「S級のヒーロー」 (S-Kyuu no Hiirou)
“The Class S Heroes”

While we may only be halfway through, it’s sure going to be interesting looking back on OPM at season’s end. This season has done an apt job thus far of threading the needle, stumbling (and continuing to stumble) in terms of animation and pacing, but still adhering well to the characters and material which makes this series so damn fun in the first place. It’s going to be a divisive season in the end, but between the likes of an exposed Saitama, determined Atomic Samurai, and one monster group growing too big for its tentacle britches, I’d say there’s still something to love here for everyone.

As has been the shtick for OPM this season the big battle is not much who’s walloping who, but the reasons and intent behind those actions. Suiryu for example as delved into last week and fully displayed this week is all about fun, games, and simple enjoyment, which makes him a pretty effective foil to the likes of Saitama. When it comes to our eponymous one hit killing machine the guy is pretty much the same after all; Saitama is all about having fun and enjoying life as it comes. The difference is that the wig-wearing baldy understands the responsibility accompanying the power allowing for that fun. Sure it may be enjoyable using strength for amusement, but something—and someone—has to maintain the environment allowing for such escapades. For all that OPM’s “elite” martial artists look down on its heroes, the latter are what enable the former to showcase their skills and find enjoyment in the moment as the world literally goes to hell around them. As Saitama rightfully states it’s all fun and games until you acquire enough power, because at that point it falls to you to do the protecting previously left to others. Mind you probably not the message Suiryu will get right away, but one he’s taken the first step to learn.

Barring the philosophical musing however, we also returned to the main threat of this season and the first concerted effort to deal with it. Should be no real surprises here, we’re going straight into monster hunting and all the carnage it entails (sorry Garo lovers, the man made monster is going to have to wait), although it will be interesting seeing how quickly OPM decides to move through this arc. Between the breakneck pacing of these past couple of weeks and the various developments arguably better left to their own episodes accompanying it we’ve had little time to actually sink our teeth into the material, and current foreshadowing doesn’t hint towards significant improvement. There’s just too many moving parts and insufficient time for it all to receive the proper treatment, and with OPM’s titular character largely sidelined up until now, not much in the way of Saitama-isms to help keeps things flowing smoothly. I don’t expect disaster here anytime soon mind you (too much riding on success for that to happen), but hard denying the seed of worry is starting to root itself in place.

We’ll know soon enough just what OPM’s latter half has in store though; with new Genos-crushing enemies on the loose and one king ready to make his presence felt, the next bought of fighting is going to get a little crazy.

 

Preview

17 Comments

  1. They’re skipping stuff from the manga, and the series already feels like it’s moving unbelievably fast. There were a couple scenes, like that of Atomic Samurai, that I wish had been given more time and attention.

    SuicuneSol
  2. I never saw the pace being too fast, since I haven’t read the manga. But I was actually sorta complaining that the pace is too SLOW and getting boring, like, we just spent two or three episodes with almost the same thing happening, just with different characters. And I didn’t quite like the constant jumping between the battles outside and the tournament. It’s breaking the momentum. Even though I’m really disappointed with this season, I’ll still continue watching it out of loyalty (maybe)

    Kaz
    1. Mm, that’s the thing. Scenes are moving too quickly (too fast to animate a single scene properly and make it interesting to watch) AND nothing of note gets accomplished, so it all feels shallow and pointless. The monster war outside is no different, and it all ends up falling into a shonen-syndrome where each character must get screentime before the battle ends, and there is no visible end to it

      …basically, the anime is trying to move as quickly as it can through slow-paced source material, and in effect makes no attempt to make individual scenes fun to watch. (Which is what made Season 1 great.)

      SuicuneSol
      1. The pacing is really starting to make its presence felt now unfortunately. I imagine it’s a case of trying to reach an appropriate point to build off with an inevitable third season (it’ll happen sooner or later), but it doesn’t make the current offerings any better.

  3. Man, FINALLY that martial art contest is over. It was a COMPLETELY useless part of the story. Man this is BAD (VERY BAD) storytelling. Good thing it’s over.

    Andre
    1. I wouldn’t say it was useless, but the way it was adapted definitely didn’t help in getting the intended message across. It could’ve been handled a lot better while keeping with OPM’s direction IMO.

  4. Man, we hit another low with the lack of animation in this episode.
    Hm, will we finally see that dog costume guy fight and show us that he’s a “proper” hero and not simply another joke character?

    boingman
  5. I’m a little torn over the animation quality. On one hand compared to the exhaustive detailed animation work on S1 to make every fight gut punchingly delightful, this season, the fights seem overly simplified and bland. Part of that is also due to the fights in the manga being usually quick and decisive over this monster association arch. One thing I can’t really forgive is making those short fights feel even worse by removing the background and using a still picture for many action scenes. If the money spent on this anime was 2 leagues below, it would be justifiable, but not for such a high profile anime. This manga arch was annoying due to the constant jumping through fights. In S2 with the simplified fights, and still pictures, and jumping, it gets really tired. I’m afraid how this season will do bad in sales, which may have effects for S3 investment.

    Bryn
    1. I’d wager personally any third season will depend more on the source popularity than the adaptation, and even then I still suspect a third season has already been planned out. It’s a lot like SnK, the recent adaptations haven’t been doing as hot as before, but they still keep getting made because it helps boost light novel/manga sales. Unless OPM suddenly falls from grace it’s probably a matter of when rather than if.

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