For Nerd by Nerds is our column where we get otaku AF, looking at tattoos based on our most beloved aspects of pop culture. Sometimes it’s video games like Majora’s Mask, and other times we turn into a full-fledged anime publication, geeking out to Sailor Moon, Attack on Titan, and more, but we get down to cartoons like The Simpsons, too.
Just when I thought anime had finally run out of steam, with every conceivable trope already done to death, I discovered One-Punch Man. As far as recent anime goes, One-Punch Man kicks everything else’s ass. Because of it’s absurd antics and killer fight sequences, it is hands down one of the best cartoons ever created. Starting off as a popular webcomic in the early 2010s, One-Punch Man burst onto the anime scene two years ago. Since its release, the show has grown into a worldwide sensation, and tons of fans have gotten tattoo portraits of its wacky characters.
For those who haven’t experienced the punchdrunk insanity that is One-Punch Man, it tells the story of Saitama, an unemployed man who decides to become a hero. He trains — doing 100 push-ups, sit-ups, squats, and running a 10k every day — until he goes bald and grows strong enough to defeat any enemy with a single blow. The only catch to his limitless power is that it leaves him feeling incredibly bored. This pokes fun at the idea of superheroes and the overblown nature of anime in general. Every episode follows the same design, a rising action in which he procrastinates saving the day, until forced to take action at the very last minute, obliterating fearsome monsters by barely lifting a finger.
Given the charm of this superhero parody, it’s not surprising that so many One-Punch Man devotees have memorialized their fandom with tattoos. Saitama, in his iconic yellow and red uniform, has sauntered onto numerous people’s skin, looking both nonchalant and intense. His cyborg disciple — Genos — has also showed up for the fight, as seen in the piece by Hori Benny. Personally, I can hardly believe that some nerd had Simon K. Bell (who’s already done a number of pieces based on the anime) do a tattoo of Puripuri Prisoner, but seeing him on someone’s body brings me endless joy, just like watching him rip off all of his clothes and sprout angel wings to engage in glorious combat with the Deep Sea King.
One-Punch Man is currently streaming on Netflix, so if you haven’t enjoyed its badassery yet, set aside your entire Saturday for some binge watching. You won’t regret it. I personally can’t imagine a better way to pass the time than watching Genos fail miserably only to have Saitama step in to effortlessly prevent the destruction of the world, episode after episode.