ワンパンマン 19 [Wanpanman 19] (Onepunch-Man, #19)
ガロウを慕う少年・タレオを怪人協会が拉致。その頃、サイタマの部屋では、ジェノスらが騒がしく鍋を囲み…。ガロウは単身、怪人協会に乗り込むが? 一方、ヒーロー協会では、ワガンマ救出作戦が進行し!?

ワンパンマン 19 [Wanpanman 19] (Onepunch-Man, #19) Details

Titleワンパンマン 19 [Wanpanman 19] (Onepunch-Man, #19)
Author
LanguageJapanese
ReleaseApr 4th, 2019
PublisherShueisha
ISBN-139784088818139
Rating
GenreSequential Art, Manga, Comics Manga, Seinen, Fantasy, Supernatural, Humor

ワンパンマン 19 [Wanpanman 19] (Onepunch-Man, #19) Review

  • Jon Ureña
    January 1, 1970
    I've gone through these volumes way too fast to stop and review along the way. This is the last volume so far for the ongoing series, and I'm reviewing the whole thing.The contrast between the illustrator's (Yusuke Murata) magnificent drawings and the writer's (ONE) atypical and often ridiculous storytelling and characters plays out one of the main recurring points of this series: that no matter the talents of the characters, their efforts, their pains and sacrifices, they are rendered almost si I've gone through these volumes way too fast to stop and review along the way. This is the last volume so far for the ongoing series, and I'm reviewing the whole thing.The contrast between the illustrator's (Yusuke Murata) magnificent drawings and the writer's (ONE) atypical and often ridiculous storytelling and characters plays out one of the main recurring points of this series: that no matter the talents of the characters, their efforts, their pains and sacrifices, they are rendered almost silly and insignificant when there is a person, the protagonist, that won't get scratched even if he receives an attack that otherwise would topple a building, and that will end (almost) every threat with a single intentionally powerful punch. You witness a numerous cast struggling against each other, playing out their dreams against their limitations, but in the back of your mind you know that if Saitama was there, he'd end it without even letting the bad guys finish their speeches, and would show to every other character how meaningless their efforts are. In a non-expressed way, Saitama becomes Death itself, an impassable ceiling that will come down and crush whoever it wants whenever it wants. It's even stranger when you consider that Saitama doesn't give a shit about most of what's happening. He'd rather just eat some good food and read through whatever mangas he can get his hands on. He barely cares about people; whenever they try to have a conversation with him, his mind wanders, or he gets so annoyed that he tells them to shut up. Those around him that have realized what a God-like force he is attempt to get him to do stuff for them (whether through friendship, duty or devious manipulation), and the rest only see in the protagonist a silly looking mid-ranking hero with an unpleasant attitude. Saitama still has to deal with his main character problem: that he's so ultra competent that life just bores and disappoints him. A very East Asian problem to have, I'd say, and one that fiction usually doesn't touch.Around 154 volumes in, Saitama has become almost a secondary character in a cast of dozens. The story has followed other people's often independent struggles. First two that come to mind are Genos and Fubuki. Genos', Saitama's cyborg disciple, is attempting to reach the top of the S-class hero registry in order to become as powerful as possible. Fubuki, a gorgeous esper who is also an anxious status seeker and Tatsumaki's far less powerful little sister, tries to secure her position in the hero society through leading a group; when that group collapses, she pesters Saitama and the rest of his close pals in order to form a new group around them. Fubuki might have come to mind first because she looks so good, though.One of the most interesting new characters introduced is Garou, the hero hunter. As a child, this guy was solitary and gloomy, and popular classmates used him as the monster in their playing sessions. This got to the level of bullying; however, whenever he complained, Garou was the only one to get in trouble. This created a complex in him. As an adult he despised heroes, their numerous hypocrisies, how they tended to see everything in black and white. Not only Garou very explicitly intends to "show them a world beyond good and evil", but he is also obsessed with getting stronger and relying on himself alone, so in a way he is a very Nietzschean character. The second major thread of the series so far is that the numerous monsters, who are often intelligent, decide to band together in an association and fight the hero association for supremacy (in a more monstrous way than "My Hero Academia" does it). These bunch of apostle-from-"Berserk" looking motherfuckers (and if you've gone through the psychological trauma of reading the entirety of "Berserk", apostle-from-"Berserk" is a very specific look) cause the biggest trouble yet. Regarding Garou, the monsters (view spoiler)[attempt to recruit him, but he realizes that although he knows himself to be in opposition to the "good guys", he's not a real monster. Not the child murdering kind (hide spoiler)]. He's a compelling character; beating up heroes one day and non-creepily chatting up a child interested in heroes the next day.We are introduced to a lot of intelligent monsters. There are dozens of very interesting designs, but they are still monsters, lacking the nuance that would make them more compelling. The biggest exception to that is their de-facto leader, Gyoro Gyoro, a weird looking esper who wants to raise some human beings to turn them into ultimate monsters.Beyond Garou, probably the most interesting character we learn more about is King, considered the strongest man alive. In a nice twist, (view spoiler)[if King has powers it's only the ability to be often in the worst place at the worst time: all the monster kills that had been attributed to him were Saitama's doing. King is an average person, a nerd with a somewhat imposing look, who is mostly interested in playing videogames, something he's exceptional at. He has lied through his entire career at the hero association (mostly by omission). This creates plenty of situations in which he's almost discovered, but the only one who finds out is Saitama. As they share hobbies, Saitama becomes his close friend, and King something of a therapist for the protagonist (hide spoiler)].A very interesting part about the worldbuilding of this series is how the heroes fight amongst each other for human reasons: they dislike other heros, or resent them for being considered a league above them, or wish they could join their league and therefore have a higher status in the eyes of society, etc. A grievous example of this is when a group of A-class heroes decide to take down a severe threat that would normally require some assistance from the class above; they do it because they want to prove themselves, and are tired of often being set aside to benefit the S-class heroes. Some of the highest ranking heroes have terrible attitudes and seem a bad decision away from turning into supervillains. The kindest ones have to manage the troublesome people very carefully.My only problems with this series 154 chapters in is that I've found a couple of fights boring, mainly because I just wasn't into the characters involved (the fight between Flashy Flash and a pair of ninjas is the worst as far as I'm concerned), and the current plot thread, (view spoiler)[assaulting the monster association hideout (hide spoiler)], is for the most part a succession of cool fights; they involve cool moves and creative gadgets, but Saitama is absent, probably because he'd just end the trouble with a single punch. A previous plot thread started as somewhat annoying: Saitama registered to fight in a tournament under another guy's name (for the sole reason that the ticket was under that guy's name). Tournament arcs give me flashbacks of people squatting down, clenching their fists and changing their hair color, but beside that, obviously Saitama was going to beat all of them. It ended up being funny and interesting. One of the most promising fighters reflected Saitama somewhat: the guy was a tremendously strong martial artist, but he only fought to get money in order to pay for fun stuff and girls. Otherwise life felt like a chore to him. (view spoiler)[His fight with Saitama was not only spectacular but hilarious, as the protagonist was only worried about holding down his wig in order to keep his disguise. He ends up getting disqualified for the identity theft, but they keep fighting anyway, and Saitama, as he was spinning, ends up accidentally sending the guy to the bleachers with his ass (hide spoiler)].Regarding the future of this series, I don't know how long the author intends to go with it, but he screwed himself by introducing very early Saitama's antithesis in Boros, shown in the last episodes of the first season of the anime. Boros is an ultrapowerful alien that grew bored because no one posed a threat to him. A prophecy stated that in a planet 20 years away Boros would find a mighty opponent, which ended up being Saitama. This alien is the only being (view spoiler)[that took more than one of Saitama's punches without dying, even when the protagonist intended to kill him. That hasn't happened again for the remaining 100 something chapters. In one of the first season's most poignant moments (for a show this ridiculous), Boros, mortally wounded, points out that the fight hadn't been a battle at all, because Saitama had just been holding back both to give Boros some joy and to see if he really was that capable. In the end, Saitama was just unfairly unbeatable as usual, and walked away disappointed and depressed (hide spoiler)].More Fubuki, please.
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