ONE’s One-Punch Man has become a global phenomenon. What started off as a free webcomic back in 2009 has since become one of the most popular manga and anime of the modern era. Fans around the world love watching Saitama’s adventures and although quirky and sometimes outright weird, Saitama has become one of the most popular manga and anime characters of the 21st century. What are the differences between the One-Punch Man original webcomic and the manga remake?
The main difference between the One-Punch Man webcomic and the manga is the quality of the art, which is far superior in the manga. The story is more or less the same, with the manga having a lot of major additions (with ONE’s blessing), but in overall terms of quality and enjoyment, the manga is far superior to the webcomic.
The rest of this article will further elaborate on what we have established in this answer. You’re going to get some basic information on the webcomic, as well as the manga, after which we are going to compare the two to tell you more about some specific differences between the two sources of the Saitama’s adventures.
One-Punch Man Webcomic
The original webcomic began publication in 2009. ONE, the author of the webcomic, self-published the series on the Japanese manga website Nitosha.net. As of August 2021, the webcomic has a total of 141 published chapters and is still ongoing. In terms of plot, the webcomic is ways ahead of the manga.
One-Punch Man Manga
The manga series adaptation drawn by Yūsuke Murata has been published since June 14, 2012 in the web magazine Tonari no Young Jump. The idea for the adaptation started after a Twitter chat from Murata wishing to collaborate with ONE. Outside of Japan, the series is published in North America in the digital magazine Weekly Shōnen Jump Alpha published by VIZ Media. As of December 3, 2021, twenty-four volumes have been published.
One-Punch Man Webcomic Vs. Manga: Differences
In this section, we are going to list and compare the main differences between the original webcomic and the manga, grouped into several categories. The differences aren’t really major, in both cases, it’s still the same work, but they are – at times, at least – significant and they do deserve our attention.
The artwork is probably the biggest and most direct difference between these two works. It’s the main thing you’ll notice, without having to read one line from either the webcomic or the manga. The original webcomic was illustrated by ONE and it looks like this:
As you can see, the art style is pretty simple and is far below the standard of Japanese manga publications. You can follow it, it’s not horrible, but if we’re being honest, it looks like something a child would draw and looks more like a vessel for the plot and the dialogues than actual art.
We don’t want to imply that ONE never cared for his art, but it seems that his drawing abilities are limited and while such an approach has its benefits, it’s of a lower quality than what most manga readers are used to. On the other hand, the manga looks like this:
This is just one example of how the manga is different and how great the art is. Written by ONE (or based off on his stories), the One-Punch Man manga has been drawn by Yusuke Murata, a very experienced manga and comic book artist. Murata approached the One-Punch Man manga as one should approach it and elevated the art to a respectable level. This is what a manga should look like and it was truly refreshing to see Saitama and the gang in such a way.
The art is the biggest difference between these two works and the manga definitely wins in this category, as Murata’s art is far superior to anything ONE has ever drawn.
In terms of the plot, there aren’t any major differences, but there are some significant ones. The main source of all of Saitama’s adventures is ONE’s webcomic, but the manga is not only based on that webcomic, it has also expanded the original narrative; in most cases, especially when some major events are concerned, it was done with ONE’s blessing.
Here are some of the major changes that have been made in the manga (mostly additions, will be noted when something else), when compared to the webcomic:
- Everything that happened in between Saitama karate chopping Garou to Saitama kicking Garou in the wall. Includes the tournament, Metal Bat fights and Elder Centipede.
- Everything to do with Orochi, the monster cells, his Garou/Saitama fight and Psykos fusion.
- In the webcomic, there is no Orochi. It was just Garou slowly becoming a monster, but there wasnt Orochi, the Monster King. But in the manga, Yusuke Murata created Orochi, and that was one of the greatest additions to the manga.
- Blast reveal in Sweet Mask’s flashback, the cube, his suit and appearing for the first time for real.
- Blast also makes a proper appearance in the storyline, which is a great addition to the plot and something that never happens in the webcomic.
- In the webcomic, Saitama and Flash never actually meet, but in the manga Saitama and Flash meet and talk.
So, the differences aren’t, as you can see, that big. Sure, the manga has some additional content, but no major changes have been made to the plot. Still, the manga has more depth and some great additions, and you’ll find fans who state that the manga is, in fact, the canon source, while the webcomic is not, but we wouldn’t go that far in this aspect.
In this aspect, there is nothing much to tell, really. The webcomic and the manga follow the same narrative continuity and are part of the same fictional universe. The manga expands on the original webcomic, giving us more details and additions to the plot, but the continuity remains the same and these changes have been made canon thanks to ONE’s blessing.
One-Punch Man Webcomic Vs. Manga: Which Is Better?
Overall, in terms of quality and plot, the manga is superior to the original webcomic. While ONE is a great narrator, he is a poor artist and when you compare the relatively simple art of the webcomic to the artistry of the manga, you’ll know what we are talking about.
In terms of plot, the webcomic remains the main source, but since most of the (major) changes in the manga have been done with ONE’s blessing, the manga can be considered canon as well and if you approach it like that, the plot is simply more entertaining.
But, despite the fact that we think the manga is superior, we would advise you to read both. The webcomic is the original source for the plot and it is far ahead in terms of the events; it is assumed that the manga might catch up to the original webcomic in several years’ time. Also, there is something attractive when the simplicity of the original webcomic is concerned, even when compared to the artistry of the manga, and that is why we keep coming back to it.