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One Punch Man 2 – 12 (END)

「弟子の尻拭い」 (Deshi no Shirinugui)
“Cleaning Up the Disciple’s Mess”

While it would be easy to go into detail about OPM’s final episode and how it was a nice (if chaotic) cap to everything this season was building up towards, I think the results speak for themselves. We got that fleshed out flashback explaining Garo’s state of mind (and I dare say it was pretty good), the fighting, even if less visually impressive than last week, dominated in the fashion it was always meant to, and—oh yes—the One Punch Man himself landed the final hit, because of course. It was everything OPM to a tee, and even if an arguable case of too little too late, I cannot deny loving every minute. In more than one way, OPM still has it.

Final Impressions

To say OPM was divisive would definitely be an understatement: of all recent blockbuster hits this one tripped the most, and while burdened with some seriously sky high expectations to meet, there’s no denying it still stumbled badly when personal opinions are factored out of the equation. It’s a case study in how name alone doesn’t a successful show make, and we got front row seats to the lesson.

Although most will be quick to pin all the blame on J.C. Staff for OPM’s sequel failures, the main issue in my opinion rests with OPM’s adaptation strategy. As discussed a few weeks back this season I believe was too faithful in its adaptation: we got the manga version more or less scene for scene, got every character seeing as much screen time as allotted in the writing, and received every joke as written, no matter the difficulty in changed format. Considering the sheer number of characters featured here and OPM’s single cour run the troubles are easy to see—i.e. pacing—but they were arguably easy problems to fix. Why? Narrative space. OPM’s semi-satirical nature at its core leaves lots of room for some creative imagination to fill in the blanks. Saitama’s fight with Gouketsu during the tournament arc for example could’ve easily been moved on camera, taking advantage of anime’s advantages over the web novel/manga format to better showcase the over-the-top fights which in part helped make this series. Likewise a little ingenuity with what was specifically featured (ex. emphasizing Garo and the Monster Association over the martial arts tournament fights) would have gone a long way to creating a tighter and more entertaining show. We may rightfully strive for adaptations to adhere closely to their source material (for some very obvious reasons), but OPM shows why this should never be a hard and fast rule.

With all that said however, OPM’s structure cannot entirely take away from its visual quirks. Make no mistake, OPM’s animation is not as terrible as many are quick to call out, but J.C. undeniably cut some corners which aggravated many of the faults revealed through the writing. Numerous fight scenes for example made excessive use of the still shot with motion blur, something which does work in practice, but becomes very noticeable when compared against actual animation. Likewise the choice of colouring and texture for Genos’ metal features was an agonizing itch inflamed with how the guy wound up looking previously. Nothing was ever going to come close to matching Madhouse’s labour of love of course (and anyone expecting that should seriously reign in such expectations), but these sort of visual choices only help intensify (whether rightly or wrongly) the troubles OPM has been called out for.

In the end though I cannot really hate on OPM’s second season too much. Sure it could’ve had more money and talent thrown at it, yeah it could’ve been better both visually and narratively, but at least we got a sequel—and a faithfully adapted one to boot—when such a thing was never guaranteed. Fans of the franchise may not look back as fondly to this season as compared to the first, but with a decent jumping off point and enough popularity to potentially see a third season somewhere down the road you never quite know. Much like with Mob Psycho 100 we might just get that sequel which can put the first season to shame yet.

July 2, 2019 at 9:43 pm
31 comments »
  • July 2, 2019 at 9:58 pmGreed

    https://randomc.net/image/One-Punch%20Man/One%20Punch%20Man%20S2%20-%2012%20-%20Large%2013.jpg
    https://randomc.net/image/One-Punch%20Man/One%20Punch%20Man%20S2%20-%2012%20-%20Large%2010.jpg
    Yeah, back when I was in school, I remember that school was nothing more than a zoo that is filled with barbaric animals that set up their own caste system. And the teachers are nothing more than than losers who need to be fired and should only be allowed to find employment in a sweatshop. After finally graduating school, you feel glad you don’t have to tolerate being stuck in a cage filled with mindless creatures who likely become hobos in the future.

    https://randomc.net/image/One-Punch%20Man/One%20Punch%20Man%20S2%20-%2012%20-%20Large%2038.jpg
    Well Saitama isn’t wrong. Genos has courage/bravery, the ability to analyse and devise tactics, flexibility to be willing to use teamwork, and so forth. I couldn’t give a different answer compared to what Saitama gave.

    • July 3, 2019 at 1:09 pmlebleu

      lol could you sound any more edgy.

      school is not always fun but going through it is a big part of growing up – including learning how to deal with certain situations & certain types of people

      • July 3, 2019 at 3:34 pmGreed

        Yeah, true. The problem is there is a difference between growing up in a “proper” environment and growing up in an “improper” environment. Taking Elfen Lied for example, poor girl grew up in a lousy environment with cold-blooded kids that could be considered less than animals. If she grew up with kids like in Owari no Seraph then maybe her past would be less miserable.

        It’s true, in real life, as kids get out of school they still have to be prepared for social injustice that adults have to experience. However, my main problem is how a child’s future is decided by how well they do in school. There are Kids that want to go to college, yet they need to go to school and tolerate dealing with dumb creatures that keep harming their academic achievements and motivation.

      • July 3, 2019 at 4:59 pmGreed

        Any maybe I am being a bit edgy, and I am not sure if schools made big improvements in that area. But I am sure many people recall the days when they had to deal with mindless animals that don’t care about their own grades yet they find it fun to abuse a school’s useless “justice system” on kids that do care about their grades. That is something you hope changes by the time your a parent.

  • July 2, 2019 at 10:39 pmhjerry2000

    I’ve seen it stated that this series being “anticlimactic” is an unfair complaint, as the series has always been anticlimactic, even going back to the first season.

    I’d have to say that I disagree though. I think the first season can better be described as “should be anticlimactic” but isn’t.

    For all the complaining about how the animation this season is really lackluster compared to the first season (and tbf that’s not wrong), the direction is just as much if not more to blame for this season being more “bland” than its predecessor. The team for season 1, just linked scenes (and animation) together in such a perfect way, in which things that should have really been boring, too fast, and anticlimactic, weren’t. Instead, when Saitama one offed the monster in a single punch, it felt satisfying, like it was meant to be. Here, however, we’re often left with a feeling of, that’s it? and even better animation wouldn’t completely have fixed that.

    Overall, I didn’t dislike this season. It just left me wanting more.

    • July 3, 2019 at 12:42 amRentarou

      The first season’s two parter with Saitama blwoing up the ship form the inside and killing everything while the other heroes struggled outside followed by the visually impressive battle with the alien boss was leagues more entertaining than a couple of blows exchanged with the huge centipede though. The fight with Garo and a bunch of heroes last episode was cool but this season’s ending was missing a huge Saitama factor. In fact, the whole season was.

      • July 3, 2019 at 12:45 amRentarou

        I thought Saitama’s relationship with King was funny and great but the martial arts competition was a huge bore, and the first season had a complete story arc including seemingly defeating the “chikyuu ga yabai” prediction at the end. This season was a more run-of-the-mill bland shounen anime.

      • July 3, 2019 at 9:38 amhjerry2000

        Better to compare this last battle to his battle with the Sea King. Both ended in one punch, but the Sea King was made far more interesting because its direction was handled better.

    • July 3, 2019 at 10:14 pmPancakes

      Completely agree, the direction and adaptation choices really were what hurt this season the most. Animation-wise it wasn’t stupendous, just it was certainly some of J.C. Staff’s better work of late. The issue was the animation accentuated the directional faults and what was noticeably lacking—completely revamp the latter half of this season and I’d wager the animation wouldn’t have got the complaints it did.

  • July 2, 2019 at 11:33 pmIncognito

    Man, and here I thought Garo would somehow get his second wind and turn the tables on Bang, Bomb and Genos, setting up the Garo vs. Saitama fight as the season finale. Instead, it was Centichoro who’s the “final boss” of this season. Anime watchers will have to wait a while for a proper Garo vs. Saitama fight. (Or switch to the manga, as with the season 3 finale of Attack on Titan.)

    NGL, I already expected One Punch Man 2 to be a step down from the previous season with the change in studios from Madhouse to J.C. Staff*. But despite being proven right in that regard, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be–at least, if the last two episodes were any indication. That said, I’m just hoping that the corner-cutting measures done this season doesn’t result in lower Blu-Ray sales that could potentially kill off the animators’ paychecks** and chances of a season 3.

    TL;DR Notes:
    * – This is despite the news about animators getting overworked over at Madhouse, which does make me wonder if something similar’s going on over at J.C. Staff with all the shows they’re animating this year.
    ** – An honest exaggeration on my end (and I hope that’s actually not the case), but after reading news about Madhouse overworking some of its animators, I can’t help but be reminded of the “crunch time” horror stories that I hear from Jim Sterling and other still-respectable video game journalists–especially from the quality-assurance testers who often work long hours with little pay and do not get similar benefits as the actual game developers.

    • July 3, 2019 at 1:24 pmLyfe

      J.C. Staff don’t really have a high bar for show sales unlike some studios. Danmachi was averaging around 5k combined for BD & DVD per volume and that got a movie and a second season. I know they’ve given sequels to shows pulling around 3-4k per volume(Madhouse would balk at those numbers) lol. I think as long as it doesn’t totally bomb the show should be OK.

    • July 3, 2019 at 10:16 pmPancakes

      If a season 3 comes it’ll be down more to source material sales than anime sales IMO, these past two seasons have been for promotion only and if the funders see an appreciable uptick in sales of the former we’ll likely get that third season. The material is just too popular for the decision to come down to Blu-Ray sales only.

      • July 4, 2019 at 1:24 amIncognito

        Aye. Forgot about that… orz

        I’m still under the impression that the manga remains popular enough to warrant a season 3 and make this season of the anime little more than a speed bump in the grand scheme of things.

        Though I’m still curious if lower Blu-Ray sales translate into lower pay for the animators, or whether their pay is quota-based (mainly on how many projects they’re in–and J.C. Staff is definitely busy this year).

        Anyway, negative nitty-gritty aside, I’m just hoping next season has more scenes from Fubuki. As much as I liked the scenes of her…ahem…bounciness, I’d rather see the reason for her fan nickname, “Fubooty.”

      • July 4, 2019 at 2:48 pmLyfe

        Poor sales could make J.C. Staff drop the series and leave the series in perpetual limbo until another studio picks it up. Madhouse quite clearly dropped the series for Overlord which more than doubled One Punch Mans first season sales.

        In short I don’t think it’s accurate to call it a sure thing. If the second season totally bombs and J.C. Staff abandons ship, it could kill the show off for good. No one would touch the series if it sold say under 1000 copies(Unlikely but humor me) a volume.

  • July 3, 2019 at 2:44 amzztop

    Source material wise, is be enough content for a S3?

    • July 3, 2019 at 3:09 amExiled_Gundam

      If they took the material from the original webcomic, should be enough as the garou arc already ended in the webcomic.

    • July 3, 2019 at 1:28 pmLyfe

      Probably a moot point now because they didn’t announce the third season upfront. The show returns to limbo with hopefully some sort of release date whenever.

    • July 3, 2019 at 6:10 pmGreed

      hard to say. By the time Garou and Saitama fight each other again properly, I won’t be shocked if it is season 4.

      I am hoping to see Sweet Mask in a bloody mess soon. Someone needs to destroy that annoying ego of his.

    • July 3, 2019 at 10:18 pmPancakes

      Plenty, especially with how faithful the adaptation has been with the source material so far. Only question is whether OPM’s popularity is judged enough to justify a third season.

      • July 4, 2019 at 12:27 amSuicuneSol

        Oh… there’s enough content alright. But if they stop the season before the climax again, they’re not going to have another chance.

  • July 3, 2019 at 4:43 ammac65

    So, does Bang realize that Saitama is a/the real powerhouse, or does
    he think it was defeated by King thereby continuing King’s undeserved “strong”
    reputation (since they wouldn’t exactly see who threw the punch).

    Of course, Genos knows it was him…

    Not as good as season 1 – I know from the comments it was faithful to the manga
    (I guess), but the martial arts competition didn’t get the love it really needed
    and ended up getting in the way.

    Oh well, summer season’s upon us!!!

    • July 3, 2019 at 10:19 pmPancakes

      Oh they all know it was Saitama haha, the question is who gets the fame from the general public :P

  • July 3, 2019 at 8:18 amPlayer

    I agree with everything you said; I feel like you’re quite fair.

    Saitama showing up at the end to kill this dragon-like centipede was very satisfying, after the tension rose from seeing it shrug off two death blows.

    When I read this in the manga (so long ago I forgot everything) I was half-skimming it, reading quickly looking for Saitama to show up, so the way that the anime slowed everything down and preserved details helped me truly appreciate the plot. Hopefully we see more OPM anime cours in the future.

    • July 3, 2019 at 6:12 pmGreed

      It is satisfying to see Saitama with his punch in the last episode.

      Now if only there is an OVA soon

    • July 3, 2019 at 10:22 pmPancakes

      Thanks glad you enjoy the rambling haha. It would really easy to tear this season a new one, but for all the tripping there’s still plenty to like, and I find I get more enjoyment from liking something for what it is rather than needlessly hating on it.

  • July 3, 2019 at 1:50 pmShio

    Extremely disappointing final episode. Maybe even one of the worst final episodes I’ve seen lately.
    The fight with Garo and Bang was interesting. The flashbacks of Garo were okay but they seemed too long. Even half way through those flashbacks you knew what they were about and then it was just some boring trope, as always.
    Garo getting rescued was unexpected. Immediatly as the bird said that the heroes cannot defeat the centipede, it was clear that Saitama would show up. Watching those three fight it was entertaining for the first 2-3 minutes, but after that the episode just degraded into a waiting game until Saitama showed up. Everything seemed so pointless.

  • July 3, 2019 at 8:59 pmGreed

    https://randomc.net/image/One-Punch%20Man/One%20Punch%20Man%20S2%20-%2012%20-%20Large%2018.jpg
    obviously she needs to show up more. She is one of the few legal loli anime characters I know of.

    https://randomc.net/image/One-Punch%20Man/One%20Punch%20Man%20S2%20-%2012%20-%20Large%2032.jpg
    That martial art pose looks cool. Wonder if it is applicable. It looks like it has some tai chi elements maybe.

  • July 3, 2019 at 11:48 pmBambi

    Wait wha- I did not realise that was the last episode, it didn’t even feel like one?

  • July 4, 2019 at 1:53 pmWeird D

    Gotta give King a CMOA here – calling out a giant monster like that and standing his ground despite crapping his pants deep down took some balls. Yes he knew Saitama would handle it, but damn !

  • July 6, 2019 at 1:14 pmAizen

    “we got the manga version more or less scene for scene”

    I dare say the manga was animated better…

  • July 14, 2019 at 2:57 pmNano Anime

    I first learned about One Punch Man from my friend and he recommended I watch in on NetFlix. It’s now one of my favorite anime shows. It’s simply hilarious! Thank you for you review.

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