The One-Punch Man series catapulted to popularity in the 2010s as a worldwide hit. By toying with classic shonen anime tropes, such as having the hero protagonist already far more powerful than his enemies at the start, OPM was able to explore new themes in the action-packed, super-powered genre.
How is the One-Punch Man webcomic different from the manga?
While attaining mainstream appeal thanks to its anime, One Punch Man is actually adapted from the manga, which is itself seen as a refined version of the original webcomic. The art is similarly more polished in the manga, and the manga contains many chapters and fights scenes that are extended or totally new.
One-Punch Man had its start as a webcomic first self-published on Nitosha.net in 2009 by the artist only known as ONE. It nearly instantly attracted a sizeable fan base due to its light-hearted approach to the shonen genre, as well as its closer emphasis on lesser-shown aspects of the superhero life, such as their everyday problems.
First-time readers can find the webcomic’s art crude, although ONE has nonetheless been praised for effectively conveying the emotion and action in its scenes.
Due to being the original source material, the OPM webcomic is usually seen as the early draft for later manga and anime renditions.
Manga artist Yusuke Murata became a fan of the series. In 2011, Murata struck an agreement to redraw ONE’s original web manga. With his links to the manga industry, the revamp of the One-Punch Man saga began digital publication on Shueisha’s Tonari no Young Jump website.
Being drawn by a seasoned mangaka, the art of the OPM manga is considerably more refined than its predecessor. Elements such as its story and plot points have similarly been altered at various points.
The OPM anime mainly bases off of the manga for its version of the story. The manga also contains extras and additional content not found in the webcomic.
Differences between the One-Punch Man Webcomic and Manga
The art in ONE’s original webcomic can be seen as amateurish and very rough, although many fans have appreciated the rugged charm of this style. The style lends itself well to illustrating fearsome and grotesque monsters, and conveying motion, although it is rather awkward in showing anatomy and human characters.
In contrast, the manga version of OPM boasts highly polished art thanks to Murata’s direction and illustration. Even with a more professional treatment of the original comic panels, many of the panels keep the same comedic or caricaturized spirit as the webcomic.
Story Arcs and Events
The manga followed closely along with the webcomic, embellishing or changing many many details, especially with regards to fight scenes.
The manga and webcomic begin to diverge significantly by Chapter 47. In fact, the next thirty chapters in the manga up to #78 contain totally new story arcs, characters and fights.
The climactic fight against Psykos and Orochi in the webcomic, for instance, simply ends after the two are defeated. In the manga, they instead fuse into an abomination that takes a few more chapters to fight.
The manga serves as the main canonical reference for characters, plot and other details in the anime and other renditions.
Both ONE and Murata have designed the manga as an improved redrawing of the original webcomic, but the two have also refined the tankobon volumes of the manga by adding extra details.
For practical purposes, the manga serves as the definitive version of the OPM series to most fans.
Some characters are changed or totally absent from the original webcomic.
Tatsumaki, for instance, is quite powerful in both versions, although her power is considerably subdued in the webcomic. Fubuki is less of a protective leader in the original as well, acting more coldly and ruthlessly in combat.
The importance of some characters to the plot can also change, as in the case of the Child Emperor – who is less prominent in the webcomic during the Monster Association arc.
Other characters, like Blast, debuted in the manga and are missing from the webcomic altogether.
The manga regularly includes extras, such as omakes – short, usually-comedic comics with four panels – and even bonus chapters and specials for certain occasions.
ONE writes and illustrates the original webcomic. He likewise handles the general direction of the story and character arcs for the series as a whole. He also collaborates with Murata in refining and storyboarding the manga.
Murata himself is responsible for illustrating the manga.
The webcomic is digitally self-published on Nitosha.net. Readers can find the manga on Viz, where it is officially translated into English. Unofficial translations are also popular, and are available at sites such as MangaDex and Cubari.
Comparison Chart: One-Punch Man Webcomic Vs Manga
|Art Style||Amateurish and highly caricaturized||Professionally-drawn|
|Story Arcs and Events||Original portrayal of the story and setting||Generally expands on the story and details of the webcomic|
|Canonicity||Source material of the manga||Source material of the anime and other renditions|
|Characters||Introduces and features most of the series’ characters||Changes some characters and introduces wholly new ones, i.e. Blaze|
|Extras||None||Volumes can include bonus chapters, omake panels and other extras|
|Production||Written and illustrated by ONE||ONE and Murata collaborate on rewriting and storyboarding. Illustrated by Murata|
How are the One-Punch Man Webcomic and Manga similar?
Art direction aside, the One-Punch Man webcomic and manga are still largely similar to each other.
While the manga frequently adds new content, it expands upon the same general setting as the webcomic. The manga also incorporates all of the webcomic’s story arcs, in addition to introducing its own.
Both versions revolve around the same cast of main characters, feature the use of superpowers, and share the same comedic and playful deconstruction of common shonen series tropes.
How behind is the One-Punch Man manga compared to the webcomic?
Due to its introduction of additional chapters, the manga is numerically more advanced than the webcomic. As of December 2021, the OPM manga contains 154 chapters.
The most recent chapter, “Ultimate Hellfire Burst Wave Motion Cannon”, is part of the Monster Association Arc. It is not derived from the webcomic.
The One-Punch Man webcomic is currently at Chapter 141, although it has a considerable lead over the manga in terms of story progression, with the plot now in the fifth major arc of the Neo Heroes Saga.
Where can you read the One-Punch Man webcomic?
Fans who enjoy reading the original material can read Chapter 141 of the One-Punch Man webcomic in English at Cubari.
Although behind by a few chapters, sites such as Read1PunchMan also host English translations from the same source.
Japanese readers can enjoy the webcomic from the official website at GalaxyHeavyBlow.
The OPM Twitter account provides updates for new webcomics.
The One-Punch Man saga originally debuted as a webcomic by the anonymous author ONE, who would collaborate with seasoned illustrator Yusuke Murata to produce the manga version.
Although the OPM webcomic is more advanced in the storyline, the manga introduces several exclusive chapters on top of new characters and other additional details, as well as other extras.
The most overt difference between the two lies in the artstyle – ONE’s being amateurish but effective, and Murata’s being professionally-made.
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