One Punch Man was created by ONE in early 2014 as a webcomic and was soon picked up by Madhouse for an animated series. It takes us through the life of a simple man, Saitama, who trained to be a “Hero for fun” after a fight with a crab monster that made him feel exhilarated. The highly awaited web-comic based series, One Punch Man, dropped the official trailer for Season 2 on December 2018. Finally, in April 2019, the anime made a comeback with season 2 titled “Return of the Hero”.
One Punch Man Season 2
One Punch Man Season 2 continues with amazingly choreographed fight scenes, despite being based on a fairly idiotic storyline. It makes Saitama’s existential crisis relatable and his search for the purpose more obvious. This fight inside Saitama sways between being portrayed as a serious issue and turning into a joke, whilst competitively gaming with his new friend, S Class Rank 7: King.
This season revolves around 2 antagonists – The Hero Hunter (Stain) Garou and a mirror version of The Hero Association called The Monster Association The whole country is on red alert gives more screen time to the relationship between the low ranking and high ranking heroes, which is generally sour because of the immense power gaps between 2 Classes.
The episode pacing in this season compared to the pace in the manga, is a bit hasty, giving far less screen time to widely anticipated fights such as Garou Vs Metal Bat and Garou Vs Watchdogman, which caused an uproar in the fan community.
A one time watch
We are shown 3 parallel storylines: The Hero Hunting by Garou, The attack of The Monster Association and The Martial Arts Tournament. Garou is an ex-student of S class Rank 3 Hero: Bang. He is an expert in hand to hand combat with the same technique that Bang uses – Flowing Water Crushing Rock. His one purpose in life is to defeat every Hero and rise as The Ultimate Monster. His character is given a unique backstory. One about a little kid who sees has an out of the box view about heroes and villains. He makes his debut by targeting the new base of The Hero Association, entering the spotlight with a well-designed look and a mysterious aura.
Garo’s encounters with heroes such as Tank Top Master, Golden Ball, etc. give us a better look into the unique fighting techniques and battle power of many heroes. He hunts down S Class and C class heroes alike but is finally seriously injured when he runs into Saitama shopping for a wig and challenges him to a fight. At the end of the season, he is cornered by his former sensei Bang and his brother Bomb. With a little bit of help from The Monster Association and a lot of perseverance, he escapes by being dragged against his will by a mysterious bird.
Despite being an antagonist, his relationship with a little kid shows that humanity still exists within the self-proclaimed Monster. The Monster Association makes its debut in episode one with a Mecha Robot who wants to gauge King’s fighting ability in a fight to the death. Their motive is the annihilation of heroes all over the globe and to create a regime of terror. They catch the attention of The Hero Association by kidnapping the son of one of their biggest investors and giving them 3 days to prepare for the biggest battle yet.
The Martial Arts Tournament revolves around Saitama taking an interest in martial arts because of The Hero Hunter’s fighting style and taking part in the tournament posing as Charanko to experience various fighting styles. A mysterious character by the name of Suiryu who defeats everyone with one hit, similar to Saitama takes the cup after Saitama is disqualified for taking Charanko’s place and using a disguise.
However, they continue fighting because of Suiryu feeling exhilarated after finding a worthy opponent after years of boredom. He has a very steep character growth in this short phase, switching from a person who disrespects heroes and their profession, to a person who realizes the importance of heroes for giving people hope in dark situations. This part ends with the Martial Arts Tournament being crashed by Monsters who are in the search for strong Humans to be converted into Monsters via ingesting Monster Cells.
There is a running gag about Tornado’s younger sister Fubuki who is shocked that a B Class hero is friends with 3 S Class heroes. She hangs around Saitama’s house hoping to get involved with the group. Our carefree protagonist deals with them in a hilarious way.
This Season is a satisfying experience if you’re looking for amazing fight scenes and the signature comedy. However, it is a disappointment to the manga readers with details being skipped and with poor and lazy animation. It is a downgrade from Season 1 as it is a heavily diluted version of the manga. I would recommend the anime-only audience to give the manga a read as it is addictive and much much better than this season. The fight sequence at the end is prolonged and drawn out for no apparent reason with Saitama getting only a few minutes of screen time in almost 3 episodes.
- Saitama’s shirt in episode 1 reads “Hair”
- Saitama’s voice actor changes in the last part of the Martial arts tournament.
- The unnamed hero with the Glasses during the Garou Vs Heroes sequence in the forest has a strong resemblance to Saitama’s 3 years younger self.
The plot of One Punch Man
One Punch Man was created by ONE in early 2014 as a webcomic and was soon picked up by Madhouse for an animated series. It takes us through the life of a simple man, Saitama, who trained to be a “Hero for fun” after a fight with a crab monster that made him feel exhilarated. After a rigorous training regimen which takes 3 years (and all his hair), he becomes a supernaturally strong hero who defeats every opponent with a single hit.
He soon meets a Cyborg by the name of Genos, who he saves from the brink of death and gets stuck with him as his disciple. Season 1 introduces us to The Hero Association who maintain the peace by employing commissioned heroes. Saitama, despite being the strongest person alive, is very poor in his vocal skills and gets placed at Rank C in The Hero Association’s ranking system.
After tonnes of action and crazy villains with hilarious backstories, this light-hearted anime takes a dark turn about Saitama’s inner self which is still bored and is back to square one, feeling no care for anything. The season ends with Saitama facing off against Lord Boros – the dominator of the universe, in an amazing action sequence which ultimately ends with Boros being defeated and peace is restored to the world.
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