Author spotlight on ONE

It’s a still relatively new year, so let’s try something a little different.  In these author spotlights, I’ll look at a creator of manga, anime, or light novels and discuss their works. Some of these creators you may have heard of, and some may be new to you.

First up to bat is none other than ONE. You may know him from his works, OnePunch Man and Mob Psycho 100, but you may also not know anything else about him – because we have no idea who he is.

ONE is an author/illustrator who has been writing and publishing manga online for almost the past 10 years. OnePunch Man was originally published on his website (where it still is), and his remake of the series in collaboration with the illustrator Yusuke Murata is published  in Shonen Jump. Why was this done? Well, OnePunch Man was ONE’s first real series, and thus the art was not wonderful. The story however, is so goddamn fantastic amazing that I don’t have enough adjectives to give to it. Murata read this phenomenal series, and contacted ONE to collaborate on a redraw of the series.

ONE is someone who creates his works for his own sake. His artwork is not great – it got a lot better, as can be seen in Mob Psycho 100.  I know I am not really doing a real review or biography about ONE, but that’s not the point here. I don’t have much to tell about ONE and his works – you just have to read them. As I was saying, his artwork is not great. When I have shown the original OnePunch Man to other people they have called it “impossible to read.” But it’s really not hard to read, it’s just very far from what one is used to.

He’s not a professional artist, but that doesn’t matter. He’s just that good. What do I mean? It’s the story ONE creates. He is a fantastic storyteller and world crafter. OnePunch Man is a gag manga that explores deeper emotional and psychological issues that people can face. Mob Psycho 100 is also a  gag manga that has a multilayered story about growing up, learning one’s place in the world, fighting against adversity and learning the importance of emotions. ONE makes stories where a joke will happen, then a stunning revelation about humanity and the human condition – and it literally just fits perfectly together.

I’m serious, I can’t give enough praise to ONE. Maybe other people think differently, but no – they’re goddamn wrong. ONE is a genius and you can see that in his work. I read OnePunch Man first, the Murata version, then I read the original series. I devoured them both. The redraw is the original story, plus incredulous artwork. Murata, who was the illustrator for such works as Eyeshield 21, is such a talented artist, I could take a panel and put it in a museum. I was in love by the middle of the first chapter. Then I read the original series. It was not easy at first, I had to muscle through at the beginning. Then the story began to click and I was entrapped. It is just so good, s-o-o-o-o good. Repetitive compliments, I know – but still the truth.

Everything he does is filled with humor and emotion. Mob Psycho 100 literally just flip flops between laughter and introspective analysis of humanity. It still works perfectly, it’s a melting pot of everything possible. Comedy, drama, action, romance – it is all there together at the same time and not. Makes no sense, but then again I am never going to be able to describe it as it really is.

ONE is an author who transcends words, transcends reviews, transcends reason! Which is why this review makes no sense. I don’t have to explain him or his work to you. It’s just that perfect.

Read Luke’s review of ‘Bunny Drop’