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One Punch Man vs My Hero Academia

Musuko

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Which do you prefer?  

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  1. 1. OPM vs MHA

    • One Punch Man
      2
    • My Hero Academia
      1

TL;DR I like Saitama more than Midoriya, and the themes of One Punch Man appeal to me more than My Hero Academia's. Also, hype culture is bad for any media.

I will try to make this blog post spoiler-free, so no worries about that. However, I can't guarantee anything I source will be spoiler-free, so discretion is still advised.

 

This blog entry was inspired from @Seshi  and me talking on the Introduce Forums, found here. I tried to condense a lot of what I was thinking there, so hopefully it sounds more fluid here. Just to note, I'm going to call One Punch Man "OPM" and My Hero Academia as "BnHA"

So, Seshi is not the first person to ask me why I rate BnHA so lowly. I admitted that 3 and 4 might be a little harsh for something that actually feels like it has heart poured into it, (and that I plan to change these ratings when I read/watch more of the show) but I still heavily prefer OPM over it.

 

I find it interesting that these two are lumped together pretty frequently. Other than being action anime about hero organizations and ranks, I don't find them anything alike structurally. At their core, OPM is a meta-comedy with an overpowered main character that doesn't really get any stronger and BnHA is a battle shounen about progressively and constantly getting stronger.

Anyways, the question I get a lot is "why did you enjoy OPM, but not BnHA?" Answering this question means explaining why I like anime to begin with. Compared to western shows and movies, (where I find the characters completely disconnected and shallow) I can relate to anime characters in the weirdest ways, and the more I slowly understand about a character, the more I can appreciate who they are.

To give an example of this, Koyomi Araragi from the Monogatari series seems like a shallow character at first. However, as the series continues, more of his motivations and ideologies get revealed, which really made me admire his character and thought put into him.

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As for Deku, I felt like we knew everything about him from the beginning. He's kind of a timid kid who works hard because he wants to be like All Might. For the two seasons I watched, he's kept this same personality throughout both seasons, and it doesn't seem like he's going to change.

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I don't think this is necessarily bad writing, (many great works have no character development) but because of what I appreciate in anime, I don't like it when characters are shallow and unchanging. Conversely, I love when characters are deep or develop throughout the story, as it's showing that everyone can either change for the better, or is simply misunderstood.

To move the topic onto OPM, I actually found Saitama's character to be more than "I'm bald man that kill in one hit". There are actually already videos explaining why Saitama is a representation of a depressed worker that feels nothing due to the harsh nature of the Japanese workplace, but I won't go into that in this blog post. Instead, I'm just going to mention that Saitama has an enthralling relationship with the other heroes, particularly Fubuki, Genos, and King. The dichotomy he plays with these other heroes is something unique and unlike most anime I've seen.

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The last thing I'd like to talk about here is the themes the two shows portray. From the first two seasons of BnHA, I found the theme to be "we shouldn't be afraid to follow in our predecessor's footsteps", especially in the second season with Todoroki. OPM, on the other hand, has a theme of "you should focus on improving yourself rather than comparing yourself to others", which is made apparent with characters like Genos and Glasses.

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I can appreciate both of these themes, but OPM's appeals more to me. I hope this a lesson that everybody takes to heart, as many people (including myself) don't feel confident because they're not as good as others' at doing something.

I say screw that, be your own person. Are you a better person than you were yesterday?

If so, then that's all you need.

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That's all for this post. Have any thoughts, questions, suggestions on this post or the next? Feel free to let me know, since I love talking and listening to others about anime. Don't be afraid to say something controversial, if it's what you truly believe.

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Well said. I’m definitely going to have to give OPM another look. I appreciate the time you took to write all this up. I like character interaction and depth I love that you recognized the comparison to Japanese working conditions in the anime. That’s intriguing all on its own but it seems there are even more reasons to love OPM. Thanks again for the write up.

Im going to have to think a bit more about my fav characters in MHA and give you some feedback there though. I feel like there’s got to be something I see in these characters relationships that is worthy of being considered.

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As an older anime fan I also like One Punch Man more as I feel My Hero Academia's target audience are kids. 

And I don't know if a lot of people know this, but MHA is Harry Potter. At least for me. All Might is Dumbledore and he will eventually die. (I haven't read the manga so I can't confirm). Which will leave the burden of defeating evil to Harry who is Deku. Dumbledore was the strongest wizard and the only one who can beat Voldemort. All Might is the strongest hero and the only character the villains fear.  And they are in Hogwarts, a school for heroes. And his Ron and Hermione are his classmates. And this is why MHA will have 4 or more seasons. Because Deku will mature and get stronger and graduate. Just like Harry. And so on. 

But I do like both shows. I just lean to One Punch Man a bit more.

Edited by Ryan Dave Jimenez
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Musuko

Posted (edited)

5 hours ago, Seshi said:

Well said. I’m definitely going to have to give OPM another look. I appreciate the time you took to write all this up. I like character interaction and depth I love that you recognized the comparison to Japanese working conditions in the anime. That’s intriguing all on its own but it seems there are even more reasons to love OPM. Thanks again for the write up.

Im going to have to think a bit more about my fav characters in MHA and give you some feedback there though. I feel like there’s got to be something I see in these characters relationships that is worthy of being considered.

Thanks for the read and reply. Of course, I can't force someone to like a show, but it's definitely fun to talk about why we enjoy certain things. I'm looking forward to reading your MHA feedback. 😁

48 minutes ago, Ryan Dave Jimenez said:

As an older anime fan I also like One Punch Man more as I feel My Hero Academia's target audience are kids. 

And I don't know if a lot of people know this, but MHA is Harry Potter. At least for me. All Might is Dumbledore and he will eventually die. (I haven't read the manga so I can't confirm). Which will leave the burden of defeating evil to Harry who is Deku. Dumbledore was the strongest wizard and the only one who can beat Voldemort. All Might is the strongest hero and the only character the villains fear.  And they are in Hogwarts, a school for heroes. And his Ron and Hermione are his classmates. And this is why MHA will have 4 or more seasons. Because Deku will mature and get stronger and graduate. Just like Harry. And so on. 

But I do like both shows. I just lean to One Punch Man a bit more.

Huh, that's definitely an interesting analogy. You could also make the argument that Draco Malfoy is Bakugou, too. I really hadn't considered this since most of the time, MHA is compared to Naruto. Thanks for the reply!

Edited by Kinbaryu

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On 4/24/2019 at 8:34 PM, Ryan Dave Jimenez said:

As an older anime fan I also like One Punch Man more as I feel My Hero Academia's target audience are kids. 

And I don't know if a lot of people know this, but MHA is Harry Potter. At least for me. All Might is Dumbledore and he will eventually die. (I haven't read the manga so I can't confirm). Which will leave the burden of defeating evil to Harry who is Deku. Dumbledore was the strongest wizard and the only one who can beat Voldemort. All Might is the strongest hero and the only character the villains fear.  And they are in Hogwarts, a school for heroes. And his Ron and Hermione are his classmates. And this is why MHA will have 4 or more seasons. Because Deku will mature and get stronger and graduate. Just like Harry. And so on. 

But I do like both shows. I just lean to One Punch Man a bit more.

I'm not disagreeing with you but I don't know if Harry Potter is the best comparison unless you're strictly basing it on structure. You would have to look at the dynamics to see where they differ. Deku for example is driven and knows what he wants to be, and is always working toward that goal. He wasn't born special like his classmates, but offered the opportunity he embraces it fully and both appreciates what it is to have such power and understands how much work actually goes into mastering it. 

Compare that to Harry- a kid who was basically neglected and used from the start, had no vision of who he actually wanted to be and just went along with wherever the wind was blowing. You could make an argument here that, given the circumstances of his fate being thrusted upon him, it wouldn't have mattered much if he did have a clear goal in mind (beyond besting Voldemort, obviously.)

That all said, what we are looking at here is a story about 'following dreams, proactively working toward a goal and bettering yourself along the way, ' versus a story more in the direction of 'surviving with the hand you are dealt and making pragmatic choices.' At least in my perspective, that's pretty different. 

Despite the above I think I understand where you were going with it. People love stories in that format and they sell, and that's why it has potential to be long running and widely popularised among a ranged audience. 

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5 hours ago, Wedgy said:

I'm not disagreeing with you but I don't know if Harry Potter is the best comparison unless you're strictly basing it on structure. You would have to look at the dynamics to see where they differ. Deku for example is driven and knows what he wants to be, and is always working toward that goal. He wasn't born special like his classmates, but offered the opportunity he embraces it fully and both appreciates what it is to have such power and understands how much work actually goes into mastering it. 

Compare that to Harry- a kid who was basically neglected and used from the start, had no vision of who he actually wanted to be and just went along with wherever the wind was blowing. You could make an argument here that, given the circumstances of his fate being thrusted upon him, it wouldn't have mattered much if he did have a clear goal in mind (beyond besting Voldemort, obviously.)

That all said, what we are looking at here is a story about 'following dreams, proactively working toward a goal and bettering yourself along the way, ' versus a story more in the direction of 'surviving with the hand you are dealt and making pragmatic choices.' At least in my perspective, that's pretty different. 

Despite the above I think I understand where you were going with it. People love stories in that format and they sell, and that's why it has potential to be long running and widely popularised among a ranged audience. 

You make a good point! I would also like to mention that if we're relating this back to One Punch Man and My Hero Academia, there's definitely something to look at regarding that theme.

My Hero Academia's Deku wants to become the number one hero, and by doing that, he aims to become stronger. On the other hand, One Punch Man's Saitama strove to be a hero, but now he feels empty about it.

Since I personally find One Punch Man's take on that more interesting, I also should have mentioned that in the post. Again, not saying one is necessarily "better" than the other, but I find it important to share why we like the things we do in order for us to fully appreciate them.

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On 5/6/2019 at 7:16 AM, Wedgy said:

I'm not disagreeing with you but I don't know if Harry Potter is the best comparison unless you're strictly basing it on structure. You would have to look at the dynamics to see where they differ. Deku for example is driven and knows what he wants to be, and is always working toward that goal. He wasn't born special like his classmates, but offered the opportunity he embraces it fully and both appreciates what it is to have such power and understands how much work actually goes into mastering it. 

Compare that to Harry- a kid who was basically neglected and used from the start, had no vision of who he actually wanted to be and just went along with wherever the wind was blowing. You could make an argument here that, given the circumstances of his fate being thrusted upon him, it wouldn't have mattered much if he did have a clear goal in mind (beyond besting Voldemort, obviously.)

That all said, what we are looking at here is a story about 'following dreams, proactively working toward a goal and bettering yourself along the way, ' versus a story more in the direction of 'surviving with the hand you are dealt and making pragmatic choices.' At least in my perspective, that's pretty different. 

Despite the above I think I understand where you were going with it. People love stories in that format and they sell, and that's why it has potential to be long running and widely popularised among a ranged audience. 

That's actually true. I realized it about an hour when I posted that. haha

I just get the Harry Potter vibe whenever I see All Might and Deku. At least their relationship reminds me of Harry and Dumbledore. For sure there is some Harry Potter influence but just a portion of it.

And now that I think about it, MHA is very typical shounen. A lot of reviewers have commented that as well. The usual from weak to strong main character. And it's not a bad thing. It's shounen executed well.

But comparing MHA to OPM, OPM is like a breath of fresh air. 

How about 2nd seasons though? What do you think of OPM season 2? Compared to MHA season 2 or 3?

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