Contributing writer for The Artifice.
Junior Contributor I
The Trope of the Realistic Hero: Satire and Ironic Storytelling in One Punch Man
One Punch Man, the anime and the manga both, use a reoccurring writing tactic in its plot structure and character building that serves to trump any previous idea’s about the heroism we see in today’s super hero movies and action anime. The tactic I am describing is the use of realistic results which destroy the audiences expectations of the traditional patterns we usually see in the iconic situations which reoccur in heroic stories. An example of this tactic can be seen in the episode, The Obsessive Cyborg. The protagonists arrive at a multiple floor base where a hero would traditionally have to ascend floors of enemies to reach a final boss. Instead, the character, Genos, uses a giant fire blast to level the entire building to smoldering ash, rendering the audiences’ expectations shattered. Saitama, the protagonist of the series, is an ultra-powerful being who, as the title suggests, can defeat any enemy with one punch. Instead of being characterized by the traditional hero values of protecting the masses or becoming the most powerful being in the universe, Saitama is an oblivious, innocent, and often bored individual who only fights evil for fun. Similarly, other hero characters in the show often have selfish or inconsistent values to the ones we see again and again in other stories. Write on this tool as being the base for the show’s comedic wit and as a form of story telling that keeps an audience interested with its ironic unpredictability.