Recaps for One Punch Man

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One-Punch Man Episode #12 Anime Review (Season Finale)

The final battle is here. Saitama has spent episodes tearing through a massive ship to reach the apparent strongest being in the universe, Boros. As it turns out, Boros has a similar story to that of Saitama, having never found an opponent who could give him a good fight. Prophecy has brought him to Saitama, and considering the bald man instantly destroyed his armor that nobody else could’ve touched and in fact was only holding back his full power, all indications are that this is indeed the clash of the strongest that both have been longing for. We’ve seen some of the best animation in existence from the most trivial monsters for Saitama to annihilate, so this has no choice but to blow everything else out of the water. That would seem impossible if we hadn’t already watched eleven episodes of this series constantly exceeding its own bar-setting feats. READ MORE...

One-Punch Man Episode #11 Anime Review

After the previous episode built up this situation like no other and with only one episode remaining, it was a given that this would cover the journey from a world unfit to handle the likes of Saitama or its newest intruders and the one potential for Saitama to have a challenge in the entire universe. Saitama walks it boldly, destroying all in this path that would crush any others who would attempt it just as easily as the weakest his own puny planet has to offer. In comparison, the finest S Class heroes in the world struggle against a single fighter on the same level as one Saitama annihilates by flicking a loose pebble. The S Class heroes are very much the typical shounen characters, showing every possibility of losing to a seemingly insurmountable foe until its one weakness comes out through the battle, after which they make it their collective priority to focus on that weakness and finally win the day. While it functions as the one source of genuine tension to be had, it more importantly feeds the comedy of its inverse that much more effectively. The whole of shounen battle formula is laughed at by the exceedingly simple face of a man who subverts all reason and expectation to bulldoze the most terrifying threats the world has ever seen, and as someone who eats that genre up, I couldn’t be happier with how that plays out. READ MORE...

One-Punch Man Episode #10 Anime Review

We’ve seen a lot of different sides of the One Punch Man world, and any doubt about Saitama’s ability has been blown away as if by one of his godlike punches. That means things to get very big very quickly, and this episode does exactly that. In the few episodes since we learned about the Hero Association, many heroes have appeared in different contexts, including several of the top-tier Class S elites. Still, they’ve largely been little more than teased, and we’ve mostly had to trust that the rankings are accurate enough outside of our star himself. As the episode opens with a battle (if you can call it that) featuring Tornado, who we learn is not only the highest-ranking hero we’ve gotten a glimpse of but the second highest of all, it’s apparent that those top positions are well-deserved and as could be expected, the gaps between the closely-ranked get wider toward the very top. Tornado is a near-perfect hero outside of her troublesome personality, but even when not utterly dominating a seemingly imposing threat, she’s a lot of fun to have around. READ MORE...

One-Punch Man Episode #09 Anime Review

Saitama is an infinitely likable character in almost every way, but we know by now that we’ll never have to worry about his safety. Genos faces weakness more than ever before against the Deep Sea King, but he’s still one of the strongest fighters out there, hardly relatable for a viewer in that respect. Nobody suits this missing role like Mumen Rider. He’s the everyman underdog that can get everyone on both sides of the screen rooting even when anyone with any degree of realism (the man himself certainly included) can immediately recognize that he never had a chance. In this futile effort we feel sincere pathos from a series that could’ve easily gone on being nothing but a silly gag show with some slick action shots, something that more than makes the wait to see the conclusion of this fight worth it. Everything goes almost exactly as anyone could’ve predicted, but that doesn’t diminish the impact whatsoever. Perfect execution of the inevitable is far more valuable than surprises thrown in for no reason except to catch the viewer off guard. READ MORE...

One-Punch Man Episode #08 Anime Review

This is an anime it’s impossible not to love. But beyond the sheer entertainment value, there could be some question by this point of how much actual substance it has to offer. One punch is enough to finish off not only powerful monsters but meteors of all things, so how much suspense can possibly be built up? And with Saitama able to blow everything else away, is there even any reason to care about all these other heroes who vary in strength but ultimately all exist to show how much more powerful Saitama, whose strength we already know, is in comparison? READ MORE...

One-Punch Man Episode #07 Anime Review

The Hero Association is tasked with quite the challenge: a meteor is heading straight for City Z and will surely be catastrophically destructive should it reach the surface. If you couldn’t tell, City Z for this story is essentially what Japan – or sometimes just Tokyo – is for countless others: the one location in the world with an irresistible magnetic pull for all danger, but also with the only powers capable of stopping such danger. Similarly, the staff of the One Punch Man anime faces a challenge that would be insurmountable in the hands of any lesser team. At the beginning of the series I mentioned that there are scenes in the manga that actually play out as animation, and as such the actual anime had to be of the highest caliber to live up to both its source material and its own medium. Murata was on a roll for a while, because the majority of those scenes from the manga are close enough together that they find themselves being adapted within this single episode. One of them is even originally drawn in full color, and Murata takes full advantage of the additional elements that allows for, giving it a sense not only of movement, but of photographic detail. It’s a good thing this series is made by S Class animators (perhaps Saitama equivalents). READ MORE...

One-Punch Man Episode #06 Anime Review

One Punch Man has a fun premise, but one that may appear to have limited potential. The introduction of the Hero Association seemed like an obvious inclusion for a playful homage to decades of fiction from multiple cultures and mediums, but similarly one that may have seemed to serve no greater purpose initially. However, for as mundane as Saitama’s entry to the Association was, it actually opened up a whole new world for One Punch Man, one far more expansive than one would likely guess from the series from its first few episodes. In a way this is extremely common for long-running shounen action manga, but of course One Punch Man injects its own unique sense of humor into everything it does, making it all immensely fun even for viewers who may be jaded from seeing so many simple premises get bogged down by introducing too many characters, taking too long to accomplish what used to happen so briskly, or forgetting what made a series so fun and unique in its earlier and more creative days. Between knowing how this plays out from the manga, the pace at which it’s being adapted, and the unfortunately short length of the anime (hopefully only for the time being), I can confidently say that such fears have no place here, and just as it has been so far, this series is only getting better and better with each turn. READ MORE...

One-Punch Man Episode #05 Anime Review

Saitama has always said that he’s a hero for fun, and whenever he does end up doing heroic things he seems utterly bored. However, that doesn’t mean he has no interest in the fame and popularity that one might expect such a powerful superhero responsible for having saved the day countless times over the past three years to have. Upon learning that being a hero is in fact a career that one can have and only through official channels will the recognition start pouring in, Saitama sees his obvious next goal, and drags Genos along with him to avoid going alone. READ MORE...

One-Punch Man Episode #04 Anime Review

This week’s villains are Hammerhead and his Paradisers, a group of NEETs who have some decent ideas but push them too far and end up serving as some sort of comical commentary for both that Japanese phenomenon and philosophies like communism. On their own they might not seem like much, but as always there are always bigger factors that make each element of this series, especially its tragically brief (for now at least) anime adaptation, more important in the long run. As one could guess from the episode title, the focus is in fact not these episodic villains but a new third party who arrives to combat both them and our self-proclaimed hero. Hammerhead and his boys can do some serious damage and immediately take out a local celebrity of a hero in the manner that this series is so skilled at, but they could never serve as a true threat. In some ways neither could the new ninja who joins the cast, but these villains do manage to show us just how skilled he can be when faced against any kind of normal enemy (in other words, not Saitama), as he brutally slices countless heads apart. This newcomer is Sonic, and he’s here to stay. READ MORE...

One-Punch Man Episode #03 Anime Review

Through the various conflicts Saitama has found himself in during the first two episodes, especially those connected to his new disciple Genos, a clear villain of a higher level has emerged: The House of Evolution, from which most of the "worthy" (relatively speaking) opponents have spawned. One man is responsible for all of this, a genius whose name is as close to that descriptor as it is to our new second lead, one Dr. Genus. How does a man come to create such a monstrous output of villains bent on pure destruction, and why is his lab filled with countless copies of himself, all seemingly possessed of their own free will? READ MORE...