch man has threads in its plot pointing that something DID happen, but it's not going to be material covered in this adaptation.

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