Today we go back to the origins of One-Punch Man and ask ourselves why and how it was created.
The question has multiple answers. One-Punch Man was originally created to test ONE’s new graphics tablet and the accompanying software. Later it was his attempt at becoming a professional mangaka. Lastly, it may be a subconscious way to deal with Boros, who could not be beaten by the protagonist in his previous work.
Before we go on, we need to clarify that this article is about the original webcomic. This webcomic was created before the more famous manga. Yusuke Murata draws the manga, but ONE decides the story for both the webcomic and the manga. To read more about the differences between the two, feel free to check out our article.
A simple test
Originally ONE simply wanted to publish a webcomic to test his new graphics tablet and its software. The series met with unexpected success, however, and was extended into a more fleshed out story.
Still, after a while, the project went on hiatus. As the webcomic was (and still is) published for free, it simply did not pay the bills.
This also answers the question of how One-Punch Man was created: with a graphics tablet.
His breakthrough as a professional mangaka
After a while of doing a “normal” job, ONE decided it really wasn’t anything for him. He would try for a year to see if he could become a professional manga artist.
Luckily for him, he got into contact with Yusuke Murata at the time, as One-Punch Man drawn in ONE’s style wasn’t very likely to sell well. They pitched several ideas around and in the end, it was One-Punch Man that was decided for official publication.
ONE later got the chance to draw an official publication in his own style through Mob Psycho 100.
A subconscious way of dealing with Boros
When Saitama is involved, there is not much power scaling involved. Saitama vs. anyone else always ends in Saitama winning, the end. Regardless, ONE does care for power scaling a lot, both in One-Punch man through characters other than Saitama and in his other works.
When he was in his teens, he wrote another manga called Taiyou Man (Sun Man). He drew it on paper and uploaded those to a small website. He made the final boss of the story too strong, however, and ended the project.
Although it is an exaggeration to state that One-Punch Man was deliberately created as a solution (he actually jokes about this as the reason he never finished it), it may very well be like that subconsciously. The following quotes from him are very relevant in this regard:
Thinking of a plot that involved a lot of thinking and cleverness for the main character to get over any obstacle requires a lot of experience and knowledge, so I think it’s a bit too hard for me. In Saitama’s case, all I have to do is have him show up to punch the problem away so I don’t have to think too much about it…
The difficulties Saitama encounters are for the most part really common problems like making it to the next supermarket sale, and since I solve these problems myself, it’s easy to write about them. The only hard part is to make his allies seem not too weak.