So I’ve been really enjoying One-Punch Man (eng), a webcomic that has recently transitioned to tankobon and, apparently, anime. I hate superhero stories, but it seems to have been written by someone who has the same feelings about the genre that I do. It’s also legitimately funny and clever. I also love the shitty art.
It’s a depressingly beautiful example of unintentional sexism, among other things. Unlike, say, Urubutchi, who seems to have some really seriously hateful ingrained misogyny, ONE (the author) doesn’t seem to have any pervasive enough issues with women that it’s really affected my enjoyment of the comic. However, he’s obviously not thinking about women’s issues, and obviously has some real problems with socially acceptable homophobia and gender roles (the only two female heroes so far both fight telekinetically, for example, and the only other female character is the typical old-woman-prophet who dies). There’s also smaller cringey moments, like the use of ‘retarded’ as an insult. On the bright side, neither of the female heroes are sexualized, but I’m sure that changes in the adaptations.
I get the impression that if someone pointed out these issues to the author, he would go, “Oh shit, sorry, didn’t mean anything by it.” It doesn’t come across quite as aggressively or combatitively as with someone like Butcher. (I just realized the similarity between ‘Butcher’ and ‘Urobutchi’…) But it’s still there, and it’s a shame, because it really pulls me out of the comic and it’s just disappointing. It mars the whole experience.
So, yeah. It is, unfortunately One of Those Things. But I do like it, and if clever uses of the genre are your thing, you probably will too. It’s a grain-of-salt rec, though, and can’t really be anything more.
edit: Just because it feels remiss to only say it in passing, the comic also has a pretty significant homophobia problem: