One-Punch Man Trades Superheroes for Fantasy in Must-Read Manga

Manga fans who enjoy One-Punch Man and don’t mind swapping superheroes for a fantasy setting should check out That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime.

In One-Punch Man, the protagonist Saitama is so strong that this whole superhero manga series is built on the assumption that he cannot lose, no matter how powerful his enemies are. There is one isekai manga built on the same premise of having an overpowered protagonist, but in a fantasy setting: That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime. Having an invincible character, however, could lead to readers getting bored, so both manga focus on ancillary characters to keep the story moving, and this formula has proven to be incredibly successful.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slimealso known as TenSure, is one of the most successful isekai franchises, having spawned a manga series, three anime seasons, and a mobile game from the original light novels. The manga was the first one adapted from a light novel to reach 20 million copies in circulation, and its popularity keeps growing. TenSure tells the story of Satoru Mikami, a Japanese corporate worker who is stabbed to death on the streets of Tokyo. While dying, Satoru hears a mysterious voice that asks him seemingly random questions. When he wakes up, he has been reincarnated as a Slime in a fantasy world, where he later takes the name of Rimuru Tempest. His feelings from him at the moment of death influence the species he reincarnates as and the skills he acquires, particularly the ability called “Predator” that allows him to devour anything and mimic its appearance and skills from him. He also later receives the ability Great Sage, essentially an AI that runs calculations and assists him in battle.


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This is a similar premise to other works of the increasingly popular isekai genre, but Rimuru’s peculiarity is that he starts “the game” with far superior abilities than what he should. He wakes up in a cave full of monsters and magical nutrients, and his Predator skill lets him devour and absorb all of them, gaining increasing power. When Rimuru finally emerges from the cave, he is so strong that he has very few challenges in the world, even fewer after he successfully evolves into a Demon Lord. Because Rimuru is so powerful, the series often focuses on the large cast of characters he meets during his adventure. Rimuru’s strength and natural charisma (and the knowledge he carries from the “real” world) attract many other “monsters,” who are also able to evolve and become stronger thanks to Rimuru’s influence on him. When the nation of Tempest, founded by Rimuru to let all monsters live in peace and harmony, is threatened, most of the fights are handled by the Slime’s closest subordinates.

This is very similar to what happens in One-Punch Man. The success of this manga is based on the fact that it completely flips shonen clich├ęs by having a protagonist who doesn’t need to grow through continuous challenges: he is simply stronger than everyone else. For this reason, most of the time the manga focuses on the other members of the Hero Association who have to go through dangerous fights. When the situation is too dire, Saitama shows up and solves things, usually unnoticed. One-Punch Man is able to strike a good balance between its ridiculous but effective premise and giving readers their dose of classic shonen emotions. TenSure also achieves something very similar, as Rimuru remains the main attraction of the series, but its supporting cast has been well developed by being the focus of most of the action.

Manga fans who enjoy One-Punch Man and don’t mind switching superheroes for a fantasy setting must definitely try That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slimeanother manga with an overpowered protagonist and a great cast of supporting characters.

Next: One-Punch Man’s Saitama Is So Strong, He Can Now Perform Literal Miracles

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