“The Ultimate Mentor”

「究極の師」 (Kyuukyoku no Shi)

Superhero Worldbuilding:

One-Punch Man has finally done it! It has proven my expectations wrong. Sure, there’s still a formula to it all, but when it’s executed like it is in this episode, it doesn’t matter one little bit. Perhaps my own attitude towards the series has changed over the weeks, and I was expecting something different from what was going to be given. But finally, after five episodes, I can say that I loved what I got. Upon first glance it may seem like there wasn’t that much difference with last week’s episode and this one, but for me, everything was an improvement. And I think I’ve finally figured out the key components of the successful One-Punch Man formula:


The first thing that stood out this episode was how great it was to have some solid worldbuilding. Before now it’s mainly just been Saitama, Genos, and a few villains here and there. There’s been no in-world structure to what’s happened, even if it’s been predictable as a viewer. With the introduction of the Heroes Association, we get some much appreciated clarification on how things work and how Saitama and Genos fit into this bizarre world. Whether it be the various fitness tests, the ranking system, the fan popularity polls (which I hope are brought up in future episodes), or the set-up for a somewhat sinister B-plot with the introduction of Sweet Mask (Miyano Mamoru), everything we learned about this world and the characters that inhabit it has me keen for more. That’s how you do it, One-Punch Man!

Amazingly Animated Fights:

Some people complained that last week’s fight wasn’t near as exciting as the previous few. I never focused on it in my post, but I’d have to agree with that. It was nice enough, but nothing to blow your socks off. This week, however, had the best fight sequence so far. I wouldn’t be surprised if nothing else tops this one, in fact. If that’s the case, I’m fine with that, because this practice match between Saitama and Genos was out of this world. Genos’s abilities and design lends to this sort of firey, epic action, and clearly the hands behind this work know how to get the most out of him. It’s not going to be the exact same every episode, but the animation throughout this battle was just… incredible. I could have easily screencapped every moment of it, but I refrained myself from doing so. If the talented staff at Madhouse are capable of creating something even more exhilarating that this… then count me excited. The close-ups were detailed, the scale of the damage felt real, and when Saitama got serious the whole world seemed to stop. In short, it was awesome.

Plenty of Funny Moments:

Worldbuilding, amazing fights, and the final piece of the puzzle: gags! I have to admit, many of the jokes that One-Punch Man has provided haven’t done anything for me. Some of them have got a chuckle here or there, but nothing that lives up to the ‘Comedy’ genre tag. Until now. Now that we’re getting all these exciting moments that I’ve been waiting for, I’m finding the humour a lot easier to enjoy. There were a few parts that had me laughing this time around: the reveal of Saitama’s rank, Snek’s silly pose and Saitama’s bubblegum, Snek’s immediate defeat, Saitama’s moments of amusement during the epic battle, and the funniest of all… when Genos bid him a heartfelt farewell, as if they were going separate ways, until he turned up with his bags packed and a wad of rent money on the table. What a way to end the series’ best episode yet.

Overview – What’s Next?:

Awesome and funny when it needed to be, One-Punch Man definitely delivered this time around. I’m excited to see more of the Heroes Association and see who the other S and A-rank heroes compare. Of course, Saitama’s a little lower than he ought to be, so I imagine we’ll see him rise in the ranks and overtake some C and B-ranks in the next few episodes. Also, I noticed that the founder of the Heroes Association has the same butt chin as the boy Saitama saved in the first episode. It’s been three years since then and the story Genos told matches it, which is a neat little tidbit that adds to all we learned this week. Going forward, I can only hope future episodes are as good or better than this one.

*The first person to spell out the OPM formula wins 10 anime points.


  1. Also, I noticed that the founder of the Heroes Association has the same butt chin as the boy Saitama saved in the first episode. It’s been three years since then and the story Genos told matches it, which is a neat little tidbit that adds to all we learned this week.

    I can’t believe I did not notice this until I watched the episode a second time! Saitama’s first heroic act led to the Heroes Association.

    The episode itself was awesome as always. I couldn’t keep a straight face when Saitama and Genos parted ways.

    1. OPM = SH/WB x AAF + PO(FM)
      *The first person to spell out the OPM formula wins 10 anime points.

      One-Punch Man/One Punch Man/One Punch-Man = Superhero/Worldbuilding x Amazingly Animated Fights + Plenty of (Funny Moments)

      OPM = SH/WB x AAF + PO(FM)
      One Punch Man = Superhero/Worldbuilding x Amazingly Animated Fights + Plenty of (Funny Moments)

  2. Yes, the formula is right. World Building is the key.

    It’s pretty evident that One Punch, as a series, starts to improve a lot the moment the Hero Association is introduced. We are talking about a setting with its rules, it’s values (rank, popularity) and lots of new characters with their own backgrounds and interests.

    Saitama is static. Apart from enjoying his superhuman shenanigans, the real joy of the series is witnessing how he affects the lives of the heroes (and villains!) around him.

    I’m only afraid that the current series will be too short to scratch the tip of the iceberg. Heck, the opening doesn’t even feature the 2nd most popular character from the official popularity poll (unless I missed something).

    1. if were talking about blizzard, she actually pops in early in the manga for a couple pages, but no one remembers her. This will probably get a second season and we can see all the glory of OPM

    2. If the development for the other characters is substantial enough, then I’m fine with Saitama being static. Now that we’re aware of the systems in place in this world, we can get introduced to plenty of new heroes. I’ll be interested to see the fan favourites making their debuts.

    1. They certainly must be. I recently read that the director shut down claims that OPM looks as good as it does because it has a high budget; apparently it’s budget isn’t that different from your typical 1-cour anime. It looks so great because the animators are talented and they’re enjoying themselves, and it shows.

      1. that’s actually a common misconception that anime looks good because it has a “high budget”. The quality of animation is mostly dependent on the talent of the staff and time budgeting. Kyo ani work with a budget similar to that of your average tv animation but 1.they have great talent on their side and 2. their productions are done in a timely manner rather than close to airing date. This gives them time to actually make the best out of their artists. A kids show like the recent season of pokemon looks ample times better than your average anime coming out these days and that’s mostly because eps are down like ten to twelve weeks ahead of time

      2. @sonicsenryaku

        At the same time, though, time is bought with money, without exception. Talent and management help no doubt (and you should buy those too!), but one can give oneself all the time they want to make something as long as one can pay for it.

      3. Very true, Passerby. Though I think KyoAni may be an exception to the rule. Perhaps there are other examples where certain productions are given more time, but I believe most KyoAni series are made way in advance (the voice actors act to an already-animated episode rather than storyboards or scribbles), especially since they’re much more than an animation studio now, as they produce and acquire their own content with their own brand. I guess that factors into why they’re the most successful studio in the past decade.

      4. @passerby

        No doubt that the money is important, but when some people refer to budget, it’s almost as if they assume that the more money you throw at a series, the better it’s animation is. There is a significant correlation, but the causation has more to do with the talent and time, which is what i was trying to say. Studios with a pretty sizable budget sometimes hire others to do their art and animation; sure they have the money to pay all these workers, but if theit talent is subpar and they are just handing out rushed material, you get…well….crap. As samu nicely put, kyo ani usually have their shows down far in advance. Knowing this makes me wonder why other animation studios dont do what they do; but i understand everyone has their own business model and circumstances to which they work

    1. Right after he release the punch wave, in a split second he moves in front of genos to take his own blow and then moves back to the original position, which happened extremely fast that we can’t see it :))
      … Now that I think about it, the ideal enemy for Saitama is himself, he just need to move so fast and fight his own afterimages :)))

    2. I don’t think that’s actually Saitama’s punch that did that. I believe it’s Geno’s huge blast that created this hole, like what he did to the House of Evolution. Saitama dodged it and went around his back.

      1. I’m pretty sure that was Saitama’s punch. The way the scene was handled makes it seem like it was and anyway Genos wouldn’t turn around and be surprised by his own blast.

      2. Yeah, the whole scene seemed to make out that it was Saitama’s punch that caused the damage + we saw just a few moments before that Genos’s damage to the landscape wasn’t as devastating.

    3. It’s a common (urban-legend-ish) technique in martial arts, known as Ge Shan Da Niu (隔山打牛, hitting a cow behind a mountain) in Chinese. It is reputed to be able to deal damage to someone/something behind cover, WITHOUT damaging said cover. I am pretty sure something similar existed in Japanese martial arts, but I kinda forget the term for it.

      Of course, when performed by Saitama, its effect magnify nth hundred thousandfold.

    1. That’s sort of been my one issue with the anime, like this and that scene where he fights Carnage Kabuto before they drop the supermarket sale punchline, they kind of stretch out these jokes a little too much for my taste by over selling it. I dunno if it’s just because I’ve read the manga, and the timing seems better there.

      Bamboo Blade Cat
  3. Can we just hurry and get Fubuki in here ^^

    I really enjoy this series, for me it’s like “Tonari no Seki kun” time, only longer eps, Just enjoy the ride and have laughs always looking forward to this

  4. https://randomc.net/image/One-Punch%20Man/One-Punch%20Man%20-%2005%20-%2021.jpg

    This was one jaw-droppingly beautifully animated fight, no question about that.

    That said though, and it’s nothing personal, this fight did nothing for me other than that. I still consider Saitama’s dream fight from episode one being far and away the very best, because it had something this one had nothing of…


    When a ‘fight’ can end with one side, quite literally, flicking the other on the head and essentially say: “Sorry, kid, come back in about a thousand years and maybe, just maybe you’ll earn an iota of actual effort out of me,” I’ve got nothing but a “meh” and a shrug of my shoulders to give.

    I will say one thing though. It’s an interesting theory, off-the-cuff as it may have seemed at the time, that Saitama houses a god inside of him. That would certainly explain a lot – least of all that weird, flashy thing that he gets in his eyes from time to time – and could even set the stage for some actual rivalry if there are others like him.

    Ryan Ashfyre
    1. Yep could set up a rivalry but then it becomes another more common type of story that is hard to do with god tier opponents. Sort of Silver Surfer, Thor and Superman who often have to pull their attacks to avoid killing someone and possible massive damage to the planet. And of course there are even more powerful beings.

      One Punch works with god like powers to achieve a different end than drama in this case comedy. Like Ah My Goddess achieves comedy and romance and a bit of drama and uses limiters on the three Norn sisters who in real final form it turns out are the most powerful force in the universes. In One Punch the limiter is they don’t bring in a god tier opponent.

  5. I just read the TV Trope on Punched Across the Room.
    And it was so funny that this was so similar to the example of Superman vs Spiderman in a cross over. Villains make Superman think Spiderman is a opponent that Superman needs to hit hard. At the last second Superman realizes that a normal super punch will kill Spiderman “He pulls it, but the wind-blast caused by his moving fist is enough to blow Spidey several hundred yards away, including right through a skyscraper (in and out via windows, and the inside is an open-plan office, fortunately)”

    Have to fan wank that Genos was bracing a full power plus One Punch was directing his force around Genos so that Genos did not fly back. Or just that the Rule of Cool was in effect. .

  6. As someone who picked up the first volume of One Punch Man when it came out in a Tsutaya near by (a book store, among DvDs and the like, here in Japan) I had fell in love. This was def one of the top scenes I just could not wait until it became animated and man was it good.

    The story and fights do get better. My fav (without any real spoilers) still has to be of the Sea King. Not going to go into any detail about it but that chapter was by far my fav one.


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