Estimate number of spoilers in this post (past episode 7): almost none
First of all to the people who are not following this series – I apologize for starting with 7th episode out of nowhere. I thought about writing an intro for the whole series, maybe I’ll do that later. But in short, it is a manga and anime series about a guy who is a hero for hobby, a very average looking dude, strong enough to kill almost any enemy in one punch. He goes around saving people from horrible monsters. His bland appearance and the fact that usually he only needs to punch an opponent once to finish the job makes it rather comical.
That’s not the only reason I like this series though. Besides being a good comedy the manga is also amazingly well drawn. I’ll stick a few pictures below for your enjoyment.
Also the story is kinda well written too. It’s not a “good novel” level of good, I guess, but for a manga it is pretty great.
So I decided to talk about this episode because it is the first of my favorite moments in the OPM. In the episode Saitama (the protagonist) and his friend Genos were dealing with a meteor falling on their city. I don’t want to recite it in details, you would honestly be better off reading the manga (starting from the beginning). So they did save the city by destroying the meteor, but the pieces of it made a lot of damage anyway. And so afterwards, even though Saitama had been a big help, people started to villainize him, saying he was the reason the city took so much damage. And if you think about Saitama being a hero for a hobby, this makes for an interesting situation where the very people whom he tries to help disrespect him and blame him without a good reason.
And here is the thing. It is not obvious at the first glance, but through the whole manga Saitama always keeps his integrity. If I want to make an example of a character who best represents this particular quality, I’d name Saitama. And it is best shown on examples, so if I continue writing about OPM I’ll show you a few. One is coming up right now.
At some point Saitama is being confronted with a people mob, demanding him to resign.
The guy in black is a professional hero, who, I guess, envies Saitama. The confrontation was taking the whole chapter, where for the better part of it Saitama was just listening to insults. After the guy decided to attack him though (which obviously was a bad decision) he decided to speak up. And here is a part of his speech.
He was pissed off at the stupidity of the mob, and he showed it. He didn’t feel the need to hide it. At the same time, as manga would indicate later, he didn’t feel deep frustration or discouragement, cause as he said, he was working as a hero because he wanted to do it, not cause he wanted to be admired. That is how he thinks, and that didn’t change during or after the event I described. That is what I mean by him having integrity.
Now in the anime version there was a minor change that kinda bothered me. They decided to add a scene where Genos stops Saitama from going on with his speech to the mob. It was like Genos was helping Saitama to regain his cool, get back to his normal moral appearance. Is it a big deal? Well, in the manga at no point was Saitama morally inferior to anyone. And I feel it is something important to the story. Later on there will be moments where through Saitama’s actions we will see hints at how the writer looks at other characters, how he judges them; and I think for those tricks to work it is important to have readers believe in Saitama’s moral judgement. So that is why I wasn’t sure if the anime did a right thing there.
What do you think?
P.S. Look at how different same moment with Genos looked in the manga vs anime
See you next time ^_^/