Category Archives: ONE-PUNCH MAN

ONE-PUNCH MAN Episode 3

Episode 3 Production Details

Episode Director: Yousuke Hatta ( 2nd Key Animator on STAR DRIVER episodes 4, 11 and 21 / Episode Director on Death Parade episodes 2 and 8 / 2nd Key Animator on ice skating sequence Death Parade episode 11)

Storyboards: 

  • Natsume Shingo ( 2nd Key Animator on Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann episode 1 / Series Director on Space Dandy under the general direction of Shinichiro Watanabe / Director and Storyboard on Space Dandy Opening Sequence)
  • Yousuke Hatta

Script: Tomohiro Suzuki ( Script Writer on ONE-PUNCH MAN series / Script Writer on Lupin the Third 2015 Series episodes 2, 4, 8, 14 and 19)


ONE-PUNCH MAN is a good example of a memorable series.  The first episode had me laughing because of how simplistic Saitama’s training had been and the monsters that confront him.  The second episode introduced to us the sidekick Genos and established a bond between wannabe superheroes.  A series that is crazy fun and over-the top from its generic story and breathtaking visuals.  Style over substance sometimes this work and other times not so much.  I think, this show does a good job of poking fun of popular shonen series like BLEACH with its drawn out fight scenes lasting more than one or two episodes.  There isn’t much of a deep story behind Saitama’s abilities and how he defeats his enemies.    Saitama kills monsters of the week and this formula has been beaten to death in action anime for years but ONE-PUNCH MAN doesn’t deter from the fact that its comfortable in its own skin and knocking off potential carried-over episode villains with a predictable end of the episode punch.

Saitama sure puts up a fight this episode but in the end its Saitama that saves the day.  I wonder if this is foreshadowing that Saitama might lose at some point.  Hopefully so, because while this formula works visually and for laughs; every episode up to this point has been similar in narrative–monster(s) appear and Saitama defeats them with one punch.  As fun as these episodes are there should be someone that could hold their own against his power.

I really like how the design (more with the color contrasts) of Carnage Kabuto aims a jab at Neon Genesis Evangelion‘s EVA-01!  Doctor Genius was originally presented as a background villain in he would potentially show up week after week but this episode knocks this off course with the clones trope and his creation, Carnage Kabuto is defeated with Saitama’s punch!  Not to mention how Saitama’s backstory is cliche and ridiculous that it surprises both Genos and Doctor Genius!  Love the aftermath in this episode!  It’s so creative and the Genos’ fight scene is drawn out that the post credits sequence adds more mystery than ever before about how Genos was created!

We’ve also got some amazing animators on this episode!

  • Toshi Sada – technique is “Yutapon cubes” ; debris.

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  • Sato Toshiyuki – technique is “fire effects” ; creates fluid single line drawings of flames using contrasts of red.

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OVERALL IMPRESSION: 8/10

 

 

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ONE-PUNCH MAN OVA 1

OVA 1 Production Details

Episode Director: Shingo Natsume ( Director on Space Dandy)

Storyboards: Nobuhiro Muto ( Key Animator on Casshern SINS episodes 5, 6 and 12 / Key Animator on Btooom! episode 1 / Key Animator on Garo: Honoo no Kokuin episode 6 / Key Animator on Death Parade episode 6 / Key Animator on GANGSTA episode 5 / Episode Director on SoniAni: Super Sonico the Animation episode 2)

Script: Tomohiro Suzuki ( Script Writer on Lupin The Third 2015 episodes 2, 4, 8 and 14)


 

I hope that my readers are enjoying the new style with the episode production at the top of each post.  If anyone has feedback please let me know.

A 13 minute short that’s included with Blu-ray Volume 1.  Each disc following afterward will receive an extra OVA (Original Video Animation) episode penned by the original author of ONE-PUNCH MAN, ONE. It’s one of the few times an extra like this is subtitled in English!

Following right up after the events of Mosquito Girl–Genos decides to tail Saitama in hopes of discovering the secret to his power.  I like that there is a mystery behind how Saitama became strong–we as viewers get it but people within the show don’t.  It’s simple yet very effective.  He’s a normal guy that overreacts to the Alien vs. Stalker film and this builds nicely into how curios Genos is about him.  This OVA escapes the absurdity of giant monsters for the most part and gives us a taste of what normal life is day-to-day.    Loved that fries scene because it illustrates how meticulous Saitama is about his own life.

The Esthetician Man was the turnaround to show how clueless Saitama can be.  He doesn’t know after saving Genos’ life from Mosquito Girl in episode 2 that anyone would want to understand the power he’s gained until the very end.

I wish this could’ve been longer but nonetheless this was a nice treat to have on the retail discs plus with English subtitles!  Which never happens for bonus material on Japanese releases!


 

ED: “Saitama no One Punch Ondo (サイタマのワンパン音頭)” by Saitama (Makoto Furukawa)

Directed by: Shinichiro Ushijima

Storyboards: Shinichiro Ushijima

Animation Supervisor: Kenichi Shima ( Key Animator on Kiseijuu: Sei no Kakuritsu episode 1 / Animation Supervisor on Kiseijuu: Sei no Kakuritsu episodes 3, 8, 14, 20 and 24 / Key Animator on Redline film)

This is a song that’s far away from the peaceful ending of the TV series.  It’s heavy beats of taiko drums roots itself back to the sounds of Japan quite well.  Not really a favorite ending of mine but it does provide some funny scenes using chibi versions of the cast from ONE-PUNCH MAN; Mumen Rider giving the thumbs up, Saitama dancing and Genos banging on the taiko drums was hilarious to see.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: 7/10

ONE-PUNCH MAN Episode 2

Episode 2 Production Details

Episode Director: Shinichiro Ushijima (Episode Director on Hunter x Hunter 2011 episodes 96, 109, 115, 122, 129, 136 and 143 / Episode Director on Death Parade episode 4 / Storyboards on Ore Monogatari!! episode 8)

Storyboards: Shingo Natsume ( Director on Space Dandy / 2nd Key Animator on Naruto Shippuuden episode 167 / Producer and Key Animator on FullMetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos)

Script: Tomohiro Suzuki ( Script Writer on Lupin The Third 2015 episodes 2, 4, 8 and 14)


 

Just a side note before I begin these screenshots are taken from my ONE-PUNCH MAN Blu-ray discs.  The TV broadcast of this series was pretty to look at but the Blu-rays are an improvement in characters’ facial expressions down to the background designs.

Fluid movements over consistent artistic detail.  I’m sold on this show.  Mosquito Girl’s design was fascinating and just one of many monsters that showed up in this episode of ONE-PUNCH MAN.  This anime series is as creative in it’s conceptual designs of its creatures as Space Dandy is–every one of them has unique abilities!

Genos’ dynamic movements as a cyborg trace back to the first episode’s general flow–it’s ridiculous but extremely cool.  Typically, anime series tend to throw their budget way up for the first episode but not this show.  It runs on an average budget of around $150,000 per episode.  Studio MADHOUSE is known for distributing their money out to the fast-paced battle scenes rather than the slow moving ones.  Which is why Saitama’s design from the manga works exceptionally well on this budget.  I recently got a chance to be a part of a live stream event chatting session with Bartender’s and Ben-To‘s TV anime producer Tatsuya Ishiguro and I’ve had the chance to learn a lot about what goes into an animated production.

ONE-PUNCH MAN‘s success stems from the collaborative efforts of its producer and how he works with Shingo Natsume on approving scenes from the manga that would translate well into anime format.  The closeup shot of Mosquito Girl as Genos lights up her minions of mosquitoes was amazing.  The fire animation throughout this episode highlights the difference in power between Saitama and Genos.  The comedy didn’t let up here either–Mosquito Girl gets slapped rather than punched and I like how it’s that scene without music that throws Genos for a loop.  He’s a hero that’s pretty well grounded in his ideals and it’s great to see that his pride as well as his body is destroyed by Mosquito Girl.  He’s willing to sacrifice himself in order to save humans and the sacrificial trope is dismantled by a slap from Saitama!

Saitama saves his life and it’s funny how Genos’ backstory is a quick introduction from him–really spells out the fact that he’s a robot. I’m not usually a fan of backstory’s but this was quite funny.

This show didn’t let up on the action either!  More monsters getting wiped out by Saitama it’s about time that Genos takes one of them out!  The story goes from serious to comedic in an instant and I like how this episode manages to flow these two elements together smoothly!

Miyuki Sawashiro’s voice is so incredible in this episode.  Popular seiyu are cast throughout this series–Vaccine Man from the first episode was the same actor that voiced famous villain Frieza from Dragon Ball Z.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: 9/10

ONE-PUNCH MAN Episode 1 [Initial Impression]

Animation Production: Studio MADHOUSE ( BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad, Boogiepop PhantomAoi BungakuBarefoot Gen, Black LagoonBio HunterCasshern SINSCardcaptor SakuraChobitsChihayafuruGungraveThe Girl Who Leapt Through TimeHajime no IppoHellsing Ultimate, Highschool of the DeadHunter x Hunter 2011KaibaKurozukaDenno CoilLast Order: Final Fantasy VIIDeath NoteDeath ParadeNeo TokyoNinja ScrollParadise KissParanoia AgentKiseijuuRecord of Lodoss War, PaprikaPrince of Stride: AlternativeMonster, Moryo no HakoSummer WarsThe Tatami GalaxyTokyo GodfathersTrigunWicked CityDemon City ShinjukuXWolf Children)

Director: Shingo Natsume ( Series Director on Space Dandy / Key Animator on Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann episodes 1, 5, 10, 14, 22 and 27 / Key Animator on FullMetal Alchemist: BROTHERHOOD episode 23 / Episode Director, Storyboard and Key Animator on Space Dandy episodes 1, 13 and 26)

Series Composition: Tomohiro Suzuki ( Script Writer on Lupin The Third 2015 episodes 2, 4, 8 and 14)

Character Designer: Chikashi Kubota ( Key Animator on Monster episode 57 / Animation Supervisor on Shinsekai Yori episodes 1, 8 and 25 / Animation Supervisor and Key Animator on Space Dandy episodes 12, 8 and 10 / Key Animator on Ashita no Nadja‘s opening sequence / Animation Supervisor on Toki o Kakeru Shoujo / Key Animator on Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann‘s first and second opening sequences / Key Animator on Shingeki no Kyojin‘s second opening sequence)

Music: Makoto Miyazaki ( Music Composer on Dragon Crisis! / Theme song composition on Hyoka‘s opening sequence / Music Composer on Triage X)

Episode 1 Production Details

Episode Director: Shingo Natsume

Storyboards: Shingo Natsume

Script: Tomohiro Suzuki


MADHOUSE this was amazing.  This is one of their top productions of 2015.  Saitama is a hero that trained in the simplest of ways to gain the title of “One Punch Man” and its the hilarity of his situation that breaks the mold and destroys every action series out there.  Studio Pierrot should learn from these animators and bring back BLEACH.

Saitama lives a simple life in an apartment and lacks a strong personality.  I like how the three years before he goes bald is a cliche backstory.  He saves a kid from death and realizes he wants to become a hero.  Giant crab monsters, Vaccine Man, the Giant brother and little evil doctor brother–everything about this anime screams cliche.  It’s so ridiculous that it works because visually it’s one of the prettiest series I’ve ever seen and it molds together monster-of-the-week formula and packs it into an adrenaline rush of 24 minutes!

I’ve read the manga’s first volume and from what I can tell the jokes that were not as funny are portrayed hilariously in the anime.  That’s when you know this is going to be a stellar series.

Director Shingo Natsume is perfect for this!  He’s got a style that’s very loose and full of charisma.  That’s the charm of this show–a visually stunning adaptation.  Shingo Natsume learned how to bring life to ONE’s manga from his TV animation debut in Yojō-Han Shinwa Taikei and this show looks freeform from anything that aired in Fall 2015!  We’ve also got a handful of animators from Space Dandy on this–Saitama’s fight with Vaccine Man was impressive but the impressive part had to be his fight against the Subterraneans!

The Blu-ray volumes look stunning in 4K and its great to see retail company Emotion adding English subtitles to this release like what they did with GANGSTA and Space Dandy.


 

OP: “The Hero!! ~Ikareru Ken ni Honō o Tsukeru~” (THE HERO!! ~怒れる拳に火をつけろ~;The Hero!! Set Fire to the Furious Fist) by JAM Project

Directed by: Shingo Natsume

Storyboards: Shingo Natsume

Animation Supervisor: Chikashi Kubota

Jam Project.  This band is a good pick for the action theme of this series.  Tons of monsters show up in this and its great to see how heavily detailed they are. Fantastic illustrations and smooth animation provide a short but sweet look at Saitama’s abilities.  

ED: “Hoshi Yori Saki ni Mitsukete Ageru” (星より先に見つけてあげる;I’ll Find It Before the Stars for You) by Hiroko Moriguchi

Directed by: Shinichiro Ushijima

Storyboards: Shinichiro Ushijima

Animation Supervisor: Chikabi Kubota

This reminds me of Kisejuu‘s ending in that it offers a glimpse of simplicity.  Life far removed from the supernatural and downright strange monsters that appear in this show.  I like how toned down it is compared to the rest of One-Punch Man and its opening.  Vocals by Hiroko Moriguchi are beautiful.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: 10/10