Annotated Anime: One Punch Man episode 3


Get Fit with Saitama

One Punch Man? More like One Punch Per Week Man, am I right?

The Fall season's prettiest show continues into its third week, as Saitama and Genos head out to confront their first real enemy, the House of Evolution. Will this be the week that Saitama needs more than a single blow to fell his foes?

Spoiler Alert: Nope!

I am, of course, being facetious here. The show's called One Punch Man, after all, though we are stretching the definition of "One Punch" thanks to Saitama's unleashing the devastating power of his secret attack "Consecutive Normal Punches" last week. Point is, the day he has actual trouble putting a baddie down is the day the story ends. 

But we knew that already. Instead, Genos goes on to take the weight of struggle upon his cyber-augmented soldiers, by carrying out a highly advanced, gorgeously rendered form of "Worfing", i.e. that thing that happens in Star Trek when they prove how tough an opponent is by using them to take down a certified badass. Worf was that guy on Star Trek, and in One Punch Man, it's Genos. Good thing for him (and us), is that he's pretty awesome by himself. Even if his whole backstory is an unsubtle mockery of your typical manga hero's tragic past, a seriously-written Genos could lead a show on his own.

That in mind, it's almost too bad that he has to be the guy to get plastered by Carnage Kabuto, the greatest weapon of the House of Evolution, before setting up Saitama to win the fight in a fit of absent-minded, sale-day forgetfulness.

We do, though, get a treat out of the encounter, which is Saitama's personal recipe for powering up. 

Are you ready for it?

Here it is:

100 Push-Ups

100 Sit-Ups

100 Squats

A 10-Kilometer Run

Every. Single. Day.

Before long, you too will be as unstoppable as you are bald.

This is, of course, meant as a joke, but it when you've read or watched as much hero fiction as I have, when you hear that Saitama's secret to strength is nothing more complicated than basic strength training, it's hard not to see his spiel as a refreshing (not to mention hilarious) alternative to the born heroes that populate fight manga and superhero comics alike.

Think about it. Virtually all of the heroes we know and love in pop culture are products not just of their heroic attitude, but also gifted with talent or other things we mere mortals simply don't have. You won't find a nicer guy than Superman, but he's also an invincible alien that is strengthened by our sun's radiation. Spider-Man's famously unlucky, but it was his good fortune to be bitten by a radioactive spider that one time. It might have been Naruto Uzumaki's empathy and determination that helped him save the world and become the Seventh Hokage, but playing host to an incredibly powerful Tailed Beast probably didn't hurt all that much when things came to a head. 

Sure, heroic fiction takes great pains to emphasize that our heroes are heroes more for what's in their hearts and souls rather than their muscles and genes. Heck, Saitama himself isn't even really an exception to that rule. He might be oblivious, and kind of a dick at times, but his heart's in the right place, after all. At the same time, what sets him apart is the mere notion, however absurd, that the thing that made him strong is something that virtually anyone can start doing. He might be the One Punch Man, but more than many of his peers, he's a genuine Everyman.

[Check out One Punch Man streaming on Daisuki and Hulu!]

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Josh Tolentino
Josh TolentinoManaging Editor   gamer profile

Josh is Japanator's Managing Editor, and contributes to Destructoid as well, as the network's premier apologist for both Harem Anime and Star Trek: Voyager For high school reasons, he's called "u... more + disclosures



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