Hello there and thanks for reading! This is my manga review of One Punch Man volume 9. This is part of my ongoing series of manga reviews for collected volumes of ongoing manga series that come out monthly. So make sure to check back on my blog page for new reviews.
With that out of the way let me explain how this review will work. I list information on the manga and anything special related to it. Including where you can buy it and the price physical or digital with links to those stores. After that, I begin with an overview which is a general review with as few spoilers as possible.
I give my thoughts and rate it telling you whether it’s worth buying. For this review there will be more spoilers but only because it’s necessary for explaining my thoughts on story execution, progression, and character development. I limit as much as possible this isn’t a summary but a review. So in that regard have no fear.
This is for people who have not read the volume or series online, and are deciding whether they should. Or for those that are not that far into reading the series and would like analysis of the chapters. Even those that are ahead in the series could still benefit. My evaluation system is based on art, story progression, story execution, character development, characterization, and emotional impact. Ranked 1-10 from terrible to excellent.
Explaining why I gave the rating I did with the evaluation of the things I was looking for to rate the volume. Included in this at the end are specific highlights from the volume I mention that struck me as good or awesome and things I didn’t like.
Where You Can Buy It a Physical Copy
3.Barnes and Noble
1.Kindle and Comixology
This is a review that has been a long time coming. I’m a big one punch man fan and was hooked when the series came out last year in the 2015 Fall Anime Season. Like many people I was sad to see the season end but what a finale with Boros who was the last main villain for the season.
Everyone was hoping that One Punch Man would get a second season and it has but that’s a long way off and dependent on Yusuke Murata the mangaka that is publishing One’s work in manga form.
If he can get out enough chapters in a good amount of time for the next major arc they will go ahead with season 2. So what’s a fan of the anime to do well that’s obvious read the manga. For those that don’t know there are two versions of One Punch Man. The webcomic which is originally created by One and has been running since 2009.
Then there’s the manga which polishes One is work with more detailed beautiful art and action scenes but is further behind than the webcomic since it just started not that long ago. It is also the one the anime is dependent on in drawing its scenes and how it chooses to tell the story.
The story is a little more fleshed out in the manga version and what I mean is some scenes are extended and plot points explored deeper or individual characters but for the most part the manga adaptation is faithful to the original source material. One punch man was hyped for so long before the anime because of arcs like the Sea King and Boros arc. Then it got really hyped up with the introduction of the Garo arc the latest big arc in One Punch Man and the one that begins in volume nine of the manga.
I thought volume nine would be a good place to begin reviewing the manga because most people have watched the anime. The anime is a good adaptation with only a little bit of stuff taken out and events rearranged from the manga. You’re not missing much whether you choose to watch the anime or read the manga. The one bonus with the manga is the hilarious side stories that aren’t part of the main plot or that explore certain characters that were introduced. So with that out of the way let’s begin the review.
First I will start off by talking about story execution and progression. With a little bit of discussion about character development and characterization in regards to the story progression and execution. This volume kicks off the next main story arc starting where the last volume ended continuing with the introduction of Garo and exploring his character more.
There were three plot points in this volume. One was the Garo story, the other the introduction of Blizzard and the continued politics of the Hero Organization, and the last point was a short one that intersected with the Blizzard story where Speed O Sonic came to challenge Saitama.
All three story points progressed the story of One Punch Man in their own way, and I was happy to see this because sometimes one punch man volumes contain a lot of side stories that don’t further the main story. This usually happens between major arcs or in the middle of arcs which quite honestly is a problem, and is because of Yusuke Murata is inconsistency in bringing out chapters on a monthly basis.
Especially the ones important to the progression of One Punch Man. One that I hope is remedied soon as he tries to be more consistent so we can have a second season of the One Punch Man Anime.
We start off where we left off at the gathering of villains at the Hero’s Association HQ. Where they have been summoned to deal with the increase in monsters and calamities. Which is part of the prophecy made earlier in the series that a god level threat will arrive. Garo continues his speech about why heroes aren’t good and how he is going to crush them.
We get a flashback into his past and learn why he’s doing what he is doing. He ends up crushing all the villains and a few heroes at the meeting. Heroes by the way who are rank A, and declares war against the Hero Association before leaving saying he is going to train and will be back in six months.
I thought this was a good beginning for the volume and Garo is an entertaining villain and one that I haven’t seen before or at least that often in manga. His motivation for why he wants to kill and crush heroes is crazy, but this being One Punch Man it works. It is also a testament to One that Garos personality draws you in and because of that, you believe ya this is a good motivation for him.
He gets a lot of story in this volume as we see what he is doing over the months and his fights with other heroes. We get a lot of characterization for him and a sense of his personality which is definitely a highlight of this volume and one I enjoyed quite a bit.
Overall the Garo storyline in this volume is action packed with a lot of fights which bring in some new heroes and in usual one punch man fashion is slowly building up for the main event when Saitama will be called in to deal with him. It will be interesting to see how he becomes a serious threat because it seems he’s getting stronger and it’s quite obvious he’s pretty strong currently in this volume.
He’s become a threat for Hero HQ but is not an immediate threat even though the president is concerned after witnessing what Garo can do. It is also painfully obvious the heads of the organization don’t have their priorities straight. As they’re more concerned about what hero names Saitama and Genos should get. It is yet another glimpse into the organization and its problems. Which brings me to the next story point and one that I find very interesting as it is sowing seeds for future storylines.
The introduction of Blizzard which continued the plot of the conflict within the Hero Association and how not all the heroes are good and the politics that comes with being a hero establishing yourself and moving up the ranks.Something that Saitama still has to learn as he is quite clueless to how the organization works and this could affect him moving up in rank.
It’s quite obvious there is not camaraderie among everyone. We learn that some heroes to move ahead or keep other heroes from moving up in rank chose to form factions or teams helping each other out and crushing those who would impede on their success.
This is evidenced by Blizzard who is the younger sister of Green Tornado and shockingly we learn Tornado is not a kid even if small but a grown woman being twenty-eight years old. She is way older than Saitama, but back to the main point at hand because of Tornado Blizzard hasn’t been able to move up in rank and gain as much notoriety because her sister is the best esper putting her in second. So she currently stands at number one in B rank.
Somehow because of this and the threat of upcoming heroes she has formed a team with some of the weaker heroes in B rank who act as her underlings and serve her. She heads to Saitama’s house to force him to join her and crush him if he resists. Saitama obviously refuses reprimanding her for what she is doing saying she is acting unhero like and that the politics of the organization and what other hero are doing is wrong.
This is good because it once again shows Saitama’s character. What we already know about him is reinforced. That even though he claims he is a hero for fun he does care. That for him it’s about being a hero for the right reasons. Which is serving and protecting the people from harm, and not trying to gain power and glory for yourself to the point it undermines what you do and what you’re supposed to represent as a hero not just to the public but in your values and who you are as a person.
That is the continued underlying message in this plot point but it is done in usual One Punch Man fashion. With Saitama is usual I don’t give a fuck what you think or want attitude with people who are in his way or trying to impose their will on him or even destroy him.
A battle ensues between him and Blizzard and as usual, she is surprised by how strong he is for B class. As this goes on Speed O Sonic who had also arrived is fighting Genos who won’t let him challenge Saitama. The fight is really intense and Genos holds his own and almost goes all out but is stopped by Saitama as their fights intersect.
It’s really good because Genos is lectured about how he should use his power and it’s unbecoming to go all out on someone like Speed O Sonic who isn’t a villain but is there to challenge Saitama. Saitama and Speed O Sonic kind of fight. Saitama goes serious using a move that is less lethal but crushes Speed O Sonic and boy is it amazing we get another showcase of Saitama is power. Blizzard witnesses all this knowing that Speed O Sonic is an S class level threat. In the end, she is won over.
She ends up in their house telling how the organization works and the politics plus the strong heroes that occupy the higher ranks. It’s important to note that we get a mention of a certain hero who obviously is going to be a focal point down the line because he’s been mentioned and shown too many times not to be important. Eventually, Saitama is going to have to deal with him in his quest to move up ranks because he’s stopping other heroes from advancing.
Silver Fang is disciple arrives and thus the story points are tied together and Saitama learns of Garo and the problem he is presenting the Hero Association and how Silver Fang is sent to deal with him.
These were the main plot points for this volume and I thought they were handled well. The storylines switch around here and there but it doesn’t confuse you and I actually thought it better we get breaks from the Garo storyline here and there. Especially when the other storylines develop characters we know as well adding in new potential storylines and problems our main character is going to have to face. That’s why I didn’t mind the Blizzard storyline because it served a purpose to expand on how the heroes and organization function.
This is how a One Punch Man volume should be and is characteristic of earlier arcs. The only problem is when the mangaka adds too many side stories which pissed me off about the eighth volume. Overall we got a lot of story progression and the story was executed well giving the new characters prominence as well as developing and showing insight into characters we already know.
In regards to character development, there wasn’t that much. We got more for Saitama and Genos even if it was a little. There was a lot of character insight as we got to understand who Garo is as a person and his overall personality. We learned about Blizzard pretty quickly even though she was just introduced and we got to see how another S-Class Hero behaves in Tank Top Master’s fight with Garo. We also saw Silver Fang isn’t always a kind old man and definitely has it out for Garo.
Honestly, this volume was just a mix of interesting personalities, but even with that said it was still entertaining and enjoyable. We should also be used to how One Punch Man deals with characters by now. The development happens for specific ones or is introduced gradually for those that are significant to a particular plot point.
Lastly, I would like to talk about art and emotional impact. The art was beautiful as always and the action scenes were detailed and well done, and boy was there a lot of action in this volume. The art was also good in the less serious moments. In regards to the fights, the art was different for each since different characters were fighting.
I was impressed with the fluidity the art showed for when Garo is fighting since it is obvious he is a martial artist. So his style would be more hands on and direct. Also, Garo’s fights were brutal and the mangaka really emphasized the damage he was inflicting on his opponents. It definitely was the highlight of the volume along with the Speed O Sonic fights and that awesome moment of Saitama going serious for a few seconds.
The emotional impact I felt as I progressed through the volume was good. I felt what the mangaka wanted me to feel as I progressed through the different scenes. This volume had some of the typical One Punch Man formulae. Though there were fewer gags and this one tended to be more on the serious side because of what it was trying to do.
Which was establish the Garo arc and expand more on the problems plaguing the Hero Association and heroes especially in regard to Saitama. Overall I really enjoyed volume nine of One Punch Man. The story was good and executed well even though there was a lack of character development. Plus the emotional impact and what the art made you feel was real good. The fights were definitely something to behold especially with Garo. I give One Punch Man a nine out of ten.
Overall Score: 9/10
Story Execution and Progression
1.The multiple plot lines were done well especially in regard to the shifting back and forth in time.
2.The introduction of new characters felt natural and flowed with the plot for this volume. Each stood out in their own way which should be the case for One Punch Man
3.The seeds were planted for potential future storylines and conflicts while others were continued to be expanded on.
4.The story moved forward at a good pace and is building up.
Character Development and Characterization
1.A lot of excellent characterization that made each character interesting and memorable while serving the storyline
2.The new villain was done well and is a character that will definitely drive the story and make it entertaining as well.
1. Didn’t get enough development for our returning characters especially the ones that will play into this new arc.
Art and Emotional Impact
1.The art was done really well especially in regards to the fight scenes.
2.The layout of the art in conjunction with the writing made me feel the emotions the mangaka intended.
3.The art of the different fighting styles was unique to each character and deepened their personality.
4.Each new character felt unique in how they were portrayed including the mannerisms.