In the world of manga, the superhero craze is still going strong. This has resulted in immensely popular series’ such as My Hero Academia and One-Punch Man. The latter plays around with several of the tropes of American superhero comic books and characters, particularly the idea of a grossly overpowered hero.
The relatively mundane exploits of an over-the-top hero are showcased in another way in the Webtoon series Toaster Dude. This off-the-wall series combines superhero and crime tropes with irreverent humor and satire, not to mention its, many times, meme-worthy art. This and other elements make it the closest thing that the platform has to One-Punch Man, making it stand out in a sea of romance series’.
Toaster Dude, created by artist soaporsalad, first began as an obscure Webtoon in 2017. The original series utilized a simplistic, stick-figure based art style that went along well with its zany humor. Though it never became an incredibly well-known series, it maintained a loyal fanbase of readers. Recently, soaporsalad and littlebobler have relaunched the series, rebooting it with a more sophisticated art style. Having begun at the beginning of the month, the relaunch is already up to 12 chapters at the time of writing.
The series stars the eponymous Dude, whose sole dream and ambition in life has been to own a toaster. This goal is finally achieved, but unfortunately for Dude, his neighbor is kidnapped and, worst of all, the crooks steal his precious toaster. Enraged at the latter fact in particular, Dude embarks to take back what they’ve stolen. He saves his neighbor, who is secretly a celebrity, but not before the villains shoot and damage his prized toaster. Decimating them all — but needing a disguise to hide his identity — Dude places the toaster on his dome, becoming the enigmatic Toaster Dude.
The similarities to One-Punch Man are numerous, and not just because they both feature caped superheroes. Both Toaster Dude and One-Punch Man earned said capes as much smaller webcomics before becoming their current selves. They also share an irreverent sense of humor that constantly makes fun of superhero and fiction tropes in general. Much of said humor stems from the nonchalant behavior of their protagonists. Saitama’s immense power makes him bored with even the most incredible aspects of superheroism — to the point where he sometimes avoids doing heroic tasks that are effortless for him. Conversely, Toaster Dude, at least initially, is single-mindedly obsessed with retrieving his toaster while freeing his kidnapped neighbor is an afterthought.
Both heroes have fairly pedestrian aims, with Dude having seemingly no ambition outside of gaining a toaster, and Saitama being generally lackadaisical about everything. The art styles also make both heroes fairly unique, with ONE’s style giving Saitama his signature blank stare while soaporsalad provides a similar look to the featureless Toaster Dude. This combination of wacky characters, flippant comedy and the superhero genre has made One-Punch Man into one of the most successful manga and anime franchises currently running, and those looking for something similar should definitely check Toaster Dude out.
Filled with sarcastic tropes, goofy humor and the world's weirdest hero, Toaster Dude could become the Webtoon equivalent to One-Punch Man.