「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.