A lackluster promotional video for One Punch Man’s second season left a lot of fans nervous about what the staff change would mean for the deadpan comedy-action hybrid. The first season’s debut episode was one the best premieres of its respective season and still holds up as a great introduction for new fans. This second season’s premiere did not implode, but it’s still far from the vibe that made the original so amazing.
Looking just at the action sequences, I’d put them squarely between nonexistent and serviceable. The staff are employing a lot of cutaways to avoid showing the combat on screen, and the few scenes we get of Genos versus a giant robot have none of the flourish we might expect from the first season. The staff are using a mix of 3D and 2D elements to make Genos’ mechanical parts work, and it’s not as bad as it could be; I’ve seen some pretty questionable CGI in anime before, but it’s still not a smooth transition from his shoulder to his arm, especially when the lasers get working. Saitama himself only got one punch in the opener, presumably. This was another scene where the staff chose to cut away and then cut back, showing the enemy now defeated. The only logical conclusion is that Saitama did something, but it’s not explained. Color me disappointed.
One Punch Man’s first season was a perfect mix of deadpan humor, heart-pounding action sequences, and an emotional core exploring the ennui of adulthood. Some of that emotional resonance is still present as we see Saitama attempt to bond with another hero who he thinks is suffering from the same boredom as himself. Saitama struggled with no longer finding a challenge (and thus a valuable reward) from life, and he thinks he’s found a kindred spirit in King. Unfortunately, King’s shtick is a sham built on misunderstandings and cowardice. The narrative seems to be blending hero politics alongside Saitama’s search of meaning.
If the animation skill on display in the first season is truly gone in favor of standard shortcuts, this second season will quickly find much of its good will cut off at the knees. It’ll have to tighten its comedic timing and amp up the emotional stakes to at least deliver a worthwhile dramedy to make up for the downgrade in visuals. You can also free One Punch Man 2nd Season anime watch online and free download anime.
I wish I could say the sequel for one of the most popular anime of this year to be good. I really wish I could. One Punch Man’s release back in 2015 made headlines with its high caliber animation quality and ultra comical character cast. The manga itself is also very popular. Ask anyone who’ve read the series will tell you that it’s more than just your usual battle shounen. Known for its top notch quality comedy and unorthodox storytelling, it’s a sensation. But this…second season is nothing short of a horror story. It’s the type of horror that scared me to realize how far this anime has fallen. What did the second season go wrong?
Well for starters, there’s the change in the staff. Director Shingo Natsume left this season and responsibilities were handed to Chikara Sakurai. One of their previous project was Majimoji Rurumo, a show that probably most people has forgotten by now. One Punch Man has already established itself beyond the anime medium and with a growing popularity, it tries to aim higher. However, fans coming into this season shouldn’t have any high expectations especially if we take a look at the promotional material. While the key visual doesn’t turn heads away, the preview will. With the J.C. Staff in charge of this sequel, this raised a lot of red flags. In respect, the animation quality severely suffers in quality. Rather than a sharp, crisp quality animation with stylish aesthetics, we get static-like power point slides. Maybe I’m exaggerating a bit but this second season’s quality is easy to point fingers to. Unfortunately, it seems J.C. Staff couldn’t handle the job of making this into a sensation again. They already have their hands full with a lot of projects this year after all.
Storytelling itself doesn’t improve much either if we talk about the main plot. Again, I really wish I could say the opposite but this sequel proves itself to be a tragedy. From the rushing of certain content to underwhelming delivery of some of the important fights, I felt no impact from this season at all. Zero. Early on the in season, we also meet Fubuki (Blizzard) who leads the B-Class hero group. At first, I was ecstatic to finally see her gain some relevance. However, the fight between her and Saitama passed like a flash. There’s almost no charisma besides Saitama’s heroic speech and attitude. Even on a comedy level, it didn't draw much popcorn entertainment. Similarly, many of the dialogues this season sounds very scripted. As a manga reader, I wanted to see much more than characters speaking their lines. What I got instead is just words and words coming out in a desaturated manner. Saitama is still the bald caped hero with unstoppable power. The first season captured the magic of his character while this sequel didn’t move the needle. What I mean is Saitama’s fight against adversaries this season isn’t even near the caliber as the previous season.
But it’s not always fair to compare the previous season with this continuation, right? Truth to be told, season 1 did set the bar high. Known for its visual dynamics and ONE’s creative writing, One Punch Man has always done all it could to be its own special series. Here, it’s lost the fire. People made memes out of One Punch Man because it was comically entertaining in a genuine way. Here, there’s worthy made besides weak impressions. Even the hero hunter Garou didn’t make much of an impact. As a foil character to Saitama, I expected his personality to be a bright flair. However, Garou ended up being someone that I forgot easily. Perhaps it’s because the overall directing of the show as several events takes place at once this season. There’s the fighting tournament involving various heroes, the invasion of the monsters, and Saitama living his day as usual as a hero. The joke of being one punched is far over after we’ve seen it so many times. The monsters themselves are hardly worth writing home about. To be honest, does any antagonist this season even contain an ounce of charisma compared to Boros? That fight from season 1 was legendary.
On the hero side, we do have some characters making reappearances. Names like Genos, Metal Bat, and Tatsumaki are a few I’m sure fans remember. Unfortunately, their roles this season has degenerated to little value. New faces like Suiryu brings in some excitement although he can hardly carry this season. In fact, the Super Fight Tournament arc felt like one big talent show of weirdos gathering together. I didn’t feel the stakes were impactful nor did the results feel satisfying. I mean, the show is One Punch Man. Who else is going to dominate this tournament?
Oh how the mighty of fallen is the easiest way to describe One Punch Man Season 2. The first season was a juggernaut that exceeded expectations. Fans still embrace what became a blockbuster. It’s 2019 now and we’ll have people talking again One Punch Man again. Unfortunately, people will quote more from the manga than recommending this sequel. Trust me, One Punch Man Second Season is a mistake. A grave mistake.