Manga Review: One Punch Man Vol. 12

By: Mithrandiel

Warning – Spoilers below! 

The onslaught of monster attacks continue in the latest volume of One Punch Man! While a large gathering of heroes participate in a fighting competition, numerous powerful monsters have sprung up all over the various cities. If that wasn’t bad enough, Hero-Hunter Garo is continuing his quest to dispatch any Class-S hero he sets his sights on.

Still, excitement is boiling over back at the competition, as an exceedingly powerful martial artist named Suiryu makes quick work of A-Class hero Lightning Max, still reeling from his loss to Deep Sea King. Despite Max’s can-do attitude, Suiryu dispatches him with a single kick…now why does that seem so familiar?

Meanwhile, Genos becomes aware of the epidemic of monster attacks on the city, and in an effort to make sure his master’s upcoming match wasn’t disrupted, he sets out to make quick work of the enemies throughout the city. As the narrative cuts back and forth from the fighting competition to Genos swiftly disposing of his enemies, we get a real appreciation for Saitama’s “pupil” as Genos’ overwhelming power proves to be too much for nearly every monster he encounters. One after another they fall in quick succession, until he comes across a cockroach-empowered supervillain. Ew.

Soon enough, Saitama’s fated clash with his next opponent, two-time reigning champion Bakuzan, arrives. Completely caught off guard with just how weak Saitama looks, he begins monologuing about how he’ll break Saitama’s various bones and render him useless for the rest of his life before nonchalantly commenting how he would strike our hero in the head –

Annnndddd he’s out.

As Genos is completing his non-stop monster thrashing, a mysterious and unseen enemy appears and makes quick work of the Demon Cyborg. While we don’t see the monster in question, we do get a name – Gonketsu. We also get to meet his master, and the mastermind behind the relentless monster invasion.

Who is this evil creature? What’s his story? Will Saitama have to punch him twice? So many questions…not enough answers.

Following the dramatic reveal of this arc’s assumed “big bad”, we also get to see a number of other Class-S heroes handling their respective business. The super-smart Child Emperor is nearly bested by a venemous villain when Pig God comes crashing through and essentially devours the enemy whole. So, that’s a thing.

Meanwhile, Watchdog Man has also taken care of his own pile of enemies, standing atop 30 powerful monsters in a city square just as Garo shows up. The volume ends with Garo lunging at Watchdog Man, ready to battle!

I personally am a big fan of Garo, and am interested in seeing how his arc plays out. He seems to antagonize heroes and villains equally, which reminds me a lot of the fan-favorite Speed o’Sound Sonic. Maybe they can all be friends?

Phew! One Punch Man’s latest volume definitely delivers on all fronts: action, story development, humor…a well-rounded installment that continues to build hype towards the monster invasion arc’s thrilling conclusion!

You can find everything and anything One Punch Man related at VIZ media’s site here! Volume 13 is still a ways away…about 6 months if Amazon is to be believed. Here’s hoping we get to the action a bit quicker than that!

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Note: VIZ Media provided us with a digital copy of this manga in exchange for our honest review.

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