Welcome all my dear she’s, he’s, and them’s. Thanks for choosing Anime Rants today. We have here a series review of OPM 2, which is really more like a collection of my general thoughts as I watched the episodes. Let’s rant!
Saitama is the strongest superhero in existence, one who can take down any enemy with one punch– or in extremely rare cases, a series of punches. This basic premise of One Punch Man isn’t one that struck me as very innovative or intriguing. But I’ve now seen parts of many classic shounen series from the 90s or early 2000s, so I appreciate the OPM as a good parody of that kind of anime. Plus, it’s just funny. Speaking of which, humor is included in the story category. Good humor means my opinion of the story is higher. Overall, the comedy in season 2 was slightly milder than in season 1, but still all kinds of fun.
Story is also helped along by the fact that the show feels well-planned and structured. The pacing may seem a little slow before you become aware that the Monster Association arc is long and will last more than a season. According to webmanga readers, the pacing was nice and fast. Elements like pacing and series structure are not perfect; sometimes, it felt a bit like the story was dragging. In episode 4, it took 15 minutes to get to a real fight. However, action always picked itself up again, so the bored feeling never lasted very long. Season 2 is more creative than the first with its story, since it isn’t as formulaic (bad-guys defeated in one punch). There is much less action that features Saitama, but there is continuous action with the other heroes fighting monsters or with Garou fighting heroes.
Episodes 1-3 establish Garou as the dangerous Hero Hunter. In eps 4-8, Saitama tries to experience martial arts in the Super Fight Tournament, while the Monster Association sends out monsters that battle numerous heroes on the streets of S city. Episode 9 Episodes 10-12 focus on Gaoru fighting some heroes that challenge him, while Saitama mostly plays video games with King. There’s a climatic battle with a giant centipede monster in episode 12, and Saitama saves the day and beats it. But the Monster Association is still far from being defeated.
I think everyone is united in the thought that the second season’s art and visuals did not live up to the first season of One Punch Man. I won’t disagree. Other viewers and reviewers know more about those things. After all, I have no understanding at all of why season one’s art is “better” or “higher” quality. Although I accept it’s inferior to season one, I don’t believe the art/animation is poor or bad. It’s still pretty darn good. I call it excellent, because of the fight scenes I enjoyed so much, and the way the characters are designed and drawn. If the original OPM had 10/10 or 9/10 artwork, season 2 still has 8/10, which is great.
Let me give a few examples of the animated action sequences I enjoyed. All of the fighting with Garou versus different heroes was great. Metal Bat vs. the giant centipede in episode 4 was a lot of fun. Also riveting was the Garou vs. Metal Bat fight in episode 5. Though each was short, I liked Genos’ fights with the different monsters in episode 6. In fact, every fight in episode 6 was thrilling. I also love all the Garou fights in episodes 10-12, and the final battle with that giant centipede monster. All these looked great and well-animated to me. The many creative designs for the monsters and heroes all through the series were excellent, especially considering how many there were.
The opening theme is “Seijaku no Aspostle” by JAM, and the outro was “Returning without a map,” by Makoto Furukawa. Both were fun and entertaining in their own ways, but neither stand out to me much as noteworthy anime songs of Spring 2019. Also, the soft ending song sounded a little out of place. I noticed some good instrumental music here and there, like when Garou fights the heroes in episode 3, or the track that plays around the 13 minute mark of episode 6.
As for seiyuu, the cast we know and love are back. (I’m speaking for sub fans only since I never watched the dub and I’m not familiar with many English VAs. Midorikawa Hikaru joins the cast as Garou, and I recognize him as Xingke from Code Geass, Lancer from Fate/Zero, and Sakamoto from Sakatomo Desuga? Returning cast includes the incredibly talented Hayami Saori as Blizzard/ Fubuki, and Ishikawa Kaito as Genos. Mr. Ishikawa is known for playing Iida in Hero Academia, Kageyama in Haikyuu, and Sakuta in Bunny Girl Senpai. Makoto Furukawa does a perfect job bringing Saitama’s character to life.
Characters in One Punch Man have never been all that interesting to me, and though they all have good and memorable designs and voices, they are mostly one-dimensional. There isn’t much character growth or development to be seen overall.
But as with any general rule, exceptions exist. Saitama sees some growth this season as he struggles with the boredom of being the strongest hero ever, disappointment at not being able to appreciate martial arts, and frustration because he sucks at video games. In addition, Garou is an interesting character. He identifies as a monster and wants to beat heroes. That’s because a) it’s not fair that heroes win every time; b) the hero and justice systems are flawed; and c) because Garou was bullied over his love of monsters as a child.
My favorite character from season one was Sonic, who only got a few short comedic scenes in this season. Fubuki and Tastumaki return in episodes 5 and 6, and show us some humorous, relatable sibling dynamics. Genos is sweet and dedicated as always, respecting and following Saitama from the bottom of his heart, and fighting monsters to save lives. New character Suiryu brought up the idea that pro heroes might not be needed in the world because there will always be “civilians” who are stronger than heroes. However, as he is almost killed by monsters and saved by Saitama, Suiryu changes his mind.
Superheroes. They’re everywhere. Children and adults, guys and gals like, all love superhero movies, toys, figures, comics, manga, animated TV series, and live-action TV series. And there are probably more mediums than those. Superheroes are timeless, they say. Everybody love them, they say. Sorry but no. I don’t “love” superheroes or the superhero genre. I don’t hate them, either; I’m just not particularly fond of them. Maybe because of the male power fantasy thing? I don’t know. Now, that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy the occasional superhero anime or movie.
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,” yet they survive beatings and other violence that would leave a real human in many pieces. 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 a bit.
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 anyway, all that to say, I still enjoyed OPM 2 a little more than the first season. What a heretic I am! But why did I enjoy this more? Well, there was the more creative story, the introduction of the interesting anit-hero Garou, and many awesome fights. My appreciation for the art and sound elements was higher than in season one simply because I was paying more attention.
Still, what I loved most was the humor, at least half of which is made up by the personality of Saitama. The story of King in episode 1 was pretty funny. Saitama’s behavior and personality throughout the Tournament was been immensely amusing. Also his superficial analysis of Martial Arts made me laugh and cringe at the same time. Episode 9 had some very funny moments, like when Sonic made a fancy–and kinda nasty– cooked meal out of the monster cell he was given. Or when Saitama says he can’t remember Bakuzan just before killing him. Or the bit about the gorilla creature who gets mistaken for a monster. Saitama losing at video games was hilarious, too.
Overall Score: 7.4/10.0 Good
I’m glad I watched One Punch Man 2nd Season. It’s very different from season one, but I didn’t mind that at all. That concludes my rant for this topic. Let me now say I appreciate your readership immensely. Thank you! Until next time, sayonara!
Other Posts About One Punch Man Season 2
OPM 2 Episodes 1-3 Review
OPM 2 Episodes 4-6 Review
OPM 2 Episode 07 Review
OPM 2 Episode 08 Review
OPM 2 Episode 09 Review
OPM 2 Episode 10 Review
OPM 2 Episode 11 Review
OPM 2 Episode 12 Review
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(Images from: One Punch Man 2nd Season. Dir. C Sakurai. J.C. Staff. 2019.)