One Punch returns with less impact.
Probably my least anticipated sequel ever, here is One Punch Man and its second season. New studio behind the wheel and the question becomes whether or not lightning can strike twice for a story that has one joke and almost no point. Season one overcame this by being a bombastic good time with a killer sound track and while a subsequent attempt to rewatch left me feeling that it was light on any substance, I had a good time the first time through at least even if I began to find it wearing a bit thin by the end of the season.
Season two so far is best described as average. It isn’t as visually dynamic as its predecessor, something that is incredibly noteworthy during Genos’ fight with another robot. Season one had some incredibly fluid movement and interesting direction in the vast majority of fight sequences that elevated them despite the scale of the fight. Here, the fight works, and Genos looks great, but there isn’t really much sense of excitement that comes with it.
Where it falls down particularly far though is the sound track with the music so far being adequate but not a driving force of thrills or a hook. That is perhaps the weakest part of this first entry into the second season.
However, none of that has anything to do with plot and whether or not there’s a reason for a sequel to the story of a guy who became a super-hero for fun. Here I’ll have to praise season two for giving a few interesting hooks in terms of progressing the story.
We meet King, a guy who isn’t a hero who, do to incredibly bad luck has been at the scene of a huge number of monster attacks and has become known as one of the strongest heroes (almost the direct opposite of Saitama who fights all the monsters but gets almost no credit). We have the hero association trying to recruit more fighters in response to a potential world ending prophecy. We have heroes and villains planning to target Saitama. Then there is Genos and his ongoing quest to become stronger and defeat the cyborg that destroyed his home. That seems like more than enough to push us through a season and we’re only at episode one.
For those who came for the spectacle and excitement of season one, One Punch Man Season Two doesn’t really deliver in its first episode, however, I feel more optimistic about a second season now that I can see that they intend to develop the narrative a bit more. Whether that optimism is misplaced I guess we’ll find out and whether or not it matters that the story is progressing if the rest of the production isn’t quite up to speed is something only time will tell.
There’s a bit more going on in the second episode. Certainly a smack down between Genos and Speed o’ sound Sonic, even if the majority of it is off-screen is entertaining enough and when we add in a villain slaughtering his way through heroes and villains alike we end up with a fairly action packed episode even with Saitama being his usual laid-back self.
I kind of wanted more from the whole hero recruiting a faction plot line, but I guess expecting much from a show that really is happy to go with the obvious joke was my bad. They did enough with it and the amusement of watching her hopes and illusions getting shattered worked well enough even if it kind of lets that plot line come to a natural conclusion fairly early on.
The meeting at the hero association where they come up with Genos and Saitama’s hero names is down-played to the point where it is almost forgettable and the joke name they given Saitama is lame even by the comedy standards of One Punch man. Kind of glad they didn’t linger on this but it is given so little attention it may as well have not existed as it really didn’t contribute much from either a plot or comedy point of view. I guess it helps us fully realise the hero association is mostly a bureaucratic joke, but we kind of already knew that.
Basically, this continues to do enough while at the same time hasn’t had any real standout moment yet. I’m still very much a Genos fan-girl so as long as we keep getting sections of Genos fighting I’ll probably be happy enough and I’m kind of glad they didn’t feel the need to destroy him in the second episode again given how many times they broke him in season one. While I will admit this does feel lacking compared to the first season, it is meeting my expectations of a season two, given I expected very little feeling this one had already run its course. It remains entertaining enough provided you don’t expect anything exceptional.
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100 Word Anime:
- One Punch Man Series Review
- One Punch Man Season 2 Episodes 1 + 2
- One Punch Man Season 2 Episode 3
- One Punch Man Season 2 Episode 4
- One Punch Man Season 2 Episode 5
- Images from: One Punch Man Second Season. Dir. C Sakurai. J.C. Staff. 2019.