“The Deep Sea King”

「深海の王」 (Shinkai no ou)

The Good – All-Round Epicness:

My feelings on this episode are mixed, but one thing is undeniable: One-Punch Man is a snowball of epic proportions that just keeps on getting bigger with each passing episode. We’ve reached the point where all the humour, action, and character interactions feel effortless. The foundations for an epic action parody have been set-up, and every episode in the past month has been thoroughly entertaining, proving why the hype surrounding it wasn’t misplaced. This episode may not have had the best animated fight sequences (there were more still shots this time in comparison to previous episodes), but damn, it still looked awesome. It felt tense, and for once there is a villain who is a legitimate threat. Deep Sea King (Koyama Rikiya) is seen fighting off S-Class heroes and devastating A-class ones, without even really trying. For the most part, the big baddies we’ve seen every week have been mainly comical, sometimes with some meat behind their words – but the arrival of the Deep Sea King marks the beginning of some serious villains on the horizon.

We got to see plenty of new hero faces this week, and the return of some from previous episodes. Interesting enough, the part that had me thinking the most is when Sweet Mask is being interviewed on a talk show. While all this devastation is going on, the top A-Class hero is more interested in promoting his brand than saving his people. I wouldn’t say he’s necessarily evil (just yet…), but this brings up a point that has been highlighted before: Why are these people heroes in the first place?

I’m sure some like the easy-to-root-for C-Class Mumen Rider are there purely to protect those in needs and keep the cities safe. He may not be particularly flashy, but his heart is in the right place and I’m sure everyone watching wants to see him succeed. We’ve seen other heroes (like Sweet Mask) who are more interested in benefitting their image, while some relish in their rankings and will fight anyone that bumps down the ladder. I even liked when Sneck made his reappearance after his laughable introduction, only to get quickly shot down – but still, he tried to protect the people in danger, and that’s what counts most of all.

The Bad – The Stereotypical Okama:

However, while the action was enjoyable, and seeing old and new heroes on the scene was as welcomed as ever, there was one hero that I wish did not exist. And that is the Pri-Pri-Prisoner (Onosaka Masaya), the walking-talking Gay Joke. What could have potentially been an impactful character ended up falling flat for me. Really, it all stems from the Okama stereotype and how prevalent it is used to depict gay man in Japanese entertainment (and anime in particular). I think it’s a tired and frankly offensive stereotype, though I do accept that it doesn’t necessarily stem from an antagonist view on homosexuality – more Japan’s ignorance to the topic than anything else.

I am capable of liking these sorts of characters when I’m presented with a Character and not the embodiment of a Gay Joke. Leeron Littner from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann is an example of a massively effeminate character who flirts with his male counterparts, yet that feels much less distasteful. Why? Because he has a role, a personality, and a character. He wasn’t created purely to be laughed at, which allows him to be more than what’s initially presented. Bon Clay from One Piece is the finest example of an Okama done right (though I don’t like the Okama Island side of the story), because he has an emotional bond with Luffy, and feels like a genuine friend who would do anything for him. He has his own powerful, emotional moments that go beyond him being a flamboyant gay stereotype, and it works wonders.

Here, however, Puri-Puri-Prisoner does not work. I understand that One-Punch Man is a comedy, and nearly every character is made to be a laughing-stock at some point, but this is a time where I didn’t find it funny. I have to be honest and say I was very much disappointment with his character, since he very easily could have been portrayed much better. I read that he even had his own backstory that they’ve seemed to skip over, which would have helped flesh him out. His Sailor-Moon style transformation was amusing, and the action he provided was notable, but everything else about him leaves a sour taste in my mouth.

Overview – What’s Next?:

Puri-Puri-Prisoner doesn’t entirely ruin this episode, but he does spoil it from being potentially the best to date. That aside, everything is building up nicely, and I cannot wait to see Mumen Rider and Saitama getting in on the action next week. I’m glad we’re getting a villain that’s lasting more than an episode (or in some cases, a few minutes), lending to him being the first credible threat, which will make his downfall even more satisfying.

Full-length images: 27, 29.


  1. Being Lancer is suffering…

    Pri-Pri Prison, Ai No Prison! XD

    Mumen Rider might be one of the weaker C-class heroes, but he might just be the most just of all heroes, besides Saitama and Genos. Now that’s a Real Hero of Justice.

    I wonder though, what’s keeping Mumen Rider from acquiring a license to operate motor vehicles? Can’t he pass the tests?

    1. Licenseless Rider is what a typical righteous hero would be minus all of the power. He’s Saitama’s inversion. Saitama have all of the power, and mostly didn’t have all of the righteous attributes

  2. Ah Puri Puri gets much better in the manga as he gets more air time. (Although I have since learned even with sympathetic and well-rounded portrayal, we rarely get a gay character without at least some of the stereotypical baggage in a straight up fighting shounen. More rare than a well-rounded female character even. Then you get the other end of stereotypes and flat characters from 女性向 media.)

    Same situation with the esper sisters. When they first started out I hated them, but then more and more of them were revealed as the story went on, and now I am sympathetic to both.

    Here is hope anime gets enough hype for us to get at least season 2. But sadly the redraw is nowhere near where the original is. And I am not sure if they will animate anything past the redraw, or if we’ll get a season 2 at all.

    Also noticed the animation dip in this episode. Hope they were saving all that energy for the 2nd part.

    1. Perhaps I would warm to him if he was given the opportunity to prove he was more than what this episode set up, but I can only go off of what I saw in this episode. As for the other characters that won’t get as much focus in this adaptation, that does suck. There’s bound to be plenty of worthwhile characters who deserve the spotlight, but there’s no way we’ll get to cover it all. At least we’ve got 7 confirmed OVAs after this season ends, which basically adds up to 19 episode. That’s better than nothing!

      1. Yeah I kinda understand why an anime only viewer may never like Puri Puri. His intro does kinda suck.

        And good news and bad I guess. No 2nd season to come confirmed?
        How long are the OVAs? Are they anime original, or based off manga special chapters?

      2. The original webcomic by ONE has enough material for season 2. There is an entire LONG story arc that would make it the whole season. Problem is that Murata’s redrawn manga (which is what the animators were using as storyboard) isn’t even close to half way through. Believe me, they know this thing needs a second season, there just isn’t enough material yet.

      3. “Knowing” and being able too are two entirely different things. The physical sales(BD/DVD) are pretty much the biggest thing that detirmines if a show gets another season. Not to mention this is a Madhouse show and they don’t seem to do many sequels. But in my opinion, Overlord(Another Madhouse show) is a certainty to be ahead of One Punch Man due to the fact all of the available BD volumes have sold well over 10k volumes each already. Add in the DVD sales and its pretty much a hit for Madhouse.

    2. Well, Puri’s got that thing with his muscle-pal, and you can’t say he’s not willing to stand up and put his life on the line to save the pretty boys, but I wouldn’t say he really ever gets GREAT.

    1. Sweet Mask has enough power and popularity to make it to S-Class if he wants to. Problem is that he doesn’t want to rank up if he cannot be #1 on that rank. He knew he is nowhere as powerful as S2 Terrible Tornado, so he remain in A1 sort of as a gatekeeper of unworthy S-Class.

    2. @BigFire Actually, the only reason is him being a gatekeeper just like what you said. The rest is just your opinion.

      @SinsI I also thought about that when I first saw Pig God (ew.. so gross). Maybe Pig God and Pri Pri Prisoner became S-Class before Amai Mask became A-Class #1 and a consultant for the higher-ups of Hero Association.

  3. Conpletely disagree, though I get your point. The whole point of the show is introducing stereoptypes – basically EVERY stereotype there is, the cyborg, the ninja, the evil overlords etc. pp. Even the MAIN character has no real personality and can be called flat. It would be SO weird to introduce a gay guy as a rounded (is that the correct word?) character just so that people aren’t offended. We all know that the gay guy is over the top and that it’s a stereotype already. It’s fine to use it. I’m not offended by the sexualized women in the show either. And I sure hope noone is offended by the baldness of the main character, which stresses the absurdity of our hero. That is basically saying: baldness=not cool.
    Imo, it’s a problem in society nowadays that everyone is “offended” by something. The problem lies less in the fact that people use stereotypes but more in the fact that people can’t laugh about themselves and assume their surroundings arent aware of the fact that it’s a stereotype…Well, that’s my opinion at least.
    Also, if Im not mistaken, Japan was one of the first countries that was pretty liberal concerning homosexuality.

    1. I find it strange that some people will jump all over an entertainment media without seeing all of it. Almost like judging a person by that first meeting.

      The characters here do grow/have more revealed about them later on. Why slam something when you haven’t even finished reading it? I mean just look at One Piece. Mr. 2 started out as a bad joke, and look at where he is at now. Is his portrayal still stereotypical? Yes. Is this a social issue in Japan and the world at large? Yes. Is Oda personal friends with openly homosexual men, admires them for their courage, and also trying to flush out a trans character as a person of merit? Yes to that to. But would you say Mr. 2 was a cool character from his initial introduction alone? Likely nope. A cool character now? Most likely yes.

      Which just makes me sad that we may never see the later arcs animated. And Puri Puri won’t be the only one to suffer in characterization due to that. The Esper sisters, King, even Amai Mask, Bang to a point, all have more to show. ONE please hurry with your side project that you only do for fun.

    2. Meh, if you have only one token character of any group it does feel like propaganda. If he is good, positive propaganda, if he is bad, negative propaganda.

      Don’t take tokens seriously.

      I never see any piece of fiction where you have both good and bad gays. Rarer still, anything that discuss any kind of gay issue outside of prejudice.

    3. I dunno…does it add all that much when the only “joke” they make of homosexual love is that it’s not only unhealthy, but rapist in nature? Even as a joke, it’s a poor one.

      1. Exactly. Puri Puri was an accumulation of negative stereotypes wrapped in one. After learning why he was sent to prison, I’m glad we never got his backstory (as some manga readers have pointed out to me).

      2. Considering that the only other message nowadays is that: “homossexual love is pure and healthy like a yaoi manga or a holywood movie.” I would say that is the counter balance to that, even if it shows an ugly side of it. You don’t see the positive and the negative in the same piece of work.

        Rarely documentaries as THIS (ultra-grim) are talked about:


    4. I could write a lengthy response to this, but I already know that many will down-vote it because I’d be voicing my negative opinion on homophobia, which is something I have every right to be offended by. There are definitely worse things in the world than Puri Puri Prisoner, but that doesn’t make him exempt from scrutiny.

      However, what I will say is this: One-Punch Man delivers consistent comedy, and I really like the elements of parody it has, but if Puri Puri Prisoner was meant to be funny then One-Punch Man failed, because he wasn’t. Perhaps he made others laugh, or think he was awesome, but I did not feel that way and I had to be honest in my impressions.

      1. I still have no idea about “it’s not funny so it’s bad”, since there’s no other new character that is actually funny either this time (except for that lancer guy, but it’s pretty meta). I actually smirked when I saw the angel joke (and puri puri prisoner is a good name), so while I don’t find the backstory, gay stereotype or lack of depth as a good thing it’s just not really a big deal to make a fuss about.

      2. I fail to understand what was so offensive about the character. I found the entire scene hilarious.
        Perhaps a non-straight person could help to enlighten all of us, but personally, I just don’t see it.

        All I could see was an ultra strong hero who did fairly well against the supervillain and even saved one of his comrades. And I absolutely loved the henshin/transformation scene – when the background music kicked in, and the glowing angel wings spread out, it had me laughing and awing at the same time.
        Yes he was portrayed in some over-the-top nonsensical comical light, but so is just about every other character and stereotype on the show.

        This is what One-Pun-Man does, it takes a stereotype, cranks up the traits “to eleven” and applies those traits to a character. As Libélula already pointed out, they’re hitting just about every stereo typical character there is. In what way would you have preferred the typical “okama characteristics” to have been exaggerated? How else did you expect the character to turn out when the the manga’s MO is to specifically amplify stereotypical traits?

        And Puri-Puri-Prisoner is, quite literally, the typical okama character with absolutely every characteristic, physical and otherwise, on steroids.

        It sounds, to me, as though you are saying that it’s OK to exaggerate any type of character or characteristic equally. That is, as long as he or she isn’t part of specific minority groups. In which case it’s time to be PC-policing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NLaNQ_hI4E8

      3. I have been reading entries on Randomc for some time and this is the first time that someone has put so much emphasis on homosexuality. I found it weird that for OPM6 the author took Genos’s respect for Saitama as a disciple/pupil for adoration/boys love. I had to mention it with this entry on OPM8 because I do not think homosexuality is central to the show. I fail to see homosexuality between Genos and Saitama and I also fail to see homophobia with Puripuri Prisoner. First of all, Puripuri is a great character. May not be my favourite but still a great one. I think he’s funny and hardly stereotypical. He is respected by many and above that he is an S-class. What I’m trying to say is: don’t use OPM to defend gay rights. You would be doing gay people a great disservice. I do not know if you are gay or not, seriously I don’t care. Being gay is not a social class nor an identity, it’s a sexual orientation which I believe should remain private instead of a visible label. If you think I am homophobic, suit yourself but know this: my best friend told me after being in a relationship for three years with someone he never introduced to me that he’s gay; I guess it was not easy for him to tell me but he did and my reaction to that was: big deal, I don’t care, it does not change anything between us.
        If someone gets harassed or bullied for being gay, that person deserves support and protection but someone who says “I’m gay, you can’t offend me or say anything bad to gay people” might get slapped for being arrogant and drawing a line between gay and not gay people.

      4. fAbs, I think the main problem with this kind of joke is that one of the big sources of homophobia (as in, people being *literally* scared of gay men) is that some men assume more or less seriously that all gay men are out for their butt, to put it bluntly. This probably partly because of a man’s own experience of sexual thoughts/desires aimed at women. So the joke riffs on that: you have a gay man who’s in jail because he sexually assaults pretty boys. Now, that would hardly be considered a joking matter for a straight character – rape is considered a pretty vile crime, and if it was a straight man who’s in jail for raping women he wouldn’t look very sympathetic. There’s just a line you don’t cross in these things – for comedy to work you either have to keep it lighter, or push so far in the offensive/crude field it becomes ridiculous. The idea of a gay man who rapes pretty boys and is therefore in jail isn’t either – it feels offensive as a general stereotype of what people think gay men are like, and it feels unfunny and unsympathetic as a comedic character on his own, because it’s a crime too evil to be laughed off and not ridiculously evil enough to sound unrealistic. Hence the reason why many find it a misstep on ONE’s part.

    5. I think his character was made for the sake of convenience. I’m talking about the prison break. But to be honest, I didn’t like that chapter. It was really disturbing. I’m kinda glad that they didn’t animate that part.

  4. I think every single character in this show is supposed to be a joke, with maybe the exception of mumen rider. But even then, the most hero-like hero is in the lowest class which is a joke in itself. I mean a badass like Genos has never one a single fight; in fact he gets his ass handed to him every time. Every character is a running joke, so I think that whole thing with Puri Puri Prisoner is a little misplaced.

  5. Puri Puri Prisoner…

    People are soooooo uptight in the U.S. about offending a gay, or even be remotely
    associated with offending a gay. It’s unsettling. You should complain about
    Anime’s portrayal of preteen girls; dead silence there; but I digress… Just sayin’

    Anyway, I see the (main) plot device is not his one-punch, but positioning
    him so that he can deliver the one-punch — I really like how the Anime
    has played this out. This episode was really well done – has genuine tension
    (especially in the heroes trying fend off the Sea King and protect the people).

    Can’t wait for the conclusion!

    1. Well, for one, I’m not in the U.S. And of course I wouldn’t want to associate with anyone/anything that purposefully offends ‘a gay’. Why would I? There’s no rational way you can justify that without sounding ignorant.

      Also, you’re wrong about my dead silence about the portrayal of preteens/lolis in anime (I don’t mention it here because it’s not relevant to One-Punch Man). I always have and always will voice my negative feelings whenever I’m watching a series that dips to that level. Thankfully, it doesn’t happen that often anymore because I tend to stay away from shows of that sort.

  6. I was thrown off ob the complete change in art style when bikini girl got her 15 minutes of fame!
    Great episode though! Everybody knows the guys gonna be punked in One Punch, but all of the Genos fights up to this point have been really fun! So we’ll get that before Saitama comes in with the steal to cheat up to B class.

  7. Uhm.. How do I say this. I liked this episode better without the Pri Pri Prisoner. I don’t care about homophobia or something but if you’re there mocking a stereotype, make us laugh. He’s just annoying and to add fuel to the fire, his exposure was not even long enough to warrant comedic value. I smirked by his transformation though.

    As for the episode, a more somber OPM episode is always welcome in my taste. Who doesn’t get tired of all sakugas being thrown in your face every episode? Yet, yes. The animation quality’s dropping even for a bit but still the year’s best IMO.

    1. That’s the one thing about the anime adaptation. The manga actually introduced Pri-Pri Prisoner when Sonic was sent to high security prison. There we get to learn alot more (including the things we don’t want to know) about that walking prison rape joke, which makes him a bit more…likeable I think?

  8. “Sweet Mask, I wouldn’t say he’s necessarily evil (just yet…),”
    Yagami Light VA, Kida Masaomi VA, Yao Ling VA, Okabe Rintarou VA

    also LOL @ Samu making 70% of his article about silly gay joke, i guess it really hit close to home eh Samu? It’s best to keep it less personal.

  9. Pri-pri prisoner is actually more likable to me than half of the S class, especially being the weakest, he acts like the motherly figure to the younger S class, cheering them up with powerful speeches and kind motherly and affection speeches when need be. Even sometimes with gay humor like (can’t remember the exact lines) “and that’s why you could do it, so get up. otherwise i’m going to kiss you.”

    i love the fact this is one okama character who is actually aware that he disturb other characters and uses his sexuality as a threat to other straight characters

  10. Stereotypes aside, this episode reinforces the fact that for all that it’s worth, Class A and Class S heroes are no joke (ex. Mr Lancer lookalike beating all of Sea King’s henchmen); it’s just unfortunate that the super monsters are more powerful than most of them (except Saitama of course).

  11. The Sailor Moon reference was funny. The homophobic rape undertones were not. And no, it’s not on the same level as bald jokes and other stereotypical heroes. Equating homosexuality with insatiable lust and prison rape is harmful, tasteless and unfunny. He should’ve stayed a magical girl.
    (and yes, i know it’s just a cartoon, you don’t have to remind me, but it’s a clever one so I expected more from it)

    I like the other heroes though. Stinger seems like a stereotypical high-spirited shounen hero, I think that was inevitable. I also can’t help but picture older Onoda from Yowapeda when I see Mumen Rider.
    Good thing the Deep Sea King is polite enough to leave them all unconscious, not dead.

    1. I agree, as I mentioned above, I thought it was a very awkward scene, not so much because of the characters sexuality. But because this is straight up a comedy/gag/parody(Long list of comedy stuff here..) series that really isn’t serious at all by nature. And that type of humor didn’t really belong.

  12. “Equating homosexuality with insatiable lust and prison rape is harmful, tasteless and unfunny.””

    Sorry, but his character of being a superhero/rapist who goes to jail but still fights monsters is rather amusing for people who aren’t hypersensitive children who need to be coddled. I’m Catholic and how do you think I feel when I read Arslan Senki? The Lusitanians literally COOK AND EAT BABIES (read the manga for that).

    Obviously I don’t like it, but I’m not going to be outraged by it, nor I’m gonna think that Arslan Senki is “almost ruined” by it. Why? Because it’s a freaking comic that’s not oppressing anyone and I’m not an impressionable young child.

    I expected more from you, Samu.

    1. Comments like these on reviews always confuse the heck out of me. It’s like the equivalent of “I am so offended that you were offended by the material you are reviewing – STOP FEELING UNCOMFORTABLE.” Followed by a “im so disappointed in you for experiencing and voicing those feelings, I expected better of you” – it’s like the most invalidating and patronizing thing ever.

      I also find it even more confusing when people try to make comparisons to try and say something is just as bad or worse than what’s on screen. Stereotypes of christianity does not equate to stereotypes of gay characters on screen. They’re both valid, but I would never crash someone’s funeral and scream “Get over it, it’s not that big a deal – I too have felt loss!” It’s the ultimate conversation derailer

      1. More like I’m offended by egregious double standards of being A-okay when other groups are stereotyped, but when they “attack” the people I agree with OMG THIS IS SERIOUSLY PROBLEMATIC!

  13. I think it’s quite clear by the comments here that a majority of the people here don’t have a clue about what’s wrong Puri Puri Prisoner. It’s not about being “offended” but perpetuating stereotypes. You all wanna laugh and not feel guilty, be my guess, but don’t fool yourself into thinking you’re not perpetuating a harmful stereotype. And it’s not just towards homosexuality, this same mindset can be seen in discussions about race, sexism, etc. The whole “lighten up” thing “it’s just a joke”, only works when you’re not the target, and you end up marginalizing the experience of others because you want to laugh and make a joke. But when you’re a target of the joke, oh boy does everyone get butthurt easily, cause it’s not a joke then for you anymore. So maybe just maybe, have a little empathy and self-awareness for others.

    And that’s why we can’t move past this is that we keep complaining about why we can’t make these jokes instead of saying, yeah, that wasn’t right. We can keep making the jokes, but don’t make it seem like it’s not causing more harm. That’s the difference.

    Bamboo Blade Cat
      1. I’ve tried to keep all my comments relevant to the One-Punch Man and the Okama stereotype, but since you ask the question “Who is being hurt by this stereotype?”, I feel I should answer it, even if it goes way beyond a single character in one episode of a Japanese cartoon. I’m likely to reference what others have said above, so I’ll try and keep all my thoughts in one comment if only to make it easy, and so I don’t have to repeat myself again.

        Who is being hurt by the stereotype? Who is being oppressed, and how?

        Clearly, not you. Nor anyone everyone else who made similar comments.

        However, I am, and that’s why I brought up the Okama-related discussion and expressed my thoughts on the stereotype. Sure, in the grand scheme of things it may seem irrelevant when compared to more serious LGBT-issues, but as I said before, this does not make it exempt from scrutiny. Why should I avoid it? Just to appease people who don’t want to hear about a gay man’s perspective on a character he finds to be offensive, in a series he otherwise enjoys? I’m not going to do that, I’m afraid. I had enough feelings on Puri-Puri Prisoner to bring it up, and I would do the exact same thing with any character I found to be insensitive or massively unamusing.

        Without mincing my words, this all boils down to one thing: You don’t get to decide when someone gets offended, especially when you’re not the one being laughed at. If it’s over something that is not relevant to you or not part of your life then of course you’re not going to be affected by it, unless you’re familiar with those who are concerned by these sorts of things. More than anything, I’m sick and tired of gay people being depicted negatively in fiction, period. And you shouldn’t be disappointed in me for it, or have “expected more from me”. I would appreciate if you could not be so patronising when I’ve tried to be civil with the issue, and tried not to make it personal. However, that line has been crossed now, so I might as well continue.

        In comparison to what I’ve had to go through in my life, Puri-Puri Prisoner doesn’t even scratch the surface. But what he does do is remind me of many negative preconceptions or feelings that people have of gay people, and compresses it into one impossible-to-ignore character. Puri-Puri isn’t bound to make anyone more of accepting of gay people (that’s never his intention), but I’m sure it will reaffirm those who already hold aggressive feelings towards gay people. While I’ve seen people enjoy how “epic” Puri-Puri was, I’ve also seen plenty of reviewers/comments that amount to “ew gay people, get this way from me, i don’t want to see this!”.

        If you are not a homophobic person, and enjoyed his character, then good. Great, in fact! I’m glad that this hasn’t changed you in a negative way, like I know it will for some people. However, if you feel the need to complain about me being offended by it, then I think you need to accept that what I feel isn’t going to be the same as what you feel, and isn’t the same as what other gay people might feel. I can only speak for myself, and express my feelings on the matter, and that’s what I’ve done.

        I hate seeing intentionally negative portrayals of LGBT characters in the media/stories, especially if it stems from the fact that they are gay. It just brings back bad memories for me, like getting knocked out by a textbook in class, verbally harassed throughout throughout most of my high school years, had rocks thrown at my house, being scared to be honest about myself, even around those I trusted and cared about, had people shout abuse/laugh at me in the street depending on who I was walking with. All these negative experiences have shaped me, for better or worse. And I’m sorry if this comes across as aggressive, because I’m only speaking my mind, but I feel I have to right to be offended, and to express that, especially when those who complain about me (or others) getting ‘politically correct’ or being ‘social justice warriors’ just want to “get on with their lives” aka, not listen to the ramblings of something that doesn’t personally affect them. Being told I shouldn’t complain about issues, small as they may be, proves how little empathy people have, and how people find it so difficult to understand the point of view of someone other than themselves.

        When you look at the big picture, Puri-Puri Prisoner is nothing. He’s but a single grain of sand in a desert full of hatred, negative perceptions of gay people, unfunny gay jokes, and straight up aggressive homophobia. I’ve never declared that his character is the worst thing I’ve ever experienced in my life, but I am offended by it, and rightfully so, because I get to decide what riles me up based on what I’ve had to go through in life. At the end of it all, it just makes me feel… disappointed.

        I’ve said it already, but I like the comedic elements in One-Punch Man, and I also appreciate ONE’s commentary of modern living in Japan and how he’s wiggling in these notions/issues in smart and creative ways. That’s why I’m disappointed: because he could have been just as smart about this if he cared to be, which clearly he doesn’t. And he is free to do that, but I’m also free to express my disappointment with these negative stereotypes, after coming across it time and time and time again.

        In short, I’m sick and tired of characters that bare any resemblance to Puri-Puri, or any character I’d perceive to be homophobic. I would love more characters that are gay and treated just like anyone else – someone who isn’t defined entirely by their sexuality, and where every joke revolves around them being gay. There’s laughing at yourself, and then there is subjecting yourself to people laughing at you.

        You may not understand it, but I absolutely love reading a book or watching a show or a movie and being introduced to a gay character that I can relate to. A character that is treated fairly and, for a moment, removes me from the hateful world we live in, and the things I’ve had to go through. However, I never considered One-Punch Man to be that type of series, and I still don’t. I know when to align my expectations depending on what I’ve reading/watching, which is why I made it clear that my thoughts go far beyond this single character of a single episode of this epic superhero parody anime. But still, Puri-Puri Prisoner is a character that happened, I had to be honest in my feelings towards him.

        I hope that answers your question about who is offended by this stereotype, and why I feel it contributes/reminds me of the shitty homophobia that exists in the real world. If you can’t see my point of view, then I’m afraid we’re unlikely to see eye-to-eye on this issue. I don’t have much else I can say on the matter, and I’m sure this post is going to displease a lot people anyways.

        So… with that, let’s get back to anime!

      2. Okay, okay. I see where this is going.

        Let me put it this way – I reacted to Puri-Puri Prisoner in
        the same way I react to Anime girls who are defined by their
        large flaunting breast size — it’s the same humour used;
        or at least it has the same effect on me — which is to mainly
        bore me. To me, it’s humour in bad taste.

        I never once thought of the Puri-Puri Prisoner character as a
        gay Stereotype, or as an attack on gays. Honestly, I didn’t.

        But here’s something that might help you. It’s a joke I was
        taught when I was very young (truthfully), and I have not
        forgotten it after all of these years and it warmly reminds me
        of the person who taught it to me —

        What’s black and white and red all over?

        A Nun rolling down a hill.

        Did I mention that it was a Nun who taught it to me?
        (Okay, I was in 1st grade, it was really funny then.)
        Quite a life lesson in those simple words.

        It’s 98% in how you look at things. I suspect very few
        (of us) had such a rosy upbringing; we’ve all had some pain
        or wrong done to us in our past, I sure, but we (should)
        take what good we can from it and temper our experience to it.
        It’s not always easy.

      3. @mac65: Can I just say, I love that you write your comments like poetry, even when it’s about a nun rolling down a hill. It’s rather soothing to read. I don’t know if it is intentional or not, but I like it; you should keep doing that! And I appreciate your sentiments.

      4. @Samu

        ^This (your initial comment just to be clear).

        Also, sorry that my comment caused this discussion that you would have much rather avoided. I know it can be tiring trying to justify and explain to people things you honestly shouldn’t have to explain over and over again.

        Bamboo Blade Cat
      5. Samu, your assumption is that Prisoner is a hateful attack on gay people everywhere by trying to paint all of them as perverted rapists.

        So let me ask you this, you know Fate/stay night, right? Is Kotomine supposed to be some kind of hateful sterotype which suggests that all priests everywhere are sadistic, unhappy assholes who find great joy in watching people suffer? Or maybe… just maybe he is merely a priest which happens to be evil, and both aspects of his character are not to be taken as inseparable?

        Has the “le evil zealot” stereotype so prevalent, even in Japanese media, ever made you think “You know, maybe these cartoons are right, maybe all people similar to this character are truly evil in real life!”

        Because this is the argument I am seeing when I read between the lines.

      6. Thanks for the explanation/back-story Samu,

        I do appreciate you helping us understand your standpoint, and I’m sure others here to do.

        I guess there are three (fairly general) types of reactions people have to this character/scene:

        1. “Eeww” or “Haha look at that gay person”, I don’t want to see that (i.e. simple homophobia; or discomfort at the idea of homosexuality). I dare say there aren’t many people who read RandomC who would have this reaction/opinion.
        2. Discomfort with the inaccurate (arguably misleading to some [or many]) depiction of homosexuality. My guess is it’s roughly 30 to 40% of readers (based on comments here) would have felt this way..
        3. “That was great” – people who genuinely enjoyed the scene and/or liked the character, not because the way like how it makes fun of homosexuality, but rather because they either like the character, the action, or enjoyed the entire over-the-topness of it all. This is the category I fall into, and I’m guessing about ~50% of readers here (again, just based on skimming through comments).

        It seems almost as though those who’s reaction was #3, enjoyed the scene so much that it makes it hard for them to understand those who’s reaction was #2. I personally found my self re-watching that scene several times on youtube – and if it weren’t for having read this comment-thread, I would have posted the youtube clip on FB. I’m really glad I did read this post and these comment, come to learn that not everyone would find the scene to be epic, and changed my mind about posting the youtube clips (of that awesome Angel-Rush scene 🙂

        Anyway, I actually don’t have a real point I’m trying to make here. I just wanted to point this out in a clear way for everyone (who might not have been following from the start).
        Samu, I hope this doesn’t stop you from voicing your opinion on the matter in future. Thanks again!

      7. @fAbs: Thank you. I appreciate what you said!

        I did not want this to become personal, but some people weren’t satisfied with my point of view without me explaining myself fully. But let me just make one thing clear: I’m am not condemning those who thought this scene/character was awesome. I’m glad you got something good out of it, and enjoyed the character, even if I found him to be an offensive stereotype. As for those who blatantly homophobic towards any sorts of non-straight characters in the shows they watch… well, I don’t have much to say to them, honestly. That’s a whole other issue that I would be much less civil about~

        I’m more surprised by people’s animosity to those voicing their negative feelings towards this character. Puri-Puri isn’t gonna massively change my feelings on OPM as a whole, but the reaction from those who were “disappointed” in me for not feeling the same way as them is what unsettles me even more.

        As I said, empathy and understanding the POV of those being laughed at goes a long way. We’re not pointing out these things to make others feel guilty for liking them. We’re just being honest, or at least I was.

      8. I think what people just don’t see or equate is this stereotype is just as harmful as seeing a caricature of a slant eyed character with buck teeth, or a black character with an afro and big lips (both of which can still be seen in anime on occasion sadly). A lot of those caricatures were also acceptable a long time ago as people felt there was nothing wrong with them as they too were just “fun and entertaining”. Maybe if people could at least understand that some people, not just those who are gay, see that stereotype is as bad as those old racial caricatures, maybe little by little they’d stop thinking it was ok, and in the future, the stereotype of Puri Puri will join the others as antiquated views that have no place in modern society. Though the younger generation (mainly in the west) is a little quicker to evolve with the times, as there are plenty of things they feel are cringeworthy that older people accepted as normal for a long time.

        Bamboo Blade Cat
      9. There’s two big differences imho with someone like Kotomine Kirei:

        1) there’s not necessarily a fixed trend in anime of priests being evil. Mind you, it might be that a Catholic in Japan does feel discriminated or portrayed a bit as a joke considering how badly anime tends to misconstrue Catholicism as well (think of Father Anderson in Hellsing), but I don’t know enough about it to be sure. However this portrayal of gays is instead very common (and sums up the existing stereotype of all gays being rapists)

        2) there’s never a moment when it’s not obvious that Kirei’s actions aren’t the product of him being a priest, but of him being a morally bankrupt asshole. His character is slowly fleshed out and gradually emerges as being rotten to the core. This would be equivalent to a gay character being introduced and then found out to be an evil serial rapist – not because he’s gay, but because that is HIS character. But that wouldn’t be offensive. What’s offensive is that all justification needed to accept that Puri Puri is a rapist is “oh well, he’s gay, that’s what they do!” and we can move on. In what world otherwise would a convicted rapist be considered as a positive character? Only because he’s gay he gets the pass of his crimes be considered as a comedic quirk and not a sign of villainy.

      10. “there’s not necessarily a fixed trend in anime of priests being evil.”

        Last year we had Maria the Virgin Witch. We have more evil priests than gay rapists. Tell me which other okama-type characters are explicitly stated to be rapists?

        “there’s never a moment when it’s not obvious that Kirei’s actions aren’t the product of him being a priest, but of him being a morally bankrupt asshole.”

        Wrong, because the Church in the Nasuverse actively condones violence and Kirei is a special priest who is tasked with kung-fu-ing heretics and other undesirables into oblivion.

      11. Huh, didn’t know about that. I watched Fate/Zero and UBW and it was never really said in those terms… never played the VNs anyway.
        I see your point about misrepresentation, and the Church being turned into a strawman in anime, though I think there’s still a difference between attacking a certain religion – namely an ideology that people willingly accept and propagate – and attacking a category of people for characteristics they don’t get to choose. About the “rapist gay” or at least the gay man that acts very creepy with implied sexual assault overtones, this season alone there’s Shomin Sample whose first episode did that a lot. Prison School last season did that too (in that case not with an actual gay character but a misunderstanding about a straight one), though I’d argue that was rather tamer. Other examples out of the top of my head include Garfiel from Fullmetal Alchemist (from Hiromu Arakawa, which is sort of weird considering how sensitive she is to the plea of other minorities, such as the Ainu) and Charlotte Coolhorne from Bleach. And I’m sure that if I watched more trashy LN anime I could mention more.

    1. The second that scene was over i forgot about and it moved on, i find that pretty normal, why bother getting all serious over some joke character who gets naked *cough*samu*cough*.

      1. To me, It wasn’t the naked part, or his sexuality. It was the rapist part that bothered me. It didn’t fit with the overall non serious, super fun and totally comedic feel of the show. The character could have existed just fine without that aspect of his personality.

      2. Samu, it’s all fine, this episode was a semi-joke episode, if you haven’t noticed the deep sea king has heart stickers on his nipples and makeup, he was put up against a stereotypical macho gay guy. I don’t understand why are you so damn serious,.

        You react to this like any normal over 40’s person would who has no idea what anime is, and then he is suddenly shown a Magica Madoka episode. “Why do people watch this? Do they really like it? What kind of messed up people like this shit? This is disturbing”

    2. It’s harmful to keep perpetuating this stereotype. One it’s less of a characterization and more a caricature, and it can influences people beyond thinking it’s a mere joke. That’s great that some of you guys don’t feel this way, or can shrug if off and forget about it, pat yourselves on the back while you’re at it, but what about the people who think this is an accurate representation of a gay person? Not everyone knows better. Not everyone can filter it properly, especially younger audiences.

      And what about those that this may influence negatively, leading to verbal harassment because they take it too far (which is all too common)? It’s not a big leap to go from verbal harassment to physical harassment, in fact it’s incredibly easy. So this is how it’s harmful. Same thing with racial jokes or sexist jokes. Look up statistics of violence towards gays (or trans), women and minorities. How does it get started? It’s because people didn’t think it was a big deal and of that they should lighten up. That allows for worse behavior to get by. It allows for bullying to occur. Slowly through escalation things get worse and it’s no longer a joke. Violence is just the natural outcome once we give the others a pass. This is what no one seems to or wants to think about. All of our actions have a lasting effect.

      Personally, I was not offended, but I found the character cringeworthy and see why it does more harm than good for the reasons stated above.

      Bamboo Blade Cat
      1. Sorry, but this is the Anita Sarkeesian argument. If people play enough sexist games, then they’ll become sexist right? Or alternatively, if they play violent video games, then they’re more likely to be violent, no? So if they consume enough media with “homophobic” characters, then they’ll be become homophobes?

        I’m not buying that. Especially not with today’s political climate. You might as well argue that watching Game of Thrones makes you more likely to be sadistic rapist serial killer.

      2. That’s a false equivalency. No one is saying it creates hate, but just look at what Samu has said about his experiences. These supposed harmless stereotypes feed into those experiences Samu described, and if more people just said, hey enough, as opposed to giving it a pass, maybe he wouldn’t have had to endure half the things he had mentioned. All the little things add up. If someone makes a joke, and they tell you it wasn’t funny, why be an asshole and say it was or that you have the right to be an asshole (you do, but why be an asshole)? What happens if they push it? Are you willing to make this into a physical altercation because someone stood up for themselves? The sad part is plenty of people react violently when they’re stood up to. That’s what violence towards these groups represent.

        Or here’s an analogy – if you can understand why racial caricatures are offensive, you should understand why this is offensive and how it contributes to those terrible attitudes. It’s the same difference.

        As for the Gamergate thing, it seems like most people just didn’t like the fact that a woman (how dare she?!) voiced her opinion and didn’t back down over it. People threatened her with rape and death over her damn opinion, meanwhile, no one bothers to threaten groups or people over topics that really matter. Shows what brave souls these are.

        What’s more disturbing is the push back we see when people voice their concerns or speak up for themselves or others. That’s what really saddens me. It shows people aren’t considerate. If one of your family members told you something you did was hurtful, you wouldn’t keep doing that right? Try extending that to strangers and maybe we’d have less of the shit we see in the world.

        Bamboo Blade Cat
      3. I’ve heard that argument before, and I really don’t know enough to have a really informed opinion on it specifically, but what the casual viewer does see is that anytime a woman has anything critical to say about the gaming community, seems like everyone gets butthurt and people start making threats against them. It doesn’t really matter what they have to say, threatening them is over the fucking line. Plus the level of violent rhetoric is never the same as it is for a dude, so there’s that double standard which is just repulsive. And you know, the gaming community is filled with misogyny, not that that should be a big surprise to anyone.

        Bamboo Blade Cat
      4. “No one is saying it creates hate” You guys are saying it does, this is your entire argument. You are saying that it is a hateful sterotype which is conducive to hate, etc, and now it feels like you’re backpedaling because I used the Games of Thrones example and you’ve realized how silly you sound.

        And now you bring up racial stereotypes, are you serious? Is this your first time watching anime? Do you have any idea how anime, in a way, lives off of racial stereotypes? This is like the most common thing in anime right next to blue hair.

      5. “And now you bring up racial stereotypes, are you serious? Is this your first time watching anime? Do you have any idea how anime, in a way, lives off of racial stereotypes? This is like the most common thing in anime right next to blue hair.”

        And that doesn’t make it right or excuse it does it?

        Anyway, it’s clear that nothing said is going to persuade a majority of you, so as Samu said, let’s get back to anime since it’s extremely tiring just going over common decency with some of you.

        Bamboo Blade Cat
      6. My personal opinion is that entertainment media is just that. Entertainment. Fiction. Not real. Anything should be okay in it, even immoral, lawbreaking, cringeworthy, offensive, or stereotyping ones. BECAUSE IT IS NOT REAL.

        It is completely fine for a fiction to depicts a serial rapist lawbreaking insane murderer as heroic, or a loving friendly sane law-abiding character as unheroic, butt-monkey or even hate-deserving, and everything in between.

        Of course, such a work will offend some people. But media ALWAYS offend some people.

        If a fiction offended you (for example, LGBT and LGBT-supporting people in our case, but applicable to practically everything), that’s fine. You have every right to feel offended.

        But for your question:

        “And that doesn’t make it right or excuse it does it?”

        No, a fiction is a fiction. That alone does indeed “make it right”, so to speak. It can portray anything it likes however it likes, even harmful and negative stereotypes, and doesn’t need any excuse for doing so. A fiction is not real, IT SHOULD BE EXCUSED.

  14. Mostly I saw Puripuri playing his role in the same fashion as Amai Mask was playing his, but as a sort of mirror image. Puripuri actually broke out of prison to fight a monster attack, whereas Amai didn’t even want to talk about the monster attack, because he was on TV to promote his new album.

    Puripuri was stereotyped in the worst ways, both offensive and criminal, but still did what was ‘right’, despite that. Amai is the beautiful bishounen that everyone (in world) loves, but was a complete ass regarding the things that mattered.

    Basically the show is saying that what you see on the surface isn’t what truly matters about an individual, and if that’s all you can see, then… well, I guess you’ll be in the Amai camp.

    If you obsess over the superficial portrayal of just one individual, you miss the character contrast being presented, for all the heroes in the episode — who was willing to stay and fight, vs who ran away, or was more interested in personal gain than any sort of duty (with Sonic sort of in the middle).

    Put another way, Puripuri only matters because of the offensive stereotype. A well-rounded, decent portrayal of a gay character would either be meaningless (because they were doing what was expected of them as a hero, and thus don’t contribute to the overall theme), or offensive in a far more fundamental way if they were placed in the alternate position of running away from the fight. Personally, I’d be much more unhappy about a non-stereotyped gay character who was on the “run away” side. That would be offensive on the fundamental character level, rather than on the superficial image level.

    1. ^ This right here, yes this up here by David sums up what I think everyone is overlooking that ONE tried to bring up.

      It’s not just who you are but what you do that defines you. You guys feel that Pri-Pri-Prisoner is another stereotypical gay character thrown in to make fun or light of any real gays out there. You immediately hate him because of who he is “portrayed” to be, you think he is a gay rapist but I can’t fault you there since the anime doesn’t show what happened in the prison so you-who-never-read-the-manga wouldn’t have known what makes him him.

      And in the course of bashing his character, ppl forget what he was actually seen doing. This character broke out of the prison (he let himself get sent to) just to save that class A hero. Was it a selfless reason? Was it with good or bad intentions? Was what he did ultimately a good or bad deed?

      But nope he just gets called out for who he is. If he was some other “normal” tom, dick or harry ppl would have said how nice he is and move on, I’m sure. You wouldn’t have cared about why he stayed in prison if he was that strong much less his sexual orientation. We wouldn’t have this back-and-forth bashing here. So why is it when he is a gay prisoner on steroids that everyone pays attention to him?

      If you’re going to cry foul everytime you don’t like how a gay character is being portrayed and not care about what he actually does then aren’t you doing these similar people a disservice? You’re worrying more about who he is than what he does. And what he does is truly what matters more.

      Granted I don’t condone any acts to demean anyone because of their race, gender or sexual orientation and then treat it as a joke or to downplay offenses that can get you jailed but let’s be honest here: Are all the main characters here completely one-dimensional? To quote TVtropes about this show’s premise:

      The series is largely an Affectionate Parody of the Shounen Superhero genre, bringing many tropes standard to the genre to their logical conclusion to ridicule their over the top melodrama or general silliness.

      I for one don’t perceive that Pri-Pri-Prisoner as a character who was created due to homophobic reasons. I just don’t. I see him as a Class S hero who knows he is gay and takes stride in it and stands for what he believes in. A strong character not only in the literal sense. He is up there with One Piece’s Mr. 2 Bon Clay. Don’t get offended about a person because of who he is. You yourself are the ones thinking that he is offensive.

      nico raven
  15. Honestly, I didn’t even think about the negative connotations Puri Puri Prisoner might have on homosexuality until I came to this blog. I suppose I don’t really draw immediate comparisons with the ‘okama’ stereotype and the gay friends I have because it’s so over the top and far removed from how any of them act. It’s impossible to take it seriously. For me, at least.

    It probably didn’t help that, upon first impression, Puri Puri pirsoner is not particularly interesting, anyway. And I can say the same for all of the ridiculous characters we’ve been introduced to so far because none of them have received any real development yet.

    That said, I understand where Samu is coming from. It was irresponsible of ONE. I say irresponsible because he probably didn’t even think about whether this character would offend someone.

    1. Honestly, I really don’t think it’s up to the author to make sure everyone isn’t offended. I mean if that’s the case, then all dark humour and books, fiction or non-fiction, that are very easily offendable touching controversial and dark subject would have to be censored or monitored. Whether it’s a joke, or a documentation on history, these dark controversial subject should be left the way it is, and not have to put any restriction on them.

      Trap Master
  16. Sweet Mask goes to show how many heroes of the Heroe Asociation are just selfish, interested only on the fame and riches they obatain with their status. The Tank Top Brothers are good example of that, Metal Knight is just interested in developing his toys and I Sweet mask strikes me as a narcisistic bastard only feeding his own ego with his heroics, but that´s only guess since he has not been develop much yet. The telekinetic girl Tornado also seems off to me, everyone acts like she has more than a few screws lose.

  17. Just wanted to throw my 2-cent on the Puri Puri Prisoner. I personally wasn’t offended by the character and found the sailor moon parody to be hilarious. I think people were taking the Puri Puri Prisoner a little too seriously because no where in the manga did he actually raped anyone. There was a hint of a threat of it but you could say that was to keep the inmates in line.
    Now in terms of Japan’s view toward stereotypes of Gays, you can say it’s not mainstream. It’s certainly hush hush and they treat it as a joke. They had offensive characters like Hard Gay on TV and was used as a joke and one can say that they can be harmful toward the gay community in Japan. Yet Japan is the only country I’ve ever visited where almost every bookstore has a Yaoi or Yuri section. I recall walking on the street, and there’s a middle age guy who walks around main street in a sailor outfit. The guy was strange to me, but I also thought the guy must have felt safe walking down in the middle of the street dressed like that.
    I think sometimes we miss the key word when talking about pretty much all minority groups and that word is tolerance. Here’s a gay character who is true to himself and is ranked S and not judged by his sexual preference in the Hero Association. How is that inoffensive to gay people? Isn’t that what the gay community strive for? To not be judged for who they are simply because they’re gay but judge them on their merits?
    This review on Puri Puri Prisoner reminded me of PC Principal on South Park or when Matt Damon lectured a Black female producer on diversity.


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