「最強の悩み」 (Saikyou no Nayami)
“The Ultimate Dilemma”

While a week’s tennis break is probably not long enough to get out of the rut OPM has seemingly found itself in of late, it doesn’t hurt to try even if the results are, well, less than positive. OPM may not be the flop as many a comment is quick to describe, but the show has certainly found it troublesome recently of late to reach the narrative heights its previous season did. Probably not the spot I expect many of us thought we’d be in, but hey, stranger things have happened.

Although noticeable for a few weeks now, this episode is arguably the first where OPM’s current focus on multiple plots and characters really made its presence felt. From Saitama doing the usual to Garo’s two stage beatdown and everything Monster Association, it was an eclectic mix of hero-monster shenanigans, but without the key piece holding it together: the fights. Call it superficial, but OPM (at least for me) isn’t really OPM without some detailed destruction and fists to the face. No matter the philosophical banter and the deadpan humour (and oh what humour it was this time), just showing the bare trappings of duels and their aftermath isn’t really enough to make up for prematurely ripping the visual meat right from the bone. Where was the Goketsu battle, the focus on Garo’s first real loss (Saitama doesn’t count), hell even a little bit more of the gorilla I’m sure a few likely forgot the origins of? Faithful adaptation or not—i.e. Goketsu’s off-screen elimination—there needs to be something more to OPM in the action department because it’s these over the top engagements which help give strength to the rest of the material on display.

Speaking of other material, we certainly got that in spades this week thanks to a little King-directed Saitama introspection. Much like with Suiryu’s belated understanding of his limitations, Saitama too came to realize he’s not as powerful as he may think. Sure he’s got physical strength to spare (heh), but beyond those mystical one shot punches? Just as average as anyone else. The key Saitama (and even Suiryu and Garo) are quickly learning is that learning is never truly over; there’s always additional knowledge to acquire, experiences to have, power to gain. If you believe there’s nothing left to learn at all then you are arrogant and it will come back to bite you later, one way or another. Not like the caped baldy would actually lose a fight mind you (the laws of scienceTM are absolute), but no one ever said Saitama’s ordinary personal life couldn’t get a little rowdy given the right circumstances. All it takes is a single event to turn the world on its head after all, and no one, not even the strongest, can effortlessly avoid the fallout.

The only question is just what world altering event our monstrous enemies of the moment have in store for the good guys.




    1. I read it looong time ago but from what i remember without looking it up again, there was no real fight, he kinda punched Goketsu and his corpse is left there standing with no head, and someone else found him standing without a head there which was shown to us

  1. So after all the backlash the fight scenes got from the community, their solution was to escape the fights all together or make them happen off screen ??!! This is not even OPM anymore.

    1. Well… I mean… this is exactly what happens in the manga. Panel for panel even. That’s the gag. That Suiryu was never in any danger. And that monsters constantly get off-paneled by Saitama.

      1. oh, is it ? Hmm.. This is perhaps the worst possible timing for a gag, as the quality production is soo low, that non-manga readers would not consider this as a joke but rather just another production failure . Specially after Goketsu was sorta hyped as a pretty bad asss mini boss, people would expect some sort of action.

      2. Yeah ironically for all the criticism this arc has been adapted pretty faithfully, but the fact it’s doing so against the current pacing and quality backdrop is what arguably makes it worse. This was a perfect opportunity to expand on some things the source material left deliberately shallow in the name of humour, and it was unfortunately wasted.

  2. I think this episode is a prime example of why this particular arc simply doesn’t translate well to a 12-episode season. The pacing is all wrong. The narrative begins and ends wherever it likes. The beginning of this episode should have been at the end of the last one. That way, the previous arc is wrapped up entirely, and this new episode can start anew.

    Normally, the non-fight with Goketsu would be funny. But it feels more like a fake out than a gag because expectations are so low at the moment.

    1. from the way he seeks thrill of battle, he’s basically the same as Saitama, except wanting to be a monster instead of hero. i think he basically is going through the same process Saitama did except in reverse.

      1. Pretty much yes. Like Saitama, Garo is after someone who can stop him in his tracks, the difference being that Garo has arguably met a few of them already while Saitama is still searching for that special someone 😛

  3. Given that most (or at least lots) of anime has paper origins, it’s inevitable that manga readers will comment on the comics they love. Having read many thousands of such comments, I have come to the conclusion that reading manga is really an affliction that compels the viewing of anime but inhibits its enjoyment (or perhaps distorts it). And now, it’s even affecting people who haven’t read the manga.

    There are some titles that have immunity but I’m not completely sure what flips the switch. NB, offhand, I’d guess that light novels are less affecting while visual novels are similarly affecting.

  4. Yeah, I’d have to agree it’s all pretty faithful in the latest episode. If they were going to take the liberty to improve things, I wish they kept the pacing of the tournament tighter, I feel like I’ve wasted three episodes on nothing, and finally got back to the show. This arc in general was not the planet shaking fun the first ark had with boros.
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