“The Lone Cyborg”
Endlessly Enjoyable Animation:
Throughout this episode I had one prevailing thought: all the animators involved in this project must be having a blast with this material. I remember when this adaptation was first announced many people were worried that it might not actually work as an anime, or that it would struggle to live up to the standard of the manga. Thankfully, after two episodes it would appear we have absolutely nothing to worry about. One-Punch Man is a feast for the eyes, and for anyone who has appreciation for animation (like myself) you couldn’t possibly ask for more; the blend of webgen and endless sasuga makes for a magnificent viewing experience, and I have no doubts that this quality will be maintained throughout the course of its run.
That being said, if I were to bring up one gripe I have with the visuals it’d have to be the greyish colour palette. In parts the colours used are quite uninspired, which is a shame compared to how damn good it all flows. Thankfully, it isn’t always the case, as there are plenty of vibrant and colourful moments throughout this episode – enough to make it much less of a problem than it could be.
A Dedicated Cyborg & Various Powerful Opponents:
Last week I mainly spoke about how brilliant Saitama was as a main character, and my thoughts are still the same. Not only are his punches brutally hilarious, but his one liners always give me a chuckle. We didn’t explore much of his character this week, but that’s fine, because seeing him struggle to kill a fly and then decimate some overpowered super villains was enough to keep me satisfied.
This time around, the standout of this episode would have to be Genos (Ishikawa Kaito), the 19-year-old cyborg with the drive to improve. I didn’t know what to expect from his personality given his stoic robotic appearance, but he proved that he’s not a mindless drone and actually has his own aspirations and opinions. His action scenes are less impressive than Saitama’s – they are still enjoyable, make no mistake – but the witty back-and-forth they shared with each other in this episode has to be the highlight; it was all seriously funny and perfectly paced. Whether the characters are fighting animalistic villains of all shapes and sizes, or just speaking over a living room table, One-Punch Man knows how to deliver the goods.
Exposition Done Right:
Now this is how you do exposition! Compare this lengthy infodump to what we get in many other anime (I’m looking at you, Heavy Object), you can’t help but acknowledge how well done this was (and what a fantastic job Ishikawa Kaito did with his voice acting). Genos telling his whole life story in great detail at a rapid-fire pace was an ingenious way to learn more about his character, whilst also forcing the viewers to listen to an infodump. We learned a whole lot about the cyborg that ruined his life and killed his family when he was only 15, and now 4 years later he’s hoping to become strong enough to one day take down his final foe. His insistence on telling his story to Saitama was amusing, as was Saitama’s shaking knee and growing irritation. I kept think “how long will this go on for?” and it just kept on going, and going, and going, leading up to the Saitama’s perfectly timed eruption. And with that, we’ve got a teacher-student relationship forming, which I’m sure will never fail to amuse. I’m definitely looking forward to more of these two together.
Overview – What’s Next?:
While the first episode delivered everything I was expecting, this one has me excited for what’s to come. I was secretly worried that I would get bored with Saitama’s routine if that’s what each episode would focus on, but the introduction of Genos and the promise of more characters in the future has my anticipation levels raised. Also, I’m glad there is some purpose and intelligence behind all these big baddies being sent Saitama’s way, and now that they’ve taken notice of him I’m sure the stakes will continue to be raised. I’m excited to see what other villains are thrown his and Genos’s way, and whether an overarching story will take shape over the course this season’s run.