Only one story left from ONE’s original webcomic to adapt, One-Punch Man is at a crossroads, with the question of what happens when the webcomic’s content comes to an end, even as recent digital manga introduce an increasing amount of original content.
However, there is still a lot of Saitama’s story to tell and plenty of time to tell. As fans may recall, Garou’s rise and fall took nearly seven years to recount. But before any discussion of the ending can be properly considered, it’s important to first think about what happened. With that in mind, after reviewing all the completed chapters of One-Punch Man, both webcomic and manga, here are the top ten, at the time of writing.
10 Acts of Saitama’s Introduction
While intros are usually standard manga fare, that’s not the case with One-Punch Man. This is because Saitama’s story is different from the traditional superhero. As such, he is truly invincible, so knowing why he is so powerful in the first place will provide the information and context needed to understand the story in the future. This part has done a great job of providing a basic background knowledge of Saitama’s motives and thoughts as well as the circumstances of the world he lives in in an engaging and interesting way. Most importantly, the arc provides a spark of that special potential, so vital to all new stories, that makes the reader want to keep following the story.
Part 9 Evolution House
As a sequel to the first, this part of the story delves deeper into the intricacies of Saitama’s personality, work, and position. While this isn’t the “page-turning, battle-oriented” content fans might enjoy in a “superhero manga,” it does provide a solid story that blends enough combat action to be enjoyable. It also promotes the development of characters, especially the reader’s understanding of Saitama and One-Punch Man. Perhaps most importantly, it introduces Genos, Saitama’s self-appointed student, one of the story’s characters who has a fundamental impact on the course of the story. His seriousness and focus on being a better superhero is the perfect shield to Saitama’s superhero boredom. This is a happy tension that creates a fundamental element of the future story.
8. National Superhero Registration Profile
While some might consider this the first spin-off of the story, it’s in fact the start on Saitama’s path to becoming the world’s top hero, even if no one else admits it. Most importantly, it shows the progression that Genos has made into the effective and capable hero he dreams of becoming. Thus, this is part of a “training arc” where important aspects of both heroes’ “technical” are revealed and explained.
7 Arc Supreme Hero
This webcomic-only installment is by far one of the best for two reasons. First, after all the wars and chaos that preceded it, this installment offers readers a brief respite with a slower but engaging story that’s more character-driven than action-driven. Second, it reveals Sweet Mask’s secret – both in his pride as a hero and his deception in hiding his true nature. This then gives credence to the Neo Heroes’ claim that the Hero Association is a rotten shell of its former self. As such, the arc provides an important differentiator in the webcomic’s epilogue.
6 Garou’s Intro
Just when fans thought that One-Punch Man had reached peak super-villain status, others introduced Garou, who declared his goal to take down as many heroes as possible. While he was a participant in the monster’s attempt to destroy the Hero Association, much of him was overshadowed by the appearance of other villains and the massive battles they had with Saitama and the other heroes. This gives Garou enough time and preparation to build up his abilities and save them for the day he finally confronts the heroes and battles Saitama in One-Punch Man’s most epic battle yet. This season, despite being one of the shortest in One-Punch Man, provides the necessary introduction to who Garou is and the destructive abilities he holds.
5 parts super fight
In a superhero fighting manga like One-Punch Man, the best part of the story will revolve around battles and tournaments. It’s what fans expect, and the authors usually go to great lengths to provide “good fight content” to please the fan base. This part is the best part about showing off the one-on-one combat elements of the story, something that an all-powerful person can hardly do well. However, interestingly, it succeeds by not focusing too much on the battles. Instead, it emphasizes the individual fighter – their style, personality, and experience – that makes it so appealing. It also does a good job of presenting a social part outside of the equally compelling world of “heroes and monsters.” If there’s a One-Punch Man spin-off, the one focusing on the Super Combat Tournament will most likely do very well.
4 parts conquering aliens
This article is notable for being one of the fiercest and most engaging large-scale human-monster royal battles for which One-Punch Man will become known. Additionally, it finally reveals an enemy, in Boros, who has a charm for Saitama to consider, at least initially, a worthy challenge. Boros is an intergalactic threat who, like Saitama, is looking for a worthy challenge to his immense strength and abilities. Boros met that match in Saitama and played worse. More importantly, in this installment, by saving the world from destruction and rescuing the Hero Association from certain defeat, Saitama has finally shown that he is the strongest person on Earth, regardless of whether anyone else wants to admit that fact or not.
Arc 3 psychic sisters
Good manga storytelling considers fan interest and then creates a plot that leads fans in the direction they think they want to go just to get them where the author always intended for the story. In this case, the fan-based creators wanted to see who, between Saitama or Tatsumaki, was the strongest and how the battle affected their relationship. Fans are lured into watching a fight, but the main confrontation is between Tatsumaki and her sister Fubuki, and it’s not just about strength. Furthermore, throughout the season, fans are exposed to previously unseen important aspects of all three characters. While some of this setting is overshadowed by Saitama and Tatsumaki’s incredible romantic battle, it is truly one of the manga’s lighthearted storytelling masterpieces.
Neo 2 heroes intro
The good thing about this installment is that a new power structure, the Neo Hero Association, is added to the ever-present bilateral power relationship between heroes and monsters. The Neo Heroes thus add an exciting new dimension to the battle between good and evil, where not all heroes operate from the same playbook, which provides an opportunity for the monsters to ultimately enjoy success by dividing and conquering their opponents and otherwise using the power of good against each other. This is an interesting twist to the story as some of the most powerful heroes contemplate abandoning their old homes for a new, seemingly more honest and genuine organization.
1 Monster Association Arc
It’s rare for a manga or manga to have the two most powerful forces of the story go head-to-head unless it’s the last story before the end of the story. However, the Monster Association part managed to do just that, although One-Punch Man is far from over. In addition to Saitama’s battle with the Monster King Orochi, fans get to see all of the mightiest heroes go all out in extremely exciting battles, and finally learn more about the top hero Blast and the mysterious villain that embraces God. It’s a literal mix of heroes and monsters facing off against each other, and it’s thoroughly enjoyable from the reader’s point of view, besides being perhaps the most impactful part of the story.
While these seasons represent the best that One-Punch Man has to offer, they are by no means bad and should therefore be skipped. All of the chapters of the series are important in telling Saitama’s story, but these only have the added feel, intensity, pacing, and impact that sets them apart from the rest of the series. One-Punch Man.
a man punch available to read from Viz Media.