With its longest arc now behind it, One-Punch Man took a hiatus to give artist Yusuke Murata a break. The end of the manga’s hiatus is closer than many fans expected, according to the mangaka himself.

One-Punch Man‘s Monster Association arc is the longest running arc in the manga, having taken more than 5 years to complete. The stakes and size of the battle continuously escalated over that time, involving monsters with incredible destructive power like Evil Natural Water, the gargantuan Centisennin, and the arc’s mastermind, a psychic human named Psykos. And of course, the Monster Association arc focused heavily on the Hero Hunter Garou as well, to such an extent that he appeared more often than Saitama, and was arguably the protagonist of this chapter of the story. Many of the pro heroes like Fubuki and Bang had some major character development, while others like Zombieman, Pig God, and Blackluster got their chance to shine in the spotlight.

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On September 8, Yusuke Murata tweeted that the next chapter (171 by Japanese count) will release on September 22, 2022. Since the previous chapter was an “epilogue” to the Monster Association arc, the upcoming chapter should mark the start of a new arc. Fans may be a bit surprised, as the previous chapter (and the announcement of the hiatus) released on August 18, meaning that this hiatus will last only a little over a month. Compare that to, say, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, which went on hiatus after part 8ended on August 19, 2021, and still hasn’t resumed a year later, or Black Clover, which went on a nearly four month hiatus in April 2022 to prepare for its final arc. While fans may be eager for One-Punch Man‘s return, it’s fair to wonder if this brief hiatus is sufficient for Murata to rest and prepare, especially since his tweets indicate he is already back to drawing. With overwork being a major problem in the manga industry, ensuring that creators get a break is incredibly important, and a five-year-long arc ending is probably the best time one can imagine for an extended break.

What exactly One-Punch Man‘s next arc will be is a bit of a mystery at this point, even in spite of the original webcomic. The webcomic followed up the Monster Association arc with a (much shorter) storyline known as the Psychic Sisters arc, focusing on Tatsumaki, Fubuki, and the relationship that they had with Psykos. Some content from this arc, however, was transferred into the Monster Association arc in the manga, so there may not be enough material left to comprise an entire multi-chapter story arc. Following the Psychic Sisters arc is the beginning of the Neo Heroes Saga, where some pro heroes join a new competing organization, building a rivalry with the existing Hero Association. It’s also possible that aspects of the Psychic Sisters could be incorporated into Neo Heroes, just as was done with the Monster Association arc. Regardless of what the next chapter for One-Punch Man may bring, fans will find out soon enough.

Source: Yusuke Murata

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