March 6, 2023, saw One Punch Man author and illustrator Yusuke Murata reveal, via his Twitter account, the first part of his Zaiyuki anime project. Set to be produced in conjunction with Village Studio, Murata previously teased the anime project via his personal Twitter account on February 24, 2023,
The One Punch Man mangaka’s upcoming project is an original anime series, seemingly not based on any currently serialized manga. The project follows the eponymous protagonist, a young kappa who doesn’t know how to swim, always loses in sumo matches, and hates cucumbers. He’s essentially the exact opposite of what a kappa should be.
One Punch Man’s Yusuke Murata set to make original anime series based on Japanese kappa creatures
The One Punch Man mangaka uploaded the first part of his Zaiyuki original anime project via his Twitter account, splitting it up into two separate tweets. As mentioned above, the series follows the titular Zaiyuki, a young kappa who is essentially not what a Japanese kappa should be. The aforementioned examples are tropes typically associated with the behavior of these mythological creatures.
The first video sees Zaiyuki being a part of a village of kappa, showing his various failures and shortcomings as a kappa. He’s seen trying to partake in a carnival lottery game and wins the grand prize of a package tour to India. He’s then seen arriving at the airport, waiting in line when an old man asks him for a favor.
Zaiyuki takes a photograph and a mysterious ball from the stranger, with the ball, eventually hatching a golden monkey once Zaiyuki arrives in India. Zaiyuki is then swarmed by police, prompting the monkey (likely based on Sun Wukong) to pull out a red staff and defeat the aggressors and defend Zaiyuki.
The pair are then pulled into a van driven by the man in the photograph Zaiyuki received, seemingly beginning an adventure for the young and shy kappa. Accompanying them is a woman with unknown animal features, seemingly calming Zaiyuki down as the episode ends and his odyssey begins.
It’s unknown what the next step for the Zaiyuki project is, with no information on future releases or plans for the character available as of this article’s writing. It’s safe to assume that Murata will continue the project, but again, this is speculatively presumptuous. Zaiyuki marks the second time Murata and Village Studio have collaborated, with the first being a 107-second long One Punch Man anime short in September 2021.