Publisher: Viz Media
Publication Date: September 1, 2015
One-Punch Man Volume 2 continues the story of our bald super-hero-for-fun being hunted down by the “House of Evolution,” which turns out to be a collection of genetically modified experiments by an ignored scientist gone evil. Eventually our hero faces off with the most dangerous of biologically superior monsters in the laboratory and for whatever reason, Carnage Kabuto, is fearful of the boring bald guy. He senses an incredible strength from Saitama and asks him to reveal his secret. He reveals the secret to his epic one-punch and Carnage Kabuto explodes into a violent rage because he thinks baldy is making a joke. As expected, our hero wins with one-punch and we move onward to the next battle.
Halfway through we come across an interesting new foe for Saitama – a group of lazy thugs who are attacking wealthy people. They aren’t protesters or righteous people, I just want to disclose that before continuing on. These thugs want to attack rich people for fun without any real interest in socioeconomic problems. At first they seem likable because nobody wants to work, but then you realize they just don’t want be employed. To unify themselves, they all shave their heads which poses a problem for Saitama, who isn’t bald by choice. At first our hero doesn’t care but then he realizes people are confusing him for one of the lazy gangsters. So he sets off to set them straight while they go off to attack someone incredibly wealthy… who has a trained ninja assassin in his employ.
Now things start to get a bit weird. The ninja kills off the majority of the bald gang and then attempts to kill Saitama just because he’s strong. After this strange scene passes, Saitama heads home with his sidekick and sinks into a slight depression because nobody knows who he is. As it turns out, being a hero just for fun doesn’t make you popular. In fact, there is a hero registry that heroes can list themselves in after they pass various tests of strength. Saitama decides this is something he needs to do to achieve fame.
Volume 2 is much like the first. There are periods of comedy and page-turning action and periods of slow pace and redundant scenes that can really bore. Fortunately, there is a very good balance of action and hilarity making this volume very worthy of purchase. I especially appreciate the bonus comic at the end of the volume which features a flashback of Saitama’s training before he became a strong hero. I’ll admit, any martial artist reading this volume will definitely appreciate they very basic ‘secrets’ that Saitama used to achieve his amazing punch.
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**This item was provided for review.