「人間の怪人」 (Ningen no Kaijin)
“The Human Monster”
With the season opening jitters now out the way and the gripes about J.C. Staff quality firmly exhausted (although Genos’ upgraded arms are still a travesty for all mankind), it’s time for OPM to get down to the business of hero shenanigans—and what shenanigans they are. We may still only be in early days, but with the introductions flying around and foreshadowing growing ever brighter, you know it won’t be long before the real fun begins.
As an indicator OPM won’t be entirely following the usual script of last season, we are starting this one off with one serious teaser in the appearance of Garo (Midorikawa Hikaru). While it’s pretty easy to guess what this guy’s fate will be in the end (only need look as far as the fate of Boros from last season), Garo won’t be the one and done villain as has usually been OPM’s antagonist shtick up until now. Becoming an enemy of the world after all is a pretty lofty goal for even the most determined of monsters, and given Garo has plenty of chaff to plow through before reaching the true cream of the hero crop, expecting a few episodes of tasty (in a sense) hero beat downs is not that unreasonable. The true reasons behind Garo’s actions may still be unknown, but you can bet this guy won’t be going down too easy. At least until the friendly neighbourhood Saitama finally makes his acquaintance.
As if to prove this longevity strategy as well OPM is also hinting towards the character focus this season will primarily emphasize. Blizzard for example, while being humorous and holding surprising relations in her own right, provides in a sense OPM’s version of BnHA hero’s glut. In a system designed to deliberately control quantity at various levels, you get ahead either through sheer force of will and strength—i.e. be better than the rest—or via more “deliberative” strategies which in either case may still not wind up working. It’s the nature of the beast that some, no matter how hard they try, will still fail at the game. It makes Saitama all the more of an outlier: a man who does innumerable heroic deeds, barely gets ahead on the organizational side of matters, and yet still wins out on the very things the likes of Blizzard believe only possible by being part of the inner circle. The guy may not have the perks of an S-class ranking or the popularity deserved from his actions, but he’s got friends and acquaintances more than able to make up for what he seemingly lacks. It’s the ubiquitous tale of there always being more than meets the eye, and Blizzard is just the first of many who’ll discover that about OPM’s most unassuming of heroes.
ED: 「地図が無くても戻るから」 (Chizu ga Nakutemo Modoru kara) by Makoto Furukawa