The so-called critics of media often times say that the book is better than the movie. When it comes to One-Punch Man, seeing the world of Saitama jotted out in panel form allows for just a bit more explanation on the monster crisis, as well as some added context to gems of hilarity throughout the series; a big part of the magic of One-Punch Man is satirical commentary — jokes and puns about everyday life, and superhero life, abound. The anime keeps true to its origins, but like most productions, not everything makes the cut in the shift from one medium to another. Here are 10 noticeable differences between the anime and manga versions of One-Punch Man.
10 The Car Guy
There’s really no telling just how many monsters Saitama has defeated in his hero career. His gloves had been drenched in the remains of all kinds of hybridized beast, bug, fiend, and fish-people before the Hero Association had any idea who the guy was, or the work he was doing in his city. Before deciding to go pro, a seriously over-zealous car fanatic monster calling himself Super Custom YO649Z Mk. II tries his luck with Saitama, but like most others, he goes down into a bludgeoned heap after just — you guessed it — one punch.
9 Genos: The Fashion Forward Cyborg
For the cyborg hero Genos’ introduction, he shows up to deal with Mosquito Girl and her swarm — a perfect matchup for him since the bugs feed on blood, and probably not engine oil. In the manga, Genos happens to be wearing a t-shirt with “Genocide” printed on it. One must marvel at this choice in fashion; the shirt was a preview at what this mysterious cyborg’s name was, but interesting graphic tees is also a common occurrence in OPM. For a cyborg named Genos (whose hero nickname happens to be Demon Cyborg) to have chosen to wear a t-shirt that says something so grim as “Genocide” is a very interesting metaphor, indeed.
8 When Bugs Fly
Carnage Kabuto, considered a failed experiment by the obsessive scientist Dr. Genus, was quite the fearsome foe. What made Kabuto so scary wasn’t anything much to do with his looks, but was owed completely to his fighting philosophy and reasoning.
The whole reason Dr. Genus locked the giant beetle in the basement was because of the bloodlust Kabuto held; he had no reservations about slaughtering his fellow clones, or his creator. On top of the base level of violence, Kabuto was prone to fits of rage that lasted for a whole week, in which he went on an unquenchable killing spree. All of that, and the big bug was stricken with fear enough to open up his wings to make a getaway from the simple, but serious look Saitama had in his eye. It is only in the anime that Kabuto’s wings are shown, though — the manga opts for an energetic blast-jump instead. This bug still gets squashed in the end, prompting Dr. Genus to turn away from his eccentric experiments and live happily ever after... or else.
7 Mumen Rider's Hero Hustle
Episode 4 of the OPM anime introduces Mumen Rider, the Class C bicyclist hero, with a flashback to a classic cat-in-a-tree scenario — a scenario which doesn’t show up in the manga.
After the cat scene, Mumen Rider throws himself into action to fight Hammerhead and his crew of activists fighting for their right to unemployment. Up against The Paradisers’ stolen power-up gear, though, the outcome is the same in the anime as it is in the manga: Mumen Rider getting his snot bust on the pavement, and then rewarded for his being at the wrong place at the right time.
6 The Butt of the Joke
After leaving his hero interview, the Class A Hero Snakebite Snek doubts Saitama’s abilities, and decides to G-check him. Of course, Snek has no idea he’s completely outmatched and gets pummeled into the concrete, and Saitama continues his thoughtful stroll leaving his superior officer slumped in his tracks. The manga adds a bit of insult to injury for Snek too, with a cameo from the cleft-chin kid. The kid, who happens to be the son of the founder of the Hero Association, has the audacity to call Snek a lame while staring at him all topsy-turvy (what a brat, right? He wouldn’t even help!).
5 The Gaping Hole Between Student and Master
After their exams were complete and they were given their places in the Hero Association, Genos asks Saitama for a test of his own to measure his mentor’s and his own abilities. Genos also very strictly requests that sensei Saitama not hold back in their sparring match; he wanted to know just how much of a gap was between the two, and if he was anywhere close to achieving the same level of power at that moment. And the answer was HECK NO!
In chapter 17 of the manga, Saitama couldn’t help but hold back from decimating his pupil. The panels show the deserted fighting area up in smoke after Saitama’s would-be deathblow, but in episode 5 of the anime, the smoke clears to reveal a giant hole in the cliff behind Genos that stretches for miles. And the punch didn’t even connect — it was all aftershock!
4 Work Is Work
When the ninja assassin Speed-o-Sound Sonic fought Saitama the first time, it really wasn’t the most graceful performance for either of them. So when he catches Saitama out for a stroll, he seizes the opportunity to redeem himself by taking Saitama out of the game for good. Sonic’s plan was to cause a ruckus in the city, and force the newly registered professional hero into a fight. Saitama realizes that the attack is also an opportunity for him to be recognized as a hero and level up in the rankings, and thus springs into action.
An explosion set off by the assassin sends a car flying, threatening the life of a wandering child in the street. To save the kid from being flattened, in the manga version, Saitama casually pushes a tree into the path of the car, saving the kid with not a drip of wasted effort. The anime shows Saitama using a different method, jumping in front of the car himself and catching it with a more superhero-like pose.
3 Seaweed Soup
In episode 6 of the anime, an unknown monster on the hunt for fame called Kombu Infinity puts the Class A heroes Golden Ball and Spring Mustachio to shame. He controlled the steel-sharp seaweed growing from his skin at will, but that same characteristic turned the hunter into the hunted.
Unfortunately for the seaweed-villain, Saitama was on his way home from grocery shopping when they ran into each other in the midst of the destroyed city. Kombu Infinity tries to attack, but is totally manhandled by Saitama, who, having forgot to pick up some kombu soup stock, took full advantage of the fresh vegetables growing from the monster’s body. The manga includes a few last words from Kombu Infinity after he’s plucked clean of his leaves and left in tears.
2 The Prison Angel
In episode 7 of the OPM anime, the heroes are pitted against the uprising of the Sea King and his minions. Puri-Puri Prisoner, an S-class hero, shows up to the fight having just broken out of jail, along with Speed-o-Sound Sonic. Other than the two wearing prisoner uniforms, there isn’t much information at all about their time in the high-security prison — and why Puri-Puri Prisoner was locked up in the first place. The manga, however, dedicates almost an entire chapter to the story behind the imprisonment of Puri-Puri Prisoner and Speed-o-Sound Sonic, where it is learned just how it is that the most terrible inmates were kept in check.
1 Kindred Spirits
Saitama makes no extravagant or grandiose claims, despite being the actual strongest hero around. No matter how technical the chatter of villains are, or how complex Genos’ calculations get, Saitama operates exclusively in lay terms.
Against Boros, the leader of an intergalactic gang of thieves called Dark Matter, Saitama just barely remembers to refer to himself as a pro hero rather than a hobbyist, and totally botches the semantics of Boros’ speech about dominating the universe. The two of them had a very similar struggle with their strength being the cause for their boredom, but none of that mattered much in the end. After all, how meaningful can an explanation be to Saitama if it’ll all be over without him even breaking a sweat?