One-Punch Man: A Major S-Class Hero Gets an Upgrade - But At What Cost?

WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for One-Punch Man Chapter 103 by ONE and Yusuke Murata, available now in English from Viz Media.

The latest chapter of One-Punch Man focuses on Puri-Puri Prisoner, the lowest-ranked S-Class hero, who's famous for his prison garb and flamboyance. Chapter 103 sees Pur-Puri Prisoner getting a major power boost, but it costs him those he cares most about: his boyfriends from Smelly Lid Prison.

Puri-Puri Prisoner easily dispatches a group of monsters, showing his immense endurance and ability to withstand such things as gas, heat, toxic liquid and "parasitic eggs." The hero teases his masochistic tendencies, which causes the monsters to try and retreat. They're sucked up by the elephantine Vacuumer, who gets a major power boost from doing so, making them threat level Demon. However, Puri-Puri Prisoner dispatches Vacuumer with one mighty punch as angel wings sprout from his back.

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Following that victory, a group of monsters reveal themselves as having once been his fellow prisoners. Immediately expressing their disdain for Puri-Puri Prisoner (and indicating that he might have sexually assaulted them), they attack. Puri-Puri Prisoner allows them to shower him with blows, unable to believe they actually hate him, although they insist that was the case even before they were monsters. Puri-Puri Prisoner then decides his new goal will be to turn his "friends" back into humans.

The threat level Dragon monster Nyaan then appears. As his name -- which is the onomatopoeia for "meow" in Japanese -- suggests, Nyaan is a cat. The beast tells Puri-Puri Prisoner that there's no way to reverse monsterization, and then deals a major blow to to the hero, that draws his blood. However, this isn't enough to take down Puri-Puri Prisoner, much to the chagrin of Nyaan and the other monsters.

After the next onslaught, Nyaan realizes that the damage Puri-Puri Prisoner is sustaining might actually be powering him up as part of some sort of "rapid physical evolution." The shirtless Puri-Puri Prisoner suddenly sprouts dark, thick hair, dubbing his new state "Angel Bristly Armor." He pushes through his friends and chases after Nyaan, who escapes through a crack in the wall. This doesn't deter Puri-Puri Prisoner. Utilizing his new body hair to "increase [his destructiveness]," the hero uses "Angel Crawl" to blast his way through the obstacle.

However, Nyaan has been steadily retreating, meaning that when Puri-Puri Prisoner gets through the wall, he inadvertently kills a group of prisoners with the resulting cascade of rocks. After a brief moment of mourning for his boyfriends, Puri-Puri Prisoner renews his pursuit of Nyaan, saying, "I accept my new abilities as a gift from you... Your sacrifice will not go to waste." As Puri-Puri Prisoner says this, his newly grown body hair falls out, indicating it may have actually related to his increase in powers.

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The ongoing battles at the Monster Association Headquarters have increasingly emphasized the brutality of key members of the Hero Association while also showing off their incredible skills. It's no different for Puri-Puri Prisoner this time around, and the implication that his behavior towards his fellow inmates is an abuse he's unable to comprehend is disturbing, to say the least. With his newfound powers, Puri-Puri Prisoner stands a chance of really being able to climb the ranks, but his inclination towards villainous acts might really cast doubt on the goodness of the Hero Association.

One-Punch Man Chapter 104 arrives in English on October 16 from Viz Media.

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