I have been late to the game with One Punch Man. I loved the anime and put the One Punch Man manga on my to-read list a while ago. Unfortunately, my to-read list is insanely long. So, it took me a while to make my way to One Punch Man. However, I finally got around to reading this manga and binge-read One Punch Man over the course of November 2022. Lord! One and Murata did not disappoint! As a result, One Punch Man has become my favorite manga that is currently being published. Yeah, One Punch Man even pushed its way past Spy x Family, Chainsaw Man, My Hero Academia, and Maschle to grab that coveted number-one spot.
At any rate, I am excited to read One Punch Man Chapter 174 – “Epicenter.” One continues to build the foundation for this new story arc. I am sure that One and Murata will deliver another enjoyable read. Let’s hit this review.
Artist: Yusuke Murata
We begin with a flashback scene with Blizzard and Psychos in high school. The two are happy that they have more members in their group the Strange Powers Research Society. Psychos studied a power called The Third Eye to see into the future in an attempt to become stronger than Hellish Blizzard.
However, once Psychos unlocks The Third Eye she is overwhelmed by visions of the future. This leads Psychos to conclude that the world is meaningless. That humans are a plague. There is no point in ruling a rotten heap. It is better to clear the ground first. That all humans must be eradicated. Blizzard disagreed with Psychos and the two split from each other.
We cut to the ending of the Monster Association Arc with Blizzard holding a defeated Psychos. Blizzard searches Psychos’ mind to see what is the source of Psychos’ fear. Blizzard sees the image of God who had empowered Homeless Emperor and Geros near the end of the Monster Association Arc.
We shift to the present with members of Tsukuyomi about to take possession of the captive Psychos. Blizzard along with Saitama and the members of her Blizzard Bunch enter the room. Suddenly, the roof splits apart and Terrible Tornado enters the scene.
Tornado is pissed that Psychos is still alive. The Tsukuyomi psychic attacks Tornado, but Tornado easily takes him out. Blizzard forms a shield around Psychos so Tornado cannot crush her. Tornado is angry with her sister, Blizzard, for protecting Psychos.
We shift back in time to a day ago with Tornado and Blizzard having dinner. Tornado reveals that Tsukuyomi, the group that experimented on Tornado, now wants Psychos. Tornado says that they have to stop that from happening. Tornado says she has a plan for her and Blizzard to stop this from happening.
We zip back to the present. The Tsukuyomi psychic stands back up and says that he is taking Psychos, Tornado, and Blizzard with him. The sisters are impressed with the artificial psychic’s powers. Blizzard tells Saitama that he must have ascended during his fight with Garo and that she needs his help.
Suddenly, the Tsukuyomi psychic splits the ground under Saitama. Saitama falls into the chasm below. The ground then seals up over Saitama.
We cut to Saitama in the threat-level Demon Monster holding area under the Hero Association headquarters. The monsters are excited to eat Saitama before they escape and kill everyone.
One Punch Man Chapter 174 was another excellent read! I particularly enjoyed how One constructed this chapter. The approach of shifting back and forth in time made this a much livelier read. Starting the chapter with a flashback scene to Psychos in high school helped to finish off her origin story. Then shifting back to the present conflict before shifting to the night before with Tornado revealing her plan to Blizzard was brilliant story construction.
This made the scene in the present at the Hero Association far more exciting. Since the reader does not know about the meeting the night before between Tornado and Blizzard, the reader is brought to the edge of their seat as Tornado enters the scene. I was all set and ready for a battle between the two sisters as Tornado seemed bent on killing Psychos. The reveal that the two sisters met the night before and that all of it was a ruse planned by Tornado was brilliant. This was an excellent swerve by One. I love that One smartly constructs his story for the maximum impact on the reader.
One Punch Man Chapter 174 is also a well-plotted chapter. One has great long-term vision and is able to advance several plot lines in this chapter. The biggest plot line of One Punch Man Chapter 174 was installing the new villain for this story arc. It is clear that One is positioning Tsukuyomi as the new villainous organization for this new story arc. This organization is an excellent choice as the villain for this story arc.
First, I am glad that One is revisiting this organization. We last saw Tsukuyomi during the Monster Association arc in a flashback scene detailing Tsukyyomi torturing and testing Tornado and then Blast arriving and rescuing Tornado. This is an interesting organization that will prove fascinating to learn more about as One continues to peel back the layers behind Tsukuyomi’s membership and its motivations and goals.
Second, Tsukuyomi should make for a great villainous organization since it appears to be loaded with artificial psychics. We have already learned that psychics are some of the biggest heavy hitters in the One Punch Man universe. I am interested to learn more about artificial psychics and how they are created and how many there are working for Tsukuyomi. I am also curious to see what kind of power level these artificial psychics possess. It would be pretty wild if we eventually see an artificial psychic who can go toe-to-toe with Tornado.
One also installs a secondary plot line in One Punch Man Chapter 174 with an excellent hook ending. The big revelation that the Hero Association is keeping Demon-level monsters captive underneath the Hero Association headquarters gets the reader excited for the next chapter. This was a surprise reveal. It appears that all is not perfect within the halls of this new Hero Association headquarters.
My guess is that these Demon-level monsters are being held captive at the headquarters so that Metal Knight can use them to test out his new defenses for the Hero Association headquarters. This is definitely a risky move. It also remains to be seen how the other heroes will react to the fact that the Hero Association is secretly keeping Demon-level monsters under the headquarters which is also being marketed as a residence for rich citizens.
One continues to portray Metal Knight as a shady hero. We already know that Metal Knight has set his sights on Saitama as a potential future threat. It looks like our heroes may have to deal with a threat from within while also dealing with an external threat from Tsukuyomi.
As usual, One provides plenty of good character work in One Punch Man Chapter 174. All of the characters have well-developed personalities. The dialogue is well constructed. One also continues to create enjoyable chemistry between the various characters.
I love all of the additional backstory that we get on Psychos. I love Psychos’ character. She is fantastic. I like her even more now that we have learned about her backstory. The backstory does an excellent job of making Psychos a bit more sympathetic. The backstory also explains why a human-like Psychos would join forces with the Monster Association. Personally, I hope that One has some plans for Psychos going forward. She is just too good of a character to not keep around in some role.
I like both Tornado and Blizzard so it is fantastic to see One having this sister team join forces and work together. These two characters have often been at odds. So, it is enjoyable to see the two sisters coming together and developing a better relationship with each other. I hope that One continues to evolve this relationship as we progress through this story arc. There is so much potential with this sister team.
One also continues to do a fantastic job with Saitama’s character. We get our usual nonplussed Saitama living in his own world during this chapter. During the massive psychic fight, Saitama is only thinking about how during fights psychics always destroy people’s homes and businesses without any care. Saitama is still irritated that Tornado destroyed his house during the big battle in the Monster Association arc.
Also, at the end of the chapter, Saitama sees the monsters being kept at the Hero Association headquarters and simply thinks that if they can keep Demon-level monsters at the headquarters then it should not be an issue for him to keep a dog. Of course. I love that Saitama continues to live in his own little world nearly oblivious to the high-stakes conflicts that are going on around him. This is all part of Saitama’s charm. I am glad that One is not losing sight of this aspect of Saiatama’s character despite all that happened during the Monster Association arc.
Saitama’s character and the bits of comedy that he brings with him are always appreciated. This is one way the One keeps One Punch Man a funny read despite when heavier conflicts are taking place.
All right, we have talked enough about One’s great story. It is time to give some love to Yusuke Murata’s fantastic artwork. As always, One Punch Man Chapter 174 is a good-looking chapter. Murata always does a wonderful job on this title. Murata draws such fantastic facial expressions which really bring this story to life. We do not get tons of action in this chapter, but the little bit that we get near the end definitely looks great.
Now, this One Punch Man Chapter 174 is not nearly as dramatic and packed full of big moments as many of the chapters we got over and over during the Monster Association arc. You can definitely tell that Murata is catching his breath after all of his phenomenal and eye-popping work during the Monster Association arc. But, even an average-looking chapter for Murata is still far better looking than what most artists deliver.
Nothing at all.
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8.5 Night Girls out of 10
One Punch Man Chapter 174 was another fun read. One continues to deliver a manga that offers the perfect blend of enjoyable characters, funny moments, strong plotting, and cool action. Anyone who enjoys the superhero genre definitely needs to give One Punch Man a try. Even readers who are not big superhero fans but like action/comedy mangas should also give One Punch Man a chance.