22 February 2020

One-Punch Man Season 2

I had not realised that One-Punch Man, one of my favourite anime series, had a second season released! I spent much of my waking time on the flight watching the first few episodes. Hilarious as ever.

The brilliance of this series lies in how it twists the usual superhero tropes, making fun of conventions while, at the same time, delivering a story that is still understandable and enjoyable using those same conventions. The character designs are deliberately over the top, but they are also all plausible hero-types — the swordsman, the cyborg, the psychic, the boy genius. The monsters too are odd but comprehensible (some are even terrifying). Their fights are orchestrated, as each side delivers escalating special attacks, but with enough surprises thrown in that they don’t become stale. Those surprises in turn contribute to the comedy of the series.

Saitama’s own power, his immense strength, and his own personality serve as the perfect foil for these tropes. Where there are meticulously crafted reputations and styles, there is this bald man in a silly costume. Where there are ever-increasing displays of power, there is this single punch that ends it all, like the anti-climax in Indiana Jones where he faces off with a swordsman.

It is a really smart, really hilarious show that I always highly recommend.

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