「正義の包囲網」 (Seigi no Houimou)
“The Encircling Net of Justice”

With OPM’s second season now rapidly approaching its end it’s hard not feeling a little conflicted. The show continues to do a fine job of faithfully adapting its source material to the big screen, but for everything which is nailed correctly another part shows just how much it could’ve improved on the overall performance. In more than one way OPM is increasingly a show without a rudder, and with a climax (and potential third season) now barrelling down upon us, it’s not the best time to lose control of the ship.

Although last week with Saitama’s battle (or intentional lack of it) succinctly showcased the main issues with OPM at the moment, this episode certainly helped reinforce them. The main issue with OPM right now is arguably a lack of focus. Sure, we may have all these great stories playing out in real—i.e. anime—time, but given how each of them must compete with the other for screen time and we’re left with a wave pool wider than it is deep. For every minute of Monster Association we get a minute of Garo, and every minute with Garo is one less minute elaborating on the enemy OPM clearly wants us to focus on. Even for more stereotypical shounens it’s not an enviable position, and when coupled with this arc’s deliberate focus on everyone else but Saitama (alongside that noticeable lack of appreciable action) we get this weird purgatory which OPM finds itself caught in. It’s easy to pin the blame on J.C. Staff for all of this, but a lot of it arguably (and ironically) comes down to this season simply being too faithful an adaptation. What overwhelmingly works in writing is not always directly transferrable to animation, and given how much OPM left open for creative interpretation this was definitely one time to throw adaptation rigidity to the wind and see how far you could take the premise.

Of course with that said not everything is doom and gloom, especially since OPM’s remaining two episodes look to return (if only slightly) to its first season roots. We’ll get at least one more episode of Garo being a literal anti-hero badass for example, which after that hilarious one hit KO and Garo’s subsequent faulting of King for definitely deserves the attention. Not much of a guess the guy will be escaping his current predicament (he’s too good to prevent a round three with Saitama from happening), but how he does and how it affects one hell of a mentorship is up in the air. Then comes the “main” enemy of the moment in the Monster Association, which while likely to serve as this season’s cliffhanger should at least offer up some tasty fun and games in the form of S class hero shenanigans and further monster beatdowns. For all the aforementioned criticism OPM is slowly but surely converging on a central story, one which stands to last a while and yield more development than the events seen up until now.

It’s just a question of how well that story will hold up to the expectations still holding out for more.

 

Preview

18 Comments

  1. I enjoyed this episode more simply because it was moving the plot along lol.

    But yeah, you’re right about the focus. (I would have dropped or condensed the tournament arc, personally.)

    SuicuneSol
    1. In hindsight that was one area which should’ve been reworked, if only to highlight the things everyone was expecting from the start. I still think the arc does have a place in the show, but it needed streamlining.

  2. How long goes this “Garo arc”? He want to beat the strongest Heroes to prove he is stronger? only for the thrill and adrenalin? Sure okay, but how long do they drag this on?

    we all know that he can not beat OPM, but seems like he did not learn from this. it is just divorce the anime screentime into nirvana.. do someones really care for him in anime form?

    Worldwidedepp
    1. If you are expecting for someine to finally beat Saitama. Yiu will have to wait a long time and you are seeing this expecting someting that is never the main theme. I love every character of this work, every one has a reason to be who he/she is. The Garou arc is important in the future, yes he has no chance but that is not the point.

      Lasttiwinfan
      1. He definitely has depth not originally apparent at the start, which really makes me disappointed he’s pretty much been relegated to secondary cast the past few weeks. There’s a lot which can be done with his character and his similarity in spirit to Saitama.

  3. You know, it’s funny that we call this the Garo arc. We’ve seen very little of Garo so far. More than half the season was the tournament arc which he was not part of.

    *Sigh* The tournament should never have happened.

    SuicuneSol
  4. They haven’t announced anything beyond this season either have they? I was looking at JC Staffs upcoming work for the fall season and it looks like just Shokugeki No Soma Season 4. They average two shows per season if I remember correctly and have Danmachi Season 2 & Show with a stupidly long name for the Summer season. Unsurprising winter announcement for the show after the final episode anyone?

    Lyfe
    1. Wait my bad, they also have Hi Score Girl Season 2 for the fall season. Looks like JC Staff has a full schedule for 2019. It looks like Winter for One Punch Mans return is the earliest possible return.

      Lyfe
    2. Yeah nothing announced for OPM yet, but I’ll be surprised if we don’t see a third season eventually. Only question is the length of delay we can expect. As for J.C. Staff’s schedule IIRC they’re involved with 5 shows this summer which does not bode well for quality lol.

  5. If I recall right City Z is where one punch lives and the area around his apartment is a dead zone with plenty of physical evidence of very high power levels being used and no living monsters or anything else. The One Punch world is a comedy so I will accept both the Monster Assassation and the Hero Asociation being incompetent in figuring out some super powerful being lives there. And it’s not unbelievable the level that incompetence can reach is staggering. Never underestimate incompetence. But in a story I normally expect more competence except that One Punch is a comedy so a unbeatable hero and total idiots of powers are completely fine.

    Quite enjoyed the build up.

    RedRocket

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