Justice? What “Justice?”

  • Opinion

I’ve just watched the last episode of One Punch Man, and I’ve been pretty much pissed off by this guy named Amai Mask. (I’m going to tell a spoiler here so watch it if you haven’t.)

In the last episode, City A has been obliterated after a giant space ship bombs the city away, many people have died in a snap, the heroes (including the main protagonist Saitama) went on to beat the enemies, and when did this guy appear? At the end of everything, where the enemies have been beaten and everything was finished.

Amai Mask, as depicted in the early parts of the One Punch Man anime series.

What did he told his comrades? He said words equivalent to “You didn’t save the city.” As if they had the opportunity to do that. The context is this: The giant ship appeared out of nowhere and obliterated — I repeat, obliterated the city — in just a few seconds without any hesitation.

Worse, he, the top S guy in the hero roster, was too late to see the action because he was in a bloody taping.

He was asked “Which side you are really on,” questioning his priorities as a hero and a talent. He said this vague response: “I’m on the side of justice.” He then proceed to slice the hell out of aliens who have survived the ship without even knowing if they are evil or not that evil — and as he does that, he gives his judgment: “They are evil.” Way to go, bastard, killing a few powerless support aliens where you are supposed to do that to the BOSS ALIEN in THAT BIG SHIP. Thank goodness Saitama’s there.

He reminds me of another character from last year — Seryu Ubiquitous from Akame ga Kill!.

Seryu, as depicted in the first parts of the Akame ga Kill! anime series.

In the story, Seryu is a member of the Imperial Police (and went on to become a member of another unit called the Jaegers in the next few parts of the story) who has a “strong (and twisted) sense of justice. [1]”

What does this ‘strong (and twisted) sense of justice’ mean? “When in battle and speaking about justice, her face can distort into a warped and demented version of itself, […] [2]”

…to what extent? “Her opinion of justice is blunt, as she believes Night Raid [the group where protagonist Akame is into] is evil for their actions as assassins, but believes killing in service to justice is always right, which ultimately makes her opinion of murder similar to theirs, if not completely the same. [3]”

In short, she has this selective “justice” where she just kills for the sake of justice, and she feels good killing people in the name of this “justice” that she believes.

Now that I have understood how their viewpoints of ‘justice’ are — one with prejudice and one without restraint, I also learned three things they lack upon showing their bad sides to the audience: Empathy and Due process.

Why they are doing this? What happened to them prior to this? What has their previous lives taught them to be the way they are? In one instance, Saitama’s ‘disciple’ Genos thought that maybe Amai Mask has a reason for why he was like that. As for Seryu, her father is part of the (corrupt) Imperial Army, and from what I understood, this is where she grew up learning ‘justice’.

Now, after all these things are said and written, I have a question to myself: Who am I to judge? Sure, I’m no judge, not even a fiscal or a lawyer, but one thing’s for sure: This is how I perceive them as they show themselves in front of our eyes as characters. The way we react on their lack of mercy and the way they don’t verify if the beings they killed are absolutely evil gives us a reason to apply prejudice on these two.

Ironically, I am judging these two as bastards whereas I ethically should not be doing so. Though I have a reason to brand them as such vile, evil beings (as I have explained to you earlier), we have yet to know their full backstories. This leads me to daydream a scenario where Seryu talks about her perspective on the character that she portrays*. I can’t imagine the same to Amai Mask yet though I think of Mamoru Miyano (Mamo, the one who did the role) talking about what he thinks of him.

On a closing note, I thank the creators of both series for telling me that these characters exist. I don’t think they will create these characters if it was not inspired by people themselves.

* On a lighter note, I think of Seryu the same way as Kosaki Onodera from Nisekoi because of Kana Hanazawa who voiced both characters. In my alternate universe, Seryu is as cool as she was in the series without the murderous twisted sense of justice; and I think of Amai Mask as Wooser, whom Mamo also voiced.

[1], [2], [3] “Seryu Ubiquitous – Akame Ga Kill! Wiki – Wikia” http://akamegakill.wikia.com/wiki/Seryu_Ubiquitous