Anime Review

Anime Hajime Review: One Punch Man 2nd Season

Original Run: April 10, 2019 - July 3, 2019
Number of Episodes: 12
Genre: Action, Comedy
Based on the Series Created By: One

***Warning, the following may contain spoilers for One Punch Man 2nd Season. Reader discretion is advised.***

Series Synopsis

The peace of the world is always on the brink of destruction. In recent days, unprecedented waves of monster attacks have been plaguing the citizenry, and the mighty Hero’s Association is struggling to keep the devastation contained.

Employing hundreds of heroes, the Association looks to its best, the legendary S-rank heroes, to save the day. The rest try to do what they can to keep up.

However, the Association’s executives, as well as many heroes, are quite full of themselves. Most seek the fame and admiration that is often associated with this line of work. This egotism makes it easy to miss the person who chooses to be a hero because they think it’s fun.

His name is Saitama (voiced by Makoto Furukawa), and, though only known to a few, he is the strongest person there is. Every enemy Saitama faces is defeated with a single punch.

Now, Saitama, along with his faithful disciple, the super-cyborg Genos (voiced by Kaito Ishikawa), ready to go on patrol once again to protect their city, as well a secure their next paycheck.

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Series Positives

To read my One Punch Man review, please click HERE.

My expectations going into One Punch Man 2nd Season (One Punch Man 2) were high; perhaps dangerously so. My thinking was, although it would have been nice for this installment to surpass the original, at a minimum, I only wanted to see a proper continuation which complemented, as well as expanded on what came before. Plus, having the same level of excitement, comedy, and thrills would have also been nice.

To put it simply, there was a benchmark One Punch Man 2 needed to meet, and without question, it was met. This season was entirely on par with the first, and that’s saying something since the first was a lot of goddamn fun.

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But don’t let that fool you. This was very much a sequel.

There were elements in One Punch Man 2 that simply could not have worked back in One Punch Man 1. More was added to this series and this installment was eager to break away from the introductory nature of its predecessor; as should be the goal of any follow-up.

If there was something season one made clear, it was that there was no craziness-line this series was unwilling to cross. As a result, that gave this season the green light to go much, much bigger. The controlled insanity that is One Punch Man was still alive and well. So, if you’re looking for a bunch of stupidly awesome action scenes and superpowered battles, you cannot feel more fulfilled when watching this show.

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But to tell you the truth, while I did enjoy the explosions, the flash, and the spectacle, those were not the things that impressed me the most about this season. Let’s not forget, One Punch Man has a bunch, and I mean a bunch of genuinely outstanding characters. Season two only added to that already long list.

From this chapter, we were introduced to – or, at least, were finally given a proper introduction to – several new people I can’t wait to see more of; such as King, Fubuki, and Suiryu (voiced respectively by Hiroki Yasumoto, Saori Hayami, and Masaya Matsukaze).

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However, out of what seemed to be complete nowhere, One Punch Man 2 gave us Garou (voiced by Hikaru Midorikawa), who was, easily, the best new element to come out of this season. He was something this series needed – a proper antagonist. Yeah, there have been “threats” through the two installments, but a reoccurring villain looking to take down every hero out there, that’s a totally different kind of player.

What was even more surprising, there were instances where I found myself rooting for Garou. In fact, scratch that. I don’t think there was a single fight where I wanted to see him lose, and that includes a confrontation he had with Genos – and I like Genos.

For you see, One Punch Man 2 made Garou sympathetic. This season took the time to explain why he thought the way he did. He wasn’t just evil for the sake of being evil. Instead, Garou had motivations that were clear and well-defined. It made sense why he turned into a bad guy. For that reason, Garou is now my second favorite character of the entire franchise.

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I say “second favorite” because, once again, the number one thing about One Punch Man was Saitama.

Saitama is among the best anime heroes to ever be, and I dare you to convince me I’m wrong. He embodies what a hero should stand for. Saitama doesn’t fight for glory, fame, or recognition. He fights because he wants to protect people, and he wants to protect people because he knows he can. Granted, a steady paycheck and the hope of finding a stimulating challenger are bonuses, but those aren’t the motivations which push him.

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Plus, Saitama is the ideal level of asshole. He only uses his brilliant deadpan sarcasm on people who can either fire back or on those who need to get knocked down a peg. When someone actually needs his help, he can be brutally honest, sure, but sometimes that’s what a person has to hear.

I look to the day Saitama and Garou face off against each other. That didn’t – officially – happen in season two, but when it does, it will be a battle of the personalities. And frankly, I can’t wait.

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Series Negatives

The biggest crime that could happen to this series is if One Punch Man 3 never comes to be. The first season of this show sprinkled in bits of future plot points, but overall, it came to an end. That wasn’t the case with season two.

The only reason I am satisfied with this installment’s ending is because I have to believe part three is coming and coming soon; 2020 or 2021 at the latest.

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Fortunately, given this series’ immense popularity (which has been well-earned), I think the likelihood of a third anime chapter is as close to a given as you can get without an official release announcement. Then again, I am still waiting for several continuations to other shows which have yet to come, so I really hope I’m not fooling myself here.

Regardless, if there is ever a season three, I imagine it is going to run into the same problem both season one and two did.

The entire idea of Saitama being the most powerful being in existence and him being able to defeat every enemy with a single punch is what makes One Punch Man, One Punch Man. And that concept works provided Saitama is on screen. The problem is, he isn’t always on screen.

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Now to give One Punch Man 2 credit, the beginning of this season did show other heroes kicking all kinds of ass. Plus, Garou was a fantastic alternative to Saitama. So, for a while, the issue which plagued season one – the inevitable slow down – I believed was going to be averted. Nope, I was wrong.

Back in season one, there was a stretch of several episodes which focused on the invasion of the Deep Sea King, an ultra-powerful demon who had little to no difficulty taking out every hero foolish enough to face him. That was until Saitama came along and insta-wrecked him.

The season two equivalent was the monster invasion of the human world. Again, Saitama was off doing his own thing, and the majority of his fellow heroes (albeit, there was a handful who were actually capable of taking care of themselves) were getting the snot kicked out of them.

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I get why One Punch Man has to drag these segments out. The moment Saitama shows up, its all over. And when Saitama finally does arrive, this series becomes fun again.

Unfortunately, One Punch Man has had a terrible habit of going too far. When you know the ultimate fixer is out there, it doesn’t take long before a tensionless beat down of a bunch of good guys to a group of cocky-as-hell villains grows boring. It’s a little hard to be at the edge of your seat when you already know what the solution is going to be.

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Therefore, with the eventual season three (I’m keeping that alive), it would be nice if there was more balance within the second level fights. Again, this is why I think someone like Garou was great. He was a force to be reckoned with, yes. But he could also be whittled down bit by bit until eventually, we were witnessing a legitimately suspenseful fight.

Because of all that, I do believe One Punch Man 2 is as good as One Punch Man 1. Both seasons proved to be absurdly fun, but they suffered from the same limitations.

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Final Thoughts

I should have mentioned this earlier, but this was one of my most anticipated anime of 2019.

If you are a fan of the first season, then I would imagine the likelihood is high that you’ve already seen this installment. For everyone else, you are in a lucky position.

You can now experience twice the amount of insane, over-the-top, fun as hell action in a single go.

With a bunch of great characters and one of the medium’s greatest heroes to its name, this is a defining series of the modern anime landscape.

And with that, One Punch Man 2nd Season gets a full recommendation.

But these are just my thoughts. What are yours? Have you seen this show? What would be your advice concerning One Punch Man 2nd Season? Leave a comment down below because I would love to hear what you have to say.

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For Anime Hajime, I’m LofZOdyssey, and I’ll see you next time.

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