PA Volume 27: One-Punch Man!!!!!!!!!!!

NSFW Warning/Disclaimer: 
PA (short for "Profound Assholes") is a series on where I have a no-punches-pulled conversation with a friend about a hot-button issue (yay cliches!). That friend is usually none other than Drizzle Sez formerly of, who co-created the PA format (go check out his site. It's still live and still kicks much ass to this day). Today, we discuss one of the most-talked about anime of the year, the adaptation of One-Punch Man. THIS PA ALSO CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR ONE-PUNCH MAN.

Speed: So, I was thinking we should review commercials. I'm kind of bored and it may be fun to talk about, for instance, Jonathan Ogden dancing in a GEBCO commercial.

Drizzle: Naw. 

Speed: I mean, I don't know. We need a new PA and I want to take people off-guard in the traditional Profound Assholes sort of way. So, tangent. I randomly started watching some porn featuring Skin Diamond. 

My Gawd. So, as I'm watching her squirt from a fuck machine, I'm thinking to myself--

Drizzle: Nope. We're not doing porn.

Speed: You didn't even let me finish. Anyway, I was thinking to myself "self...I have no PA ideas."

Drizzle: I've one.

Speed: Is it going to involve me ranting and raving with smart--and hilariously sexy--results?

Drizzle: Today, we give praise to...

Speed: I think I know where this is going.

Drizzle: (mimicking the One-Punch Man opening) ONE PUNCHHHHHHHH...MANNNNNNN.

Speed: Alright, so we're finally gonna talk OPM today? I'm game.

Drizzle: Why is it so fucking good?!

Speed: Um...ONE is a great storyteller? It's kind of like Attack on Titan meets Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann? Uh...Saitama is an Everyman who can--and seems to almost always does--out-punch any man? It's Batman meets Star Wars with what Eva should've been? I don't have the answers, Drizzle.

Drizzle: It makes fun of what we know and love.

Speed: That was my next point, and probably the only one that makes any real sense when you're talking One-Punch Man. Except for, maybe, ONE knowing his way around a story. But, continue. Because I know that there can't be just a clean-cut answer to this question. OPM is great. It makes fun of what we know and love in a way unseen in mainstream shonen and seinen anime since, probably, TTGL. I mean, we've got Lucky Star and stuff like Haruhi, but that is more slice-of-life than anything, even though they're also genre-blenders.

Even though I love some Haruhi, it's still not the same. Tangent time, but Nagato-Chan hasn't delivered as much for me. But, back to OPM, Saitama punches things into oblivion while still having a God-like moral compass. So, I know that there's more to your answer.

Drizzle: where was we? Oh, yeah! 

Let's backtrack a bit, though. ONE isn't as good of a storyteller--or that great with knowing his way around a story--as we give him credit for. I mean, looking at everything...he's just a...troll.

Speed: So, he's us, except he's knowingly trolling versus subversively trolling?

Drizzle: Well, think about this: Every story and episode of the series has been the same. The heroes go and get into the fight of their lives. They fuck around and get their asses kicked. Then, ONE PUNCHHHHHHH MANNNNN!!! Saitama gets no credit. Repeat.

Speed: It definitely gets into that Villain of the Week trope, especially in a way that parodies that formula and our ideas of the "super man." Plus, I mean, it doesn't get much more troll-y that Saitama's first rescue. The kid has testicles for a chin, for fuck's sake.

Drizzle: But, the series is so damned entertaining because, in the process of kicking ass and ONE PUNNNNCHHHHH-ing someone, it makes you completely take apart the concept of "superheroes."

Speed: It's a deconstruction of the genre through and through. How? By utilizing ONE's heavy troll tendencies and an overabundance of parody that, out of nowhere, can still remain deadass serious while Saitama punches five sextillion holes through an enemy taller than the Earth itself. It's kind of how TTGL is, in some ways, but even more ramped up than Kamina and Company.

Drizzle: He doesn't do it, the superhero thing. There's no Superman or Batman expy. It's just a bunch of anime characters who, while badass, usually don't cut it. There's no overly thought out interpretation or existentialist thought in the series. There's no hipster bullshit. It's just a series about a man who punches shit to death after the most awesome fight scenes I've seen in a while. He--ONE as a creator--is literally making fun of those over-the-top anime fights and superheroes with the way he goes to--and through--Western and Eastern hero styles.

Speed: But, I mean, it's still a deconstruction. Except, it's one without being completly pretentious with the deconstruction.

Drizzle: I think that my favorite parts are when ONE and company make fun of the whole hipster interpretation garbage we often see in shows. Like, when Genos tells his backstory.

Saitama and the audience, by proxy, are pretty much like "shut the fuck up, Genos." Even though, in "proper seinen style," the audience would eat that exposition up. Here, ONE is like "this is how bullshit this type of exposition is."

Speed: That's kind of what I'm saying. It's a deconstruction through sheer parody and simple ONE saying "hey guys. Here's that bullshit you know and love about anime. All offense to you, but it's fucking bullshit. Just like, oh, I don't know, Evangelion's ending.

Drizzle: (laughs) You beat me to it.

Speed: Well, yeah. I knew where you were headed.

Drizzle: Hipsters be like "Oh, lemme interpret this anime. It's so deep and"--

Drizzle and Speed: ONE PUNCH MAN!!!

Speed: Damn right.

Drizzle: It spells out the whole story in two episodes. "I wanna be a hero for fun. I'm looking for a fight that's longer than one punch."

Speed: Yep.

Drizzle: So, despite--or maybe because of--its simplicity and general lack of fucks for genre control, One-Punch Man is the most-entertaining show I've seen in a long time. It seems we really don't need those elongated--and sometimes confusing--storylines all the time to keep us entertained. Or...maybe...just maybe...we just don't give a fuck. 

Speed: Hmm...alright.

Drizzle: Honestly, we usually know the conclusion of most stories. Good guys win, bad guys lose. In America, it's when that line gets blurred that we actually watch something for eight seasons. But, the attempts to make you feel like there's a general struggle to win? They're so plentiful these days. It's left us numb. But, of course, we watch anyway.

ONE shows us the "why" to "why do we watch?" in a weird way. We like the fighting, the choreography. We like watching people be awesome. So, we have a million badass fight scenes--where the majority of the heroes usually lose--even though we know that we're about to get ONE PUNCH MAN. We watch even though we know he's coming. And the absurdity of his wins is just outright hilarious.

Speed: And it's fucking glorious.

Drizzle: But, did I just see Lord Boros survive a punch?! And what do you mean, "final episode?!?!?!?!?!"

Speed: Season two, just based off the popularity of the series, has got to happen. It's just gotta. I mean, the OG ONE version still has a lot of story to go. So, I'd be surprised if we didn't get a second season--even if it takes a couple years, a la Attack on Titan.

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