One-Punch Man Volume 19 continues the story arc with the Monster Association.
One-Punch Man Volume 19
Written by: ONE
Publisher: Shueisha Inc.
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: March 3, 2020
The volume opens with Child Emperor meeting with Mr. Sekingal. Child Emperor is coming up with a plan of attack against the Monster Association., and the two discuss potential heroes to take on the Monster Association. Even though Genos and Fang are S-Class Heroes, Child Emperor has reasons for not wanting to include them in this mission. Mr. Sekingal takes this news back to the Hero Association, and they are not happy with the alternate plan of using A-Class and B-Class heroes to make up for the loss of Genos and Fang, I don’t know, maybe it’s just me, but the way Sekingal is portrayed here, I don’t entirely trust him. Something just seems to be “off” somehow, even though I can’t place my finger on it.
And I can’t forget that King is supposed to play the most important role in Child Emperor’s plan. Since the reader knows the truth about King, this does not bode well for the plan. Will this plan reveal the truth about King, or will King somehow once again manage to escape scrutiny due to some weird or comical coincidence that makes it look like King actually did something amazing?
There’s a comical scene early on in Saitama’s apartment featuring Saitama, Genos, Blizzard, Fang, Dr. Kuseno, and an associate of Fang’s. The fight to get the food during the hot pot was rather amusing, in addition to the interactions and dialogue that take place here. This was the most light-hearted part of the volume, as the rest of the volume primarily focuses on fights with the Monster Association.
Garo is the main one in the fights with the Monster Association, though. Once again, he comes to Tareo’s rescue, even though Garo seems to be rather beaten up from his earlier battles. But amazingly enough, Garo manages to hold up well against his opponents, and catches the attention of Gyoro-Gyoro, the head of the Monster Association. The last little bit of the volume focuses on Gyoro-Gyoro mandating that Garo train with Lord Orochi. There are plenty of action panels during Garo’s fights with members of the Monster Association, so these sections can be read rather quickly. Overall, there seems to be a good balance between the sections that are more dialogue heavy with the sections that focus much more on fights and action panels.
There’s also a bonus manga included at the end of Volume 19. This one is of Saitama reading a manga magazine and contemplating the fact he doesn’t have a special move since he’s able to defeat many of his enemies with just one punch. He has an amusing run-in with some arrogant monsters from the Monster Association, and of course, Saitama is able to knock then down at least a peg with just one punch. I thought this was a nice addition to the manga and was something with a light-hearted note for the reader to finish on after Garo’s training with Lord Orochi.
When all is said and done, though, I hope to see a little more progress in the overall story in the next volume. It feels like the purpose of Volume 19 was more to set the stage for what ONE wants to happen next, rather than do much to truly progress the overalls story. Volume 19 isn’t bad for what it is, but as a reader who’s been following the series during the Monster Association arc, I’m ready for this storyline to make more of a noticeable progression.