Manga Review: One-Punch Man Volume 16

One-Punch Man Volume 16 primarily features characters other than the protagonist, Saitama (the title character who can take out an enemy with just one punch because he’s so strong).

One-Punch Man Volume 16
Written by: ONE
Publisher: Shueisha Inc.
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: May 7, 2019

Even though Saitama is the main character of the series, this volume primarily focuses on Garo, the hero hunter. He starts out in hiding with a kid he met in an earlier volume, who is a big fan of heroes and has a “Hero Guide” book. With this, Garo can learn some facts about the heroes who have gathered and are waiting for him to come out of the shed he’s hiding in.

Even though these are Class A heroes he’s up against, the descriptions for some of them that appear in the Hero Guide are very amusing. My favorite is the description for Chain Toad.

Since Garo does battle with these Class A heroes, there are plenty of action panels with little to no dialogue included. Because of this, there are several chapters that are very quick to read. Garo may not be in top shape, but he’s still able to put up a good fight. But it turns out the Hero Association aren’t the only ones interested in Garo, because representatives from the Monster Association come by to scout him out.

Near the end of the volume, Genos, Bang, and his older brother appear to take on both Garo and members of the Monster Association who are trying to back up the hero hunter. The action and fight sequences get even more intense when these three heroes enter the scene.

In this entire volume, we only get one scene that features Saitama. In this scene, he’s having another video game battle with King, and once again, Saitama is losing. King gives him some advice about how to better play the game, but it’s advice that could also work for Saitama in his life as well. I find it so interesting how Saitama and King are paired up now as friends, since they have directly opposite problems. King always happens to be near when a monster is defeated, so people think he’s the hero who defeated it (but he really didn’t), and he is now a high-ranking hero because of this misconception. Meanwhile, Saitama is able to take down enemies with one punch, but because a lot of his deeds go unseen, he’s much lower in the hero rankings than he really should be. I just find that contrast to be interesting.

But from how Volume 16 ends, it appears that this arc featuring Garo may be over sooner rather than later. I’m curious to see how the story will continue from here.

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