Okay, so I’ve been watching anime for over ten years now, and One Punch Man was exactly what we needed to freshen the fighting genre up. Case in point:
1. Saitama doesn’t have a tragic backstory (apart from losing his hair). Eg he hasn’t lost one or both parents, siblings, his home etc. Neither is he desperately trying to fill the role of family/friends with others.
2. He kills his enemies, none of this ‘showing mercy’ or just ‘badly injuring’ them nonsense.
3. He doesn’t want to be the ‘strongest’ in his field in terms of recognition. He’s not looking to be the best known hero, and his lack of knowledge about the hero rankings (or even the fact you have to sign up to the hero association) demonstrates this. He’s happy being a hero for fun. He’s not looking to be accepting by society. Saitama even gives up this recognition after defeating the Deep Sea King to protect the others.
4. Despite his mainly unoriginal character design (when compared to normal shounen leads), the supporting cast are amazing in terms of appearance, personality and powers. One Punch proves that you don’t have to have an amazing main character with a huge cast of average secondary characters.
5. Saitama has been as strong from the beginning of the series as he is now. He doesn’t do special training or gain new powers. He’s the strongest from the start, and the fact he can defeat anyone in one punch takes away the typical ‘need to get stronger to beat my enemy’ troupe. Saitama is mildly disappointed at not being S class after the examination, but he doesn’t make a massive deal, and doesn’t seem in a rush to reach that level. His only thought is he has to reach Genos’ level at some point (since that’s his disciple).
6. Even this is backwards. Usually the disciple is the weak, main character learning skills from the master that takes years of hard work, resulting in a level up. However, Saitama is the master, and he doesn’t have much to teach Genos (who doesn’t seem to mind).
7. Saitama’s speech is simple, and he’s a man of few words. He often ticks people off for their long speeches (such as Genos). But this adds to his likability, and of course, the humour of the series. Unlike other main leads, he doesn’t launch into massive motivational speeches, or try and education the baddies. He often cuts THEM off.
8. The series makes fun of itself constantly. The character names are fantastic (Puri-Puri Prisoner?) and their interactions with Saitama are hilarious. They don’t all immediately become best buds, though.
9. Saitama has two facial expressions. He also doesn’t screech, shout, scream or have any attack names.
10. No fanservice…thus far? (Don’t get me wrong, I’ve nothing against it, but it’s nice when a series doesn’t depend on it)
Feel free to add why you love One Punch~
Edited post: turns out it’s seinen not shounen lol, which explains a lot! Still, I wanted to share a list of why I love it.