For a while here the canons have been broken: we have accessed so many stories through so many means, that innovating seems an impossible task. how do we get characters to develop arcs when we’re used to every saga being about improving skills and techniques, learning and perfecting? All the stories, at least the majority and I have to say that many of the ones I like, tend to do that. In fact, it is the beginning of the hero’s path: being in a practical world and having to descend to the spiritual world and know failure to learn and get ahead. So, if all stories are determined from the beginning to have that structure, are we constrained to repeat the structure endlessly?
Image from: Netflix
Fortunately, the answer is no. Although the hero’s path is an “archetypal” structure within the cosmogony of almost any civilization, it is also true that it is not the only one that exists. And, for example, on this occasion we will see another construction that has been used more and more, and that, in my opinion, is equally beautiful due to the handling and projection that the viewer can have of the work: One Punch Man.
I’ve only seen the first season (blessed Netflix for not releasing the second) but we’ll review the structure of the character: he doesn’t require training, he’s a character, regularly called in video game slang, who is “broken” , because there is no balance between him and his whole world or opponents, he is just on another level and as much as he wants to get close to the opponents that face him, none of that matters when he decides to get serious. In fact, the plot evolves until he decides it should, so, when he says enough, the whole game is over. We could well call it a Des ex Machina. But, unlike being something that would not appear unless the author required it when he no longer knows how to finish his work like in the Greek theater (the origin of the concept) , here it is present throughout the work: by making him the protagonist, he is the one who is in control of everything, and, in this sense, he does not break with the continuity of the work, but makes it advance in the path that he expects and decides.
This structure is interesting because it allows us to go back, on the one hand, to our childhood: to the games where we invented powers and threw them at each other, we explained that they didn’t hurt us because we had used special defenses or We were doing weird moves to avoid damage and stay in the game. On the one hand, that’s what the series is about: that return to where nothing else but having fun matters, and still the question remains: is there something else behind it? The answer is yes. But that will be for another time. a>