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One-Punch Man Vol. #14 Manga Review

3 min read

A solid ending to what has been a rather weak arc.

Creative Staff
Story: ONE
Art: Yusuke Murata
Translation: John Werry

What They Say
The monster Goketsu appears at the martial arts tournament, and in an attempt to turn its participants into monsters, he gives them monster cells. Tournament champ Suiryu fights the newly monsterized fighters one after another, until a certain hero rushes to his side to help!

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
While the actual martial arts tournament may be over, the arc continues on with the appearance of the monster Goketsu. His goal, as it turns out, is to give monster cells to the participants in order to bolster the forces of the Monster Association. On top of that, it’s also revealed that he’s the first champion of the superfight, too! Anyway, he gets some takers, with Choze in particular turning out rather strong. However, Suiryu turns down the offer, and the champion ends up battling the new monsters. This is probably the biggest flash of the volume, and it certainly works out well, making for a fun little scene.

Once Suiryu takes down those foes, though, Goketsu still remains. It’s here that we see the true purpose of the last section, as it was meant to hype Suiryu up even further before crushing him down hard here. And man, does he get the snot beaten out of him. We actually do get a cool little bit where Snek and Lightning Max jump back into the fight and do surprisingly well, proving that heroes are more specialized at fighting monsters, and more importantly, displaying the difference in attitude they have towards such situations. This is especially rubbed in when they prepare to keep on fighting Goketsu, but Suiryu has had enough trauma from his battle and tries to just straight up flee. However, that doesn’t work out, and he’s left to literally scream out for a hero to save him.

And of course, just when it looks like all hope is lost, Saitama is the one to swoop in, saving the day with minimal effort. I get that just by writing it out like that it seems kind of lame and overdone, but honestly, it actually works well here. Like, all that excess of build up leads to the moment having a surprising punch, at least bringing the arc to a solid conclusion.

In Summary
While the arc as a whole has dropped the ball pretty hard, this volume actually does a surprisingly good job of wrapping things up. It’s got plenty of action of course, and the flash displayed here is easily employed better than it has been for the rest of the tournament. Perhaps more importantly though, it actually has something of a theme running throughout from start to finish, covering the idea of the nature of a hero. And to top it off, it simply sticks the landing well, packing a real punch at the end. I still wouldn’t say it comes close to the highs of the series, and I do wish the humor meshed in a bit better, but still, it’s good to have a nice, well made volume once again.

Content Grade: B+
Art Grade: A+
Packaging Grade: B+
Text/Translation Grade: B+

Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Viz Media
Release Date: July 3rd, 2018
MSRP: $9.99

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