With regards to how other people are receiving OPM 2, the comments and discussion I see still aren’t that positive, but people have mostly stopped complaining about the “bad” art style and the “boring” plot, and instead they’re honest with what they’re really disappointed about. That’d be the fact that there’s been so little action featuring Saitama. There’ve been loads of exicting fights, but none (or few) of them have showed our hero. Well, by the end of episode 8, it looks like that’s finally going to change. Though, the show left us with something of a cliffhanger, cutting off just before things got “good.” So of course that irritated some people, myself included.
Still, I liked this episode. It really helped pull the story together well. Though more creative than last season in terms of being less formulaic, the plot did seem a little disordered or scattered. Now, everything has come into place almost perfectly. There was so much focus on the tournament because it had three important roles: 1) to show us how much Saitama wanted to experience martial arts, 2) to show and develop the character of Siuryu, and 3) to set in place a potentially major blow to the heroes and victory for the monsters.
Regarding the second item, Siuryu lightly dismissed and looked down on heroes, and didn’t seem to change his stance even after Saitama nearly blew him away. However, by the last quarter of episode 8, the young man has finally realized that heroes are nothing to laugh at. That they are needed in this world. Since Siuryu was strong and fortunate in many ways, he had never truly needed help before. Now that he’s been beaten almost to death, and there’s nobody around to help him, the boy cries out for a hero. His change of heart was moving and touching, especially in a show usually watched for the laughs and the awesome action scenes.
Now about that third item. With so many strong fighters gathered, including some heroes, the monsters can surround them and force them to eat the cells that would turn them into monsters, too. This worked for a few of them, but some heroes like Snake never gave in, refusing to eat the cells. The monster who showed up to force everybody is threat level dragon, which means he’s pretty damn strong. Another monster of dragon threat level ws created after Bakuzan of the Super Fight Tournament ate at least three of the monster cells at once. By being strategic, the monsters are actually winning at this point. However, now that Saitama is back in his bright yellow suit, I imagine things are going to change fairly fast.
Just in the interest of sharing my thoughts, there are two things to mention that annoy me in OPM, in both seasons. These elements are supposed to be funny, and usually they are, but occasionally, they get on my nerves. First, there’s the way the heroes are supposed to be “only human,” as this episode reiterated several times; and yet, they survive beatings and other violence that would leave a real human in many pieces, or else smashed and mutilated beyond recognition. I know, I know, it’s because it’s anime. It’s even an anime that parodies action shows, so it’s supposed to be kind of stupid. It just irked me slightly this episode, because I can’t predict if a character has actually died. Even after many fatal blows, they may get back up at any time.
Secondly, there’s the black-and-white simplicity of the world of One Punch Man. The monsters are evil because they are monsters and monsters are evil. The heroes are all pure-hearted and self-sacrificial because they’re superheroes and that’s how superheroes are. It’s supposed to be that way, and you’re not supposed to take it seriously. Occasionally, though, the humor is lost on me, and I wish for something with more depth. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t have fun watching episode 8 of One Punch Man 2nd Season. It was a memorable episode, mostly because of the experiences of Siuryu, and the return of Saitama in his hero outfit, ready to fight.