「それぞれの矜持」 (Sorezore no Kyouji)
Well it may not fully make up for the path OPM has recently been following, but this episode? Yeah, I quite liked it. As if proving the point OPM functions best when doing, well, OPM things, we got a half decent swath of action coupled with some sly development on the side, and a good teaser of more to come. It may not be what many were hoping for from the start, but this week shows OPM can still give it.
Although fair to rip J.C. Staff a new one over the treatment of fights thus far, when they put their mind to it they’re certainly capable of more than simple static blur. Garo and the Class A showdown for example was definitely not the best fight of the ages, but with a little attention to detail and some actual animation it succinctly shows why a lot fell in love with this series in the first place. Just have your heroes and villain actually live motion beat each other to a pulp and yes, you too can enjoy the fruits of audience love. Hell even Genos got a bit of love for this go-around, even if those metallic arms will forever remain the OPM 2 meme of choice. I know you’re trying to throw pretty much everything and the kitchen sink into this one J.C. Staff, but damn could you have at least tried making the metal look a little more like metal?
On another positive note as well was the attention lavished on Garo’s frame of mind. While the guy is still largely “evil” for evil’s sake (that love of monsters will need some further elaboration eventually), the guy is entirely correct when it comes to barriers and hierarchies. Who honestly cares what level or limit someone else sets for you? If you believe them you’re only holding yourself back and what you could accomplish with a different mindset. If you want more then take more, the only thing stopping you is yourself. Our loyal support proved this point in spades, for while thoroughly demolished, he still took a step towards being someone greater than his current self. In a sense Garo (as described before) is the flip side of Saitama: he may want to be the monster of the story, but he’s not particularly evil at heart. The guy simply wants to show why one side shouldn’t have a monopoly over what’s fair and right, because as is true in all situations, no one has full ownership over the truth. The world is full of various shades of grey, and it’ll be up to the current crop of heroes to recognize the legitimacy of some of what Garo preaches through his fighting.
Whether we start seeing any of that with next week’s finale is anyone’s guess of course, but there’s no denying OPM, for better or worse, is going to go out with a bang.