A hero who can defeat any enemy with a single, almighty punch?
We know what you’re thinking. How can a story with a main character so OP succeed in being remotely interesting? Trust us, One Punch Man makes it work. This ridiculously hilarious series mixes the comical and the serious in one perfectly. Just when you think it’s a silly show packed with action just to elicit some laughs, it pulls out a life lesson on you and throws in the most touching scenes that punch you right in the feels - hard. Sound like a drastic contrast? That’s all part of the One Punch Man style.
One Punch Man started as a webcomic in July 2009, by Japanese manga artist ONE. The title “One Punch Man,” or “Wanpanman” in Japanese, is a parody of the popular Japanese children’s show Anpanman, about the superhero Anpanman whose special move is his “An-punch.” The webcomic was so popular that big-name publisher Shueisha picked it up, and commissioned manga artist Yusuke Murata (best known for illustrating the manga Eyeshield 21) to redraw the series as a proper manga together with ONE. The series’ popularity really flew off the charts worldwide, though, after the TV anime adaptation (produced by Madhouse) began airing in October 2015.
One Punch Man is set in Z-city, where monsters are not uncommon and being a superhero is an actual profession. Saitama is a young man who starts out as a hobbyist hero, dreaming of becoming stronger so that he can enjoy the thrill of fighting against strong opponents. However, after training so hard every day that all of his hair falls out, he becomes so powerful that any opponent he faces can easily be defeated with one single punch. The lack of a challenge causes him to lose his passion entirely, although he continues to fight for justice. The story begins when Saitama is already in his invincible state and is on the lookout for tough villains who can put up a fight against him. Will he ever meet an opponent that can satisfy him? (Well, probably not, but his adventures sure are hilarious!)
It certainly isn’t hard to make a meme out of One Punch Man, given the series’ already ridiculous and comical nature. Countless One Punch Man memes float around the interwebs, but here are a few, explained for your information and entertainment. Of course, memes are the funniest when you see them for yourself, so try googling them as well!
・Saitama’s expressionless, egg-shaped face One of the most common memes is Saitama’s face. His characteristic blank and bored expression and egg-shaped face have been drawn on actual eggs, photoshopped onto various egg-shaped objects and characters, from other bald characters, to the Pokemon Exeggcute, to the Kool-Aid Man, and other hilarious variations.
・Saitama’s bald head There are also multiple memes related to Saitama’s baldness. Many memes suggest that Saitama is actually an older, younger, or more powerful version of another bald character, the most famous example being Calliou, from the Canadian kid’s show. Calliou is a bald little boy in a yellow-and-red T-shirt, similar to Saitama in his yellow-and-red superhero suit. The meme suggests that Calliou grows up to become the superhero Saitama. Other hairless characters such as Aang from Avatar: The Last Airbender, Krillin from Dragon Ball Z, and Ikkaku Madarame from Bleach also fall into this meme.
The fact that Saitama lost all his hair in exchange for becoming invincibly strong is ridiculous, and of course there are memes based on this as well. Some suggest that “if you become strong, you lose all your hair.” Others point out the fact that while the trend in anime is that the longer a character’s hair is, the more powerful they are, Saitama’s burns that stereotype to the ground with his bald head.
・One Punch Man’s “OK” Perhaps the most popular One Punch Man meme on the interwebs is Saitama’s “OK” face. In Chapter 34 of the manga, Saitama confronts Lord Boros, the powerful leader of an alien army which has descended to invade Earth. Saitama unleashes one of his almighty punch on Boros, but rather than pulverizing him, it only destroys his heavy armor. Lord Boros appears to be not only unaffected but even stronger as he says, “the armor I used to seal my all too powerful strength is now broken.” In response, Saitama simply utters “OK.”
The manga frame featuring Saitama indifferently saying “OK” with his usual bored expression has been used hilariously in countless situations where one would otherwise have expected a larger reaction. Saitama’s “OK” face has also been drawn on different characters facing grave situations. Another ridiculous play off the “OK” face is the manga frame with the “OK.” photoshopped onto Saitama’s face, and Saitama’s face photoshopped onto the speech bubble instead.