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Salaryman Masculinity in One-Punch Man‘s Kynical Narrative

Joe Yang

This article examines the world of One-Punch Man, a popular manga and anime series by ONE and Murata Yusuke. It focuses on the friction between the role of the individual superhero versus the system that values their efforts. I argue that One-Punch Man evaluates its heroes based upon their productivity. Thus, One-Punch Man’s heroes fall prey to a broader ideology of “Japan, Inc.” In One-Punch Man, this ideology shapes its heroes into workers rather than agents. More specifically, One-Punch Man envisions its heroes through the lens of salaryman masculinity.

Keywords: ideology, salaryman masculinity, Japan, manga, anime

Joe Yang is a PhD student at Trent University. He studies ideology, eschatology, and games.