ByYaw Amanquah, writer at
freelance game designer | |
Yaw Amanquah

Manga writer ONE has recently gained my attention with the animated adaptations of his manga One Punch Man and Mob Psycho 100. While much of my enjoyment of these anime can be attributed to the animation studios I think ONE's writing also deserves some credit. What's fascinating about watching two anime adaptations of ONE's manga is recognizing the similar characters in both.

The Protagonists

The settings ONE crafts with One Punch Man and Mob Psycho 100 are worlds full of monsters and superhumans. However, we view these worlds through the lens of the plain looking protagonists Saitama and Shigeo that each possess immense power. Despite their immense power, they do not consider themselves better than other people because of the strong moral code they both adhere to.

ONE even makes a point to show that Saitama and Shigeo don't really derive pleasure from their superhuman abilities. In Saitama's case due to his incredible strength, he can no longer get satisfaction from fighting because no opponent can match him in battle. While Shigeo's dream of attaining Takane Tsubomi's affections cannot be fulfilled by using his psychic powers.

Other Characters

Both Saitama and Shigeo even find themselves envying people that lack their extraordinary abilities. More specifically Saitama envies Genos for his popularity and superhero rank while Shigeo envies his little brother Ritsu for his intelligence and athletic ability. Which is ironic because Genos and Ritsu would do anything to acquire the immense power Saitama and Shigeo possess.

ONE also includes characters that act as mirrors of the protagonist to show how they might have ended up if their power corrupted them. In One Punch Man, the villain Boros is an alien invader that attacks planets in search of an opponent that can match his strength. While in Mob Psycho 100 the criminal organization Claw aims to take over the world through the use of their psychic abilities.

However, just because One Punch Man and Mob Psycho 100 have similar characters that doesn't mean they're not distinct from each other. Aside from the fantastic animation that they both share One Punch Man and Mob Psycho 100 tell different stories with protagonists that have different internal struggles. All I can say is as long as ONE keeps writing compelling stories I will continue to enjoy them.

Are You Watching Mob Psycho 100?


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