Art and Action
I hear that a lot of fans really aren’t impressed with the art and animation in One Punch Man 2nd Season, but I still like it. It’s flatter and less detailed at times compared to the first season, but the actions scenes are still exciting. Backgrounds are simple and the show is filled with bright colors like orange. And yes, the movement is not as fluid, but… so what? Even if the animation was poor quality– which it’s not– I don’t judge a series primarily by its visual elements. Story, characters, seiyuus, music, themes, and personal enjoyment are all pieces equally crucial to a good anime.
Were there exciting fights in these episodes? Yes. Metal Bat vs. the bug monsters and the giant centipede in episode 4 was a lot of fun. Also riveting was the Garou vs. Metal Bat fight in episode 5. The return of Fubuki (Blizzard) was awesome. Though each was short, I liked Genos’ fights with the different monsters in episode 6. The battle with the cockroach monster had my heart pounding. It was well-animated, imo, too. In fact, every fight in episode 6 was thrilling. Also, all the monster designs (and those for heroes, for that matter) were excellent considering how many there were. I’m pleased that so much detail went into the artwork.
There wasn’t a lot of character development for most of the characters we know. Saitama is his usual frank and dry self, followed around by the endlessly loyal and supportive Genos. Garou is interesting. I’m not sure if I’m supposed to take seriously his motive of being on the monsters’ side because heroes winning every time isn’t “fair.” I personally think it’s funny. In episode 4, we met Metal Bat, who is quite relatable and impressive, although I’m tired of the yankee /delinquent character type. We were briefly introduced to a plethora of fighters in episode 5, both in the Super Fight Tournament and in the city where heroes are battling monsters. Metal Bat’s little sister Zenko made a humorous and endearing first appearance.
In episode 6, there again wasn’t any character development for the main characters we know, except that Genos proved again his overflowing will to be a proper hero. He left the Tournament because even watching Saitama fight took second place to defeating monsters out on the streets. Some minor characters showed new sides. Sourface showed his love of sportsmanship in his match. Let’s not forget that Fubuki (Blizzard) appeared in episode 5 and her older sister Tatsumaki (Tornado) came storming in during episode 6. I know she’s not the most popular character, but I love Tatsumaki, her character design, and her voice.
Story Progression + Humor
Humor in the story is milder than in the first season, but still a very present force that made me laugh. There’s the satirical factor, where OPM parodies standard shounen shows. Secondly, there’s “absurd” comedy that doesn’t make sense, like having a strong hero and a strong monster stop fighting just because a little girl (Zenko) said she didn’t want to be exposed to violence. Then there’s good, old slapstick humor for scenes like Saitama utterly destroying Zakos in the ring by simply slapping him. I chuckled in episode 6 when the cockroach monster was defeated by being stuck in place, because it reminded me of the way you have to use adhesives or sticky-traps to take down roaches in reality. Now let’s look at the story.
Saitama enters the Super Fight Tournament disguised as Charanko. Elsewhere, S-class Hero Metal Bat fights Monsters to protect a man on the Hero Association Board and his son. Garou is targeting the Board members.
The Monster Association begins attacking C City, with monsters appearing all over and defeating many heroes. Garou turns down the offer to join the Monster Association. Meanwhile, Saitama defeats Zekos at the Tournament.
Genos engages the monsters all over C City. When Fubuki is about to be overwhelmed by Super Sadist, her older sister, the infamous Tatsumaki, shows up to help! Snake is defeated by BLANK at the Tournament, while the monsters, led by a King Orochi, continue defeating heroes.
In episode 4, it took until about 15 minutes in to see a real fight. The talk between Saitama and the big butt-chin senpai at the tournament took way too long. Comparatively, episode 5 was full of action, minor character introduction, and the beginning of attacks by the Monster Association. Overall, eps 4 and 5 don’t advance the plot as much as I had hoped. Though, these episodes can stand to be a little less interesting, as long as episode 6 is intense and has important developments. Did OPM 2 succeed in this? I think so. It was invigorating to see all that happened, including the return of Tatsumaki, and the rising action as the Monster Association keeps defeating heroes.
There was one other interesting aspect to the all-important episode 6. The Tournament contestant Suiryu brought up the interesting theme that pro heroes might not be needed in the world because there will always be “civilians” who are stronger than heroes. Snake was disturbed by these thoughts, and Suiryu used that to defeat him. What do you think of this issue?
I thought the music in episodes 4 and 5 was memorable and amusing. I’m excited for the OST to come out. Whatever the track is that plays around the 13 minutes mark of episode 6 is pretty awesome. Good work-out or brain-storming music. I also like both the OP and the ED. The ending song is “Returning without a Map” and it’s sung by Furukawa Makoto who plays Saitama. Recently, Furukawa played Shirogane Miyuki in Kaguya-sama. There are several seiyuu in the cast that I know and admire. Midorikawa Hikaru is the voice of Garou, and played Sakamoto in Sakamoto Desuga and Lancer in Fate/Zero. The seiyuu for Genos, Ishikawa Kaito, played Iida in HeroAca, Urie in Tokyo Ghoul: Re, and Kageyama in Haikyuu. Tatsumaki is played by Aoi Yuki, who is one of my top 3 favorite female seiyuu ever.
Closing Thoughts: Series Thus Far
I’m ejoying One Punch Man 2nd Season. If I had to give it a number here at the halfway point, I’d say 7.2/10 Good. No it’s not excellent overall because of the slow moving story and under-developed characters, and it’s not as high as some other spring shows on my personal enjoyment scale. Still, it’s an solidly good show so far with great action and fights and good old OPM humor. Don’t miss out on the fun just because the art is different from last season! Ja ne!