Warning: The following contains spoilers for Ayashimon Chapter 1, "I'll Play With You, Punk" by Yuji Kaku, Adrienne Beck, Brandon Bovia, available in English via Viz Media.
Yuji Kaku, the creator of Hell’s Paradise, has a new series running in Shonen Jump that strikes a strong resemblance to One-Punch Man’s story. Ayashimon is the story of an over-powered young man named Maruo Kaido who is trying to find purpose in his life. After having an interesting encounter with the underworld yakuza boss Urara, Maruo discovers that he can potentially fight a hoard of worthy opponents.
Although the world-building of both stories is different, there are some similarities that could resonate with fans of each series. Let’s go over how the similarities may complement one another while staying true to their own story via their differences.
The Main Protagonists Are Human
The key characteristic Maruo and Saitama share is that they are both ordinary humans. They started off as ordinary people who came across strong foes that humiliated them and sparked the hunger to become the strongest person possible.
Saitama went through his iconic training of 100 push-ups, 100 sit-ups, 100 squats, 10 km run every day. While Mauro practice traditional training methods to achieve his overwhelming strength. Through their normal, yet rigorous training, they achieve superhuman strength.
Their Purpose Plays On The Satire Of The Series
Both Maruo and Saitama are seeking a greater purpose. Maruo wants to be the protagonist of a manga, and have an old-fashioned fistfight with worthy enemies. His desire to be in a life or death situation is the only validation he accepts as a challenge.
Saitama trained to become the strongest hero that could defeat his enemies with a single punch, and coincidently he achieved that goal. The only problem is, now he’s too powerful and doesn’t find it exciting to defeat foes in a single hit.
They Both Share Similar Attitudes
If you are a fan of One-Punch Man, then you are familiar with Saitama’s nonchalant attitude. No matter what the threat is, he always seems uninterested while worrying about the next best bargain at the supermarket.
Maruo is similar since he doesn’t realize the magnitude of his strength, he just casually jumps from one job to another until he somehow destroys his opportunities with his monstrous strength. And his burning desire to become a protagonist mirrors Saitama’s goal of becoming a great hero.
The Enemies They Face Are Different
A major difference between both stories is the enemies they face. In Ayashimon, Maruo is facing off against Yakuza monster spirits. The spirits disguise themselves as humans and reveal their grotesque forms when they are in the fighting mood. Although the spirits seem powerful, Maruo is able to keep up with them in terms of fighting power.
In One-Punch Man, Saitama’s enemies come from either some bizarre region of the universe or are directly from the Monsters Association. All the monsters are unique with their own characteristics and seem to be relatively strong when it comes to facing off against earth’s heroes.
Saitama Doesn’t Have Limits
Even though Maruo has superhuman strength, he still has trouble facing off against the hoard of yakuza spirits. He is not invincible and suffers some severe wounds, but suffering damage feeds his masochistic tendencies to the point where he enjoys the thrill of almost dying. Although he doesn’t die, he is not indestructible like Saitama. Also, Saitama doesn’t get tired or bleed when he faces off against his opponents. Normally he just stands there with his iconic blank stare until he obliterates his opponent with one punch.
Mauro Is A Lap Dog
Although it has only been one chapter in Ayashimon, Mauro has already lost his independence because he forms a pact with Urara via the Sakazuki Sake Cup. He is now her lap dog, and the story is gravitating towards the premise of her making him do all her dirty work. She will also have to convince him that the tasks she needs to be completed are worthy of his strength, and could be life-threatening.
This plot is completely different from how Saitama operates on his own accord, but somehow fulfills the goals of the heroes. He answers to no one, and at times, learns lessons from Genos, even though he is technically his master. Since Saitama is too overpowered, there is no one that could disrupt his peaceful life.
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