Manga Review: One-Punch Man Volume 17

One-Punch Man Volume 17 has some heroes battling a major monster, and we also see some behind-the-scenes action for both the Hero Association and the Monster Association.

One-Punch Man Volume 17
Written by: ONE
Publisher: Shueisha, Inc.
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: August 6, 2019

The volume opens with some backstory for Garo to help explain why he hates heroes and is going after them. I have a feeling that this backstory is intended to help “humanize” him, especially since early in the volume, he is taken and treated by the Monster Association. I think ONE wants to make sure that it’s clear that Garo himself is not a monster, and my guess is that later in the story, Garo will play an important role in the eventual defeat of the Monster Association. But only time will tell if I’m right on that or not.

A major monster comes onto the scene, and there’s impressive battle scenes with Genos, Bang, and Bang’s older brother taking on the monster. But they are unable to take him down themselves. Just as things look bleak, Saitama appears on the scene and uses just one punch to take down the monster.

We see some behind-the-scenes events going on with the Hero Association, as they try to locate the hideout of the Monster Association so they can try to rescue a hostage (the son of a politician). The politician, however, is unhappy with how the situation is going, so he hires some vigilantes and gives them suits that power them up to attempt to make them as strong as the heroes, if not a little stronger. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work out well, and the vigilantes are captured. It’s this scene where the reader, along with Garo, sees the behind-the-scenes portion with the Monster Association. The Monster Association wants to make Garo an assistant leader of the group, but under one condition: he must kill a hero and bring their head to the Monster Association. Like I said earlier, I think ONE wanted to make it clear to the reader that while Garo is a hero hunter, he isn’t intent on killing them… which separates him from the Monster Association.

We also get a scene of Genos, Bang, Bang’s brother, and King tending to injuries or just hanging out at Saitama’s place. Fubuki, the leader of the Blizzard Bunch, comes by and tries to talk strategy in the hopes of getting these guys to join her group. Of course, no one’s really paying any attention to her, and basically shut her down when she tries to lead a strategy session. Fubuki is trying too hard to raise her profile as a hero, but so far, her efforts to recruit Saitama and the others keep failing. But I’m sure she’ll keep trying.

In my review for Volume 16, I had thought that perhaps Garo’s arc was going to be ending in this one. I’m happy to see that it isn’t, and that there’s still more story to tell with Garo. It’ll be interesting to see how this arc continues to evolve.

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