Review by Ian Keogh
The strangely titled Because I’m the Bald Cape?, which does make sense, follows Depleted, the first unsatisfying volume of One-Punch Man in some while. After a previous dip to average, creator One bounced back with the best books of the series to date. That’s not quite the case here, but it’s a definite rise up the quality rankings.
Depleted failed to hit the spot because virtually nothing interrupted two hundred pages of fighting, as Garo saw off assorted heroes, and because we barely saw One-Punch Man himself. The first of those is rectified in these opening pages as Garo looks back to the resentments of his youth, followed by the appearance of a monster capable of withstanding almost any hero. Centichoro is a centipede, but aggressive, and scaled up to the size of a city district.
A clever ending to the opening section leads into a meeting of the Hero Association concerned about an abducted child, the reintroduction of a considerable number of heroes seen in earlier volumes and a clever transition between the second and third chapters.
Over the previous couple of volumes Yusuke Murata has had it comparatively easy when it comes to designing new characters, but here he’s back to having to introduce dozens. The sample page with the complex Centichoro shows there’s no lack of desire to supply stunning new creations. Somewhere online someone must have totted up the sheer number of heroes and villains introduced in One-Punch Man to date, and it’s got to top a hundred, which is a hell of a lot of design work on Murata’s part.
Despite the threat over a long opening chapter, this is a transitional volume, taking stock midway through a conflict. The injection of far more plot alongside the action thrills raises expectations again, as does the ending with Garo instructed to prove himself to the Monster Association by bringing them the head of a hero. Will he do it? We’ll find out in Limiter.