One-Punch Man Season 2 Episode 01: AN ANNOUNCED DISASTER

Saitama returns four years later.


One Punch Man’ is back. The anime that caused a furor in 2015 has finally returned with a second season that can be seen on Crunchyroll. His return was the most awaited anime release of the year, but it only served to show what we had been announcing for a few weeks on instagram: a shocking drop in quality.

In this first chapter of the new season, ‘One Punch Manunveils King, the biggest class S hero, who also hides a big secret (beyond his fondness for girls’ video games). Saitama, as powerful as ever, faces dozens of monsters attacking the city. And Genos, his faithful cyborg companion, does the same in a constant effort to be one of the 10 most powerful heroes.

The approach of this first episode is a continuation of the previous season. After saving the Earth, the customary way of life returns with a Saitama as rested and rustic as ever. In these mundane and amusing scenes, the series does not suffer any kind of deterioration. However, it is in action that its terrible descent into poverty lies.

If ‘One Punch Man’ is so engaging is because it achieves a brutal contrast between everyday life and epic action. In each episode of the previous season we saw titanic fights lasting several minutes and then delighted ourselves with a supermarket purchase. But the action is conspicuous by its absence in this second season premiere.

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After changing his animation studio (from the prestigious Madhouse to the unknown J.C. Staff) and director, ‘One Punch Man’ showed a worrying decrease in animation quality in his trailers. Every time Genos appeared, it proved that the new studio wasn’t up to the task, and that hasn’t changed at all in its premiere.

But if animation were the only thing that has worsened, it wouldn’t be such a serious decline either. The problem is that, worried about not being up to the task, J.C. Staff seems to have cut the action to a minimum, setting it up quickly with other slower scenes and losing the necessary dynamism for this show. Now, the combats are neither so epic nor so relaxed, so their scenes of customs do not manage to exert the amusing contrast of the previous batch of episodes.

It’s still too early to predict disaster, as there are many chapters ahead and the possibility of ‘One Punch Man’ rebounding. We’ll stay on top of it, with low expectations but knowing that Saitama can continue to offer us unique stories that live up to its popularity.

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