One Punch Man Season 2 Review Episodes 1 + 2

One Punch returns with less impact.

One Punch Man Season 2 Episode 1 - Saitama and King

Episode 1

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.

Generic villain number 1.

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.

Genos however remains awesome.

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.

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Episode 2

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.

One Punch Man Season 2 Episode 2 - Genos

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.

One Punch Man - Season 2 Episode 2 - Saitama

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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Karandi James
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One Punch Man Series Review: One Punch – One Joke

One Punch Man Saitama Flying

This is part of a series of re-posts of older reviews on 100 Word Anime. The original review came out in August 2016 and can be found here.

I’ve not made all that many changes to this one as my opinion really hasn’t changed. I did however, get rid of the plus/minus format. Still, if you read the original post, that kind of covers it.

It’s really difficult to review One Punch Man. On the one hand, it is awesome. The main character defeats his enemies with one punch. It’s funny. It’s visually striking. The music is really well chosen. On the other hand, essentially the plot is about a guy with almost zero motivation who instantly kills his opponents removing any tension from any conflict and once you’ve seen the punch line to most of the jokes there isn’t a lot of rewatch value. And in honesty, rewatching this one was kind of dull. While there are a few moments that still really shining, without the novelty factor there just isn’t much here.

onepunchman_forreal

At the centre of the story is Saitama. He really feels like a character for the modern world. He’s self-centred, lazy, and reasonably ignorant of things that don’t particularly impact on him (not saying that everyone in the modern world is like that but it is certainly a recognition of a social trend). He also has a very high opinion of himself and his value and at times seems to carry a giant chip on his shoulder about the lack of credit he receives for his work. Compared to the superheroes of the past (or the current Hollywood trend of dark and edgy heroes), Saitama is a fantastic breath of fresh air and fairly easy to relate to.

And he has even more depth than most of us initially give him credit  for. There are times when he could receive recognition but because of the ramifications to others, Saitama deliberately plays down his part in a job. Given his usual self-involved attitude, these moments are really important to making him feel like a genuine character and someone who is becoming more aware of the world around them even as he seeks recognition.

Basically, this character has toed the line and managed to make us not hate him, even while he plays up some of the less desirable traits of the modern culture. Its an interesting mix and one handled more deftly than you might at first assume, but a lot of that gets lost under a fairly one note plot.

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Sticking with characters though, I want to give a shout out to Genos. My favourite character from the show (and someone who deserves some kind of award for the sheer amount of determination he has and how little it actually gets him). He is your typical hero in every sense of the word. Tragic childhood on quest for revenge and to save others from the same fate. Willing to sacrifice himself and always working to improve. He is also the only one who really recognises Saitama for what he actually is (even if his perception is a little tinted by rose coloured glasses).

Genos also brings about some of the more amusing and tragic moments of the anime as he tends to attempt self-destruction fairly regularly (to save others of course) or gets swatted into pieces. You feel bad for him but can’t help but laugh and given how much damage he sustains in early episodes without lasting impact (because apparently being a cyborg means anything can be fixed) it takes a lot of the trauma out of his injuries. While Genos couldn’t carry the show by himself (he is too weighed down with clichés), he is an excellent support character and adds just the right notes of earnestness, dedication, and over-zealous stupidity to most scenes.

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However, that one note plot is a problem as is the inability to escalate tension throughout the story. When you start your anime with city destroying monsters, giants, cyborgs, gorillas and life sucking mosquitos, how do you up the ante? Sure, aliens? Why not? Only they don’t come off as any more threatening than the hoodlums or any of the other villains we’ve seen. I think they are supposed to, given all of the heroes are seemingly gathered to face them, but what we end up with is a series of small group fights that lack punch (sorry about that) and then Saitama squaring off against the leader of the aliens and… well winning with one punch. They may draw out this battle sequence for longer than others in the series, but to be honest the outcome is obvious and you’re not sitting on the edge of your seat waiting but rather just waiting for the inevitable punch line.

Genos.png

And so our plot line boils down to a single manta. “Saitama is strong. Saitama is good. Saitama hits things and kills them in one punch.” Possibly this is a story about the organisation for heroes and maybe there’s more to the whole thing there but in the first season (which is all we have at the moment), there is genuinely no real plot. There are a series of incidents that get dealt with and in the process we see Saitama and Genos interacting more and more with other heroes (all of which have their own agendas and motives). This is not actually a plot. The series is a collection of set-ups and punch lines with just enough world building packed around it to make it feel like maybe there is some plot progression. Certainly there is space for there to be a plot. You know, the hero guy who seems to be wanting to take over, and the other guy who… wait we just don’t know what they are actually up to and they probably made up less than 5% of the screen time so let’s not justify that as a plot.

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But the weak plot isn’t enough to take away from the fact that this show knew what it wanted to bring. This is high energy fun. I may make fun of the obvious ends to battles but the show continues to find ways to make these amusing and visually appealing regardless. More importantly, they keep finding ways to make battle sequences look and feel different (even knowing they will end the same way). The sheer variety in the enemies and the use of lesser heroes and even the stronger heroes in the early stages of fights keeps things feeling fresh and moving.

wanpanman207-noscale

For me a lot of the jokes fell flat. Even the ones that were pretty funny the first time round weren’t particularly amusing when I tried to watch it again with a friend. A lot of the humour relies on shock and spectacle and unfortunately that just doesn’t hold up to a second viewing (and a third viewing for this review just killed it – there’s almost nothing left that sticks when you have already seen it and you know where its going). The character related humour worked better but even that didn’t have the same impact on rewatch. There are definitely some satirical elements at work here, but the show isn’t really cohesive enough to call itself a satire. Mostly, it’s just going for amusement and entertainment and for the most part it succeeds.

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After all of this, I’m still going to recommend this one to people who haven’t tried it. The first watch is great fun and you’ll have some great laughs with it. However, I don’t see myself ever wanting to buy this one on disc and I probably won’t go for another watch of it anytime soon.

What did you think of One Punch Man?

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Karandi James
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ONE PUNCH MAN ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK
ONE PUNCH MAN ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK

One Punch Man Series Review

Overview:

Saitama became a hero fun fun but still didn’t get a lot of recognition. After unwillingly gaining a disciple (the cyborg Genos), Saitama takes the test to become an official hero and then begins tackling official jobs. Unfortunately, other than Genos, no one else seems to realise just how strong Saitama is.

One Punch Man is available on AnimeLab.

Review:

It’s really difficult to review One Punch Man. On the one hand, it is awesome. The main character defeats his enemies with one punch. It’s funny. It’s visually striking. The music is really well chosen. On the other hand, essentially the plot is about a guy with almost zero motivation who instantly kills his opponents removing any tension from any conflict and once you’ve seen the punch line to most of the jokes there isn’t a lot of rewatch value.

So is it good or isn’t it?

onepunchman_forreal

Plus +

Saitama really feels like a character for the modern world. He’s self-centred, lazy, and reasonably ignorant of things that don’t particularly impact on him (not saying that everyone in the modern world is like that but it is certainly a recognition of a social trend). He also has a very high opinion of himself and his value and at times seems to carry a giant chip on his shoulder about the lack of credit he receives for his work. Compared to the superheroes of the past (or the current Hollywood trend of dark and edgy heroes), Saitama is a fantastic breath of fresh air and fairly easy to relate to.

And he has even more depth than most of us initially give him credit  for. There are times when he could receive recognition but because of the ramifications to others, Saitama deliberately plays down his part in a job. Given his usual self-involved attitude, these moments are really important to making him feel like a genuine character and someone who is becoming more aware of the world around them even as he seeks recognition.

maxresdefault2

Minus –

When you start your anime with city destroying monsters, giants, cyborgs, gorillas and life sucking mosquitos, how do you up the ante? Sure, aliens? Why not? Only they don’t come off as any more threatening than the hoodlums or any of the other villains we’ve seen. I think they are supposed to, given all of the heroes are seemingly gathered to face them, but what we end up with is a series of small group fights that lack punch (sorry about that) and then Saitama squaring off against the leader of the aliens and… well winning with one punch. They may draw out this battle sequence for longer than others in the series, but to be honest the outcome is obvious and you’re not sitting on the edge of your seat waiting but rather just waiting for the inevitable punch line.

1453186983-5aa9467388d5c1f78f143ac9580ec45d

Plus +

Genos. My favourite character from the show. He is your typical hero in every sense of the word. Tragic childhood on quest for revenge and to save others from the same fate. Willing to sacrifice himself and always working to improve. He is also the only one who really recognises Saitama for what he actually is (even if his perception is a little tinted by rose coloured glasses). Genos also brings about some of the more amusing and tragic moments of the anime as he tends ot attempt self-destruction fairly regularly (to save others of course) or gets swatted into pieces. You feel bad for him but can’t help but laugh and given how much damage he sustains in early episodes without lasting impact (because apparently being a cyborg means anything can be fixed) it takes a lot of the trauma out of his injuries. While Genos couldn’t carry the show by himself (he is too weighed down with clichés), he is an excellent support character and adds just the right notes of earnestness, dedication, and over-zealous stupidity to most scenes.

Genos.png

Minus –

Plot. Saitama is strong. Saitama is good. Saitama hits things and kills them in one punch. Really? Possibly this is a story about the organisation for heroes and maybe there’s more to the whole thing there but in the first season (which is all we have at the moment), there is genuinely no real plot. There are a series of incidents that get dealt with and in the process we see Saitama and Genos interacting more and more with other heroes (all of which have their own agendas and motives). This is not actually a plot. The series is a series of set-ups and punch lines with just enough world building packed around it to make it feel like maybe there is some plot progression. Certainly there is space for there to be a plot. you know, the hero guy who seems to be wanting to take over, and the other guy who… wait we just don’t know what they are actually up to and they probably made up less than 5% of the screen time so let’s not justify that as a plot.

1451255685-3d33cc3efd94501f5f2afee436706eaf

Plus +

This is high energy fun. I may make fun of the obvious ends to battles but the show continues to find ways to make these amusing and visually appealing regardless. More importantly, they keep finding ways to make battle sequences look and feel different (even knowing they will end the same way). The sheer variety in the enemies and the use of lesser heroes and even the stronger heroes in the early stages of fights keeps things feeling fresh and moving.

wanpanman207-noscale

Minus –

For me a lot of the jokes fell flat. Even the ones that were pretty funny the first time round weren’t particularly amusing when I tried to watch it again with a friend. A lot of the humour relies on shock and spectacle and unfortunately that just doesn’t hold up to a second viewing. The character related humour worked better but even that didn’t have the same impact on rewatch. There are definitely some satirical elements at work here, but the show isn’t really cohesive enough to call itself a satire. Mostly, it’s just going for amuesment and entertainment and for the most part it succeeds.

maxresdefault3

My recommendation? If you haven’t watched it and seen what all the fuss is about, you probably should give it a go. The first time through it does have quite an impact and it isn’t as though anything can spoil this show because it is all about the emotion connected to the scene rather than the events. For me though, I won’t say this is a ‘best’ show or even one that will be long remembered. It is a good watch but that’s about it.

What did you think of One Punch Man?