Publisher: Viz Media
Publication Date: November 11, 2016
Volume 9 of One Punch Man is truly absurd and hilarious. Saitama is moving up the ranks despite not reporting his accomplishments to the Hero Association. His loyal friend, Genos, rightly points out that bystanders must be reporting his deeds because one only climbs the ranks as they defeat enemies and save civilians. This means our baldy hero is gaining popularity even though he is resistant to fitting the
mold of a hero.
With success comes jealousy. This is realized when Miss Blizzard, Class B Rank 1, pays Saitama a visit and demands he join her group. Like any organization, the Hero Association is bursting with factions and rivalries. It turns out, Saitama was able to coast under the radar because he was indifferent to the inner-workings of the organization and how colleagues treat each other. Due to his lower rank, Miss
Blizzard intends to make him one of her subordinates, but as usual Saitama has other plans with his time.
Miss Blizzard is an interesting character. Unlike many of the heroes we encountered thus far in the series, she is unusually human. Obviously she has powers, but she’s very concerned with her status and keeping a crew of yes-men around her. She has an obsession with being the top of her class because she doesn’t expect her skills to surpass those of the higher ranks. She plans to stay at Class B Rank 1 forever. As a result, she tries to recruit people to stay with her in Rank B. Later, she reveals that her insecurity stems from a stronger sister who was always more popular. Big surprise there – NOT.
In this volume, Miss Blizzard is ineffectual and doesn’t accomplish much. Instead, she gets a front-row ticket to Speed-O-Sound-Sonic challenging Genos and Saitama. Through this battle, she gets a preview to Saitama’s strength and is in awe (like
anyone else who witnesses the one-punch). We also see that Saitama has been refining his skills and that Genos received a nice upgrade of his own.
While this is going on to distract us, there is another fight going on in the story, where volume 8 left us hanging. A real bad guy has shown up with the intention to murder all of the heroes in the Hero Association. He successfully infiltrated the association and attacked several heroes. The second half of the volume is devoted to him plowing through people to prove his strength. He doesn’t have a run-in with Saitama in this volume, but I anticipate that is where we are headed.
I really found this volume laugh out loud funny which isn’t a surprise anymore. Each volume is extremely funny, which makes it easier to stomach the many bits of social commentary that are becoming more apparent. As the series progresses, ONE seems more comfortable with discussing morality and the duality of right and wrong. The characters no longer act just to be absurd heroes with silly names. There are real issues going on that can be seen through the characters and how they behave towards Saitama and the world around them. Once again, I’m not disappointed. In fact, I’m thrilled to read the next volume.
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**This item was provided for review.