I checked the synopsis here and I was wondering about the genre of parody.

One Punch Man on myanimelist.net

I’ve completed the season of One Punch Man and there was no parody of anything in the animé. The only parody animé I’ve experienced before is Gintama and the parody is altogether at another level! Whereas, One Punch Man had relatively none. Am I missing something or is it an error?

  • 14
    Because it is based off and makes fun of the superhero stereotypes? Commented Jan 17, 2016 at 13:47
  • I think what is wrong with that is that it's more satire than parody. It doesn't directly mock a particular anime or superhero, rather it mocks the concept as a whole, and therefore would be satire.
    – Steven
    Commented Apr 13, 2017 at 18:34

4 Answers 4


TL;DR: One Punch Man is not a parody of a single manga, it is a parody of the whole shonen genre. It makes fun of its codes and therefore can be seen as a parody.

To help understand it, I will compare One Punch Man to Dragon Ball. I will use the anime for comparison, but it is pretty much the same for the manga. This can and should be applied to many shonen series and not only Dragon Ball. Its use is only intended as an example.


In One Punch Man, the fights are over at the moment Saitama punches an enemy (except the final fight). The moment where the fight is going on is very brief. In Dragon Ball, the fights can last a lot of episodes. As an example, the famous fight between Frieza and Goku took 10 episodes (see How much broadcast time did it take for planet Namek to blow up)

Reason to fight

Saitama fights because he just wants to be a Super Hero. Being a hero is considered a hobby for him. On the other hand, Goku fights because he wants to save his friends and the Earth, while Vegeta fights to become the strongest fighter ever, Gohan wants to save the Earth so he can study peacefully, and so on. One Punch Man is deconstructing the shonen hero goals: by reading/watching it, you have the feeling that anybody can be a hero, it's not that hard. This is going even deeper as C-Class heroes are quite casual people.


As mentionned in this post, compared to the power he acquired, Saitama's training is just ridiculous, and it is even more so if you compare it to the training in other anime.

The hero itself

Saitama is not badass. While this can be viewed as primarily opinion based, there are some elements that can help us to understand that he was not intended as a charismatic character. Even though every enemy and character are well drawn, Saitama is drawn in a quite basic style and leads us to the feeling that Saitama is out of universe. A good example is the transformation of Boros, which is quite similar to Dragon Ball's evolutions (this is not even my final form). While the transformation itself is very well drawn, Saitama's reaction is quite out of universe

And so on...

There are a lot other things that could be mentioned, such as the fact that we see the hero doing casual things (groceries, eating in restaurant alone, ...).

  • 1
    One-punch Man basically takes tropes relating to the shonen genre (and not only, the parody can easily be extended to western media) and makes fun of them by showing them in a very skewed way either by blowing them out of proportions (killing everything with a single punch, superhero organization, area of city completely devoid of people because of danger), by ridiculously downplaying them (Saitama's training, Class C heroes) or straight by mocking them (Class C heroes gathering together to fight the sea king only to be squashed in a few seconds).
    – Maurycy
    Commented Jan 17, 2016 at 19:32
  • 4
    Saitama's simplistic appearance is a throwback to the original webcomic, where he always looks like an unremarkable person. That was the central feature of his design and backstory: just some generic, unassuming, normal chump who achieves overwhelming power, and through rather generic and normal means. In your particular image, the use is homage to one of the iconic moments in the webcomic. The anime is based off the manga, where the "serious mode" Saitama originates. He is chiseled, well-drawn, emotionally tense. The webcomic style is used to underscore his ennui and simplicity. Commented Apr 24, 2016 at 4:38
  • Note that early Dragon Ball is a parody.
    – Xwtek
    Commented May 25, 2020 at 3:12

As others said it pokes fun at the action/fighting style anime (and potentially a few others). It even parodies some specific characters from those kind of anime.

For example:

  • Lord Boros: Based off of Broly from Dragonball Z, a character whose fans think he is the epitome of power.

  • Garou: Could be several characters but I find him to actually be based off of Doomsday from Superman. I say Doomsday because Garou was initially a monster and could not be killed. He just kept coming back more upgraded, just like Doomsday.

  • Vaccine Man: Parody of Piccolo and Baikinman

  • Ancient King: Godzilla

  • Bang: Zeno Zoldyck from Hunter x Hunter

  • Carnage Kabuto Rage Form: Eva Unit 1 from Evangelion

  • Great Philosopher: Father from Full Metal Alchemist

  • Lightning Max: Mix of Straight Cougar from Scry-ed and some Hisoka from Hunter x Hunter

  • Metal Bat: Potentially a combo of Yusuke Urameshi and Kazuma Kuwabara from Yu Yu Hakusho

And there are many more. Just re-watch the series and take note of each character. It's amazing how many characters there are parodies of from their personalities to their resemblance and everything in between.


I would assume, that, the concept itself, of a character that would immediately vanquish any foe, no matter how tall, strong, heavy, experienced, etc, with just one punch, would obviously be intended as the ultimate parody, in itself. My only real question would be: when the OPM video game is released, does OPM simply throw the punch, or, is there a fourteen button sequence that needs to be learned?


Another thing to consider would be when someone is talking about their backstory or how powerful they are. In Shonen, characters seem to drone on about themselves and OPM tends to get bored of it and interrupts them to get to the point of their interaction. He has the attitude of "shut up and let's get to it" because he'd rather just get it over with and go on with his day.

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