Review by Ian Keogh
Among the heroes beaten up by Garo the Human Monster in 09 was Saitama’s friend Mumen Rider, so it’s only natural he’d visit him in hospital, and while there he acquires a tournament ticket. Saitama might not care much about hero rankings, but the opportunity to win a big cash prize is another matter.
That’s just one of several plots One runs through 10. Hero Association executives are being targeted by monsters, so the more powerful heroes have to perform bodyguard duties, and there’s also the matter of Garo’s continuing rampage. One appears to be building toward a showdown between Saitama and Garo, and he actually delivers it here, far earlier than expected and brilliantly. However, it’s not the ultimate showdown, which will have to wait. So will almost everything else, as this another staging post selection with almost half the content being three long bonus chapters that tie into the main continuity without moving the plot forward in the slightest.
Tornado earns her cover status by virtue of starring in the first bonus chapter. She a contradictory type, moaning about duties she considers beneath her, yet equally unhappy when next time she’s overlooked in favour of someone else. We can conclude Tornado’s not a very happy individual, but who would be the way she’s drawn by Yusuke Murata, kind of stunted and resembling a robot doll more than a human. That’s just a matter of design style, though, as he’s on his best form elsewhere, particularly with the insectoid monsters that are popping out of the streets.
Saitama enters a costume contest in the second bonus story, and the third has some great bits, but one of the best elements will pass anyone by if they’re unaware of King’s background. Hellish Blizzard believes she’s come up with the ideal way to have Saitama join her group of heroes, as there’s no way he and his friends will win her challenge. It takes a swerve at the midway point in order to road test Child Emperor’s hero assessment device.
One has introduced such a large cast and has an active imagination bursting with ideas for characters that would be squeezed from the main continuity. These are by and large decent stories, but they’re lighter, and rarely match the tension set by the primary storyline. It makes the volumes where the bonus material occupies a significant page count frustrating reads as they’re accompanied by the inescapable feeling that creative time would be better spent focusing on a single story and only once that’s finished providing the side dishes.