The Simpsons predicted Vanpanchman 10 years before he appeared

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It turns out that The Simpsons predicted the existence of the manga “Wanpanchman” 10 years before the character first appeared. The Simpsons’ ability to predict trends and events years before they happen is a long-standing joke in popular culture, and it seems to extend to Simpsons comics as well.

Over the four decades of its TV show, The Simpsons has shown many things that would actually happen in the real world years later, such as Lady Gaga’s appearance in flight at the Super Bowl, the closure of Toys “R” Us, Disney buying 20th Century Fox, and the most infamous of them is that Donald Trump becomes President of the United States (at least 15 years earlier this time). The Simpsons, however, has also spawned many comic books, including Simpsons Comics, a long-running series that ran from 1993 to 2019. Therefore, it is quite natural that some of the crazy predictions of the Simpsons will come true in the comics. One of them is dedicated to One Punch Man, a webcomic created by One and later adapted into a hugely successful digital manga illustrated by Yusuke Murata.

Simpsons Comics #43 contains a story called “Poochy!” written and drawn by Scott Shaw, with the main character, a cartoon dog that was originally created for the universal cartoon The Tickling and Scratching Show. Poochie failed and was immediately killed, and the comic story plays up this by introducing a series of remaining “Poochie ideas” that Tickle and Scratch Studios found lying nearby. One of these conceptual sketches is called “Wanpanch Poochi” and is a muscular version of a dog dressed in a superhero costume with a cape. This issue of the comic is dated June 1999. The first chapter of the webcomic One-Punch Man with the main character Saitama appeared in 2009.

The obvious explanation for The Simpsons’ ability to predict the future is that with hundreds of episodes and hundreds of thousands of jokes, some things should pay off in real life and turn out to be strikingly accurate. The same can be applied to the Simpsons comics. One-Punch Poochie is a Simpsons parody of Marvel superheroes, which is confirmed by the caption to the sketch: “Our mutt creates funny mutant madness in a wonderful manner.” However, the similarity between this design and the One Punch Man Saitama is undeniable. In addition, every second Poochi design on the page is a direct reference to one specific character, from Mickey Mouse to Astroboy Osamu Tezuki, which further distinguishes Poochi from Van Punch. It’s also worth mentioning that many years later, Simpsons Comics directly referenced Vanpanchman with a parody of Saitama in issue #232.

From a rational point of view, the Simpsons were just lucky once again, and they coincidentally introduced a character very similar to the fearless (and ignorant) hero of Saitama, who is so strong that he can end any fight with one blow. However, it’s hard not to be fascinated by the franchise’s obvious ability to predict the future, especially when it comes to manga rather than famous people or world events. Of course, in the vast world of comics, there is always a chance that there is some strange connection that explains this coincidence, but in the current state of things, it definitely seems that the Simpsons invented Vanpanchman 10 years before its actual creator.