Publisher: Viz Media
Publication Date: March 7, 2017
When threat level Dragon monster, Centichoro attacks, Metal Bat has to give it his all to push back the wild beast. Meanwhile, Saitama, who could destroy Centichoro with one punch is distracted by a martial arts tournament. As the battle escalates, Metal Bat is overwhelmed by the massive size of the monster. Eventually Centichoro knocks Metal Bat out of the ballpark and right into the path of Garo the Hero Hunter. While all of this happens, Saitama casually works his way through the ranks in the martial arts tournament as he pretends to be Charanko.
This volume jumps right in from where we left off in book 10. Metal Bat leaves his charges with two comically dressed, weaker heroes who try to get to safety. Metal Bat takes Centichoro straight on and a lengthy battle ensues. While all of this is happening, the Hero Association executive and his son are deep asleep in a food coma. One of them is actually dreaming of food and how he can’t eat anymore. Although this is a subtle detail, it’s telling of how disconnected the non-hero staff at the Association are from the people on the front lines. They’re just fat cats in suits, taking money away from association for their lavish lifestyles.
There is a lot of fighting in this volume and the scenes are intense. Just when Metal Bat is flung away from the battle by Centichoro, he now has to face Garo. Metal Bat is particularly diligent in his aggression towards Garo. After all, it was Garo who attacked Tank-Top Master. To Garo’s surprise, Metal Bat puts up one hell of a fight despite having his energy drained by a threat level Dragon monster. As Metal Bat describes his power:“getting pumped.” The fight continues on until Metal Bat’s baby sister intervenes and tells both men to stop fighting. Surprisingly, the command from the little girl works and the two men part ways – for now.
The focus then shifts to Saitama, who has been filling his time wearing a wig and a karate gi in a martial arts tournament. As usual, everyone underestimates his abilities as a fighter. In round one, he gets paired with an arrogant opponent who assumes that Saitama is the weakest participant. Unsurprisingly, Saitama proves him wrong and progresses to the next stage.
Did I mention while this is all going on, another battle is going on between some oddly sexual monsters and the Blizzard Bunch? No? Well, it is! So in this volume, we’re looking at over four fights throughout the various chapters. Some fights last longer than others. The Blizzard Bunch is definitely not the focus of this volume.
The Hero Association is truly busy from a flood of monster appearances while Saitama tests his skills at the tournament.
There is not much to say here in terms of character development. In fact, there are just too many fights going on to even have a moment to focus on developing any of the characters. That’s fine with me, because One-Punch Man moves between volumes of following Saitama through his mundane life to intense bouts of violence. While there is a formula – every volume involves some sort of monster, some volumes have more monsters than others, leaving readers to enjoy a different pace with each chapter. It’s insanely hard to get bored of this series and it’s also extremely difficult not to laugh out loud. Saitama truly is a hero for fun, looking to test his punch and occupy himself when he isn’t playing video games or shopping for bargains. As Genos says, his master uses his previous time to do nothing. I can’t wait to read volume 12.
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**This item was provided for review.